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Old 09-02-2013, 08:49 AM
 
189 posts, read 200,005 times
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We're making our long awaited trip to Dallas. Just arrived yesterday and drove through parts of Plano (Deer Park dev??). Then continued to Flower Mound and Coppell. Really wanting to like Plano because of the school system and easy access to every type of shopping. It's just that that's all it seemed to be. Lanes and lanes of highway, strip malls and then houses behind the walls. I wasn't looking for a small town feel but I'm hoping we're missing something. Middle and high schools are most important to us so I'm wondering if we're looking at the wrong places. We're coming from NJ/NY area but the roads seem to take a little getting used to. What would definitely have a stop light by us just has a stop sign here. Afraid I'd run right through one! DH is getting used to the driving but wanted to ask about W Plano. Are we missing something? I don't know where we'd eventually be once we get jobs and this is very preliminary but we are going out with a realtor tomorrow and want to zero in on a few areas. 450-500k budget.

So far we really like what we've seen and the people here are so nice. Will be visiting a niece in Frisco later today but we're on our way to the Perot Museum so I must go. Any feedback would be appreciated!
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
9,504 posts, read 19,501,660 times
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You REALLY need to find out where you will be working before deciding where to live! DFW is huge, and a lengthy commute here can just suck the life out of you. Your budget will go far in most parts of the metroplex, so there are indeed other areas that you might consider depending on where the job may be located.

Personally, I find that Plano is all about the shopping and restaurants, too. DH and I lived there for 1 year in the late 1990s, and we never looked back.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:31 AM
 
1,188 posts, read 2,012,154 times
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I agree with ChristieP about a job. We made a wrong bet and my husband has a horrible commute. It really cuts into our family time since he works late to avoid the traffic.

I will say that I am not a fan of Plano. I think once you get to the high school level, there is a sense of community based on your school but if you aren't part of that, it is just a bunch of houses and shops. As an outsider looking in, that's what it looks like to me.

Good luck with your search!
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Earth
794 posts, read 1,349,803 times
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It all depends on your neighborhood and school, regardless of if its Plano, Frisco, Southlake, McKinney, Allen or wherever.

I live in a lovely neighborhood of Plano and its a small town within big town. All the amenities of big city and intimate setting of small neighborhood. For your budget, neighborhoods around Brinker, Barksdale and Centinial would work great.

As others mentioned, it's better to rent till you find jobs and know your commute. However, West Plano is very central and convenient for all general needs.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:04 PM
 
11,671 posts, read 21,231,508 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deenie1 View Post
We're making our long awaited trip to Dallas. Just arrived yesterday and drove through parts of Plano (Deer Park dev??). Then continued to Flower Mound and Coppell. Really wanting to like Plano because of the school system and easy access to every type of shopping. It's just that that's all it seemed to be. Lanes and lanes of highway, strip malls and then houses behind the walls. I wasn't looking for a small town feel but I'm hoping we're missing something. Middle and high schools are most important to us so I'm wondering if we're looking at the wrong places. We're coming from NJ/NY area but the roads seem to take a little getting used to. What would definitely have a stop light by us just has a stop sign here. Afraid I'd run right through one! DH is getting used to the driving but wanted to ask about W Plano. Are we missing something? I don't know where we'd eventually be once we get jobs and this is very preliminary but we are going out with a realtor tomorrow and want to zero in on a few areas. 450-500k budget.

So far we really like what we've seen and the people here are so nice. Will be visiting a niece in Frisco later today but we're on our way to the Perot Museum so I must go. Any feedback would be appreciated!

#1 - I STRONGLY urge you to NOT go out with a realtor on this trip. You are bound to fall in love with an area or two and there is NO guarantee your offices will be located anywhere near that neighborhood. Honestly, get the jobs lined up first and then come back and house hunt. You could end up wasting your entire day - and the realtor's. Unless you're in a very generic field - like healthcare, where there are hospitals and offices all over the metroplex and a decently strong hiring trend - it is such a waste of time.

