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Old 04-29-2011, 05:40 PM
 
47 posts, read 115,115 times
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Hello-

I've kind of been all over the map lately with DH's possible relo but it looks like Ft. Worth may be it. So I"m trying to research all I can before the actual trip out there so we can hit the ground running - hoping your insight into the area might give us some needed information to narrow our choices.

He'll be working at E. Altamesa Blvd and I-35W, south of downtown. We both would like a commute of 30 min or less. Our budget for a 4bd home is up to about $280K. We would like to get the most for our $, like most people, and may be in a position where we'd have to move again in about 7-10 yrs so resale is a consideration.

I had looked at Dalworthington Gardens and Pantego but a little leery of the sheer number of homes for sale there, the prices (which are good for us but wondering why they are lower) and the commute.

So.....I'm thinking for more of the sw Ft. Worth area - 76132, Benbrook, 76126, 76132, and maybe 76110. Looks like Mistletoe and Trinity are out of our range.

If living in Ft Worth proper isn't a good choice, I'm also liking (without seeing it) Burleson, possible Crowley and maybe Aledo. I like the idea of a new home and bigger lot - and would like whatever home we can purchase to have some newer energy-efficient features. I guess a lower home price that I'm finding within parts of Ft. Worth can offset a less efficient home.

Thanks for any information and opinions! All the posts I've searched through here have been very helpful.
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:46 PM
 
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One issue in the mix is schools--do you have kids now--will they need public schools or would you send them to private schools? Will you only need good elementary schools since you anticipate moving ?
schools are always a factor because probably half of your yearly tax bill is for your school district--so even if you don't/won't have kids you want a good district that is desireable and well-managed--for resale purpose if nothing else

There are good public schools in DFW area--FTW ISD is one I would not really recommend although it has strong elementary schools and Paschal HS has a great AP program but the junior highs are where the ISD falls down--if you live outside the Paschal zone it will be harder to get an inner-district transfer in the future because my understanding it is going to lottery system vs the line-up/first come-first signed in--system now -- too many people complained that favored stay at home moms or people with flexible schedule vs working class parents

school districts to east are stronger than those to the west or north--until you get to Northwest I guess--lots of positive posts about the new high school in Trophy Club--but new parts of Trophy Club are higher than your price point
Aledo district has grown but from what I have seen I don't think it has the same quality as districts inside Tarrant county--
but people like Aledo and it is growing--lack of retail would be the downside if you don't care about schools that much--they have no real shopping out there--WalMart--Walgreen--no Target even--fast food restaurants for the most part
you would come into FTW for most stuff beside groceries

the education budget from the state is going to be cut significantly for next two years--
most school districts are going to suffer--some pretty badly
some are in better shape--

so next year at this time some districts won't look as good as they do now

I know that HEB ISD ( in towns of Hurst, Euless, Bedford and small section of Colleyville and small part of SE Fort Worth) is going to be in better shape than most because they won't have as big a hole in their budget--
but there is not really any "new" housing in that area in your price range

Will DM a good MLS site for the Metroplex so you can see what houses are out there for your money

You should do a search on this forum for the towns you mentioned--and some others like Hurst, North Richland Hills, Bedford, Arlington, maybe Grapevine--those are within your commute time

read what people have to say--

I know that some posters have not been happy with Crowley because of how it has changed in past fews years with new tract developments and schools have had some issues with financing

My husband works with geologist who lives in Dalworthington Gardens--history of that town is pretty unique--the schools are Arlington ISD in the Martin HS zone which is considered the strongest for AISD--they like it--it is pretty rural but easy commute to downtown FTW where they work in Sundance Sq-
lots of older homes there on acre plus lots that people bought and torn down and put up newer/bigger house
from what I saw in MLS there is really nothing in DG in your price zone--
Dalworthington Gardens has its own police dept--and the guy says the police are very helpful when people go out of town -- will come by and check the house for them--very low crime out there

Pantego is different from DG--it has more of commercia/lretail aspect because it is between south part of Arlington and DG --more variety in housing--maybe apts--
one reason homes in Pantego would be risky is that many are zoned to Arlington High School--
there are better schools for same price/age homes--IMO

check out what CD's other side has to say about them and other towns in Tarrant county

