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Old 10-04-2006, 01:48 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
201 posts, read 797,363 times
Reputation: 143

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I am originally from Northern CA (Bay Area). In 2003, my wife and I moved away when a job opportunity came for me to move to Austin, TX. Over the years, we had heard about Austin and all the things people raved about it, been to see it several times, etc. etc. and thought that it would make a good new home for us. So when the opportunity was presented, we took it. It did not take long for us to dislike living in Austin. We found it to be too small and confining. There were not that many amazing career opportunities. It was a place dominated by Dell and UT. While there are some small companies, they are not that outstanding nor present great career opportunities. People there work for all the usual Austin companies and have very little expansion mobility to go work for other companies since there aren't that many there. About the only thing we did enjoy was the bigger house we had for a lot less money. Whenever we drove to visit Dallas or Houston - we would really enjoy ourselves. We liked the big metropolitan feel, the faster moving pace, the energy (due to faster moving), love the visual and performing arts (theater, large and international art museums, etc.). Neither of us were into the "live" garage band music that Austin had. The Austin "weirdness" was so bs to us for I guess when you've lived in the SF Area, nothing is really that "weird". We're very socially liberal people. It did not take us long to realize that we needed to leave Austin for it wasn't the place for us. To cut a long story short, we did leave Austin after being there for about 2 years and are now back in CA. It is so wonderful to be back in a large metro area, have tons of what we like and love. However, we also know deep down that the super high home prices here in the Bay Area really rips you apart. You pay for that super high mortgage and there's little left for anything else. Ugly sardine can sized homes cost a gazillion dollars. Forget about retiring here when you have a fixed income. Long term, we know deep in our hearts that this isn't the solution and that we need to look elsewhere to make as a home permanently and we are thinking about Dallas. Although we've visited Dallas, we only know of it as visitors.

1) What is a good city/town to live in the Dallas metropolitan area?
2) Are there good career opportunities? I'm in the business side of IT.
3) Is it a good place to raise a kid? We don't have any now but may have one in the future.
4) Quality of life. For those of you who live in the Dallas area, are you happy with your lives?
5) We saw a lot of people of different races, restaurants, etc. But is it just a facade that a visitor sees or is it for real?

Thanks so much for sharing.

Last edited by speedoflight; 10-04-2006 at 02:13 AM..
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Old 10-04-2006, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Topeka, KS
1,560 posts, read 6,564,215 times
Reputation: 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by speedoflight View Post
...
1) What is a good city/town to live in the Dallas metropolitan area?
2) Are there good career opportunities? I'm in the business side of IT.
3) Is it a good place to raise a kid? We don't have any now but may have one in the future.
4) Quality of life. For those of you who live in the Dallas area, are you happy with your lives?
5) We saw a lot of people of different races, restaurants, etc. But is it just a facade that a visitor sees or is it for real?
1) There are many good cities in the Metroplex and a number of "fair" cities also have well developed and secure good areas. I would weigh any decision on crime, property values, commute times, schools, utility costs, and infrastructure, (not necessarily in that order).
2) From what I've seen (HR and Payroll, IT Support) the majority of the positions are from downtown and north into Richardson and Plano.
3) My brother and sister were raised in Mansfield and they haven't knocked over any liquor stores yet... There are towns and neighborhoods that are great environments in which to raise children, and there are less nice environments.
4) Yes. But I've been living in a small town on the outskirts (pop 685). It's been a great environment and we've made lots of friends. It certainly was a better experience that when we lived in South Carolina and none of our "friends" bothered to come over and help us pack.

Here we've been accepted into the community and invited to a number of the more prominent social gatherings. And we've had the Fire Chief/Ag teacher and the Baptist minister conspiring to keep us (a family of Catholics) in town.

We're moving to Plano at the end of this month or early Nov. I'm hoping we will have similar luck with our neighbors.

5) From what I can tell it's for real. From a bit of research I did for another poster, North Texas has 2 - 3 times the national percentage of Indians/Pakistanis. I would assume similar numbers for other ethnic groups.

Quote:
Thanks so much for sharing.
You are quite welcome.
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Old 10-07-2006, 04:00 PM
 
96 posts, read 388,185 times
Reputation: 35
1) What is a good city/town to live in the Dallas metropolitan area?
2) Are there good career opportunities? I'm in the business side of IT.
3) Is it a good place to raise a kid? We don't have any now but may have one in the future.
4) Quality of life. For those of you who live in the Dallas area, are you happy with your lives?
5) We saw a lot of people of different races, restaurants, etc. But is it just a facade that a visitor sees or is it for real?

Thanks so much for sharing.

Garland, Cedar Hill, Carrollton.

