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Thread summary:

Questions regarding Fort Worth Texas area, transferring from Southern California, housing prices, cost of living, outdoor recreation activities, offroading, camping, high property taxes, no golf courses

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Old 09-26-2007, 01:45 PM
Location: SoCal
2 posts, read 4,544 times
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My office is thinking about relocating me to the Ft Worth area. My old supervisor transferred out there and needs someone with my expertise to run his field operations. That said I'm looking into it. The office is in the southern edge of Ft Worth, and likewise I would want to be in that area, as i am not against biking to work on occasion.

Currently my wife (who is preggers) and I are living in Southern California. I don't consider us your typical Californians as we have been here only two years, having moved from Detroit.

I have looked at other posts about moving/relocating but haven't really found answers that satisfy my questions about the place.

What are the people like? Is there really "the southern hospitality"? Racial lines? The biggest thing I noticed between Detroit and SoCal was the LACK of racism. I absolutely love holding a door for someone of another race and hearing a "thank you" instead of a grumble. Detroit is TERRIBLE in that regard (in fact the only time I was EVER called a cracker was in Downtown D-town). What about religion and sexual preference? We are non-religious and typically find our best friends happen to be gay. Will we find this in Ft Worth? Are people quick to judge new neighbors? I have long hair, tattoos, and piercings, she loves rainbows (but isn't gay! crazy I know). Yet we'll have bbq's with neighbors, work on each other's vehicles, take care of lawns and gardens, etc.

As stated previously, my wife is pregnant. We are considering this move as we would rather not raise a child in SoCal. How are the school districts? Are subjects taught in school non-bias? Is religion incorporated into the school day in public schools? Does anyone know where we can get testing results of various school districts? Obviously this is jumping the gun a bit, but I would like to know the area and not move again prior to my child enrolling.

Housing in the area is cheap. This is obvious. We owned a home in Michigan, sold it, but just cannot afford a home in a decent neighborhood in SoCal, so we're renting. I have read a couple of posts that include high property taxes. the odd thing, none of them really say what the taxes are. Can someone give us an idea of the average property tax rate in the area? Simply put, we plan on puchasing a home within a year, what should we plan on the tax rate being on the purchased property?

Recreation: we love to go offroading, camping, hiking, fishing, etc. Within an hour or two of driving is there enough of these activities to keep us busy? Are the lake public access? Are there state or national parks around? We don't golf, and I don't particularly like it, will we survive?

Vehicles: Are there smog regulations? One of the biggest bummers about California are the vehicle laws. Does Tx have similar laws? What about registering out of state vehicles? What is the yearly average to license a vehicle?

weather: socal is hot in the summer, but dry almost all year. Michigan was bitterly cold in the winter, hot and muggy in the summer, and humid all year, how does Ft Worth compare to these two?

Lastly, what are your general likes and dislikes?

Thank you,
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:36 PM
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex
1,298 posts, read 4,002,565 times
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I'll try to answer some, maybe others can chime in. Where in south Fort Worth? Just north and south of I-30 around the Hulen area is pretty decent. I know some people there. You will find the native Texans friendly, although some may not quite know what to make of your appearance as you described it. It's okay, it's not unheard of around here! Just maybe not as prevalent as in CA. There is a large gay population in Dallas but in Fort Worth they are maybe not outspoken about it. Although last year the Gay Rodeo was held in Fort Worth.

As far as holding the door open for another race, most men around here (if they've been brought up right! ) will hold the door open for women as well as men, regardless. Y'all sound like a really friendly, fun couple so you should not have any problems with most of your neighbors!

Yes, LOTS of lakes and parks around! Here's a link for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department | Welcome Lots of camping, fishing, hiking, biking, water sports, etc. Here's another link for traveling in Texas: TravelTex Home

Besides the annual auto inspection, your car has to take an emissions test every other year. I'm not sure about registering out of state vehicles. My annual registration fee is about $60 which is about average, I think.

Weather: Hot May through October with high 90's and 100's mostly in July and August, sometimes in June. We are still in the 90's right now but it starts to cool off around middle or end of October. We can get humid here, too. We sometimes get one or two freezing spells during the winter, maybe a little snow and ice or sometimes not at all. Other than that, winters are pretty mild. I just mentioned in another thread that we do see tornadic activity and you'll see lots of warnings and watches mostly in the spring but sometimes in summer and early fall, too.

As far as likes and dislikes, what do you mean? Most native Texans have alot more positive to say about Texas than negative. I mean, we know that Texas has its problems like any other state but on the whole, like they say about Texas, "It's a whole 'nother country!" and I'm proud to be Texan!

Maybe someone else can answer some of your other questions!
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:41 PM
Location: Fort Worth, TX
1,379 posts, read 6,049,323 times
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Congratulations on your baby and your move!! Coming from Northern California, you are going to be just fine. My hubby is a big off roader and used to run up at the Rubicon and the Sierra Nevada trails. He is finding some stuff in Oklahoma a few hours away.

You will find a LOT of hunting and fishing here!
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:59 PM
200 posts, read 421,347 times
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I suspect you're going to get a wide variety of replies as the subject of Fort Worth tends whip up a storm among those who have an opinion of the place - both good and bad. Natives tend to be fiercely loyal to the death and believe it's the greatest place on earth - not a bad thing in my book. You'll likely get a few replies from neighboring Dallasites who in general are pathologically disdainful either because Fort Worth is not as big as Dallas or they are envious of some of its superlative features.

For the record, I'm a native Fort Worthian; but I've lived all over the United States, including California. Currently, I'm in Austin. Just a suggestion - I would look for the replies - both good and bad - from those who have relocated from other parts of the country. But for what it's worth, I'll offer my observations.

