Home Buying in 75214>Question Details

Mark, Home Buyer in 75243

I just moved to Texas from Kansas City and I am currently leasing a home about 2 blocks from White Rock Lake.

Asked by Mark, 75243 Tue Sep 30, 2008

I work in Downtown and I am very satisfied with commute (15 mins).

I have researched houses in the area and I am considering a purchase, although I am a little dissapointed in the age and square footage a person receives for 400K in Lakewood. I have considered moving into a more expensive price range to get more house but wonder if it makes practical sense. I know the area is appreciating, but think the 400K range in the safer bet.

My question is this. What are my options for 400K in areas with schools as good as Lakewood with an easy commute under 30 mins? I feel I should get much more house for the price but I love the lake and the lack of traffic. I have ruled out RockWall, Garland, Mesquite, and Preston for various reasons (traffic, Schools, etc)

Anyone have any options that make sense?

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Answers

21
Hi, Mark.
I live in Lakewood myself, so I understand the appeal! I think Lakewood is a very solid investment. I do have clients wanting more square footage, as you do, and Lake Highlands is a great option (I grew up there) I love Hollywood/Santa Monica, I've lived there myself as well, also "C" streets. Prices are slightly lower in N. Oak Cliff, and the area feels similar to Lakewood. The Trinity Development will continue to add value to that part of Dallas. You've got some great options, and you've done your homework! I'd be happy to help you find your new home. Isn't Dallas' weather glorious right now? Be sure to visit the State Fair! Best regards, Monica
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 1, 2008
You're asking the same question that everyone asks, so you're not alone. There just aren't many parts of Dallas that look and feel like Lakewood. You can cross 75/Central, but prices go up or double. The best advice I can give you if you like the area is look on the fringes. Hollywood Heights---areas north of Northwest Hwy, NW of Northpark to perhaps Forest and Marsh, also some areas north of 635 around Hillcrest/Preston up to Alpha. All those areas should see some price appreciation in the future....although all mentioned have longer drive times and perhaps less desirable schools. You could also take a look South of downtown like Kessler Park and Stephens Park area. If you want Suburbia you could try Coppell. Great schools, homes about $100/$105sqft, still about 30min drive to downtown and 10mins to DFW. I have lived in Dallas, Ft. Worth, Coppell, and other cities inbetween if you need assistance I'd be glad to help you work through your decisions and options.
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 30, 2008
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
MVP'08
Contact
I think you answered your own question. I was born and raised in Dallas, specifically Lakewood. It is a very special area. I know that entire city like the back of my hand and I always go back to Lakewood. In my opinion the other options will not be what you described and to get the same ambiance you'll have to go to even more expensive areas. Just remember this: location, location, location. Unfortunately, you are paying for atmosphere, lifestyle, amenities, etc... in a city that is full of concrete. And that is why you are getting so little square footage for the money. I've owned quite a bit of real estate in east Dallas, M Streets, Lakewood, Old Lake Highlands and it has always been good to me.
Just remember, real estate is a long term investment.
Best of luck,
Susan Walker
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 30, 2008
Hi Mark,

Thanks for your question. If you want to stay by a lake, w/in 30 mins. of downtown, and schools are important, you're limiting the geography quite a bit.

If you can lose the lake, you can consider Richardson and would get quite a bit for your money. Excellent schools and we just put a Dr. client in a home in Richardson and he works at Baylor off Gaston and gets there w/in 30 mins. Very nice, new and newer homes in the $400's.

LaVillita in Irving has Lake Carolyn and the Campion Trails which are quite nice. The Carrollton Farmers Branch ISD is really coming up there and you'd be w/in a decent commuting distance from work. You can get a very nice NEWER BIGGER home there in the $400's.

We would love to assist you find your new home.

Happy to help,
Terri Hayley
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 30, 2008
The age and size of the homes ARE the appeal of Lakewood. I just met with a lovely couple from Lakewood looking to make the move out to Prosper as their daughter is entering pre-school. Hang in there about 30-60 more days and you'll see new listings in and around Lakewood that aren't on the market yet. If you need to go month-to-month on your rent, then do so. But, be prepared to move quickly if a home with more square footage comes up. This is a popular area, and the best homes are likely to take a contract when they are still doing make-ready, in the
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 27, 2010
Mark,

KC, K or KC, MO?

