Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

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CaptainMarvel
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Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by CaptainMarvel » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:09 am

I'm on the verge of accepting an offer to move to my employer's Plano, TX office. I currently work in the Southern California office. The office is in Plano and I'd like to buy a house that is fairly close to the office, as I've read that the commutes around the Dallas area can be awful.

Does anyone have any recommendations regarding good neighborhoods for housing in and around Plano, TX? We are hoping to get a four bedroom single family home, hopefully for no more than $240,000 - $260,000. My wife and I have two young children so we'd be looking for a house near excellant elementary schools. Any advice on the best school districts in the area would be much appreciated.

We would be moving as part of a corporate relocation package that would cover moving expenses and closing costs for the new home purchase, among other things, so it's not really feasible to rent for a while first after moving and then buy a home. Rather, we plan to take a couple of house-hunting trips out to visit the area, which will be paid for by the company and would hopefully give us a good sense of the area.

Thank you.

livesoft
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by livesoft » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:40 am

I visit Plano often and know long-time school employees for Plano ISD in the area. I would think you might have to bump up the price you want to pay by at least $100K to the $350K to $450K range. Check prices at zillow.com

I'll name an elementary school William Beverly Elementary School. It is in Allen, TX. But there are many outstanding elementary schools in PISD.
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furikake
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by furikake » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:31 am

Plano is not small, depending on where you want to be, there are a lot of options. Your price range will get you a decent house in Central or East Plano. West Plano is more expensive.

cheesepep
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by cheesepep » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:38 am

I think that if you live and work in SoCal that buying in Texas for those prices should be rather easy unless you live in the Inland Empire

ny_rn
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by ny_rn » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:17 am

Look at Little Elm, TX. It's approximately 15-min. away from Plano, TX with excellent homes.

hookemhorns
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by hookemhorns » Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:48 pm

CaptainMarvel wrote:Does anyone have any recommendations regarding good neighborhoods for housing in and around Plano, TX? We are hoping to get a four bedroom single family home, hopefully for no more than $240,000 - $260,000. My wife and I have two young children so we'd be looking for a house near excellant elementary schools. Any advice on the best school districts in the area would be much appreciated.


The Dallas real estate market is on fire and has been for some time. It will be difficult to find a home in Plano at the price point you mentioned since the average home price in Plano is $375k and rapidly increasing.

Also keep in mind that property taxes are very high in Texas, to the tune of 2.5-3% per year, reassessed annually (almost always up). This will come as a shock to many out of state buyers, particularly Californians which are used to Prop 13 protections. Keep this in mind when budgeting.

You could look somewhere north such as McKinney. Garland to the east would also be well within your price point. Allen is also a possibility but prices there have also increased substantially, so its probably borderline.

tigermilk
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by tigermilk » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:05 pm

I grew up in Garland just near the Richardson and Plano city borders and was located in the Ricardson school district, which is still highly rated. Depending on where in Plano, the commute from either is not terrible.

MindTheGAAP
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by MindTheGAAP » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:28 pm

CaptainMarvel wrote:I'm on the verge of accepting an offer to move to my employer's Plano, TX office. I currently work in the Southern California office. The office is in Plano and I'd like to buy a house that is fairly close to the office, as I've read that the commutes around the Dallas area can be awful.

Does anyone have any recommendations regarding good neighborhoods for housing in and around Plano, TX? We are hoping to get a four bedroom single family home, hopefully for no more than $240,000 - $260,000. My wife and I have two young children so we'd be looking for a house near excellant elementary schools. Any advice on the best school districts in the area would be much appreciated.

We would be moving as part of a corporate relocation package that would cover moving expenses and closing costs for the new home purchase, among other things, so it's not really feasible to rent for a while first after moving and then buy a home. Rather, we plan to take a couple of house-hunting trips out to visit the area, which will be paid for by the company and would hopefully give us a good sense of the area.

Thank you.


Guessing you're coming with Toyota - so this response is based on that assumption (may be wrong).

I live in Allen and have worked near the new Toyota site - the commute wouldn't be terrible - 20 minutes or so - but you would likely be taking Toll roads (Sam Rayburn Tollway) on a daily basis so that's something to take into account if you come to Allen. Everywhere around here has exploded on price lately (20+% over the last 2-3 years).

I'd recommend anywhere in the West Plano (great schools), Allen, Frisco areas.

