Buying a home in a developing DFW community

Tips for buying a home in a developing DFW community

The DFW metroplex is expanding quickly. New home developments are popping up everywhere. We bought our home 3 years ago and since then we have heard the complaints by our neighbors about various things.Here are 5 tips I have when buying a new home in a developing community. A majority of complaints fall into these 5 categories.

If planning to purchase a home in a developing DFW (or I assume any community) most common complaints could be addressed if prospective home buyers:

1) Are diligent when choosing their builder, monitor building process closely at every stage.

2) Are diligent when choosing home site (what is planned in the future by the home site, is there going to be something built in the vicinity of your home that you would not be supportive of?) I called into the town several times to confirm if their were plans (or not plans for things). In our neighborhood there is a street that backs up to the railroad. You wouldn’t believe how many people complained about the noise. Some lots had a park planned for across the street. You guessed it- people “had no idea” and they didn’t want the park or the traffic. I knew about all these things because I didn’t want any surprises. Do your homework. Don’t be one to say, “I thought…” you need to know. Write it all down- who told you what and when. This way you have documentation if someone goes back on their word.

3) Review the past activities/events that have been hosted at the community center. Are they sufficient for your family- do you need to be entertained more or in a different way? “I thought we were going to have a fitness class… I thought there was going to be a weekly kids art class… I thought…” If the classes/events/activities hosted by the HOA in the past are not sufficient for your family, don’t expect much to change when you move into the community.

4) Gather information from several sources, not just your realtor, builder, or some random Facebook review. Some parties have a vested interest in which home you chose and will likely tell you anything. If having X amenity is extremely important to your family, be sure to verify by several parties that it is planned- not just confirmed by one eager sales person. Realtors are often offered incentives to sell homes in certain communities. Even though we absolutely love and adored our realtor, always take into consideration and question the reason they are so adamant about a particular neighborhood.

5) Expect noise and flat tires. When you finally move into the community, understand that others will be building around you. It seems like common sense, but it can be frustrating when roofers and nailing at sunrise. This is a new community. Houses are being built. Craftsman will play their music and nails will be left in the road. Trash will blow from the job site to your front yard. If your community is flourishing, building goes by quick and this all resolves.

Moving to Flower Mound, Texas from California

Moving from California to Texas.
Common arguments when moving halfway across the United States

Moving to Texas from California was not a decision our family took lightly. My husband and I weighed every angle, thought of a million scenarios, talked endlessly about “what ifs”. It was exhausting. Doing what feels right for your family, may not feel right to everyone in your life. We were met with a lot of criticism. It’s like people thought we made the decision in 32.5 seconds while on the potty during a commercial break. So I wanted to do a post about some main arguments I used when discussing our move. A side note- I just finished reading “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck“(may come in handy if you are considering a move across the United States).

Keep in mind that I have so many arguments as to why this move was right for our family, but this doesn’t mean that it is perfect for your family. Every family is different and therefore prioritizes differently. This is just a small reasoning about a family of native Californians making Texas home.

We were met with these questions/comments over and over from our California faithfuls. Here is my 2 cents on each question/comment.

Comment: But it’s so ugly in Texas. California is so much prettier. 

I know it seems silly, but this is the one comment we heard over and over. 

3 words: COST. OF. LIVING.

While I do love the beautiful landscapes of California- the ocean and the forests, I cannot justify staying in California because of its beauty. There are other pressing issues that we have at this point in our life- mainly the cost of living. Being able to drive to the beach is wonderful. Living amongst the redwoods is beautiful. I will not discount California’s beauty in any way, but I cannot justify the cost of living. 

According to bestplaces.net (You can click on this link and compare two cities that interest you), I compared the cost of living:  

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We bought our home in Flower Mound for right around the median home cost. 

Our critics will say:


Question: Why don’t you live in a cheaper city in California- then we can be close?

According to liveability.com the most affordable city in California to live in is Oxnard, California. The two things I concern myself with are schools & safety:

  1. How good are the schools in an area that we can afford to live in?
  2. How safe is the area we could afford to live in?

Livability says, “The median household income [in Oxnard, California] is $62,349 with median home value settling at $332,600, which is actually a great deal for California real estate.” 

How about the schools? According to greatschools.org (screenshots taken 9/14/2018, click on the great schools link for updated information): 

Here is some information on the greatschools.org rating system.

