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Old 11-06-2008, 06:39 PM
 
Location: NE Tarrant County, TX
394 posts, read 1,143,724 times
Reputation: 261

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I am aware from several previous Mansfield related posts (and lack of responses) that interest in this area is not what it used to be, say one year ago. Nevertheless, I have spent the better part of a year planning the relocation of my family to the Arlington area and we are now here, staying in corporate housing in Grand Prairie. I will be working on E Lamar Blvd. in Arlington and have spent the past week driving around at all times of the day/night and looking at homes in north Arlington and Mansfield to the south.

Mansfield: It occurs to me that there are really three Mansfields - three distinct areas that make claim to the Mansfield school district. First up is the area near 360 and Joe Pool Lake. These are mostly very new developments with nice housing that vary from new and cheaply constructed to new and borderline regal in scale and quality. There is literally something for every budget in this area. I find that to be refreshing, even though we'll likely opt some something closer to upscale housing. That is to say, full brick and stone exterior construction with real oak flooring and a builder that goes the extra few miles as far as interior detail and appointments go. Luckily, it doesn't appear that this will require much more than a $400K investment.

The second area of Mansfield is the area closer to Hwy-287, but to the west of 360. There is a good deal of new construction going on in this area, however, there are a lot of older existing homes and tracts, including trailer homes. I haven't seen a lot of really nice communities between 287 and 360. It seems almost a "no mans land" to our GPS unit that either wants you on 360 heading southbound or 157 heading southbound towards areas west of 287. I'll include all of the old downtown Mansfield ares in this second category. It really is odd, actually. When passing through on Broad and Main Streets, one can almost feel the tension of change and resistance to change. I imagine the true locals and original town-folk are perhaps little amused at how much construction and destruction/disruption of their town is taking place. Passing over Business-287 took us about three tries as the traffic lights were not up to the task of all the cars on the streets one afternoon.

The final "Mansfield" is the unincorporated area far west of 287. This is really a strange place. I visited Cabot Estates, where the lots are HUGE and the homes are palacial - at least to my eyes. The very existence of such a development among farms, dilapidated trailer-homes and very narrow rural roadways, seems a visual nonsequitur. It's just out of place. It really makes little sense to me.

Honestly, many of the areas that I perceive as "nice," are in fact southern Grand Prairie, not Mansfield at all - but perhaps still in the Mansfield School District. I don't know.

We are strongly considering purchasing a home just slightly west of 287, because of the builder. Otherwise, it would be Lowes Farm,
Hunter Oaks Estates or a similar development near 360.

I have rambled on quite a bit. I am mostly posting my impressions because I wish that more people had provided me with this sort of information prior to my relocation.

That's all. YMMV.

-Eric
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex
1,298 posts, read 4,001,555 times
Reputation: 358
You will be working near where I live and shop. My daughter and family live in south Arlington by the Mansfield border between 360 and Collins/Matlock. You are exactly right about Mansfield. It was once a great little town with excellent schools but everyone found out about it and it's growth was so fast and furious it seems it may not have been particularly well thought out. I can understand the townfolks resentment as Mansfield changed quickly in just a few short years. There is so much land to stretch out in down there that builders and developers just went wild. If you are leery of where your new home will be, can you still consider southern Grand Prairie? I agree, it's a nice area and may be more to your liking.
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Old 11-07-2008, 03:52 PM
 
Location: NE Tarrant County, TX
394 posts, read 1,143,724 times
Reputation: 261
Well, as you know, the area near 360 is quite impressive with the hospital and Sports Complex (the stadium looks like it belongs to an old land grant university, not a public school district), but it is just a wee bit sterile to my eyes. The traffic patterns are quite interesting down that way. I can't figure things out w/o GPS, other than to get my bearings by looking for the Mansfield or Grand Prairie water towers.

We revisited the area just west of 287 today - Twin Creeks Subdivision. We have come to the conclusion that even though we love the home and builder, we will look for something just east of 287. The main road leading to the development is little more than a paved trail between old downtown and the handful of new subdivisions along one side of it (trailer homes on the other side).

We visited another builder who also had homes in a development just east of 287 and almost right on 157 - Hunter Oaks Estates. I think that we'll spend the extra $$ to be on the "good side" of 287 and enjoy close proximity to 157 which has FABULOUS shopping alternatives. The only shopping we have seen on the 360 side of Mansfield has been the occasional strip mall and the big Target/Home Depot shopping center on 360 itself.

Let me tell you, access to Hunter Oaks is a million times easier than the other place. Also - for me - using 157, 287 and the local Arlington streets down around Turner Warnell is more intuitive than the whole 360 thing. Yes, 360 is a straight line heading north from Mansfield, but down in Mansfield proper, access to 360 has some strange nuances.

