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So why do so many people choose Dallas as their home? Perhaps it's the mild climate, the housing market that offers affordability and value, the excellent school districts, or the world-class cultural arts and entertainment. Dallas is an exciting place to work and live and people know it. In fact, it has repeatedly been named as one of the 10 best U.S. cities to balance work and family.

Quality of Life in Dallas
General Information

Quality of Life in the Development Process
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Quality of Life in Dallas
General Information
Dallas is located in the Central Time Zone, 35 miles east of Fort Worth, 245 miles north/northwest of Houston and 300 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, near the headwaters of the Trinity River. The altitude in Dallas County ranges from 382 feet to more than 800 feet.

Dallas has a Council/City Manager form of government that is strongly pro-business. The Dallas City Council consists of 15 members - 14 elected by single-member districts and a mayor elected at large. The Council sets policy and hires the City Manager who serves as chief administrative officer.

Recognition -

"Number 1 Best City for Business" -- Fortune Magazine 1999

One of the 10 best U.S. cities to balance work and family life -- Fortune Magazine for eight consecutive years.

The 2nd Most Wired City in the Nation -- Business Facilities 2001

"Best Managed City" -- Texas Business Magazine 1995

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The Dallas/Fort Worth Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA), commonly referred to as "The Metroplex," consists of two Primary Metropolitan Statistical Areas (PMSAs):

  • The Dallas PMSA, which includes Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Henderson, Hunt, Kaufman and Rockwall counties.
  • The Fort Worth PMSA, which includes Hood, Johnson, Parker and Tarrant counties.

January 1, 1999 population (estimate): 1,075,894
Median age of population: 32.8
Number of Households: 422,800
    (Source: 1999 Survey of Buying Power, Sales & Marketing Management)

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Dallas climate has a warm, sunny climate with an average of 135 cloudless days per year. The average relative humidity is 69 percent and the average rainfall is 33.70 inches per year. The average annual temperature is 68 degrees Farenheit.

High 54F/12C

High 96.5F/36C

Low 74F/23C

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Higher Education
There are 31 colleges and universities located within a 30-mile radius of downtown Dallas which provide diverse learning and research opportunities and attract students from all over the world. If traditional academic institutions aren't exactly what you're looking for, there are also more than 100 technical and vocational schools in the area. And Dallas is home to many nationally known teaching and research universities. The prestigious list includes the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (four Nobel Prize laureate on staff and faculty), Texas A & M University System, Baylor College of Dentistry, Baylor University School of Nursing and Texas Women's University Institute of Health Science. In addition to all these options, there are a multitude of continuing education classes offered throughout the city.

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Those who appreciate art, music, and theater know that Dallas has evolved into a world-class city for culture, as well as for dining, shopping, and entertainment. The Dallas Arts District, 60 acres in downtown Dallas developed through public/private funding, is the largest downtown arts district in the country. There are ten organizations thriving within the district, among them the Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Theater Center, and the Meyerson Symphony Center.
Outside of the District lies Deep Ellum, a unique neighborhood where Dallas' unique bands, artists, and chefs create trends that reverberate throughout the country. It's from the sidewalk terraces in this district that you can watch and listen to the area arts scene evolve.

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The Dallas Park and Recreation Department oversees for approximately 21,782 park acres in 336 parks and provides a host of recreational activities for all ages at numerous recreational and athletic facilities. Sporting clubs for every kind of enthusiast abound, offering such activities as auto racing, bicycling, golf, tennis, lacrosse, gymnastics, scuba diving, sailing, soccer, skydiving, swimming and polo.

In addition to amateurs, the city has some of the most popular professional sports (and some of the most enthusiastic fans) in the country. Dallas is one of the great sports cities - number two in the nation according to Sporting News (1999). The Dallas Cowboys are the only National League Football team to appear in eight Super Bowls. The new American Airlines Center houses the Stanely Cup Champion Dallas Stars hockey team and the Dallas Mavericks basketball organization. The Texas Rangers, whose Ballpark is located in nearby Arlington, won the 1996 and 1998 American League Western Division Championships in baseball. Dallas is also home to two major league soccer teams - the Dallas Sidekicks and the Dallas Burn.

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No personal or corporate state income tax!

Sales Tax State
City of Dallas
Property Tax City of Dallas
Dallas County
Hotel/Motel Occupancy Tax State
Corporate Franchise Tax .25% per $1,000 of net taxable capital
4.5% of net taxable earned surplus
Unemployment Insurance Tax 2.7% general entry rate on first $9,000 of earnings
  After six quarters, experience rate of .35% up to 6.35% on first $9,000 of gross earnings, based on company history

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Dallas has a wide variety of housing options, from apartments to remodeled warehouse lofts, and all of them are linked to the rest of the city by the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system.