There is lot of growth still going on north on I 35 around Alliance Airport and the Raceway--
but I35 is really a bad way to commute to south FTW
and there is lot of open land and tract developments there with history of foreclosures--so prices were sold in existing neighborhoods--
I would tread warily buying in that area--look for quality builder and a smaller neighborhood that hopefully will be built out and not leave open lots to undercut resale home prices

There was nice subdivison in Benbrook area where 820 and I 20 split off in west FTW several years ago when we were looking
local builder--forget the name--but they said they were going to build more energy efficient homes
we just decided to buy closer to where we were living
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,948 posts, read 19,395,173 times
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If schools are not important I would focus on Fort Worth or Benbrook area purely for convenience and resale. I like Tanglewood, Mistletoe Heights, Bluebonnet Hills, Westcliff,Park Hill sections a lot and even Ryan Place. Any house that is served by Lilly Clayton Elementary or Tanglewood elementary in FTW is a hot property at resale time if updated. As an investor, I comb those areas weekly looking for the right places...me and about 2 dozen other investors.... The areas that have remained very hot markets, primarily zip code 76109 and 76110, are known as the coveted "TCU" area. However, all the homes are older homes so if you really prefer newer places you will need to look in Burleson, Mansfield, or some of the northern burbs like Keller or the North FTW corrider. I do not recommend that you seek out communities on the northern side -- unless you need the schools -- because it would be a more frustrating commute. As you compare homes and communities, find out what the taxes are...just so you can get a fix on differences in homes with same appraised values in different communities.
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:51 PM
 
211 posts, read 427,272 times
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Squirl, I'm afraid they can't get a 4 br for $280 in those neighborhoods. Do you think???

And PS, I can give you a heads up on a house near me. I would love for you to approach this woman and get her out! She keeps saying she's going to get her house on the market, and she needs a nudge.
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,948 posts, read 19,395,173 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvsFW View Post
Squirl, I'm afraid they can't get a 4 br for $280 in those neighborhoods. Do you think???

And PS, I can give you a heads up on a house near me. I would love for you to approach this woman and get her out! She keeps saying she's going to get her house on the market, and she needs a nudge.
Very hard to find a 4 bedroom, but here's one. More choices for 3 bedrooms:

2316 5th Ave Fort Worth TX - Home For Sale and Real Estate Listing - MLS #11538249 - Realtor.com®
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:55 AM
 
47 posts, read 115,115 times
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Oh my goodness such great information here, thank you!

I'll try my best to cut and paste responses....

Quote:
One issue in the mix is schools--do you have kids now--will they need public schools or would you send them to private schools? Will you only need good elementary schools since you anticipate moving ?
schools are always a factor because probably half of your yearly tax bill is for your school district--so even if you don't/won't have kids you want a good district that is desireable and well-managed--for resale purpose if nothing else
I forgot to add that we are homeschoolers, but since resale is something we have to think about, getting into a good school disctrict is probably very good advice. We currently live in the PNW, and also since I homeschool, I forget to think about school districts as we don't really contend with school choice and multiple districts all that much. Thanks for reminding me!

Quote:
I know that HEB ISD ( in towns of Hurst, Euless, Bedford and small section of Colleyville and small part of SE Fort Worth) is going to be in better shape than most because they won't have as big a hole in their budget--
but there is not really any "new" housing in that area in your price range
I didn't think too much about HEB because I thought the commute would be undesirable. Is this a location I should consider? I'm not opposed to an older home, just a little leery of any possible updating for energy-efficiency even if only for resale.....

Quote:
Hurst, North Richland Hills, Bedford, Arlington, maybe Grapevine
What are your opinions about the commute?

Quote:
My husband works with geologist who lives in Dalworthington Gardens...
from what I saw in MLS there is really nothing in DG in your price zone--
Dalworthington Gardens has its own police dept--and the guy says the police are very helpful when people go out of town -- will come by and check the house for them--very low crime out there

Pantego is different from DG--it has more of commercia/lretail aspect because it is between south part of Arlington and DG --more variety in housing--maybe apts--
one reason homes in Pantego would be risky is that many are zoned to Arlington High School--
there are better schools for same price/age homes--IMO
Thanks for this information. I found quite a few homes in DG in that price range? Now I should go back and make sure I had the right zip code. FYI for anyone reading - zipmap.com is very helpful! I'm fine with not really concentrating on Pantego - but as long as DG is a good commute and relatively a safe investment I may continue to look here and see what comes up.



