One of the best things about living in a smaller city north of Dallas such as Celina is that it's a complete community in and of itself.
A small city is designed to have unique, wide-ranging neighborhoods thus it comes down to where you want to live and the amenities you want to enjoy. You're going to have retail outlets, restaurants, markets, community pools, as well as friendly neighbors living in the same community.
If you're thinking of a move to North Fort Worth in the Dallas area, Celina ticks all the right boxes. To help you find your feet, we’ll start by taking a quick look at the pros and cons of living in Celina.
But why should you believe what we say? Our agents have assisted thousands of buyers to achieve their dream homes across Texas, and we’re ready to do the same for you.
Tips for Living in Celina
- Pros - Low Crime Rate
- Pros - Great Education
- Pros - New Home Construction
- Pros - Fast Growth
- Pros – Controlled Growth
- Pros - Things to Do
- Cons - Hot Summers
- Cons – Lacks Variety
- Cons - Location
Living in Celina
Celina is a medium-sized city in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in Collin County. With a population of over 26,000 people, Celina is the 176th largest community in Texas. Living in Celina will take you away from the daily bustle without letting you miss out on the fun.
On Friday nights, the whole town packs the stands in a sea of orange at Celina High School as they cheer and holler for the school’s football and sports teams.
If you’re hungry before the game, just go on down to Celina Square and enjoy a diverse menu. Whether you’re craving Tex-Mex, ice cream, BBQ, Cajun food, or burgers, Celina caters to every taste bud.
Nestled between the major arteries of Preston Road and Dallas North Tollway, Celina is conveniently located in high-growth Collin County which is perfect for both work and play.
Pros of Living in Celina
Low Crime Rate
Every day, almost half of the population in the country thinks about crime and safety. If you call Celina home or are considering moving here, odds are you shouldn’t worry as much about crime. The crime rates in Celina are lower than in other sparse suburban areas, both nationally and statewide.
According to Neighborhood Scout's analysis of FBI crime data, Celina is 86% safer than the majority of towns and cities in the country. It also has a lower crime rate than 70% of communities in the state. Arson crimes are the lowest in the state, while property crimes including vandalism rank moderate.
It comes as no surprise that places with highly-rated public schools tend to be attractive to young families or families with children. Celina is no exception. Serving the community is two public school districts—the highly rated Celina Independent School District and Prosper Independent School District.
A variety of schools and proximity to residences means homeowners don’t have to venture far looking for the best school. Ranked #293 in the state, O'Dell Elementary School is among 4 A+/A rated public elementary schools in Celina ISD.
Other 4 A+/A- rated public middle schools in the area include Lorene Rogers Middle School (#45 in DFW), and Reynolds Middle School (#111 in Texas). Ranked #32 in the DFW metro area, Prosper High School is among 2 A+/A/A- rated public high schools serving Celina.
Compared to other cities, the overall, education in the area is good as it ranks highly on both national and statewide levels.
|Schools in Celina||National Rankings||Math Proficiency||Reading Proficiency||Average Students per Teacher|
|Elementary Schools||62.9 out of 100||66.1%||62.5%||15|
|Middle Schools||66.5 out of 100||76.6%||69.2%||15s|
|High Schools||64.3 out of 100||72.3%||77.8%||17|
New Home Construction
Navigating Celina's real estate is akin to going on an adventure. The city’s hometown charm is a big factor in the large surge in people moving to the area.
Furthermore, new growth in residential real estate is a sign that people are choosing to move to Celina, and are willing to put down their money on several new developments.
On average, Celina’s real estate is some of the newest in the country. For the foreseeable future, builders and developers will continue to flock to Celina, Texas, and build new homes, roads, and shopping centers.
|Age of Homes||% of Homes|
|2000 or newer||67.7%|
|1979 - 1999||16.9%|
|1940 - 1969||12.4%|
|1939 or older||3.0%|
Celina also tends to attract affluent buyers thanks to the reasonable home prices. With a median home value of approximately $318,000, 81% of residents own their homes. However, home prices in Celina are not only among the most expensive in the state but Celina homes for sale are among the priciest in the country.
New Homes Community - Mustang Lakes
Located within the Prosper ISD, Mustang Lakes is a nationally acclaimed 682-acre master-planned community by Cambridge Companies. The new homes community sits on the site of a real Texas ranch where the retired mayor of Dallas Bob Folsom trained and bred horses for racing.
Mustang Lakes features modern homes built by famed home builders including Britton Homes, Coventry Homes, David Weekley Homes, and Highland Homes among others. Mustang Lakes home prices range from $500,000 to $2 million plus for a luxury home.
This popular subdivision offers homeowners an impressive suite of amenities, including resort-style swimming pools with cabanas, competition tennis courts, and a fitness center. Though the primary hub of activity for residents is the Club at Mustang Lakes, the community boasts a centrally located 20-acre park, eight lakes, and acres of trails and creeks.
Besides the luxury amenities, residents with children of school age don’t need to look far for the ideal school. The onsite Sam Johnson Elementary School serves learners from kindergarten through 5th grade.
The Club at Mustang Lakes
Previously the Folsom family ranch home, The Club at Mustang Lakes has since been transformed into a 12,000-square-foot Club. Dubbed the largest amenity center in North Texas, The Club at Mustang Lakes is set amid a 20-acre central park with oak trees and a 5-acre stocked lake.
