If you’re dreaming of moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex this year, you’re not alone. DFW continues to lead the country in population growth, with approximately 1.3 million people relocating to the area in the past decade. While additive to the local culture and economy, this influx has also led to increased demand for housing, making it challenging for some buyers to find affordable options.
Amidst the uncertainty, a series of communities have emerged that offer a level of affordability unseen elsewhere in the DFW metroplex: the “outer loop.” Read on to learn what exactly makes these neighborhoods so appealing (and which of them you should consider).
Understanding the DFW Housing Market: Factors Contributing to High Costs
The housing market in DFW is characterized by high demand, particularly for pre-owned homes in well-established suburbs and residential areas of Dallas and Fort Worth. Predictably, this demand has resulted in rising property prices, specifically within Dallas’s “inner ring,” comprising the area inside I-635. Increasing property taxes and a rise in construction costs are additional variables that contribute to the overall escalation in housing costs, both in the DFW area and nationwide.
Advantages of the Outer Loop for Affordable Housing
The term “outer loop” refers to the exurban areas located at a greater distance from the central cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. Specific suburbs in this category include Argyle, Northlake, Little Elm, Melissa, and Celina.
What these communities lack in close proximity to the bustling DFW city center, they more than make up for in affordability, availability, and quality of life. Properties in the outer loop generally offer lower prices compared to those in the city, often as much as $100,000 less for a similar floor plan or amount of square footage. Additionally, buyers are drawn to outer loop areas in an effort to escape inner loop congestion and to enjoy a quieter, more relaxed suburban environment.
Research Methods for Identifying Outer Loop Neighborhoods
Want to learn more about outer loop neighborhoods? Research is easy enough thanks to sites like Zillow and Realtor.com, which offer comprehensive listings and information on available properties. Of course, local real estate agents are a helpful resource too, since they possess specialized knowledge of these areas and can provide valuable insights.
New home communities are a popular choice for buyers seeking homes outside the loop. Nestled in many up-and-coming exurban cities, these developments offer new construction homes in many types, sizes, and styles, plus great schools, and an amazing array of resort-style amenities. Renowned for their award-winning lifestyle programs, Hillwood Communities like Union Park in Little Elm, Pecan Square in Northlake, and Harvest in Argyle/Northlake are particularly noteworthy for their focus on creating neighborhoods that offer an outstanding quality of life. Whether you’re looking for a vibrant community, proximity to nature, or exceptional amenities, these communities offer something for everyone.
Key Considerations for Outer Loop Homebuyers
- Commute and Transportation: Nothing affects your daily routine like your commute to the office. And while the outer loop may be farther from central business districts, a significant number of companies (including Toyota, Liberty Mutual, or Caterpillar, Inc.) have recently moved their corporate headquarters to the DFW suburbs. These corporate relocations can significantly impact commute times, potentially making them more manageable than one might initially assume.
- Amenities and Education: Many of these exurban communities feature highly rated public and private schools, offering excellent educational opportunities for families. The school districts often boast high test scores, outstanding extracurricular activities, and lauded advanced placement programs, making them highly desirable for parents who prioritize education. Additionally, outer loop communities are often replete with various amenities like parks, walking trails, and recreational areas, ideal for outdoor activities and family outings. Shopping centers and retail outlets are also common, offering convenient access to grocery stores, boutiques, and dining options.
- Investment Potential: Homes in Hillwood Communities are designed with a focus on sustainability and future value appreciation in mind, making them a smart long-term investment. These neighborhoods are strategically located in areas with high growth potential, often near major transportation routes and corporate hubs. Their intentional master planning and community features are likely to result in property value appreciation over time, offering homeowners a significant return.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Outer Ring in Dallas?
The Outer Ring in Dallas refers to the exurban areas that are situated at a greater distance from the central cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. These areas are generally beyond the immediate suburbs and offer a quieter lifestyle, often with lower property prices and less congestion.
Where are the Exurbs in DFW?
The exurbs in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex include specific suburbs such as Argyle, Northlake, Little Elm, Melissa, and Celina. These areas are part of what is commonly referred to as the “outer loop” or “outer ring” of DFW and are characterized by their distance from the city center.
Where are the fastest-growing cities in DFW?
The fastest-growing cities in the DFW area include Frisco, Celina, and Arlington. These cities have experienced significant population growth in recent years, driven by factors such as corporate relocations, quality of life, and availability of amenities.
Where is the proposed DFW Outer Loop?
The proposed DFW Outer Loop is a planned transportation project by TxDOT aimed at creating a loop highway that would encircle the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The project is still in the planning stages, and specific details such as the exact route and timeline for construction have yet to be finalized.
Find Your DFW Home Outside the Loop
The outer loop of the DFW Metroplex offers a viable solution for those seeking new homes in a challenging market. With typically lower property prices, reduced congestion, and the easy availability of amenities, homes in outer loop communities, like those offered by Hillwood Communities, present a compelling alternative to more central locations. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our active communities or contact us today.