Tanglewood vs Aledo (Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano: rent, credit, new home)
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I have been reading many posts regarding ISD's north of 820 and Keller ISD but haven't really seen any regarding Aledo. My family and I are currently trying to decide whether to try and find a home in the Tanglewood/Paschal area or going out to Aledo. We are kind of looking that direction because if we were going to live out of Fort Worth, I 30 coming into town in the mornings is usually pretty good and not so congested as the I 35 N area. My husband and I both work downtown Fort Worth and sometimes I have to get to Plano/Richardson to work. We love the 76109 area but can't seem to find a reasonable priced home for our family of 5. Our children are just starting elementary school and we just can't decide what to do? Does anyone have any insight? Thanks!!
I'd say continue to try and find a place in Ft. Worth. The more you can cut out commute, the better your family life JMHO. 76109 is a good area for return on investment. What price range are you looking in?
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I agree that the Tanglewood area can be pricey. We looked in that area five years ago, but we ended up purchasing a house in North Benbrook/West Fort Worth (off Chapin Road, close to Western Hills High school; there is also a middle and elementary school). It takes me 13 minutes to get downtown, getting on I-30 at the 820 interchange (leaving before 7 a.m., usually). If traffic on I-30 is bad (like at 8 a.m.) I simply go down Camp Bowie/7th street.
As for Aledo: I believe the school district is a rising star. Note that Aledo is experiencing great growth, yet, I believe, housing is still very affordable. I briefly lived (for a year) off Linkcrest road, and, again, the drive downtown was easy.
I am frankly amazed at how many people that move to Fort Worth (I mean new people joining my office) look in the 'mid cities' area for homes, end up buying one, then moan about the horrible traffic coming in and out of downtown. One gentle soul, against my warning, bought a blasted house in north Tarrant county, and so spends his days cursing the I-35 traffic.
Good luck in your search. I do advise keeping to the west side of Fort Worth.
I think so many people are in your exact situation. We transferred here three years ago for my husband's job at TCU. Tanglewood continues to be where we would ideally like to end up in regards to commute and just over-all feel of the neighborhood. Like previous posts have mentioned, the resale will always be there. The bummer in my opinion is the school situation. Although Tanglewood has great reviews and is well respected, no one really brags about the middle school it feeds into and Paschal has been descrribed as two schools within one. I have heard mixed reviews about Paschal. If your child is in the gifted program, then there should be no problem receiving a great education. If they are in the mainstream population, it can get very rough and you have the typical inner city issues.
We hang out at Overton Park often and I have spoken to many Tanglewood parents who choose to send their kids to private school after fifth grade. One teen even told me over half of her Tanglewood fifth grade class headed off to private schools for 6th grade. When we were looking at the prices of the heart of Tanglewood (350,000 for a three bedroom, two bath house) a couple years ago, we could not get over the property taxes on a very bottom rung home. People who are paying close to 1,000 a month on property taxes alone are still feeling like they need to spend thousands more on tuition costs for Trinity Valley, Fort Worth Country, etc. I do think there is a group of motivated parents trying to make the middle school a better place but when we looked a couple years ago, the ratings were awful.
A lot of my husband's colleagues at TCU live in the suburbs while raising their familes and then plan to move in towards Tanglewood, Mistletoe/Berkley when the youngest kid graduates from school. The school situation seems to be a concern for many and it drives many middle income people out to the burbs despite their preference to live in-town.
I think it is really going to boil down to your financial situation coupled with whether you prefer in-town vs. a country setting. I would go spend some time at Mclean and Paschal to see if you can imagine your children being happy, visit Aledo schools, talk to parents in both places, and examine what you want out of a community. I have heard wonderful things about Aledo and their schools. For me personally, I would miss having some of the amenities and recreation available in a more finished communitity but that will surely come in time. I also agree the traffic situation is much better coming from the west vs. the north. Good luck - I feel for everyone in this situation - trying to make the best decision for their kids while balancing so many variables.
