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Old 05-28-2013, 09:03 AM
 
4 posts, read 25,879 times
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My family is relocating from Tampa to Dallas over the summer. My husband is in sales and will cover the entire area, so we are trying to decide what area to move to. We are planning to rent for a year and then buy. Ideally, we would like for our son not to have to switch elementary schools after we buy, so narrowing down to the right area is key. We would like to live in a master planned area, but quality of schools is the number one factor. A strong gifted program is essential too Love to stay in the $300-$350K range and need 4+ bedrooms. Help?

Last edited by Leighbra; 05-28-2013 at 09:13 AM.. Reason: Add
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:10 AM
 
276 posts, read 499,781 times
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Big house, master planned community, location with access to whole metroplex and best schools within $350k? Good luck kiddo! I suggest you read archives on this forum by using search function to grasp basics of DFW housing and schooling.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:20 AM
 
212 posts, read 386,774 times
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The consensus of the board seems to be that the best school districts are Highland Park ISD, Plano ISD, Flower Mound ISD, Coppell ISD.

HPISD won't meet any of your criteria other than excellent schools. You might want to look on the internet as to what's available in the other school districts to see what kind of compromises you will have to make and are willing to make. There are excellent schools in other school districts with master planned communities. There are also excellent schools in older suburbs/Far North Dallas which are not master planned (for example, Richardson feeding into Plano ISD or into Pearce HS).

Good luck, and welcome to Texas.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:45 AM
 
13,034 posts, read 26,130,351 times
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Coppell is the most central location with a great school district. Your price point is extremely competitive there (multiple offers, homes selling the day they hit the market- if not before, etc). The master-planned communities in your price range are not in central areas- ie, Allen & McKinney on the far NE corner of metroplex, Keller on far NW corner, Sunnyvale on far SE corner, etc. Sometjkng on your wish list is going to have to "give" and being stuck on new homes & master planned communities is going to leave you with a long commute....

Definitely get a realtor who specializes in whichever area you decide upon- the market is HOT here & you need to work with someone who has an established network in that community / suburb, not a general relo agent.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:13 AM
 
19 posts, read 44,696 times
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I'm sorry that I don't know what a master planned community is, but I might be able to steer you in a good direction, based on your schools/house requirements. We are also relocating to Dallas (from England) soon and I've been pestering people on this forum for a little while now. I've also been comparing ratings, reading reviews on the greatschools website - you might want to have a look at that.

Plano seems like a good option for you. You will find West Plano schools all over this forum - they are big, and extremely competitive, from what I can gather. Most are exemplary and some not - refer to greatschools.

In your price range, I would look at elementaries that feed into Robinson or Rice. You can look up their ratings and their demographics, but everything I've heard and read has lead me to believe they are excellent. They feed into Jasper (Junior High) and W Plano (Senior High). West Plano SH is meant to be the best it gets in Plano.

I've already asked around about the feel of the area - I was surprised how much less expensive it was than the areas immediately surrounding the tollway with similarly rated schools, as it's literally just a few minutes further out. The feedback I've had is that the area is very nice, just a little bit 'aged out.' You can certainly get a 4BR in your 300-350K range.

Here are some houses for examples:

7609 Hamner Ln, Plano, TX 75024 - Home For Sale and Real Estate Listing - realtor.com®

7409 Brookdale Dr, Plano, TX 75024 - Home For Sale and Real Estate Listing - realtor.com®

3820 Kimbrough Ln, Plano, TX 75025 - Home For Sale and Real Estate Listing - realtor.com®

You can search on that website for nearby listings, when you scroll down to the map. There are plenty. The only bit of that area that I would avoid is the elementary school Daffron, which feeds to Robinson middle. That is *entirely* personal choice and not at all because of the school performance. There is a massive (gigantic) set of powerlines running over Preston Meadows Park, through the neighbourhood that is zoned to the school. The school sits right under them. That may not bother you at all, but I don't like it.

Good luck!
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,856 posts, read 63,033,246 times
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A master planned community has dues to maintain common green areas, pools, clubhouses, golf courses at the top end. There are endless regulations for paint colors, landscaping, accessory structures like sheds or roofed patios, etc. It can get quite expensive. I know of one in another state where the mandatory dues are $500/month. I don't know how dues range in this area. The governing association is the Home Owners Association - HOA. Any MLS listing will tell you the dues.
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Funky town
954 posts, read 1,710,080 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeanyMalone View Post
The consensus of the board seems to be that the best school districts are Highland Park ISD, Plano ISD, Flower Mound ISD, Coppell ISD.

