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Old 02-25-2015, 09:05 PM
 
7 posts, read 14,332 times
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I am a San Antonio native and my husband and I currently live just outside Saint Paul, Minnesota. We are contemplating coming back to Texas. My family is in Austin and we wish to be close-ish but not too close and so we are looking at the Waco area. Based on the school districts (we have three small children) we'd likely be looking in the Woodway area for a home, planning to spend not more than $400k.

So we will be driving through town on the way to see my parents this weekend. Any thoughts on the route to take to check out the highlights? Being from San Antonio (and my husband being from the Detroit area) we know all too well that the character of a city can vary widely based on the area of the town you are in, so we are not bothered by the idea that there is a "bad" side of town. But we want to see the area middle class family type people spend time in. And I want to get a good feel for Woodway.

Can anyone suggest some "can't miss" areas, streets, and neighborhoods for suburban folks? I lived a whole life in Texas and seriously have never been to Waco. So I have no idea. Thanks for the help.
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Old 02-25-2015, 09:30 PM
 
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No one really moves to Waco because it's a nice place to live. It's not. I would skip it and try Belton. Easy drive to Austin and a much nicer place to live. If you have to do Waco then Woodway is definitely your best bet. For under 400k you are probably looking at older Woodway, Twin Rivers area and other areas off 84. Badger Ranch is the premier development in town but prices are higher.
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:49 PM
 
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I see what you are getting at, I guess....but the vast majority of cities in America arent "nice places to live" per say. They are right for the situation and the person. No one moves to Peoria expecting to love it. But some people do. And sometimes the nice places to live aren't a great fit. I spent several years in Austin and can't imagine raising kids someplace so wishy washy. Great for a single person, not so much for my family.

So for us, given our religious preferences, politics, and the fact that in a place like Waco, I can get a great house for quite a bit less than half a mil...its a contender for now. We looked at the nice places to live- San francisco, Austin, Portland, etc. I just don't like having to blow so much on a house and given that we are homebodies, we would get nothing out of it. So, anyone else have any feedback on where to go in Waco to get a look that will enable us to draw some conclusions, both good and bad?
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Old 02-27-2015, 07:00 AM
 
227 posts, read 365,418 times
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I had somewhat similar logic for why I might like living in Waco. I was wrong.
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Old 03-22-2015, 06:56 PM
 
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Explorer's Waco hate is a waste of his time and ours.

Waco gets nicer the closer you get to Lake Waco. So concentrate in West Waco.

For Woodway, go down Highway 84 from Highway 6. Take the Poage exit. You can poke around the surrounding neighborhoods. Turn right (northeast) on Stoney Point from Poage. Check out Forest Oaks. Turn left on Fairway. You will dead end on another major Woodway Street.-- Estates. From that intersection, you're in the center of Woodway.

To the left is the arboretum, city hall and the lake. Go up Estates and turn left on Bosque to see the lake and other neighborhoods. (You would turn right on Bosque to go into Waco). Go back down on Estates over 84. There you'll find HEB, Wal-mart and a cluster of other retail further down Hewitt Drive.
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:04 PM
 
Location: WA
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I assume you are coming down I-35 North? If so do the following (I assume you have a smart phone or GPS to follow streets):

1. Exit 338B as you are entering the Waco area from the north and turn right onto Lake Shore Drive. You'll go past the big waterpark and the tennis and baseball complexes. follow this road as it loops around the west side of Waco and along the lake until you leave the lake and it becomes Valley Mills Drive and enters into a newer commercial area with lots of chain restaurants.

2. Turn left on Bosque Blvd and continue, passing under Highway 6 (which is the dividing line between Waco and Woodway). This is the older part of Woodway, the nicer houses are not right along Bosque. Continue on Bosque until you get to a 3-way stop sign. To the left is the Arboretum which is worth a quick stop if you want to stretch your legs on some short trails among the flowers. It is free.

3. Continue straight from the 3-way stop past the Woodway Family Center and the road becomes Estates Drive. Drive to the end of Estates Drive and you will find Woodway Park which has 3 separate entrances, two to the right and one to the left at the end of Estates. Take one of the two final entrances to see views of the lake, picnic areas, playgrounds, and a big disc golf course.

4. Backtrack up Estates Drive and turn right on Lake Forest (before you get back to the 3-way stop) and you will find a newer subdivision under construction with houses in your price range.

5. Backtrack back to the 3-way stop in front of the Woodway Family Center and turn right onto Estate Drive and drive all the way to the traffic light next to the Walgreens where you will turn right onto US-84. You can stay on the access road and not enter 84 or enter and then exit at the next exit Which is Ritchie Road or Wickson. Turn right into the Badger Ranch subdivision which is a higher-end newish master-planned subdivision. Prices here start at about the top of your price range. Drive around Badger Ranch, you might see a model home, I'm not sure if they still have one to see what higher-end newer housing is like in the Woodway area.

