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Old 09-05-2013, 03:36 PM
Location: Orange County, CA
300 posts, read 1,085,564 times
Reputation: 194


I just tried searching for Lakewood and Lake Highlands in this forum and nothing came up. I'm shocked. I would LOVE more info on this area and how residents like living there. So far from the start of my research, Im looking at West Lake Highlands zip 75231 and Lakewood zip 75214. But open to all info and input and where to search, what to look for, etc. Even any info on adjacent Casa Linda or other parts of Lake Highlands is welcomed.

Thinking of buying a house and doing a small addition since there are a lot of larger lots/older houses in that area.

What I know so far...great schools since its part of Richardson school district (if anyone has any info or experience to share- please do!). I generally like the vibe there/people/smaller, more interesting homes (compared to tracts in the burbs), its affordable for a decent area in Dallas proper (i.e.:not the park cities, but still a lovely area), I love the mature trees in the area. Also love that its "hilly" and has a little topography. Love that its close to both all Dallas has to offer and White Rock Lake recreation options + the lake loop for bikes, walks, parks, etc. Also close to the grocery/market/bakery locations we go to for food allergies in our household. We work in Garland and Dallas, so it would be a nice location for us. We just don't really seem to be "living" in the burbs, as we are either working or shopping or going somewhere else in dallas multiple times a week, every single week. Starting to think we just need to live there. =)

Anyone raising a family in either area? Anyone have a suggestion on an area like this in DFW metroplex that I just don't know about yet? We like the vibe of East Dallas neighborhoods and the M Streets/Munger Place, but many of the houses are too small (in the M Streets- the lots are small and adding on isn't a real option, and the larger homes are above our price range) and I have heard the schools aren't the best for those neighborhoods (but please educate me on that if I am mistaken).

Would love any info! Thank you!
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Old 09-05-2013, 03:37 PM
Location: Dallas, TX
2,828 posts, read 3,385,586 times
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I think search is down so you may want to try searching later. There is TONs of info on both areas on this forum.

Also, Lakewooder should be in here shortly....lol
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:53 PM
16,092 posts, read 35,775,631 times
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Yes indeed! I'm wondering what style of a home you are wanting - you mention the M-Streets and those are mainly 1920s and 30s English Tudor cottages, although eastern sections of the M-Streets have more 40s and 50s ranch or hybrid homes. And the M-Streets are actually in 75206 (mainly). The good thing about adding on to a Tudor is that there is usually attic space. You can find more Tudors in Hollywood Heights, which is 75223 and in the Lakewood Elementary attendance zone - M-Streets are mostly in Stonewall Jackson Elementary.

Stonewall and Lakewood are widely known as the best elementary schools, but they are different. Stonewall is smaller and also houses the regional school for the deaf, which has also been blamed for the school's ranking taking a hit since they are tested as regular students. But that adds an interesting asset to the school. Lakewood is very large (I think it's topped 900 this year) and is very much the center of the social lives of its students and parents - and that continues for life. Lakewood is raising private money ($15 million) for additions and renovations.

Anyway, back to home styles - your best bet for the money is a 50s or 60s style ranch house around Abrams and Mockingbird - to the east Lakewood Elementary, to the west Stonewall.

As far as the secondary schools, those in Lakewood are the only public schools in Dallas to offer International Baccalaureate. Long has IB MYP (this will be the third year using the curriculum as candidate school, full accreditation is expected after the IBO site visit this fall) and also pre-AP and special language options, including sign language (Long and Woodrow also house the deaf school but the percentage is smaller) and Mandarin. At Woodrow, besides IB Diploma (24 college credit hours), IB Career Certificate is also offered, where you take AP classes and two IB classes and complete other requirements. Only 27 high schools in the nation offer IBCC. Woodrow and Long just received about $20 million in renovations and additions.

RISD does not offer IB. I would say that the LH schools are not on the ascendancy as are the Lakewood schools. Still some people are not going to like them simply because they are in DISD, which is a big mistake. Having IB automatically gives the schools some autonomy and the district unlikely to do anything detrimental to the schools because of the huge parental, alumni and community support.

