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Old 06-15-2012, 07:09 PM
 
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Hi everyone,

First, best wishes and good luck to everyone who had property and vehicle damage or were injured in that hail storm. It looked pretty nasty!

I recently accepted a job at SMU and my spouse and I will be moving to Dallas (from out of state) in the next month or so. We're headed into town early next week to find a place to rent. We'd really prefer a house or duplex, but could do a condo/townhouse if need be. We'd need at least two bedrooms and like the outdoors so a yard would be great. Price range is between $1000 and $1500 a month but could possibly go a bit higher if it had everything we wanted. Of primary importance is a safe neighborhood, where one can be safe walking around alone at night or a female could be safe jogging in the evening. We'd prefer to be within a 20 or so minute drive of SMU. We also would prefer to avoid housing with lots of undergraduate students and drunken parties as we've moved past those days. At the same time we wouldn't want to be in an area where our neighbors would be upset if we had a few colleagues over, grilling in the backyard (or patio) and having a few beers at 11:00pm on a Friday or Saturday night as we like to entertain (again I'm not talking huge crazy parties). We don't have kids (and don't plan on having any anytime soon) so schools are not an issue.

I've searched Trulia, looked on their crime maps (as well as spotcrime, and the Dallas PD maps), and read through these forums and think I have some idea of some of the neighborhoods. Neighborhood wise it would seem that Lakewood would be ideal in terms of location (close to SMU and white rock lake) and safety, but we haven't really found anything there (we do plan on driving that neighborhood and seeing what we might be able to find by looking for signs). It also seems that the M streets (as long as you stay above Richmond/Gaston are fine). Beyond that it's kind of unclear to us as it seems like low crime areas and higher crime areas (at least according to Trulia) could be within blocks of each other.

We've been able (online) to find places in these areas and were wondering what everyone thought in terms of them fitting what we are looking for (e.g. safe, home/duplex in that price range, preferably with a yard):
- East/Northeast of Old Lake Highlands (some near 78, some southwest of E NW HWY and Jupiter road). - Northeast Dallas/White Rock (around Greenvile and Skilman).
- Area around the White Rock lake Dart Station (crime maps seemed ok but comments for only .5 miles from it talked about nightly gun shots and police helicopters)
- Hollywood Heights
- Casa Linda/Casa view (a few colleagues had told me to avoid South or South East of white rock lake due to gun violence ... but Casa Linda seemed ok on the crime maps so were a bit confused).
- North Dallas, hillcrest road area (is it ok if you avoid the area around 85?).
- Santa Garaza and Elkins Forrest
- Claremont
- Preston Hollow (area around walnut hill between Marsh Lane and Webb Chappel Road).

For all of those areas it seems to be they are close to larger pockets of crime-I understand that is somewhat common for Dallas-and that smash and grabs from cars happen anywhere, but we'd like to avoid things beyond that. Is there anywhere to avoid in those areas that isn't obvious by looking at Trulia or other crime maps? Also how far away do you need to be from the higher crime areas ... several blocks, a mile or two?

Another option we recently started thinking about was commuting from Richardson (I can likely avoid rush hour the majority of the time) as there seems to be larger homes, with bigger yards, for less $, in quite safe areas right at the limits of how long we'd like our commute to be. Although I'm not sure how bad traffic would be heading into SMU around 9:30 or 10:00. Also not sure how expensive the tolls are.

Thanks to everyone in advance and good luck with the repairs!
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
10,323 posts, read 21,974,387 times
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Casa Linda is ok. Casa View can be scary! We lived in Casa Linda for a few years, and it was ok. My grandmother lived in Casa View and the family moved her out in 2003 because the neighborhood was getting bad around her.

Lakewood just got pummeled by a freak hailstorm so it might be a little crazy over there until people get so windows/roofs repaired. (boarded up windows and tarped roofs are not the norm!)

No tolls on 75, which is what you'd take south from Richardson.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ChristieP View Post
Casa Linda is ok. Casa View can be scary! We lived in Casa Linda for a few years, and it was ok. My grandmother lived in Casa View and the family moved her out in 2003 because the neighborhood was getting bad around her.

Lakewood just got pummeled by a freak hailstorm so it might be a little crazy over there until people get so windows/roofs repaired. (boarded up windows and tarped roofs are not the norm!)

No tolls on 75, which is what you'd take south from Richardson.
Thanks Christie! We couldn't tell for sure about Casa Linda/Casa View.
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:46 PM
 
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I would check out the areas around/near SMU. The rentals both west and north of campus are scattershot, sometimes a really nice rebuild next to a rental 6 plex, etc. with older homes filling the block. Other streets might have only one house or duplex for rent. It's a pricey area, yes, but factor in commuting savings, time etc. And should be safe there and good steets for jogging (or at SMU facilities nearby).

There are probably tons of landlords there that would favor a married professional couple as tenants over students. 12 month vs. 9 month leases, responsibility, noise, and so forth.

You can actually go pretty far north along Hillcrest for good neighborhoods. Lots of rebuilds mixed in with older neighborhoods, so there's got to be some rentals available.

