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Old 05-22-2009, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Arlington,TX
14 posts, read 28,156 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi everyone!
My husband is looking at a job offer working out of Grand Prairie. We have 2 girls, ages 3 and 7 and of course a very good school system comes first. We are from a very small rural town in Indiana and would like to stay in a smaller family friendly community. My husband currently drives 50 miles each way(1 hour)now so we would like to lessen that if possible. We are not interested in keeping-up-with-the-Joneses mentality. Our budget is for no more than $150 on a home. Any ideas? Thanks so much
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:10 PM
 
6,585 posts, read 22,384,279 times
Reputation: 3170
You might check homes in the better school districts in the southern half of the metroplex, such as Mansfield, Midlothian, Red Oak and Ovilla.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:31 PM
 
Location: The Village
1,622 posts, read 3,884,765 times
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Yes, I would suggest the southern suburbs. These are more rural areas, and very affordable. If you want your kids to be athletes, I'd suggest Ennis, as they have one of the strongest sports programs in the state. Mansfield has decent schools but is more suburban.

Midlothian is a nice town but I've heard it's getting more suburban, so I don't know if you really want that.

The public schools in the southern half of the Metroplex are all, for the most part, very average. There are a lot of strong private schools, though.

There are a lot of nicer exurban towns in the areas north of Dallas, but if you're working in GP that's going to be about an hour commute it would seem.
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Lancaster, TX
1,463 posts, read 3,250,174 times
Reputation: 2180
Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyLuvr View Post
Hi everyone!
My husband is looking at a job offer working out of Grand Prairie. We have 2 girls, ages 3 and 7 and of course a very good school system comes first. We are from a very small rural town in Indiana and would like to stay in a smaller family friendly community. My husband currently drives 50 miles each way(1 hour)now so we would like to lessen that if possible. We are not interested in keeping-up-with-the-Joneses mentality. Our budget is for no more than $150 on a home. Any ideas? Thanks so much
Ennis to Grand Prairie would be a very long commute even though the southern suburbs tend to have less traffic than the communities north of Dallas. Grand Prairie is a large city (pop. 168,500) and most of the communities surrounding it are either large in size like Arlington (pop. 370,450) and Irving (pop. 212,250) or have experienced significant population growth in recent years like Cedar Hill (pop. 45,600) and Mansfield (pop. 55,950). There are some neighborhoods in the south Grand Prairie/Cedar Hill/Mansfield area, particularly around Joe Pool Lake, that could have a close-knit, small town feel within the confines of a larger city.

I agree with theloneranger's comment about Midlothian. It is a nice community in northwestern Ellis County with good schools that isn't that far from Grand Prairie. Since 2000, the population has doubled from around 7,000 to 16,250. Red Oak and Glenn Heights are worth looking into as well. If a house on a large lot is attractive to you, I would suggest checking out the far southern portion of Lancaster and the area immediately east of it, which is unincorporated. That area is probably the closest you can get to Grand Prairie that has a rural, laid-back feel to it in Dallas County. The elementary school serving that area has a good reputation. The southern suburban communities also have ample public, private, and charter school options, too. You shouldn't have any problem finding a nice home within your price range in any of the communities that were mentioned.

I hope this helps and welcome to Texas!
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Arlington,TX
14 posts, read 28,156 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks to everyone who responded. I'm glad to hear someone suggest some of the southern suburbs and towns. It seems to me as I have been reading on these boards for quite some time, that a some people are not huge fans of the south communities. It sounds like Cedar Hill would be nice because of the more rolling terrain that we are used to here in Northeast Indiana. I've often wondered if buying a house in a much "cheaper" neighborhood and sending them to a private school would be cheaper than buying a house in a "good" neighborhood? Any thoughts on this? Thanks again I really appreciate the help. By the way my husband will be working on Mountain Creek Parkway in Grand Prairie.
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Lancaster, TX
1,463 posts, read 3,250,174 times
Reputation: 2180
There aren't that many posters on this forum who actually live in the southern suburbs or have any recent experience with them. Luckilly, more and more people have began to join this forum who live in the area and can give first hand knowledge on the cities and neighborhoods. That is the main reason why I became a regular poster.

