Potential relocation from chicago to plano – dallas – texas (tx) – city-data forum cheapest gas in texas

There has been some talk at work about a job offer in Plano, TX. I currently live in the suburbs of Chicago, and have a younger family (6 year old and 3 year old). I’m 99% sure I will be taking a job in Plano, just waiting on official details. The location would be around the DNT and Sam Rayburn.

I’ve been out to that area a few times for work, and have explored a few of the surrounding areas. I’ve looked at the Windsong Ranch community in Prosper, and really like it. My wife and I have been looking at Chesmar homes, and it seems those would be more in line with our price range. Currently, we could afford ~390k, and are looking for at least 3 bedrooms, 2 bath, ~2200 sq. ft. That may change depending on salary.

Schools are very important to us, as we are currently in a pretty good school district. I’ve read and heard from individuals that Prosper ISD is a district to look at. We also want to have a great community, as we’re leaving our entire family with the move. Ideally, I wouldn’t want over a half hour commute, but I’m also used to a 50 minute commute currently.

Besides Prosper, we’ve looked at Mckinney, Allen, and Frisco. I’m not as in love with these locations as Prosper, but I also didn’t get much time to look at them. I don’t want to have tunnel vision for Prosper, and pass up other areas that are just as good, if not better.

A) Plano is very large in both population (over 250K people) and geographical size compared to most Chicago ‘burbs, so depending on where your job will be in Plano, there might be other suburbs to consider, but in general, if you work in Plano, living in Plano is probably your best choice. The schools are arguably "pound-for-pound" the best in DFW, as the district puts up metrics (test scores and other indicia of "academic acheievement") that are right near the top of any district in DFW, but with a student body that is more socioeconomically diverse than the other highest performing districts. Compared to Chicago, they don’t outperform New Trier (who does?), but are about even with most of the north to far north suburban schools (Fremd, Lincolnshire, Glenbrook South, Deerfield, Lake Forest, etc.). Western Plano is generally more affluent than Eastern Plano, but all 3 high schools perform extremely well.

B) in terms of "safety", northern Collin County (where Plano is located as well as the other suburbs you are looking at) is, in general, very safe. You can compare crime stats on C-D, but again, I would expect Plano/Frisco/Prosper to look similar to the futher north/NW suburbs of Chicago.

C) DFW housing stock in general is MUCH newer than in Chicago. Obviously we don’t know exactly where you’re at, but "old" houses here are "built in the 90’s". Obviously if you live in a new subdivision outside of Chicago you can find similar housing here. It will generally be larger in sf, but be aware that there are no basements here, unlike in Chicago (so, 2200 sf here is exactly that, with no extra 1000sf basement for storage or to finish for additional space).

D) Tolls here are considerably higher than in Chicago (yes, even after the increase there a few years ago) and there are more toll roads here. Specifically where you’re looking, the main north-south road is the Dallas North Tollway, and IIRC tolls generally run about 15 cents per mile. Note that DFW is more spread out in general than in Chicago, so expect to drive most everywhere.

E) DFW is growing much faster than Chicago (population increase about 25% over the last decade, compared to about 6% for Chicagoland.) The area you’re looking at is growing even faster (Frisco has grown from 6,000 people in 1990 to ~160,000 today). If you were to buy in Prosper, expect that suburb to grow rapidly over the next 10-15 years and change substantially from what it is today. More importantly, expect that traffic from there into Plano will be that much worse over the next decade. Also, if you buy in Prosper and then look to sell 15-20 years later, you might have your (by then) "older" house competing with lots of newer builds.