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Old 01-23-2009, 06:08 PM
 
16 posts, read 51,552 times
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Hi there,
My husband is interviewing for jobs in Denton and Fort Worth and so I am seeking information on the area in case we end up moving there. We have several small children so we are looking for a family friendly community, ideally within a 30 minute commute of his work. We would be looking for a home at least 2000 sq feet with a lot at least a quarter acre. Nice views would be a plus, too! I would like to know more about the personalities of the various communities, if that makes sense. Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:18 AM
 
23 posts, read 53,698 times
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Gee, your post hasn't gotten much attention. I guess there aren't many Dentonians on here. My husband and I moved to the downtown area of Denton about 7 months ago, and we really like it. Denton is REALLY diverse for it's size (probably because of the two colleges), and the town is generally quite safe. Where would your husband be working? If you want a traditional family-friendly community, I would suggest the southern end of town near South Lakes Park. I work at the public library down there and we always have swarms of little ones and parents. There are some good schools at that end of town, too. If you want land, you might consider someplace outside of Denton near the lake, like Hickory Creek or Lake Dallas.

To give you an idea of the city's personality.... Denton is a unique town because it's not very big geographically but has a huge population. There are a lot of apartment buildings, but it's still pretty and friendly, if that makes sense. The central part of town is the oldest; it tends to be full of college students and a sizable population of really nice, safe homeless people (I know because they all live in the park across the street from my apartment). The square is beautiful, with restaurants and boutique stores. The north part of town is still being developed. There are nice neighborhoods along 380/University, some from the 70's and some brand new. University and 35E have most of the chain restaurants, stores, and entertainment, but there are little local restaurants and stores ALL over town.

The south part of town feels more like suburbs, more planned than the rest of the city. It's got those sorts of neighborhoods where all the houses are made of the same type of brick, there are trampolines in the backyards, and people have dogs and shiny kitchens. Does that make sense? It feels like a totally different town to me sometimes. It's a really nice area. And everyone I've talked to loves the city as a whole. It's got a lot of character.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
10,537 posts, read 22,423,690 times
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Keller has a lot of families with children, but the quarter acre lot may be a problem there.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:48 AM
 
32,541 posts, read 51,077,194 times
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FYI
living in Denton is really only feasible if your husband is working there--
it just makes more sense NOT to get attached to specific area until your husband gets definite job offer
and this area is having its share of layoffs as well so good luck with that...
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:23 AM
 
16 posts, read 51,552 times
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Default Denton

Thanks for the advice. My husband is interviewing for jobs in Denton, at University of North Texas, and in Fort Worth, at UNT's health sciences center. The only reason we would come is because of the jobs, and we would want to live close to his work so we would see him more and not spend a lot on gas. I never would have thought of either place to live if we didn't have job prospects there, but now that I know about it I am kind of excited to see it and maybe live there. It sounds pretty and like there is a lot to do there. Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:23 AM
 
32,541 posts, read 51,077,194 times
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Denton is seeing a lot of growth in past couple of years--more retail construction going in--it has pretty good hospital and the schools are pretty good depending on the specific zone--
culture clash in Denton--some very staid, conservative, church people (young and old) and then the younger college crowd--some as old as 40 or more who are into the anti-thing--
big music crowd with alt gen and country
my son spent time there getting BA and MA from UNT--frankly to me it is a dirty town--but like I said--it is undergoing growth--there is project to demo part of the older area downtown and build new which got some negative local reaction from some of the college crowd...
I think FTW has more to offer because it is just a larger town--has some great museums and Bass Hall and there are good to great ISDs close enough that you can live in towns outside FTW and still not be that far from work...
only thing to know is that there is no real public transportation except for FTW city limits/DART buses--
so if you want public transport as option vs daily drive you don't have any options...

the real difficulty will be getting home in good ISD with at least a quarter acre lot--lot size is something that is usually smaller than larger
you can check out the Haslet area -- there are some less-expensive subdivisions there going at half acre to acre but lot of that is tract housing that I think will really not hold up quality over time--Aledo west of FTW also has larger lots in some subdivisions but there are drawbacks to that location
in good ISDs like Southlake/Carroll--a half acre means older home under 500K or newer home over 700K probably--you can find half acre lots in some parts of Colleyville --those houses are probably older and about 400-500K
Keller has larger lots in some areas but you might actually be buying in FTW itself so be careful...