6. Backtrack to US-84 and continue further down and you'll see the entrance to another big subdivision called Twin Rivers. The big gate in front says Bear Ridge Golf Club which is next door. It is another area with lots of new construction in the $350-$550+ range.

7. There are a lot of other subdivisions you can poke around in if you want to. Get the realtor.com app if you want to search out houses. Otherwise turn left from US-84 at the only traffic light onto Old Lorena Rd (FM2837) and this will take you all the way back to I-35.

This tour of the Waco area will take you through most of the nicer newer neighborhoods but will skip downtown and the Baylor area which is not really all that interesting and you'll drive right by it on the way back to MN.
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Old 03-29-2015, 03:41 PM
 
7 posts, read 14,332 times
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Thank you DeerRidge and texasdiver, appreciate the advice. It looks like we managed to cover most of that area while we were there. We buzzed through on our way down to Austin, spent an entire day there being shown around by his potential employers and their wives, and then also went around again on our way back up North. I can see what people mean about some issues in Waco proper---it looks like there is some urban blight and some neighborhoods that have seen much better days. But I can also see a lot of potential in the suburbs (given that we live in the country now, being close to an HEB and a Target sounds dreamy to me) and you can't argue with the location--Waco is in a great spot in the state.

So at this point, it looks like this may actually happen. The lawyers and accountants have been negotiating like maniacs the last couple weeks since we visited Waco and my husband has a job if he wants it. His office would be in Woodway and that is where we are looking. We are finding ourselves attracted by the mature trees of older Woodway but nervous about having an older house. Our current home is a custom build from 2011 and we also built our previous house so we're used to new homes. Which leaves newer Woodway in contention. It will just come down to the right combo of house/trees/location/etc.

Next question---anyone know a good realtor they would recommend? Someone who works in Woodway, of course. Someone nice, ethical, good at returning phone calls. We don't need a shark--my husband is an excellent negotiator and I was a mortgage underwriter so we're not newbies at the process. Just newbies at Woodway. We're flying down for a long weekend in April and hoping to see some houses and if the right one pops up, we'll move on it. I don't think we can name names here, but a direct message would be appreciated if you can recommend someone.

Again, thanks for the tips.

Last edited by RnMH; 03-29-2015 at 03:52 PM..
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Old 03-29-2015, 04:05 PM
 
Location: WA
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I don't have a specific realtor to recommend. Coldwell Banker/Jim Steward and Kelly Realtors are the two big firms in town that most of the agents are with. Last time we got one of the big name guys who's name is on the business and that was kind of a mistake because he was obviously too busy to spend a lot of time with us. We ended up switching to a different agent over memorial day weekend 2008 when we wanted to spend the weekend shopping and our guy was too busy. This is a pretty small market at your price range. You should probably be able to visit every single house in Woodway that fits your criteria in a weekend. Then it's simply a matter of deciding which one. There are a few new construction houses in the older part of Woodway scattered about. But most of the new construction will be further south on 84 starting with Badger Ranch and then continuing to Twin Rivers, Hidden Valley, Riverside, and Stone Creek Ranch. If you want newer construction at your price point, those are going to be your 5 primary subdivisions. Unless you find something you like in the old section of Woodway. Personally I'd go for Badger Ranch as it is a lot closer. Traffic getting out of Twin Rivers and Hidden Valley onto 84 in the mornings can be a bit congested because everyone has to take an unprotected left turn onto Speegleville Road which is busy in the a.m. and then take another left onto 84 at the light. There are eventual plans to put an overpass at the intersection of Speeglevile Road and 84 but until that ever gets done, morning traffic is going to be increasingly difficult due to all the new construction and growth.
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:27 PM
 
Location: North Texas
1,743 posts, read 1,204,668 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
2. Turn left on Bosque Blvd and continue, passing under Highway 6 (which is the dividing line between Waco and Woodway). This is the older part of Woodway, the nicer houses are not right along Bosque. Continue on Bosque until you get to a 3-way stop sign. To the left is the Arboretum which is worth a quick stop if you want to stretch your legs on some short trails among the flowers. It is free.
A small detail but I think you mean to turn right on Bosque Blvd. if you are coming from Lake Shore Dr. onto Valley Mills. If you turn left onto Bosque Blvd. you go past the Extraco Events Center then you're entering an unpleasant side of town.
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Old 03-29-2015, 10:36 PM
 
Location: WA
4,762 posts, read 6,585,818 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Duck View Post
A small detail but I think you mean to turn right on Bosque Blvd. if you are coming from Lake Shore Dr. onto Valley Mills. If you turn left onto Bosque Blvd. you go past the Extraco Events Center then you're entering an unpleasant side of town.
Yes...you are absolutely right. My bad. That post is too old and I can't go correct it so if anyone else is reading this thread take note of this correction. Also the arboretum is on the right not the left as you drive down Bosque.
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