I'm in healthcare, can't tell ya much here.

We have two toddlers, Cedar Hill is good. Waxahachie is a good family town. So is Garland, Forney and Rockwall.

I am very happy with Cedar Hill. We have the DFW close to our home so no drive is too laborious. Plus around here you have good, friendly people of all races in our own neighborhood. A great lake, Joe Poole, with hills, and trees, (cedar mostly). Parks to hike, bike, mtn. or otherwise, rec. center in town, pleasant neighborhoods. Lots of shopping and restaurant venues in town. Low taxes, and affordable housing, some fairly new homes on large lots even.
Races, I touched on that earlier. Cedar hill is a truer microcosm of Dallas area than most suburbs in terms of race, etc..
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Old 10-07-2006, 05:12 PM
 
1,067 posts, read 5,131,144 times
Reputation: 550
You are right about Austin on many levels and we could not live there due to the lack of mobility in the job market there. We lived in Orlando which is a small town to us as well, it is bigger than Austin but we felt the pinch of living in a smaller area as far as opportunity goes . My husband found himself over qualified and under paid at one point there and knew we had to move back to DFW. All my life I have heard, AUSTIN THIS<, AUSTIN THAT, Oh how great Austin is. Well I do believe that is a wonderful town but it does have it's limits and most everything is tied to the school. Lots of college kids everywhere. I do like the history there and the fact that the capitol is there. It is a great town to visit but I am very happy being more apart of an urban sprawl, generally for the fact everything is not tied to a university and youth. Dallas/Ft.Worth is more for families imo. I have lived in Cedar Hill and love it but the kiln concrete plants gave me problems with my lungs. If you look under some of my post on my profile, it describes that concerning Midlothian.
I hate to break it to you though about most of DFW, it is socially conservative with just a few areas that would be considered more liberal. If you want to live in the inner city that will be more liberal. North Oak Cliff has beautiful homes and considered more of an liberal area as well as White Rock Lake area. I will be honest though, no one will hate you for being liberal. I don't think it is much of an issue I promise no one will egg your home. LOL
Most people here are here wanting a better life for their families and are so open to meeting new people. Texans in general are a friendly bunch.
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Old 10-07-2006, 07:10 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
201 posts, read 797,363 times
Reputation: 143
I totally understand how your husband feels. The lack of job mobility in Austin is very stifling unless you're OK with staying with 1 company for the next 2 decades or go work for Dell. Everyone ends up working for Dell it seemed. And then after Dell then what??? People say Austin is technology...WAIT...Austin is HARDWARE technology NOT software/service. Most of the tech companies in Austin are chip builders - Freescale, Motorola, etc. and of course Dell - another hardware player. So if you are a hardware person, then I guess it could be your place. I am not in hardware, I'm on the software/services side of the tech business. Like you, we had heard of the "Austin this or that" and people made it out to sound like it's everything. That was a huge influencer in our decision to moving there. Well, Big mistake. Lesson learned - do NOT let others influence you. Other people's point of view may not match with your needs at all or their life experience is completely different from yours.

I truly got so tired of everything being tied to UT. It seemed like no one could grow up and grow out of that school. Every event, meeting would somehow make its ways to being held at the college campus. And if you did not attend that school, man you're so left out of the clique. And we got SO TIRED of hearing people talk about 6th street. It's just 1 small street, with some bars and crowded with young college kids. I guess when you're from a huge urban/metro area, 6th street is nothing to you. I really could not understand why everyone felt like they had to pee in their pants over it. I can't understand this unhealthy obsession and not being able to cut away from UT mentality that exists there. Here, we have a HUGE UC Berkeley, Stanford, SFSU, SFSJ and many, many other colleges. I've never had to attend a business or social event at any of those campuses. People learn to develop a life away from the schools they'd graduated from. You don't at all feel shunned or left out or feel so weird just because you did not attend school in CA. That to me, is what a metropolitan life gives you - massive diversity.

I realize that DFW is conservative for most parts. But I think I'd take conservatism over being stifled in my career. OK, I'll take your promise that y'all won't egg my house You'd really laugh but whenever we drove to Dallas or Houston to attend a performing arts event (symphony, theater, etc.), I would dread having to drive back to Austin. Each trip away from it became harder and harder for me to come back. It was even more heart-wrenching when I went home to CA. I would find it so hard to get myself on the plane to go back to a tiny town with nothing much for me. We found ourselves doing most of the things we liked in Dallas or Houston. Even when I bought my car, I went to Dallas to buy it for there was such a bigger and better selection of certified used cars for a good price. Austin dealers were so much more expensive.




