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Old 07-31-2011, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Willowbend/Houston
13,403 posts, read 21,121,575 times
Reputation: 10277

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big G View Post
There are significant numbers of Chinese people throughout Plano. However, if you're looking for Chinatown Ground Zero , that would have to be the area around Russell Creek Park. The associated elementary school (Skaggs) has 69.7% (!) Asian enrollment.
That's where I live. I go to the park every day. I absolutely love it! It's one of the most racially harmonious and multicultural areas around. I would recommend it to anyone.
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:44 PM
 
2,206 posts, read 3,941,495 times
Reputation: 2073
Quote:
Originally Posted by m.singh View Post
1. Providing we are careful about where we live, how difficult it is to be an interracial couple in that part of the South ? Her family is from Georgia, and she tells me some horror stories from when she was a kid. I have never had to live in the South, but have read enough to be wary.
North Texas is the most diverse part of the state. Plano, Frisco, Richardson, and McKinney, while voting 70+% GOP is home to a high number of interracial couples. A visit to an IHOP or Dennys on Sunday around noon will show this.

I was part of an interracial couple for two years and never had any issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m.singh View Post

2. How easy / difficult is it to get a house (<$300K) in a good, crime free area ?
Very easy. Google "firewheel, garland" or "castle hills, lewisville" and you will be able to find lots of homes under 300K.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m.singh View Post

3. Are liberals going to be misfits socially in the local scene ?
Liberals in Texas and the South are different from those on the coasts. Liberals in Texas have four kids, own lots of guns, go hunting, and readily make friends with everyone. Look up Sam Rayburn sometime - he was Speaker of the House from 1940 until his death in 1961 for an example of a Texas Liberal. Much of the GOP establishment in Texas was once Democrat - such as our Governor Rick Perry. They changed parties to get elected or because they did not agree with the way the national Democratic Party was going. Texas politics is very eclectic. Its hard to label people in Texas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m.singh View Post
4. I have lived in extreme cold and now, extreme heat. How hot / humid does it get ? Anyone who moved there from Arizona would probably be best placed to answer this one for us
Its more humid and the winters are colder and wetter than Arizona.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m.singh View Post

5. Let us say that we get married and want to raise a family, how really bad is the education system there ? Should I count on homeschooling any future kids if teaching "intelligent" design is a feature of the science classroom there ? Are there any private schools that provide an actual education ? How expensive are they ? I do not mean to insult anyone, but both of us consider education to be critical.
Dallas has two public schools in the top 10 on the latest rankings.

Gold Medal List | US News Best High Schools

Texas has some of the best schools in the US. Texas has heavily invested in its schools for the last thirty years. Both Dallas and Garland have excellent magnet schools and the Plano/Richardson/Lewisville districts are considered the best districts in the area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m.singh View Post

6. Are there a lot of tornadoes in that area ? It does seem as flat as a pancake.
.
Yes, but most of the tornadoes are NW of the Dallas area - which is not as flat as it seems. The area has an excellent warning system and all the TV stations have a network of storm chasers and high resolution radar and actually follow the storms in real time.
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:42 AM
 
5 posts, read 5,159 times
Reputation: 15
[SIZE=2][SIZE=2]Does the land/lot size have any value in Richardson/Plano area? I saw some houses with a huge yard but the house is a little bit beat up actually cost less than another house down the street that have a significantly smaller yard but the house condition is a bit nicer.

We have an older family friend who used to lived in the Richardson area, more east towards Mckinney. They moved to Houston about 10 years ago. They said Richardson is a good area but they are not too familiar how it is right now. He mentioned some of his friends who still live in Richardson told him that it isn't as good as it used to be. Yards are not taken care of in some houses, perhaps with a bit more Section 8 rentals in the neighborhood. Initially, II was thinking of buying a house in the mid 100s to start but eventually (2 to 3 years) get something bigger and nicer. Financially, I can go a bit higher, maybe even $250K to $300K but I don't know if that is a wise decision. Real estate appreciation doesn't seem to move that much in the Plano/Richardson area? or maybe all of Texas? Please correct me if I am wrong but from what I see in the forum and even my family friend told me don't expect too much appreciation on houses in Texas. Treat it as a mean to live and raise a family and not as a long term investment tool. Good thing is that it never really went down because of the housing bubble because it never really went up I guess.

If I were to sink $250K plus, I'd definitely want some prospect for future appreciation. Does Richardson/Plano offer that or should I look elsewhere? My new work place is actually in Dallas but I had a loose connection to the Richardson area and thought it would be a good place to start since its also a pretty safe and low crime neighborhood.

I also thought about renting, but I really hate moving around. I want to at least settle for a few years before another move. I am the exact opposite of a buddy of mine who never stay longer than 2 years in the same home..haha
[/SIZE]
[/SIZE]
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:52 PM
 
Location: North Texas
23,972 posts, read 32,686,225 times
Reputation: 27469
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbonetang View Post
Does the land/lot size have any value in Richardson/Plano area? I saw some houses with a huge yard but the house is a little bit beat up actually cost less than another house down the street that have a significantly smaller yard but the house condition is a bit nicer.

