Texas - need local advice and knowledge
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  1. #1
    Registered User InDiAnNa's Avatar
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    Default Texas - need local advice and knowledge

    Well Texan FVers, I need your advice.

    For various reasons, fDH and I are wanting to leave Great Britain and have discussed emigrating to the USA over the last 3 years but are really stepping it up now.

    We've done a bit of research into areas to live and work in, and although Craig wants to live in LA (cos he wants to hang out at the Whiskey ), but Texas has come up many times with affordable (for us) homes and many job opportunities, specially in fDHs field of Human Resources.

    We have sat down and discussed this at length, and this is a very real possibility for us, particularly as we would be able to buy a home outright in suburban Dallas, and Craigs sister lives in FL as a permanent resident so would be able to sponsor us visa-wise.

    But we don't really know about Dallas and the surrounding areas, would anyone be able to give us some tips and pointers of where to avoid and where is nice to live? As for the rest of the process of immgrating we will be looking into that with a solicitor but wanted to get some first hand knowledge of where to put the roots down so to speak!

    Thanks in advance

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    i would steer you towards houston. or temple/odessa. lots of jobs. cheap cost of living. cheap housing.

    now, houston and dallas are UGLY. i mean UGLY. so you have to save money to get away to beauty once a year.

    i would visit nasty dallas before making a decision. [shudders] so "stepford wives"....i can't stand dallas. come to houston please.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    I lived in the Dallas area for several years and make a trip back about once a year.

    Almost every suburb is going to be nice enough or safe enough for a young couple. If you are north of the city center (either Dallas or Ft Worth) you are pretty much ok. I don't know much about the south side. Your real estate agent can help steer you away from the "bad" sections.

    The area is huge, it covers an area of 100km x 80km. A car (or two) is a necessity. Public transport exists but not at the level you can use it to get to work or shopping like in London. I suggest you look for a home near where you will be working because traffic can be horrific. Major highways through the city are 3-5 lanes wide and will be packed solid in the morning and evening. It can take an hour or more to get downtown from the suburbs.

    Dallas weather is the opposite of London. It is dry and hot (40c or more) and it will be quite a change for you!

    If you have questions about specific areas, PM me and I will be happy to share what I know.
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    Registered User InDiAnNa's Avatar
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    Thanks to you both.

    We have just been looking at Houston ladykemma2, and come across a city called Sugar Land? Which is (according to the almighty Google) the 3rd best city to live in in the US, extremely low crime rates, unemployment, low cost of living... Know anything about it? Does seem nicer than Dallas I must admit but of course I am clueless

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    sugarland is extremely "stepford wives" uncomfortable, contrived, "master planned" - makes my skin crawl - shudder...

    i would look into west university place, south side place, bellaire, or montrose as an exciting interesting in the "thick of things" place to live. if you have kids i would live in katy or memorial.

    edited to add: where do you live now?

    analogies: sutton/leatherhead/cheam = katy
    richmond = memorial
    kingston upon thames = memorial
    chelsea/knightsbridge = river oaks
    Last edited by ladykemma2; 04-12-2009 at 06:38 PM.

  7. #6
    Registered User Michelle68's Avatar
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    Well, being that I'm in San Antonio, I'm sort of partial to my city. It's a nice,scenic, laid-back place to live. Although, I'm not too sure about the job opportunies in your fDH's field. It's very affordable, too.
    Last edited by Michelle68; 04-12-2009 at 07:48 PM.

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    I am in a rural area 60 miles north of Dallas. It is very nice here (Sherman area) with plenty of shopping, etc but not the traffic of the Dallas area. Lots of people here do work in Dallas, tho. Just prefer to live in the rural areas outside of the city.

    Lynn

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    Registered User 2ndGenGranola's Avatar
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    I loved living in the DFW area. Without knowing your personal taste I don't really know which direction to point you in. I would say to live close to your job. You don't want to spend all your time driving to and from work.
    I have family in the Houston area. Unless you love hot, hotter and even hotter with humidity I would avoid it. At least DWF has seasons withing driving distance.
    I would say to start out by renting until you found the neighborhood you loved. You can tolerate almost anything for a few months.

  10. #9
    Registered User freebs's Avatar
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    Tyler is nice!

  11. #10
    Registered User Texasgirl's Avatar
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    Try looking in the suburbs away from Houston.
    Magnolia
    Tomball
    Waller
    Conroe
    The Woodlands
    Katy

  12. #11
    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    I grew up in Fort Worth, and have not lived there for years, but last year a young friend and her bf (graduate school and law school between them) moved there and love it. If you like cities, and if you come from London they surely don't intimidate you, Ft. Worth could be a good compromise. It is quite large so there should be work opportunities, though of course that's chancy now everywhere. There are some nice cultural amenities in Ft. Worth, and you are close enough to Dallas to catch all of theirs too.

    It will be hot in Ft. Worth/Dallas in the summer and early fall, but not as hot and muggy as Houston. As for other weather, Houston can be in the path of hurricanes, Ft. Worth/Dallas will get the occasional tornado, but not nearly as often as in the plains states. I lived there for probably 30 years, and don't remember a major one, though some years ago one landed in downtown and did quite a bit of damage.

    In short, I would recommend putting Ft. Worth on your list of locations to consider.

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    since your husband seems to like the music scene, i suggest at least vising austin. it's very culturally diverse and the people there are great. i personally live in the suburbs of san antonio and love being in the "small town" atmosphere but also being very close to "the big city" when i need more options for things.

