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Old 12-10-2014, 04:00 PM
 
21 posts, read 37,654 times
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Dear forum readers,

We recently moved to Dallas metroplex from Boston suburbs. We need your feedback for buying our first home in this area. Please find details below

Office: Las Colinas area, intersection of N Beltline and 114 - near bridges at las colinas
Options: Keller (Southlake ISD) or Grapevine (Grapevine-Colleyville ISD) or Coppell (almost ruled out because it is overpriced)

We liked houses in Keller and Grapevine, below are cons

Keller - Good neighborhood but bad commute (around 50 mins in peak hours from office via Southlake Blvd).
Grapevine - Little expensive house but easy commute (off 121) but I heard Grapevine is not upscale like flower mound, Coppell, Southlake, Keller etc and has more unsafe pockets.

My daughter is 3 yrs and would like to live in diversified but best community with good parks, activities for kids and great schools. I have been reading various forums and know there are hard-core fans for each cities, but would like to get candid feedback to help me decide.

Any insight on commute to Keller(Davis Blvd) from Las Colinas and "best resale value" is also appreciated.

Thanks much for going through the thread, awaiting response.
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Old 12-10-2014, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Southlake. Don't judge me.
2,834 posts, read 3,757,789 times
Reputation: 3665
Quote:
Originally Posted by tx75063 View Post
Dear forum readers,

We recently moved to Dallas metroplex from Boston suburbs. We need your feedback for buying our first home in this area. Please find details below

Office: Las Colinas area, intersection of N Beltline and 114 - near bridges at las colinas
Options: Keller (Southlake ISD) or Grapevine (Grapevine-Colleyville ISD) or Coppell (almost ruled out because it is overpriced)

We liked houses in Keller and Grapevine, below are cons

Keller - Good neighborhood but bad commute (around 50 mins in peak hours from office via Southlake Blvd).
Grapevine - Little expensive house but easy commute (off 121) but I heard Grapevine is not upscale like flower mound, Coppell, Southlake, Keller etc and has more unsafe pockets.

My daughter is 3 yrs and would like to live in diversified but best community with good parks, activities for kids and great schools. I have been reading various forums and know there are hard-core fans for each cities, but would like to get candid feedback to help me decide.

Any insight on commute to Keller(Davis Blvd) from Las Colinas and "best resale value" is also appreciated.

Thanks much for going through the thread, awaiting response.
Exactly where in "Keller" are you looking that is in Carroll ISD? IIRC, there is one VERY TINY part of Keller that falls within Carroll ISD (yes, it is that part East of Davis Blvd and right around Bear Creek pkwy, a little south of Continental).

We don't know your budget, but in general I'd recommend Grapevine over Keller. Closer to your office, you don't have to navigate 1709 during rush hour, and I'd take GCISD over Keller ISD if you're in that, and I wouldn't pay much of a premium to be in Carroll ISD over GCISD. Heck, most of Carroll ISD's advantage over GCISD is probably demographics.

Grapevine has a few limited areas that are "unsafe" (the Mustang Drive apartments), but overall is quite nice and very safe. I'll defer to the Grapevine residents who post regularly here for more detail.

I'm also surprised you haven't mentioned Colleyville, as it's also GCISD, only a little longer commute (certainly not as far as Creekview or whatever that one development in Keller is called), and also "upscale" as you seem to be defining it.

Also definitely think you should look hard in Coppell for options.
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
9,825 posts, read 20,517,988 times
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We need to know your budget. That's going to be the biggest decision point.

The second point will be how long of a commute you are willing to tolerate. Yes, driving 1709 every day from Keller to Las Colinas is going to get old, and close to an hour each way is about what it will be. For me, that would be a deal breaker.

Grapevine does have some old apartment complexes and three trailer parks that the city would LOVE to go away. That being said, the crime rate in Grapevine is quite low. The GPD does a fantastic job keeping tabs on those higher risk areas and as a result, there really is not a crime problem. My house is less than a mile from the "bad" part of Mustang Drive, and we have not had a single issue in the 5 years we have lived here, nor in the 7 years when we lived in another neighborhood. Unless you were looking to live IN those apartments or the trailer parks, it's a moot point.

