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Old 05-25-2011, 04:09 PM
 
13 posts, read 18,824 times
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I'm moving to the DFW area with my husband and 5-year-old who will be starting kindergarten in the fall. I'm going to be going to school and working as a grad assistant at UTA. We've been looking at the Keller area. Actually, the northern part of Fort Worth that borders Keller is what we can afford (price range is $170-180). The Heritage area seems very appealing. We've also looked at the Park Glen area and it's our 2nd choice. Can anyone tell me exactly how bad the commute is between the Heritage and/or Park Glen neighborhoods in Fort Worth and UTA? Mapquest says 33 minutes. I think it's lying.

However, we actually did the drive in the morning when we were in Texas last week (5/17/11) and it didn't seem too bad. Somehow we got there in 25 minutes. I thought that was fantastic as I currently drive 45 minutes to work. Was this 25-minute drive time some sort of freak thing? I'm concerned because everytime I tell someone who lives in the DFW area that I'm planning to live near Keller and go to school/work at UTA, he/she looks at me funny. What's the deal?

Btw, a really good elementary school is a primary concern for us b/c of my daughter. Also, I want to live in a place that rates really high as far as safety. Initially, we looked at Keller and Mansfield because both have houses we can afford in good school zones (according to greatschools.org). Mansfield didn't impress us too much and Keller did, so we started looking there. Only problem is we can't afford a house in a really good school zone in Keller proper. So, then looked at elementary schools that rated a 9 on greatschools.org and were in the KISD. That's how we wound up focusing on Heritage and Park Glen. Any insight about those neighborhoods and elementary schools (Perot and Lonestar in Heritage and Park Glen in other area) would be much appreciated as well!

Thanks in advance!!!!
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:27 PM
 
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It will completely depend on what time of day you drive, whether or not there is ongoing construction and if it's during the start/end time of a Rangers or Cowboys game.

It could easily take just the 25 minutes, or it could take close to an hour.
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:38 PM
 
Location: TX
3,040 posts, read 11,032,986 times
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^ Exactly! I live in Keller and I can get to Cowboy's stadium in about 20-25minutes when there is NO delay's. (last sunday afternoon)
Then somedays it will take around 45-1hour. (2 weeks ago 4:30pm on (Monday)

Between Park Glen and Heritage....Take Heritage. It has tons of amenites for kids (pools,playgounds, clubhouse, tennis courts, trails)
Schools are also better in the Heritage plan. Lonestar, Bette Perot and Eagle Ridge are all fantastic.

HOWEVER... to make life a bit easier...Look in North Richalnd Hills (Birdville ISD)(some of NRH the north part is in Keller isd), not sure if it's in your range ...but the older section of Forest Glen (off of North Tarrant) might be a great fit.
Also...Hurst,Beford and Eulass (area North of 183) HEB schools...known as the mid cities. The schools are good the commute to Ft Worth would be good and the commute to UTA would also be good.

Good luck
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:30 PM
 
32,557 posts, read 51,122,069 times
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HEB ISD does have many top rated elementary schools
as does Birdville
you don't mention your husband's commute

In Bedford and N Hurst area and NRHills you might have trouble finding a house in your price that is not 20+ yrs old and maybe needs remodeling

you have probably looked at a good MLS site to check out areas that are in Mid Cities haven't you
Arlington itself has some neighborhoods that are in good elementary school zones but after that the options are few and far between

personally I think the drive from Heritage to UTA would be one of the worst in the Metroplex--the I35 freeway is bad in and of itself--and it is not even direct--
so you have to use 30 to come into Arlington and then take surface streets
You might see if Grapevine/north Euless has something you like--
you can use 360 to get into Arlington--busy but driveable
UTA is not located in very accessible location for people coming in from out of town yet it is so much a commuter school it is not funny
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:42 PM
 
83 posts, read 149,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infogather22 View Post
I'm moving to the DFW area with my husband and 5-year-old who will be starting kindergarten in the fall. I'm going to be going to school and working as a grad assistant at UTA. We've been looking at the Keller area. Actually, the northern part of Fort Worth that borders Keller is what we can afford (price range is $170-180). The Heritage area seems very appealing. We've also looked at the Park Glen area and it's our 2nd choice. Can anyone tell me exactly how bad the commute is between the Heritage and/or Park Glen neighborhoods in Fort Worth and UTA? Mapquest says 33 minutes. I think it's lying.