Quote:
Originally Posted by stargazer View Post
You are right about Austin on many levels and we could not live there due to the lack of mobility in the job market there. We lived in Orlando which is a small town to us as well, it is bigger than Austin but we felt the pinch of living in a smaller area as far as opportunity goes . My husband found himself over qualified and under paid at one point there and knew we had to move back to DFW. All my life I have heard, AUSTIN THIS<, AUSTIN THAT, Oh how great Austin is. Well I do believe that is a wonderful town but it does have it's limits and most everything is tied to the school. Lots of college kids everywhere. I do like the history there and the fact that the capitol is there. It is a great town to visit but I am very happy being more apart of an urban sprawl, generally for the fact everything is not tied to a university and youth. Dallas/Ft.Worth is more for families imo. I have lived in Cedar Hill and love it but the kiln concrete plants gave me problems with my lungs. If you look under some of my post on my profile, it describes that concerning Midlothian.
I hate to break it to you though about most of DFW, it is socially conservative with just a few areas that would be considered more liberal. If you want to live in the inner city that will be more liberal. North Oak Cliff has beautiful homes and considered more of an liberal area as well as White Rock Lake area. I will be honest though, no one will hate you for being liberal. I don't think it is much of an issue I promise no one will egg your home. LOL
Most people here are here wanting a better life for their families and are so open to meeting new people. Texans in general are a friendly bunch.

Last edited by speedoflight; 10-07-2006 at 07:35 PM..
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Old 10-07-2006, 08:42 PM
 
3,035 posts, read 13,246,262 times
Reputation: 897
What kind of software/services ? If your in IT, then yes, Dallas is much better because it has alot more industries like banking/defense. Always has been. If you in the embedded software, then Austin is excellent. The largest tech market in Austin is the PC/Server based HW market. I also have a dozen or so customers there and all of them do some sort of VoIP, DSL, 3G wireless platforms.
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Old 10-08-2006, 03:45 PM
 
Location: South Charlotte
124 posts, read 415,916 times
Reputation: 68
1) What is a good city/town to live in the Dallas metropolitan area?
2) Are there good career opportunities? I'm in the business side of IT.
3) Is it a good place to raise a kid? We don't have any now but may have one in the future.
4) Quality of life. For those of you who live in the Dallas area, are you happy with your lives?
5) We saw a lot of people of different races, restaurants, etc. But is it just a facade that a visitor sees or is it for real?

1 - You know, there are lots of great cities/towns to live in in this area. It really depends on what you're looking for. We have lived in Coppell now for four years and I really think it's one of the best areas for our needs. A couple big reasons I like this neighborhood are: it extremely safe and it's in the middle of the metroplex. the latter is the most important to us because we like to participate in activities on both ends of the metroplex and this location allows us to be about 35 minutes from either downtown and only 10 minutes from the airport.

2- I can't answer this specifically except to say there are a ton of corporations that make DFW their home, mainly due to the low taxes, business friendly atmosphere. I would expect it to be good. My husband does IT management consulting so he's somewhat in your field.

3 - We've only had children since we've been living in DFW(we have a 2.5yo and an 8mo), but based on what I've seen in other states, I would have to say that this is one of the most kid friendly places I've ever lived. Pretty much every restaurant caters to kids, every mall has a play area, and every city has several parks. There are tons and tons of kids activities as well.

4- DFW provides a great quality of life imo. The cost of living is very low which allows you to live much better than you could in most other large cities. Down sides to me are the weather (I grew up in the north so the heat gets to me after a while) and the lack of outdoor activities (it's as flat as a pancake and there aren't many areas to escape in the woods or mountains). Other than that though, I have to say I've gotten quite attached to this area. Another thing that I really appreciate here is how proud Texans are to live here. I have never lived in a state that has as much pride as Texas - it definately adds to the culture!

5- I would have to say there's a ton of different races here. There is, of course, a very large hispanic culture here as we border Mexico. In my neighborhood we also have quite a mix including african american and several indian families.

Overall, I don't think you'll regret it, although I will tell you that it's very different from California. We came from Chicago and it took me about a year and a half to really adjust to the area and start to enjoy it for everything it has to offer. Good luck with whatever decision you make and hopefully we'll see you in Dallas!
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Old 10-09-2006, 09:59 AM
 
