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Old 10-22-2012, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
662 posts, read 1,225,452 times
Reputation: 783

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I lived in Plano for about 10 years and then we moved and lived in Austin for a little over a year. Both areas have some great schools. Cedar Park and certain areas of Round Rock do. Pflugerville, not so much. Plano has the best schools of all of the suburbs and isn't as far out as Prosper. Certainly there are other excellent schools in Frisco, etc., but location of job is important. The same for Austin. Traffic is very bad in both Austin and Dallas, so you don't want too long of a commute.

In my opinion I think that Austin has an edge over the Dallas area. It's not that much more expensive, and it is a very beautiful, fun city.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:36 AM
 
2,206 posts, read 3,952,060 times
Reputation: 2073
Folks, retired military has income. And they have to live somewhere. Its best to retire to a state with no income tax.

Is your husband an MP? Either way he will be a shoo-in for a LEO job. TX TCLEOSE classes are fairly straightforward.

TCLEOSE - Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education - Home

North Texas is growing much faster than Austin. The Suburban PDs and the County Sheriff Offices grow a bit each year. Then there is the TXDPS - TX version of the Highway Patrol. The County Sheriff job is the most diverse of the three. Collin and Denton are the best run offices in North TX.

I also would not discount a senior management position with a N Texas company.

The best way to control your tax bills and your electric bills is to build something new just the size you want in a lower tax city once you get here. The newer mid-size homes are extremely efficient compared to older models. Rent for a few months then build.

NTX has better weather. Austin is hotter and drier than North Texas. It is also more expensive and the traffic is worse.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
662 posts, read 1,225,452 times
Reputation: 783
Quote:
Originally Posted by TX75007 View Post
NTX has better weather. Austin is hotter and drier than North Texas. It is also more expensive and the traffic is worse.

Austin is only slightly hotter. Let's agree that both places are hotter than Hades Austin is slightly more expensive, but compared to California, it's much, much less expensive. Furthermore, houses in Austin are built in a much more energy efficient manner because of newer laws requiring builders to put in more insulation, radiant barrier, better windows. In our 3500 square foot Austin house, we had half the energy costs we had in our 2700 sq foot Plano house.

I would agree that Austin traffic is worse, and I would also add that Dallas has better museums. However,
Austin is much, much, much more beautiful, and it has a fun and cool vibe, which I really miss. If I were moving from out of state and could choose either place, I think Austin wins hands down.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:26 PM
 
743 posts, read 1,102,882 times
Reputation: 710
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonexpat View Post
Furthermore, houses in Austin are built in a much more energy efficient manner because of newer laws requiring builders to put in more insulation, radiant barrier, better windows. In our 3500 square foot Austin house, we had half the energy costs we had in our 2700 sq foot Plano house.
OP isn't looking IN Austin though, she's interested in "Pflugerville, Cedar Park, Round Rock". Those burbs have the same wild west building laws as Collin County.

It grinds my gears whenever someone compares life in the City of Austin to life in Plano/Lewisville/Allen/etc. Yeah, we get it. Urban life is cooler than suburban life. You didn't need to change area codes to learn that.

Almost any home, anywhere, built in 2012 will be more energy efficient than a pre-2007 home, though.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
1,039 posts, read 1,347,432 times
Reputation: 525
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeidiBruno View Post
Hi everyone,
Our family will be relocating next summer to Texas from southern CA (from the east coast originally) With that said we're not sure which area would better suit our needs and wants.
First we were set on the North Dallas suburbs but recently we've been considering Austin. Heard the weather is more timid, landscape is prettier but it costs more to live.
We are a family of four (two kids 3 and 6 months) and more to come in a couple of years
I want to have everything we can't have here in So Cal
Large house 2500 sq ft (2 car garage,driveway (yes they are hard to come by here), large kitchen, yard.) I want a custom home and hopefully can have most of what I want here without having our neighbors house 10 feet away.
Education is VERY important to us. We've always wanted to send our kids to private schools but it's too costly here. Public schools are fine as long as they are great!
Family friendly neighborhoods and people
Close to grocery stores, dept stores, pet stores,restaurants
Parks, kid friendly activities (zoo,aquarium,train park etc...) running trails,lakes,golf

The downfalls I've read about Texas are:
High property taxes
Utility costs
Houses tend to be too large = big a/c or heating bills
I think that's about it.