Cedar Hill is nice and has some beautiful neighborhoods. The public elementary schools in the district are pretty good in my opinion, but there are also private choices as well.
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:35 PM
 
3 posts, read 8,350 times
Reputation: 20
We just moved from Northern IN (Goshen) to Mesquite TX in April of this year.. I really like TX a lot! However... I think we will be moving to a different area at the end of our lease. There are some very nice parts of Mesquite but there is also a lot of not so nice areas. My son who is in MS immediately had problems getting bullied by kids who claimed to be in gangs. He never had any problems in IN. He is an honor roll student and a good kid. Of course the principal denied them having gang problems here though... My younger kids also complained daily about kids being mean to them and using foul language. I know there are bad kids everywhere but this was more than just a couple kids.. Anyways , I am considering moving to Rockwall. It is a smaller town about the same size as Goshen IN. It is only approx.20 mins. from Mesquite. It has good schools. It is pricier though.
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:43 AM
 
109 posts, read 354,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmrz79 View Post
We just moved from Northern IN (Goshen) to Mesquite TX in April of this year.. I really like TX a lot! However... I think we will be moving to a different area at the end of our lease. There are some very nice parts of Mesquite but there is also a lot of not so nice areas. My son who is in MS immediately had problems getting bullied by kids who claimed to be in gangs. He never had any problems in IN. He is an honor roll student and a good kid. Of course the principal denied them having gang problems here though... My younger kids also complained daily about kids being mean to them and using foul language. I know there are bad kids everywhere but this was more than just a couple kids.. Anyways , I am considering moving to Rockwall. It is a smaller town about the same size as Goshen IN. It is only approx.20 mins. from Mesquite. It has good schools. It is pricier though.
Sorry, but I had to respond to this. And, I am hoping not to offend, but here goes.

I do not deny that you are having the problems that you claim, but lets think about this. You moved to Mesquite in April (a month before the end of the school year) from out of State. Wouldn't you expect new kids with weird northern accents (as kids would view it) who arrive at the end of the school year to get picked on a little in school?. These are kids. That's what happens. Second - and again based on the fact that you experienced a month of the MISD school system - how can you judge a school system in that little time frame? Give your kids a chance to make some friends, start a new school year, get involved with some activities. That will give you a better idea of the system. To me it sounds like you are jumping the gun a bit here and writing off Mesquite before giving it a chance. What kind of example does it give to kids about dealing with their problems when their parents are willing to up and move to another community because the kid was called a few names at school? Maybe the problem is much more severe than I am gathering from your post (or you have other issues with Mesquite), but these seem like normal school-aged issues that your kids are experiencing.

I have nothing against Rockwall, but the problems your kids experienced in Mesquite will be in Rockwall as well. In Mesquite you might have kids claiming to be in gangs. Although they are probably just kids who watched a little too much MTV and spray painted a few dumpsters, so now they say they are in a gang. In Rockwall there may be much more of a recreational drug and alcohol problem from more well-to-do kids who are looking for ways to get back at their parents by spending their money and getting into trouble. If you are looking for a home in the 150s, in Rockwall your kids might get picked on for not wearing the newest designer clothes or for not pulling up to school in a late model luxury vehicle. These are specific issues, and maybe I am stereotyping a bit here, but my point is there are issues that you will have to deal with wherever you go.
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:01 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,080 times
Reputation: 10
I moved to Grand Prairie from WA state last winter. I have a 6th, 5th, and 2nd grader. I love it here. I live by Joe Pool Lake. Big, but not too big. Close to the freeways so getting places is fast. Definatly in your price range. GPISD has good K-5 schools. The teachers work way more hours and put in a lot more work then the teachers in WA. The Jr High's are a mess (Truman, Regan). In defense of GPISD that is a common problem in the very best school disricts. It's the age of the kids. Two good options are 1) private, the standards are high, but they are sruggling with enrollment and lack of $$ donations. Not effecting them short term, but in the long term...? 2nd choice is charter schools. Harmony Schools have opened up a Science Academy last year and a Nature Academy next year, so the wait lists are shrinking or none.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Arlington,TX
14 posts, read 28,156 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by professional.nomad View Post
I moved to Grand Prairie from WA state last winter. I have a 6th, 5th, and 2nd grader. I love it here. I live by Joe Pool Lake. Big, but not too big. Close to the freeways so getting places is fast. Definatly in your price range. GPISD has good K-5 schools. The teachers work way more hours and put in a lot more work then the teachers in WA. The Jr High's are a mess (Truman, Regan). In defense of GPISD that is a common problem in the very best school disricts. It's the age of the kids. Two good options are 1) private, the standards are high, but they are sruggling with enrollment and lack of $$ donations. Not effecting them short term, but in the long term...? 2nd choice is charter schools. Harmony Schools have opened up a Science Academy last year and a Nature Academy next year, so the wait lists are shrinking or none.

Good Luck!
Great to hear someone like Grand Prairie. My husband is going tonight to look at a house there on Meade Dr. for a great price! the middle schools do worry me a little but for now I will concentrate on the elementarys. I am worried about resell values since most people think Grand Prairie as a not so good suburb. Anyone out there have an opinion on this?
He is also looking at home in south Arlington, Red Oak, Mansfield, Richarson, Garland, Midlothian, and 1 in Desoto that I just can't pass up seeing. Any opinions on these also? Thanks to everyone for their valuable advice. Keep it coming!
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