Just re-read your original post and saw you have $240-260k as a price range. My parents were just here and were asking what they can get for $250k in Allen so we did a search on Redfin.com - there were 11 listings and 5 of them were empty lots... 1 of them was a lot with a foundation poured but nothing else. You would struggle to combine top tier school district AND four bedrooms in that price range - but it might be able to be done if you're flexible on something like commute or size of common areas/ age of house. For $240-260k, I'd be looking at areas like Little Elm, Prosper, Anna - you'd likely get more space (both in lot size and house sq. ft) and good schools while sticking in your initial budget - but your commute would be longer.

Happy to answer any other questions you have - have lived in the Allen area for 7 years now so have seen a fair bit of the area since I go to client-sites and don't have a static working location.
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NoGambleNoFuture
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:54 pm

Kids play sports? Look in Allen ;)

Van
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by Van » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:57 pm

At all costs, avoid becoming a Cowboys fan.

MindTheGAAP
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by MindTheGAAP » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:31 pm

NoGambleNoFuture wrote:Kids play sports? Look in Allen ;)


Kids play sports and are best in the nation at the given sport? Look in Allen. If not, look elsewhere.
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NoGambleNoFuture
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:37 pm

MindTheGAAP wrote:
NoGambleNoFuture wrote:Kids play sports? Look in Allen ;)


Kids play sports and are best in the nation at the given sport? Look in Allen. If not, look elsewhere.


Hahah good point - but surrounding yourself with the best facilities and practicing with the best talent starting in elementary school should help develop them at an early age!!

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Crimsontide
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by Crimsontide » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:57 pm

I would focus the search on Frisco. Fast growing, lots to do and easy commute to Plano.

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TxAg
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by TxAg » Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:07 pm

East Plano or West Plano? That will help us natives steer you in the right direction

CaptainMarvel
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by CaptainMarvel » Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:15 pm

Thanks for the responses everyone. Here's some more information:

The work location would be around the intersection of W. Plano Pkway and Independence Pkway. A house somewhere in Plano or thereabouts with a decent driving distance to work and in a very good school district would be the goal.

We don't necessarily need a fancy house. A pretty basic 4 bedrooom, 2 bathroom, one story house with a decent backyard would be sufficient. We could perhaps bump up the budget to $300,000. I did notice that quite a lot of listings come up in this range when I search on Zillow, Trulia and other websites. Thank you.

tigermilk
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by tigermilk » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:20 pm

A good resource for houses in Texas is har.com. You can do a map search which is handy.

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TxAg
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by TxAg » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:57 pm

CaptainMarvel wrote:Thanks for the responses everyone. Here's some more information:

The work location would be around the intersection of W. Plano Pkway and Independence Pkway. A house somewhere in Plano or thereabouts with a decent driving distance to work and in a very good school district would be the goal.

We don't necessarily need a fancy house. A pretty basic 4 bedrooom, 2 bathroom, one story house with a decent backyard would be sufficient. We could perhaps bump up the budget to $300,000. I did notice that quite a lot of listings come up in this range when I search on Zillow, Trulia and other websites. Thank you.



Look at Wylie, Murphy, Sachse, Parker

jrtexas
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by jrtexas » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:17 pm

CaptainMarvel wrote:I'm on the verge of accepting an offer to move to my employer's Plano, TX office. I currently work in the Southern California office. The office is in Plano and I'd like to buy a house that is fairly close to the office, as I've read that the commutes around the Dallas area can be awful.

Does anyone have any recommendations regarding good neighborhoods for housing in and around Plano, TX? We are hoping to get a four bedroom single family home, hopefully for no more than $240,000 - $260,000. My wife and I have two young children so we'd be looking for a house near excellant elementary schools. Any advice on the best school districts in the area would be much appreciated.

We would be moving as part of a corporate relocation package that would cover moving expenses and closing costs for the new home purchase, among other things, so it's not really feasible to rent for a while first after moving and then buy a home. Rather, we plan to take a couple of house-hunting trips out to visit the area, which will be paid for by the company and would hopefully give us a good sense of the area.

Thank you.

