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Old 04-10-2013, 08:49 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,629 times
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My husband and I and our two small children (2 and 5) are considering a move to the Plano area or another suburb of Dallas. We are currently in Southern California. My husband is from the UK and I'm originally from Central CA, but we ended up here and I like it about as much as I thought I would (not much). I love the weather of course, but there are lots of things I don't like, and I don't really want to raise our boys here. We are a pretty conservative family in general, though not religious. Our price range on housing would be 300-500K. We currently rent a 1300 sq. ft. house for $2600/month in LA.

We've been throwing the Texas idea around for awhile, and I don't want to make this kind of move with rose-colored glasses. I also realize that Texas is not California, and I don't expect it to be anything like it is here. But we kind of have this image that it's really friendly and down-to-earth, and people are less flaky. Is that accurate? I want my kids to live somewhere with good schools and lots of activities to do. I don't want to raise them in a town with nothing to do. I just don't feel that LA is the right place. We would love to be somewhere where when we smile and wave at a neighbor, they don't look at us like we're insane.

Can anyone give me a first-hand perspective? Thanks in advance!! : )
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Anytown, USA
681 posts, read 1,338,766 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmyg View Post
My husband and I and our two small children (2 and 5) are considering a move to the Plano area or another suburb of Dallas. We are currently in Southern California. My husband is from the UK and I'm originally from Central CA, but we ended up here and I like it about as much as I thought I would (not much). I love the weather of course, but there are lots of things I don't like, and I don't really want to raise our boys here. We are a pretty conservative family in general, though not religious. Our price range on housing would be 300-500K. We currently rent a 1300 sq. ft. house for $2600/month in LA.

We've been throwing the Texas idea around for awhile, and I don't want to make this kind of move with rose-colored glasses. I also realize that Texas is not California, and I don't expect it to be anything like it is here. But we kind of have this image that it's really friendly and down-to-earth, and people are less flaky. Is that accurate? I want my kids to live somewhere with good schools and lots of activities to do. I don't want to raise them in a town with nothing to do. I just don't feel that LA is the right place. We would love to be somewhere where when we smile and wave at a neighbor, they don't look at us like we're insane.

Can anyone give me a first-hand perspective? Thanks in advance!! : )
From my experience on my many visits to the area, people are friendly and polite for the most part. To my shock people have even waved to me while driving around some neighborhoods which is a nice thing. Strangers will often smile and say hi, and its pretty much easy to strike up a casual conversation with strangers at the grocery store.

As far as driving goes, people can be aggressive and drive like jerks at times, but you get used to it after a while. One thing I noticed there is that nobody really honks their horns which is a good thing (unless its an emergency)
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:23 PM
 
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If you are originally from central CA then you would have no problem fitting in here. Yes, Dallas is not socal but it sure beats central CA. Its the best place to raise kids from what I have seen. I am sure you know to buy a half decent house in socal with half decent public school cost at least 1 mil. Everything here is so kids focused, thats all everyone ever talks about is their kids.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:47 AM
 
Location: North Texas
23,636 posts, read 31,309,626 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmyg View Post
We've been throwing the Texas idea around for awhile, and I don't want to make this kind of move with rose-colored glasses. I also realize that Texas is not California, and I don't expect it to be anything like it is here. But we kind of have this image that it's really friendly and down-to-earth, and people are less flaky. Is that accurate?
Ask 100 Texans that question and you'll get 100 different answers.

Here's my take. I've lived in other cities in Texas and in Europe and Dallasites are among the rudest, most superficial people I've dealt with. Everything is relative I suppose and I have never lived in California so I can't really compare Dallasites' behavior with that of Californians.

Are some people here nice? Yes. Are people here nice overall? I don't think they are, no. Might depend on your 'tribe', though. If you're in the Republican-voting, SUV-driving, 2/3 kids-having cohort, your experience may be very different. I'm divorced, no kids, and pushing 40...so a lot of people my age want nothing to do with me.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:58 AM
 
47 posts, read 62,141 times
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Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
Ask 100 Texans that question and you'll get 100 different answers.

Here's my take. I've lived in other cities in Texas and in Europe and Dallasites are among the rudest, most superficial people I've dealt with. Everything is relative I suppose and I have never lived in California so I can't really compare Dallasites' behavior with that of Californians.

Are some people here nice? Yes. Are people here nice overall? I don't think they are, no. Might depend on your 'tribe', though. If you're in the Republican-voting, SUV-driving, 2/3 kids-having cohort, your experience may be very different. I'm divorced, no kids, and pushing 40...so a lot of people my age want nothing to do with me.
It seems that you just described me. I am thinking of moving uptown as suburbs here weren't made for free people. You have to have a husband, couple of children, a mortgage, two cars and designer bags to keep you anchored here.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:07 AM
 
Location: North Texas
23,636 posts, read 31,309,626 times
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Originally Posted by Texastopia View Post
It seems that you just described me. I am thinking of moving uptown as suburbs here weren't made for free people. You have to have a husband, couple of children, a mortgage, two cars and designer bags to keep you anchored here.
I live in Richardson and people there are generally laid-back and accepting so nobody hassles me for what I am, but I'm definitely excluded from social circles for women my age because I'm unmarried and childless. It would be the same anywhere.

