Photography by Josh Blaylock

Why I Love Prestonwood

This multigenerational neighborhood is uniquely situated.

One evening my wife and I returned to our Prestonwood house to find a scrawny cat named Sammy on our front porch. I snapped his photo and emailed it to my neighbors. Within minutes, I received a phone call.

Apparently Sammy had escaped more than two months earlier, shortly after his owners — a family new to the neighborhood — had moved in. They’d given up hope of recovering him, even going so far as to host a memorial service, complete with a headstone. But then they got my message and were reunited with their beloved pet.

Sammy’s story is just one example of why Prestonwood is such an inviting community. It’s a safe, walkable area for raising a family that still boasts relatively affordable housing options, and it’s been easy to understand why the people here choose to call it home.

When we were house hunting more than five years ago, we weighed the possibility of buying closer to downtown Dallas. That option would’ve been more expensive and likely would’ve landed less square footage in an area where we’d have felt obligated to pay for private educations for our children because of under-performing neighborhood schools.

But here we discovered a near-perfect combination of top-ranked public schools and homes that were (and still are) within our budget. In fact, many of the schools’ first students — now with families of their own — are moving back to Prestonwood, often to homes near their parents. This has created a stable (only one tear-down in the last five years), multi-generational neighborhood.

Our own neighbors have lived in the area, as many others still do, since it was developed in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. They’ve been a great source of history, and we love to hear them talk about how there was nothing but prairie “up here” when the homes were built, although you’ll find that hard to imagine when you see all the tree-lined streets now.

Back then, apparently, Dallas development ended near Arapaho Road, and the Dallas North Tollway was a two-lane road. Now Prestonwood is sandwiched between booming younger cities to the north and the rest of Dallas to the south, both easily accessible. Since we’ve moved to the neighborhood, the attendance has ballooned at the two local elementary schools. Not big fans of the morning and afternoon carpool lines, we specifically searched for a home close to schools and found a spot not only close to an elementary but also a junior high as well. Imagine avoiding nine years of morning and afternoon carpool lines. Xanadu!

In order to meet our new neighbors, I joined the HOA and got a better understanding of the strong commitment the residents have to Prestonwood. Although 100-percent voluntary, the association continues to attract members whose support maintains our common areas, funds many neighborhood social events, and supports a website that facilitates communication about important things — like finding lost pets.

Steven Monserrate, president of the Prestonwood Homeowners Association, has lived in the neighborhood since 2010.

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