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Old 07-19-2011, 09:57 AM
 
Location: London, UK
34 posts, read 72,101 times
Reputation: 11

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Looking for a one or two bed apartment/condo (sorry, I'm English never sure what the difference is). Been looking at Austin, but my wife just got a really good job offer with a consulting firm in Dallas which will be remote and/or travelling so commute isn't really an issue, and my work is done entirely remotely.

We're after an urban setting close to good nightlife and dining but obviously I don't want to walk out my front door and get mugged and not knowing Dallas at all I don't know where to begin looking.

Budget is up to $125,000 but obviously the cheaper the better. No kids, no pets.

Also as a side question, how friendly is Dallas to those from out-of-state, and in my case, foreigners? Having travelled across most of the states, peoples attitudes seem to vary wildly from city to city even in the same state.

Many thanks.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:24 AM
 
12,449 posts, read 24,127,068 times
Reputation: 11639
The neighborhoods of Uptown/ Turtle Creek/ Oak Lawn/ Knox-Henderson are known for urban living in Dallas. You can run a search to read many threads about each of these areas! They are all within 2-3 miles of downtown on the north side of downtown Dallas.

These are the neighborhoods with the best restaurants (locally owned, not national chains like Chili's and Olive Garden), the arts community (museums, galleries, performing arts), parks/ jogging trails. The Uptown area is mostly walkable- especially the neighborhood around the West Village. There's everything you could possibly need (grocery store, pharmacy, tons of restaurants/ bars/ shops, banks, dry cleaners, etc) within a 2 block radius.

There's a great pub in Uptown (State Thomas neighborhood) called the Londoner where you will find other folks from the UK living in Dallas. Dallas is friendly and (I say this as someone who was born & raised here) it's fairly impossible to find a native Dallasite these days. People have moved here from all over the US and even many parts of the globe for jobs, school, etc.

The neighborhoods I described are all fairly safe. They are in a major urban city so you don't want to leave your front door unlocked or a handbag in plain view in your car, but violent crimes & muggings are rather rare.

Now....your budget. I highly recommend renting at first since Dallas is more of a single-family home market than a condo market. If you do end up buying, these neighborhoods are good areas to buy condos, but don't expect the value to go up much at all. (By "good area for condos", I mean the value won't fall like it is basically guarneteed to do outside the center city). A 1-br apartment in Uptown starts around $1,000 USD/mo. That's a few hundred USD less per month than what a mortgage on a $125k condo + property taxes ($2,500/year for $125k condo) + insurance (approx $500/year for $125k condo) would run you. That's also assuming you can find a $125k condo you like in the area. I think having $150-200k to play with would get you a much nicer selection.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:32 AM
 
1,519 posts, read 4,923,365 times
Reputation: 1478
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Davro View Post
Looking for a one or two bed apartment/condo (sorry, I'm English never sure what the difference is). Been looking at Austin, but my wife just got a really good job offer with a consulting firm in Dallas which will be remote and/or travelling so commute isn't really an issue, and my work is done entirely remotely.

We're after an urban setting close to good nightlife and dining but obviously I don't want to walk out my front door and get mugged and not knowing Dallas at all I don't know where to begin looking.

Budget is up to $125,000 but obviously the cheaper the better. No kids, no pets.

Also as a side question, how friendly is Dallas to those from out-of-state, and in my case, foreigners? Having travelled across most of the states, peoples attitudes seem to vary wildly from city to city even in the same state.

Many thanks.
Dallas -- like Houston -- is very welcoming to foreigners. If anything, you'll be more popular due to the infatuation with the English accent.

First, it sounds like you need to know the difference in American nomenclature for a condominium versus an apartment. A condo and an apartment look the same. The difference is ownership. A condo is owned by an individual who takes out a mortgage for that space. There will be a mortgage, taxes, and HOA fees to pay. Conversely, an apartment is rented. People tend to like condo communities better because there is a sense of ownership.

But I would not jump into buying a condo. I think it would be better to rent. (You can rent a condo from an owner). Regrettably, your condo budget is meager. To buy a condo in a decent neighborhood, you'd be looking at $200,000+ for an older unit.