  14. #13
    Registered User savvy_sniper's Avatar
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    Hi there!

    I was born and raised on the south side of Houston. I can tell you that housing is VERY affordable. About 1-1/2 years ago we bought a 2000 + sq. ft. 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car garage, dining, office - home built in the 1970's. It has been very well maintained and updated and included all new appliances and hot tub.

    A lot depends on WHAT you what to do in your spare time - bar hopping, trendy restaurants, high end shopping, master-planned community (young families), water sports, fishing, hiking, camping.

    We are just outside the Beltway off of 45-S. We have easy access to most anything we want to do. I did MAJOR research when we were looking for our house 1-1/2 years ago. We are NOT in the flood plain, the homes on our street have never had water in them, majority are well maintained, and have held their value in this housing downturn.

    Bear in mind that Houston is close to the Gulf Coast so hurricane and tropical storms are a concern. I have lived here all my life; so we have an emergency supply for hurricane season.

    Houston is hot and humid in the summer, BUT Dallas is even hotter in the summer and even colder (with ice storms) in the winter. I understand that Ft. Worth is more affordable than Dallas.

    Austin is a great town, but housing prices are HIGH. Round Rock is just north of Austin and is still reasonably affordable, but is still doing well in this economy. I have friends in Round Rock and we almost moved there when we were looking for our home. If we need to evacuate for a hurricane, we go to Round Rock and have a great time.

    I hate cookie cutter homes, master planned communities, etc. We bought in an area that was developed in the 1970's. Yes it is a subdivision, but nothing like the ones being developed now where there are three or four floor plans, painted the same color, roofs the same, civic associations that are ridiculously strict. Example - a friend can't put a chair, bench, swing, etc. on her front porch.

    I would suggest that you try to visit several cities if at all possible. If you have to move to a city, DON'T buy a house immediately. Rent an apartment, learn your way around, take some road trips to the surrounding cities of interest, and find an area that is right for you.

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    Registered User checkerkitty's Avatar
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    I'd like to put in another vote for San Antonio! I grew up in Dallas, moved to Corpus Christi, went to college in Kingsville, moved to Victoria and then moved to San Antonio. Of all the places I have lived in Texas, I have been the most happy here. I love the vibe here. The town is large but not overwhelming. Dallas to me feels way too big. Houston is off the charts huge. The cost of living is very affordable here. The winters are mild. Summer can get a little spicy but you get used to it. The local economy is strong and there is lots of affordable housing. There are also several small towns around San Antonio that are wonderful places to live but are close enough that a commute isn't so terrible. Here are some towns to Google:

    San Antonio
    New Braunfels
    San Marcos
    Wimberley
    Schertz
    Seguin
    Bulverde
    Cibolo
    Helotes
    Boerne
    Spring Branch

    Then there are fully incorporated towns in San Antonio:
    Hollywood Park (just beautiful, white tail deer roam here)
    Alamo Heights (old homes, old money, very nice)
    Terrell Hills
    Leon Springs
    Live Oak

    I'd be more than happy to answer any specific questions you may have about property taxes, utility bills, grocery stores, etc. Just shoot me an email or PM.

    Christy

    PS- San Antonio is also a fun place for newly married's and families. There is so much to do here.

    http://www.sixflags.com/fiestaTexas/index.aspx
    http://www.seaworld.com/sanantonio/
    http://www.sazoo-aq.org/
    http://www.thealamo.org/main.html
    http://www.nps.gov/saan/
    http://www.wildtexas.com/parks/bracken.php
    http://www.fiesta-sa.org/ - Fiesta is HUGE here!
    http://www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com/

    Plus, most major cities are not too far away:
    Austin- approx 1 hour (great, great town)
    Dallas- approx 4 hours
    Houston- approx 3 1/2 hours
    Corpus Christi- approx 2 1/2 hours (beach time!)
    http://www.wildtexas.com/parks/padre.php
    http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/f...ustang_island/
    http://www.portaransas.org/

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    Default Where to live in Dallas

    Quote Originally Posted by InDiAnNa View Post
    Well Texan FVers, I need your advice.

    For various reasons, fDH and I are wanting to leave Great Britain and have discussed emigrating to the USA over the last 3 years but are really stepping it up now.

    We've done a bit of research into areas to live and work in, and although Craig wants to live in LA (cos he wants to hang out at the Whiskey ), but Texas has come up many times with affordable (for us) homes and many job opportunities, specially in fDHs field of Human Resources.

    We have sat down and discussed this at length, and this is a very real possibility for us, particularly as we would be able to buy a home outright in suburban Dallas, and Craigs sister lives in FL as a permanent resident so would be able to sponsor us visa-wise.

    But we don't really know about Dallas and the surrounding areas, would anyone be able to give us some tips and pointers of where to avoid and where is nice to live? As for the rest of the process of immgrating we will be looking into that with a solicitor but wanted to get some first hand knowledge of where to put the roots down so to speak!

    Thanks in advance
    Years ago, I worked in Dallas and lived in Richardson, a bedroom community about 12 miles north of Dallas. Most of the suburbs have grown together and are really no longer separate or different from each other. I would suggest renting until your husband has a job, and then looking for something you like that won't be a horrendous commute for him. You'll find native Texans to (usually) be friendly and helpful, and most immigrants are the same. If they are not, they usually move. Good luck!

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