Buyers pining for a more simple life in Texas should consider moving to Plano.
Located in North Texas, the city of Plano is in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. The Forbes’ 2018 list of the best cities for jobs ranked the Dallas-Plano-Irving area No. 1. In addition, the area has some of the lowest taxes in the state as well as the lowest crime rate of any city in America.
Besides the practical stuff, Plano offers plenty of open space and nature to explore, annual events, fine dining, great shopping as well as exemplary schools. With downtown Dallas only 20 miles away, booming Plano offers a plethora of big city life amenities without the hustle and bustle of a big city.
If you’re considering moving to Plano, this guide will help answer all your questions, from things to do, cost of living, transportation, and more. You can also reach out to our real estate agents if you have any lingering doubts or would like assistance with moving to Plano.
Established in 1873, Plano remained relatively small with less than 18,000 residents in its first century. But since 1970, the population growth in the area has increased to roughly 300,000 people today. Transformed into a living museum, history buffs can trace Plano’s colorful past at the 1891 Heritage Farmstead Museum.
Every corner has something going on, with little communities welcoming residents who wish to be involved in community activities. Most neighborhoods are dotted with walking paths, trails, and parks allowing residents of all ages to enjoy the outdoors. The streets run east and west, and north and south making the area easy to navigate. Despite its rapid growth, Plano still maintains a small-town atmosphere.
Where to Stay in Plano
Related: Best Neighborhoods in Plano
Are you are planning to retire, or looking to raise a family in Plano? Then you should consider real estate in the east or west of Plano. In the 1970s, the suburban sprawl moved north from Dallas bringing with it development to the East Plano area. By 1990, the population in the area had ballooned to 100,000 plus residents. And since that massive growth spurt, the eastside of the city has continued growing at a steady pace.
In recent years, developers have turned their attention to West Plano with newer and more affluent developments dominating the area. Home prices in the area range from $300,000 up to $5 million. Some of the popular neighborhoods in West Plano include Lakeside, Russell Creek, and Deerfield. Deerfield in particular is popular for its impressive carriage rides and Christmas lights.
Built in the 1970s and 1980s, East Plano features smaller and more affordable homes. Home prices start in the low-six-figure region. Another attractive area for newcomers in Plano is the two-mile square “live-work-play community” of Legacy West. The community features a commercial and cultural district along with two- and three-story homes. Recently added to Legacy West is Windrose Tower, a 28-story luxury condominium with units that range from 1,000 to over 5,000 square feet in living space.
Home to 15 Fortune 500 companies, Salary.com recently ranked Plano as the Best City to Build Personal Wealth. Compared to other U.S. metropolitan areas, Plano residents enjoy a relatively low cost of living, higher median incomes, and more affordable housing. Workers in the area appreciate the convenient location near the Telecom Corridor and the many business parks along the Dallas North Tollway.
With that in mind, employment opportunities are aplenty in the software, information, telecom, and medical industries. Top employers in the area include Hewlett Packard, Bank of America, Pepsi, FedEx, and Toyota among others. Because of its proximity to Dallas and the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, almost 80% of Plano visitors flock to the area for business-related reasons.
Excellent Transportation Network
The addition of a light rail station from Dallas to Plano in 2002 contributed to boosting downtown Plano’s city life. Daily commuters to Dallas will also appreciate the Downtown Plano DART Station makes for a shorter travel time to work or school. The same train line puts travels at your fingertips as it can take you to the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) Airport. With that in mind, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit helps regulate the public transportation system in Plano.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Plano is above the national average. But as you move further north away from Dallas, living becomes more affordable. According to Payscale.com, the cost of living in Plano is 7% higher than the national average. Meanwhile, housing expenses are 21% higher than the national average. If you consider the easy access to plentiful modern conveniences, the low median home value is a plus for buyers. According to data by Plano.gov, local taxes in Plano tend to be lower thanks to the city’s strong corporate business community who help ease the residents’ tax burden.
Shopping, Dining, and Entertainment
There’s so much to see and do in Plano, from bars and restaurants to entertainment and shopping. If you can't find what you're looking for in regards to shopping, you can always head down the tollway to the Shops at Willow Bend where you will enjoy upscale shopping at international brands like Neiman Marcus. Shopping enthusiasts can also take a quick trip to the popular Stonebridge Mall in Frisco which has a huge AMC Theater and Nordstrom. More retail therapy is available at the Shops at Legacy and Legacy West.
The west side of Plano is home to Lakeside Marketplace which features a variety of highly-rated restaurants. Local favorites include Fogo de Chao—a leading Brazilian steakhouse, as well as Guitars & Growlers for sandwiches and beers. Swing by Craftway Kitchen if you’re craving some new twists on some old favorites.
When you're ready for a full night on the town, there are plenty of bars with live music including Sambuca 365 located in the Shops at Legacy. Have a drink and grab something to eat at Earl's Kitchen and Bar or enjoy a night out listening to the top DJs at Shakerton's. If you like a big patio and enjoy Mediterranean food, hookah, or dancing, the Turkish café is the ideal destination.
Plano is by no means a small city, and its endless array of family-friendly activities gives it a nice bit of small-town charm. The community also comes to life with popular cultural events including the Plano International Festival and the hugely successful Plano Balloon Festival. The two events are Plano's premier cultural events. The kiddos can enjoy Plano’s Summer Art camp which lasts for four days.
Home to over 80 parks, Plano is park central. Outdoor aficionados have access to a host of natural resources and recreational activities throughout the area. On weekends, locals love to gather at two nature preserves—Arbor Hills and Oak Point. After a day of exploring, Bob Woodruff Park offers the perfect spot for a picnic.
Connemara Conservancy is another quiet, beautiful, and peaceful space. All these wonderful outdoor oases have an extensive trail system ideal for both recreation and exercise. There’s even an off-leash dog park called the Jack Carter Dog Park for canine lovers. Meanwhile, sports fans can cheer on their favorite Dallas teams at the professional sports arenas a short distance from Plano. Whether you're throwing a football, kicking a soccer ball, or playing some baseball, Plano offers plenty of places to get out and enjoy the outdoors.
Educational Opportunities in Plano
Plano is big on education—it’s known as a hotspot for academic achievers in Texas. The area is home to 13 middle schools, 6 high schools, and 3 senior high schools. According to GreatSchools, Plano ISD schools have achieved a 9/10 rating. Along with 4 full-service libraries, the kids in Plano have all the right tools to succeed.
Living in Plano
Considering all the right factors, living in Plano, Texas, seems like an easy choice, right? The low crime rate is noteworthy and the excellent public transportation means you don’t have to drive your car everywhere. Whatever your reasons for moving to Plano, whether it be for employment or a change of scenery, the city beckons you with its charm and hometown appeal. When you’re ready to take the plunge, contact us and we will gladly help you make the right choice.