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Old 07-06-2007, 12:09 PM
 
10 posts, read 41,367 times
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My wife and I are looking to move once our son arrives. I've looked into Keller and North Richland Hills. Can anyone give me the "lowdown" on Hurst, Euless, and Bedford. Are there any significant differences other than distance to downtown FW?
Which communities would be best to raise a family (in your opinion)?

Thanks!
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Old 07-06-2007, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth/Dallas
11,878 posts, read 32,945,098 times
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I live in Hurst, and my choices would be between Bedford and Hurst, but that's just my opinion. My daughter went to Shady Oaks Elementary (Hurst), which had an exemplary rating and now she is attending Bedford Junior High; another fine school. We love it here - it's safe, and houses are moderately priced in good neighborhoods. We live in North Hurst (for almost ten years) and we have never, ever experienced a break in or heard of a crime being committed in our neighborhood. That's a pretty good track record if you ask me. Euless is very nice and pretty but from what we saw when househunting Euless had a larger percentage of the city that appeared less desirable. However, some parts of the city are very nice. I hope this helps.
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Old 07-07-2007, 07:31 AM
 
27,592 posts, read 45,043,307 times
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There are positives and negatives about any city you might move to---NRH is having tremendous growth but think the schools will have some backlash from that and you don't know how well the neighborhoods will hold up over next 5-10 years...Keller has some school issues and w of 377 is just not a good deal because of all foreclosures right now...most new building is really expensive becuae Keller is trying to up-grade its image but when it lets house in FTW city limit have Keller address because it is in Keller isd that is not a good thing to me...just deceptive...
think you need to familiarize yourself with what you can get in your price range and try to find the best for what you wnt for the money---I am more familiar with Bedford/Hurst area so that is what I am addressing...

The following may sound like I am really negative about Hurst and Bedford--I am not--think this area has lot to offer, including good schools, and that it is often overlooked and under appreciated--but I have lived here for over 20 years now and think I have some insight newer residents might not...I think this is a balanced, realistic view of what is there

I do think there are positive reasons to buy home and live in the area but think you should know some of background and what future might hold...

HEB ISD was really penalized pretty severly by the Robin Hood school tax plan---don't know that the new version will make a lot of difference--the state still is not spending what it should on public education in TX--

HEB had a good tax base and had planned wisely in past years so it had great bond rating and money in reserve...but it had to give money away because it was supposedly a "priviledged" district when it really had a rising population of ESL and low-socio-economic students and needed to fund programs to meets those students needs...it had a pretty good pay scale for teachers (especially newer ones), has built a new school in sw part of district in past decade because of growth there (and will probably have to do the same thing for growth in se part in near future). There is new development of tract housing planned for border between Euless and Irving/Arlington which will mean more students for that side of HEB....

Within its financial capability, it has tried to develop innovative programs--was the first in area to be an IB school and had both hs campus participate which was first time in US a district had BOTH hs as IB schools...they have a Suzuki strings programs that is very desireable in an elementary school, CORE knowledge in jr highs--great band program at Bell still and pretty good choral groups at Bell and Trinity...Trinity HS has had pretty good football results past few years...Bell's baseball team has pretty good local rep for quality coaching even if their players aren't always district leaders.....seniors from Trinity and Bell usually bring in about 4-5 million in financial aid each graduation period which is pretty good score when consider only a little more than half of students now go to college and probably half of those are TCC/UTA or NTU applicants because of family finances....Trinity and Bell HS always have segment who win acceptance to the service academies, Ivy League, UCLA, Notre Dame, UT, TAMU--lots of different levels of colleges...and students are successful IN college if they want what college has to offer....
A Dallas post on this site gave the ranking of local ISDs based on their low-income/free-lunch % and their district TAKS scores--HEB did better (comparitively) than Northwest ISD, Keller ISD, and other districts: although HEB had higher % free-lunch than Keller or Northwest or other districts HEB had HIGHER TAKS scores...That is good teaching....not just teaching kids that are competent to start with and just not making them more stupid...

Bedford and Hurst are fairly safe towns especially in certain areas--Bedford city politics have not been great for past 2-3 years due to senior residents who have strongly campaigned and succeeded in capping senior taxes in Bedford--they really made budget an issue for city which depends mainly on residential taxes since there is not lot of retail/commercial development---some restaurants and local offices but not any real shopping like the NorthEast Mall complex in Hurst...Hurst is more upscale...Bedford has the HEB Northeast hospital...

