Not really a car question, thinking of moving to DFW area

Discussion in 'Texas' started by CrashOverride, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. CrashOverride

    CrashOverride Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys/gals, I live in southern california right now and I'm kind of getting sick with the outrageous taxes on everything, the smog in the air, and the horrible cost of living. Not being able to do much to a car legally is also a royal pain.

    My work has an office in downtown Dallas proper. If there are any california transplants, what do you think? Is humidity terrible, and does it get cold in the winter (aka below freezing/can be snow)? Can you (safely) drive a mustang year round and not have to worry about salt/rusting? I grew up in the midwest, so I know all about the rust.

    Can a guy get a house within a half hour commute with an acre of land for under $350k? My house is way more than that here, but looking to shift the mortgage costs into more fun stuff like modifying cars, track time, and boats...

    I understand there is no income tax there, but there is higher property tax. If it is measured in percentages, what type of numbers are normal? Here very high is 2%, and since my house is in an older area where the bonds have expired, it is about 1.1%

    Thanks for any advice - I'm open to anything...Good cities to look at, etc.
     
  2. cbdallas

    cbdallas Well-Known Member

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    I'll try to answer your questions in the order they appear.

    Yes, the humidity is terrible. Right now, you can practically see the air, and cut it with a knife.

    I've seen it get as cold as 14 degrees in the 23 years I've been here. And this summer, it got to 114 and stayed there for quite a while. We usually have 2-3 snow / freezing rain events during winter, which snarls traffic at best, and shuts the city down, at worst. The last one I drove in was in my Focus ST in 2014. The roads were solid ice, and I was one of only a few cars on the road that morning. I witnessed no fewer than 3 crashes on my 18 mile drive to work. I grew up in Wyoming, so I know how to drive in the stuff, but NOBODY ELSE HERE does. You will probably be alright in a Mustang 99.9% of the time, as long as you can keep your distance from the morons.

    While I'm on the subject of weather, I'll let you know that Dallas sits within a unique area that experiences frequent tornadoes and hail. You will be replacing roofs, windows, and landscaping before very long if you move here, not to mention...you'll have a paintless dent repair guy on speed dial. If you're used to the California climate, Dallas might not be a great choice for you. It's either oppressive heat and humidity, or running for your life from a tornado or baseball-sized hail. My move to Dallas in May 1995 was delayed by a month because of a hail storm that came through in April. Apparently the hail was coming down in huge, angular pieces. A friend showed me the hood of his truck. It looked like someone had gotten after it with a pick-axe. I consider leaving this place every year, solely due to the climate, and having replaced 2 roofs and had 220 dents removed from my truck, and always wondering if that tornado I see on the news is coming my way. Tornadoes tore the hell out of Rockwall a couple years ago, and killed some people, and that was the closest I want that to get to my house (Wylie).

    An acre of land within 30 (real) minutes of downtown is going to be a hard find in your price range. Dirt near downtown Dallas is some of the most expensive in Texas. I have a house 18 miles from my work, which isn't even downtown, and the drive is 50 minutes on a day with no wrecks on the highways. When there's a wreck, sit back and relax. See my commute map, attached. The closer you get to downtown, the greater the snarl. I'd sooner take a beating with a bat than take Central Expressway into downtown. I have no reason to go down there, and for that, I'm eternally grateful. If your office is situated where you can take the train, even if you have to drive a bit to the nearest station, you'll definitely want to do that.

    The search for 1 acre lots is going to lead you to the burbs, like maybe Rockwall, Murphy, or south of I-30 (Seagoville) but $350K won't cut it for that much land. My realtor just sent me this: A bit more than 30 minutes from downtown, 1/3 acre.
    https://www.ebby.com/property/264331573/5209-Dixie-Circle-Sachse-TX-75048

    Property taxes I can only speak for in Collin county. My home, valued around $260K (bought it for $160K in 2010) is $4k a year, HOA is a bargain at $550 per year. Dallas County will likely be worse, but a realtor can speak to that better than I can.

