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Old 03-19-2011, 11:05 PM
 
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We are considering moving to DFW after living in the Midwest and in Europe for a number of years …. We have extended family there and so have visited semi-regularly for the last 18 years but really aren't familiar enough with all the cities or neighborhoods to know where to begin our home search. I've tried to read through this forum but still would appreciate new input and advice.

A little about us: We've enjoyed living in town centres where we can walk to shops, cafes, parks, school, etc. We like trees, a sense of community, homes where we know our neighbors, and neighborhoods where it's safe enough for children to play outside and nearby. We can live comfortably in a smaller home, although I wouldn't mind having more space--say 1800-2500 sq ft. We like to avoid cookie-cutter houses, gated communities, and long commutes. We have elementary-aged children and can be happy in parochial/private or very good and safe public schools--and possibly a mix at different age levels.

Based on what we've seen of Dallas for myself and have read online, Lakewood is hugely appealing to us, BUT…

Extended Family is almost entirely in Collin County (Wylie, Allen, McKinney) so we're thinking about our commute to them. DH is a tech guy, and at least initially will be able to work mostly from home (or be flying from DFW). But, looking to the future, jobs changes are almost inevitable, and the majority of tech-y places seem to be outside of Dallas proper. Looking at the map for the most central location to our family and possible job locations, we keep zeroing in on the region that is loosely bordered by the North Dallas Tollway/190/75/635--as the best possibility.

House budget is probably no more than $500K, and we're happy to spend less.

So … the questions:
1. Are there other neighborhoods/areas that look and feel like Lakewood (interesting architecture, trees, green space, its own town centre and a great sense of community)?
2. I've read several references about neighborhoods in Richardson (Heights, Canyon Creek, Prairie Creek), but I haven't read much about the sense of community in the city of Richardson, or specifically in these neighborhoods. Can anyone speak to this?
3. Lastly, as I said, we like what we know about Lakewood but think the commute from Lakewood to, say, the Telecomm Corridor or the Legacy area, would be brutal even a few days a week. Are we wrong?

Thanks in advance for your insight.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:00 AM
 
Location: North Texas
24,571 posts, read 35,227,175 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandMcNally View Post

House budget is probably no more than $500K, and we're happy to spend less.

So … the questions:
1. Are there other neighborhoods/areas that look and feel like Lakewood (interesting architecture, trees, green space, its own town centre and a great sense of community)?
2. I've read several references about neighborhoods in Richardson (Heights, Canyon Creek, Prairie Creek), but I haven't read much about the sense of community in the city of Richardson, or specifically in these neighborhoods. Can anyone speak to this?
3. Lastly, as I said, we like what we know about Lakewood but think the commute from Lakewood to, say, the Telecomm Corridor or the Legacy area, would be brutal even a few days a week. Are we wrong?

Thanks in advance for your insight.
Your budget is a little meagre for Lakewood. You can certainly find what you're looking for and spend what you want to spend but you'll spend closer to $500k than you would in other areas, for sure. Elementary schools in Lakewood are excellent but many parents go private for junior high/high school for a variety of reasons. The areas immediately around the junior high/high school in Lakewood are not great.

I'm sure Lakewooder will chime in with tons of info about the area so I won't even try to talk about it. Be aware that he recommends Lakewood to almost everyone who comes here so bear that in mind when considering what he has to say. We all have our own biases!

I live in Richardson and the sense of community here is very strong. This is not a "walkable" community and to be honest very few neighborhoods in DFW are. I live in the Heights Park neighborhood in Richardson and I love it here. It's very quiet, very laid-back, and people here are friendly but not nosy. They won't bother you but are happy to chat with you. The Canyon Creek neighborhood is gorgeous and you really can't go wrong there schools-wise as long as you stay in Dallas County. Parts of Canyon Creek are in Collin County and those houses are zoned to the Plano ISD. I don't know much about those schools but reputation-wise the Richardson schools are better. The schools in my neighborhood are all rated "exemplary." CC and Prairie Creek ultimately attend J.J. Pearce if they are in Dallas County. Heights and Heights Park attend Richardson High School. Pearce is "recognized" but has been mainly "exemplary" in recent years. RHS is currently "exemplary" but has been mainly "recognized" in recent years. All of the feeder elementaries for both are "exemplary" that I know of. There is also the "Reservation" neighborhood and the J.J. Pearce Addition; both are zoned to the Pearce feeder pattern.

The commute from Lakewood to the Telecom Corridor would not be that bad as you would be going against traffic. Most morning traffic on 75 is southbound, most afternoon traffic is northbound. You'd be doing the reverse. I commute from Richardson to the area near Mockingbird Station (Mockingbird & 75) and even the afternoon commute is never that bad, but I also leave the office around 4-4:30pm in an attempt to beat the traffic. Sometimes it takes 30 minutes to get home but it usually takes less time than that. My morning commute at 7am is very fast. I wouldn't want to commute to anywhere along the tollroad from Lakewood because the DNT is many miles west of that area and it's a pain to get to without using Northwest Highway with its tons of traffic lights or 635 which is to be avoided if at all possible.

Hope this helps and if you have any specific questions about Richardson I will do my best to answer them!
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:14 AM
 
12,405 posts, read 23,843,885 times
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Yes! There are many neighborhoods in Dallas that meet your needs besides Lakewood!

Devonshire / Briarwood/ Greenway Crest are all in the area around Lovers Lane & Tollroad/Inwood in Dallas (just west of Tollroad from the Park Cities). Extremely walkable to Inwood Village which has shops, a small takeout grocery (Eatzi's), many casual kid friendly restaurants and a few nice ones for mom & dad), a small movie theatre, and other "everyday" things like dry cleaners, nail salons, mom & pop home improvement stores, etc. A brand new Tom Thumb grocery store is in the neighborhood, as are several small parks. Public schools are poor, so it would be private schools all the way, but many privates are in the neighborhood or within 10 minute drive. Best thing is it's right on the Tollroad- 15-20 minutes flat to Legacy/ Collin Co vs 40-50 minutes from Lakewood. Zip code is 75209 if you want to house hunt.