We currently live in Orange County Ca and if anyone is familiar they know it's one of the most expensive counties in Ca. Gas is $4.65 gallon, buying a home is next to impossible below $500,000 even in the down market, taxes are high, car registration for two cars is $600 per yr, groceries (no place doubles or triples coupons)Everything is expensive. We are renting an older 1400 sq ft townhome with 3 bedrooms 2.5 baths 2 car garage and small patio for $2100.

I think we'll find most of the expenses in Texas are less except utility bills. Water and trash bills seem to be quite a bit more. We pay $30 per qtr for trash and recycling. It seems like that is the normal monthly bill in Tx. Is that correct? And we pay about $25 a month in water. That's with four of us showering daily and 4-5 loads of laundry per week. Granted we have no lawn to water but I've read some people pay $100 a month for water....

The areas we are looking at in Austin are Pflugerville, Cedar Park, Round Rock. The areas in Dallas are Plano,Frisco,McKinney, Allen.

I've tried to do as much reading online about Tx and both Cities but it's so hard when we don't know anyone there.

As far as employment goes, my husband will be retiring as a Gunnery Sgt from the Marines and will be transitioning into a law enforcement career and I will be looking for work in either the corporate apparel or home industry. I know Dallas is home to the Market Center and Jcpenneys HQ in Plano. Are ther any others that i'm missing? Are there any corp apparel, home or acessory offices in Austin? Do they pay more in one city vs th other?

Thanks so much!
Sorry you have to move to Texas.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
1,039 posts, read 1,347,432 times
Reputation: 525
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeidiBruno View Post
Hi everyone,
Our family will be relocating next summer to Texas from southern CA (from the east coast originally) With that said we're not sure which area would better suit our needs and wants.
First we were set on the North Dallas suburbs but recently we've been considering Austin. Heard the weather is more timid, landscape is prettier but it costs more to live.
We are a family of four (two kids 3 and 6 months) and more to come in a couple of years
I want to have everything we can't have here in So Cal
Large house 2500 sq ft (2 car garage,driveway (yes they are hard to come by here), large kitchen, yard.) I want a custom home and hopefully can have most of what I want here without having our neighbors house 10 feet away.
Education is VERY important to us. We've always wanted to send our kids to private schools but it's too costly here. Public schools are fine as long as they are great!
Family friendly neighborhoods and people
Close to grocery stores, dept stores, pet stores,restaurants
Parks, kid friendly activities (zoo,aquarium,train park etc...) running trails,lakes,golf

The downfalls I've read about Texas are:
High property taxes
Utility costs
Houses tend to be too large = big a/c or heating bills
I think that's about it.

We currently live in Orange County Ca and if anyone is familiar they know it's one of the most expensive counties in Ca. Gas is $4.65 gallon, buying a home is next to impossible below $500,000 even in the down market, taxes are high, car registration for two cars is $600 per yr, groceries (no place doubles or triples coupons)Everything is expensive. We are renting an older 1400 sq ft townhome with 3 bedrooms 2.5 baths 2 car garage and small patio for $2100.

I think we'll find most of the expenses in Texas are less except utility bills. Water and trash bills seem to be quite a bit more. We pay $30 per qtr for trash and recycling. It seems like that is the normal monthly bill in Tx. Is that correct? And we pay about $25 a month in water. That's with four of us showering daily and 4-5 loads of laundry per week. Granted we have no lawn to water but I've read some people pay $100 a month for water....

The areas we are looking at in Austin are Pflugerville, Cedar Park, Round Rock. The areas in Dallas are Plano,Frisco,McKinney, Allen.

I've tried to do as much reading online about Tx and both Cities but it's so hard when we don't know anyone there.

