Home Buying in Westlake>Question Details

Mrqster, Home Owner in Dallas, TX

Westlake: Vaquero vs Terra Bella. Which would be a better choice?

Asked by Mrqster, Dallas, TX Fri Mar 18, 2011

I considering building in Westlake. We like the Westlake Academy. I understand that the elementary grades are very strong. However, some families pull there kids out when they reach middle/high school because of the lack of electives. This is somewhat concerning.
So if you not happy with Westlake Academy later in your kid's academic progress then you either have your ISD or private schools. We really love the Vaquero neighborhood. The houses, building standards, safety, topography, etc... are superior than any comparing neighborhood. However, it is within the Keller ISD. Although not bad, Carroll ISD seems to have the better reputation. The other main option is the new neighborhood of Terra Bella, which is in Carroll ISD.
Is the Carroll ISD/ Keller ISD a major factor for families moving to Westlake?
Is the Westlake Academy the main draw for families moving to Westlake?
Which woulld be a better investment for resale, building in Vaquero or Terra Bella?

Help the community by answering this question:


Bruce Lynn’s answer

Sounds like you are on the right track of a decision for you and your family. Everyone is different. Different demands, different backgrounds, different interests. From my experience buy in the very best school district you can afford. I think when you look around the metroplex you will see the areas that have best held their values in the downturn are the areas known by most to have the best schools. Each kid is different and I think it is pretty hard down the road to predict which kid will be the most successful in which school system. I think for the most part for example Carroll is very very success driven and perhaps sports driven. If your child ends up in the bottom 10% or ends up being an artist instead of a football player, they might not fit in as well or have a ton more pressure, than if they are in DISD with the Arts Magnet High School for example.
If you have any thoughts about private school, that throws in a whole other wrench into the picture. I am sure there are people who drive to Ursuline, St. Marks, Jesuit, or Hockaday every day, but wow that is a hike from Westlake. If you had any thoughts of this, I would be thinking Preston Hollow, UP, or HP instead of Westlake.
I also think you have a pretty solid history of demand in these places. Westlake while very nice, is just on the edge of town, so there can be a West Ranch, North Ranch, Tesoro Ranch, and 10 other developments just down the road in 15-20 years with new builders competing for your buyers. If you are not seriously considering a resale in the area and only want to build, why would you think it is any different in 15-20years?
Just food for thought.

Bruce Lynn
Keller Williams Realty
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 19, 2011
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
Westlake is a very most exclusive area with few homes under $1M.

I'll help any way I can.


Nathan Beckey, Northwest Fort Worth Realtor

(m) 817.691.3602 (e) nathan@exclusivepropertiestexas.com

More Options. More Results.

check us out online http://www.exclusivepropertiestexas.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012
You are making a choice between two of the best and brightest diamonds and both are fantastic for sale and resale! Westake overall is a most prestigious area to live in and Westlake Academy and the Vaquero Golf Club are both huge draws! Additionally, both are in gated communities; however, Vaquero offers a 24 hour personally guarded gate and a completely different "lifestyle" of concierge
service behind the gates. Both Keller and Carroll are ranked Exemplary whereas years before only Caroll ISD was. Many in both neighborhoods also send their children to private schools too, like Faith, Covenant, Nolan , etc... You are making a great choice either way!! ! Lucy Noonan - Troy George
The George and Noonan Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 21, 2012
Thank you all for the advice. We are very interested in Westlake Academy. So the Keller vs Carroll ISD is not really an issue for us, just thinking about resale for others. We are leaning toward Vaquero. It is better than most comparable neighborhoods. We already live in Southlake (Carroll ISD) now. Thanks again.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011

Buyers consider a number of factors and the schools are one of those factors. If you have a pros & cons list of the different subdivisions or in some cases homes within a particular subdivision, you may prioritize that list differently than the next buyer. You will have to determine what is most important to you.

15-20 years down the road, no one can accurately forecast what will happen. You can only decide based on the present day factors and how important that are to you and potentially to others. You can evaluate the amenities of Vaquero vs. Terra Bella, as well as the current school rankings, and potentially any location preferences.

Families often compromise on their priority list. Some will absolutely want Carroll ISD but then fall in love with a home & neighborhood that falls within Keller ISD. They then either decide that Keller ISD or find that Westlake Academy or another private school meets their needs. The main point is that there are no absolutes when you are talking about family decisions. They face the individual preferences that you currently face.

The best way to work through the decision making process is to talk through it with someone you trust and figure out which option works best for your family. Not only is it an investment, but it will be your home for 15-20 years or even longer. If I can help, just let me know.

Kyle Harden
Century 21 Judge Fite - Southlake
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 19, 2011
Where do you want to live? No offense but as a Realtor we can't decide for you. We can help provide information on where to go for crime stats, school information, prices of past properties sold and etc. Please remember, an agent nor a Realtor should be telling you where to live. Best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 19, 2011
These are 2 great communities HOWEVER professional code of ehtics prevents a Realtor to respond to your question.