You may also consider Highland Park & University Park....best public schools in all of North Texas with several walkable shopping villages (Snider Plaza, Preston Center, HP Village) and a tremendous community spirit. Your budget is not big enough to buy (starts closer to $750k), but you should easily be able to rent something for $2000-2500/mo, which would still save you money vs a $500k mortgage once you add in property taxes & upkeep. Very central location between Tollroad & 75- again, about 15 minutes to Richardson's Telecom cooridor and 15-20 minutes to Legacy/CoCo via Dallas North Tollroad. 10 minutes to Downtown. Search 75205 & 75225 for rentals that are in HPISD. School district does not entirely follow zip codes.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:53 AM
 
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If your family lives in this area they have suggestions for what would fit your bill
TX is not like the northeast US nor Europe--most towns here are not "walkable"
I would have thought if you had visited around here you would know that just from going out to restaurants and shopping

The DFW Airport would be the one your husband would use primarily--the Bush Freeway gets fairly close to there from the TollWay
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Plano
85 posts, read 144,038 times
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I stumbled upon a great deal recently but I can not buy another investment property so you can check it out. It has all you want at a very attractive price. This house was overpriced and had tenants but now tenants are moving , owner can't afford to pay another mortgage or keep a rental property. He took it off market to do light updating but rumor has it that they are desprate and market is really slow. If you like it and your timing is right than you can grab it before foreclosure sharks jump in. Its a great buy in a classy community at a superb location.

Moderator cut: can only list realtor.com listings

Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 03-20-2011 at 04:49 PM..
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:42 AM
 
16,092 posts, read 37,774,274 times
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Of course I am biased but I just don't think many other areas have the community feel of Lakewood. There isn't as much pressure to conform and project prestige as there are in other sections.

Telecom Corridor would not be a bad commute but Legacy is pushing it - however, there are many people who do that and feel it is worth the drive to live in Lakewood. You could also take the train to the Telecom Corridor.
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Old 03-21-2011, 04:05 PM
 
16,092 posts, read 37,774,274 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
Elementary schools in Lakewood are excellent but many parents go private for junior high/high school for a variety of reasons. The areas immediately around the junior high/high school in Lakewood are not great.
According to 2010 data, 73% of Lakewood Elementary students enrolled in J. L. Long Middle School. Some may go private or go magnet for three years but many return to go to Woodrow Wilson High School. I don't have figures for that except that 120 were enrolled in Pre-IB this year and approximately 170 for next year. Out of that 170, most are transfers from other public and private schools (about 40% from private). Long is applying for IB MYP next month.

In addition, groups from Zion and St. Thomas go directly to Woodrow as those schools go to eighth grade.

The areas immediately around the school include Hollywood Heights, Junius Heights Historic District, Abrams-Brookside and the Parks Estates (Parks mansion recently profiled on HGTV), Mount Auburn, recently-renovated Randall Park, Fowler Home, Santa Fe Trail from White Rock Lake and Lakewood Country Club golf course.
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:43 PM
 
Location: North Texas
24,571 posts, read 35,227,175 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakewooder View Post
According to 2010 data, 73% of Lakewood Elementary students enrolled in J. L. Long Middle School. Some may go private or go magnet for three years but many return to go to Woodrow Wilson High School. I don't have figures for that except that 120 were enrolled in Pre-IB this year and approximately 170 for next year. Out of that 170, most are transfers from other public and private schools (about 40% from private). Long is applying for IB MYP next month.

In addition, groups from Zion and St. Thomas go directly to Woodrow as those schools go to eighth grade.

The areas immediately around the school include Hollywood Heights, Junius Heights Historic District, Abrams-Brookside and the Parks Estates (Parks mansion recently profiled on HGTV), Mount Auburn, recently-renovated Randall Park, Fowler Home, Santa Fe Trail from White Rock Lake and Lakewood Country Club golf course.
You can't argue that the streets that border the high school/junior high are all that great. I've seen them. I guess it depends on your definition of the word "area."

Not everything that everyone says about Lakewood that isn't glowingly positive is meant as a slur. Some of us are simply trying to state facts as we understand them.
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:50 PM
 
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I can see where you might think Mount Auburn to the south across the new Santa Fe Trail is not all that great. But that's just one section. It borders highly desirable Hollywood Heights. There are also new townhomes and homes across the street from Long and Woodrow and a couple of blocks away.

East Dallas/Lakewood has a little bit of everything and this particular area is representative of that..it's not all one thing or the other. Think small town...

I'm not really insulted but I do live about four blocks from "The Shrine of East Dallas".
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:11 PM
 
12,405 posts, read 23,843,885 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
You can't argue that the streets that border the high school/junior high are all that great. I've seen them. I guess it depends on your definition of the word "area."

Not everything that everyone says about Lakewood that isn't glowingly positive is meant as a slur. Some of us are simply trying to state facts as we understand them.

The school is surrounded on 3 sides by $250k+ homes.

FWIW, within the immediate Woodrow neighborhood (Lakewood Country Club to north, Lindsley Ave to east, Beacon to south, Abrams to west), there are currently 27 homes for sale. The least expensive one is a $230k brand new townhome on Abrams. The most expensive is the $2.2M Parks Estate. Most are $250-350k. The seedy homes are south of Beacon....that's where you find the $100k wood frame homes....and that's 8+ blocks away from the school. Not exactly across the street.
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