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Old 01-23-2010, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Santaluz - San Diego, CA
4,485 posts, read 8,527,809 times
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Great Murphy. Thanks for the advice. Do you have any idea what the zip code for Murphy is so I can look on realtor.com? I'd appreciate it. Or if there are several zip codes the zip code where the schools are Plano ISD.

I was a bit surprised to see home rental prices so very low in Plano and Frisco. It looks like they have come down over the past few years. I remember them being higher a few years back on 4 bedroom homes.

I saw some decent houses for rent at less than $1,900 a month which surprised me. I figure property taxes in many of them have to be at least $6,000 a year ($500 a month) so maybe the route is to just rent something for a year until we know for sure what we will do.

We are still trying to decide which city and will take the next year to reallly decide what we will do. I really appreciate everyone's helpful comments. This is a great forum.

Thanks again all.
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:37 AM
 
Location: Plano, TX
859 posts, read 2,066,313 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earlyretirement View Post
CompSiguy - I appreciate your comment. Why specifically would you prefer Frisco ISD over Plano? Any specific reason? I am fairly familiar with Dallas as I've been there many times for work. I explored that area quite a bit and went out to Frisco many times to that big shopping mall there. I didn't look at any homes but it seems pretty far out there. But I guess with the tollway it's fairly easy.
More physical diversity, less economic diversity. Reality, I don't think the schools matter so much, as the social environment. While one can't control everything about their kids, etc. (and shouldn't try), things are likely to be a lot easier with less negative influences in the environment. Parts of PISD zoned to Plano West, etc. are areas of Dallas where they recently decided to add Section 8 housing, ultra-wealthy areas (or areas where people try to appear ultra-wealthy) where the kids are too rich and spoiled with a higher emphasis or materialism / status / etc. There's some land that's undeveloped (or likely to get redeveloped) in the Frisco ISD portion of Plano, but I seriously doubt the city of Plano would do something like putting Section 8 there (the city of McKinney might do that to the part of their city zoned to Frisco ISD). The parts of Frisco ISD and Allen ISD bordering northern Plano also have a high (and growing) concentration of educated professional Asians, for some people that may be a positive. I grew up in this country (went to school in good areas, like Saratoga, CA <which you probably know>) and have older relatives that still have issues about their identity. Young kids are impressionable, and the surrounding environment can either help or hamper their development. Just today my wife was commenting on how one of her friend's preschool-age daughter in California was talking about being white because black people are ugly (the brat is 100% Chinese, just turned 4 and is already showing signs of being screwed up - no comments on the parents).
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Santaluz - San Diego, CA
4,485 posts, read 8,527,809 times
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Excellent compSciGuy! Thanks again for the wonderful information. I really found your comments interestesting, especially your comment about your wife's friends child. Horrible to hear things like that and the kind of thing we want to avoid with our kids. I know that much of it is parenting but also it's your surroundings as well.

I grew up going to elite private schools up until high school. Everyone was Anglo from Kindergarten to 8th grade. Mostly the same kids the entire time but never anyone from another ethnic background so I was very sheltered. I loved going to a public high school where I was exposed to so much more.

But I don't like the "sheltered environment" of the private schools. Take St. Marks, Hockaday, etc.... I don't really want my kids growing up in that kind of bubble. Nevermind they cost an arm and a leg. We thought about Highland Park as the schools are really great there. But that is it's own "bubble". I figured that Plano would be much more diverse.

We don't want to spoil our kids at all. They can't see that I'm working 16/17 hour days now and when I retire I don't want them to get the sense that life is too easy, everyone is white, everyone is wealthy, etc. We want to keep them very grounded. As it stands my daughter, even with very good parenting is a bit spoiled with a strong character. She is only 18 months old and has been to 25 cities in 10 countries in 3 continents. Needless to say we stopped flying first class to start to prepare her for reality....

Keep the good comments coming. It sounds like maybe renting a house the first year might be the way to go until we definitely decide what we will do. I didn't realize they were so inexpensive in that area.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,346 posts, read 6,239,424 times
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The rental market has shifted since the whole bank meltdown.

Before, rentals tended to be owned by people trying to make money off the rentals, so the rents were set to cover mortgages, taxes, etc. and still provide some profit.

Now, all the homes that aren't being sold get dumped onto the rental market in the interim. These owners aren't concerned with making money, just cutting their losses. So if they rent the house for 80% of the carrying cost, those type of owners are still coming out ahead.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:54 AM
 
6,585 posts, read 23,550,364 times
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Just to clarify - Section 8 is a voucher for subsidized housing and people on Section 8 can use that voucher with any landlord anywhere that will take them and whose property meets all the requirements. Section 8 units are all over the place in complexes, duplexes, single family homes.

