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Old 10-01-2007, 06:21 PM
 
104 posts, read 397,089 times
Reputation: 28

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Good afternoon all, I'm hoping to find some help with a possible relocation to Plano. Here are a few of my questions:

1. Looking for new construction - name of good builders
2. Is insurance higher in Plano as opposed to neighboring citiies
3. Property taxes high
4. Weather conditions - does it snow, are roads icy, rain
5. Reasons for living in Plano - good/bad, I want to hear all sides
6. Don't need schools, but how are hospitals, banks, shopping
7. When coming from another state, do I need to take a written driving test if I already have a license? I know I could look it up, was hoping someone would have the answer - one less thing to do on my long list of research items.

Thank you in advance for ANY help you can provide, I appreciate more than you know.

Better half will work in Plano so would like to minimize commute
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:04 PM
 
49 posts, read 201,969 times
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Hi! I just moved to Richardson, just south of Plano. I really love it here so far, but Plano and Richardson are somewhat different. I'll leave it to someone else to answer questions 1-6.

But as for question number 7 (do you need to take a written test to get your Texas DL if you have a valid license from another state), I can answer NO! with certainty, since I just went and applied for my license last week. H

Oh, and one handy bit of information someone gave me when I started looking around: Get yourself a Mapsco for the Dallas area. I bought a used one online and have found it extremely helpful in familiarizing myself with the area. Happy exploring
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:58 PM
 
Location: la hacienda
2,259 posts, read 8,903,734 times
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>> 7. When coming from another state, do I need to take a written driving test if I already have a license? I know I could look it up, was hoping someone would have the answer - one less thing to do on my long list of research items.<<

We've just moved here as well so I can answer this one ... no written test. Here is a link that I've bookmarked, hopefully it's helpful

Vehicle Requirements for New Residents
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Old 10-02-2007, 12:39 AM
 
614 posts, read 1,683,152 times
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I've lived in Plano for basically my entire life. Here are your answers:

1. Looking for new construction - name of good builders

There's very little new construction in Plano. Plano is about 95% built out, so most builders have moved on to Frisco/McKinney/Carrollton. I haven't seen a new construction development since 2001 - 2002.

2. Is insurance higher in Plano as opposed to neighboring citiies

Like homeowners insurance? Car Insurance? Since most of Plano is homes and not apartments, I can't think of any reason why plano insurance would be higher than the neighboring cities. Plano doesn't have a lot more crime than any other neighboring city either.

3. Property taxes high

Property taxes are high in general in texas. We have no state income tax though, so it tends to even out. I think Plano is 2.5%. Someone who owns their own home though can probably tell you an exact amount though.

4. Weather conditions - does it snow, are roads icy, rain

Very rarely does it snow. I think since in all the time I've been here, the most snow i've seen is a 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch accumulation. As far as ice goes, as a kid, we usually got one "ice day" a year. You don't say where you're coming from though. In Plano, if there's any appreciable amount, the whole city turns to chaos.

As far as rain goes, we average about 32" of rain a year (i think). We have a lot more thunderstorms here, than usual I would say. While Plano sits in Tornado Alley, I've never seen a tornado hit the city (knock on wood)

5. Reasons for living in Plano - good/bad, I want to hear all sides

Plano is a cookie-cutter suburb. Take that for what its worth. The keeping up with the joneses stuff is all in people's heads. After all, you control who you're friends with. I like Plano simply because it's convenient to everything, and just day to day life is pretty good.

Plano, unlike other cities, is also not really a suburb. It's technically an edge city. It's population is really big (about 250k people), and there are a lot of jobs within Plano itself. Unlike McKinney/Frisco/Murphy/Denton/other places, you can spend your day without driving too much and avoid a long commute. Frito-Lay, JC Penny, and EDS all have their global headquarters here. That says something.

6. Don't need schools, but how are hospitals, banks, shopping

Plano has two really big hospitals. Presbyterian and Medical Center of Plano. Neither are teaching hospitals, so they're not doing cutting edge research, but the doctors (in my experience) are pretty good.

