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Old 06-14-2017, 10:29 PM
 
11 posts, read 8,198 times
Reputation: 23

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Looking for a house in an area with a reasonable commute to downtown dallas. My fiancée works in Garland. We are a young couple in our mid 20's.

Our budget is around $300K but could be higher if absolutely necessary. We'd really like to keep it under $300K in order to put my fiancee's salary towards our retirement and student loans.

Schools are important as we do plan to have a child in the next couple of years but we're obviously at least 6-7 years out from elementary (just trying to think ahead!)

Where should we be looking? We don't care about the age of the home (as long as it is renovated) and could absolutely make a 2/1 or 2/2 work, or even a townhome. I'm also not opposed to taking the DART to work if it means that we'll need to live a bit further to get what we're looking for.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 06-14-2017, 11:50 PM
 
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I'm inclined to suggest Richardson, based on what you said above. Relatively close to Garland and either 75 or DART for commute to downtown (though it partially depends on what is "reasonable commute" to you). Houses will trend older and may not be perfectly renovated, but it seems like you could find a 2/1 or 2/2 at that price point with some renovation completed.

The big debate that will come off my recommendation is quality of schools. The somewhat raging debate on the forum is what qualifies as a "good school". Many will tell you that you must be in Frisco or Plano or your future children will end up as drug pushers and prostitutes on Harry Hines (I exaggerate, if only partially). While Richardson does not win the "super trendy schools where the cool kids go", I suspect you can find decent quality schools.

Also, as you mentioned, that discussion is at least 6-7 years away. There's no reason you can't later discuss private schools, tutoring, and something crazy like be personally involved in your children's education as opposed to shipping them off to a teacher. Finally, it's not as though you can never sell and move if your needs later change.

I think right now as mid 20-year-olds I would focus a bit more on commute times and finding a neighborhood you feel comfortable in at this point in your life, along with finding an affordable house that lets you pay debt. You also want a few bucks to enjoy life or put away for savings on unexpected expenses. You don't want to be "house poor" - particularly in your mid-20's. Again, you can always later move to deep suburbia after you've finished exploring the world and/or pay debt.
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:36 AM
 
Location: garland
1,592 posts, read 1,917,142 times
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You can purchase a 2/2 condo in Oak Lawn off Newton ave for about half your budget and get rid of your debt faster. Most people stay in their first home for 5-7 so I wouldn't worry about schools just yet.


4206 Newton Ave # A203, Dallas, TX 75219 - realtor.com®
4206 Newton Ave # 201, Dallas, TX 75219 - realtor.com®
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:44 AM
 
11 posts, read 8,198 times
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I'll have to look into Richardson. I was also looking at the North Oak Cliff area since good schools are not absolutely necessary right now. I saw a few homes on Hollywood Ave for $270-290K.

I guess I should've rephrased my initial post a bit. Our debt burden isn't high by any means, but what we've been doing is living on my salary alone and then using hers to max out her 401K, put money into my investment account, build up our emergency savings, etc.
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:55 AM
 
Location: North Texas
24,571 posts, read 35,258,096 times
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You can buy a 3-2 in Richardson for under $300k, but most of those will be east of 75 on the less fancy side of town.

Like others have said, I wouldn't worry about schools now. You'll probably be long gone from that house by the time your future kid starts school.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:56 AM
 
50 posts, read 44,796 times
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How far are you willing to commute? You actually have a lot of options that you can be open to during your home search.

Even though you do not have kids yet, I think you should give some consideration to schools. You don't necessarily have to make sure you are zoned for the best school in the best district, but make sure that the schools are decent. I made the mistake of not looking at that when we bought our first home. I was in the same boat as you. Early 20's, recently married, I thought kids weren't on my radar for a while, and surely, by the time they got to Kindergarten, we would be in a different house. I had my first daughter a year after we moved in, then I lost my job, and the Real Estate market tanked. We COULDN'T sell our house. We were stuck. I ended up finding a nearby district that my daughter tested into, but I spent two hours per day driving back and forth to school.

It ended up working out for us, but if I could go back to when we were looking for our first house, I'd definitely pay more attention to the schools.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Dallas area, Texas
2,328 posts, read 3,213,341 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AceGoldstein View Post
I'll have to look into Richardson. I was also looking at the North Oak Cliff area since good schools are not absolutely necessary right now. I saw a few homes on Hollywood Ave for $270-290K.

I guess I should've rephrased my initial post a bit. Our debt burden isn't high by any means, but what we've been doing is living on my salary alone and then using hers to max out her 401K, put money into my investment account, build up our emergency savings, etc.
North Oak Cliff to Garland might not be fun. I30 can be accident city or at least a parking lot a good bit of the time.
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:26 AM
 
11 posts, read 8,198 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherDFW View Post
How far are you willing to commute? You actually have a lot of options that you can be open to during your home search.

Even though you do not have kids yet, I think you should give some consideration to schools. You don't necessarily have to make sure you are zoned for the best school in the best district, but make sure that the schools are decent. I made the mistake of not looking at that when we bought our first home. I was in the same boat as you. Early 20's, recently married, I thought kids weren't on my radar for a while, and surely, by the time they got to Kindergarten, we would be in a different house. I had my first daughter a year after we moved in, then I lost my job, and the Real Estate market tanked. We COULDN'T sell our house. We were stuck. I ended up finding a nearby district that my daughter tested into, but I spent two hours per day driving back and forth to school.

It ended up working out for us, but if I could go back to when we were looking for our first house, I'd definitely pay more attention to the schools.
If I can keep the commute under 35 minutes one way to downtown then I'll be fine, or 40 min or less via train.
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:47 AM
 
447 posts, read 433,543 times
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Ace,

What's your income?

3 X gross should be your absolute max, personally I think that's a stretch.

I really like 2-2.5X. So for a 300 Budget, you should be pulling home at least $100K combined.

As for location, getting to downtown Dallas sucks especially via 75. 75, IMO, is the worst highway in DFW, 35 might be the only other one that tops it.

Richardson is probably good for your budget. You can find a rehabbed ranch built in the 70s for around that. If you want bang for your buck, Murphy, Wylie, Sachese but you will be further out. Maybe East Plano. Even if you had a kid tomorrow, they won't go to school for 6 years.
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:52 AM
 
447 posts, read 433,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBCommenter View Post

The big debate that will come off my recommendation is quality of schools. The somewhat raging debate on the forum is what qualifies as a "good school". Many will tell you that you must be in Private Schools or your future children will end up as drug pushers and prostitutes on Harry Hines (I am not exaggerating at all).
Fixed that for you.

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