Lived in Plano for 15 years. Anywhere west of 75 Nd north of Plano Parkway. Farther west you go, the prices get higher. When we left they were building nice condos near downtown. Now,I would prefer the Preston rd/Park area. There is a Trader Joes, Whole paycheck and lots of restaurants. Go north from there towards Frisco and it's nice. But I'm not going back there, too hot in the summer.

goblue100
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by goblue100 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:58 pm

There are some really nice neighborhoods south of your location, in Richardson. The Canyon Creek area is very nice, but not sure about schools. A little further south is probably a little cheaper, the area south of Campbell road and west of Floyd is a little older but nice. Again not too sure about schools. I work across from UTD on Independence. I live in Rowlett and it takes me about 30 minutes each way. So you could look in Rowlett, Sachse and Wylie. Probably a little cheaper than Frisco and Plano.
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pl28
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by pl28 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:27 pm

I moved from the Los Angeles area two years ago. We settle on Richardson due to its good schools and convenient location to work and local shops and restaurants. Most homes around Richardson are older compare to Plano, Frisco and Allen. My preference was always a short commute so when I did our search, we look into rush hour traffic around the area. Dallas Tollway and US75 on the north part of Dallas gets pretty heavy during the afternoon and morning, so my opinion is to pick somewhere close so you can limit the daily commute. You can use Google Maps with Traffic option and select your commuting times to get an estimate of traffic during those times.

Another helpful advice is to check for house foundation for any potential issues, coming from Socal where soil settling is not much of an issue, it was a bit of a surprise during our search.

Good luck with with your move.

WestTechsan
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by WestTechsan » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:36 pm

I'll echo other comments that it could be tough to find what you're wanting at your price point, even raising the budget to $300K. We moved to Frisco 1.5 years ago, love it, would highly recommend it considering your work location. Plano and Allen are fine communities, we chose to look elsewhere because they have massive high schools. You might find some homes that fit your bill in East Frisco, west Frisco is a little more expensive. Little Elm could also be an option. Good luck!

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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by furikake » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:33 am

Look in zip 75075, you will find older homes that would be in your price range. I'd say Frisco or Little Elm would be way too far, you will hate the commute. Parker is out of your price range. Murphy has some older homes in your price range and it's a very nice town. I have a friend who lives in Murphy and works in the area you'll be working in, I think it takes about 30 minutes for her to get to work. Allen has higher property taxes.

MindTheGAAP
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by MindTheGAAP » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:02 am

CaptainMarvel wrote:Thanks for the responses everyone. Here's some more information:

The work location would be around the intersection of W. Plano Pkway and Independence Pkway. A house somewhere in Plano or thereabouts with a decent driving distance to work and in a very good school district would be the goal.

We don't necessarily need a fancy house. A pretty basic 4 bedrooom, 2 bathroom, one story house with a decent backyard would be sufficient. We could perhaps bump up the budget to $300,000. I did notice that quite a lot of listings come up in this range when I search on Zillow, Trulia and other websites. Thank you.


It was a few years ago then I think you could have gotten a lot more house for the money but now, if you're focusing on good schools then something will give in the $250-300k price point. It may be the fourth bedroom or lot size, or something of that ilk (if you dig heels on location), but prices have been climbing 10%+ YOY here for 3+ years. You will definitely find something in that price point but it might need work or not be in your A+ choice neighbourhood. Obviously, just based off of my experience here and I'm not looking specifically in that area so YMMV.
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livesoft
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by livesoft » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:14 am

WestTechsan wrote: Plano and Allen are fine communities, we chose to look elsewhere because they have massive high schools.

This can be a concern for many parents. I didn't know it at the time, but I went to a massive high school. There were more students than at my university. There are plusses and minuses.

A plus is that academics will be very very strong with advanced courses in every subject. A minus is that academics will be very very competitive, so to be in the 1% in a large HS is not the same as being in the 1% in a smaller high school. Texas has an admission policy for their state flagship universities which basically requires a freshman to be in the top 8% or so of their graduating HS class. That's easier to do in a small high school.

Another plus is that sports will be very very strong with exceptional athletes in all sports and experienced coaches. A minus is that sports will be very very competitive, so to be in 0.5% of students who play on the men's varsity basketball team is not the same as being in the 2% in a smaller high school.

Another plus is that music and drama …., and being first chair will be meaningful.

My kids went to massive high schools and did fine.
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by rustymutt » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:17 am

ny_rn wrote:Look at Little Elm, TX. It's approximately 15-min. away from Plano, TX with excellent homes.



But that puts near Lewisville lake, and he might not enjoy bass fishing, and skiing. I agree it's a great area to bed down in. Close to the airport also.
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by goblue100 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:22 am

I personally would not live in Little Elm working @ Plano Parkway and Independence. Pretty much one way in and one way out, and the daily tolls back and forth would be another utility bill.
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MindTheGAAP
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by MindTheGAAP » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:27 am

goblue100 wrote:I personally would not live in Little Elm working @ Plano Parkway and Independence. Pretty much one way in and one way out, and the daily tolls back and forth would be another utility bill.


