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Old 09-01-2012, 11:35 AM
 
13 posts, read 45,115 times
Reputation: 17

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My future hubby and are are African American and early 50's. He is in the Austin area (where I used to live) getting his son through his senior year of high school and I am in Houston. We intend to move to the Dallas Metro area next summer when we get married, however, I am ready to leave my job now to go set up house in advance.

I found a great home for us online; five years old, looks move-in ready in the pics, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, open floor plan, tray ceilings, fire place, a wide lot, my DREAM master bathroom and dirt cheap. I realize that the price may be based on a bad foundation or roof, and we are going to have that checked out, but something tells me that it may be the bad reputation of the area that has set the price.

I checked out the city website. From the information there and the pics of houses on this forum, the area looks good to me. The 2011 property taxes on the house were just about $3,000. Those are good neighborhood rates. When I click on the crime map for the neighborhood it comes up clean. I kept expanding and saw 7 crimes at South Lancaster Road and Cedardale about 3 miles away. What is the likelihood that the crime at Cedardale will keep moving south? How much does this affect home values in the area?

We are looking for a house to pay off in 15 years and sell when we retire. The price tag on this house fits the bill, but if we cannot at least break even on the sale of the home when we retire, Lancaster won't work for us.

For the work we do, we will probably end up working in or near downtown Dallas which is about 16 miles from the home. We would appreciate the experience based opinions of Lancaster, and if it is a good fit for us from Dallas Metro residents.


Thanks in advance!

Treens
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Lancaster, TX
1,588 posts, read 3,567,980 times
Reputation: 2437
Hi Treens,

I have lived in Lancaster since November 2006, so I'll try to help.

The first thing I would point out is that home prices in the southern suburbs of Dallas, including Lancaster, are typically lower on average than other parts of DFW. Affordable home prices and being able to get "more bang for your buck" are major factors that have contributed to the growth of Dallas' southern suburbs over the past decade. This has been the case regardless of prevailing local/national economic conditions. Lancaster and other area communities weren't immune from the housing market crash a few years ago, which also had a negative impact on home values. Based on the latest real estate data, home sales in Lancaster are up four percent this year, and the median home price has increased seven percent when compared to the same period in 2011. So those different elements and the condition of the property itself have more impact on the listed price.

Which subdivision is the home you are looking at in? Based on your post, I'm guessing that it is either Boardwalk, Ames Meadow, Anderson Farms, or Meadowview – all newer home communities in the northern part of the city. Once I know which neighborhood you are interested in, I can give you more specific details about it.

As far as safety goes, the majority of Lancaster's neighborhoods are safe. Neither I nor any of my family have been victims of crime. The police are very visible throughout the city and do a great job in terms of community outreach by meeting regularly with citizens (through town hall meetings, neighborhood watch groups, etc.) to raise awareness of the various methods used in crime prevention. While no place is completely crime free, the overwhelming majority of crimes committed in Lancaster are non-violent and/or property related, typical of most DFW cities and suburbs. If you take the same basic safety precautions that should be observed regardless of location, you will be fine here.

The area north the intersection of South Lancaster Road at Cedardale and south of Interstate 20 is part of the city of Dallas. It caters mostly to truckers who stop there to eat at one of the fast food restaurants or refuel. While it isn't the most visually appealing area, I wouldn't necessarily call it dangerous or unsafe. There are probably more thefts and vehicle-related crimes in that area as it isn't residential, but you can grab a bite to eat or get gas without any issues. Outside of this area, much of the area within Dallas that borders Lancaster is undeveloped. The residential neighborhoods with poor reputations are located several miles north of Interstate 20, like the Highland Hills area, where my parents lived prior to moving to the suburbs in the late 1980s.

While no one can accurately predict how a city will be in 15 years, here are a few things about Lancaster to keep in mind:
--Even with a 40.4 increase in population from 2000-2010, the city is less than half-built out. It is one of the few inner-ring suburbs that still has an ample amount of undeveloped land left for future development.
--There are plans for a massive inland port development in southern Dallas County, including a portion of far eastern Lancaster. The project stalled due to economic conditions, but has since been revived. At completion, the development is predicted to bring roughly 30,000 additional jobs to the area.
--The University of North Texas at Dallas, whose campus is located just north of the Lancaster city limits, became a free-standing, independent university in 2009. For the portion of Lancaster closest to the university, a comprehensive plan was developed in 2007 that coincides with the overall goal of expanding the campus and increasing the student population.

