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Old 04-03-2018, 09:37 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,671 times
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Hi all. My family and I will probably be relocating to the Fort Worth area soon because I was just offered a job downtown (a few blocks from Sundance Square). We're looking for some help on areas to consider because we're not too familiar with the area as a whole. I visited once before when I was in Dallas for a conference and I had a friend who used to live in Burleson a few years ago, but that's about our only knowledge.

We're a family of five and our three kids range from 2-10. We used to live a very walkable suburb of Chicago and would love to find something similar in the FW area with access to restaurants, farmer's markets, shopping, parks, and other activities. We could go days without getting in our cars. While I know this is the nature of the Chicago area and that it is less likely in FW, we would like to try. Ideally, I'd love to bike to work too but this isn't necessarily a requirement. If I have to commute via car, I'd like to keep it under 30 minutes if possible. From what research I've done online, the Fairmount and Ryan Place neighborhoods seem like they may fit but some of the houses that I've seen appear to be hit or miss. Is this high refurbishment/gentrifying area? As for budget, we would like to stay under $400k but could go up to $450k if the area met our wants.

We're also a Montessori family with all three of our kids currently in a Montessori school and my spouse working at a Montessori school. We noticed that there are two Montessori schools affiliated with FWISD. Is anyone familiar with these two schools (Daggett and Como)? Also since these go through middle school, how does high school work? Are they feeders for particular high schools or is that based on where we live? If those are no-go schools, we'd also try for a private Montessori school in the area that went up through middle school but having to pay for tuition would lower our housing budget.

Finally, we're also a very socially liberal family but not the obnoxious kind, lol. We currently live in another predominately red county, in a predominately red state in the South and have learned where to pick our battles. Most of the political candidates here are Republican and run unopposed. That being said we are very open with our opinions and want to make sure we are in an area with similar people. How are the churches in the area? We currently attend a progressive UMC and would like to find something similar. How is First UMC downtown?

Are there other areas inside the 820 that we should consider or are our criteria better met outside and we sacrifice the commute/walkability?

Thanks so much for all y'alls help!
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:56 PM
JJG
 
Location: Fort Worth
13,566 posts, read 20,381,241 times
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As far as "Walkable Neighborhoods near Downtown" goes:

- Near Southside/Fairmont
- West 7th
- Cultural District

Area around TCU is somewhat walkable but not that close to downtown.
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Old 04-04-2018, 05:38 AM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
10,501 posts, read 22,338,847 times
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Be careful of the schools in some of those neighborhoods. I'm not very familiar with FWISD schools, but I am aware that not all are great. I know Tanglewood Elementary, and the Paschal HS feeder area, near TCU is the one that's in high demand, and there are other good ones. FWISD also has a "choice" program, but I'm not very familiar with the specifics of how that works.

You aren't going to find nieghborhoods here as walkable as in Chicago simply because of the summer heat. When it's 105 for weeks at a time in July/August, no one wants to walk anywhere. It doesn't really cool off much in the evenings, either.

West 7th is mostly apartments, not houses, and the traffic and parking situation there on weekends/evenings is atrocious. It's more of a young adult/bar crowd there, not families.

The Ridglea and Arlington Heights areas might work for you. They have nice older homes that are kept up well, and both are close to downtown. There are some shops and restaurants within walking distance in each of those neighborhoods.
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Old 04-04-2018, 08:29 AM
 
1,053 posts, read 1,408,832 times
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Fairmount is where you want to be, I'd recommend looking within 6 or so blocks south of Magnolia. A good friend of mine just sold his 3-2 bungalow in the area within your price range. Beautiful house, within walking distance of lots of restaurants, coffee houses, bars, funky shops, and community centers. It's also a very progressive neighborhood, so your political views will be welcome.

You'll get all kinds of well intentioned but poorly informed advice on here from folks who live in the suburbs and think it's impossible to live a life that puts emphasis on walking and biking. How would they know? They live a car dependent existence and don't know the denser neighborhoods well.

I'm in a nearby neighborhood and I almost never drive my car; I walk to work and walk my son to school. Bike to the supermarket, restaurants, bars, and cultural events. There aren't many neighborhoods in Fort Worth that allow this kind of life, but it is worth seeking out and totally doable. The notion that weather impedes this lifestyle is also completely erroneous.

Dagget Montessori has a great reputation. Commuting from Fairmount to downtown is a breeze.

Good luck with your move!
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Bedford
637 posts, read 896,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Campeador View Post
You'll get all kinds of well intentioned but poorly informed advice on here from folks who live in the suburbs and think it's impossible to live a life that puts emphasis on walking and biking. How would they know?

You'll get equally un-informed advice on here about schools. Do some digging and go see for yourself. There are some good schools in Fort Worth that people in the 'burbs would turn their nose up at because they immediately assume that low income and diversity makes for a bad school environment.
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Old 04-04-2018, 06:37 PM
 
1,166 posts, read 861,945 times
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Fairmount is probably your best choice.
TCU area might be a second, but then it it twice the distance.
How far do you bike now? It's about six miles.
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Old 04-05-2018, 01:31 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
191 posts, read 153,254 times
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I'll give you the link to the FWISD School Locator so you have an idea of where the attendance zones for the different schools are. Some of the best FWISD elementary schools include Tanglewood, Burton Hill, and Westpark, and to a lesser extent South Hi Mount, North Hi Mount, Ridglea Hills, Charles Nash, Westcliff, and Lily B Clayton. McLean, Stripling, and Benbrook are probably the best middle schools in the FWISD, and Paschal is pretty much the best zoned high school. There are also several "Gold Seal" schools and programs of choice which involve admission via a lottery process (like the new I.M. Terrell STEM and Visual/Performing Arts Academy).

Keep in mind that the FWISD Montessori schools (Daggett and Como) are part of these "Gold Seal" programs which require selection through a lottery for admission. I believe that preference for admission to these two schools will be given to those who live in the attendance zone for E.M. Daggett Elementary School and Como Elementary, respectively (unlike other separate "Gold Seal" schools which do not have neighborhood preference). Fortunately the Daggett Elementary attendance zone includes those parts of Fairmount south of Richmond Avenue along with Ryan Place north of Lowden (the remainder of Fairmount is zoned to DeZavala Elementary, with the southernmost two blocks of Ryan Place zoned to Alice Contreras Elementary located near the seminary).

I'd stay clear of the Como Elementary attendance zone (it's mostly a lower-income, higher-crime area with the exception of the Kelton at Clearfork).

Keep in mind that Daggett Elementary (the one your kids would attend if not selected for the Montessori program) is rated "Improvement Required" by the Texas Education Agency; that is, the academic performance of the children at these schools are not up to state standards (which are lower than in many states), but that is generally a function of issues correlated with lower socioeconomic status rather than necessarily related to the teachers or principal. The same notes about academic performance issues also apply to Daggett Middle School.

And finally, if attending one of the FWISD Montessori schools, your children's high school will be the one you are zoned to based on your residence, unless admitted to a HS-level "Gold Seal" program elsewhere. For Fairmount, this would be Paschal (the best zoned HS in FWISD).
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Old 08-09-2018, 06:14 PM
 
5,545 posts, read 1,901,954 times
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Another vote for Fairmount. You'll be close to the restaurants on Magnolia. Neat area.
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Old 08-09-2018, 06:45 PM
 
1,053 posts, read 1,408,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamLynn View Post
TCU area might be a second, but then it it twice the distance.
How far do you bike now? It's about six miles.
If you use the Trinity Trail I believe it to be less than 6 miles.
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