Agree - I get to run mine through as expenses to the client but they could really add up
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Watty
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by Watty » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:55 am

CaptainMarvel wrote:We would be moving as part of a corporate relocation package that would cover moving expenses and closing costs for the new home purchase, among other things, so it's not really feasible to rent for a while first after moving and then buy a home. Rather, we plan to take a couple of house-hunting trips out to visit the area, which will be paid for by the company and would hopefully give us a good sense of the area.


I don't know that area but I have been through a corporate relocation so here are a few things.

1) A lot, if not most, of the relocation costs other than the moving van will be taxable income for you and your employer should "gross up" the amounts so that you will come out the same after taxes. For example if you are in the 25% tax bracket and you have a $7,500 expenses then the employer should give you $10,000 so that you can pay the $2,500 in taxes and still have $7,500. This gets complicated though since that could put you into a higher tax bracket and also cause you to lose things like the child tax credit which are income based. It would be good to do a dummy tax return to get a feel of how this will work. This likely did not completely cover my increased taxes that year but I had received a relocation bonus of about a months pay to cover things like that. It is possible that this additional taxable income could make you an HCE, highly compensated employee, in 2017 and limit your 401k contributions. Many plans do not need to worry about HCE so ask your HR department if your 401K has a HCE restriction.

2) School boundaries change within school districts so by the time your kids are in middle or high school they may be assigned to a different one than the house is in now. Be sure to consider the adjacent schools within the district when looking at a house. Nothing beats going by a school to get a feel for it. Small or medium differences in school rankings mean virtually nothing. When I was looking at high schools when relocating we were looking in a huge school district that has about 15 large high school with varying rankings. In talking with a high school counselor about this it turned out that all the high schools had almost identical programs and resources and the difference in the rankings was due to the demographics of the students. The higher ranking high schools were in the more expensive areas where the kids had better support and resources outside the school. There were not any real bad areas in that school district but there were some pretty well off areas. In looking at one of the high schools in an expensive area one thing that stuck me was that there were some Mercedes and BMWs in the student parking lot! Schools with a lot of "rich kids" have their own set of problems so watch out for that. My son was in middle school so we basically picked out our first and second choice in high schools then searched for homes with those high schools once we looked at several areas.

3) In selling and buying a home there are some expenses that your company will and will not pay. I gave both my real estate agents copies of the part of the relocation agreement that specified what they would pay so that the sale and purchase agreements could be written up so that most of my expenses were the ones the company would pay. Both the buyer and seller were fine with that as long as their bottom line was the same. That saved me a lot of money compared to how the contracts would normally be written.

4) The way the timing worked was that purchase of the house I was buying would not close until the moving van was already loaded and on its way. The seller did not know the details but they knew that I was doing a relocation so they were able to take advantage of that with some things that came up in the inspection. Nothing big but be prepared for that since you will be in a weak position for any last minute problems.

5) In looking at houses one thing I have always done was to go back to the neighborhood in the evening and park the car and walk around talking to people that are out working in their yards or walking their dogs to get a feel for it. I din't tell my real estate agent I was doing this since they like to control things.

6) Be very careful about flood areas even if flood insurance is not required. You will not have a good feel for the local risks and it is easy to underestimate the flood risk in a normally dry area. I once had minor flood damage to a home and in addition to the cost it was very stressful. In looking for a home having no risk of flooding was a high priority for us.

7) In buying a house we used a buyers agent that we paid instead of a traditional real estate agent who officially works for the seller. This freed her up to say more negative things about some of the houses and to give us more of a feel as to what the houses should be priced at. Be sure to know how this works and why it is important. The bottom line comes out the same since their commission is netted out of the sales price. If you barely have a 20% down payment look into the details though to make sure that the way the math works does not cause a problem.

8) When you pick out a potential home then get up very early and go out to it and drive what your commute will be. We found one potential home that on paper had a marginally OK commute but when we drove it the commute would have been really bad. Look at the surrounding areas in aerial photographs to see what is around the house. We found one nice house that was real close to a train tack but that was not obvious when you saw the house.