Uptown, Knox-Henderson, Downtown and Turtle Creek are the urban areas in Dallas I would suggest living in (in that order). Get an apartment locator service -- it's free -- and just tell them the areas you want to look in and your budget.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:12 AM
 
Location: London, UK
34 posts, read 72,101 times
Reputation: 11
Ok. Thanks for the replies (rated) and the distinction between apt and condo.
I seem to be having the same problem I did in Austin where I'm finding what are to me perfectly acceptable places for under $100k, but I'm being told $150k upwards for decent places. Also I'm looking to buy for the potential to rent at a later date.

Examples:
2502 Live Oak Street
3102 Kings Road
3883 Turtle Creek

All these look fine (on screen at least).
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:26 AM
 
1,519 posts, read 4,923,365 times
Reputation: 1478
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Davro View Post
Ok. Thanks for the replies (rated) and the distinction between apt and condo.
I seem to be having the same problem I did in Austin where I'm finding what are to me perfectly acceptable places for under $100k, but I'm being told $150k upwards for decent places. Also I'm looking to buy for the potential to rent at a later date.

Examples:
2502 Live Oak Street
3102 Kings Road
3883 Turtle Creek

All these look fine (on screen at least).
Scratch Kings Road off your list. That is near some government housing projects that aren't as safe as the other areas you are looking in.

The one on Turtle Creek is in the nicest area closest to the nicer restaurants and great parks. Live Oak, in the Deep Ellum neighborhood, is more walkable to restaurants and mass transit with fewer parks. Deep Ellum is not as nice as Turtle Creek (nor does it ever want to be!) A few years ago, it was really struggling with crime. But in the last year or two it has really been improving.

Use Google Maps street view to see what is around those areas.


Read about Deep Ellum here:
Deep Ellum - Downtown - Dallas, TX

Deep Ellum, Texas

Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Read about Turtle Creek here:
Turtle Creek Association | Dallas, TX | Join Us Today!

Turtle Creek, Dallas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://www.dougnewby.com/neighborhoo...reek_Corridor/

Both are options for you. I'd visit in person to see what you think. Personally, I'd choose Turtle Creek.

Last edited by hamiltonpl; 07-19-2011 at 11:37 AM..
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:56 AM
 
12,449 posts, read 24,127,068 times
Reputation: 11639
The Turtle Creek listing is a studio - not a real 1 br. It only has one window. If you look closely at the pictures, yiu can see that the bed is in the living room. That's why it's so inexpensive. 1 br's in that building go for $100k (complete dump) to $125-140k (remodeled & updated). Also monthly HOA dues are around $450. You could rent a 1br in the building for $1200-1500/mo, far less than mortgage + tax + insurance + HOA. Since you mentioned wanting to buy something to rent it out later, you should do your homework on the rents each complex demands compared to monthly carrying costs. In the case of the Turtle Creek listing, you'd be likely to lose $200-600/mo because rent won't cover the carrying costs. Not unless you're a cash buyer anyway. FYI, I live a block down in a similar priced building I stalk 3883's listings religiously

I would also nix the King's Road listing. Live Oak could be a contender if you like the neighborhood.
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Forney Texas
2,118 posts, read 5,901,387 times
Reputation: 1180
That deep ellum one is also a loft. I have been in that building. Its very nice.

Definitely take these peoples advice and rent first. That way once you learn a bit about the area then you can make a decision on where to buy.
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Blah
4,153 posts, read 8,430,764 times
Reputation: 3078
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveG99 View Post
Definitely take these peoples advice and rent first. That way once you learn a bit about the area then you can make a decision on where to buy.
This is our strategy.

We picked up a nice apartment in Uptown instead of buying a house first. This allows us time to decide if we want to commit to a move to Dallas and figure an area if we decide to stay.
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:17 PM
 
25,163 posts, read 50,185,423 times
Reputation: 6987
Dallas is an amazing city with depth and friendly people: 100x better than pretentious, over-crowded, and vapid Austin.

Try looking at these two lofts in Deep Ellum: Continental Lofts and The Mitchell Lofts. Highly recommended.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTRay View Post
This is our strategy.

We picked up a nice apartment in Uptown instead of buying a house first. This allows us time to decide if we want to commit to a move to Dallas and figure an area if we decide to stay.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:54 AM
 
Location: London, UK
34 posts, read 72,101 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks for eveyones replies.
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