“Come gather ’round people, wherever you roam, and admit that the waters around you have grown…” sang Mr. Bob Dylan in his 1964 hit “The Times They Are A Changin’.”
Obviously Bob was talking about Texas real estate and development when mentioning changin’ and growing waters around us. While we don’t necessarily have growing waters, the developments and communities in West Tarrant and Parker County sure are a changin’.
In Part One of this recent series of Fort Worth growth, we looked at Walsh and how this new 7,200 acre master planned community will alter the housing landscape forever.
Part Two focused on Walsh and how it is being developed for today and tomorrow with forward-thinking amenities and infrastructure.
We have received a record number of posts, shares and emails in response to these first two articles. Many of them want us to not only mention the benefits but also the drawbacks that all this new growth and expansion will bring to West Fort Worth/ Aledo areas of Tarrant County. Thanks to the many who chimed in with thoughts and questions!
Taxes in Cowtown
Walsh, Brookhollow, Morningstar, and Parks of Aledo are new communities that have sprung or are springing to life with new homes and residents along the Interstate-20 corridor in Tarrant and Parker County. It is approximated that these developments will bring 15,000 new residents to the area with over 800 homes in only a few years. That is significant growth for the once sleepy suburb of Aledo, just 15 miles west of Fort Worth.
New homes means new taxable properties that will soon fill the city and county coffers. Parker County already boasted a high tax rate (close to 3 percent rate) and now we are hearing that some new developments could be as high as 3.5 percent. (Along with having homeowners association dues and fees). That means a home valued at $300,000 could potentially have an annual tax bill of $10,500! And taxes will only do one thing, go up.
Traffic in Cowtown
We already know what over-population has done to Interstate 35 in Texas. It’s a nightmare and the times aren’t a changin’ anytime soon for I-35 and its hapless drivers.
What happened to I-35 is happening to I-30 and I-20 as you travel west from Cowtown. Those highways have been over-crowded for years already. Now factor in vehicles of the new residents not to mention employees of any upcoming companies that might be looking to relocate to Walsh or further west.
Times are a changin’ but gridlock is only going to get worse.
What about a commuter rail as a legitimate attempt to reduce vehicles and travelers on the road? A practical rail transportation that could carry many from a station at Walsh to downtown Fort Worth or even DFW International Airport (gasp!). Who are we kidding…these ranchers and politicians and people of influence made their name in what….oil and gas. If you think a beneficial commuter rail system will be built in Texas in your lifetime…good luck with that.
Who is moving there?
Studies have told us that more than 200 people move to the Fort Worth side of DFW every single day. The developers are hoping that these people will be moving past Fort Worth and into these new communities. How many can realistically afford to do so? In Walsh the average price for a family-sized home will more-than-likely (no solid answers thus far) be in the $400s. The same purchase price is true for Parks of Aledo as well. Brookhollow and Morningstar will start a bit lower, but still in the mid-to-upper $300s for new homes.
Currently, Parks of Aledo is doing a fantastic job of attracting many of Fort Worth’s Westside families that are looking for quality schools, more home, and more yard space than what Monticello or Rivercrest offer.
I’m sure the waiting line for Walsh is long and distinguished as well. But after that…then who? Are relocating families really going to consider these communities? Not if their places of work are closer to DFW Airport or Alliance Corridor.
What large corporation has plans to move to the Walsh campus? Is there one? What company is going to bring hundreds of white collar jobs to this area? If none then the pool of eligible buyers is going to dry up pretty quickly.
Taxes, traffic and new home prices will only do one thing…increase.
Only time will tell how positive all this changin’ will be. Stay tuned.
That’s all from Tarrant County this week, Dirty Readers. Remember, if you have comments, questions, or ideas for future stories – I’m always here to listen! Bring it.
Seth Fowler is a licensed real estate sales professional with Williams Trew Real Estate in Fort Worth. Statements and opinions are his own. Seth has been involved in the home sales and real estate business in DFW since 2004. He and his family have lived in the Fort Worth area for over 14 years. Seth also loves bow ties. You can reach Seth at 817.980.6636 or firstname.lastname@example.org.