Friendly and welcoming for all ages, the amenity center features lounges for socializing, courtyards, extensive outdoor verandas, party areas, meeting rooms, a resort-style pool, and a state-of-the-art fitness center overlooking the lake.
In 2019, The Club at Mustang Lakes was voted the “Best Community Amenity” at the International Builders Show (IBS), beating other master-planned communities from across the country and Canada. With that in mind, The Club at Mustang Lakes offers more of a country club vibe in your backyard than an amenity center.
It comes as no surprise that Celina is one of the fastest-growing cities in Dallas-Fort Worth. Since 2010, the city's population has nearly tripled, making Celina one of the fastest-growing small towns in the country. Though the town prides itself on a small town atmosphere, a population growth rate of 120% in the last 5 years is evidence this is a dream-big community.
Recognized as one of the fastest-growing cities in North Texas, Celina recently issued more new home building permits than any surrounding city. The city’s growth can also be attributed to its proximity to a thriving business park, top employers, great schools, and a low crime rate.
Thanks to the rapid real estate development, the ever-growing cities of Frisco and Prosper are bursting at the seams. This has prompted their respective governments (especially the city of Prosper), to curtail the development of new neighborhoods and shopping centers.
As a result, companies are now seeking new development projects up Preston Road, and many are increasingly landing in Celina which is developer-friendly. Though open to new development projects, it doesn’t mean the City of Celina will encourage imprecision and overbuilding.
As captured in its Comprehensive Plan, the city government of Celina desires controlled growth with a defined vision. That said, the combination of Celina’s rich history and controlled future developments provide a real estate market that is bound to boom.
Things to Do
The design of Celina maintains a welcoming atmosphere and a strong sense of unity for homeowners. Furthermore, a historic town square, plentiful shopping, and dining options, as well as an array of attractions offer residents many recreational opportunities.
Town Square in Celina
Boasting a colorful past, the historic town square in Celina is best known for being one of the gateways to Dale Hollow Lake. In addition to being a bustling river town, the town previously played host to a heavy concentration of industry as well as a highly-respected boarding school.
As one would expect from a small town, the city regularly sponsors events in its historic downtown square. They include Christmas on the Square, Splash & Blast, the Cajun Festival, as well as Friday night markets, and family movie nights. The charm of several downtown historical buildings is matched by the many dining and shopping venues.
Shopping and Dining
All the opportunities to get outside to shop or dine will delight Celina residents. Foodies can grab a bite to eat at fast-casual eateries or dine in upscale restaurants located right in the town square. Neighborhood favorites include Lucy’s on the Square, Tender Smokehouse, and Papa Gallo’s Mexican Grill. There’s also the Toasted Walnut which is a wonderful new addition to the square.
Whether it’s snagging a unique gist or digging for consignment finds, Celina town square offers shopping enthusiasts plenty of retail therapy opportunities. They include the Willow House Boutique, Annie Jack, and Cherry’s Antiquibles.
Buff City Soap
For outdoor aficionados, the long exposure to the hot Texas sun means your skin will need some pampering at the end of the day. Why not swing by Buff City Soap which makes handcrafted, 100% plant-based soaps and body products that will live your skin feeling fresh and revitalized?
Clay County Museum of History
Do you like a good story? Or maybe you're a history buff who enjoys learning about the history of Texas and Celina in particular. Add a fascinating experience to your trip to Celina by touring the Clay County Museum of History. Established in 1986, the museum offers a peek at the rare artifacts and collections that detail Clay County's colorful past as well as the intriguing backstories about Celina.
Cons of Living in Celina
The summer months of June, July, and August usher in one of the highest state-wide average temperatures in Texas. If you live in Celina, you can expect sweltering heat when temperatures hit 94°F in July. Because of the heat, your air conditioner will likely be running non-stop for most of the summer. Depending on your preference for a cool indoor climate and thermostat setting, this potentially contributes to higher energy costs during the summer.
One of the major cons of living in Celina is that you will have to venture further out to Frisco, Plano, or Dallas for any major shopping or fine dining venues. This is because Celina doesn’t offer many options beyond the main town center when it comes to shopping and dining out.
Celina's location is only 13 miles from Frisco and 17 miles from McKinney. But downtown Dallas is roughly 42 miles away. This makes Celina too distant for daily commutes to Dallas proper or even Fort Worth. Daily commuters to Dallas and the outlying areas are looking at 50 minutes of driving depending on the time of day.
For business travels or vacation, traveling to the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is going to be a haul considering the long distance. You might even have to fill up your gas tank for a return trip. But if you work remotely or work in a nearby city such as Frisco, the location of Celina may be inconsequential.
From the small town feel to the remarkable growth, Celina is set to become one of the best cities to live in the U.S. Controlled growth has also caused Celina's real estate to boom making it one of the hottest in Texas. New construction, pre-owned homes, and vacant land have a strong market in Celina.
If you’re still not sure if living in Celina is the right move, contact us today if you need more encouragement. Or better yet, drive on over for a visit, tour our homes, and see for yourself why this up-and-coming city is so attractive!