In general, I think Fort Worth is more of a family city - and not so much a magnet for young hipster singles (although I've certainly witnessed a small but funky element roaming the bars there). And though there's not much of a commercial gay scene in Fort Worth, I am gay and and my partner and I have found it to be very tolerant and welcoming. We have many gay and straight couple friends who live there - particularly on the near west side. We'd be your friends. Several of my adult relatives and their spouses are both pierced and tatooed and they fit in just fine! We all go out to Joe T's or downtown every once in a while and not once has our tatted, pierced, and gay group gotten so much as a partial stink eye. And while it's not perfect, the city gets generally high marks for its race relations.

Best thing in my book about Fort Worth - real estate is seriously cheap! Fort Worth has some really fantastic established neighborhoods where large family homes in great shape and great design are still affordable. While most Texans consider their real estate taxes too high, they are not that bad compared to the rest of the country. And there's no state income tax in Texas

Currently, a lot of development is going on downtown and in the neighborhoods immediately to the west and south of downtown which will provide some unique new urban streetscapes, living options, and places to get drunk in the future (second best thing - liquor's cheap there).

Others will chime in on your question, but take it from a guy who's seen a lot - Fort Worth - which sometimes gets a bad rap - can be a great place to settle down and have a great life. Good luck!
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:16 PM
65 posts, read 295,762 times
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Well when I lived in Fort Worth, I will admit I found it quite racist. I am from the Boston area and grew up in an intergrated neighborhood so it somewhat shocked me to hear white people in social settings drop the N-word among others like nothing. Very little race mixing goes on and my interracialy married friends from out of state feel much more comfortable visiting me in Dallas than they did in Fort Worth where they said after spending a week with me, they got tired of getting stared at. I know there are gay people, but there's no real gay community. A black guy that I work with in Dallas grew up in Fort Worth and say that it's not that there are no racial problems in Fort Worth, it still has that "across the tracks mentality" as if the minorities know their place. The city is very family oriented though, so if that's what you're looking for, you'll probably do fine.
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Old 09-26-2007, 08:42 PM
Location: St. Louis, MO
142 posts, read 382,570 times
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To add to the vehicle transfers from out of state. There is a $90.00 per vehicle charge to transfer registration from another state plus whatever your tag charge will be in Texas (usually as said above around $60). Most counties have emissions. So you have to do this order to get your tags. However the emissions here in NOTHING like California's standards. Diesels are exempt and pay a standard $12.00 fee for your sticker

1. Get insurance showing your new Texas address
2. Have vehicles inspected
3. Take your previous state registration, emission paperwork and checkbook to the tag office in your county. Get your tags..
4. Then go to the DMV with your registration and proof of insurance and get your new Texas drivers...

We really like Fort Worth...I think you will too!
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Old 09-27-2007, 12:41 AM
Location: Metromess
11,798 posts, read 23,036,790 times
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Emissions testing is every year, not every other year. I think that when you buy a new car, the sticker is good for the first two years.

I think of Fort Worth as being in-between the South ("Southern hospitality") and West Texas, a different animal. People still have manners here, generally speaking. There is some racism here, but there is som everywhere, and it isn't pronounced here in most cases. Just pick your friends.
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:02 AM
32,551 posts, read 51,102,602 times
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you can use the Tarrant Appraisal District site to check taxes for any residential property in Tarrant county which is most of FTW and the surrounding cities and outlying areas--there are links to show the taxing rates for the different taxing authorities--
In TX unlike some other states--school districts do not go by county or city lines--they are separate entities and one district can be run into 3 towns or 2 counties---most realty MLS sites give the school districts for that particular house--some sites give the current taxes....Tarrant county once again raised the tax appraisals of most homes, commercial locations, and raw land because of the booming market--of course that happened before the sub-prime crunch and despite the many foreclosures happening in Tarrant county...
I will PM two sites that I consider good information MLS sites--not to use the brokers but just because they have good information about different areas. schools, or have a good search features...If I list them--they will get blanked out...

You say you boss in on S side ofthe Loop==would that be east or west--because those areas are different and would pose their own special criteria...
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Old 09-27-2007, 11:15 AM
1 posts, read 2,247 times
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Wow, every one has given you some great information. If you're interested in more, I run a blog called The Fort Worthian You mentioned talking about recreation and such, and we kind of do lifestyle coverage. Have fun!
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Old 09-27-2007, 01:16 PM
Location: SoCal
2 posts, read 4,544 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you all for the help, suggestions, and simple replies. Every little bit helps me become more educated with my decision. As for the office, it is located directly across the 820 expressway from Tarrant County College. My former supervisor that is running that office recently purchased a home in Mansfield and is ranting and raving about the community. Any comments?

When I asked about positives and negatives, I was essentially asking about the things you like or dislike most about the area. For example, I LOVE the winter weather in SoCal, but the year round traffic jam is terrible. If you have no negatives, then you've found the nirvana I'm looking for!

And I will agree with you catman, there is a bit of racism everywhere. It can affect you daily life a lot more depending on the degree and the people it is directed to.

Also a big thank you to the people replying about the vehicles. Is it relatively painless to renew smog certificates every year? A quick stop at a specialty shop? Or do you have to make appointments and take a day off of work, etc. Obviously not a deal breaker, but one of many things to weigh into the decision.

I love blogs, so I will definitely check that one out. Again thank you all for your assistance. If you come across a specific webpage you think may be useful, feel free to send it along. I have no problem checking out other websites so someone doesn't have to paraphrase and type up a response.

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