The southern suburbs of Dallas are under-represented on this forum. There are only a few of us who live in the area and post on a regular basis. It is always nice to hear from someone interested in Lancaster or any of the other communities.

I hope you find this information helpful.

All the best

Last edited by Acntx; 09-01-2012 at 04:32 PM..
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:46 PM
 
13 posts, read 45,115 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acntx View Post
--Even with a 40.4 increase in population from 2000-2010, the city is less than half-built out. It is one of the few inner-ring suburbs that still has an ample amount of undeveloped land left for future development.
--There are plans for a massive inland port development in southern Dallas County, including a portion of far eastern Lancaster. The project stalled due to economic conditions, but has since been revived. At completion, the development is predicted to bring roughly 30,000 additional jobs to the area.
--The University of North Texas at Dallas, whose campus is located just north of the Lancaster city limits, became a free-standing, independent university in 2009. For the portion of Lancaster closest to the university, a comprehensive plan was developed in 2007 that coincides with the overall goal of expanding the campus and increasing the student population.
Thank you for the quick and informed response. This is just the information we need. The house is in Colgate Park. As long as the house lives up to the pictures, there are no structural defects, and my fiance is on board, those art niches and twin master bath vanities will be ours!
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:53 AM
 
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
4,170 posts, read 13,946,475 times
Reputation: 2607
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treens View Post
Thank you for the quick and informed response. This is just the information we need. The house is in Colgate Park. As long as the house lives up to the pictures, there are no structural defects, and my fiance is on board, those art niches and twin master bath vanities will be ours!
I hate to burst your bubble. The house in question is under contract since June and is a short sale. The SS has not even been approved so even if someone was to offer full price, you are not guaranteed that the bank will accept that price.

Naima
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:32 AM
 
308 posts, read 453,922 times
Reputation: 520
If you give a price range I'm sure there are plenty of dream bathrooms on the market for you right now. The areas of Lancaster, Desoto, or Cedar Hill where I live will provide you with multiple choices. I lived in Lancaster for 21 years then moved to Cedar Hill which I like for its progressiveness. As stated, Lancaster Rd./I-20 may as well be on another planet from Lancaster, it's a world away despite its close proximity. Lancaster police are known for always being on top of things, they have a lot of officers for the population.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:51 AM
 
813 posts, read 1,933,438 times
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You could always buy an older house in a great location for a great price, drop $10-$15K in a new master bath and wind up saving money.

I'd always advise about the location, price and lot, rather than the interior only.

BTW, have you looked in Cedar Hill? Some really great houses there with these pesky things in North Texas called trees. Also some pesky hills. I'm no expert but I think it's still a decent commute to downtown.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Lancaster, TX
1,588 posts, read 3,567,980 times
Reputation: 2437
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treens View Post
Thank you for the quick and informed response. This is just the information we need. The house is in Colgate Park. As long as the house lives up to the pictures, there are no structural defects, and my fiance is on board, those art niches and twin master bath vanities will be ours!
Colgate Park is further away from the subdivisions I named in my first post. There are only 17 lots in the Colgate Park development (map) and it doesn't share the characteristics of a typical large, suburban subdivision. The two streets you have to turn on to get to the newer homes - Colgate Drive and Willow Wood Lane - were mostly developed in the 1960s and early 1970s, so it is surrounded by older (albeit generally well-maintained) homes. To give you a better idea of the areas surrounding Colgate Park, please view this post in a photo thread I created. Scroll down to Lancaster Terrace, which is one of the neighborhoods bordering Colgate Park.

There are other nice neighborhoods in Lancaster where you might be able to find a good deal, so don't get too discouraged if that particular property falls through.

If you need any additional help, just let us know.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:53 AM
 
Location: TX
3,029 posts, read 10,968,386 times
Reputation: 1368
I would also put Cedar Hill on your radar for homes, that area is VERY pretty! It will remimnd you a bit of the Austin area.
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