I thought about Uptown but I'm gun-shy about buying a condo or townhouse in Texas, and I don't want to share walls with my neighbors. I also want some outdoor space. But yeah, I hear you. At least Richardson isn't Frisco...oh god, I'd go insane living up there.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:30 AM
 
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I too live in Richardson, near Cisco Systems.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:02 AM
 
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Check the summer weather - its hot for a few months, your desire for living close to the ocean, and what outdoor activites you like to do to make sure they are reasonable here. For example, rock climbing can only be done in buildings, the ocean is a 4 hour drive away in Galveston and is sort of horrible in some ways, and cool in others, skiiing is a plane flight away, and Plano just levelled one of its skate parks to build some condos (a kid activity i see more people do in SoCal than Plano). The northern end of DFW is also very flat if you care about topography.

What activities do your kids like to do?

My wife is a SoCal native and mostly hates it here (weather, bugs, no ocean, and her family lives there), but our neighbors are also from there and love it because they can raise 2 kids on one middle class income. Different strokes for different folks.

In my opinion also (and others may disagree) DFW and LA are sun belt cities, and as such, they are pretty much interchangable. The same stores, restaurants, and vaguely mex-ish food (texmex vs calmex) are in both places, so they seem more familiar to me than different.

Last edited by TheOverdog; 04-11-2013 at 10:11 AM..
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:22 AM
 
Location: garland
1,595 posts, read 1,583,656 times
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My brother and his wife live in Thousand Oaks. They could not function in Dallas mainly because they need to be entertained constantly and have no children. Most families I know here are scheduled to death with their children's activities like soccer, karate, swimming, dance, gymnastics, volleyball, football etc.
If there's an activity that can keep your children occupied and doesn't require your direct involvement, odds are in favor of an outfit here that will gladly accept your money to make that happen.
Also, the outer suburbs are getting a lot of people from CA so that friendly down to earth person you meet may very well be from LA.

As far as things to do, we don't have a coast closer than a 5 hour drive and anything that doesn't involve air conditioning is not very pleasant for a good 50% of the year. Jobs are plentiful and housing is affordable. Schools are no different than any other family focused region in the US. Stay directly involved and they will be fine.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:05 AM
 
1,261 posts, read 2,000,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmyg View Post
.

We've been throwing the Texas idea around for awhile, and I don't want to make this kind of move with rose-colored glasses. I also realize that Texas is not California, and I don't expect it to be anything like it is here. But we kind of have this image that it's really friendly and down-to-earth, and people are less flaky. Is that accurate? I want my kids to live somewhere with good schools and lots of activities to do. I don't want to raise them in a town with nothing to do. I just don't feel that LA is the right place. We would love to be somewhere where when we smile and wave at a neighbor, they don't look at us like we're insane.

Can anyone give me a first-hand perspective? Thanks in advance!! : )
I have experience in both places. Here are my observations:

1). Texas, specifically the northern DFW/Collin County area (which includes Plano, where I live) is very family friendly and a great place to raise kids. The public schools are top-notch in Collin County, and your housing price range will afford you a very nice, comfortable home in a good neighborhood. Your kids will get a better education here than in LA, and yes, there are activities galore. Something for everyone -- music, all sports (including lacrosse & cricket!), dance -- whatever your kids are in to -- you will find an outlet and a niche for them.

2). The weather is horrific - miserably hot and humid in summer, freezing and dreary in the winter. And it's unpredictable - I planted some bouganvilla and mandavilla 2 weeks ago and they are now dead because we had a hard freeze this week. . California definitely gets the nod for climate -- but if your top priority is a good environment for your kids, then this shouldn't matter as much. Make sure your home has adequate air conditiong for its size. Oh, and I highly recommend getting a home with a pool to make the summers a little more bearable. (again, your price range will afford this).

3). The traffic here is not much better than LA. Really.

4). Are people friendly? Yes, for the most part. I think kids are a great social connector and you will make friends with other committed parents easily. I think in any situation, you have to be very intentional and put yourself out there to establish connection, friendship and community.

5). The scenery in TX vs CA does not compare. CA has so much natural beauty, and TX -- doesn't. What you will find are neighborhoods that are well kept, very clean with a lot of lushly designed yards and parks with trees and flowers that people work very hard to maintain.

Hope this helps. Good luck.
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