The real negatives in HEB evolved for several reasons
1) the southern portion of HEB ISD on the sw side is really in FTW city limits--FTW controls zoning and what type of development goes in--
FTW does not care about HEB ISD--FTW has allowed tract housing to go in the SW part of HEB which made the district build a new school to accommodate--brought in lots of low-income families---GENERALLY not what most people would see as long-term desireable asset--and had a definite immediate and long-term impact on HEB school taxes and operating costs and test scores...

2) the school district (despite several costly "researched" surveys which said the opposite over the past 15 years or so) has continued to have stable or growing student populations but with changing demographics---

3) the fact that Bedford geographically was closed to new building a decade or more ago...Hurst is larger town and has more commercial room to grow--has pursued commercial/retail opportunites...Bedford has some vacant land but has not really done great things with it--getting the Carter Blood Center to put facility here was great but not too many things like that happening

15-20 years ago Bedford was the Colleyville of this area--bedroom-community that prided itself on not going for commercial development--extremely desireable with lots of upwardly-mobile families like pilots with American and Delta, doctors who wanted to live in a "small town" vs FTW city life...attorneys with local practices...when city aggressively persued development and built-out the land until it could not build more-expensive, newer neighborhoods then desireable growth stopped---no where to go really...a few developments of apartments or town homes or moderate housing and the older housing s of 183--but nothing EXPENSIVE like Colleyville or Southlake are still building ....so upwardly mobile people moving in from Chicago, East Coast, California--who brought lot of equity money they had to invest in homes had to buy elsewhere--

they could not afford NOT to--this area has not turned into a Highland Park type of small town because there is someplace to go fairly close --COlleyville--Keller--Southlake were all close enough to compete and overcompensate for what Hurst and Bedford offered...and the ISD has not kept its upwardly mobile student body because they have moved away and other lower-socio-economic ones have moved in...

4) a anothe factor in why that demographic shift happened was about 15-20 yrs ago when courts ruled that apartments could not refuse to rent to families with children==when they no longer were allowed to be "Adult Only" complexes===that was big killer for Bedford--lots of apartments that had been pretty upscale and attractive for young singles or couples working in Irving/DFW/FTW or even Dallas now were big problems to school district because lots of families who could not afford to buy a house in very desireable HEB ISD --at that time-- (especially families with children with special needs) could rent an apartment...that was a real downer---people from Irving, Grand Prairie, Dallas, Fort Worth who wanted better schools and safer environment moved to Bedford in a flash--brought lots of their own problems with them---since apartments don't really provide the same tax revenue or residents that single family homes do---definite downturn in Bedford's scale of living...not really recovered since....

and several large apartment complexes went Section 8 Housing--that was another big drain on city and schools--

Our property values have pretty much remained stable simply because the good schools north of 183 have made the houses in their zones desireable--there are enough local people with ties in area who grew up here who want to stay around because of work/church/family/school factors and for middle-class families homes are affordable and this is still safe area...there are many teachers who live in local developments--I think that is healthy indications that areas are still attractive and schools are viable...

Hurst and Euless have much to offer--but don't buy house here expecting to get big return at resale--that is not going to happen--it is difficult to put money for renovations into houses at times because you might feel you are pricing yourself out of the market--I have seen some signs that things might be improving--have seen couple of homes in local area that are like 15-20 yrs old--when house is bought on re-sale market, new owners are putting in pools--that is expensive proposition--and probably means they feel they are there for long-term...you see some people who are buying these homes and putting in wood floors or new windows...lots of new roofs because of hail damage and some people going from wood to composition are taking opportunity to add the thermal decking....house prices have improved somewhat but houses stay on market longer in Hurst or Bedford compared to Colleyville or Southlake---have seen/heard of people downsizing and moving here after their kids are out of school because there are nice homes, good locations, and lower taxes...

it is easy to get around here--no traffic tieups for the most part if you know how to use the secondary roads--easy access to Southlake/Colleyville/Keller or downtown FTW--we have great hospitals in HEB and Baylor-Grapevine....great shopping around NE Mall complex itself and easy to get to Colleyville/Southlake/Grapevine Mills area---probably 70 movie screens within 15 minute drive of Bedford...DFW airport is 15 min from my house and Love is really about 35 on a good day...some nice parks and active organizations for things like children's sports, Boy and Girl Scouts, very active churches...

my husband works in downtown FTW and has one of the easier commutes of anyone in his office---we regularly go to concerts at Bass during the week--not a hassle driving down and back because we live within 15-20 min...
great restaurants either locally in surrounding towns or in Sundance Sq ....(we really don't care to go to Dallas if we can avoid it)... our son lives off Denton Tap Rd in Carrollton and it takes about 25 min to get there from Bedford...