    My take on Dallas right now: So many people piled into Dallas in search of a better life, economy, and home price when the bubble popped, and it's over-populated to a critical stage. The roads and other infrastructure were never designed for this level of population. Traffic has gotten worse by a factor of 50 since I moved here in '95, and all the major roads have already been expanded. I realize I'm preaching to the choir about traffic to a Californian, but if you think you're escaping the snarl by coming here, you're mistaken. I'll get out of here someday, after probably replacing my roof a few more times, when I find somewhere that strikes a better balance between climate and crowding.

    Happy hunting! commute.JPG
     
  3. OP
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    CrashOverride

    CrashOverride Well-Known Member

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    Wow, thank you very much for your detailed reply! I've been told about the train from someone in the office in Dallas, the problem is I've never been much of a public transportation person. Where I live, there is a commuter station probably 10 minutes from my house, but I tried it for a week and couldn't handle someone else driving. My commute right now is 24 miles and in the morning I can do it in 45 minutes, and coming back, it can be between 45 minutes to 90 minutes. Usually Thursday and Friday are the worst.

    I can definitely spend quite a bit more, but I'd rather not to if you know what I mean. One of the guys in the office told me to basically draw a square within the following cities: Mckinney, Keller, Midloathian and Rockwall. It seems like the south side of Dallas is cheaper, but the schools aren't very good (All of this according to realtor.com so I have no idea how true it is).

    Your property taxes are actually not nearly as bad as I thought. For an appraised-when-I-bought-it $530k house, I think I'm paying about $7k a year. (California has a law "Prop 13" that caps the property tax increase rate after you buy your house, so even though my house has appreciated by a lot, my property tax has not) But my state income tax is around 9%, sales tax is 8% and gas tax is incredibly high. Right now a gallon of 91 octane (The best I can get) is about $3.60 a gallon. 87 octane is about $3.40.

    I grew up north of Detroit, and went to school up in the upper peninsula. After going through that frozen hell, I moved here. No more 40 below zero for me. Although it's been 15+ years since I had to deal with snow, I know what you mean. If I moved there, I would want to get a boat, so it sounds like I would dual purpose a truck for those colder days.

    I experienced tornados and hail in Michigan, but nothing near as bad as what you're talking about. That has got to be a terrible feeling when you're at work/parked out side and hear your car getting it's rear whooped by hail.

    It sounds to me like I need to think about this some more before I put in for the transfer. Thank you again for your honest reply!
     
  4. DR_

    DR_ Well-Known Member

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    Couple of things to add. If I got a job downtown I would be using the DART light rail trains to get there. That way I wouldn't have to be parking my car downtown or messing with all that traffic. I live about a mile away from the Rowlett train station and could easily walk,ride a bike, or drive to it and then get to downtown in 30 minutes. Lots of acre+ lots in the NE Dallas suburbs (Wylie, Sachse, Rowlett, Rockwall) but no way you will be getting to downtown in 30 minutes driving in rush hour, probably double that.
    You might want to go with a house along a green belt area closer in. It makes you feel like you have a lot of land without having to maintain it.
    While you might have smog, you still live in the car mecca of the US. Here it is super flat and no interesting roads for a long way out. No way would I move from southern Cal to Dallas.
     
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  5. OP
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    CrashOverride

    CrashOverride Well-Known Member

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    Thank you as well DR_. I think I convinced myself to stay, I moved because I hated the midwest weather and I've become spoiled by the weather here. As long as my house doesn't burn down (Flames came about 50 feet away late last year), the weather is pretty good. It does get 110 and I've seen it get up to 118 here, but there is negligible amount of humidity. So much you get static electricity. The winter is where it kicks (you know what). About 50-60 during the day and yes, it will get down to 40 at night, but no biggie. Even on a 110 degree day, it would fall to mid 80's at night. Lately, it's been in the high 80's during the day and low 70's at night. I actually have to cut my grass more in the winter because of the rain.

    Everything I've read though says TX is probably the next best climate, or the high desert such as Albuquerque.
     
  6. LantanaMustang

    LantanaMustang Active Member

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    Bi-polar weather here. Was 80-90 a week ago, now highs of 45 tomorrow and Tuesday.

    I moved my family here 5+ years ago and we were like kids in a candy store from a house-shopping standpoint.

    Depending on where you're looking, prices have skyrocketed.