Here are some Lakewood/M-Street area back to school photos: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/commu...-to-school.ece

Last edited by Lakewooder; 09-05-2013 at 05:02 PM..
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:11 PM
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We live in Casa Linda Forest - 75228. We love our hilly and heavily treed area. We're mostly ranch homes. A few mid century moderns. A creek runs through some backyards.

The local school is Sanger - it's a good elem. Middle and High schools are not very desirable here. Some families transfer to Long and Woodrow. Some do private or magnet schools. Some homeschool and then do community college as high school. Also know a couple of families in charter schools.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:24 PM
Location: Orange County, CA
300 posts, read 1,085,564 times
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bencronin04- I was reallllly surprised when nothing came up...and I even did an advanced search to cover my bases! haha! Search being down explains it all. Still not having much luck so I'll check back over the weekend.

Lakewooder- all great information, thank you! And what great photos of the kiddos going back to school! I have heard mixed reviews on Woodrow- mostly read good things here, but when I researched the school itself and the ratings/rankings (which I do try to take with a grain of salt, especially when there is a lot of school pride and support floating around the local area), I read not such great things. So I'm a little ambivalent about what the real deal is in regards to what the school is actually like for an average student. I did read about the IB program and that sounds fantastic. Do you feel, if there was great parent support and involvement in a teens life and extra curricular activities the teen is involved in, that it would be a good and safe high school experience? I do love what I see in regards to the program they have and the diversity that seems to be present in the student body. Plus, the architecture of that school is just lovely. (I've totally driven by to check it out!).

In regards to the style of the house....not really that picky as we are more after the general area and would like to be in a nice pocket of East Dallas. Whether it be something we can swing in M Streets, Lakewood, Lake Highlands...not tooooo insanely picky when it comes to style because I can work with anything. I think above all, I would want to try to find something that has been loved by the previous owner/improved upon as the years went on (and, depending on how old it is, ensure major renovations have taken place such as replaced windows or replaced roof, no major foundation issues, etc.). And make sure that if we need to add on, which it sounds like we may need to being that the average home Im seeing has 2-3 beds, that we would have room to do so (so that's why Im thinking Lakewood/Lake Highlands over M Streets, even though I adore M Streets and would love to be right of off Greenville Ave. and closer to downtown/uptown and the 75 corridor).

Did you grow up in East Dallas/Lakewood? If so, how do you feel the area has maintained its roots and in what ways do you feel it has changed most (and for the better or no?). What is your top pick for an East Dallas neighborhood to raise an only child (currently preschool age).

Pepper131- great to know about what people do with the school attendance. I would hate to bank on a transfer or admittance to a magnet/charter. And homeschool is not in my plans, though I admire those that do it well. I haven't truly dove into Casa Linda yet, but I pass through and thought I'd throw it out there. Thank you for the input!
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:19 AM
Location: Yankee loves Dallas
552 posts, read 731,263 times
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IMHO the areas on the east side of Garland Rd -- Little Forest Hills and Casa Linda -- have just about every bit the charm and appeal of the Lakewood/Stonewall zones.

However, they are less expensive, presumably on account of the school comparison, plus being that much farther from downtown and the bulk of the higher-end shopping/dining.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:25 AM
299 posts, read 659,716 times
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You'll get tons of information in search, but I wanted to also raise the potential in the Hexter Elementary area as well. It's a great little school, there are some really great real estate opportunities there, and it's a nice place to be in terms of getting around town. Like Sanger, the middle and high schools are problematic, but transferring into Long or WW shouldn't be an issue.

The market in both 75214 (where we are) and 75231 (where my brother lives) is HOT. Things are going fast (offers before things are even on the MLS hot), and granny ranches are being scooped up by contractors who are hovering, waiting for the opportunity. I sometimes think that within the next 5 years both these neighborhoods are going to be nearly granny ranch free! Which makes me a little sad...