Again, those are just the impressions of a person who is new to town.

The problem in a nutshell, if I have rambled too much: Crossing over old downtown Mansfield is a pain and navigating far east Mansfield is confusing and the shopping on that side could be better.

Thanks for replying. This relocation is the biggest move of my life... and this time I have to suit three other people and myself with this move.

-Eric

Last edited by Eric S; 11-07-2008 at 04:02 PM..
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:00 PM
 
14,088 posts, read 6,780,538 times
Reputation: 8852
I'm not sure why you are not looking in NorthEast Arlington - near the Oaks area in Lamar School District. Nice area up there but the lots tend to be small. North of Lamar should have some larger pieces of property - I've not been over in that area in a long while.

The best place to live in the Arlington area is (in my opinion) Dalworthington Gardens if you are looking in the price range you mentioned. Many homes come with either a large lot or acreage. Almost zero crime and I think you can pick schools. Close to Young middle school & Martin High School - both well rated. This is a tiny area tucked away just north of I-20 & west of Bowen. Easy access to pretty much everything. You almost have to live over in this area to know about it. A hidden gem. The streets are winding, many are dead ends - very private.

//www.city-data.com/city/Dalwor...ens-Texas.html

An idea of some of the homes in Dal Gardens.
http://www.weichert.com/TX/tarrant/D...ton%20Gardens/

KB
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:09 PM
 
Location: NE Tarrant County, TX
394 posts, read 1,143,724 times
Reputation: 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibby View Post
I'm not sure why you are not looking in NorthEast Arlington - near the Oaks area in Lamar School District. Nice area up there but the lots tend to be small. North of Lamar should have some larger pieces of property - I've not been over in that area in a long while.

The best place to live in the Arlington area is (in my opinion) Dalworthington Gardens if you are looking in the price range you mentioned. Many homes come with either a large lot or acreage. Almost zero crime and I think you can pick schools. Close to Young middle school & Martin High School - both well rated. This is a tiny area tucked away just north of I-20 & west of Bowen. Easy access to pretty much everything. You almost have to live over in this area to know about it. A hidden gem. The streets are winding, many are dead ends - very private.

//www.city-data.com/city/Dalwor...ens-Texas.html

An idea of some of the homes in Dal Gardens.
Dalworthington Gardens, TX Real Estate. Homes for Sale in Dalworthington Gardens, Texas

KB
Thank you. I'll look in that area this coming weekend. To be honest, at this point I'm thinking that me and the family are better served living in a nice development we found up in Euless. It is much much closer to my job AND the area is in very close proximity to some very nice shopping and cultural amenities in Grapevine. I am absolutely smitten w/ the little development in N. Euless and find myself less and less drawn to the more upscale, but also more distant and somewhat sterile homes down in Mansfield. I travel a great deal for my job and the access to DFW from Euless is icing on the cake.

As far as I can figure, HEB has better schools than Mansfield. I'm almost certain that many on this board know more detailed school information than I can gleen from the resources on the web, though. Sometimes the schools ratings don't tell the complete story. But comparing what's I can find on the TEA website, HEB seems a little smaller but better than Mansfield.

Now if only the home in NJ would sell.

-Eric
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:59 PM
 
14,088 posts, read 6,780,538 times
Reputation: 8852
I've lived in this area for 35 years and commuted to a job in Dallas for 25 years. My husband drives from Arlington to a job in Hurst and has done so for the entire time we have lived here. I've spent an hour in prime time traffic to get to work/get home ... not fun.

Proximity to job is important, the commute is important BUT so is the school situation and neighborhood situation. We chose the area we are in because of the schools and I certainly don't regret that. We have lived in our neighborhood since 1980 and the re-sale value (due to schools) is very high. Homes sell almost as soon as they go on the market.

It's a lot to consider when you move into a new area ....... best advise I can give (because so may areas have really great schools) is do your homework. Look at the drive time and conditions during rush hour, check the schools and home re-sale values. I personally could not face the drive nightmare of 360 in prime drive time ... 157 used to be bad but it now much better. Drive it during the time you would have to, and see if you can deal with it. It may seem that crossing Arlington on either Lamar (from the Oaks area) or north on Bowen or Fielder is a long distance to get to your work place on Lamar, but when the traffic moves at a steady pace instead of stop/go on a daily basis on a freeway , you may rethink that. Be sure and check the crime stats in any area you are thinking of.

There are a lot of really nice areas, lots of really good choices. Make a pro/con list of what is really important to you because there are so many good choices. It's a great area - you will love it here.

KB
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