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Old 03-11-2011, 03:43 AM
 
55 posts, read 267,330 times
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We're planning to move out of Cali this summer and we're looking for a good suburb around Dallas.

Our priorities are:
1. excellent public schools and good access to sports and educational programs (public or private). Not looking for private schools, those we have dealt with so far were quite mediocre.
2. decent size home lot, i.e back yard with enough room for a pool (not necessarily with an existing pool) and enough space for a playground, etc. (1/4 acres minimum with a 2-story house, a bit more if one-story)
3. not too expensive (would like to stay within 300K)

Initially, our preference was Southlake, but anything decent there is above or way above 400K. Versus the other burbs listed in the title, it does not seem to warrant the premium. Are the schools in Southlake really that much better than Prosper for example? Unless the answer is an overwhelming yes, I think we'll pass.

In the area north of Plano, Prosper seems to command a bit of a price premium but offers somewhat better lot sizes. What are the pros and cons of Prosper vs Frisco, Plano or McKinney?
Also, how does this area compare to Flower Mound and Highland Village? The school rankings seem to be about the same.


Thank you in advance for your answers!
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:18 AM
 
6,584 posts, read 23,667,546 times
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Prosper is waaaaaay out there and if you lived there you would not want to be commuting at all or if so only into McKinney, Frisco, Legacy Plano areas but not much further south. Prosper is a small town school. All of those other areas are suburbs and the schools are much much bigger. Prosper built this big wonderful new high school in anticipation of growth - that never came due to the economic crisis, so the school is underpopulated by a lot. Not a problem I don't think. It is a good school, good district, but it is a small town.

Southlake, Flower Mound, Frisco, McKinney - 6 of one half dozen of the other. Frisco and McKinney schools are a bit more diverse than the other areas and not quite as uniformly affluent as the others. Highland Village feeds into Flower Mound schools, I believe. It's a bit different - larger lots, trees, affluent.

I'm thinking you have no commute since you are looking at far flung areas?
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:51 AM
 
1,190 posts, read 2,290,018 times
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Where is your job? That is always a big question for folks moving to Dallas. We are VERY spreadout and the long commutes get old very quickly. (you may have them in California, but wouldn't you want to lose that!)

A few concerns about Prosper - it is VERY far out from Dallas. I also think it will be one of the next up-and-coming areas so you may have to deal with new construction and growth for quite a while.

Most of the others are about even to me. I would base your search on your job location. Good luck!
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,955 posts, read 20,735,189 times
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This is the land of the traffic snarls. If you buy a big lot that has grass you will need to water it. We have expensive water here and it doesn't rain frequently enough during summer to avoid watering almost daily......so HOT. There are many places in the metro area that could probably satisfy you. But if you commute, you'd better be sensitive to traffic before you select your target area in which to live. Have you checked out our property taxes, btw? Incredibly high, as is the cost of running A/C about 7 months a year. You may want to look at Roanoke (Northwest ISD) or Trophy Club. Very good schools in the Southlake area. Many of the DFW school districts are facing teacher layoffs and budget crisis. Northwest ISD claims it is ok at this point, I have heard.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:11 AM
 
55 posts, read 267,330 times
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Regarding commute times:

I work at home but that will change. If business is good, I will have to drive out to customers (hopefully not on a daily basis) and probably rent an office somewhere where people can actually reach me (so not in a place like Prosper). If business is not too good, then I have to commute to a "normal" job, likely into the Richardson-Plano area (I understand that that's where most of the tech jobs are). Either way, I typically move from one contract to the next and I have no location guarantees, so I'm not going to choose a place based on job proximity.

I look at Prosper as the worst-case commute scenario in the north-of-Plano area. According to google maps, commute times to anywhere other than the Fort Worth area are equal or better from Prosper vs. Southlake, Trophy Club, Flower Mound, Highland Village. Is that truly the case or am I missing something?
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:20 AM
 
55 posts, read 267,330 times
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Regarding water and heating/cooling costs:

I see that lawns are never green in pictures taken in the summer, except apparently in rather affluent areas. How much does water cost during the summer months and is it even available for things like watering the lawn?

With a nicely-sized pool, how much would I end up paying monthly to replenish whatever's lost due to evaporation? Is it significant versus other pool maintenance costs?

How much does a typical utility bill run during summer for a 3000-ish sq ft. house? How are the older homes vs the new ones when it comes to heat insulation (walls and windows)?

TIA!
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
5,010 posts, read 13,852,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cali Fragilistic View Post
I look at Prosper as the worst-case commute scenario in the north-of-Plano area. According to google maps, commute times to anywhere other than the Fort Worth area are equal or better from Prosper vs. Southlake, Trophy Club, Flower Mound, Highland Village. Is that truly the case or am I missing something?
Completely false. I can make it to Dallas from Flower Mound in about 25 minutes with no traffic. From Trophy Club, it can take double that. From Highland Village, add another 10 minutes to the Flower Mound time.

Traffic and construction vary wildly, and cannot be estimated by Google Maps.

It's essential when you are looking at the spread-out suburbs to know where you will be working.

Southlake and Flower Mound are the two most convenient one's you have listed to get to the Richardson-Plano area. The further you bury yourself back somewhere, the longer it will take.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
5,010 posts, read 13,852,040 times
Reputation: 2450
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cali Fragilistic View Post
Regarding water and heating/cooling costs:

I see that lawns are never green in pictures taken in the summer, except apparently in rather affluent areas. How much does water cost during the summer months and is it even available for things like watering the lawn?
Sure, it's available, unless there is a drought, which happens. Actual water costs don't change by season, but you're going to use more in the summer because the grass is subjected to intense heat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cali Fragilistic View Post
How much does a typical utility bill run during summer for a 3000-ish sq ft. house? How are the older homes vs the new ones when it comes to heat insulation (walls and windows)?
My house is 2150 SF, and runs up to about $350 - $425 in the summer. New construction, energy-saving build. I keep my thermostat at 75 during the day when I am gone, and about 71-72 when I am home. If I kept it at 75 or more, I could lower my bill, but then I'd be miserable at home.

I would expect about a $350 - $400 bill if you keep the temperature higher, closer to $550 or $600 if you keep it lower.

That would apply to about the end of May through October-ish, with the worst being July and August.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:48 PM
 
55 posts, read 267,330 times
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Thank you!
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Old 03-11-2011, 05:29 PM
 
1,637 posts, read 3,806,755 times
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Out of curiosity, where in CA do you live? Lots of us transplants up here in the Frisco area. Be prepared for higher property tax, higher electricity (my home is all electric with no gas, too) etc....
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