Oxnard, CA:

greatschools oxnard

Flower Mound, TX

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So while it might be the same cost to purchase a home in Oxnard, California- schools are simply better in Texas.

Another metric is crime rates: (taken from Sperlings Best Places

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Additionally, according to a study, The town of Flower Mound has been ranked in the Top 10 Safest Cities in America by the National Council for Home Safety and Security. Flower Mound came in at No. 7 in the list, the only Texas municipality in the top 30. The No. 1 safest city according to the report, went to Thornton, Colorado, a suburb of Denver.”

 Affordability. Schools. Safety. 


Question: When will we ever see you?

It’s really not that expensive to fly. Here is a screenshot of flights between SFO/SJC and Dallas. These flights are round trip found on google flights

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Question: Why Flower Mound, Texas?

Here is the town’s 2017 annual report.

Here is an excerpt from the town’s website

Town Yearly Awards – 2018

No. 1 ‘Most Livable Small City in the U.S.’

According to a study by SmartAsset, an online personal finance company, Flower Mound is the No. 1 “Most Livable Small City in the U.S.” Researchers examined cities with populations between 65,000 and 99,000, comparing 11 key factors including: median home value to median income ratio, concentration of entertainment, restaurants, and health care establishments, and unemployment rate, among others. The article praises Flower Mound for its positive economic climate, low unemployment rate, and affordable housing relative to the average income. Flower Mound is the only Texas community in the top 10, with Mansfield, Texas coming in at No. 12. The full study can be found here.

Livable_Cities_map

No. 1 ‘Lowest Drunk Driving Fatality Rate in TX’

According to a study by Sutliff & Stout, an injury and accident law firm, Flower Mound ranks No. 1 on the “Lowest Drunk Driving Fatality Rate” in Texas. Researchers used Texas Department of Transportation data to determine the number of alcohol related crashes from 2013 to 2017 for cities with a population of 50,000 or more. Once they were able to determine the average number of drunk driving fatalities each year for a given city, they divided that by the total population, then by 100,000 to determine drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 residents. Flower Mound ranks 0.28 drunk driving deaths per 100,000 residents each year, followed by North Richland Hills at No. 2 with 0.29, and Frisco at No. 3 with a score of 0.51. The Texas City with the highest drunk driving fatality rate is Odessa with 6.26 annual drunk driving deaths per 100,000 residents. The full study can be found here.

No. 6 ‘Best Place to Visit in U.S.’

Travel website Livability.com, ranked Flower Mound No. 6 on its national list of “Best Places to Visit” after examining 2,000 small and mid-sized cities. Criteria examined by analysts included the community’s entertainment industry, cultural offerings, golf courses and parks, ease of transportation, crime rate, and climate. Flower Mound is the only Texas community to make the top 10, praised for outdoor recreation opportunities provided by the many parks and trails, Bridlewood Golf Club, Tour 18 Dallas, and the Community Activity Center just to name a few. The article also noted the River Walk development as an amenity to look forward to when construction is complete. Newport Beach, CA took the No. 1 spot on this list. The full study can be found here.

No. 10 Safest City in Texas

According to HomeSnacks.net, a website that combines data about U.S. cities into bite-sized articles, Flower Mound is the No. 10 safest city in Texas. With the largest population of any city ranking in the top 30, Flower Mound had low scores in both violent crimes per capita and property crimes per capita.To complete the study, HomeSnacks analyzed 331 cities in Texas with a population of more than 5,000 using the latest FBI crime data. To learn more, please visit https://www.homesnacks.net/cities/safest-places-in-texas/.


Comment: The weather sucks in Texas.

Yes, it does. I agree. This is just something we have to live with.


Comment: Texas is different than California politically.

Yes, it is. This can be good or bad depending on where you sit politically.

According to bestplaces.net (you can click on this link and change the city to one you are interested in):

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In the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex approximately 42% are Democrats and 57% are Republicans, which is more level (15%) than the 76% Democrats and 20% Republicans (56%) in the Santa Cruz-Watsonville Metro. There is a shift in the opposite direction, but still more level in the DFW Metro area. Which ever way you lean, you will be able to find people with common beliefs in the DFW Metroplex.


Closing remarks:

We have been here in Texas for about three years and we still love it.

Check us out on the Canyon Falls Community blog.