I haven't been back there in awhile, but there are some condos/townhomes south of Lovers Lane, across from The Village complex. Look at Amesbury which I think crosses Lovers, all the way back for a few blocks south, bordered by 75 and east to Skillman. Lots of female joggers in that area, The Village has running trails and they won't ask for an ID to run there :-)

Last edited by MRG Dallas; 06-15-2012 at 09:58 PM..
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:55 PM
 
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Thanks MRG, we'll check those areas out. We may even consider the Lake apartments at the village too ... it's amazing how fast things disappear. Had two properties around SMU we were very interested in and one in Richmond, both went up a day or two ago and both are no longer available! I'm hoping that is true regarding landlords as well, it's just a matter of finding them and letting them know about us, before the place is rented! ;-)
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:37 PM
 
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I think you would enjoy the SMU area if you can find a suitable rental house there. The rental situation should be pretty fluid as most students probably live in one place for a school year, then elsewhere another year, or leave for good. The Lakes too could work for you.

Also, there are a few townhomes that sit just off Greenville Ave. in The Hill in The Village complex too. I lived by some for several years and I imagine LPC has kept them modernized and reasonably priced. A short drive to SMU and two blocks off Central Expressway. There may be townhomes in other complexes there too, but call The Hill rental office and ask about them, the address should be on Shady Brook Ln, altho they are literally a stone's throw from the Doubletree Hotel and the gold Campbell Center office buildings. They sit right on the edge so you don't have neighbors to all sides, good private location IMO and since The Hill is an older complex, they might be priced right for you.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MRG Dallas View Post
I think you would enjoy the SMU area if you can find a suitable rental house there. The rental situation should be pretty fluid as most students probably live in one place for a school year, then elsewhere another year, or leave for good. The Lakes too could work for you.

Also, there are a few townhomes that sit just off Greenville Ave. in The Hill in The Village complex too. I lived by some for several years and I imagine LPC has kept them modernized and reasonably priced. A short drive to SMU and two blocks off Central Expressway. There may be townhomes in other complexes there too, but call The Hill rental office and ask about them, the address should be on Shady Brook Ln, altho they are literally a stone's throw from the Doubletree Hotel and the gold Campbell Center office buildings. They sit right on the edge so you don't have neighbors to all sides, good private location IMO and since The Hill is an older complex, they might be priced right for you.
Thanks, will check those out. Yeah I'd love to get into either of the Park Cities, but what is offered is out of our price range online. Although we'll drive around and see what we can find!
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Dallas
578 posts, read 1,319,793 times
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Originally Posted by diphu12 View Post
Thanks, will check those out. Yeah I'd love to get into either of the Park Cities, but what is offered is out of our price range online. Although we'll drive around and see what we can find!
I live in University Park right up the block from SMU. There are always tons of properties with " for rent " signs when you drive around, so most likely some people never list them online. I have seen signs for under $1k rentals so I am sure there are apartments in your price range.

Some good streets to make sure you drive by are: Asbury, Granada, Binkley, Shenandoah, Normandy, Auburndale, Milton, Rosedale, University, Daniel, McFarlin. The area right around SMU will have a great number of students, but there are also lots of families that either rent or own in the same area as well because the middle school is on Granada. That area will probably have the most affordable housing in the Park Cities. Also check the streets that are between Lomo Alto and the Tollway. There are lots of apartments there (specifically the area right around Normandy on that end) and I know a couple of families that rent there for under $2k.

Best of luck on your search!
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:06 AM
 
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I think the area of the M Street/Lakewood would fit the bill for what you are looking for. The boundaries for what I am thinking are approximately anything south of Mockingird, east of 75, west of White Rock Lake. Once you get down to Gaston/WholeFoods/La Vista, it can start to change, so you have to be more careful. Some pockets are fine, others get sketchy.

I have seen most duplexes between Matilda and Abrams, in that same block I described above. Most DO NOT advertise, but stick a sign in the yard.

Good luck! We have lived in this area for 8 years and I have rarely felt un-safe. When I did, it was usually because I ventured out of my comfort zone.
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:45 PM
 
12,480 posts, read 3,688,905 times
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Originally Posted by mami2emily View Post
I live in University Park right up the block from SMU. There are always tons of properties with " for rent " signs when you drive around, so most likely some people never list them online. I have seen signs for under $1k rentals so I am sure there are apartments in your price range.

Some good streets to make sure you drive by are: Asbury, Granada, Binkley, Shenandoah, Normandy, Auburndale, Milton, Rosedale, University, Daniel, McFarlin. The area right around SMU will have a great number of students, but there are also lots of families that either rent or own in the same area as well because the middle school is on Granada. That area will probably have the most affordable housing in the Park Cities. Also check the streets that are between Lomo Alto and the Tollway. There are lots of apartments there (specifically the area right around Normandy on that end) and I know a couple of families that rent there for under $2k.

Best of luck on your search!
There are also apartments in UP just east and north of the high school that can be pretty inexpensive. WHen I met my wife in 2006, she had a 2-bedroom on Hyer for $800 a month.
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