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Old 01-19-2020, 11:59 PM
 
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My wife and I moved from Fort Worth (out of state move) in 2015, but since we recently had our first baby, we might be moving back to be near family. We used to live in Ryan Place and loved it (although small to moderate crime was always a concern). I know there's been a lot of development, but what noteworthy things have changed? On a recent trip back, I noticed West 7th has really continued to explode, and the Clearfork area has also gotten pretty ritzy (not sure how I feel about that).

Also, where would you want to live if you were a young-ish couple (eary- to mid-30s) with a baby who wanted to take advantage of the city offerings while still being in a good school district (we don't want to be forced to move in a few years)?

We are considering Tanglewood or the areas zoned to Lily B Clayton (Berkeley & Mistletoe), but are there any areas we are missing?

A few specific concerns:
First, we are really into the outdoors, and the possible move back to Ft. Worth (from Colorado) has us bummed on that front. We would like to be close to the Trinity Trails, and I liked to mountain bike at Sansom Park and Gateway Park. I get that Ft. Worth has limited outdoor opportunities, but we at least want to make the most of what is available.

Second, we are liberal atheists. We don't wear this on our sleeves, so I'm not sure how much it matters, but we don't really want to be in a deep red area. Religion and politics can sometimes have a real effect on social interactions, and we don't want to be the oddball in our neighborhood. Would this be an issue in the areas we are looking at?

Finally, we don't want to raise our daughter in an environment with ubiquitous wealth. I understand that good school districts in DFW tend to be in wealthy areas, but it would be nice if there was at least some diversity -- or maybe even just enough normal, middle class people. The idea of a place like Westover Hills -- which we probably couldn't afford anyway -- sounds terrible to us. With that said, we do want it to be pretty family-oriented. It would be nice if our daughter could have some friends in our neighborhood so she could ride her bike over to their house! Do kids still do that?

Our budget is probably $700-750k, but it could be flexible for the right property. The bank will give us $1 mil+, but that sounds crazy to me. We're cheap, though, so we'd be super thrilled to find something that met our needs for $500k or less. I work but don't need to commute to an office, and my wife doesn't work.

I should add that we dislike most houses that are less than 30 years old and will not live in a cookie cutter neighborhood. No new builds!

Last edited by Wittgenstein's Ghost; 01-20-2020 at 01:14 AM..
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Old 01-20-2020, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
149 posts, read 115,886 times
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I feel like Tanglewood matches a few of your criteria, though some of the other criteria you mention makes me think that the Tanglewood area might not be the best fit, either. It's close to the Trinity Trails (in fact there is a connector trail that passes under Hulen Street and connects to Overton Park; I ran along there when I went to TCU), and is one of the more desirable neighborhoods that is close to other central city amenities. That said, the area seems fairly conservative (at least judging by the political signs I've seen on people's front yards in that area during election seasons), but that is to be expected for pretty much any affluent area in DFW. Also, the environment at Tanglewood Elementary seems to be a fairly wealthy "bubble" from what I can ascertain, though after 5th grade, there will be a lot more socioeconomic diversity at McLean Middle School and Paschal High School. Lily B Clayton and Westcliff elementary schools still get the same middle and high schools as Tanglewood but with much more socioeconomic diversity at the elementary level. If you wanted to go back to Ryan Place you could consider taking a shot at the lottery for Daggett Montessori (I believe there is a local preference if you live in the attendance zone for E.M. Daggett Elementary, which is basically Ryan Place as well as those areas of Fairmount south of Richmond Avenue) but there are no guarantees with that.

You might also look into the Westworth Village area as well. It has a pretty good elementary school (Burton Hill, second-best FWISD elementary after Tanglewood pretty much) and is literally right next to the Trinity Trails, though there is the downside of airplane noise from the military base there. There will also be a lot more socioeconomic diversity at Burton Hill compared to Tanglewood. I believe the middle school that serves that area (Stripling) also does pretty good by FWISD standards (though that's probably "average" by the standards of a suburban school district like Northwest ISD or Keller ISD), but the high school (Arlington Heights) is not as good as Paschal. You could also look into the areas served by North Hi Mount and South Hi Mount elementary schools if you want to be further from the base and closer to city amenities like the Cultural District (these two schools also belong to the Stripling/Arlington Heights feeder pattern). There are some really nice neighborhoods like Crestwood (next to the Trinity Trails) and Monticello in the North Hi Mount attendance zone, though many people in these neighborhoods do elect to send their children to private schools.



The most liberal neighborhood in Fort Worth seems to be Fairmount, at least to my understanding (almost everyone there had Beto signs during the last Senate election), though the public schools serving that area (with the exception of Paschal and Daggett Montessori) leave a lot to be desired, and you would be nowhere near the trail system.

I'm not as familiar with the suburbs, but I do know that any decent schools with any sort of diversity will be in cookie-cutter neighborhoods. One example of this might be O.A. Peterson Elementary in Northwest ISD (fairly diverse student body, both in terms of ethnicity and socioeconomic status, but in an extremely cookie-cutter suburban environment). Some higher-end neighborhoods may be a little less cookie-cutter, but you run the risk of raising your child in a wealth bubble (as would be the case with Southlake). And there tend to be more outspoken conservatives in those areas as well.

