Every once in a while, people entertain the idea of having a fresh start away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Having the ideal location in mind will allow you to plan your future and fulfill your wish of owning a beautiful home.
Are you in search of affluent but affordable housing, along with an authentic downtown atmosphere, and excellent local schools? Look no further than Plano. Located in North Texas, the suburban town of Plano is renowned for its excellent quality of life, wide roads lined with mature trees, excellent city services, and exquisite homes.
In this guide, we will share the pros and cons of living in Plano, and if you decide to move to the area, you can rely on our able agents to help you find a property that fits your budget and needs.
What to Know Before Moving to Plano
Located 20 miles north of downtown Dallas, Plano is often considered a ‘satellite city’ of the DFW Metroplex. Home to over 280,000 people, Plano is the 9th most populous city in Texas. Between 2014 and 2018, Plano's population grew by 2.7% making it the fastest-growing city in Texas. Across the Metroplex, Plano has a reputation for great property value, serene neighborhoods, and outstanding local schools.
Plano has also been recognized by several publications including the Best Place to Live in America by CNN Money in 2003, as well as the 3rd most affordable suburb in America by NerdWallet in 2008. With a booming city center jam-packed with modern office spaces, high-end restaurants, and a thriving downtown arts district, it's easy to see why Plano is highly regarded.
Pros of Living in Plano
More than just a place to sleep, Plano homes for sale come with all the modern conveniences you would need; from gourmet kitchens to washer and dryer connections and multiple bedrooms. With that in mind, 61% of Plano residents own their homes while 39% are tenants.
|5 or more Bedrooms||7.5%|
Plano cannot be defined as a single city as it’s divided into three sections—Central Plano, East Plano, and West Plano. For buyers looking to own a piece of Plano real estate, a location in any of the three sections will determine the median cost of the property.
Plano’s East and West End comprises the most luxury homes in the area, while Central Plano is where you'll find more affordable housing. East Plano boasts the lion's share of Plano’s property market with options ranging from moderate homes to grand mansions that cost millions of dollars.
|Type of Home||Percentage|
|Small Apartments Buildings||2.6%|
If you prefer mild winters, humid summers, and an easy spring, and autumn climate, then Plano is your ideal destination. With a humid, subtropical climate, Plano receives an average rainfall of 41 inches per year, 3 inches more than the national average. Relative to the national average of 205 sunny days, outdoor aficionados appreciate the 229 days of sun in Plano. And with an average of only 2 inches of snow per year, it rarely snows in these parts.
Plano is a major Texas business location with a strong economy. In recent years, the city has embarked on several initiatives to help promote investment and attract business. After creating 240,000 new jobs in 2018, Plano was recognized as one of the best cities in Texas to find a job. Relative to the US average of 6%, Plano has an unemployment rate of 5.5%. Meanwhile, its median annual income of $93,300 is more than the average of $65,700.
With that in mind, Plano is quite business-friendly. Thanks to the many tech companies in the area, people looking for work in the IT sector shouldn't have a difficult time finding a job. Plano is also home to several Fortune 500 company headquarters. Top employers include Bank of America, Intuit, Frito-Lay, NTT Data, and Toyota Motor North America among others. Additionally, the DFW metro area is home to vibrant healthcare industry.
With a rating of 78.9, the annual crime rate in Plano is well below the national average of 100. According to recent crime data, Plano is one of the safest communities in the country. But relative to Texas, Plano's crime rate is 60% higher than other cities and towns of all sizes. Additionally, it only takes a few days to get a license to carry a firearm in Texas, whereas in other states such as California, you'll have to wait for almost one year before you can have an interview with the Sherriff.
According to the City of Plano, education is the cornerstone of Plano's success. That said, over 55% of Plano's adults have earned a 4-year college degree, master's, law degree, MD as well as Ph.D. The local schools are another great reason many families choose to move to Plano. The Plano Independent School District serves the area with 156 schools, 23 of which are National Blue Ribbon Schools. However, Plano falls short when spending on public education—its expenditure is $10,970 per student compared to a U.S average of $12,380.
|Plano Independent School District||53,057||84|
|Frisco Independent School District||60,182||72|
If you're considering going for a certificate or degree course, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is home to several universities and colleges that include:
- Southern Methodist University
- UT Southwestern Medical Center
- Dallas Baptist University
- University of North Texas, Dallas
Thanks to the Plano Public Library System, residents are within 5 miles of a public library that offers free access to over 700,000 books. Additionally, the library offers a great gathering space and a community resource.