Banks. Texas has more banks per capita than any other state. In Plano, these are the banks that exist off the top of my head (national chains) : BofA, Wachovia, Citibank, Chase, Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo. I use BofA. I can think of 8 branches in a 4 mile radius from my house.

Shopping. Plano technically has two malls to itself - Shops at Willow Bend and Collin Creek. Stonebriar should also count as Plano, because it's just right after the border (in Frisco). Galleria, Northpark are also within 30 minutes drive.

7. When coming from another state, do I need to take a written driving test if I already have a license? I know I could look it up, was hoping someone would have the answer - one less thing to do on my long list of research items.

No.
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Old 10-02-2007, 01:13 AM
 
303 posts, read 905,617 times
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There is some new construction in Plano, but it is mostly townhomes. Avignon I think is the name of one development, then there is another one off Parker and Preston I believe. Oh, and the Legacy area as well.
You can probably find newer homes further East in Plano.
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Old 10-02-2007, 07:51 AM
 
104 posts, read 397,089 times
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Dallas Dreamer, Pintera, and Spree. thank you all for your help. A special thank you to Unexpected for your detailed answers to my questions, I appreciate it very much.

IF we relocate, we would be coming from a suburb outside of Chicago, Illinois. Our home here is about $440,000 and our property taxes are about $8,000 per year - my reason for asking about cost of property taxes. Home owners insurance is about $700 per year.

We get snow, wicked thunder and lightening storms, and some tornado warnings here. We have basements so we do have some sense of security in the event one hits.

If we are not able to find any new construction in Plano, what would be other good choices for living? How is Sachse or Frisco? My husband would be working in Plano off of Plano Parkway so I need to take his commute into consideration.

We found some houses that we like by a builder named Hovnanian - anyone ever heard of them?

I have a lot of research to do before we can make a final decision - your help is very much appreciated.

Have a good day.
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Old 10-02-2007, 09:08 AM
 
614 posts, read 1,683,152 times
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I only know of Hovnanian because they're building a lot of luxury condos. My general anecdotal attitude towards them is that they are the last builder before you go custom.

If you move to Frisco, you could get a really nice place for that kind of money. As far as living in Frisco, all of the young families at my company have chosen to move there, even though we're plano based. They all say that Plano is getting too old!

If you're willing to work outside of Plano and Frisco, you could open up a whole world of options. Depending on where on Plano Parkway you are, I would also look at Carrollton. They have a ton of homes in that prices range in the Caste Hills area. From there to Plano Parkway and Preston is about 15 minutes, via George Bush Turnpike.
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Old 10-02-2007, 09:50 AM
 
104 posts, read 397,089 times
Reputation: 28
Unexpected, thanks again for your help. Because my husband works long hours, I am trying to keep his commute down to a minimum. Frisco to his office in Plano would be about 25 minutes..wouldn't want to add more time to that if possible. We also like to have a no-highway route in place in case freeway is backed up. Will check out your suggestion and see what I can come up with. Thanks again.
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Old 10-02-2007, 10:33 AM
 
16,092 posts, read 37,037,432 times
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I recently read that there are 27,000 apartment units in West Plano -- so maybe you might want to rent first as you learn the traffic situations.
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Old 10-02-2007, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Texas
8,669 posts, read 20,556,699 times
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We have lived in Plano about 12 years and we love it here. I pretty much agree with what unexpected said about Plano. The access to amenities such as good medical care, banks, shopping, restaurants and pretty much anything is excellent. It is a very safe community which is important to us.

We have found Drees homes to be to our liking. I don't know if there is any new construction but I think I have seen Drees advertising off of Coit Rd in Plano. I know they have some new and very nice older construction in Allen. These 2 areas of Allen are not brand new, but VERY nice, desirable areas. They are called Twin Creek and Sun Creeks just north of Plano in Allen.
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