#2 - As for Plano, yup - you saw it. Plano's allure is a good central location (for the burbs, at least) - good access to both main airports as well as the closest outer-ring suburb to downtown Dallas and strong public schools. It is clean, very safe, wide range of housing price points, has decent urban planning as far as major roads and lane capacity, and every shopping/amentity possible. On the flip side, it's generic "suburbia USA" and has little to no charm (outside the small historic downtown area east of US 75). It has an extra stike against it when comparing similar areas on the east coast --> it was barren, flat prairie land before being developed. It lacks the pretty topography found in same-era housing developments outside DC, Atlanta, Charlotte, etc just based on geographic location.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Earth
794 posts, read 1,349,803 times
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Turtle is absolutely right. Not only Plano but whole DFW is boring,hot and rather plain. We are nothing like east coast area. People move here for a affordable living standard, not for beauty,character, weather and lifestyle.
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:26 PM
 
11,671 posts, read 21,231,508 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GripeWater View Post
Turtle is absolutely right. Not only Plano but whole DFW is boring,hot and rather plain. We are nothing like east coast area. People move here for a affordable living standard, not for beauty,character, weather and lifestyle.
In general, this is true. There are, however, some absolutely beautiful neighborhoods in the Dallas area and many which have more mature trees & landscaping - or other natural (or manmade) beauty than Plano. Some areas that immediately come to mind are:
*the rolling hills and winding streets of Kessler Park
*White Rock Lake and the many historic neighborhoods surrounding it like Lakewood and Forrest Hills
* the immaculately landscaped streets of Highland Park with charming small parks accounting for 25% of the city's land
*the rolling terrain of McKinney near Stonebridge Ranch
*Cedar Hill's Joe Pool Lake neighborhoods, etc.
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:02 PM
 
189 posts, read 200,005 times
Reputation: 130
Default Thanks for the input

I'm just looking to get a general idea but I'm glad we're doing this. One of the reasons we'd want to move is because cost of living and the fact that DH often has a two hour (each way) commute to NYC. We hardly ever go there for pleasure and we're sick of the harsh winters. We prefer this heat. Also, schools are very important. I will set up a practice (therapy) anywhere we settle and DH will need to be by downtown Dallas if he stays with his co. Central location of Plano is appealing.

The realtor knows our deal. He helped my niece find her house in Frisco and knows we don't have jobs and that this is very preliminary but he's still willing to take a couple of hours and show us a few houses. So, we'll see...we could be way off base but I like to plan and I'm sure we'll be doing lots of it. I truly appreciate your posts.
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:36 PM
 
974 posts, read 1,758,592 times
Reputation: 780
You would do best by getting on real-estate websites and picking out areas to do your own personal due-diligence. Things like zillow.com, realtor.com, trulia.com are great at giving a quick thumbnail. And you need to get out and drive around, make note of access roads, distance to toll-roads, loops, etc. AND be mindful that what looks great on the internet can look quite different in person. For example...some places in Richardson are iffy...and yet you can find some great neighborhoods in Richardson...you just have to look....same with Plano...it's a big area and some parts of Plano are 'eh'... whereas others are pretty awesome... it's not that easy just to say "choose Plano" or "choose Frisco" , etc. etc. etc.

Lotsa variables and your mileage and what floats your boat may vary. Getting with a Realtor is the last thing you would do... those folks are busy and they like to close deals...that's their job.

Good Luck.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Earth
794 posts, read 1,349,803 times
Reputation: 517
You can find parks, green belts, golf courses, creeks, nature reserves and tree lined streets all over Plano. I really like areas near Oak Point Naure Reserve, Arbor Hill Nature Reserve, Willowbend etc. If you can find a home backing to green area then you have your own private retreat. Of course there are relatively greener and topographically better areas in DFW but in most cases you have to up your budget, settle on schools or put up with long commute.
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