Plano is excellently urban planned. Easy access to rapid transit, air, light rail, and stylish road networks sets Plano apart from other cities in the DFW Metroplex. Daily commuters appreciate the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) that operates light rail and public buses in Plano. For business travels or vacationing, both the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Love Field Airport are within 30 to 45 minutes of Plano.
Being less than 4 hours from the major continental destinations in the U.S is an additional perk of living in Plano. Additionally, Plano is far enough from Dallas and Fort Worth (it's mid-way between the two) hence motorists have less traffic to contend with especially on weekends when driving into town to get errands done.
From quick and casual to high-end and chic, foodies in Plano have plenty of options to satisfy their cravings. Whether you want to try the popular Texas barbecue or mouthwatering Peruvian cuisine, Plano offers plenty of down-home and locally-owned restaurants. Yelp even recognized Plano on its list of ‘foodie cities’ in a recent survey. Some of the must-visit popular spots include the Main Street Deli, Babe's Chicken Dinner House, Lavandou, and Texas among others.
Shopping and Entertainment
When considering your weekend plans, enjoy a shop-till-you-drop experience at long-established and beloved neighborhood shopping centers in Plano. Some of the best spots for retail therapy include:
- The Shops at Legacy
- Legacy West
- Arts District
- The Shops at Willow Bend
- Downtown Plano
When you're ready for a full night on the town, The Shops at Legacy offer great wine bars and eateries. For those seeking entertainment beyond the community, local Dallas hotspots offer an array of popular nightclubs including Curtain Club, Club Clearview, Galaxy Club, and Liquid Lounge among others. The community also comes to life with events such as poolside movie nights, live music concerts, and food truck family gatherings.
Parks and Recreation
For residents looking to spend the day outside, Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve offer a popular walking and hiking location. With its Riparian, Backland Prairie, and Upland forests, the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is a must-visit for any visitor. Closer to downtown is Haggard Park which features a gazebo, picnic tables, festivals, and live music. Although not centered within Plano, professional sports fans can make the short drive to Dallas to cheer on the Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Cowboys, FC Dallas, and Texas Rangers.
Art & Culture
Theater buffs can take in a quality live show at the Courtyard Theatre, and for visual arts, a tour of the East Side Art Gallery will reveal plenty to adore. Embrace the local culture by joining other Plano residents to celebrate the Plano International Festival. Meanwhile, history buffs can catch a glimpse of life in the Backland Prairie at the Heritage Farmstead, or take a tour of the Interurban Railway Museum in downtown Plano.
Cons of Living in Plano
High Home Prices
Previously considered an affordable location to buy a house, home prices in Plano have increased dramatically in recent years. As of February 2022, the median home price in Plano was approximately $675,000 compared to $450,000 in February 2021. With such a huge price increase, Plano, the same as the rest of Texas has become a seller's market.
Additionally, many of the neighborhoods and homes in Plano tend to be older. This might not be a con for some people, but if you're looking for a moderately priced home, it’s likely going to be older and most of them are not updated.
|Age of Home||Percentage|
|2000 or newer||20.9%|
|1970 to 1999||74.5%|
|1940 to 1969||4.3%|
|1939 or older||0.3%|
That said, newer constructions follow vernacular-style designs that help keep the area's old-world charm. But since their inventory is limited, new construction homes in Plano tend to be expensive with prices starting from $550,000.
Due to the humid and hot air, summertime in Plano can be unbearable. Residents have to contend with the heat for roughly four months every year. What’s more, the bipolar weather in Texas oscillates between cold, wet, and hot all in one day. Hail and thunderstorms are also likely to occur during spring. Thankfully, citizens are always forewarned of any imminent severe weather by an amazing communication system.
What is the cost of living in Plano?
Because of the high cost of living and robust economy, Plano is referred to as an expensive city. With that in mind, the cost of utilities is higher than average in Plano relative to Texas.
Should I Invest in Plano?
Thanks to the booming economy and increasing population, Plano real estate is worth investing in. Although the initial investment may be high, buying a property in Plano is worthwhile as overtime, homes tend to increase in value.
Can I raise a Family in Plano?
Ranked #3 for Best Cities to raise a family, Plano boasts low crime rates, a strong economy, exemplary schools, and family-friendly amenities. That said, Plano offers the ideal destination for a growing family as well as those planning to start one. Thanks to the many companies, the job market offers plenty of opportunities to earn a living.