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Old 05-31-2014, 05:12 AM
 
87 posts, read 121,841 times
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We are looking into relocating to the DFW area in the next few years and I'm really trying to research as much as I can from out of state. We have looked at surrounding suburb areas, but I have friends in the area who are suggesting we look in Dallas proper. And, I don't know....something about that kind of appeals to me. Being close in to all the culture and activity. Someone mentioned Lake Highlands area? What other neighborhoods would you recommend for a young family? On the other hand, we really want more SPACE and NATURE after leaving the cramped East Coast. Are there any spacious feeling neighborhoods? Our price range is under 500K. Hoping for closer to 400K. Any areas to AVOID? Thanks so much!
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:25 AM
 
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Lake Highlands is great - there are some areas with great public schools and there are mature trees, large yards, etc. There are some lovely areas of Richardson to consider too, that share all those qualities - Canyon Creek is one example.

If you are looking for space and nature, the inner ring burbs are a bit better. The outer burbs will provide you more bang for your buck house-wise, but the yards are small. That said, many a transplant comes here looking for space only to realize that they never want to be outside because it's either too hot or too cold most days...
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Texas
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Peh, I am outside all year long. And if the amount of foot/bike traffic is any indication, tons of people don't mind the weather here.
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:02 AM
 
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If you need public schools for K-12, Lake Highlands is going to give you the biggest bang for your buck under $500k inside 635. Focus on the neighborhoods on the souther end, closer to Northwest Hwy than 635. For areas to avoid, don't look at properties backing up to apartments or Multi-family and stay south of Forrest for sure. There is a bad neighborhood around Forest & Audelia (just north of 635 as Forest crosses from being south to being north the further east you go) so definitely stay as far from that as possible. There are some gorgeous neighborhoods tucked around Flagpole Hill.

I don't know what you consider "cramped" neighborhoods (nothing in Dallas proper is as dense as the single family hoisin in Queens/Philly/inner DC) but look in the neighborhoods zoned to Lakewood Elementary and Stonewall Jackson as well. $500k is going to be around a 2000-2500sf home but those neighborhoods are absolutely gorgeous and have excellent public schools as well (don't let people tell you all of DISD is rotten because there are definitely some gems to be found, which is why housing is SO expensive in the good schools!)

If you are considering private schools as well, there are some neighborhoods in northwest Dallas (west of Tollroad, south of 635) that are awesome for the $350-450k range. In many of them, you'll have a good elementary school for public option until 6th grade or can do private K-12. Sparkman Club Estates in 75229 is an absolute gem of a neighborhood, where tons of kids play in the front yards after school and the neighborhood has a community pool and clubhouse where you can buy a fairly inexpensive membership. While some private schools are $25k/year, there are many others in the < $10k range for elementary school.
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:34 AM
 
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THANK YOU! That is great information. I'm going to delve into these neighborhoods a bit. As for being outside, I feel ya. We feel stuck inside for about a good four months a year here where it is miserably cold. And then when it finally warms up, it is so hideously humid that I can't stand being outside....so I'll just be in the AC looking out at the space!
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:51 AM
 
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I just noticed your OP says relocating in a few years. In that case, I would do your research based on homes priced under $400k today. If our market keeps appreciating the way it has the last few years inside 635, today's $400k house could easily be work $500k in 2-4 years.
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:47 AM
 
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That's a good point. We could move anytime starting a year from now until about two. I am hoping our current home will also appreciate on the East Coast so we can appreciate at the same rate! Ha. We will see. I am really just overwhelmed by the size of the whole metroplex and we don't have a usual commuting situation so we aren't as narrowed down as lots of other folks are. Its great, because we can basically live anywhere from Granbury to McKinney or in between. But its so hard to figure out where to focus.

As for the schools in Lake highlands, Sparkman club estates areas and the areas more central north...it sounds like the elementary schools are fine, but middle and high schools aren't as great? Are there any public high schools in these areas that are decent?
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:59 PM
 
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Lake Highlands High School is Richardson ISD, and is pretty solid - and will improve further if all the parents of young children who have moved into single-family homes in the area keep their kids in public schools through 12th grade.

Also look at West Richardson - great neighborhoods such as the aforementioned Canyon Creek and Waterview or Reservation areas, all with great schools and good options in your price range, and less than 15mi from downtown Dallas (further north than Lake Highlands, but more central and not as far east).

In both cases (LH vs. W Richardson) homes go on the market and get snapped up quickly - and in some cases never even make it to MLS.
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homesick texan View Post
As for the schools in Lake highlands, Sparkman club estates areas and the areas more central north...it sounds like the elementary schools are fine, but middle and high schools aren't as great? Are there any public high schools in these areas that are decent?



Not so much, but there are a few gems. In Lake Highlands, I think you would feed to Richardson schools. The general consensus there is to feed to LH Middle School and HS. (I think. Hopefully, someone will jump in if I am wrong)

For the areas more central North, you would probably want to apply for one of the magnet schools for middle school and high school. East Dallas has the IB program at Woodrow Wilson HS but it is the only one in DISD (as far as I know).

Good luck with your research.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:56 AM
 
Location: The Village
1,622 posts, read 4,074,358 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifw View Post
[/b]


Not so much, but there are a few gems. In Lake Highlands, I think you would feed to Richardson schools. The general consensus there is to feed to LH Middle School and HS. (I think. Hopefully, someone will jump in if I am wrong)

For the areas more central North, you would probably want to apply for one of the magnet schools for middle school and high school. East Dallas has the IB program at Woodrow Wilson HS but it is the only one in DISD (as far as I know).

Good luck with your research.
Lake Highlands HS has two feeder junior highs, Lake Highlands Junior High and Forest Meadow Junior High. I believe LHJH has a better reputation. I've heard that Forest Meadow is nicknamed "Forest Ghetto" but I have no idea how accurate that nickname is, though compared to the roughest areas of Dallas proper I'm certain it's overblown.

I would recommend JJ Pearce High School, also in Richardson ISD. I believe it serves some areas in Dallas proper, as well as parts of Richardson closest to Dallas. It's generally considered one of the two or three best comprehensive high schools in Dallas County.

You could look in Highland Park, but it would probably be out of your price range-last I heard, a 1500 sq. ft. "cottage" runs about $600k.

Spartan Club Estates, and similar neighborhoods surrounding it (Park Forest and Disney Streets of Midway Hills) are good suggestions as well. I would say a majority of parents in the area send their kids to private schools, but Sparkman feeds into DeGolyer Elementary school, one of the best in Dallas, and neighboring Withers Elementary is also top-notch. The public middle schools in the area (DeGolyer goes to Marsh and Withers goes to Walker) aren't great. The high school, WT White, is pretty good for a Dallas public school, but doesn't compare to the elite privates or wealthy suburban schools.

Woodrow is at present the only IB school in DISD, but I believe they're planning on adding the program to Hillcrest High School and Ben Franklin Middle School in the next couple of years.

Last year, Lake Highlands Freshman Center had a 76% passing rate on the standardised STAAR exams, and Lake Highlands HS (10-12) had an 82% passing rate. This compares to a 76% passing rate at Woodrow Wilson and a 73% passing rate at WT White.
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