HPISD won't meet any of your criteria other than excellent schools. You might want to look on the internet as to what's available in the other school districts to see what kind of compromises you will have to make and are willing to make. There are excellent schools in other school districts with master planned communities. There are also excellent schools in older suburbs/Far North Dallas which are not master planned (for example, Richardson feeding into Plano ISD or into Pearce HS).

Good luck, and welcome to Texas.
What is Flower Mound ISD? I don't think there is any such ISD. You probably meant "Flower Mound" schools in Lewisville ISD. In any case, I would Southlake (Carroll) in that list and take out Flower Mound...
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:58 PM
 
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Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Southlake. Don't judge me.
2,885 posts, read 4,360,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frenzyrider View Post
What is Flower Mound ISD? I don't think there is any such ISD. You probably meant "Flower Mound" schools in Lewisville ISD. In any case, I would Southlake (Carroll) in that list and take out Flower Mound...
In very rough terms, the top public, non-magnet high schools in the Metroplex are (kinda-sorta ranked below, don't take my "rankings" as set in stone or anything, other people would put them differently and might be just as correct):

1) Highland Park High School - in HPISD, this is Park Cities close to downtown Dallas and VERY expensive.
2 & 3) Plano West and Plano Senior High Schools in Plano ISD - a ways north of Dallas, generally affluent but with affordable housing options available. Schools have a large number of students per grade level. A fair amount of socioeconomic and ethnic diversity. Higher percentage of students at NMSF level than #'s 1 and 4 on this list. Plano West metrics are slightly better than Plano Senior and has a slightly more affluent student body
4) Carroll Senior High School in Carroll ISD - in Southlake, just NW of DFW airport. Very affluent (and not diverse) student body but not quite at the level of Park Cities. SAT and ACT scores about the same as Plano West and Senior but lower percentage of NMSF. Southlake housing is expensive but not in the Park Cities stratosphere (but if the OP wants 4+ bedrooms in a master planned community for under 350K, that's unlikely in Southlake).
5) Coppell High School in Coppell ISD - just NE of DFW airport; an excellent "central" location for the entire metroplex and housing reflects that (not incredibly expensive like HP but not cheap and most homes sell VERY quickly). Coppell's test score metrics are a shade below Carroll's but they usually have a slightly higher percentage of NMSF.
6) Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD - Flower Mound is a generally affluent suburb (notice a recurring theme here) north of Grapevine Lake (while Southlake is...well, South of Grapevine Lake, hence the name). Test scores are below the cluster of #'s 2-5 above but percentage of NMSF is the highest of any non-magnet public in the Metroplex. Flower Mound's housing is a bit "newer" than the other burbs noted and the OP may find a house that meets many of her criteria, but location is not convenient if one needs to drive "all over" DFW.
7) Marcus High School in Lewisville ISD - also serves Flower Mound and (IIRC) Highland Village, similar demographics to FMHS above. Test scores a tiny bit lower than FMHS and NMSF %age significantly lower but generally pretty good most years (comparable to Carroll, I believe). Again, it's not convenient driving to much of DFW.
8) Plano East High School in Plano ISD - you could rank this one ahead of Marcus, they're almost the name in metrics. Plano East is on the "poor" (relatively) side of Plano but still kicks out excellent metrics.
9) Pearce High School in Richardson ISD - Richardson is just north/east of Dallas proper. Housing is generally older and more affordable but is not of the "master planned community" type. Pearce's test metrics are comparable to Marcus and Plano East but NMSF %age has been a bit lower IIRC. Richardson has considerable socioeconomic and ethnic diversity and the fact that it's an older suburb gives it a bit more character IMHO (but probably not a good fit given the OP's desires). It's also convenient to downtown Dallas, but less so if one has to travel towards DFW airport or Fort Worth.

Other schools I'd note would be Grapevine HS and Colleyville Heritage HS in the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. That's a fairly central location just west and north of DFW airport. Colleyville is an upscale burb somewhat similar to Southlake, Grapevine is a more mixed 'burb with apartments and affordable housing as well as expensive homes. Paschal High School in the Fort Worth ISD has well above average test scores and a lot of NMSF students, but it's way over in Fort Worth and not convenient to all of DFW. There are likely others I'm missing but all the ones I can think of are further away from a "central" location in DFW and have worse metrics than the schools listed above.

There are numerous threads including some recent ones discussing the various schools and their metrics as well as the general 'feel' of the surrounding communities. You can get data on schools from the Texas Education Agency here: 2011-12 Campus AEIS Report

Hope this helps in addition to the information people upthread have contributed.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:46 PM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
39,588 posts, read 45,040,488 times
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What you really mean is what are the best school districts for my price range of $300-350k ??

Forget Highland Park, Southlake and many nice areas that are much more expensive.
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