However, we actually did the drive in the morning when we were in Texas last week (5/17/11) and it didn't seem too bad. Somehow we got there in 25 minutes. I thought that was fantastic as I currently drive 45 minutes to work. Was this 25-minute drive time some sort of freak thing? I'm concerned because everytime I tell someone who lives in the DFW area that I'm planning to live near Keller and go to school/work at UTA, he/she looks at me funny. What's the deal?

Btw, a really good elementary school is a primary concern for us b/c of my daughter. Also, I want to live in a place that rates really high as far as safety. Initially, we looked at Keller and Mansfield because both have houses we can afford in good school zones (according to greatschools.org). Mansfield didn't impress us too much and Keller did, so we started looking there. Only problem is we can't afford a house in a really good school zone in Keller proper. So, then looked at elementary schools that rated a 9 on greatschools.org and were in the KISD. That's how we wound up focusing on Heritage and Park Glen. Any insight about those neighborhoods and elementary schools (Perot and Lonestar in Heritage and Park Glen in other area) would be much appreciated as well!

Thanks in advance!!!!
At most times of the day that drive will take you about 45 minutes to an hour coming from those two neighborhoods in Far North Fort Worth . I would also recommend what others have said and look at North Euless and Grapevine. I know you said you weren't impressed with Mansfield, but you really should give it a chance. They have great schools in Mansfield, and you're close to Arlington and Fort Worth. Have you considered Cedar Hill? There are a few Mansfield ISD schools located east of 360 near Cedar Hill, but aside from that most of the elementary schools in Cedar Hill ISD are Exemplary or Recognized in regards to TAKS passing rate.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
10,548 posts, read 22,451,777 times
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As others have said, that is a lengthy commute and there is no direct route. Personally, I wouldn't want to drive that far every day. That is why you are getting those strange looks from people when you tell them about your commute. When you made that drive in 25 minutes, that was a miracle! I would say 45 minutes is a more "normal" drive time.

There are MANY nice areas in your budget besides Keller. North Euless has Grapevine-Colleyville ISD schools which are very well-regarded, as are the ones in HEB ISD. There will also be a lot of homes in your price range in those areas, too. The drive from there to UTA is a straight shot south on 157, and shouldn't take more than 20 minutes.
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:34 PM
 
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CelestinoZ, I have done a little research on Euless and Grapevine, but with our price range it seems next to impossible to find a house in a school zone that is rated exemplary AND rates well on greatschools.org. Initially, my husband and I wanted to be in a "10" school but soon realized we can't afford any of those schools except Willis Lane in Keller. We toured that school and didn't get a good vibe. Plus, I've heard a couple of negative comments about that particular one. So, we decided 9's would be ok. Toured 3 in Fort Worth (Perot, Lonestar, and Park Glen) and liked all of them a lot.

Do you think I'm placing too much weight on what greatschools.org says? It's so hard to gauge. I checked the school ratings for our current location and they seemed to be spot on. We're in a 10 where we are now and we agreed we wouldn't sacrifice my daughter's education for mine. We didn't want to move her to a lower-rated zone. But I don't think we were comparing apples to apples when looking at schools in Texas as compared to where we are now.

I do want to get more info. on Mansfield, though. I do feel like we might've overlooked some of that area. We were only there for 1/2 a day and basically just toured Willie Brown Elementary School and looked around a few neighborhoods. The school and neighborhoods were nice, but we were left wondering where people shop and eat??? We saw very few restaurants and stores. Did we miss the good stuff??
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:49 PM
 
13 posts, read 18,824 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loves2read View Post
HEB ISD does have many top rated elementary schools
as does Birdville
you don't mention your husband's commute

In Bedford and N Hurst area and NRHills you might have trouble finding a house in your price that is not 20+ yrs old and maybe needs remodeling

you have probably looked at a good MLS site to check out areas that are in Mid Cities haven't you
Arlington itself has some neighborhoods that are in good elementary school zones but after that the options are few and far between

personally I think the drive from Heritage to UTA would be one of the worst in the Metroplex--the I35 freeway is bad in and of itself--and it is not even direct--
so you have to use 30 to come into Arlington and then take surface streets
You might see if Grapevine/north Euless has something you like--
you can use 360 to get into Arlington--busy but driveable
UTA is not located in very accessible location for people coming in from out of town yet it is so much a commuter school it is not funny
Loves2read, you are correct...in Bedford, Hurst, and North Richland Hills, it seems to be really difficult to find a decent house in a really good school zone. Our real estate agent, who knows NRH well b/c she lives there, checked and couldn't find anything under $200k in a really good school zone. In Bedford and Hurst, we can get something, but it won't be pretty. As you said, it will likely need lots of renovation. My husband and I have the know-how (we totally renovated our house after Hurricane Katrina), but I seriously doubt we'll have the time. The program I'm entering at UTA is supposed to be rigorous and will likely consume much of my time.

