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16 responses to “How’s That Commute From Murphy Doing For You?”

  1. Gadfly says:

    HEY, the article left out one very important fact, “size equals value”. It’s the entire real estate industry (investors, lenders, etc.) that got us into this stupid pickle with this silly rule. Forget about quality. I’m convinced that this size thing/rule was determined before females were allowed to enter the work force. We are all aware about the male’s preoccupation with size. To quote a line from the film “Titanic”, “size means stability, luxury, and above all strength”. Ah, yes. And just where is this big beautiful Titanic now? History keeps repeating itself. Size should not matter, but quality should.

  2. question says:

    So, according to that logic, I should sell my new 2,600 sq/ft home East of Dallas and buy an (equally well-built) home close to downtown for about 4 times the price?

    Something that you and Wick have both seemed to have forgotten about is that we are not all on unlimited incomes. Price is probably more of factor in home sales than size OR quality if we are being honest.

    I don’t live in downtown because I prefer my beautiful large(ish) home with a long(ish) commute to a one bedroom efficiency apartment 3 minutes from my job. And my husband does, too!

  3. amanda says:

    Great article, and I can say without a doubt, accurate. We moved to Fairview (between Allen and McKinney) in 2000. At that time the closest supermarket was 7 miles, same with dry cleaners, dance classes, post office, bank, etc. My huband and I both were spending 4 hours a day EACH in the car driving around, not just commuting, but trying to live.

    We justified this by saying, “But it’s a brand new house, and look, we have 2.5 acres!” After five years, we were done. Sure, we had a lot of space, but we didn’t actually use it.

    We bought 1.3 acres,” in town,” and moved two years ago. We haven’t “felt” the fuel increase, largely because we have 8 more hours a day, and aren’t putting 70K miles a year on our cars. (We average 1600 miles a month for both of us.)

  4. Lisa says:

    I work in downtown Dallas because I can make more money here. I live in a suburb because I can’t afford a house in Dallas. I have 2 dogs and a cat – living in an apartment isn’t an option. Life for some of us is a giant compromise.

  5. East Dallas Native says:

    It’s really not always a choice between a small downtown apartment or an overgrown tract house in the suburbs – much of close-in Dallas was developed as somewhat compact ‘streetcar suburbs’ – that is, mostly single family with yards (and magnificent trees – great for the electric bill). These areas are more dense around the walkable business districts (containing unique shops and restaurants) where you will find duplexes, four plexes and very small apartment buildings.

    It’s so nice to buy gasoline only once or twice per month and be easily able to walk to Lakewood Library or Theater and the lake or three golf courses.

    I don’t think they have a White Rock Lake and arboretum out there in the suburbs!

  6. SB says:

    We also don’t have the crime that East Dallas has!

    I can drive to White Rock Lake and the arboretum, then go home and night to a place where I don’t have to worry about my car or my house being broken into.

  7. Bethany says:

    It’s interesting – last night we were watching this show “House Hunters” on HGTV. A couple was looking for a home in the Dallas area – he worked near Fort Worthish, we gathered, and she worked somewhere in Dallas.

    They had a budget somewhere in the $150,000 range. They were shown a townhome, a home in Coppell at the top of their range, and a home in around $130,000 or so that was adorable – but in a “transition neighborhood in South Dallas.”

    The home and yard were well maintained. Everything was up-to-date. Hardwood floors throughout. Plenty of square footage. HUGE yard and a two-car, detached garage. Yet you could visibly see the fear and distaste emanating from the little blond wifey as they toured the place, and she kept repeating the euphemism “transition neighborhood.”

    They picked the home in Coppell with the pink (PINK) garage.

  8. Gadfly says:

    Question, I was talking about the “land vs structure value”. For instance, my house is considered to be a “scraper”, because it is not equal to or greater than the land value. It’s this rule that I’m referring to. I wasn’t saying you should sell and move. This article and my point was in reference to folks who purchase with investment or future resale in mind. The lending industry is not eager to give out loans to those of us who want to restore their older, smaller homes in expensive neighborhoods without adding additional square footage. This I find to be asinine.

  9. Susan Thornton says:

    I second East Dallas Native, though I’m in North Oak Cliff. There’s still the myth that the city has danger lurking around every corner, which some people use as an excuse to live in the ‘burbs (both sub and ex) and justify their commute. I understand that families with kids can be an exception, as most (not all) of DISD is a nightmare. But, as gas prices go sky high, I think we’ll see a change in urban living. Perhaps if more families move back into Dallas, we’ll see the quality of DISD improve.

  10. MP says:

    This thread reminds me of something I read a few months ago:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200803/subprime

  11. I have a deal with the wife. We can do city living but once we have kids and they’re gone to college we move to the country (country for me is no more than 30 miles from downtown). I agreed, so long as we have buy a little condo/TH unit near downtown as well for hanging out.

    In talking to Vic Manuel, who’s running for a Collin Cty Commissioner seat, he said transportation infrastructure/congestion is one of the top issues out there. We need better transportation options and then it will lessen the pain for people who live a zillion miles from their job.

  12. Tom says:

    I agree with Susan. I think many Dallas neighborhoods will see a revival, thanks in part to high energy prices.
    I bought my first home in Midway Hollow (A Treasure to Keep) more than 4 years ago. Despite a 35 percent decline in sales (http://frontburner.dmagazine.com/2008/07/18/dallas-area-home-sales-down/), it’s a decision I don’t regret. Suburban housing isn’t set up on the same walkable street grid, and those busy, pedestrian-unfriendly roads lead to the same vanilla chain restaurants and stores as the next town over. I don’t have kids (yet), but feel better about the state of DISD every year. Crime is an issue, but recent efforts to beef up our Neighborhood Watch have made a dramatic difference.
    I’m sure many suburbanites would label my corner of the world a “transition neighborhood,” but to me, it’s home.

  13. SM says:

    From little blondy’s reaction last night on HGTV, my “transition neighborhood in South Dallas” (really it’s in North Oak Cliff), must be a horrible place. Sure, we have some houses that are rental properties or have not been updated or maintained by their elderly owners on every block; but as you saw on HGTV, we also have houses that have been completely restored and updated. As each month passes, more and more people discover this pocket neighborhood and take advantage of the great prices, extremely solid and well built homes, and the rising home values.
    BTW, the house blondy and her hubby passed on would now sell down here for about $185-210K. Wonder if they have had that much appreciation in value in their house in Coppell? Doubt it.

  14. Susan Thornton says:

    SICK that I missed that episode! I’ll watch for a rerun. We Cliffdwellers like to keep those types in the ‘burbs anyway – keeps our cool quotient up 🙂

  15. Bethany says:

    It was completely hilarious. Her face, as they got out of the car…her hunched over shoulders as she cast her eyes about the ‘hood…

    “I see brown people,” her body language said.

  16. LakeWWWooder says:

    Bethany I saw it too – once I saw the Oak Cliff house (South Dallas? um somebody is geographically challenged – must be a suburban education) I was sure that would be the obvious choice. It was mentioned that she worked near Downtown Dallas and apparently he worked either in Arlington or Fort Worth. North Oak Cliff would have been perfect. Instead they marooned themselves in Coppell! May they bake many cookies in the cookie-cutter home!

    BTW I guess some suburbanites don’t read the newspaper – 100 (almost half) DISD schools are going to be ranked exemplary or recognized this fall.

    And SB I grew up here and haven’t had any problems with crime.