However your buyers agent can assist you by providing the correct resources and guides for short and long term goals.

Contact my office if I can answer any further questions

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 19, 2011
I am a resident of Vaquero and so have a bias towards that neighborhood. We recently surveyed all of the homeowners that have purchased homes in Westlake in the last three years to determine the main "draw" for people moving to Westlake. We found a significant number of families that moved to Westlake so that their children could attend Westlake Academy. People that chose Vaquero, chose that neighborhood because of its privacy and lifestyle. The resort style, concierge lifestyle is something very special. Families love the activities for kids, the community pool and sports court and fish camp along with the special events held throughout the year. As a member of the Vaquero Club you can enjoy a casual dining atmosphere with food that rivals any 5 star restuarant. We have found Vaquero to be a place of good humble people that have been fortunate in life and appreciate the lifestyle they are able to enjoy. There are several lots available for sale, many owned by motivated sellers. Please let me know how I might be able to help you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 19, 2011
If you are looking 15-20 years down the road, I wouldn't let the "newness" of a neighborhood sway your opinion. There is absolutely no way to determine what resale value may be in 15-20 years.

That being said, there is no way to determine what certain schools will be like in 5-10 years either. If you plan on keeping them in Westlake Academy throughout, I wouldn't make schools your number one factor on determining what you want. Allow the price, features, amenities, neighborhood, and neighbors to make the decision for you. With that, I think Vaquero would be your best choice, but think you should look in BOTH neighborhoods to see if you find something that you like better.

If you would like to discuss this now, please give me a call. I am up and available. (The call will go to a recording, and you just need to press 0 to have it go straight to my phone).

Because it's more than real estate. It's RAYL-Estate!

Brian Rayl, REALTOR®, e-PRO, SFR
Keller Williams Elite Park Cities
Web Reference: http://brianrayl.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 18, 2011
Original Poster here,

Another way to look at it is.....From you experience do more families prefer Glenwyck Farms (Carroll ISD) or Vaquero (Keller ISD)? Does the Carroll vs Keller ISD sway them? If they prefer Glenwyck is it the better prices or the Carroll ISD...or perhaps they prefer Vaquero?

If I move to Westlake I plan on keeping them in the Westlake Academy throughout. I was just concerned about resale 15-20 years down the road

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 18, 2011

The Vaquero and Terra Bella communities are both beautiful communities.

I happen to love the Vaquero community. They have done a fabulous job setting that place up to be AMAZING. You are absolutely right about that.

The Vaquero community is in the following school districts: Florence Elementary, which is 'exemplary' rated, Bear Creek Intermediate which is 'exemplary' rated, Keller Middle School which is 'exemplary' rated, and Keller High which is "recognized". (You should always double check with the school district to verify these schools are accurate).

Within the Carroll ISD, all of the schools are rated as "exemplary".

(You can view the ranking of all individual schools on my website by downloading a PDF file that I have on there at this link: http://brianrayl.com/buyers/dallas-school-information/)

As far as resale value, there is no way to tell the future especially in these types of communities. A general rule of thumb though is that the more open lots there are, there is more room for building. If you are planning on a long-term residence, then this is not a major factor for you. However if you are thinking more short term, then you have to look at how many lots are available, and can a buyer get a new house for a similar price that you try to sell yours for. Most people will go with a newly built house if all other things are equal.

If you are planning on buying a lot and having one of their builders build your new home, I would definitely use a 3rd party real estate agent who can place your best interests in mind when going through contracts and negotiations.

If you would like to see any of the houses in either community or have any further questions, please feel free to contact me. You just posted this question, so if you would like to talk now, I am available. Just call!

Because it's more than real estate. It's RAYL-Estate!

Brian Rayl, REALTOR®, e-PRO, SFR
Keller Williams Elite Park Cities
Web Reference: http://brianrayl.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 18, 2011
Westlake Academy and their IB program has been a highly recognized and a strong draw for the school; however, they have had some leadership changes which has concerned some parents. I would recommend touring the school and deciding for yourself and your family. As for Keller vs. Carroll ISD, yes Carroll is Exemplary at the upper levels, while Keller is recognized. There is some variance at the individual school levels.

As for Vaquero vs. Terra Bella, it will also depend on individual preferences. Vaquero is an established community while Terra Bella is in the beginning stages. In the near future, some individuals will prefer an established neighborhood. Vaquero also offers access to the clubhouse and golf course which will help in resale. Vaquero also has a strong name brand due to who lives there, which also makes it have an edge from an investment perspective.

So from an investment standpoint I would favor Vaquero, but you will still need to determine if the property that is available will suit your needs and if it feels like home to you. From your statement above, it appears that it does suit your needs.

If I can help you further, you can reach me at 817-726-9663. There are a lot of hurdles in buying the property and building a home and it is recommended that you have an agent assist you.

Kyle Harden
Century 21 Judge Fite - Southlake
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 18, 2011
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