Quote:
If schools are not important I would focus on Fort Worth or Benbrook area purely for convenience and resale. I like Tanglewood, Mistletoe Heights, Bluebonnet Hills, Westcliff,Park Hill sections a lot and even Ryan Place. Any house that is served by Lilly Clayton Elementary or Tanglewood elementary in FTW is a hot property at resale time if updated. As an investor, I comb those areas weekly looking for the right places...me and about 2 dozen other investors.... The areas that have remained very hot markets, primarily zip code 76109 and 76110, are known as the coveted "TCU" area. However, all the homes are older homes so if you really prefer newer places you will need to look in Burleson, Mansfield, or some of the northern burbs like Keller or the North FTW corrider. I do not recommend that you seek out communities on the northern side -- unless you need the schools -- because it would be a more frustrating commute. As you compare homes and communities, find out what the taxes are...just so you can get a fix on differences in homes with same appraised values in different communities.
This is very helpful. Can you explain a bit more about the taxes? What are the differences going to tell me? Better schools and services? I noticed property taxes across the board are a bit higher than even here in Oregon.


Quote:
Very hard to find a 4 bedroom, but here's one. More choices for 3 bedrooms:

2316 5th Ave Fort Worth TX - Home For Sale and Real Estate Listing - MLS #11538249 - Realtor.com®
I actually saw this earlier - very cute and the MIL space a great addition, since we're leaving family we'll need some space for visitors.

Thanks all for your help.
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:25 PM
 
47 posts, read 115,115 times
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Just for clarification:

This is what I'm finding with a zip search of 76016 - I researched that this was the zip for DG but home addresses have Arlington. I'm finding quite a bit in our price range and here's a sample:

3502 Lake Pontchartrain Dr Arlington TX - Home For Sale and Real Estate Listing - MLS #11562788 - Realtor.com®

5908 Derek St Arlington TX - Home For Sale and Real Estate Listing - MLS #11578382 - Realtor.com®

So now I'm not sure I'm looking in the right place......this is a lot of home for the $.


BTW - I would love to continue to look at the neighborhoods listed here in this thread, but not finding much in our $ range, but you never know! I'll keep looking, thanks!
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,948 posts, read 19,395,173 times
Reputation: 7202
Quote:
Originally Posted by quiz1 View Post
Just for clarification:

This is what I'm finding with a zip search of 76016 - I researched that this was the zip for DG but home addresses have Arlington. I'm finding quite a bit in our price range and here's a sample:

3502 Lake Pontchartrain Dr Arlington TX - Home For Sale and Real Estate Listing - MLS #11562788 - Realtor.com®

5908 Derek St Arlington TX - Home For Sale and Real Estate Listing - MLS #11578382 - Realtor.com®

So now I'm not sure I'm looking in the right place......this is a lot of home for the $.


BTW - I would love to continue to look at the neighborhoods listed here in this thread, but not finding much in our $ range, but you never know! I'll keep looking, thanks!

If you click on the 2nd tab "Property History" on the Realtor.com website you'll see what the appraised value is and the property taxes. It will help you compare properties. Appraised value for the house you buy will actually be the sales price....so whatever property you buy, the appraised value will adjust. But, as you compare town to town (example Mansfield v. Arlington) you can check out the differences. You get more house for your money in Mansfield but taxes are higher there. I have owned properties in Arlington and in Mansfield and I prefer the areas around Lake Arlington or near Bowen & Green Oaks (zip code 76017). I like Mansfield a lot, too, very family friendly community. I own 2 houses in Mansfield and I particularly like the Walnut Creek country club area. You will get a great family and suburban experience in Arlington/DG and Mansfield. However, be prepared to have a long wait selling the place at resale time. Oh, and on the map section of the website, you can find a place to click for street view....that's helpful, too.
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:49 PM
 
29,965 posts, read 47,162,968 times
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Arlington has been a non-starter for most people moving into the Metroplex over the past 7 yrs or so--
It is not a town that gets a lot of positive press--newcomers to the forum usually ask about Keller then Southlake/Colleyville or Grapevine--because those towns get press as good places to live/raise a family
AISD schools are not considered same tier as districts like Keller/Birdville/HEB and especially Grapevine-Colleyville and Southlake-Carroll

At one time Arlington WAS the go-to place if you were in Tarrant county--and while there are some nice neighborhoods Arlington has lot of lower-socio-economic areas (some of which got cleaned up when the new Cowboy stadium was built)--it has been going through some negative demographics for the past decade--
avg income level dropping, avg education rate dropping, avg home price dropping--
those are not the signs that many people look for when they move and look for "nice" area or one that is likely to have appreciating home values...

