Moving to Frisco, Texas?

Frisco continues to be amongst the fastest growing suburbs in the United States. The 2000 census recorded the city population at nearly 34,000. The 2008 estimates have it exceeding 100,000. Its easy access to areas within the DFW Metroplex, family-friendly environment, and phenomenal school district has made it one of the most desirable communities for professionals working in the Metroplex.

As with any move, it is recommended prior to the move that your destination is researched thoroughly for all that a community has to offer as well as the potentially undesirable characteristics. Frisco is no different. There are many wonderful qualities to this community as well as potential areas of concern. Use the following information as your guide to making an informed decision.

Frisco Independent School District

If primary or secondary education is a consideration, then Frisco is arguably one of the top, if not the top, school districts in the entire state of Texas. According to schooldigger.com, Frisco rated 49th out of 943 Texas cities across all grade levels. For the 2007-2008 school year the Texas Education Agency rated twenty-one of its campuses exemplary, eleven were recognized, four were acceptable, and one was not rated because of its newness. Nearly sixty percent of its schools rated exemplary compared to less than twenty percent for other DFW schools.

The philosophy of the school district is to maintain a better than average student to teacher ratio and remain at the 4A level to allow it students a more personalized education and ability to actively participate in athletics. The one downside to this philosophy is that as more schools are built, rezoning becomes commonplace. Depending on what area of Frisco you reside in, it’s likely your children will move schools at least once.

Denton and Collin County Property Taxes

The city of Frisco is split between two counties, Denton and Collin. The west side is primarily Denton and the east side is primarily Collin. Depending on where you are moving from, you may find that local property taxes are high. As recently as 2007, Texas ranked number two in the country for property taxes as a percentage of home value and number twelve as a percentage of income according to MSN Money. In Denton and Collin Counties, of which Collin is slightly higher, you can expect to pay nearly three percent of the tax appraised value. For a $300,000 house, that equates to approximately $8,000 – $9,000 each year. For those that choose to roll it into the monthly mortgage payment, this amount represents roughly $700 of your total monthly payment. The trade-off is that the schools and community service entities are of high quality.

Frisco’s Family-Friendly Environment

Frisco citizens maintain a median age of 30.9 years and primarily consist of young executives building their careers and family. Frisco ISD services approximately 30,000 students, roughly one-third of the city’s population. Not surprisingly, eighty percent of Frisco is family households. Kids are rampant in the neighborhood streets and most events hosted within the city are family-focused. While Frisco has several highly desirable retirement communities, its niche today is serving the more youthful citizens of the Metroplex.

While Frisco is certainly a family-focused community, beware of the pretentiousness and cliques that often exist within the neighborhoods. With a median income of nearly $94,000, which is nearly double the rest of the state, there is a certain ‘keep up with the Joneses’ culture that exists within its confines. This occasionally culminates with a lack of parental discipline of children and general disregard for civility. Don’t be surprised when you hear school-aged children screaming inside a restaurant or causing mayhem in the local Botox facility while the parent is receiving their injection.

Prices of Good and Services in Frisco

The cost of living in Frisco is generally about five to six points below the national average according to City-data.com. However, it’s below-average ranking is largely due to its average home prices well below other major metropolitan areas. The median house value in 2007 was $243,000. Similar houses in California, Arizona, New York, or Florida would go for double or more.

Goods and services, however, are another story. Expect to pay $300-$600, depending on the month, for gas and electric utilities. Water is another $100-$200 per month. The real spike comes from purchasing goods and services at retail locations. Rent for retailers in Frisco is high. It varies depending on location, but it’s not uncommon for it to be above $30 per square foot. With a relatively high median income and costly per square foot real estate, retailers often pass those costs onto consumers to protect their margins. While these are sound business principles for the retailer, consumers must know that Frisco is far more expensive than other DFW communities for goods are services. Don’t fall over when your little poodle’s grooming is $60 or that little ottoman for your living room exceeds $1,000.

Commute from Frisco to DFW Airport or Love Field

For frequent business travelers or casual vacationers, Frisco’s proximity to the Metroplex’s major airports is a breeze. Twenty-five to thirty miles down Highway 121 will land you at DFW or the twenty to twenty-five mile straight shot down Dallas North Tollway will thrust you into Dallas Love Field. Traffic is rarely a significant barrier and both roads are well-maintained and easily accessible from most of Frisco. Don’t forget your toll money, though. These roads will cost you.

Whether you are visiting or coming to stay, Frisco serves the needs of most people. By most accounts, it’s an outstanding community. The strengths far outweigh the challenges. However, don’t let the quantity of the strengths blind you from the brutal facts of the challenges.

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