1,067 posts, read 5,131,144 times
Reputation: 550
Hey Juliema,
I haven't seen you around. Welcome! I see your new too to the area. I just wanted to point out that there are some wooded areas around. Have you been to the Heard Natural Science Musuem and Nature area over in Fairview? It is very nice to go to escape. Also Dallas has the Cedar Ridge Preserve which use to be called the Dallas Nature Preserve. It is off of Mountain Creek Parkway. That is the area I use to live in and is the beginnings of the Hill country. You can google Texas Outside and find it. Also Cedar Hill has Dogwood Canyon as well. I have not been there but would like to go. There are lots of activities to do with kids once the weather cools off which is now. Each little town surrounding Ft Worth and Dallas have festivals too which are nice. There will always be something to do now till Christmas it seems. We just went out to a nice pumpkin patch in Celina. Had lots of fun. I know that there are farmers markets around to see, the chrismas parade in downtown, Plano has a hot air ballon festival as well. I know we don't have huge mountains like out west but we do have nice hills in south west dallas county which are mountain looking hence the area is called Mountain Creek. The hill country runs all the way through central Texas through Austin and San Antonio. Also too, east Texas has some beautiful pines to escape too. I know that many people have time shares and go to cabins out that way. I spent most of my teen years camping out at Lake Sam Rayburn and boating almost every weekend in the summer with my family. It was tons of fun. My husbands family loved fishing up at Lake Texoma too and had a cabin crusier growing up and spent many weekends on the lake. For us, the weather in the summer is so bad, I feel like I live in a pod but once the weather cools off it is so great. I think too that you can check out online locally through the net what festivals are going on around town. I am glad you love it here and just wanted to point out those little tid bits to check out in case you haven't, in 90 when I moved here I didn't have much information about the coming of some festivities but loved it still.

Glad to meet you here and look forward to reading more of your post.
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Old 10-09-2006, 08:49 PM
 
Location: South Charlotte
124 posts, read 415,916 times
Reputation: 68
Thanks so much for the welcome and the heads up! Some of this I have done and heard of and some I haven't, so I definately appreciate you sharing with me. I guess I'm a bit jaded as I used to live in Colorado and the Mid Atlantic region before this so I'm used to lots more trees and mountains. But as someone said on another post, the longer you're here, the more Texas just kind of "sucks you in" and I totally agree with that. I really think it's a great place to live and I'm definately happy to be here. Again, I appreciate the welcome and all the great information!



Quote:
Originally Posted by stargazer View Post
Hey Juliema,
I haven't seen you around. Welcome! I see your new too to the area. I just wanted to point out that there are some wooded areas around. Have you been to the Heard Natural Science Musuem and Nature area over in Fairview? It is very nice to go to escape. Also Dallas has the Cedar Ridge Preserve which use to be called the Dallas Nature Preserve. It is off of Mountain Creek Parkway. That is the area I use to live in and is the beginnings of the Hill country. You can google Texas Outside and find it. Also Cedar Hill has Dogwood Canyon as well. I have not been there but would like to go. There are lots of activities to do with kids once the weather cools off which is now. Each little town surrounding Ft Worth and Dallas have festivals too which are nice. There will always be something to do now till Christmas it seems. We just went out to a nice pumpkin patch in Celina. Had lots of fun. I know that there are farmers markets around to see, the chrismas parade in downtown, Plano has a hot air ballon festival as well. I know we don't have huge mountains like out west but we do have nice hills in south west dallas county which are mountain looking hence the area is called Mountain Creek. The hill country runs all the way through central Texas through Austin and San Antonio. Also too, east Texas has some beautiful pines to escape too. I know that many people have time shares and go to cabins out that way. I spent most of my teen years camping out at Lake Sam Rayburn and boating almost every weekend in the summer with my family. It was tons of fun. My husbands family loved fishing up at Lake Texoma too and had a cabin crusier growing up and spent many weekends on the lake. For us, the weather in the summer is so bad, I feel like I live in a pod but once the weather cools off it is so great. I think too that you can check out online locally through the net what festivals are going on around town. I am glad you love it here and just wanted to point out those little tid bits to check out in case you haven't, in 90 when I moved here I didn't have much information about the coming of some festivities but loved it still.

Glad to meet you here and look forward to reading more of your post.
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Old 10-09-2006, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Western Bexar County
3,823 posts, read 13,372,713 times
Reputation: 1905
Default Trees in Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by juliema View Post
Thanks so much for the welcome and the heads up! Some of this I have done and heard of and some I haven't, so I definately appreciate you sharing with me. I guess I'm a bit jaded as I used to live in Colorado and the Mid Atlantic region before this so I'm used to lots more trees and mountains. But as someone said on another post, the longer you're here, the more Texas just kind of "sucks you in" and I totally agree with that. I really think it's a great place to live and I'm definately happy to be here. Again, I appreciate the welcome and all the great information!
Hello juliema and Welcome to Texas!,

If you want trees, try East Texas. Also, try Southwest in the Texas Hill Country (very nice). Take off some weekend and visit these places. Here is the official Texas travel guide. Go to the web site and request their free book.

http://www.traveltex.com/index.asp?SN=12279090&LS=0
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