Last edited by bmlx; 01-20-2020 at 06:59 AM..
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
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Tanglewood is embroiled in redistricting right now and it's pretty contentious. What you want is difficult to find. I know a private school that would be a good fit if you were willing to consider that. It's quite diverse ethnically, religiously, politically, and socioeconomically. It's quite innovative pedagogically. No one cares what car you drive or what logo, if any, is on your wife's purse. You do get some of the private school fundraising BS but it's easy to sidestep. Message me if you're interested in more info.
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
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I also suggest you look into private schools. There are some good choices without the “affluence” effect.

Downside could be the lost opportunity to have neighborhood friends but if you find a place in a neighborhood that has a park or playground walkable to your home, likely your child would meet neighborhood kids there if you took her to the park frequently.
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Old 01-21-2020, 01:49 PM
 
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Have you considered a condo right in the middle of Fort Worth, near Bass Hall, the parks, and all the restaurants? Or are you looking strictly for a SFH?
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:46 PM
 
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Thanks to all for the great suggestions. I messaged tcualum, and she had some great insight regarding private schools.

Private schools would allow us to live where we want, but the downside is ~$20k plus per year for 12 years for (possibly) 3-4 kids, which is what we are planning on. That adds up to around a million bucks! The net present value of that discounted at the mortgage rate to today's dollars is a pretty big chunk of change that could go to a house with free schools. Then again, my wife opted to attend a relatively small private school instead of Southlake Carroll when she was in high school, and she loved the small private school feel. She hated Carroll, fwiw.

bmlx, I think you are right regarding preference for Daggett in Ryan Place. That sounds interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by calgirlinnc View Post
Have you considered a condo right in the middle of Fort Worth, near Bass Hall, the parks, and all the restaurants? Or are you looking strictly for a SFH?
Only briefly. I really can't imagine raising kids in a condo. I think we want a yard. It doesn't have to be huge, but we want to be able to walk outside and play.
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:09 AM
 
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You have gotten some good advice here and seem to know the city well. It's changed since 2015, but not THAT much!

A neighborhood I'd strongly recommend is Westcliff. The school has recently done exceptionally well. It was the runner up, nationally, for America's best urban schools. There is a strong bilingual (English-Spanish) program, if that interests you.

https://ncust.com/abus-spotlight-wes...entary-school/

The neighborhood is about as outdoorsy as it gets in FW: lots of trees, hills, Forest Park (trails that lead to Trinity Trails), and some space between houses.

I'd look for houses that are not too close to I-20. We lived in the neighborhood for five years and loved everything except the traffic noise, but we were way too close to the interstate.

Your neighbors will be a good mix. We have friends who are from several different countries and numerous states. Not as overtly liberal as Fairmount, but politically a decent mix and everyone gets along.

Other, slightly more urban options: Mistletoe Heights, University Place, University West.
All have tighter lots, but closer access to Downtown, the Cultural District, and the Trinity Trails. They also have sidewalks and front porches, which IMO helps create a community feeling since it encourages pedestrian traffic and allows spontaneous conversations with neighbors.

They feed to Lily B or Tanglewood. You might also consider getting in the lottery for Alice Carlson Elementary, which is an absolute gem.

Others to look at: Crestwood and River Bend. I have friends in the former and they love it (kids go to North Hi Mount). The latter just looks cool whenever I bike by from the Trinity Trails and I think the area is about to explode.
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Old 01-26-2020, 09:37 AM
 
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I can't find where to edit my previous post, but I meant to write Foster Park (Trail Lake and South Drive) not Forest Park. Both are great, but only the former is in Westcliff (as you likely know). Good luck!
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Old 01-26-2020, 01:33 PM
 
3,578 posts, read 2,080,671 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Campeador View Post
I can't find where to edit my previous post, but I meant to write Foster Park (Trail Lake and South Drive) not Forest Park. Both are great, but only the former is in Westcliff (as you likely know). Good luck!
Hey thanks a ton. I didn't know about Alice Carlson. I flipped a house once (not in that business anymore, thankfully) that was off South Drive just south of I-20, so I drove through Westcliff daily for a while since I lived in Ryan Place. It's a great place, and it's been on our radar.

We are going to be in town this next week and might take a look around. I think in the last week or so, we've sort of shifted toward staying in Colorado for a couple more years....but that changes regularly.
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:34 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
149 posts, read 115,886 times
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Foster Park is assigned to Tanglewood, though it will most likely be re-assigned to the under-construction Overton Park Elementary (the Tanglewood "reliever school") once it is completed in August. I would expect Overton Park ES to have the same issues with an affluence bubble as Tanglewood has, since its attendance zone is being entirely carved out from a part of Tanglewood's zone.

Alice Carlson is harder to get selected for, compared to Daggett Montessori, as there is no local preference. In fact they prioritize the children of district employees (who live in-district, that is) the highest. Too much of their student body is, in my opinion, the children of district employees. The FWISD board could easily fix this, and give more deserving children district-wide a chance, by making staff preference only applicable for staff placed at the school where the parent is requesting preference (such that only a parent actually working at Alice Carlson could get staff preference for their child at Alice Carlson).
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