It would be very good to be very organized when you are looking at homes since they will all blur together after a while. We wanted to see a number of different areas and my wife didn't have a good checklist of what she wanted so she had more of a "I will know it when I see" it attitude. Our real estate agent was OK with showing us over a hundred homes in two house hunting trips but we could have done it quicker and better if we could have agreed on a firm list of wants, must haves, and no ways.

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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by soc2003 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:53 pm

You should be able to get an older (1970's) home within 3-4 miles of your work location in Plano in your price range.

Keep in mind the further west you go (Coit, Preston, Dallas Tollway) the price jumps significantly. On the other hand further east (Custer, Alma, 75) price will drop. AS you can imagine schools and neighborhoods are better in west plano than east plano.

Little Elm is very far away, Frisco and Allen would also be at least 6-7 miles away. South Plano would be your best bet.

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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by newbie001 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:12 pm

As others have mentioned, West Plano can get a bit expensive. Frisco and Richardson are nearby and good places to look. The Canyon Creek neighborhood in Richardson might be out of your budget with the rise in DFW housing prices over the last few years. Other good neighborhoods in Richardson are Greenwood Hills (older homes though) and the neighborhood to the south, Richardson Heights.

Good luck with the move. Dallas is on fire right now, both business and real estate-wise!

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Raymond
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by Raymond » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:14 pm

I live in Plano, about three miles north of your future work location.

As mentioned above, your best bet (taking into account a 20-minute or less commute + excellent schools + house price in your range) may be in Plano north of your office, in the area bounded by Legacy Drive (north), Custer Road (east), West Plano Parkway (south) and Coit Road (west).

Most of this area is within the Plano Senior High School attendance area: Plano ISD District Maps

You may also consider Richardson, just to the south of Plano, which also has good schools and your commute will be opposite to the general flow of traffic from Plano (southbound/westbound in the morning and northbound/eastbound in the evening).

Most of the corporate offices in Plano are located in the west (along the North Dallas Tollway) or in the south (along West Plano Parkway).
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by thefireguy » Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:19 am

livesoft wrote:
WestTechsan wrote: Plano and Allen are fine communities, we chose to look elsewhere because they have massive high schools.

This can be a concern for many parents. I didn't know it at the time, but I went to a massive high school. There were more students than at my university. There are plusses and minuses.

A plus is that academics will be very very strong with advanced courses in every subject. A minus is that academics will be very very competitive, so to be in the 1% in a large HS is not the same as being in the 1% in a smaller high school. Texas has an admission policy for their state flagship universities which basically requires a freshman to be in the top 8% or so of their graduating HS class. That's easier to do in a small high school.

Another plus is that sports will be very very strong with exceptional athletes in all sports and experienced coaches. A minus is that sports will be very very competitive, so to be in 0.5% of students who play on the men's varsity basketball team is not the same as being in the 2% in a smaller high school.

Another plus is that music and drama …., and being first chair will be meaningful.

My kids went to massive high schools and did fine.


I can add a little more color to this. I graduated from a HS in Plano in mid 2000's and at the time the automatic enrollment cutoff to state schools was the top 10%. So in Plano at the time that means GPA over around 3.95. Sounds like with the adjustments to 8% that GPA is likely over 4+ now. I had decent grades in HS but was slightly out of the top 10%. This meant that even if I got into the most competitive state schools I likely wouldn't have gotten into specific majors. So I decided to go to a state school that is less competitive than the two biggest (UT and A&M).

I can say without a doubt that Plano schools and fine arts programs made me MUCH MUCH MUCH more prepared for college than many of my classmates. My wife and I still went to a decent state school and now work right along side the folks with the fancy private degrees and higher esteemed pedigree degrees.

From a sports perspective, I agree with others, your kids have to be pretty darn athletic to be playing in some of the HS sports. But there are also many recreational soccer, basketball, and baseball leagues that they can enjoy if they aren't. Good luck with the move - check out Babe's Chicken and some Texas BBQ (Lockhart, Pecan Lodge, +++so many more)!

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gregc
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Re: Relocation to the Dallas, TX Area

Post by gregc » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:16 pm

I lived in Northern California for 20yrs and 12yrs in Plano.
You may consider a bit further north near 380 from Prosper to Aubrey.
That area is growing very fast. The houses are still less than Plano and would appreciate more.
There are new schools in the area that I understand are as good as Plano but there is not much history to go on.
The school story was much the same when I moved to Plano in 2000. The schools in Plano were good but less was known about how good the Frisco schools were or would be. With school age children we chose to move to Plano but Frisco may have been at least as good to better.
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