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Old 03-17-2010, 07:49 PM
 
19 posts, read 50,078 times
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Ok. A little background before my questions.

We are likely relocating to the Dallas area this summer. We have lived in Dallas once before, in the late 90's, before kids, and lived in Willow Bend in West Plano.

This time back, we are looking for a community and a neighborhood with great schools, lots of kids (ours are 6 and 9), great shopping nearby, lots of activities for the kids, etc.

Our commute will be to the Galleria area. A commute up to 30 minutes is fine - and we leave early in the morning.

We expect to spend around $900K-$1.1MM, and for that get 5 bedrooms, a great pool, and several living areas. We prefer newer or recently renovated. We understand that we could spend less for that size home, but appreciate the differences the extra $ provides. Lot size is not critical - as long as we can create some privacy in the backyard.

We have lived in many cities, and at this stage of our family, we prefer the suburbs. We don't feel the need to be in Park Cities - especially since our budget does not go far there.

All that said - we were looking at Southlake, but with the upcoming DFW Connector construction, I think the commute will be intolerable.

That brings us back to the West Plano, SW Frisco area. Homes in our price range in West Plano are looking a bit dated - but perhaps we just haven't looked at the right neighborhoods.

In Frisco, our online search keeps coming back to a neighborhood called Chapel Creek. There are homes that look attractive, the schools are very close, and newer, and the access to the Tollway looks good.

We haven't yet come to town to look around - we are really trying to narrow our search before even choosing a realtor. This is an approach that has worked for each of our moves.

So......a few questions:

I've read a few threads that steer folks towards Plano over Frisco. Can anyone elaborate as to why?

Is anyone familiar with the Chapel Creek neighborhood? Opinions?

Any other SW Frisco neighborhoods we should consider? West Plano neighborhoods?

Any other upscale areas within our commute tolerance that we should be considering?

Thanks in advance for any and all advice.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Plano
225 posts, read 493,892 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gruffster View Post
Ok. A little background before my questions.

We are likely relocating to the Dallas area this summer. We have lived in Dallas once before, in the late 90's, before kids, and lived in Willow Bend in West Plano.

Willow Bend is a nice area and is a great location with plenty of escape routes to get around the metroplex.

This time back, we are looking for a community and a neighborhood with great schools, lots of kids (ours are 6 and 9), great shopping nearby, lots of activities for the kids, etc.

In Plano, Willow Bend is going to be some of the newer builds in your price range with the Gleneagles extension of tennis courts and racquet ball courts being located in the neighborhood. Also the main club is just down the way. Plano West schools are as solid as they come no matter what study you read.

In Frisco, there is a nice area located pretty close to where Chapel Creek is located. If you head West on Lebanon and turn on Legacy, this area is a hub for younger families. The Starwood subdivision is right on this corner. I am a member of the Lakes Tennis Center located very close to here as well and it's a fantastic refuge from Plano when I need it. I drive 20 minutes to get out there from where I live in Plano if that tells you anything about how fun the area is.

Our commute will be to the Galleria area. A commute up to 30 minutes is fine - and we leave early in the morning.

If you leave early enough, you can even beat traffic, but you're main concern will be where it bottlenecks at George Bush. Either way, I think you'll be just fine with traffic being so close to the main vain of the Dallas Tollroad if you lived in either of these cities.

We expect to spend around $900K-$1.1MM, and for that get 5 bedrooms, a great pool, and several living areas. We prefer newer or recently renovated. We understand that we could spend less for that size home, but appreciate the differences the extra $ provides. Lot size is not critical - as long as we can create some privacy in the backyard.

For your price range I would look at the neighborhoods in the Willowbend area, Lakeside, and King's Ridge right off of Spring Creek. They have some nice construction going up that might be worth looking into. Also, though I haven't previewed any of these particular homes, the Avignon Windhaven subdivision located off of Windhaven is a possibility as well.

