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Old 06-22-2009, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36 posts, read 94,943 times
Reputation: 22

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Hello everyone. We are a family of 6 from Chicago - dad, mom, 3 boys, and 1 girl (all under age 10). I (the mom) lived in the Dallas area a few years ago - Mesquite, Garland, and I worked in Farmer's Branch. The dad has never been to Texas.

We are relocating in the next month or so due to his job - my prayers have been answered! No more Chicago winters! I know there have been some changes while I was away, but I am sure the southern hospitality still rocks! I was thinking about moving to the Valley Ranch/North Irving area, while the dad thinks Plano would be best. (He just heard Plano was nice, and I think he likes saying the name in his fake accent. ) He will have minor job related travelling to do in the metroplex regardless to where we live. My questions are:

1. Excellent schools - I do know enough to stay away from DISD, but some say Irving ISD is good/bad. Which one?

2. Family oriented/diverse neighborhoods...will my beautiful black babies be able to play w/o drama? We didn't have a single issue before, but this is a new area we're moving to...

3. Transportation. We'll have one car, is DART a feasible means of travel?

4. After dark - is all quiet or will the party just be getting started? Hopefully the former.

5. I'm getting mixed reviews for Plano, Frisco ( some say racist, but I've never experienced it down there), and McKinney. Any input?

Thank you in advance to all of your helpful replies.
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Lake Highlands - Dallas
676 posts, read 2,556,139 times
Reputation: 627
You havent mentioned where your husband will be working. I suggest that you get house that's a short drive from work as the traffic can be terrible here.
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36 posts, read 94,943 times
Reputation: 22
I remember the traffic. Though it's still less frustrating than Chicago. He is a branch manager for J.P. Morgan-Chase Bank. I would like to stay in an apartment for a year until he gets the lay of the land. Are you from the Irving area? If so, how does DART work there? Thanks.
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Lake Highlands - Dallas
676 posts, read 2,556,139 times
Reputation: 627
Yes, I'm from Irving (born and raised here) and I can definitely tell you that there are a few people who use DART. Irving has the TRE (commuter train w/ 2 stops in Irving) that connects downtown Dallas to Ft. Worth that is very safe, clean, and efficient. Irving will also be getting light rail trains that will connect DFW airport to downtown Dallas, but this wont be up and running until 2010 or 2011. We also have a bus system (I dont know much on it though).

The city is poised to do well and signs of it can be seen all throughout the city. The older part (south of 183 Airport Fwy) is filled with many wonderful heavily treed neighborhoods and parks, while the older neglected neighborhoods are in the process of being redeveloped into more upscale housing.

The Las Colinas part of town (north of Rochelle) and Valley Ranch (north of 635) are doing great and will continue to do well. If you're going to live in an apartment in this part of town (or anywhere really), then I suggest you visit them in the evenings (when everyone is home from work) to see what kind of people live in them, since I've heard that people who require government assistance can sometimes live there.

The Irving school district is mediocre at best (but still better than DISD), but I believe there are signs of improvement. All high school students are issued laptop computers that assist them with their studies and the Gifted and Talented, AP, and Pre-AP programs are very competitive and students fight to do well in school. The northern part of the city is also serviced by Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD (good) and Coppell ISD (really good) and there's also North Hills (charter school) that's supposed to be very good.

Irving will always manage to reinvent itself and will always be fine IMO due to it's central location to everything in the metroplex. It's between DFW and Love Field Airports and its' Las Colinas district is the second largest employment center in the metroplex.
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:01 PM
 
6,578 posts, read 24,183,628 times
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To get bus service to schools you need to be at least 2 miles away. Those people who are too far to walk, but not far enough for bus service often have trouble figuring out how they will get their kids home in the afternoon.

So, keep that in mind since you have 1 car.
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36 posts, read 94,943 times
Reputation: 22
Thank you, I will keep that in mind. When I lived in Mesquite and Garland, I seem to remember gigantic Walmart's EVERYWHERE. I do have an additional question: how are the after school activites? I would like my boys and little lady to join a sport. Any recommendations?
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:03 PM
 
6,578 posts, read 24,183,628 times
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There are different sports associations in different areas. Wait and see where you move to see which one is closest. It will be tough without a car though - getting to and from practices and games during the week.
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:39 PM
 
Location: Dallas-Ft. Worth
108 posts, read 455,639 times
Reputation: 28
Were you & your husband looking to rent or purchase??
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:25 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36 posts, read 94,943 times
Reputation: 22
He wants to buy, but I want him to get a "feel" for Texas before we do. I would like to rent first. We're renting a 3 bedrooom 2 bathroom condo for $1300. We pay electric and gas. I would like to rent a condo, townhome or a condo-like apartment. If we must, then we'll rent a house. We're looking to pay between $1300-$1600 a month. Although I must agree with the dad that if we're spending that much on rent, we may as well purchase!
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:23 PM
 
16,087 posts, read 38,896,250 times
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There are many great schools in DISD - about half are recognized or exemplary - the administration and school board are usually the source of bad news but don't let that color your impression of individual schools. Four DISD high schools were just ranked among the top in America by Newsweek. We have two blue-ribbon elementaries in my neighborhood.
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