If you must live in Texas - 6/22/2009
If you must live in Texas and don't want to live in Dallas or Ft. Worth, Grapevine is a good place to consider. The schools are excellent, the library is the best in the area, and the city's recreation department offers numerous classes in everything from gardening to crafting to guitar. Everything is within a seven minute drive from your home - banks, grocery, Lowe's, Home Depot, every restaurant imaginable, Walmart, Target, etc., and the airport is about a 15 minute drive. Speaking of the airport, the runways are laid in a North/South direction and Grapevine is to the west, meaning that you rarely get the jet noise that North Arlington and Southlake have to contend with. The crime rate is low compared to Dallas, Ft Worth, and most of the other suburbs - especially Arlington (you don't want to live in Arlington).
The downside of Grapevine are the property taxes. Although they are lower than Southlake or Colleyville, they are still too high. My property taxes are four times higher here than what I paid in Florida. The school tax portion is high. I realize that the schools are some of the best in the area, but it is as if they can't say no to anything for the schools. Do high school football fields really need astroturf? The stadium is nicer than the stadiums of some universities, and recently they installed a hugely expensive scoreboard and screen.
Other problems are not solely limited to Grapevine, but to the DFW area in general. Utilities are shocking. During the summer months, I can expect my electric bill to reach 550.00, my water bill to reach 200.00 and that is in addition to my gas bill. Of course, I can't discuss Grapevine without mentioning the weather although I realize that weather is regional. The DFW area does not enjoy pretty seasons. The winters are cold and brown and you get this wickedly cold wind that cuts right through you. Snowfall seems to baffle the Roads and Transportation department and may the Lord help you if your out on the roads in it. The spring lasts about two weeks with little fanfare from horticulture (if you're a native Texan you think it gorgeous, but only because you haven't seen spring in the East or North). The summers are unbearably hot - and sometimes humid, and the fall is completely lackluster compared to other regions of the U.S. When I first moved here, someone told me that Dallas and Ft. Worth were the armpits of American cities. I agree. Lastly, there is the traffic. Grapevine, due to its proximity to Dallas and Ft. Worth and suburban sprawl, suffers greatly. Expect a long, frustrating commute time with incredibly rude drivers.
Well, that it. My husband and I though about moving to another area in the Metroplex, but Grapevine really cannot be beat. Again, if you must live in Texas, think Grapevine.[read more...]