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Old 03-24-2010, 07:49 PM
5 posts, read 7,343 times
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I'm a native to Texas considering relocating back (We are also looking into other states). We live in New Mexico, and love love love it, but it's become way to costly for us (can you believe it). A new house here, in town, runs $400,000+, private high school is in the $20,000 a year range. We have a number of children and though we earn a nice living cannot continue this pace.
What do private schools run? Catholic/non Catholic
What does a nice 4 bedroom in the center (I'm assuming that's the nice area but could be wrong) run?
What do you all think about the cost of living?

I've only been to Ft. Worth a couple of times, both times to the zoo. I really think it's a sleeper town with a lot of offer (My mom suggested it).
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:22 AM
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Hi azuel
My husband is from Alb NM so we visit his family in NM quite often. I agree ~ it is a wonderful state. In regards to cost of living questions in Fort Worth, it just really varies like any other city in regards to which specific pocket you are talking about. If you are looking at an "in-town" type of neighborhood within Fort Worth, it is pretty expensive. Compared to California or to other major metropolitan cities, it is not expensive but I find it on par to other smaller cities. When we relocated here two years ago, the realtors suggested we look at the neighborhoods that feed into Tanglewood Elementary because it is the highest rated elementary school within Fort Worth Independent School District. It has an excellent reputation but it feeds into a middle and high school that carry your typical inner city issues. You can check the ratings on greatschools.net for Tanglewood, Mclean, Pashal High all within Fort Worth Independent School District. Paschal High has an incredible gifted program and is known for having many national merit scholars each year but if your child is not gifted, then it is a typical high school from what I have been told. It is known as two schools in one and your child can obtain a great education if they are on that track or they can be pulled into all kinds of distractions. Like many inner city school districts, there are many funding issues, SES concerns and everything that goes with being an "inner-city" school. That has led many people who can afford private school to take that option.

In addition to the Tanglewood area, the Berkley and Mistletoe neighborhoods are also very popular intown neighborhoods and they also feed into McClean Middle and Paschal High. For a 4 bedroom home in any of these neighborhoods - Tanglewood, Mistletoe, Berkley, you are probably easily going to spend $350,000 - 400,000 - the same as you have described about NM. We looked at a home in Tanglewood that was 2000 square feet and was 339,000 last weekend to just throw out a figure. It was 3 bedroom, two bath and had been updated. That home seemed on par with other listings for similar square feet but you will need to start running searches and getting an idea of what is out there for how much. Check out zip code 76109 on realtor.com. Other areas to keep in mind that are a bit less expensive are Ryan Place and Fairmount - they have a little bit more urban feel which didn't work for us because we have small kids but if we had older children and could afford private school, these have some beautiful historic homes at a bit less cost than Tanglewood, Mistletoe, and Berkley.

It is very popular to private school one's children after they attend Tanglewood Elementary or if you are in a pocket that does not have a great elementary school. There are several great private schools in Fort Worth - Fort Worth Country Day, Trinity Valley, All Saints Episcopal and the main catholic high school is Nolan High Nolan Catholic High School. Perhaps you can find their current tuition/costs on their website. It has a decent reputation and last I looked into it, the tution was approximately half of what the private schools are which are similar to what they are in NM ($17,000-20,000). So, to answer your question, I am not sure Fort Worth would be that much less expensive than NM. It is important to make sure you are comparing apples to apples when doing these comparisons because you have to look at "like neighborhoods." There are definitely cheaper neighborhoods in Fort Worth but if you are looking at safety and desireability, these are the ones that are often discussed.

Also, since you mention you are a native Texan, you are probably familiar with the tax structure - just keep in mind that your property taxes are quite a bit higher here but no state income tax. For us, this has been a disadvantage from where we came from but for many, it works out to be an advantage - so just make sure you are keeping that in mind when you are doing your comparisons and housing budgets. This can make a dramtic difference on a housing payment each month.

Good luck - would be happy to answer anymore questions. This information should give you a start.
Where are you living in NM?
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:28 AM
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Thank you "D Morris" the road map you gave me will start me on searches. It's also interesting to note that you relocated to Ft. Worth. Do you mind if I ask why? Do you have any regrets moving to Ft. Worth?
We live in Albuquerque. As you know, the weather, skies, beauty is addicting and a huge lure. We could probably live out the rest of our days here if we didn't have such as big family. The main problem here, as I see it, is that people pay a premium to live here, considering it is one of the poorest states in the U.S. I prices make our eye's bulge. For example, we live in a very nice neighborhood, but our neighbors get up and go to work in the morning. Homes here vary in size and in condition, the public schools in our area are just degrees of bad, though the elementary school here is considered "acceptable". The cost here and in comparable neighborhoods are any where from $450,000 on up, way up into the millions. I've looked in other areas, nice areas and it's $850,000 on up. If were were willing to commute in live in a new area the cost goes down, but not so far down that what were gaining feels okay, since we like our location. With that said everything here is at a premium, groceries, taxes, schools, etc... the only benefit so far is the New Mexico residents, if they meet certain minimum reqmts. get free instate tuition at the universities here. Yes, you are right about property taxes in Texas but here, considering it's a state income tax state, our taxes have doubled in the last 7 years so it's getting high here. It would wind up better in the long run for us to pay property taxes than state income taxes+ppty taxes. I will look up the Tanglewood area and the private schools so even if the tuitions are less and property is the same it might work out better.
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