For Frisco, I'll suggest looking at the Starwood subdivision located on the NE Corner of Legacy and Lebanon. This is minutes from Stonebriar Country Club and the Lakes Tennis Center as well. I'll add Shaddock Creek to that list as well, though it is a little farther North compared to Chapel Creek or Starwood.

We have lived in many cities, and at this stage of our family, we prefer the suburbs. We don't feel the need to be in Park Cities - especially since our budget does not go far there.

That sounds like a good decision. I will probably won't ever be living in the Park Cities though it is fun to visit from time to time. My wife works down there now, but we like what is here better.

All that said - we were looking at Southlake, but with the upcoming DFW Connector construction, I think the commute will be intolerable.

That brings us back to the West Plano, SW Frisco area. Homes in our price range in West Plano are looking a bit dated - but perhaps we just haven't looked at the right neighborhoods.

You're not going to find a lot of shiny new homes in Plano since it is just about land locked. This is why Frisco has exploded since you left and are now coming back. The positive to this though is that Plano's land will appreciate faster than Frisco since we are more or less built out.

In Frisco, our online search keeps coming back to a neighborhood called Chapel Creek. There are homes that look attractive, the schools are very close, and newer, and the access to the Tollway looks good.

Frisco schools like Plano's are excellent and you will not go wrong in the areas you have mentioned. These are the best in the metroplex.

We haven't yet come to town to look around - we are really trying to narrow our search before even choosing a realtor. This is an approach that has worked for each of our moves.

So......a few questions:

I've read a few threads that steer folks towards Plano over Frisco. Can anyone elaborate as to why?

Well naturally, I'm from Plano and love my city so I will tend to brag on it more than some of it's neighbors. With that out of the way, most will tell you it's a win win here. Some can argue that Plano's real estate will be more valuable in the long run given location, but then you can get more house for the money in the newer subdivisions of Frisco. Flipping a coin might be the appropriate method here. Just kidding.

By the way, the whole East vs. West rivalry in Plano which you probably remember while you lived here in the 90's has spilled over into Frisco so they have it now too. Kind of funny.

Is anyone familiar with the Chapel Creek neighborhood? Opinions?

Darling is the builder on these homes. This is their high end luxury line and their finish out is very strong compared to comparable builders. Similar location to Starwood but a little closer to the Tollway. These areas are high growth areas. The landscape could be vastly different five years from now, but quite a bit of infrastructure is in place already which is a good thing.

Any other SW Frisco neighborhoods we should consider? West Plano neighborhoods?

I answered this above and assume some of the neighborhoods I've mentioned you have already come across.

Any other upscale areas within our commute tolerance that we should be considering?

For this area, there are more options for the type of home that you're looking for in comparison to other geography relatively close by.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice.
Good luck,


Ryan

Last edited by Ryan Kirkpatrick; 03-17-2010 at 10:45 PM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:37 PM
 
19 posts, read 50,078 times
Reputation: 15
Ryan - thanks for that fantastic, thorough response. You've given me some great things to follow up on, and have confirmed a number of my assumptions.

I really appreciate that.

Dave
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:38 AM
 
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
4,198 posts, read 14,570,680 times
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I am glad to see that you reconsidered Southlake. When we lived there, my husband commuted to Plano and he suffered greatly. I imagine that it will be worse with the DFW connector.

Chapel Creek and Starwood are both very nice communities and both in Frisco ISD. Since schools are important to you, you should know that school districts overlap cities so you could be living in Frisco or Plano but be zoned to Lewisville ISD.

Since schools are important to you, you would know that school districts overlap cities here so you could be living in Plano or Frisco and yet be zoned for Lewisville school district.

I don't know if you visited Plano since you lived here, but there is new mall that opened up about 10 years ago called the Shops At Willow Bend.