From grassy, tree-lined neighborhoods to sophisticated apartment living near the downtown area, Dallas offers appealing lifestyles for virtually everyone, at comparatively low costs. In fact, the October 10, 1997, Kiplinger Washington Letter mentioned Dallas first in the top five big-city markets where the consumer can get the most for his housing dollar.

Housing is available in every form, fashion and price range. Single-family homes represent the majority of living structures in Dallas, including wood frame homes and small brick and native stone homes built in the 1930s and 1940s; the large, rambling, single-story ranch style homes that were popular in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s; and contemporary styles.

Zero lot line/garden homes are generally found in areas where land is more expensive. The result is large homes built on small lots, maximizing the use of available land. Duplexes, townhomes, apartments, high-rise living or retirement centers abound in the city. What surprises most people is the affordability and value of housing in Dallas.

The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) elected to hold its 1998, 1999 and 2000 conventions in Dallas because of all it has to offer. New home sales remain strong due to job growth and immigration, with $153,000 as the median price for a new home. Sales of existing homes in Dallas during 1995 were at their highest level in more than a decade.

Texas has a strong Homestead Law that protects homeowners from foreclosure on their primary residence for minor debts. A major recent revision in the law permits home equity loans against a homestead, but only on the equity above 20 percent held in the property. Most taxing authorities offer a small property tax break to owners who file a homestead exemption with the County Tax Assessor's office between January 1 and May 1.

There are many neighborhoods with an endless variety of architectural styles and amenities from which to choose. The following highlights several Dallas communities where a new resident can select from homes in various price ranges.

Click here to see a map of Dallas neighborhoods.

1. Bluffview
This neighborhood near Inwood and Lovers Lane with its hills and creeks is the closest thing to Austin in Dallas. The least expensive homes were built in the 1940s.

2. Buckner Terrace/Everglade Park
Buckner Terrace/Everglade Park has custom homes built from the early 1970s to the 1980s, with some construction still under way. Just west of Eastpoint Business Park, the area is adjacent to office and retail space, a library and tennis and swimming facilities. With White Rock Lake just five miles away, this area offers quiet, isolated living within the city limits and an easy commute to downtown Dallas.

3. Casa Linda/Casa View
Stretching from the eastern shore of White Rock Lake to the Garland and Mesquite city limits are these two well-established areas. Single-family brick and woodframe houses dominate the scene, graced by large, native trees along winding streets. Residents enjoy lakeside recreation, easy downtown access and exceptional local shopping.

4. Cedar Crest
These three distinct neighborhoods are adjacent to schools, churches, a park, a golf course and shops. Built in the 1950s and 1960s, Cedar Crest Addition is comprised of brick and masonry homes set back on chalk cliffs among tree-lined streets overlooking the Dallas skyline. Cedar Crest Country Club Estates, the newest of the three areas, is nestled among the towering oak and pine trees surrounding the Cedar Crest Country Club Golf Course. Cedar Crest Village, also built in the 1950s and 1960s, is adjacent to Lancaster-Kiest Shopping Center and is close to the Oak Cliff Light Rail project. Just minutes from the R.L. Thornton Freeway, these neighborhoods provide quick and easy access to downtown and Fair Park.

5. Cockrell Hill
A compact area of just one square mile, this residential haven is nestled in southwest Dallas on Jefferson Boulevard. Easy access to the western portion of the Metroplex via Loop 12 and Highway 80 gives it an enviable central location. Nearby are the recreational opportunities of Mountain Creek Lake, sports arenas and the regional shopping facilities of Wynnewood Village. Dallas schools provide a quality education to area youth.

6. Coronado Hills
Also known as the C Streets and Gastonwood, this heavily treed neighborhood is sandwiched between Highland Park and Lakewood. The homes were built pre- and post-World War II, and architectural styles run from Tudor to traditional 1940s.

7. East Dallas
Dating back to the late 1800s this long-established area is not only a source of pride for its residents but is revered as a strong asset within the framework of Greater Dallas. Condominiums mix with single-family houses that reflect a variety of architecture styles and the spirit of the historic periods in which they were built.

8. Five Mile Creek
A winding creek, chalk hills and lots of trees add to this quiet, well-established Oak Cliff neighborhood. Brick and stucco homes are built on large lots and well set back among streets with numerous cul-de-sacs. Close to shopping, schools, major freeways and a community hospital, Five Mile Creek is a great area for families. Kiest Park offers jogging, recreational facilities and various cultural events all within easy walking distance. Redbird Airport and Southwest Center Mall are close by.