FTW ISD has some excellent schools inside the city--Paschal hs is best in Tarrant county in terms of National Merit scholars year after year--but it only rates mediocre on the state TAKS scores because of the number of other students (not national merit scholars) that go there--it is basically a school within a school--and many other high schools in this metroplex are in exactly the same boat..
top ratings for any school is Exemplary, then Recognized, then Acceptable, then UN-acceptable...
the larger the school, the more diverse the student population---the more difficult to win the top rating...
more elementary schools are Exemplary than junior highs, and only one HS in this area--Southlake Carroll--is Exemplary...
Private schools don't get rated by TAKS scores because they don't take state money and aren't required to take the tests--but some private schools do take them voluntarily to prove they are successful and as good or better than public schools in the area...

be aware that the public ISD your house is in will be the major portion of your tax portion--has a great deal to the market valuation/desireability of housing as well

IMO most people over-rate Southlake Carroll because it starts with a great student population--they would have to work to screw up their test scores--but they don't have nearly as many national merit scholars as Paschal in FTW or some other private schools in Dallas area--they don't have as many as they should based on their excellent ratings with TAKS...so that is why I think Carroll is overrated somewhat...

Other districts worth looking at would be
HEB ISD ( I taught and my children attended there so I am little prejudiced but with good reasons), Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, Birdville ISD, Lewisville ISD (for Denton job maybe--not that easy a commute into FTW), Keller ISD but you have to be careful where you buy in Keller ISD--stay EAST of 377 and pick your elementary school

Northwest ISD is getting lots of growth and public notice after years of being a rural district with not-so-great-stats--and frankly I think people are going to be disappointed with quality there unless they get to work--their number of national merit scholars has never been that noteworthy...and while there might not have been any real number of minority students there was lower-socio-economic strata (rural poor) that just has not done that well statistially-

White Settlement ISD, Castlebury ISD on west side of FTW, Eagle Mtn Saginaw on NW side of FTW, Burleson and Crowley S of FTW are not ones I would really recommend because I think you can find a better district with similar priced housing and better environment other places

Aledo is west of FTW and lots of people like living there cause you can get larger lot but it is about 25-30 min drive into FTW depending on where you buy and it will get worse as more people move that way and work in FTW making the back/forth commute daily

Last edited by loves2read; 01-29-2009 at 08:48 AM..
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:10 PM
 
Location: TX
3,033 posts, read 11,027,698 times
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^^Very informative! L2R.

I too think Carroll ISD is over rated. For the socio-econ of the area they would really have to have MAJOR problems not to get a excellent rating on the TEA standards. NO APTs at all in the ISD etc.

I also think that GVCV (at the MS/HS level) get alot more recognition than is deserved. If they don't start addressing the issues now they will have have some very serious issues in a few years. The K-6 schools ARE EXCELLENT however.

and yes, Keller gets more of a bum rap than it deserves because Keller ISD incorporates alot of North FT Worth in it's schools it's almost like 2 complete different school districts...Keller proper and North Ft Worth. Since that area of Ft worth has alot of low income (& section 8) apartments, trailer parks etc... it's a totally different world. So it takes a bit more research etc... to make sure you are in a good pyramid. ALSO keep in mind that they are building another HS and secondary school so hte boundries will change (mostly west of 377, but some south of Rapp rd as well)

Northwest is a very interesting case... Oh my that school is huge and the facilities are amazing!!
But I think once the new HS is finished in Trophey club you will see NWISD face some of the same issues Keller has. ALL the top preforming schools will be in the Trophey club, Roanoak and keller areas and the schools futher out will suffer somewhat.
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:01 PM
pfw
 
Location: I'm not sure, TX
186 posts, read 800,565 times
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If he ends up with a job in Denton you should look into Lantana, Argyle, Highland Village. In Argyle you'll be able to find the land requirements that you were looking for. As far as family friendly community, hands down that would be Lantana or going north of Denton you could look at Providence or Savannah. Having moved out of Lantana, I personally miss all of the families and getting together with friends on a nightly basis so the kids could play.

If he gets the job in FW you have a few more options as far as places to live but again your requirements on land size limit you a bit. You could go west a bit and probably find something.
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:12 PM
 
13,180 posts, read 13,733,705 times
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I only say it once. If you are staying here for the long haul, beg, borrow, or steal to get into Southlake Carroll ISD. You'll never regret it. And you will most likely get the most appreciation over the years for your property versus the other areas. Of course you will need to give up new and big to afford to live there.
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:05 AM
 
32,541 posts, read 51,077,194 times
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Coppell has has price appreciation as strong as Southlake and has a good school district

people trumpet the praises of Southlake Carroll and forget that district starts with the cream of the crop basically as far as students go--because of the student demographics, it is pretty easy to score well on TAKS and SATs and get into desireable colleges--but compare their high school numbers and their National Merit finalists with Paschal in FTW or some of the other local districts like Plano--Highland Park--Lewisville ISD--
I think Carroll gets too much praise for getting what are really pretty average results when it starts out with top-quality ingredients---if people were honest I think they would have to admit that it is really not academically rigorous--
I know someone who teaches there and she is just not that impressed with the work ethic or academic caliber of the students and she teaches in the AP English program--most of those kids are coasting because they know their lives will turn out pretty well no matter what they do...
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