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Old 06-17-2014, 08:09 AM
 
6 posts, read 12,055 times
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Hey everybody, I appreciate any information you can give me in regards to Gunter and Van Alstyne. My wife and I have been shopping around the area (we are from the east coast and I am being transferred). I work at Preston and 121. I am used to a 45 minute + commute, but would prefer to shorten it with the move. We have two children, so schools are important. Can anyone give any ideas about the schools, the town in general, and what a commute would look like? We want to stay less than $400,000. Just a quick search showed many houses in our price range with 1 - 1.5 acre lots. The lot sizes are what is drawing us to the area. Thanks for any help and information, I appreciate it.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:21 AM
 
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Gunter is way out there. Only way in/out is via local county roads. Commute can be an hour on a 2 lane road during rush hour.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Gunter, TX
4 posts, read 8,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcl_cls02 View Post
Gunter is way out there. Only way in/out is via local county roads. Commute can be an hour on a 2 lane road during rush hour.
I don't entirely agree with this last post. I live outside of Gunter, and commute daily to Legacy and Preston, which is a couple miles further south than Preston and 121. Even with the current construction on 289 through Celina and Prosper, I make it door to door in the mornings in less than 40 minutes. Add about 10 minutes going home if I leave at the 5 o'clock peak of rush. Once that construction is complete, 289 (Preston Rd.) will be minimum 4 lane from Celina all the way to your office, while the Celina to Gunter stretch is indeed two-lane, but with full-width shoulders. Choosing a home in the Bridges development to the east of Gunter will make it another five minutes closer. Grocery store is 15 minutes, shopping in Sherman is 20 minutes.

Your $400K budget will go a long way in southern Grayson county, with a number of nice developments based on 1-5 ac lots available. The Gunter ISD has long been rated as an exemplary school district, which stands out amongst the other nearby ISDs, including Howe, Van Alstyne, and Celina.

I'm looking forward to seeing other responses to the OP's thread. There are pros and cons to any relocation decision, but accurate information helps in the process.

John
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:00 AM
 
12,202 posts, read 23,122,613 times
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The lot sizes are the ONLY thing that could draw you to those towns. Those are small county towns, not suburbs. Think about what you & your family do every week. If your kids play lacrosse or gymnastics or club soccer, you'll be driving to Plano- Allen-Frisco for extracurriculars. If they ride four wheelers and drink a lot, small town Texas life is great! You'll have basic to minimal options for shopping, groceries, and other errands. Schools are not great. Gunter's senior class this year had 60 kids (!!) and based on a look at the school's website, I'm not sure they offer any advanced or AP classes. We're talking seriously limited academic options vs the Collin County districts.

If you want a larger lot, start with Prosper instead. It's still a good drive from your office but closer to civilization than those two towns. Better public schools, too. Other options could be McKinney, Fairview/ Lucas, Parker, or Murphy. All have good-to-great quality public schools and within 20-40 minute commute.
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Gunter, TX
4 posts, read 8,493 times
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Yes, TurtleCreek80, there is a difference between suburb/exburb lifestyle and a rural lifestyle. But, your "big-city is best" bias is flapping in the breeze for all to see. I'm taking exception to your comment about four-wheeling and drinking, neither of which I do to excess (although I do regularly enjoy a fine single-malt or Rioja ).

I am presuming that the OP is already aware of the bigger/busier suburbs in Collin County. They're certainly in the news enough, now (fastest growing, etc., etc.). But, perhaps they are looking for a quieter, more relaxed environment, without having to live right next door to the next great suburban retail haven. And, maybe they're not so much interested in sending their kids to a 6000 student high school. They may very well understand that there is nothing inherently wrong with allowing their children to be "big fish in a small pond". In fact, those kids will have the opportunity to participate in a number of athletic teams and extracirricular activities, without necessarily having the size/speed/talent to be a D1 athlete. In that case, who gets the more rounded high school experience?

You suggestion of Prosper is a reasonable one, given the OP's initial post. But, if the OP is looking for a more rural setting, looking a bit further north to Grayson county may be just what they are after, with a lot more bang-for-the-buck.

(Please note, I've got nothing to sell or shill here. I'm just a bit tired of the snottiness exhibited towards anything that isn't West Plano or Deep Ellum).
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Frisco, TX
1,197 posts, read 1,436,735 times
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I would also agree with looking at Prosper. FWIW, my mom and step-dad live in Gunter. They have no kids in school and usually don't have a need to be "in town" much.

However, my mom has recently needed to be in mid-Plano (Custer/Spring Creek area) for morning appointments for my grandparents, and it takes her well over an hour in the mornings. She has put a ton of miles on her car the last few weeks going back and forth multiple times.