    While the no state income tax is nice, we personally pay over $15k per year in property taxes on a house assessed just over $500k. You really have to watch where you buy, as some tax rates are much higher than others.

    Many areas have a "PID" tax. This is a "Property Improvement District". Instead of the developers passing on the true cost of developing infrastructure in the actual selling price, they set up with the taxing country an additional tax that usually stretches 10-20 years. It allows them to price the homes much lower, but then you get stuck with an extra $2-3k of tax each year as these "improvements" are being paid off.

    With us not being native Texans, we make have a different opinion. My wife is from AZ and I'm from MN, we can't wait to find a way back to AZ, MN, or CO.

    You live through a terribly hot and humid summer, just to have an ugly grey winter that seems to be wet and never ideal, never seeing 60-70 degree weather. It's almost like there is no such thing as spring or fall here.
     
  7. VikingJoe

    VikingJoe Well-Known Member

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    Having moved here recently from Albuquerque (2.5 years ago), I feel qualified to answer everything besides the property tax questions since I decided to rent.

    1. The weather is miserable and I mean that sincerely. We had 3+ weeks of 110+ degree temps this summer. The humidity will crush your soul - it is on par with deep south states like Louisiana. When it rains here, it rains for days, non stop (just got done raining for 6 days straight). Expect frequent flash floods and hydroplaning due to poor road design. Hail is pretty common and can be pretty large. I have yet to experience a tornado here but I hear they are common as well. Winters are usually pretty mild but you can get a few weeks when it can get nasty with snow, sleet, ice etc. Also, the bugs here are on a whole different level. I have never seen this many mosquitoes in my life and I have lived in Korea. If my job didn't make me an offer I couldn't refuse I would leave this place based on the weather and bugs alone. Once my 4 years is up here I am going back to Albuquerque, no doubt.

    2. Traffic in the DFW area is also miserable but if you are from LA then it will be a bit of an upgrade for you. As an example, I live roughly 10 miles from where I work and my commute one way can vary wildly each day from 30 minutes to an hour and 20 minutes. It only takes me 12 minutes to get to work on the weekend in comparison.

    3. In regards to property, as was already mentioned by cddallas, finding the criteria you are looking for will be pretty hard in the metro area. If you do find it you will be paying a high price. I ended up making the decision to rent because I cannot see myself being here after my daughter graduates in 4 years. If you end up deciding to rent for what ever reason, good luck! It got so bad for me that I ended up having to put in applications for properties the same day they were posted without even looking at them in person because they would literally be spoken for the next day otherwise. Too many people here!

    4. Albuquerque! I lived most of my childhood there and ended up back there after I got out of the Air Force. The weather in the summer is mild compared to DFW and there is absolutely no humidity to deal with. The winters are cold, snow and ice can be bad. Property / cost of living is dirt cheap compared to nearly anywhere in the US. Traffic is almost non existent unless you live on the opposite side of the city from where you work. My only major gripe about Albuquerque is the crime. Theft, burglary and assault is at some of the highest levels in the nation and there is a lot of gang culture present. This sounds scary but it can almost be completely avoided once you know all of the areas of the city. The Albuquerqe area and New Mexico in general is gorgeous if that matters to you. DFW is an ugly urban jungle of highways and Texas as a state in general is pretty bland.
     
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  8. Coyote Red

    Coyote Red Well-Known Member

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    Bland as Austin,Tx.?I lived in Houston,Tx. 15 years and finally semi-retired to the coastal bend near Port Lavaca,Tx.
    I can attest to gang activity in Houston and was glad to move near the San Antonio Bay where fishing and driving 75 mph on coastal hwy's is a blast! No hail in the 8-9 years I've lived on 1/3 acre for $200.00 property tax a year, Yee Haw.
     
  9. Bubba Bear

    Bubba Bear Well-Known Member

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    We moved from the bay to Allen TX last year. The weather here sucks and things are a lot more expensive than they should be, sales tax here isn't far off CA levels and we pay far more property tax here than we did in the bay
     
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  10. OP
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    CrashOverride

    CrashOverride Well-Known Member

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    Forgive me for bringing this up again, my work once again gave me the opportunity to move, and I'm about 90% positive it's going to happen. There are just too many negatives in CA for me to continue living here. I am pretty far on the conservative side and I've been able to live with it for 19 years, but the traffic is so bad, there is nowhere where I can just drive and enjoy it. Even on the weekends, it's getting bad now.

