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Old 01-21-2007, 09:25 PM
8 posts, read 36,069 times
Reputation: 13


After my first post (no one has replied), we've decided to go with Flower Mound. However, after reading numerous posts on Dallas areas, I have concerns about house buying. We will not be building a new house, so I need help finding out how I can tell if a house is built by a "bad builder" (I've been looking at www.ntxhome.com) (broken link). Or will I just have to rely on a realtor for that information? Does anyone know of areas in Flower Mound we should avoid? What about the soil issue? I do have qualms about buying a home that looks o.k., passes inspection, but in 2 years starts to sink. Should we look for a home older than 7 years, or does it matter? Does soil continue shifting, no matter the age of the house? Also, after reading about the utility bills in the summer, it sounds horrific, and I wonder if we can recoup some of that in the winter months? Any opinions on this? My final question is still about bugs/heat--how bad are they really?
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:46 AM
Location: The Big D
14,864 posts, read 39,835,962 times
Reputation: 5787

Sorry I missed your first post, I'm not on here much on the weekends (overall the weekends on here are pretty slow anyway so that is probably why you did not get a response). Anyway, as for the soil and the age of a home. There are no guarantee's in this area but there are some things you can look for and do yourself to help prevent foundation troubles. As for the age of a home, most minor settling will occur in the first year so w/ a brand new home you have no idea. If the house is already built and you were not present during much of the construction process you really don't have any idea of what went on. For a home that is 7 years old or older most of the minor settling will have already occured that is natural. This type of settling is nothing to worry about as long as the builder did not bring in a lot of fill dirt and then start building on top of it right away.

The settling, shifting that you need to watch for is more to do w/ improper care of the foundation if the builder was okay on their end. This is how you prevent foundation problems. Don't let water stand around the foundation but do water it when it is hot and dry. Don't plant large trees or shrubs right at the foundation (they suck the water up the foundation needs). You don't want a house that someone has planted red tip photinia's around the perimeter of the foundation and allowed them to grow up to the eave's. Look for large cracks in the sheetrock, look around the corners of doors and windows, bricks/mortar and in the foundation itself. Take a good walk around the house on the outside and look for seperation (or that there is no seperation), large gaps where the facia, brick, siding, etc may have pulled apart from the other. Look for doors and windows that stick and are hard to open or close. If you want to make sure the house is okay and I do recommend doing this for peace of mind you can have an engineer do a foundation report. They run around $250-400. May sound like a lot but in the long run can save you a LOT of money and headaches. Also when walking thru the house notice how your walking. Do you feel any slope when your walking? While the North Texas region does have its fair share of clay soil the vast majority of homes DO NOT have foundation problems.

As for the "bad builder", look at the neighborhood real close. Drive around it and see if you notice a lot of for sale signs. Do the houses look "cheap". Are the yards and houses taken care of. I've seen homes in lower end price ranges taken better care of in some neighborhoods than I have in areas that had the "bad builders" and cost more. This is a tell-tell sign that the people that bought these houses actually care about the area and community and their home no matter how much it cost. If it looks run-down then it is not going to get better overnight. You can also go to the county tax office website and look up the tax info on the property and surrounding properties. Are they going up in value or down? Does it appear that the mailing address for the owners of the properties around one your interested in are the actual residents or landlords. Stay away from neighborhoods that attract rental property investors. Check w/ the city to see if they have any requirements for landlords to register rental properties and if the city inspects them periodically. Some cities do this now.

The bugs, LOL!! No, the bugs are not bad. Even when we did not have a pest control company come every 3 months they were not bad. We only started doing that when we moved to a house that was near the lake. Since our house we live in now is near a golf course, has a pool and a TON of landscaping we still have them come out every 3 months. I don't see ANY bugs. It is also just a matter of keeping things clean. Like I tell my kids, don't take food to your rooms and keep things clean so you don't have bugs in your rooms. LOL!!!
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Old 01-23-2007, 02:00 PM
8 posts, read 36,069 times
Reputation: 13
Default Thank you for insight on Flower Mound

Thank you for helping me out with Flower Mound. Now I think I can relax a little bit. I appreciate you taking the time to answer all of my questions, and I feel better about going on with our search. Wish us luck!
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Old 01-24-2007, 08:42 PM
43 posts, read 284,040 times
Reputation: 32
Hi there...I've been searching around and like Flower Mound as well. We've also been looking at Colleyville, Southlake (our new favorite) and parts of Grapevine and even Keller. Amazing looking houses on the website. Good luck - would love to see future posts from you when you arrive to let some of the other people planning know how you went and what you decided in the end!
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Old 01-24-2007, 09:27 PM
3 posts, read 9,898 times
Reputation: 10
Hello, everyone

I am from NJ and am contemplating moving to the Plano, TX area. I been searching for real estate in Plano and Garland areas as well. I am a bit concerned about the tornadoe activity in those areas as well as crime with regards to drugs and violent crimes. I have 5 boys and my main focus is to afford them a good education and to keep them as safe as I possibly can.

Can anyone shed a little light on the matter for me?

Any help you can provide would be appreciated.
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