West Plano vs. LA wealthy areas (Austin: home, schools, living in)
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Average square foot price in 'Lakewood Proper' translation "Lakewood Elementary" is $200 per square foot. But that can double for one of the historic homes by Dines and Kraft, Dilbeck or especially Hutsell -- you'd probably love those -- very Spanish Roaring 20s Hollywood.
Around the area it varies but can range between over $100 to $200. It's a very eclectic area: all sizes, styles and ages of homes.
West Plano is much like Calabasas or Irvine...one gets "more" size for dollar (vs HP or PrestonHollow), but it's largely for family guys who work nearby in Telecom corridor and don't care much about nightlife proximity (most who are interested get their nightlife when traveling out of town for business anyway)
But W Plano isn't any further from Dallas nightlife than Palisades is from Hollywood stuff...and both offer plenty of driving distance for an inevitable DUI arrest over time
Suspect any chicks from "nightlife" are more than happy to visit one in HP or PH...most hotties at nightspots anywhere are penniless and willing to travel
Much admire TX's 0% income tax rate and pro-business ethos (the joke among affluent Californians is we'll flee to Dallas when CA income taxes become too onerous for us), but would observe that desirable land in HP is about as costly as desirable land in Beverly Hills or Bel Air....and desirable land in Preston Hollow is more costly than desirable land in Woodside (Silicon Valley's wealthiest suburb)
Really costly land in Dallas when one factors in CA weather and topography...not many great, twisty driving roads around Dallas for perf cars, unlike the many canyon rds around Malibu...perhaps explaining why one runs into many wealthy Texans who have wkend houses on LA's Westside
Actually some of the Park Cities most expensive homes are in UP (Volk Estates). Also, the tax rate here is actually lower than the suburbs--at least any of the suburbs we looked at. I think the number of SMU students throws off UP's median income numbers a bit....
Regardless, it's a very charming area, very hometown-ish, quaint, big trees, charming houses, and like living in a small town in the middle of a big city.
I grew up in the Park Cities and still live in the area, yet I work in West Plano, so I think I'm equipped to chime in here.
You said you wanted something like Beverly Hills, surrounded by the wealthy, with good schools and entertainment, but not too suburban feeling. That is 100% HP/UP and I'll tell you why:
1. Did you know that David Wilbur Cook (the man who planned & developed Beverly Hills) was hired to help develop Highland Park in the 1910s/ 1920s? You will see many similarities with winding streets, gorgeous trees, plentiful public parks and tennis courts. About 20% of the town's land is parks. Older homes are similar architecturally to Beverly Hills, with many Spanish, Tudor, French, and Traditional designs. HP's town hall is almost a twin to one of the municipal buildings I saw in Beverly Hills.
2. Quality of people: I think a big difference in the Park Cities vs West Plano is that there are so many huge companies with HQ's in Plano (Frito Lay, EDS, JCPenney,etc) that a fair amount of the executive population is somewhat transient since they came to Plano for career and will move when the next company recruits. I work for one of these companies and see this often. In the Park Cities, many residents have made their careers in Dallas, whether graduating from SMU and staying, or by founding many of the big law firms, medical practices, etc. These residents are in the Park Cities for the long haul and are passionate about the towns- overwhelming support of bond packages to keep the highly rated schools updated, attending town hall meetings when zoning, parking isses come up. Not saying that Plano people don't care, but there is a certain pride in HP that is unmatched.
Your neighbors will be very highly educated power players in Dallas. Great for networking!!
3. Home values: will continue to rise steadily in the Park Cities due to the excellent schools (it's own exemplary school system with 4 elementaries, 1 middle, and 1 high school ranked top 15 in the US by Newsweek). Also of note, HP & UP have their own police & fire depts. If you call 911, a cop will be at your door in literally 2 minutes. I cannot say the same for Plano or Dallas. You will begin to recognize many of the long-term officers. HP & UP also manage their own trash pick-up, right from your alley, several times a week. Bulk trash can be called & scheduled for pickup, so your Christmas tree doesn't sit on the curb for 7 days until bulk day.
Also protecting land values is the fact that both towns are built out & there is nothing else similar within 20 miles (southlake as closest). In Plano, you will always be competing with bigger houses built further out. Many execs look at West Plano and also Starwood in Frisco, where many athletes and execs live. Newer houses, with equal to better schools about 5-8 miles north.