all of that being said--I think for the money--there are very good reasons to buy in Bedford or Hurst--you just have to be aware that the home appreciations really occur because of Tarrant Co appreciation and not so much because of Hurst or Bedford's own heightened attractiveness...

there is no tear-down/rebuild a MacMansion going on, like there is in Colleyville or Southlake....you need to drive through the neighborhoods and see how property values are maintained...check w/police--there are some places that might look ok but have police callouts for domestic disturbances or something...check how local schools are zoned--in HEB that is something that can change due to apartment population spillover--some years some schools will have few students in neighborhood houses because those are changing to empty-nesters or just no elementary age kids--and they will fill spaces w/kids who are bussed from apartments in area--that is BIG problem because frankly those children have more problems and require more teaching which leaves less time for other students in class who are less needy....

so if you have school-age children, go to the local school office and ask--what apartments feed into this school and will you be getting more this next year...ask them about their TAKS scores--much better than getting info from web posting or news paper--look at the school--does it seem welcoming--empty schools in summer can still give a good impression of general upkeep--layout/traffic patterns--are there trees on playground for shade--where do kids do their gym--where is cafeteria--

right now our schools are closed for vacation for about 2 weeks--will be open end of July...

if you live in area Do a good MLS seach and find some houses you like the look of--go to the neighborhood/subdivision and drive through them at different times of the day to see what is going on....if you don't live local--you can still get some information on local schools on line and call police and ask about the neighborhood situation--they should give that over the phone probably--maybe there is web site that gives that--I know the FTW paper prints weekly list of all police calls in towns in area like Bedford, Hurst, Colleyville, Euless...etc...

Last edited by loves2read; 07-07-2007 at 07:49 AM..
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Old 07-08-2007, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth/Dallas
11,878 posts, read 32,945,098 times
Reputation: 5539
Wow. Tons of great info on the area loves2read. Good information that someone can use to see if the area is the right fit. I probably haven't lived in the area quite as long as you (lived here for 10 years) but I'd have to say your assessment and comments are right on the money.
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Old 07-08-2007, 07:20 AM
 
27,592 posts, read 45,043,307 times
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if you read that whole post SYNOPSIS, then you have staying power--got started and it just took off
probably overkill----
but think Hurst or Bedford is really in better situation in some ways even though most of housing is older than say NRH where all the new housing is going in off Bursey Rd--that will be really busy traffic, lots of congestion, will have big influx of students into local schools when houses are all sold, and I just don't know if areas like the new Forest Glen West will really hold up---some of those homes were sold when financing was as easy to get as a head cold---think there will be foreclosures when interest rates and taxes seek their normal level...plus I just think the lots are too small and it looks so claustrophobic---no trees and trying to actually park in the garages is really difficult because of the sharp angles of turning---most people will wind up parking their cars on their slabs--that does not look cool...
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Old 07-08-2007, 08:03 PM
 
Location: The northern part of the Lakes Region
5 posts, read 20,568 times
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Wow, Loves2Read, that is an great, honest assessment of the HEB area. I went to Junior High/High School there and still go back every couple of years to visit my parents. You hit the nail on the head. I'm in awe
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:18 AM
 
Location: TX
5,412 posts, read 14,054,078 times
Reputation: 1700
And here I thought you were referring to H-E-B the grocery store.

Just realize that area north/northeast of FW has a lot of traffic, esp. on that skinny Loop 820. (Only 2 lanes on each side! What was FW thinking when they designed that highway?!?!)

To avoid traffic, stay on the west part of FW, such as the White Settlement or Lake Worth area. Certain parts of LW (really, Saginaw) has a very good school district. Good luck.
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Old 07-10-2007, 02:14 PM
 
10 posts, read 41,367 times
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Thanks everyone, for your input. (Especially l2r!) It's a big help and we'll definately be considering all of it when we make a final decision.
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Old 07-10-2007, 02:35 PM
 
4 posts, read 11,560 times
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l2r - When you speak of the SW corner of the HEB district as being an "eh" area with lower-income housing, etc., are you referring to the large community that I can see on local.live south of Hurst Blvd, kind of nestled in the large greenbelt? If so, that's disappointing, I've found a few houses in that "plan" that I liked ...
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Old 07-10-2007, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Kansas
3,855 posts, read 11,474,506 times
Reputation: 1706
The thing about telling you where a great place to live is it'll be an overgrown foreclosurefest in years to come. That's what happens to all the "good" spots. People say,"Sampletown is a great place to live".....next thing you know everyone wants to move there and they ruin it. Seems to be the trend around here.
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