About those two homes--
The school zone for the first house is for Martin--which is considered the best high school in Arlington ISD--but that is not to say it is the best high school in Tarrant county--

$75 per ft for a house --and a large house like that--would usually be a warning sign--
it is likely dated--older appliances/the bricked pillars/enclosed porch (and maybe some construction issues with that), description says new roof and AC but has vinyl flooring--needs BIG updating and is still overpriced unless you can live with it as it is--
TAD has the sq ft at 3300+ and MLS has it at 3750==probably because of the enclosed porch--likely was not done with permit--might not have HVAC and if it does not should not be in sq ft #--

TAD info shows that the owner is not using the house address for HIS address and has 6 other properties in Arlington--all much less expensive--and think he was original owner--if so based on how it is staged I think he might be older gentleman who maybe went to nursing home--so the price might be pretty flexible--

Neighborhood has some wonderful mature oak trees you can see if you do Google Streets--

--and that house is close to Lake Arlington
looks like there is boat pier at the park so there could be extra traffic in area during better weather with people coming to lake--and other issues with being that close to lake--some + and some -

Found this site when I Googled Lake Arlington
Lake Arlington Project - Update Center
so it looks like there are gas wells drilled in that area --
think Lennox site is closest the way it is mapped and info says two wells were drilled there
some people are going nuts about the fracking that goes along with those wells but I don't know how well the complaints are validated

The house on Derek is smaller--it is farther from the lake to the east and in different subdivision but that area also had wells drilled or will--

IF you go down to the bottom of the page and click on the link that will show other listings in the area--you can see that there are LOT of homes for sale north of the freeway and WEST of Green Oaks--
I don't know enough about the area to say if that is normal or if there is something going on

there is also a lot of variety of price in those homes--it would make me think the area is made up of "pockets"--small area of nice homes then area of not so nice homes--so there is lot of divergence in value from one street to another--areas like that make me nervous because it is easy to lose value...and also difficult to have a "neighborhood" feel if the subdivision is small

don't know that part of Arlington that well--there were some new homes built around there about 6 yrs ago but they did not really take--some of them went to foreclosure I think--because they were priced too high for what most people were wanting to buy in Arlington

just my thoughts--
it is very difficult to get idea for what areas are like when you shop online
good luck

and I think that what Squirl said about appraised value is confusing--
I think what she mean was that when you buy a home -- the price you pay will be the new "appraised value" but that is not necessarily true for TAD info -- unless they have it appraised higher than what you pay--
For homes in same neighborhood and similar age/size--TAD can have range of "appraised" values--some higher and some lower--many factors can influence a home's particular appraised value set by TAD--
including whether or not the homeowner has appeal past appraisals and won--to get a lower valuation--
if other owners in neighborhood did not bother to do that--their homes stays with TAD's original valuation...
RE sales are not required to notify the Appraisal districts in TX and they--the county appraisal districts-- are mad about that--have tried to get RE agents and owners to notify them of what the purchase price is but people don't have to comply

Market value is basically what someone is willing to actually pay for a home
a RE agent can check comps for similar homes in neighborhood and set a sales price that might be more or less than the TAD appraised value--but until someone actually validates that price by buying the house it is intangible--and not cut in stone...
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:30 PM
 
47 posts, read 115,115 times
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This information about Arlington is what I was getting at somewhere in my initial posts. I'm afraid you confirmed my suspicions.

It's sad that Arlington has fallen like that - I hope the area rebounds soon. I love the "older" homes of the 50's-70's, especially the split-level, if I had any influence I'd bring the split-level back! I also love the 70's - early 80's style brick accenting, but yes, am afraid that the updating needed would exceed any budget we have. I guess I'm not the typical SAHM. But I am a practical person and I also like the newer homes if I can afford to be picky.

I may remove Arlington from my search and focus on other areas like Hulen Bend, Benbrook, maybe Mansfield (by the golf course), Aledo and Burleson are still in there but I'm not sure I want to do many MLS searches for those areas until we drive out there. Not too much more I can do until we can go down there and drive around a little.

I know you all have mentioned H-E-B, Richland Hills, Grapevine but what is the commute like to SFW - he'll be working near Everman......

Thanks all!
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