You do get more for your money in Frisco vs Plano. I love the Willow Bend area for the mature landscaping and trees but many homes built in the 80s and 90s don't offer the amenities you find in a newer home. Chapel Creek had several custom builders there with the most luxurious homes. Most of these custom builders don't build more than 10-15 homes a year. Some of them built in the neighborhing Starwood/Stonebriar communities. There is no community pool and that was a deal breaker for 2 families I worked with.
Other areas I would suggest that you consider in addition to those that Ryan suggested, Castle Hills & you may want to explore Coppell. They have an excellent school district. Twin Creeks in Allen comes to mind as well. It is a master planned community with a golf course, pools, tennis courts etc.

Happy hunting,

Naima

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Old 03-18-2010, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Plano
225 posts, read 493,892 times
Reputation: 113
You're welcome Dave. Happy to help.

Ryan
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:08 AM
 
16,086 posts, read 39,390,317 times
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Another difference in Frisco and Plano schools is that the Plano high schools are gigantic whereas Frisco is going for smaller schools. That might mean you have a better chance to make friends but then again Frisco is so transient. There are a lot corporate nomads and as the area grows, new schools are built and boundaries often change. Plano is more established and the schools produce many more National Merit students. But your kid might not make that team he/she wants to be on because of sheer numbers. A big complaint I hear from Plano grads is that they would never go to a reunion because "I won't know anyone". You would not have that problem in Park Cities or Lakewood where lifelong friendships are assured.

Also Frisco has a reputation of many foreclosures, hence the unwanted moniker "Frisclosure". It was lampooned in a recent book "Tinsel" where one of the most quoted lines is "Frisco, where fake is o.k." http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/110109dnmetfriscobook.39493d7.html (broken link)
and http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallas...e-house-1.html

Maybe you don't want to deal with the Park Cities peer pressures and severe lack of diversity, but at that price range maybe you should reconsider. You can get up the tollway to the Galleria area in 10 minutes or less. Farther out, a lot folks have trouble just getting out of their subdivisions.

Last edited by Lakewooder; 03-19-2010 at 09:17 AM..
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Plano
225 posts, read 493,892 times
Reputation: 113
Lakewooder-good point on the competitive nature of sports or academic groups in Plano High Schools. I grew up in Plano and witnessed this first hand. I was fortunate enough not to be a late bloomer in my sport of choice so I got to play, but there are many children that could have flourished later if they were given the opportunity. I did go to my reunion and I can relate though I really enjoyed it and saw plenty of people that I knew in high school. I will go to more events in the future as well.

Regarding the writer's observation of "perceived fakeness" in Frisco relative to other affluent areas of Dallas, I don't think that is really warranted. The ultimate test in keeping up with the Jones' lies in the Park Cities if cities were based on a ranking scale, not Frisco or Plano. Yes, Frisco and Plano are fortunate to have great tax rates and affluence just to name a few things, but this is no different than the M Streets or Lakewood regarding spending money and status though I know those in Lakewood/M streets that will tell me differently, not going to hold my breath for that one.

The fact is, real change and authenticity begin at the dinner table for each family and their children. This from teaching them how to grow up to be strong and well balanced men and women, not by the city you live in.

Given the Dallas Tollway, living in the areas discussed in Frisco (very close to the toll road) or even better Plano should not present a problem regarding traffic given Dave's daily work destination.

It is interesting to note that Lakewood and Greenland Hills actually had more turnover than the Frisco neighborhoods suggested in my first post.

Ryan
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:09 PM
 
3,693 posts, read 8,158,753 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakewooder View Post
A big complaint I hear from Plano grads is that they would never go to a reunion because "I won't know anyone". You would not have that problem in Park Cities or Lakewood where lifelong friendships are assured.
LW, I find that comment very interesting. I have a PESH grad working for me, my BF is a PESH grad and one of the ladies I was just talking to in the Chamber yesterday is a PESH grad. All within a few years of each other. Didn't run in the same circles, but definitely know of the others. That seems to be pretty common for PESH. Maybe it's different at Plano Senior where the focus is strictly on achievement and the emphasis on friendships isn't as strong.
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