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Old 01-19-2007, 01:56 PM
1 posts, read 4,327 times
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My fiance' and I will be relocating to Texas from San Diego, CA in March. He will be working in a building right on the Texas Motor Speedway track, so we are looking for an area within 20-30 minutes from there that is a nice community. We both have never been to Texas, so it is hard looking for apartments in area's we know absolutely nothing about. If anyone could give me some suggestions on areas I should look into, or places to steer away from, that would be great. We will be trying to save up to buy a house, so we are looking to pay anywhere from $700-900 a month on rent. I would really like to find a community that I can call home with shops, nice people, and a layed back attitude. We are going to be in Texas for a while, and I don't want to move into an area that makes me just want to turn around and come running back to Cali. I am up for this adventure. Any advice on moving to this area of Texas period would be helpful because I have no idea what to expect. Thanks so much for everyone's help...ANY advice would be helpful.
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Old 01-20-2007, 06:00 PM
13 posts, read 46,671 times
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There is a great community close to the Texas Motor Speedway called Sendera Ranch.
There are a few builders there and they start in the $110's to buy, but there are also alot of rent homes in the area as well.
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Old 02-13-2007, 08:56 AM
Location: Haslet, Texas
10 posts, read 73,705 times
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There are a lot of new developments close to the speedway. I live in Haslet which is about 15 minutes from the track. There are apartments in the area but with the way property values have increased it would be a great time to buy out in this area. Moderator cut: advertising

Last edited by AustinTraveler; 02-15-2007 at 04:02 PM.. Reason: advertising
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Old 02-14-2007, 09:14 AM
32,557 posts, read 51,151,280 times
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Default Educate yourself a little before buying ---posted in several parts

(I did not realize I had learned so much in shopping for our own new home---most of this information is what I have learned from living in TX almost all my life and planning to build a new home to retire in)

Please don't be in a rush to buy a home in TX before you have educated yourself at least a little about what is going on here---there is a very slow home market now--the rate of forclosures has risen almost every month for the past year--if you are in a position to buy a home in your price range because you have cash for downpayment and good credit history--don't rush because you are afraid of losing something on the market --- especially new homes around 300,000 ... unless you are looking in one special location or for a house with pretty unique features, you have a variety to choose from and a supply that is growing faster than demand to buy it---big article in Sunday's paper about how builders are facing continuing problem with supply exceeding demand---it is a buyers' market pretty much across Tarrant--Dallas co right now, especially in homes below 500,000....

Educate yourself about the builders both tract and small independents who offer homes in areas you are considering---Really consider renting an apartment or a house, even leaving some stuff packed in storage unit, and checking the situation out before you jump into something you might regret 6 mo later....if you like the country, it might be possible to buy acreage with only a short commute....

Building in the N Texas area has some issues that coming from California you might not be aware of---including the fact that TX as a state has lousy laws to protect anyone buying a home --either an older home on resale market or a new one that you build from scratch. There is an agency that "oversees" builders but it is pretty much lip service and a sham---Google for some info about it and you will read homeowners' complaints from all over the state--and in all price ranges.....Sandra Bullock, the actress, went through a very expensive law suit a couple of years ago over a custom home she was having built in the area outside Austin, TX---our state decidedly favors builders over consumers--so it is BUYER BEWARE situation on your part....
Try to find out by contacting the Better Business Bureau, checking the court house for information on law suits regarding builders whose homes you are cosidering---for Tarrant co homes, www.tad.org is the web site for information on property --you can check the history of homes for past owners and the builder in most cases and see how the property is valued for tax purposes....other counties have similar sites but some not as well laid out

These are some general points you might not know...

1)the type of dirt around here that we build on is "unstable"--not earthquake territory but a shifting type of geological strata which can cause foundation failures in houses not properly designed/built---most builders in houses under 5-600 thousand don't do piered-beam foundations but a tension cable "slab"--cheaper and more difficult to design and construct properly so that it does not crack down the line--if you do it properly it is almost as expensive as the pier beam style...

2) we have no state income tax so taxing entities get their money in a variety of other ways--a general sales tax for each city set at different rates--but also separate taxes are paid to the ISD, city, county, TCC district, and whatever else are in each of the areas you look at....
any good MLS search site gives the property taxes for a house on the resale market. Those taxes are used to be estimated, prorated, and included in the monthly mortgage payment but now I think most are paid separately--- you need to be a responsible money manager---no saved taxes @ February when they are due means foreclosure process starts....

The first year property tax on a new home usually factor only the raw land value--makes it seem like the note will always be low--but after TAD ---(Tarrant Appraisal District) or whatever county you buy in-- actually appraises and sets the improved property value, there is higher tax due and your monthly amount would increase or you would have to pay the difference in one lump sum.
Sometimes when buying a new home giving that monthly increase information is ignored or glossed over until after the house is sold and then the buyers find in a year or so that their payments have increased---whether the mortgage rate has or not---two totally separate issues....

posting second part in separate post
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Old 02-14-2007, 09:30 AM
32,557 posts, read 51,151,280 times
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Default Princess--second part--MLS search site at end

Some other factors to consider

3) School districts---
even if you do not have children now and don't plan to have them for years, schools influence the current and resale value of a home---school districts here in TX do not go by county lines or even city limits--there can be 4 different school districts' zones in differnet parts of one city's boundaries and conversely--4 cities can all have schools for the same district within its boundaries---complicated and confusing....MAKE SURE you know what specific schools your neighborhood is zoned for and if the district is planning to build a new school that would affect your attendance zone...you can call the district to be sure...