If she needs to go to Wal-Mart, she has to go all the way down to 380. Any other type of specialized shopping requires a trip to McKinney/Frisco or Sherman, although Sherman doesn't always have what she's looking for.

I'm not sure how all of the homes are built in Gunter, but most of these rural areas have homes on septic systems. I'm guessing most of the new Prosper homes aren't septic, but our 1985 Prosper house was (we also had well water). Their Gunter home has an aerobic system (or something like that). Just something to keep in mind since you may not be familiar with maintenance and care of these systems.

In general, life in rural areas is a bit...different. For instance, I'm in Frisco and our trash is collected by a large company weekly. If we have an issue, we call the city and it's resolved. My mom and step-dad had to individually hire someone to collect their trash. If the trash was missed, my mom would call to complain and was basically told that they would need to wait until next week for it to be picked up. She has switched providers several times and they are all mediocre.

They also live in an unincorporated area, so most city services are not available to them. If their roads develop pot holes, it's up to the county to fix, not the city. Again, just things to keep in mind because sometimes things are done very differently in small towns, especially if you are in an unincorporated area.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Frisco, TX
1,197 posts, read 1,436,735 times
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I'm not sure what your current city/town is like, but I think this is very informative if you aren't used to living in a small, rural area:

Living In The Unicorporated Area Of Grayson County - Van Alstyne Homes
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Gunter, TX
4 posts, read 8,493 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephwin View Post
I'm not sure what your current city/town is like, but I think this is very informative if you aren't used to living in a small, rural area:

Living In The Unicorporated Area Of Grayson County - Van Alstyne Homes
Excellent link, thanks for posting that! Most of the things listed are why I like it out here. And, no, I don't have a junkyard or run a meth lab on my property.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephwin View Post
...snip
In general, life in rural areas is a bit...different. For instance, I'm in Frisco and our trash is collected by a large company weekly. If we have an issue, we call the city and it's resolved. My mom and step-dad had to individually hire someone to collect their trash. If the trash was missed, my mom would call to complain and was basically told that they would need to wait until next week for it to be picked up. She has switched providers several times and they are all mediocre.

They also live in an unincorporated area, so most city services are not available to them. If their roads develop pot holes, it's up to the county to fix, not the city. Again, just things to keep in mind because sometimes things are done very differently in small towns, especially if you are in an unincorporated area.
Again, I like the "different" part, and perhaps the OP is looking for that as well. Rural living does require a little bit of self-sufficiency, and neighborly behavior. But, it's not like Gunter is out in the middle of the West Texas desert, with nothing for 100 miles in any direction.

I must be located a bit closer to things than your folks, because I can make it to the big box stores and WalMart in Sherman in 15 minutes, which is about the same amount of drive time I spent in our last home in suburbia. If my wife and I feel the need, we can be in McKinney or Frisco, with all the amenities that they offer, in 30 minutes. It does take an hour to get to DFW airport, and almost 90 minutes to go see a Rangers game. But, we almost never hear a emergency vehicle siren, or a bunch of road traffic. If it's really still, I'll sometimes hear a train horn in the distance. It's blissfully quiet, and we get terrific sunsets!
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:19 PM
 
277 posts, read 554,657 times
Reputation: 109
Like others said, nearby retail and groceries are a hike from Gunter. What about the nearest hospital? Nearest airport? Again, still far from some places that I feel are important. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind living out there, but I'm not into farming and living off the land, or long commutes on a 2 lane road that is still taking forever to progress.
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Frisco, TX
1,197 posts, read 1,436,735 times
Reputation: 1553
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcwellsq8 View Post
Excellent link, thanks for posting that! Most of the things listed are why I like it out here. And, no, I don't have a junkyard or run a meth lab on my property.


Again, I like the "different" part, and perhaps the OP is looking for that as well. Rural living does require a little bit of self-sufficiency, and neighborly behavior. But, it's not like Gunter is out in the middle of the West Texas desert, with nothing for 100 miles in any direction.

I must be located a bit closer to things than your folks, because I can make it to the big box stores and WalMart in Sherman in 15 minutes, which is about the same amount of drive time I spent in our last home in suburbia. If my wife and I feel the need, we can be in McKinney or Frisco, with all the amenities that they offer, in 30 minutes. It does take an hour to get to DFW airport, and almost 90 minutes to go see a Rangers game. But, we almost never hear a emergency vehicle siren, or a bunch of road traffic. If it's really still, I'll sometimes hear a train horn in the distance. It's blissfully quiet, and we get terrific sunsets!
I grew up in Prosper in the 80s, so it was "normal" to me at the time until I moved to Richardson for college, and I generally loved rural living. Then I started realizing how most people in DFW live and that certain things could be a shock for people who aren't accustomed to rural living. My mom and step-dad have frequent visits from coyotes and jack rabbits. That's not something you see everyday in suburbia.
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