As far as employment goes, my husband will be retiring as a Gunnery Sgt from the Marines and will be transitioning into a law enforcement career and I will be looking for work in either the corporate apparel or home industry. I know Dallas is home to the Market Center and Jcpenneys HQ in Plano. Are ther any others that i'm missing? Are there any corp apparel, home or acessory offices in Austin? Do they pay more in one city vs th other?

Thanks so much!
So you want the Pleasantville suburban lifestyle. Texas will be just fine for you. Dallas probably better than Austin as Austin has more of a California like feel socially, from what I've heard.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Willowbend/Houston
13,403 posts, read 21,185,677 times
Reputation: 10279
Quote:
Originally Posted by taydigga View Post
So you want the Pleasantville suburban lifestyle. Texas will be just fine for you. Dallas probably better than Austin as Austin has more of a California like feel socially, from what I've heard.
Have you been to either or Texas in general?

Frankly living in the suburbs in Texas isnt much different than the burbs in LA. I grew up in Torrance and live in Plano (outside of Dallas). My lifestyle is pretty similar. The only differences are the obvious ones (California has better weather, beaches, and mountains, and Texas is cheaper).
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:10 PM
 
11 posts, read 23,607 times
Reputation: 10
TX75007- Thanks…Glad someone understands that yes, there is a retirement you earn from being in the military…. On top of that income, he also plans to attend school and collect on his GI bill. I will also be working and going back to school to pursue a career in the medical field. We have several law enforcement departments in the North Texas area we are considering. He will apply next year. I don’t think he’s ever thought about applying for the sheriffs department but we will definitely look into that. Either way we have to move out to Texas by July 2013 whether he has been accepted by a dept or not. If not, he will attend school full time and apply again once test dates become available.
We have both lived in several places all over the US so we will acclimate to any place we live. I was born and raised in VT, lived in CA during HS, went to college and lived in NYC and New Jersey and then moved back to CA with my husband. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and spent his later yrs in New Jersey before being stationed in CA.
Yes-we may have to choose a place to live without knowing which dept will hire him, but we will have to deal with it. He has a commute now and plans to have at least a short one while we are there as well. When you all talk about horrible traffic and commutes how bad are you talking??? My husband takes the 405 (for those that have visited or lived in CA, you know that fwy is like a parking lot during rush hour) Renting is what we will do right off and we may have to do a short term 6 month lease so if we do need to move we can. We also don’t plan on buying a home until we are 100% sure of the area we want to be in and we have settled into our careers (could be 2-3 yrs from now). Once we have figured that out, we will probably build a custom home to our specifications, building it as energy efficient as we can (solar panels, radiant barrier, double pane windows and run off gas) That home will be the home that we will live in for the next 30 yrs.

Like many of you have said Austin is greener and the scenery is prettier but I don’t want that to be the only reason we decide to move there. It seems like there may be more potential for both of our careers in the Dallas area but I don’t want to shut Austin out as an option. We will be taking a trip out to TX in Jan to both Dallas and Austin to check it out.
If there are any must see’s in either city, please suggest them!


Thanks for the info everyone!
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
662 posts, read 1,225,452 times
Reputation: 783
I was happy in Plano, a Dallas suburb, and in Austin. If you can get a better job in the Dallas area, take it. What it comes down to is friends. Both places have horrible, hot summers. Both places have reasonably priced homes and great shopping. The difference lies in Dallas having better shopping and being much more conservative politically and Austin being very pretty, with lots of gorgeous hike/bike trails, cool food trucks and a generally very cool vibe. I think you can be happy in both places, so check them out as you plan and good luck!
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:10 AM
 
16,092 posts, read 36,565,737 times
Reputation: 6272
If he's planning to attend school, you should also check out Denton and maybe Arlington. You can get the Austin "fun and cool vibe" somewhat in Denton but much more of that in North Oak Cliff and East Dallas -which may not fit into your plans -- also they have many trees, hills, creeks and East Dallas has White Rock Lake.
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