I had the same sticker shock when I moved to Dallas 18 years ago. I live in the Lakewood Area too, but am a big fan Lake Highlands. Better schools and more house for the money, if you're willing to add 10 minutes to your commute?? I'm happy to get you details.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 26, 2010
The one question that no one has asked is - how far do you want to drive from home to work ? Based on that answer would determine where you should live. Traffic in dallas between 4-6 sometimes can be terrible AND if you have to add in picking up children from daycare, rainy days, car accidents - you may want to consider buying a helicopter in addition to a house if you buy too far out. ( that was just a joke )

I am sending you a link to a personal website that you can do your own searches, look at homes for sale, get up to date reports on any additions that someone does to a home that is on the market. Please login - and I will start this password protected, spam-free, advertising free website to you.

If you have any questions :

Robert J Russell
http://www.robertjrussell.com
972-679-9029
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 12, 2009
My husband and I are getting ready to put our house on the market in the next 2 months. We own a home in Lakewood on Williamson Road - it is a creek lot and is in excellent condition. We estimate the listing will be in the $450k range. House has had alot of redo's over the past couple years. Good for a family. If interested, my email is kikicohen202@yahoo.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 11, 2009
Mark,
You seem very taken with Lakewood and I don't blame you. Since you are renting for now, time is on your side so you don't have to settle for any home. The right one will come along. Keep an eye on the Junius Heights and Munger Place areas of Lakewood. Lots of recent activity going on there recently.

Have you considered buiding a home? may be purchasing a redo and putting in your own personal finishing touches to it and still stay very close to the 400K budget you want?

Naima
214-289-8555
naima@sumner-realty.com
Web Reference: http://www.sumnerrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 6, 2008
Welcome to Texas! I use to live in Kansas City and still have family their.
I sure don't miss the winters. I live in North Dallas area/Flower Mound a family community.
If you have a family its a nice family place to be with great schools. If you have any other
questions shot me an email. Have a great day!
Laurie
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 6, 2008
Rj is right,

Forney is a good place
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 22, 2008
Mark, Good Morning. I was reading your requests for homes in the Lakewood area and agree that it is a great place to live. We currently have a listing on a huge corner waterfront lot in Lakewood on Williamson Rd. It is a one owner home and would need remodelling on the interior. This home is a blank slate and you can make it your own. The lot is gorgeous with large trees and plenty of space to add on if needed. We currently have it listed for $375K and are accepting and considering all offers. If you are interested or would like more information on this property, please let me know. My name is Amy Downs with Keller Williams Realty and I can be reached at 972-468-5136.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 22, 2008
I didnt see anyone mention Forney. It is a smaller community going through alot of growing right now. your 400K could go along way out here. Depending on the time of your commute and your destination the trip from Forney to Downtown can take anywhere from 20 minutes with no traffic to 30 to 40 on peak times. Please let me know if you would like more information about this area. I grew up here when it was much smaller. I left for college and stayed away for about 6 years and now I am back to start my own family. The schools are very very good. I believe a few just received exemplary status. Also a bonus if you would like me to help you find something in this or any other area, I do not have a large name Broker taking a large cut of my commission so I offer a reduction in commission to be applied to your closing costs which can be quite large on a purchase of this size. If you would like to email me directly at rj.avery@att.net I can send you a search of things available in Forney at that price range. Finally if you have some time and wanted to build you could probably even get more for your money. My father is a builder and has two spec homes that can be viewed for quality. Another area similar to Forney but a bit bigger is Rockwall.

Hope this helps a bit
RJ Avery
214-682-0598
Web Reference: http://www.findapadfast.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 8, 2008
Thanks everyone - I appreciate all the advice. As many of you have discussed Plano/Frisco/Grapvine as well as others, I know those are not 30 minute commutes. I have driven from these commutes and have also been talking to individuals at my firm

Lakewood is a great area and I will continue to look for a deal. We most likely will look for a 400K house with the ability to add on to the home and update . This will provide good value by adding more space and newer materials. This should create a sweet spot from a resale value standpoint

Many thanks,

MB
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 8, 2008
Mark: Boy do I have a deal for your. Weird that I just stumbled across your listing. We own a home in the "M Streets" of Lakewood, Park Cities, Highland Park. You probably know the area. When we moved recently after living there for 15 years my daughter and her boyfriend stayed in the home. Things have had a financial change for them and us. They are moving out this weekend. The house is an English Tudor with everything imaginable having been done to it. It still has all the charm of the typical English Tudor but has been redone from plumbing, electrical, new kitchen, tankless hot water heater, custom deck with a beautical 8ft fence with an electric gate across the driveway. There's a two-car carport with a shed for all your yard equipment. The house is approximately 2,200 square feet. We have just now decided to sell, so it's not been listed or anything yet. It is 3-4 bedrooms, two baths. The attic has been built out for a room, bathroom and previously a seperate playroom, but as chilren grow we turned it into a walk through closet with a really nice Container Store closet system. If your interested, please get a hold of us FAST. My email is doverdjf@comcast.net. I think this house may be just what you're looking for. Selling price will be approximately in the $500,000+. Worth every penny -- it literally is move in ready and has nothing major left to be done to it. Main bathroom has a gorgeous claw footed bathtub and we've really tried to retain the charm of the older homes.