The district you live in determines the school property taxes you would pay and all ISD tax rates are not equal---rates are set by the individual ISD's board but regulated by the state legislature---

I am more familiar with districts in the middle of Tarrant Co--not so much the ones on the west side toward Haslet or the north towards Denton----in my area Southlake/Carroll ISD is #1, then Grapevine-Colleyville #2--Northwest ISD is growing and has instituted an International Baccalaureat program but has some other drawbacks and is not really a top-rated district at this time....
The Keller ISD goes on both sides of I-35 north of Loop 820 and I would say the individual schools would be the deciding factor...north you have Denton ISD and other smaller districts---Internet seach will give lots of info...

4) Police/Fire/Emergency Response--ALWAYS ASK---DON'T ASSUME---THAT BECAUSE THE LISTING SAYS HASLET/SAGINAW/FORT WORTH/KELLER OR WHATEVER CITY THAT YOU WILL GET CITY SERVICES ---In Texas some residential developments are located outside city limits into county land which is "unencorporated" even if the mailing address gives a city address---there is a lower tax rate because no city taxes are assessed but the trade off is that there are no city services--no city police-fire-ambulance coverage for emergencies.

There is a county sheriff --spread out and fewer response units/slower response time usually-- and usually some local, maybe volunteer fire department help or contract with a city's force , and ambulances might be called through the development's contract with another city or a private ambulance service which could be a definite time/response factor problem.......a school in Keller ISD a couple of months ago had a child injured and there was long wait because the school is not --itself-- in Keller city limits but in unencorporated Tarrant Co---big mixup and slow response because of that factor---so ALWAYS ask specifically and maybe check by calling the actual authorities to find out what the situation is in your development...

5) Electric rates set by provider--check out several possible sources for best rate for you and try to get energy-efficient home (not always an easy thing to do). Water rationing because of the drought is a definite possibility--ask what happened last summer in your area and where your water comes from. Home insurance rates are high (from what I read) due to hurricanes, tornadoes, and our weak, business-oriented state ins. board.

Moderator cut: advertising
Her office serves the area north of Ft Worth towards Denton city/country mainly but you can search other areas and it includes two search features that I think are valuable info others don't have---
1) it gives the date a property was listed with THAT realtor. If it has been on the market a while and changed realtors that info is not available here.
2) you can search for foreclosure properties with some degree of success--foreclosers are a pain to most realtors and not always a bargain for buyers but sometimes it is a good deal to consider....

Best of luck to you---that Haslet/Raceway area is increasingly growth with residential developments but the retail/medical/entertainment quotient does not seem to have really kept up---just drive around --especially at different times during the week to see what the area is really like---check with the police in the area regarding crime levels--dont assume that new areas mean safe areas---that info is public domain and you should be able to get it w/o hassle.... did not realize this post would run this long----I am sure there are issues I haven't mentioned which you and/or others might consider more important ...will try to check back to see if you have something specfic or if anyone disagrees with what I said....
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Old 02-27-2007, 04:04 PM
13 posts, read 46,671 times
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Default Sendera Ranch

All the things you mention you are looking for is in Sendera Ranch. They are even having a big Easter event for the public in March.
I would really go out there if I were you. There are a few rent homes out there too.
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Old 02-27-2007, 11:24 PM
Location: Fort Worth, TX
1,379 posts, read 6,051,236 times
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There are tons of places up in that area. You are just going to have a lot to choose from. I just moved her from Sacramento and I am still searching trying to find that perfect house.

You have gotten some great advice already but you might want to look in Haslet there are plenty of places with property as well as Justin or Rhome. That whole Alliance corridor is growing like crazy. There is a huge regional mall going in up there as well.

Btw, my aunt in law is moving from the San Diego area and is looking at Weatherford. Texas isn't going to be San Diego, but it wasn't my immediate impression of what I thought Texas looked like either if that makes sense. I thought flat with tumble weeds. It certainly isn't that at all. Its not the Sierra Nevadas either, but what is (other than the Sierra Nevadas).

My opinion and we did it twice before we actually moved out here (we are currently staying at my Mom's house who purchased before we did) we visited and looked at the neighborhoods we wanted to be in and really get an idea of what you makes you happy.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any specific questions.
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Old 03-26-2007, 05:11 PM
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There are some great places that are really close. The apartments in Roanoke are within your price range and are newer with security. So if apartment living is the way you have to go then you have great options there that are really close. And Roanoke is growing to include Walm-marts and Home Depots. For a house Sendera Ranch is nice for subdivision living. If you want more land you may want to look into Haslet or Rhome.
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Old 04-14-2007, 03:08 PM
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Talking Justin is great!

I live in Justin with my husband and 4 children. We bought a 4 bed, 2200 sq ft. house 1 1/2 years ago. It was in the $120,000 range. Justin is close (within 30 min.) of downtown Ft. Worth, DFW airport, and shopping at Grapevine Mills Mall and Southlake Town Square. It is a great place to live!
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Old 04-20-2007, 05:19 PM
17 posts, read 47,170 times
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Can you tell me more about the town of Justin? We are looking for places about 30 minutes from the airport and thought Justin looked nice on a map. I am a school teacher and my husband would work at the airport. We are from rural Ohio and look to move in about a year. Tell me about renting and schools.
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