As the Metroplex continues to grow outward, more folks are seeking the country life – as long as it’s not too far from the city. The northeast Dallas suburb of Rockwall is benefiting from that phenomenon.
A 30-minute commute to downtown Dallas in nonpeak traffic hours, Rockwall is located on the east side of Lake Ray Hubbard.
Residents are drawn to the town because of its rural appeal and upscale, crime-free living at affordable prices, said Barbara Hensley, owner and president of Barbara Hensley Realtors, which handles residential real estate in Lake Ray Hubbard area communities.
“In Rockwall the properties seem to offer a relaxed type living for less money than the traditional other hot spots in the Metroplex,” said Hensley. “Good schools, good student teacher ratio and wonderful community identity. You get out here and immediately feel a sense of civic pride. “
Neighborhoods in demandthat include large lots and plenty of trees range from $250,000 and up can be found in Buffalo Creek and Los Lomas.
The Moraine offers dramatic views, prestigious entryways and homes starting at $300,000 to as high as $3.9 million. The gated community of Chandler’s Landing is in the yacht club area with 24-hour security and a range of styles from condominiums to zero-lot line homes and spacious larger houses.
Rowlett, just west of Rockwall, is also growing in popularity, offering more bang for your buck. “That area has a lot of new tract home neighborhoods, the prices are great and you still have that small town quality of life, with less hustle and bustle than Dallas,” said Hensley. “You can find a less expensive home under $100,000, and $150,000 will buy you a large size home – there are good buys in the outlying areas.”
Not only are location and value important these days, house hunters also seek functional homes, with bedrooms large enough for living space big kitchens combined with a family room, home offices and three cargarages. And of course, “big fancy bathrooms” with walk-in closets and two bathrooms, or his and her bath areas for privacy.
“We call them Texas bathrooms,” said Hensley. “They want that glitz.”
Buyers are sophisticated and educated about the process these days and expect properties in good condition. Houses need light-lots of windows-and must be uncluttered. She often advises clients to store furniture because it makes a house look roomier.
Expansion in the region is phenomenal- Rockwall is the second-fastest growing county in Texas, due to its suburban charm mixed with its proximity to Dallas.
Although the lake is a natural barrier to the city’s hassles, Rockwall is only a thirty-minute drive to downtown Dallas. Barbara Hen-sley has a majority of the market share of all homes in the region.
An important part of the small-town atmosphere in Rockwall is the embrace Barbara Hensley provides new families through her unique “Kids on the Move” program which provides peer contacts for children moving to the area. Hensley is the only realtor to offer the program, and makes it available to all new residents, regardless of whether or not they buy a home from her.
The hardest part of moving isn’t the packing or the frustration of choosing a home… it’s uprooting your family, especially your children… from their familiar surroundings. Based on my own experiences and the feedback from parents and agents, I realize that we have to extend our service assisting not only the children and pre-teens, but the parents as well.”