9. Forest Hills/Little Forest Hills
The houses on the market in this neighborhood east of White Rock Lake were built from 1939 to 1965, with most dating back to the 1950s. The older homes are quite expensive, on large lots lining graceful boulevards. There is some new construction, both sections boast huge old trees up to 90 feet tall.

10. Greenway Parks
Convenient to Love Field and west of the Park Cities is the desirable neighborhood of Greenway Parks. As one of the more prestigious residential choices in the Dallas area, Greenway Parks offers large, luxurious homes with traditional architecture, lush landscaping, guesthouses and sprawling lots.

11. Hollywood Heights
In this lovely neighborhood off East Grand Avenue near Lakewood, most homes were built between 1913 and the 1950s, with some newer homes built in the 1980s. The architecture is primarily English Tudor, and the character must be maintained from the street regardless of substantial redo work.

12. Kessler Park and Stevens Park
Two of Dallas' most exclusive and desirable neighborhoods are located just five minutes from downtown. Both offer uniquely attractive housing opportunities, massive shade trees, and rolling hills. Residents enjoy the close proximity of the city.

13. Lake Highlands
Many newcomers are attracted to this scenic area adjacent to White Rock Lake for its family-oriented and relaxed atmosphere. Some great values for big houses include 4-bedroom homes built in the 1970s with a sprinkling of 1997 homes.

14. Lakewood (includes Swiss Avenue)
Directly west of White Rock Lake, Lakewood is popular with downtown professionals and those employed at nearby Baylor Medical Center. This area of rolling hills and lush trees has kept its small town atmosphere and community spirit. The charming housing mixture combines quaint cottages set back from quiet, shady streets with large magnificent homes along impressive boulevards.

15. M Streets
The M Streets are high on charm and low on bathrooms, but the convenient location (only a few minutes from downtown) keeps the young couples happy. Here you'll find mostly three-bedroom cottages built in the mid- to late 1920s.

16. Mountain Creek
Known for its beautiful custom homes, dramatic hills, limestone cliffs and sparkling recreational lakes, Mountain Creek is just minutes southwest of downtown. The 3,600-acres master-planned community is adjacent to two large lakes, Mountain Creek Lake and Joe Pool Lake, a 7,500-acre Corp of Engineers project. Besides its proximity to fishing, boating, marinas, camping, nature trails, playgrounds and wildlife reserves, Mountain Creek is close to good schools and has many of the amenities of the city just a short drive away.

17. North Dallas (Walnut Hill to LBJ; Midway to Hillcrest)
Lots of teardowns make way for new construction in one of the city's most affluent and established neighborhoods. Most are single-family homes of traditional styles, but a variety of garden homes, duplexes, apartments, condominiums, high rises and retirement centers are available. More than 30 private schools and excellent public schools serve the area, which is near some of the best shopping in town.

18. Far North Dallas
A history of real estate booms have infused real distinction into every neighborhood within the Far North Dallas area, which begins north of the LBJ freeway. Much of the abundant quality housing was developed when DFW Airport opened. Glamorous shopping centers and convenient strip plazas offer convenience and countless retail options. The transportation efficiencies of DART complement this fast-paced area.

19. Northeast Dallas/White Rock Area
Once characterized by sprawling multi-family complexes such as The Village, Northeast Dallas now offers an abundance of single-family dwellings. This area has some of the best housing values in Greater Dallas, including lovely lakefront homes and well-crafted older homes ideal for remodeling.

20. Northwest Dallas/Love Field
The revitalization of Love Field and the phenomenal success of Southwest Airlines have infused new life into the Northwest Dallas and Love Field areas. Housing options here mix small cottages with handsome, two-story homes that offer plentiful space for growing families. The shade of tall pecan and oak trees graces many winding streets for a romantic effect. Retail expansion has accompanied the residential renovation.

21. Oak Cliff
Massive shade trees, rolling hills, and spectacular views of the Dallas skyline are found here in one of the city's more established neighborhoods. Many young families are drawn to this area for its civic pride. A short, pleasant commute to the downtown area adds to the area's allure.

22. Oak Lawn
Affording a vibrant, dynamic, "inner-city" lifestyle, Oak Lawn enjoys an enviable location beside the serene and gently winding Turtle Creek. A combination of high-rise condominiums and apartments offers breathtaking views of the creek and surrounding greenery. There is a kaleidoscope of entertainment and cultural delights, including the famous Dallas Theatre Center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

23. Piedmont
Just two miles southeast of downtown, the Piedmont Edition is nestled among rolling hills, stately pecan and oak trees. This neighborhood offers a panoramic view of downtown that is breathtaking, especially at sunset. Most of the homes are of brick construction and were built in the early to mid-1950s. This neighborhood is close to Grover Keeton Municipal Golf Course, schools and parks with soccer fields and tennis courts. Nearby is the White Rock Creek area.