The development at Hillcrest and George Bush in the city of Dallas/Plano ISD/West Plano attendance zone is what we would call "projects" - built by the Dallas Housing Authority, which they were allowed to do via court order (put public housing in a predominantly white area).
Homeowners Associations: Case Number: 04-10946 - Preston HOA v Dallas Housing Authority (http://www.ahrc.se/new/index.php/src/courts/sub/submit/action/display/id/141 - broken link)

If you drive by them they look like nice 4-plexes, on the east side of Hillcrest, on the south side of George Bush. I haven't heard anything about how its impacted the area.
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:11 PM
 
3,633 posts, read 7,629,351 times
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Murphy is 75094. And includes a fabulous natural diversity. It's not pockets of individual ethnicities, but a mix throughout the city, and on every street. Very cool IMO.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Santaluz - San Diego, CA
4,485 posts, read 8,527,809 times
Reputation: 1977
Big G,

Yes, I imagined it had to do with everyone and their brother playing the "you can't lose money in real estate game" and getting stuck. I told everyone and their brother the real estate market was going to crash a few years back. It was fairly easy to see with banks giving anyone a pulse a 100% no documentation loan. Heck, even my housekeeper that barely spoke any English was buying a $350,000 house with no money down and no proof of income. I knew then the market was doomed.

Even today there is a HUGE shadow inventory probably of about 5-8 million homes in the USA that will eventually get foreclosed on. The US government is artificially propping up the market with bogus FHA loans with very little 3% down payments and allowing people that can't really afford to "buy" a home. Many of these people with no skin in the game will eventually go into foreclosure as well. Personally I don't think anyone should be buying a home unless they have a 20% down payment and the $8,000 tax credit I don't really count as using as a down payment. So many people are using that as their down payment.

Fortunately cities like Dallas and the suburbs aren't really going to fall too much as they didn't have the huge price runs but I've seen high end properties in University Park and Highland Park sitting on the market for up to 500+ days. Not pretty.

It wasn't too difficult to see the crash coming a few years back. In fact, I made quite a bit of money short selling the financials/bank stocks back in 2007 and 2008. I short sold companies like Lehman Bros into the ground as I could clearly see how much toxic waste they had on their books. Same with Citigroup.

MurphyPl1, thanks for letting me know the zip code. I'll check out some properties in realtor.com. I'm still over a year away from relocating so I enjoy looking at updates and watching the market.

It's interesting seeing very stubborn owners that won't lower the prices even though it's clear they will NOT sell their properties unless they significantly lower them. I've seen tons in Highland Park just sitting on the market. Look at this one sitting on the market for 542+ days.

3528 Asbury Street, University Park, TX, 75205 - MLS #11052055 - Single Family Home real estate - REALTOR.comĀ®

Just one example... and to boot they are paying over $15,000 each year in property taxes.

http://www.dallascad.org/AcctDetailR...315000404B0000

Last edited by earlyretirement; 01-24-2010 at 02:14 PM..
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:05 PM
 
12,402 posts, read 23,847,188 times
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Early- just to educate you on the Park Cities market, home sales are slow in three parts of the market:
1) Single-family attached homes (like a duplex, but two single family homes that butt up against each other and share a common firewall), like the one you posted on Asbury. These were someone's "great" idea about 10-12 years ago: tear down all the affordable housing near SMU and HPHS and build tons of $550-$850 SFA's in their place. These have consistently been slow-sellers because they really only appeal to divorcees with serious $$$ and SMU kids whose parents buy them. The Park Cities is 90% true single-family homes and that is where the sales are.

2) Tear-downs. Homes that have not been updated and are not big enough to renovate (or with foundation/structural problems). Builders were driving these sales over the past 20 years and obviously that has slowed way down. Park Cities appraiser DW Skelton said recently that tear down sales are so slow except on prime blocks (3500-3700 blocks of Gillon, corner lots along Armstrong PKwy, etc). It is literally a block-by-block market right now and that will continue until the jumbo loan standards loosen up.

3) The very high end homes ($6-20M) are always slow to sell, even in a good market. There is a much smaller pool of prospective buyers for homes in this price range, and those who do have the money tend to have very personal, specific taste/ wants/ needs. It is not uncommon for these to sit on the market for over a year (see the Lacerte home on Park Lane that finally sold last year for around $30M after being on the market for 3-4 years), as all it takes is one CEO/CFO/Hedge Fund Mgr relo to sell the house.
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:32 PM
 
6,585 posts, read 23,550,364 times
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What's the difference between a single family attached home and a duplex?
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Old 01-24-2010, 05:24 PM
 
12,402 posts, read 23,847,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarNorthDallas View Post
What's the difference between a single family attached home and a duplex?
The firewall. If you ever watch a SFA under construction, the first SFA is completely framed first. Then a giant wall of cinderblock (or something that looks like it) is constructed along the entire shared side. Then the second SFA is framed. Considering most of the SFA's have a third floor, it is a little startling to drive down a street and see a giant 25'x 80' wall of cinderblock!!

The main selling point is safety & noise control. I have been in a few while they are on the market. You can practically raise yor voice to a yell and be stomping on the floor and the SFA next door can't hear anything. As someone whose family has owned many of the charming 1940-1950s Park Cities duplexes over the years, I can tell you it is a huge difference!

However, the old duplexes are becoming extinct. Wise people have realized that you can buy a Park Cities duplex for less $/sf than a single family home and convert it into a 4000-5000sf single family. Plus, you get the added architectural benefit of most of the old duplexes being lovely Tudors and Spanish-style-> turrets, stained glass, tile roofs, Juliet balconies, etc.
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