Hope to hear from you: Donna Foster 469/583-1042. If you decide to call, let me know you phone number so I don't ignore your call. This could be one of those "this was meant to be" kind of situations.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 6, 2008
$400K with better school districts as referenced in published articles are the following recommended areas:
a) Coppell is not far from Carrollton Dart station for commute downtown could be a breeze
b) Plano c) Frisco d) Colleyville, Grapevine, Southlake further drive however with Dart completion could be worth look at.
http://www.lynn911.com http://www.homes-for-sale-dallas.com
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 1, 2008
Hi Mark,

I love the Lakewood area myself and Lakewood Elementary is a strong school. If the fact that you are in a heavily treed area close to the lake and the city is not of primary importance than I would consider Plano and possibly Murphy if you want a newer larger home with good schools. In addition to being able to drive to Dallas in 30 minutes or less (provided no accidents) there is good rail transportation also. The area will be newer and the homes will be also. The area will not quite offer the charm of Lakewood but will have a great school system from elementary through High School. Plano is established and if you had to move in a few years you would not be competing with new home builds etc, which is great and keeps you property values relatively solid.

The other suggestion might be Grapevine/Colleyville. You can get a nice, newer home there for this price range but you could be on the edge of a 30 minute commute. Pretty area, fantastic schools and Tarrant county which offers lower taxes. The closest Train is Centerport just south of DFW.

I would love to share my thoughts with you about these and other areas. I relocated here myself with American Airlines over 22 years ago and still remember the adjustment to the area and how overwhelming and large the offerings of the metroplex in terms of towns, areas, lifestyles etc,.

Please feel free to contact me at 214-809-2244. Best Wishes

Kathy
Web Reference: http://www.HouseHuntDFW.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 1, 2008
Hi Mark,

Have you considered Lake Highlands? Lake Highlands is very close to the lake, won't add much to your 15 minute commute, and is in Richardson ISD. With the Lakewood area, while you do get in Lakewood Elementary, the school district is still Dallas ISD. Dallas ISD has just come under some intense scrutiny after it was discovered they were over budget by $64 Million (+/- a few million).

In Lake Highlands, you can find some nice homes and get more per square foot than in Lakewood. There is a new development under construction at the corner of Walnut Hill and Skillman. It will be a mixed-use development and feature waterways, hiking & biking trails, an outdoor ampitheater. There were many apartments torn down to make way for this development. You can see a press release from May at http://www.lhaia.org/pdfs/2008/2008-05-20_PRG_LHTC_NR.pdf

Let me know if you want any more information on properties in this area, or any other area in and around Dallas. You can search for properties from my website, http://www.JenniferLewisHomes.com or we can get together to discuss your buying criteria and I'll do the work for you.

Best regards,
Jennifer Lewis
Jennifer Lewis Homes
214-328-5500
Jennifer@JenniferLewisHomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 1, 2008
Good Morning Mark,

You may want to consider Plano and Far North Dallas...the Toll is minutes away. Great prices and selections.

Best regards,

Mattye P. Smith
Realtor

Colonial Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 1, 2008
Great question and also something that most of my buyers are concerned with! What I recommend doing is getting with a Realtor who can do a Radius Search from your work.

Here is how it works - you tell me what the address of your work is - then I set up a radius search of everthing for 400,000, built in your specifications, # of bedrooms, # of bathrooms etc - and WHA-LA - we have houses narrowed down to your drive time!

Call me - I would love to help you!
Robert J Russell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 1, 2008
My suggestion to you Mark is to find a Realtor you feel like you would enjoy working for you, and have them put together several searches in several surrounding ciites for listings that fall into your criteria. You can then see online what each has to offer in the price range your looking for.....most Realtors are going to advise you about each area "good or bad" and what the likeliness is for each area to appreciate or not.....the histories and such. This way your not led into spending tons of time and wasted energy driving all over Dallas.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 30, 2008
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