I live in the Tanglewood/Overton Park area, and my kids went through the Tanglewood/McLean/Paschal schools. This discussion has been going on for years. Yes, you lose many kids and friends after Tanglewood to the private schools, but you gain many new friends when you go on to McLean and especially Paschal. The whole issue (other than housing cost) is your kids' peers. If they have a strong peer group, and you know the parents, then your kids will do fine at McLean. There are wonderful teachers and administrators there. If your kids don't have a strong peer group, you would be better off moving to Aledo, or if you can afford it, a private school for Middle, then back to Paschal for HS.
Housing costs are a different story....they are really sky-high in the neighborhood. Anything affordable is likely to be next door to a rent house for TCU students. Good luck with that, but know that your home can be a lifetime investment for your family. For our family, it was worth the cost to live in the neighborhood. My children are grown and married now, and want to raise their kids in the same place they grew up, as are many of their peers. They wouldn't move to the 'burbs for anything.
There are good schools within driving distance to downtown FTW without going to Aledo (which I don't really consider as good a district as those in the Mid-Cities like Grapevine-Colleyville, Birdville, HEB, Keller...
look at the number of national merit semi-finalists out of Aledo schools --1 in 08 and 1 in 09 I believe-- and compare with others in Tarrant county--
there is big difference--
Aledo ISD is a 4A high school which means it is smaller than most of the high schools in the Mid-Cities but Aledo is growing and I think they will probably have to build a new school or enlarge the current one and go to 5A--that is a really tough division for athletics and Aledo will probably want to avoid that increase in competion if it can...
it is still a largely rural district--and the neighborhoods can be pretty spread out which makes getting to the store not that easy--there is also not very much retail out in Aledo--few stores of any kind except fast food--
I wonder if the OP has even BEEN to Aledo?
While I 30 is not as congested as I35 there is a lot of traffic--my husband has some people in his office that live west of FTW and drive in to the Sundance Sq office daily--
depending on how far you are from I30 to start with it is at least a 25 min drive--and they all say that traffic is getting worse each year (because people are moving out that way of course)...
We considered moving west of FTW when we were deciding where to buy a new home several years ago--empty nesters who just wanted a different floor plan--but we decided that having a larger lot which we could have gotten west of FTW was not worth what we would be giving up...
Article in today's FTW paper about Arlington Heights HS admin in FTW ISD granting credit to students for work outside the classroom--accusation is drawing investigation--certain staff put on paid leave--
might be something/might not--
but the ongoing problems in the FTW ISD from the board all the way down the line just keep coming...
FTW ISD is just not what I consider a well-managed district and the powers that be apparently have been in power so long that it is difficult to change old patterns of behavior/thought...
Thank you everyone for your replies. I thought everyone made some great points. Growing up in a rural area of Nebraska, the whole large school ISD's are something I thought I or my children would never see. Funny how life takes you different directions. I have been to Aledo and currently live north Aledo, however we are Azle ISD. Our children currently attend a private school downtown FW but we know come high school we cant afford the 3 at one time so we want to get to a place where we can raise our family and feel comfortable about the ISD and be close to FW. Thanks again for everyone's time.
Squirl, our price range is upper $300,000 to lower 4's.
MLS #11362286 has been sitting on the market 157 days -- long enough to consider aggressive offers....great location. http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail-alt/4100-Hartwood-Drive_Fort-Worth_TX_76109_M86338-56867 (broken link)
Here's a brand new one that looks interesting: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail-alt/3833-Westcliff-Road_Fort-Worth_TX_76109_M72220-24987 (broken link)
With that price range, you can get into the Tanglewood district. You will find that it has a great, small-town, neighborhood feel. There are several realtors at Williams-Trew and/or Brants that specialize in that area. I would go for it. You do not need to spend the money on a private school if you live there, I promise.
neither one of the realtor.com ads comes through...
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