You say that you want your daughter to be in diverse schools, but CISD is at the top of your list? You do realize that it is close to 90% white, and has virtually no low income students, right? To me, that is not diverse at all.

As for resale, you really can't go wrong in Grapevine. Since the city is basically built out, existing homes aren't competing against new construction like they are in Keller. Yes, you pay more for a house in Grapevine. But when you consider the better resale value, and the fact that property taxes are almost the lowest in Tarrant County, it's really a good long-term value.

Coppell, on the other hand, has some of the highest property taxes in DFW. On a $250k home, you will pay about $1000 more in taxes ANNUALLY than on the same house in Grapevine. To me, that's huge!

As for "upscale" really the only truly "upscale" communities in NE Tarrant are Southlake and Colleyville. But the other towns are close enough that it's a quick drive there for shopping and restaurants.
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:40 PM
 
21 posts, read 37,654 times
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Appreciate your response, synchronicity & ChristieP.

My budget is between 450-500K. For me Keller (Carroll ISD) turns out to be more affordable (by 30K) compared with Grapevine, could be just because of holiday season. Since it is Southlake ISD (all exemplary) I am okay with long commute as I can goto office during non peak hours.

Coppell is out (unless you veterans tell me otherwise) because it of higher taxes (additional HOA in las colinas), heavy asian community (I am one of them), very competitive school which are more focused on studies than other activities, and limited new construction homes, also the new communities are in less desirable spots ,like next to highway or power line etc.. On schools my info is based on discussion with well wishers, it could be inaccurate.

We want our daughter to grow up in schools where she get exposure of other fields, not just maths and science. We don't want her to goto school followed by kumon and/other maths classes, as it may seems to be the case with Coppell.

Is it worth waiting for few moths and buy older (2005 or later) homes? I heard in Coppell there is huge demand for pre owned homes, and prices skyrocket due to multiple offers. I am in no hurry to buy, but would not like to wait for no reason and pay more for same house.

Thanks once again!
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Old 12-10-2014, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
9,825 posts, read 20,517,988 times
Reputation: 7203
You need to look at Colleyville. Seriously. With that budget, you could get a really nice house, and your commute would be significantly shorter than from Keller. Even going into the office at off peak times isn't going to help the fact that your commute from Keller is on a surface street with a lot of traffic lights. And if you do have to go in during rush hour...ugh...it's going to be a real grind.

Colleyville Heritage HS is the better of the two GCISD high schools, and it's feeder pattern schools are excellent. Although it's a long time until HS, you would do well to check it out before making a final decision. There is also still new construction going on in Colleyville, too. It seems like that's what you are interested in buying.

I completely agree about Coppell. Unless you want to pay a lot of taxes on a home by the power lines, or under DFW final approach path, that's all there is. Yes, multiple offer situations there are the norm. And those high taxes are awful. Yes, I have also heard that the schools there are very full of Asians who are totally focused on academics.

Do keep in mind that this is NOT the time of year when most people buy a house. Inventory is really low in the winter, but it picks up in the spring, and really gets going in the summer. If you can, wait and see how the market is different when you have more houses to choose from.
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Old 12-10-2014, 08:37 PM
 
180 posts, read 170,894 times
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Deleted my last post as I mistook another post as OP's post.

I would still recommend Coppell for the location. I travel to Las Colinas everyday for personal reason. It takes me 15- 20 minutes. E beltline and than N beltline. No high way involvement at all.

I did not find too much difference in housing prices among the cities you mentioned. I did the same searching when I was doing my house hunting half year ago. We finally got one in Coppell. We like its school district and its resale value. My husband needs to do some travel and Coppell is near to the Airport which is another reason we chose it.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Southlake. Don't judge me.
2,834 posts, read 3,757,789 times
Reputation: 3665
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristieP View Post
You say that you want your daughter to be in diverse schools, but CISD is at the top of your list? You do realize that it is close to 90% white, and has virtually no low income students, right? To me, that is not diverse at all.
It's actually about 75% white (at least at the elementary level and appears to be becoming more racially/ethnically diverse over time), but still, that's not exactly "diverse", and yes, only 2-3% low income.