I didn't mention my husband b/c his commute doesn't matter. He works offshore in the Gulf and will be flying out of Galveston once a month. So, one VERY long "commute" for him, but only once a month. So, it's just me that's worried about the drive to UTA. But perhaps I'm too worried about it...I don't even know my schedule yet and there's a good chance it WON'T be 8-5 M-F. It will revolve around my classes and 20 hrs of an assistantship per week. I've been told to expect one night class. Maybe I'll be able to avoid the high traffic hours some days?? Fingers crossed b/c I'm not really seeing any other viable options if we put our daughter's school as the top priority.

Any thoughts on Mansfield?
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:58 PM
 
13 posts, read 18,824 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5stones View Post
^ Exactly! I live in Keller and I can get to Cowboy's stadium in about 20-25minutes when there is NO delay's. (last sunday afternoon)
Then somedays it will take around 45-1hour. (2 weeks ago 4:30pm on (Monday)

Between Park Glen and Heritage....Take Heritage. It has tons of amenites for kids (pools,playgounds, clubhouse, tennis courts, trails)
Schools are also better in the Heritage plan. Lonestar, Bette Perot and Eagle Ridge are all fantastic.

HOWEVER... to make life a bit easier...Look in North Richalnd Hills (Birdville ISD)(some of NRH the north part is in Keller isd), not sure if it's in your range ...but the older section of Forest Glen (off of North Tarrant) might be a great fit.
Also...Hurst,Beford and Eulass (area North of 183) HEB schools...known as the mid cities. The schools are good the commute to Ft Worth would be good and the commute to UTA would also be good.

Good luck
5stones, thanks so much for the info. We were thinking Heritage was the better deal b/w the two areas. Do you feel one area is safer than the other? Any thoughts on the safety aspect of living in that part of Fort Worth vs. in Keller? I know Keller is supposed to have VERY little crime, which was another thing that attracted us to that area. How are NRH, Hurst, Bedford, Euless as far as crime goes?
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:38 AM
 
83 posts, read 149,134 times
Reputation: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by infogather22 View Post
CelestinoZ, I have done a little research on Euless and Grapevine, but with our price range it seems next to impossible to find a house in a school zone that is rated exemplary AND rates well on greatschools.org. Initially, my husband and I wanted to be in a "10" school but soon realized we can't afford any of those schools except Willis Lane in Keller. We toured that school and didn't get a good vibe. Plus, I've heard a couple of negative comments about that particular one. So, we decided 9's would be ok. Toured 3 in Fort Worth (Perot, Lonestar, and Park Glen) and liked all of them a lot.

Do you think I'm placing too much weight on what greatschools.org says? It's so hard to gauge. I checked the school ratings for our current location and they seemed to be spot on. We're in a 10 where we are now and we agreed we wouldn't sacrifice my daughter's education for mine. We didn't want to move her to a lower-rated zone. But I don't think we were comparing apples to apples when looking at schools in Texas as compared to where we are now.

I do want to get more info. on Mansfield, though. I do feel like we might've overlooked some of that area. We were only there for 1/2 a day and basically just toured Willie Brown Elementary School and looked around a few neighborhoods. The school and neighborhoods were nice, but we were left wondering where people shop and eat??? We saw very few restaurants and stores. Did we miss the good stuff??
I tend to try to stay away from greatschools.org, because sometimes it's hard to be sure who is writing the reviews. I look at the Texas Accountability Ratings, Texas Accountability Rating System

These ratings basically just measure a schools ability to pass the state-mandated TAKS test, which they are replacing with the STAAR test.

In regards to Mansfield there still isn't much to do, they do have several restaurants along 287 as well as places to shop (Walmart, Target) and several strip malls. But with the close proximity to Arlington it's not too much of a concern. I substitute in Mansfield so I am a bit partial toward it, but at the same time Keller is a great school district. If you aren't going to have classes where you'll have to travel at high peak times then Keller might work, but be warned that the northern suburbs have much more traffic than the southern ones at most times of the day during the work week, especially along 820 between IH35 and 183.
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