4. Entertainment- I think you will find the Park Cities does feel removed enough from the bustle of downtown/ uptown. The streets are quiet and peaceful, you cannot hear traffic from the major roads, etc. You are within 5-10 minutes of tons of independent stores and restaurants. Not many chains, like Chili's, to be found. Read some of the reviews on guidelive.com for Shinsei, La Duni, Bijoux, Neighborhood Services, Stephan Pyles, Coal Vines, Lola, Nick & Sam's, Mi Cocina, Breadwinner's- you
are close to all the best restaurants, plus a quick drive to American Airlines Center ( Mavericks, Stars, & concerts), House of Blues (concerts), Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Museum, the new Winslear Opera House, Meyerson Symphony Center - the cultural heart of Dallas. You will drive into town far less than you expect if you reside in West Plano. I hear this all the time from coworkers - "we had no idea that event was even going on", "a gallery opening on Tuesday night? No thanks, I'll be home too late by the time I get home", etc. Yes, there are some good independent restaurants at Legacy and sprinkled around Plano, but the culinary scene is in Dallas.
Also- thought I'd recommend some areas in HP/ UP to look at. I noticed you tagged a link to a house on Key Street. You do not want to live there. It is a sideways facing house (onto the side street) because it's really on Mockingbird, one of the major thoroughfares of HP.
I recommend ebby.com over realtor.com- they have the entire MLS listings and you can do a map search to see where other properties in the neighborhood meeting your needs are.
For your price range, I recommend:
3400-4000 blocks of Caruth, Greenbrier, Southwestern, Bryn Mawr, Hanover, Colgate, Marquette, & Centenary. 3100-3300 blocks of Caruth, Greenbrier, Southwestern, Bryn Mawr, & Hanover. These are the "golden blocks" in the heart of UP north of Lovers Lane. Close to Preston Center & NorthPark Mall, and far enough away from the SMU traffic. Large lots with wider streets. Also, very uniform blocks in terms of setback from the street and all 1 story vs 2 story. Mix of updated older homes and newer construction.
Also in UP south of Lovers, the 4100-4500 blocks of McFarlin, Windsor, Larchmont. Stanhope, San Carlos, and Shenandoah are nice too, but lots are smaller and homes closer to the street. Pro would be walking distance to HP Village.
Also, 3600-3900 blocks of Shenandoah, Normandy, and Potomac are lovely with some of the best trees!
For under $1.5, you can look in 4500 block of Edmondson, Livingston, Fairfax, Beverly, N and S Versailles, Arcady, Belclaire, Belfort, Rheims, & Lorraine. Also, 4200-4300 blocks of Fairfax, Edmondson, and Livingston. This will get you an updated older home (like a 1920s Tudor cottage @ 3000 sq feet) on a smaller, tree filled lot in the heart of HP- just a few blocks from the $3-15M homes and estates and neighbors like Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, the son of Gen Musharaff of Pakistan, Margaret Thatcher's grandkids, CEO Karen Katz of Neiman Marcus, etc.
Also, 3100-3300 blocks of Beverly, St John, & Drexel.
There are some gorgeous new construction townhomes on Abbott - 3 stories and some of the nicest finish outs I've seen for about $800. Just an idea! They are walking distance from all the restaurants & shopping on Knox.
The major traffic streets are Lovers Lane, Mockingbird, University, Hillcrest, and Preston.
The streets University, Rankin, Milton, Normandy, Rosedale, Binkley, Asbury, Fairway, and Westway are 90% duplexes and are considered less desirable streets - ie, divorcees with kids and SMU kids.
Also, any house in UP with an address beginning with a "7" is really in Dallas, but can use HPISD schools, but not police, fire, and services. Conversely, any HP address in the 4600 block is west of the Tollroad- can use police, fire, and services, but no schools. Pretty neighborhood, but not considered "real" HP.
You should be aware that if you live in W. Plano or similar far-flung areas you would have a '972' area code. Not kosher for the night life types.
This has got to be one of the most ridiculous comments I have ever read in this forum, and that's saying a lot.
We have certain members here who look for excuses to wax on ad nauseum about the evils of discrimination, in threads that have absolutely nothing to do with discrimination, and then make idiotic references to discrimination for an area code prefix!
ty - I know it sounds silly, but I know PLENTY of people who have fought to get a 214 area code for their cell phone and home phones. It happens.
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