Carroll ISD is great but so is GCISD, and the latter has more of a mix of students. And completely agree the OP should consider both Grapevine and Colleyville. That said, some parts of Colleyville would also be a fairly long commute, but taking 1709 from west of Carroll Senior would get real old real fast.

I wouldn't exclude Coppell, either. Southlake taxes are also fairly high, and IIRC Keller's are even higher (although I forget how much of that is the ISD), albeit short of Coppell's range. I know Grapevine's tax rates are the lowest among the group of 'burbs we're discussing here. We didn't go with Coppell because we wanted a larger lot and got less bang for our buck there, but the OP should at least keep tabs on it.

Last, although 450-500K won't buy much in Southlake these days, the OP can also keep an eye out for listings, because something might just pop up. Hey, I know someone who had that happen to them.
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Old 12-11-2014, 04:55 AM
 
450 posts, read 996,718 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tx75063 View Post
Appreciate your response, synchronicity & ChristieP.

My budget is between 450-500K. For me Keller (Carroll ISD) turns out to be more affordable (by 30K) compared with Grapevine, could be just because of holiday season. Since it is Southlake ISD (all exemplary) I am okay with long commute as I can goto office during non peak hours.

Coppell is out (unless you veterans tell me otherwise) because it of higher taxes (additional HOA in las colinas), heavy asian community (I am one of them), very competitive school which are more focused on studies than other activities, and limited new construction homes, also the new communities are in less desirable spots ,like next to highway or power line etc.. On schools my info is based on discussion with well wishers, it could be inaccurate.

We want our daughter to grow up in schools where she get exposure of other fields, not just maths and science. We don't want her to goto school followed by kumon and/other maths classes, as it may seems to be the case with Coppell.

Is it worth waiting for few moths and buy older (2005 or later) homes? I heard in Coppell there is huge demand for pre owned homes, and prices skyrocket due to multiple offers. I am in no hurry to buy, but would not like to wait for no reason and pay more for same house.

Thanks once again!
In addition to other options, also consider Flower Mound. Excellent schools, family friendly and newer houses if you are looking for pre owned. Property tax is one of the lowest in DFW (@ 2.19% without home exemption). There are Asians but not as high as Coppell or North Irving. Houses sell fast and there are multiple offers specially for houses under 400k. In your range, houses inventory is better than Coppell. Depending on where you live in Flower Mound, your commute time should be 20-35 mins during non peak hours. From East Flower Mound, you will take 3040/121/ 635 or 2499 /114E from South/West Flower Mound. 2499 reconstruction is in progress which will bypass the lights at Grapevine malls. Avoid commuting in peak hours or take alternate route until the re-construction is completed in 2016.

I understand your concerns on too much emphasis on academics. Anywhere you go specially in desirable cities, there will be peer pressure in middle and high schools. You can avoid that in elementary schools by choosing an area/ school with less concentration of Asians. Typically, its the parents who are competing and not the kids, so its all up to you.

Also look into the elementary schools in Las Colinas, some of them are good, but price/ sq.ft will be higher and location/ access to highways is excellent. Check the surroundings/ neighborhoods, you do not want to live very close to highways or internal streets with too much traffic.
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:29 AM
 
21 posts, read 37,654 times
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Thanks lily76 & adixyz for responding.

I commuted to Keller twice during peak hours, it took me around an hour to get to Keller from office, if I do this commute I will loose 2 hours daily! I could probably increase my budget and spend that time with family, or buy older homes in Coppell, as I see people mentioned the mix is not that bad.

I am considering Grapevine also but friends are suggesting it doesn't have good resale value, it could be just their perception. I have to drive there as well during peak hour, to get better assessment.

I am leaning towards waiting till next year and get good deal on pre-owned homes in Coppell or Flower Mound. Please let me know if you hear anything on new construction homes in these areas in my budget.

Thanks much!
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
9,825 posts, read 20,517,988 times
Reputation: 7203
Your friends are incorrect about Grapevine resales. Its not a problem. The city is almost totally built out so there's no new construction to compete with. The houses in Grapevine cost more up front, but you get a lot of it back with the super low taxes over the years.
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