Which Northern Dallas Suburbs Are Still Diamonds in The Rough?

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New home communities are popping up in Princeton, including manufactured housing. This home at 3-5 Hamilton Road in Princeton is priced at $240,850.

By Daniel Hightower Smith

The coronavirus pandemic has set in motion a work-from-home experiment on a large scale, liberating urban dwellers to consider farther-flung suburbs for a home base.

Being close to inner-city downtowns is not as meaningful as it once was, leaving some considering which northern suburbs of Dallas have the most value for homebuyers?

Square footage, affordability, and quality of the local school district were the main criteria in evaluating locations, with distance from downtown Dallas being less of a consideration.

Migrating to The Exurbs

Ryan Shea, a real estate agent with eXp Realty in Dallas, says migration away from inner-city Dallas is already in full swing. He added that the same pattern is showing up in the demographics of most large American cities in 2020.

As Shea puts it, “we can see condo prices falling in the market, while at the same time single-family home prices have risen by a rate almost twice as large.”

These statistics tell a story of upward demand for suburban properties, he went on to explain, and falling demand for real estate in population-dense sections of the city.

“The move to suburbia is real,” as Shea summarized.

Some affordable new home communities, including some manufactured housing, are found in Princeton, Texas. This home at 3-3 Adams Road is priced at $224,900.

Exurbs Offer Excellent Value, But Few Amenities

For value in Dallas’ northern suburbs along North Central Expressway, Shea mentions smaller communities bordering McKinney.

Places like Lowry Crossing, Princeton, and Weston all offer a unique combination of pastoral, countryside aesthetics alongside accessibility to one of Dallas’s most explosively booming suburbs, McKinney.

Lowry Crossing and Weston are small enough that their inventories of listed homes (just two and three, respectively) were too small to meaningfully compare value.

Turning instead to Princeton, 41 homes listed as “Active Properties’ show an average size of 2,259 square feet, at an average list price of $330,368, for an average price per square foot of $146.43.

In McKinney, 69 homes listed as “Active Properties,” with price capped at $500,000, show an average size of 2,692 square feet, at an average list price of $491,329, for an average price per square foot of $182.62.

At first glance, Princeton seems to present a far greater value in terms of affordability per square foot, though it is lacking in the amenity department.

When considering school districts, McKinney ISD outperforms Princeton ISD. According to Niche.com, McKinney ranks No. 14 among Dallas-area school districts. Princeton comes in significantly lower, at No. 41, but is making headway.

It’s Not as Far Out as it Seems

Princeton is an 18-minute drive to McKinney, as well as points westward in the Metroplex via US Route 380. For that matter, Dallas is under an hour away. Driving east on 380, Princeton is a little over 23 miles from Greenville.

The McKinney National Airport is another feature within reach of Princeton’s community. While there are no commercial flights available from the airport, it is the site of numerous private and corporate flights.

The local government in Princeton has set an ambitious goal of 13 percent growth and boasts prolific new construction in the near future. The local crime rate is significantly lower than the state and national averages.

For a quieter, less urban setting, and especially for anyone confident they will be working from home going forward, Princeton is the best value among northern Dallas suburbs.


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