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Old 08-14-2013, 02:12 PM
 
200 posts, read 253,441 times
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We're taking our first trip to Dallas next month and would (someday...in the near future) like to relocate from NJ. We have relatives in Frisco and, the older we get, the more we get tired of the cost of living near NYC and the sometimes harsh winters. A realtor just started sending me some listings based upon certain criteria but I want to have a better idea of school systems (our primary concern) so that when we spend a few hours looking at some real estate during our trip, we target the right areas.

Budget - 300-$400k - or maybe a little higher, depending upon how closely it comes to what we want
Looking for 4br, 3ba ~3000-4000sf with 3 car garage, quiet street

Our kids are going into 4th and 5th grade so I'm really concentrating on middle/high school rather than elem. since we're starting the job search recently and would probably not be moving for at least another year. Both kids are decent students but not overachieving, however, I have 2 grad degrees and my husband is college educated so school is something that is very valued in our home and the kids know that. My son has dreams of being a Dr. and I want to give him the opportunity of a good education if he wants to work hard for it. We want them to fit in (my husband and I are professionals but certainly not wealthy) but be inspired and challenged in their schools. I'm a big believer that a school climate can certainly bring out the best in a student). Even though we live on the East Coast, our schools have not been performing well for several years, which is very disappointing. I have been focusing on Plano West and Coppell ISDs (learning a lot on these boards...thank you) but there are so many schools in these districts and I wanted to get everyone's input on areas to target - i.e. some people like Rice, dislike Shepton, etc. Like I said, no jobs yet but after my husband dealing with a 1.5/2 hour mass transit commute to NYC (each way) - anything under 45 minutes would be a dream .

TIA!
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Kaufman County, Texas
11,317 posts, read 24,830,779 times
Reputation: 9783
You need to get a job before deciding where to live. The DFW area is HUGE (it's bigger than Rhode Island!), and commutes here can be just as bad as what he's experiencing up there. Aside from a few areas, public transit does not cover much of the area here, so spending a lot of time in the car becomes the only way to commute.

Fortunately, there are many areas here with good schools and homes in your budget. Plano and Coppell are only two of the possibilities.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:30 PM
 
200 posts, read 253,441 times
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Default Yes, I know I'm putting the cart before the horse

but I want to get an idea of what areas offer the best schools because he does have a good job here and we wouldn't relocate unless we could secure a good education for our children there. Even in the DFW area, there seem to be definite opinions as to good, better and best. While I have relatives in Frisco, I would rather have a little older house since the school system seems better in the older grades. If he works in Frisco, I realize he would have a reverse commute but I'm just trying to do some fact finding at this point. We don't need to move within any particular time frame and I know all those plans could go out the window if he winds up getting a job in Ft Worth. For example, his present company has a Dallas office but, if they had an opening for his position or one senior to that, he would cover projects in Dallas/Houston and others in Central TX. Travel would be involved so I would imagine being somewhat close to an airport would be a plus. He's not interested in the whole mass transit nightmare again so car commute is a given. We don't have to move from NJ but part of what would decide whether or not he accepts a job would be whether or not we're somewhat close to relatives already here and if there are more pluses in that column (education being one of the top ones). He spoke to a recruiter who had something in Houston but he said no thanks. We have no desire to move to Houston. We'll have take the commute into account if he is offered a job and, of course, focus on that when it actually does happen, but I just want to have an idea in focusing of a few areas since there are so many options, it's unbelievable It will also help him to decide if a career move is really worth it at that particular time.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:34 PM
 
200 posts, read 253,441 times
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Default Also, I'm just out of school...again

and will be eventually working in a private practice so I could do that pretty much anywhere. I need to do supervised hours for a couple of years and then I could establish myself wherever we happen to be. I only intend to work P/T while my kids are home so it's my DH who has the bigger decision.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,825 posts, read 4,190,943 times
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I honestly think you're thoughts on Plano are great. Are you going to hit some traffic, absolutely, but unless his job is on the Southwest side of Ft. Worth you will not be dealing with a 1.5/2 hour commute. PISD has some of the best schools in the area and is large enough that every type of child can find his or her group. If you are fine with suburban living, then it is one of your best if not the best choices. Your budget CAN get you into Plano West HS, but you will be on the lower side of the "socio economic" scale there, which seemed to be one of the things you pointed out. At Plano Senior, you and your children may feel more comfortable, and your budget would probably get you into a little nicer house. Good luck!
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:50 PM
 
2,206 posts, read 4,517,122 times
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Another option is to rent for a year or two.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:52 PM
 
Location: NYC
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We just moved here from NJ a couple of weeks ago. I never thought I would rent, but really happy we did. We decided on Allen, mainly because no matter where you live in the city, your child will end up at the same HS. All the schools are rated very high.

So far we like it a lot. My son went to orientation today for the middle school and compared to the NJ schools we are thrilled.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:01 PM
 
3,478 posts, read 6,176,916 times
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If the commute works, both West Plano and Coppell would probably be good options, but your budget might be a little low to get what you want.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Kaufman County, Texas
11,317 posts, read 24,830,779 times
Reputation: 9783
Quote:
Originally Posted by mSooner View Post
If the commute works, both West Plano and Coppell would probably be good options, but your budget might be a little low to get what you want.
Agreed. Budget even at $400k is a little on the low side for both of those. It's also too low for Southlake and Highland/University Park.

Places that would fit the budget and have very good schools:
Flower Mound
Grapevine
Colleyville
Richardson

I totally agree to rent for a year and get more familiar with the area.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:26 PM
 
200 posts, read 253,441 times
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Default I have read Highland and UP are out of our reach

but I have seen some listings in W. Plano and Coppell that might work. I would think of renting but to have kids start school somewhere only to move them again after a major move would be kind of tough, especially in the middle school years. It is something to consider though. We might be into the 500k range, depending upon the job offer and what we get for our house here. There are so many variables but I'd rather underestimate than think I can get a $600k house and drop it down or struggle to get by. One of the reasons (besides the horrible commute) that we'd like to relocate is a better standard of living. I know we could easily get in the mid-$500s for our house here and, while it's been updated and has some beautiful features, it was still built in the 1960s. We pay to live in a suburb of NYC, which we never take advantage of anymore. I'd love to spend less for a TX house so we have a cushion.

Re: the middle schools and 9/10 grade schools that feed to Plano W, which ones will prepare my kids the best for that HS without chewing them up and spitting them out. They like to be involved in different activities and are good students but I am not a Tiger Mom and want my kids to be successful but well rounded and happy too. Even though I could consider myself an overachiever at school and a perfectionist, I don't necessarily wish that upon my kids!

Thank you all for your replies.
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