24. Preston Hollow
Preston Hollow's residential areas began being developed in the 1950s, and some of those homes are now being torn down for new construction. In the Estate Area, homes the size of castles are going up on one-acre lots and larger. The neighborhood is blessed with lots of mature trees, giving it a country lane type feeling. Residents enjoy proximity to private schools as well as Hillcrest High School, upscale shopping, restaurants and downtown Dallas.

25. Pleasant Grove
An expansive revitalization campaign is evident throughout this well-established Dallas suburb, positively affecting neighborhoods as well as shopping centers and retail strips. New home construction has been stimulated as well.

26. Red Bird
Large, custom-built homes surround the Oak Cliff Country Club in this beautiful, serene Oak Cliff area. Gently sloping landscapes offer a panorama of trees, flowers and shrubs throughout the winding, tree-lined streets. This is one of the most stable, affluent neighborhoods in southern Dallas. Close to major retail, restaurants and I-20, the Redbird neighborhood offers optimum housing opportunities for families wanting homes with extraordinary elegance and style.

27. Riverway Estates/Bruton Terrace
Newer custom homes hear a large park, a winding creek, and walking trails are the hallmarks of one of southeast Dallas' most beautiful neighborhoods. Cedar and oak trees make Riverway Estates and Bruton Terrace a serene place to call home. Close to schools, churches and I-635, the neighborhoods are only 10 minutes from downtown. This is an area where affordable homes are a reality, and a slow pace is a way of life.

28. South Boulevard/Park Row Historic District
Just two miles from downtown near Fair Park, this is an area reminiscent of the stylist 1900s architectures. Midwestern Prairie, Mission Revival, Georgian Revival and Neo-Classical styles are all amply represented. Broad streets, generous setbacks and carefully landscaped lawns are evident in Dallas' second historic Landmark District.

29. South Dallas/Fair Park
The popularity of this area is enhanced by a variety of cultural and entertainment delights and transportation efficiencies. Toward the east is a pleasing mixture of single-family homes and well-developed retail activity. Multi-family complexes, as well as commercial and industrial development, characterize the areas closest to downtown. Local attractions include the Dallas Museum of Natural History, the Women's Museum, the African-American Museum, the Dallas Aquarium, Fair Park Music Hall and many more.

30. Urbandale/Parkdale
Urbandale/Parkdale was one of the earliest areas to be developed east of downtown. The area was settled when southeast Dallas was mostly farmland. Home styles range from ranch style brick to Austin stone homes of the 1950s and 1960s. Urbandale/Parkdale is definitely for the homebuyer who is interested in obtaining a bit of history along with his residence.

31. West Dallas
West Dallas neighborhoods are beautified, safe and provide affordable housing opportunities within a healthy environment. Boulevards connect community activity centers where shops, restaurants, public facilities, churches and open spaces are available. Hike and bike trails linking West Dallas communities to the Trinity River and the proposed Trinity Park will soon be realized.

32. Winnetka Heights
This historic neighborhood has a strong homeowners association and a fierce loyalty to the preservation of its charm. Most houses were built between 1916 and 1949, and have been fully restored. Distinctive cottages and craftsman-style homes are located near the Jefferson Avenue business corridor, which contains antique commercial and retail buildings.

33. Wolf Creek
Boasting convenient access off Midway Road to the North Dallas Tollway and Legacy Park in Plano, Wolf Creek offers more modest price ranges for homes that are less than five years of age. A pretty entrance, lakeside lots and a new phase of builder homes are the attractions.

34. Wynnewood North
Built primarily in the late 1950s to mid-1960s, Wynnewood North is a quality neighborhood offering a variety of housing opportunities. Most of the homes are of brick construction. Among some of the older, custom-built homes in this sedate neighborhood lies a two-acre manmade lake surrounded by oak trees. Nearby parks, professional tennis facilities, jogging trails and a family-based community all combine to make this a good place to call home. Nearby is the historic Wynnewood Village Shopping Center, composed of more than 80 stores and a professional building.

Housing within Dallas' downtown freeway loop is becoming a reality. The City has adopted a new intown housing policy, which will aggressively promote residential redevelopment in Dallas' central city. The package includes numerous incentives for intown development including tax abatements and low-interest interim financing for qualified projects. To date, there are more than 21,000 residents living within a one mile radius
of downtown Dallas.

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Points to Remember about Quality of Life in the Development Process

  • Try to find ways to give back to your market in order to ensure continued growth. As a developer or entrepreneur, consider the surrounding community; any project that consumes more resources than it offers could easily dry up its own market.

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