Good luck in your search.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:44 AM
743 posts, read 1,062,770 times
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Originally Posted by preppyglam View Post
Im looking at West Lake Highlands zip 75231 and Lakewood zip 75214. But open to all info and input and where to search, what to look for, etc. Even any info on adjacent Casa Linda or other parts of Lake Highlands is welcomed....What I know so far...great schools since its part of Richardson school district
I'm a little concerned by this. None of 75214 is Richardson schools and only the northeastern third of 75231 is Richardson schools.

If you happened to buy a house in Merriman Park and assumed it went to Merriman Park Elementary, well you'd be up a creek.

My hierarchy of NE Dallas public elementary schools is Lakewood > White Rock > Stonewall > Hexter > Lake Highlands > Wallace > Merriman Park > Lipscomb > Moss Haven.

Those are the elementary schools I would consider. Those bounce back and forth between DISD and RISD. I grew up in east Dallas, just north of Casa Linda and went to Hexter for elementary school. It's an even better school now than it was then, and you should check out that side of the lake. It is more affordable, more in tune to special needs food, and is the most 'outdoorsy'. That said, my kids will be going to Lakewood.
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:15 AM
Location: On the golf course
256 posts, read 515,719 times
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I would suggest you look in 75238, specifically the neighborhoods of White Rock Valley or Lake Ridge Estates if you're interested in Lake Highlands. Your children would be in either White Rock Elementary or Lake Highlands Elementary.

I would choose Lakewood over 75231 without a doubt.
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:30 AM
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A lot of Hexter kids transfer to Long and Woodrow. The Hexter mascot has even made appearances at The Long Run LongRun - J L Long Middle School and they've had kids on floats in the Woodrow homecoming parade Homecoming 2011 Parade And Pep Rally Slideshow by lakewooder | Photobucket I know some Sanger kids do that also, as a lot of families live in Forest Hills.

Transfers can be accomplished under IB, for AP classes not offered at a home school, or for the college prep academies at Woodrow (besides IB there is STEM, Business/Entrepreneurship/Finance, Creative and Performing Arts - did you know Woodrow has a larger dance program than the Arts Magnet?). More info on the academies, including a video: Woodrow Wilson High School :: Woodrow Preparatory Academies The engineering section of STEM is coming on strong the last couple of years. They even came in ahead of Hockaday at a competition Hockaday hosted. If you talk with the teachers you will be impressed. They are definitely college level.

IB Diploma Programme is very difficult. It takes just about all the free time in junior and senior years and most students have to cut back on extracurriculars, which are manifold at Woodrow. Some who have transferred in for IB from private schools have not been able to handle IB and dropped back into the AP track or IBCC. But they have stayed. Woodrow offers 22 AP classes and 8 dual credit classes.

Yes I grew up in Lakewood and attended these schools, stayed in town and went to SMU, then lived in Houston for a couple of years and returned. I'm a volunteer and member of the alumni association (30,000 Woodrow alums, many are famous: Woodrow Wilson High School (Dallas) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )

I feel the area has kept its roots. For years it was looked down upon by certain other areas and so we really tried to promote it - now that it has been 'discovered' it has been a mixed blessing. Even though we have the most conservation and historic districts in Texas, we have seen many original family homes go down. Some of the new people are not acquainted with the history and traditions of the area and some don't stay long. Some of the natives feel that some of the new people have 'attitude'. Many are alarmed that recent purchases by big developers have driven up rents and longtime mom and pop shops and restaurants are being replaced by chains. I've got to say that the new Chipotle construction is roundly scorned. Some feel that it's getting a little too Park Cities-ish.

We have had a big influx in our schools and all of them have increased enrollments, except for Robert E. Lee, which got great TEA ratings with its new principal. Incidentally, Vickery Place and Cochran Heights are now in that attendance zone.

Overall though we still have an outstanding sense of community and it really is like a small town in the big city. If you don't want to be as "high profile" you can find corners of the area where you don't have to be...

Lakewood Elementary is such a wonderful place and kids who go there are lifelong friends. This still holds true, even with some of the 'new' people I would choose that school. I know it may be difficult to afford these days, but there are ways...

Lakewood Elementary expansion: http://www.leefdallas.org/Home_Page.html

WWHS restoration and new Science/Arts addition

Last edited by Lakewooder; 09-06-2013 at 10:00 AM..
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