    So, I've decided to up my target price to $500 to $550k. Many colleagues in TX have recommended the following cities/towns: Wylie, Royse City, Midlothian, Forney, Rockwall and Red Oak. I'm not looking for a subdivision with a crazy HOA like we have here - I want to be able to build a proper metal workshop with enough room for a full lift. If there is enough land for that and a decent sized pool, then I'm good. I'm thinking 1-2 acres. My colleague who lives in Wylie tells me it is about a 50 minute commute to downtown Dallas (give or take a little bit). That seems shorter of a drive than I would expect, but I'm coming from an hour long drive to go about 24 miles. On the way home, it can be 90 minutes. One section of my commute takes 30-45 minutes to go about 3 miles. Idle in 1st gear is way too fast, for example.

    Like I told my co-worker, I promise not to "Californicate" Texas because I'm moving to get out of CA :)

    Are there any other areas worth looking at? My colleagues did recommend DART for some of the commute. I'm not really a public transit person, so I probably would drive. I've been told that downtown Dallas parking can be $150 a month. I'm shocked it is that high to be honest.

    Thanks again for all of your thoughts!
     
  11. kaibab

    kaibab Member

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    Hello sir, looks like your a Wylie resident like me. Should me up at the Rock sometime.
     
  12. cbdallas

    cbdallas Well-Known Member

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    If you're planning to live that far from work, and you're working downtown, you may reconsider taking the DART train. It'll get you downtown faster than Central Expressway will, and you can sit back, relax, and smile as you blow past all the poor SOBs sitting on that glorified parking lot.....me included. Seriously....Central Expressway south of Mockingbird Lane, all the way to downtown is a Cluster F.

    A caution about Wylie - If you live in West Wylie, there is one way in and out, and it's called FM544. Any other route drowns you in stop signs, red lights, and clogged residential streets. It's also a glorified parking lot anytime after 6:45am, and after 4:45pm. East Wylie makes it more viable to take 78 south through Sachse & Garland, which again, is a parking lot in the morning. I took it yesterday, as it was the most direct route to go get my driver license renewed. Cussfest.

    I loved Wylie when I bought my house in 2010, before they put a CVS on what was a beautiful horse farm, and before they built a WalMart in the middle of an already traffic-congested area of Murphy (which affects Wylie traffic), but living there now is a commuter's nightmare. FM544 is WAY obsolete for the amount of traffic it sees, and all the traffic lights coming in through Murphy, into Wylie are timed conversely to any kind of traffic flow. This town is a victim of horrible foresight and planning. If I knew in 2010 what I know now, I would not move here.

    Do be prepared to live a good distance from work if you're looking for acreage, and without a strict HOA. If you'd like a seasoned realtor's input, I can give you a name of a multiple-award-winning realtor who shoots straight. She's blunt, she's straight forward, but she also won't take any shit off of a snot-nose listing agent.
     
  13. Coyote Red

    Coyote Red Well-Known Member

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    Civic Association's needed there it look's like. I won't live in a HOA designated area, period! I live on the coastal bend and enjoy driving thru 6 counties for my medical tech job. How far is Borne,Tx. from your job.
     
  14. lostlocalhost

    lostlocalhost Well-Known Member

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    This is land of the HOA, especially at your price range unless you move a bit further out. (Further east then rockwall or further north than McKinney)
    I love Rockwall, but I'm considering moving because of the drive to work - it's getting worse everywhere in DFW over the last 5 years.

    cb covered things pretty well, but if you have a specific question about the east side/Rockwall, let me know.
     
  15. OP
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    CrashOverride

    CrashOverride Well-Known Member

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    I could only find a city called Boerne TX, and it's over 280 miles away from where my office would be.

    There are tons of HOA's here as well. Some are over $400 per month which is outrageous if you ask me. I have one now, but it's only $45 a month. But, I've also gotten nasty grams for working on my truck in my own driveway. I found a listing for an awesome house in Royse - should I steer clear?
     
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