I also like downtown Grapevine, but that's a little further than Plano.
I think old downtown Lewisville and Carollton, and Coppell may also stage comebacks.
Carrollton and Lewisville now have DART light rail service and I expect that to be a boon
to downtown living. Coppell expects DART rail stop and if that happens I think it will be a boon
to revitalization of that area....but plans are yet to be seen for that.
Some of these types of homes will be listed here, but there may be some outside of walking distance.
I would probably like to know more about what kind of shopping you expect and what price range you want to target, as well as if there is a specific draw to Plano (like work). Another area you might like, but maybe have less downtown feel is someplace in East Dallas east of I75....M-Street, Lakewood, Casa Linda, Hollywood Heights type areas.... you can read some about this area here:
Keller Williams Realty
Welcome to the Dallas/Fort Worth area! I agree with those below, you may want to consider the downtown McKinney area. Plano has a nice downtown area too, but you may not find the home you are looking for within walking distance. Another option would be Wylie, TX. They have a great downtown area with homes that may suit your needs close by...plus Wylie has a smaller town/community feel, and it's not far from Plano or Dallas.
Please know that none of our downtown areas will provide complete living without the use of a car. Most grocery stores and major shopping will be done outside of your walking distance. However, if you prefer not to drive, downtown Plano is located on the DART Rail Line for an easy commute.
As a buyer, there is no cost to you to have a Realtor represent you. I highly recommend that you find a Realtor that you feel comfortable with who is competent and that you trust. Let your Realtor guide you to the areas that will best suit your needs. If you are not available to view potential homes at this time, your Realtor should be able to preview them for you and help you narrow down your search prior to your visit to the area.
Our team of professionals would love to be of assistance. Please let us know if we can assist you.
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Also Plano east of Highway 75 has a cute older downtown area, http://www.visitdowntownplano.com/live.html
A sample of the prices would be around $115,000 to $150,000 for both areas (of course you can spend more) - you will have less to choose from in McKinney and quite a bit more in the Plano area.
I would be happy to send some properties that fit what you are looking for, just send your criteria and interests, price range, etc. Please let me know if I can answer any specific questions.
There are areas in Plano and North Dallas with that size home and you can find older homes on larger lots with large garages. Most of the homes that I've seen fitting your criteria aren't really too close to shopping areas. Find yourself a good real estate agent and they should be able to narrow it down for you.
Mckinney does have a vibrant downtown, but it's a slow commute if you are working in Plano/N.Dallas. Good luck on the search. You came to the right place to ask questions.
Are you qualified for loan?
What is your monthly budget for rental?
Walking to shopping in Dallas would have busy traffic area(s) HOWEVER there are some suggestions. Need addtional info.
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
I hope to hear from you!