We have an older family friend who used to lived in the Richardson area, more east towards Mckinney. They moved to Houston about 10 years ago. They said Richardson is a good area but they are not too familiar how it is right now. He mentioned some of his friends who still live in Richardson told him that it isn't as good as it used to be. Yards are not taken care of in some houses, perhaps with a bit more Section 8 rentals in the neighborhood. Initially, II was thinking of buying a house in the mid 100s to start but eventually (2 to 3 years) get something bigger and nicer. Financially, I can go a bit higher, maybe even $250K to $300K but I don't know if that is a wise decision. Real estate appreciation doesn't seem to move that much in the Plano/Richardson area? or maybe all of Texas? Please correct me if I am wrong but from what I see in the forum and even my family friend told me don't expect too much appreciation on houses in Texas. Treat it as a mean to live and raise a family and not as a long term investment tool. Good thing is that it never really went down because of the housing bubble because it never really went up I guess.

If I were to sink $250K plus, I'd definitely want some prospect for future appreciation. Does Richardson/Plano offer that or should I look elsewhere? My new work place is actually in Dallas but I had a loose connection to the Richardson area and thought it would be a good place to start since its also a pretty safe and low crime neighborhood.

I also thought about renting, but I really hate moving around. I want to at least settle for a few years before another move. I am the exact opposite of a buddy of mine who never stay longer than 2 years in the same home..haha
If you're not going to stay in the house at least 5 years, probably closer to 10, then don't bother to buy. Just rent. Houses around here in general, not just Richardson/Plano, tend not to appreciate quickly. There are exceptions, but for the most part that rule holds true. After 5 years you'd be lucky to break even anywhere in the metroplex.

I don't know where your family friend lived in Richardson but I haven't seen any areas like what you're describing. There are some brown lawns around but that's because we have exceptional drought conditions and, more recently, watering restrictions from the city. So...there's that.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:44 AM
 
5 posts, read 5,159 times
Reputation: 15
[SIZE=3]Thanks for the tip. I think in certain perspective, renting may make more sense, but I think for my situation and I have done a bit of math, buying is probably what I would do. That’s why I don’t want to spend too much on the house until I learn the area well. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]How is the Canyon Creek area near UTD? It seems a bit nicer than just south of UTD. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]I also started looking a bit more in Plano. However, I find that the newer neighborhood is more or less ‘cookie cutter’ types of home with a slightly smaller yard compared to Richardson in the same price range… of course it depends on the specific areas as well. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Got a question about foundation problems for houses… it seems that all of them that are 20+ years old has that problem to some degree. I was told it has something to do with the soil condition in most of Texas, thus, making it easier to buckle and weakens the structure of the house. Hence, periodic reinforcement work is required. Any idea roughly how much it could cost for a 2000sq ft bungalow? And how often would I need to do it?[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Are there areas where this foundation problem is less pronounced? Years of house I should avoid (i.e. pre 1970s?) and years I should focus? (i.e. after 1980s??) Where are some of the areas where the better houses are being built? [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]I know you pay more for a better built house but if I am saving $50K on a house where I would need to constantly pour money back into it, I might as well spend a bit more to get a house that is better built with less maintenance. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]I’ve engaged two agents already but they don’t seem to either know the answer or basically gives me the standard ‘it depends…’ and somehow doesn’t really answer my question directly. Perhaps, they don’t want to say the wrong thing which I do understand to certain degree. [/SIZE]
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:33 AM
 
Location: North Texas
23,972 posts, read 32,686,225 times
Reputation: 27469
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbonetang View Post
[SIZE=3]Thanks for the tip. I think in certain perspective, renting may make more sense, but I think for my situation and I have done a bit of math, buying is probably what I would do. That’s why I don’t want to spend too much on the house until I learn the area well. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]How is the Canyon Creek area near UTD? It seems a bit nicer than just south of UTD. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]I also started looking a bit more in Plano. However, I find that the newer neighborhood is more or less ‘cookie cutter’ types of home with a slightly smaller yard compared to Richardson in the same price range… of course it depends on the specific areas as well. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Got a question about foundation problems for houses… it seems that all of them that are 20+ years old has that problem to some degree. I was told it has something to do with the soil condition in most of Texas, thus, making it easier to buckle and weakens the structure of the house. Hence, periodic reinforcement work is required. Any idea roughly how much it could cost for a 2000sq ft bungalow? And how often would I need to do it?[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Are there areas where this foundation problem is less pronounced? Years of house I should avoid (i.e. pre 1970s?) and years I should focus? (i.e. after 1980s??) Where are some of the areas where the better houses are being built? [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]I know you pay more for a better built house but if I am saving $50K on a house where I would need to constantly pour money back into it, I might as well spend a bit more to get a house that is better built with less maintenance. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]I’ve engaged two agents already but they don’t seem to either know the answer or basically gives me the standard ‘it depends…’ and somehow doesn’t really answer my question directly. Perhaps, they don’t want to say the wrong thing which I do understand to certain degree. [/SIZE]
Please stop using the size tags, they clearly don't work. I'll try to decipher your response in spite of them.

Foundation issues with slabs in Texas is usually a question of "when", not "if". Many homes in Canyon Creek have had foundation work done. That doesn't mean that they're poorly built or low quality. I have no idea how much it would cost to have work done on a slab because I've never lived in or owned property built on one.

You'll have maintenance expenses with any age house. Fact. Some houses built in the 1990s are in much worse shape than others built in the 1950s. Answer is: "it depends." Get an inspection done and use your best judgment.

Canyon Creek is a beautiful, tight-knit neighborhood. Some people love it. Others don't because of the lack of big box stores nearby. It all depends on what it is you want and what your priorities are. The nearby schools are excellent and crime is low. But you can say that about many suburban areas. Again, it depends on a lot of factors that are very personal.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:31 PM
 
5 posts, read 5,159 times
Reputation: 15
Thanks BigD for the info.
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