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Neighborhoods 101: The Homebuyer's Guide to Five of the Top Dallas Suburbs

Plano, TexasThey famously say that everything is bigger in Texas — and, mostly, we must agree. More than 1.3 million people call Dallas home, and upward of 7.6 million reside in the greater Dallas–Fort Worth region, also referred to as North Texas. 


According to 2023 federal data, Dallas-Fort Worth ranks No. 6 among cities with the highest economic output — almost $600 billion, in fact — driven in no small part by so many national and international corporations moving their headquarters to the suburban areas. Along with that influx of business comes an increase in restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, parks and schools — all which make living in the Dallas suburbs a highly desirable goal for millions. Read on for a list of five outlying cities worth checking out if you’re considering a move to North Texas. It's pulled together from insider intel — the expert agents of Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty — and other definitive sources. The list details how far each area is from Dallas, the median home value in the area, key facts about the area and why someone may choose to live there.



(Pictured at top of story)

Distance from downtown Dallas: 19.9 miles
Population (2020 Census): 285,494
Counties: Collin; Denton

Average list price (summer 2023): $500,000
Average list price per square foot: $217
Average sales price: $523,000

Approximate home price range (summer 2023): $150,000 to $8,000,000


Consistently ranked one of the safest cities, Plano has long been one of the most popular Dallas suburbs, due to homes being available in a variety of price points, from modest Ranch-style houses to sprawling estates. The area also boasts stellar schools and nearby convenience to everything the North Texas region has to offer. 


Within its own borders, Plano has a nature preserve, a treetop adventure course, numerous trails, parks, pools and many golf courses, making it a popular city for outdoor and nature enthusiasts. Over the decades, Plano has also come into its own, attracting top-tier chefs to create exciting restaurant concepts that often coexist in dynamic shopping districts, such as The Shops at Legacy and The Shops at Willow Bend


Residents and visitors enjoy spending time in the charming downtown arts district, day spas, a local farmers market and much more. Like most Dallas suburbs, the neighborhoods offer a sense of tranquility and a slower pace, with walkability that makes it easy to get to know the neighbors. Parents can feel great about a decision to move to Plano, which is home to 23 five-star elementary, middle and high schools.


Heath Sparkling WinesHeath


Distance from downtown Dallas: 24.7 miles
Population (2020 Census): 10,055
Counties: Rockwall; Kaufman

Average list price (summer 2023): $717,000
Average list price per square foot: $209
Average sales price: $910,000
Current home price range (summer 2023): $440,000 to $4,500,000


Not all great Dallas suburbs are sprawling cities that rival Big D itself. Sometimes the allure of a small, close-knit community fits a person’s lifestyle and long-term goals even better. And Heath checks off a lot of boxes. 


About 30 minutes to the northeast of Downtown Dallas, this small town boasts some incredible homes, beautiful parks and proximity to the 22,745-acre Lake Ray Hubbard, as well as the beloved Heath Golf & Yacht Club. It’s not uncommon to see residents milling about their neighborhoods in golf carts, on bicycles or strolling around to reach one of the handfuls of wonderful restaurants or backyard parties at friends’ houses. Half of the city’s six elementary, middle and high schools have five-star rankings, making Heath a smart choice for a great education, despite the small population size of the area.


Bridge in KellerKeller


Distance from downtown Dallas: 30.8 miles
Population (2020 Census): 45,766
County: Tarrant

Average list price (summer 2023): $612,500
Average list price per square foot: $220
Average sales price: $637,500
Current home price range (summer 2023): $190,000 to $7,950,000


About 45 minutes northwest of Downtown Dallas, the once-sleepy city of Keller has grown to be one of the bigger Dallas suburbs. Once a place where people came to downsize and retire, Keller now attracts professionals and families in all stages of their lives and careers, with larger homes and estates becoming more popular than ever. 


Residents enjoy the 336 acres of award-winning parks, hiking and biking trails, a Keller ISD–run natatorium that’s open to the public and The Keller Pointe, the city’s massive recreation and aquatics center. Community events throughout the year are a major way the city brings together its residents — and even visitors from Dallas and Fort Worth — to celebrate life in every season. Nine of Keller’s 15 elementary, middle and high schools have earned five-star ratings, too, adding to the allure for parents or those planning to have kids.


Downtown McKinneyMcKinney


Distance from downtown Dallas: 32.5 miles
Population (2020 Census): 195,308
County: Collin

Average list price: $502,000
Average list price per square foot: $216
Average sales price: $537,000
Current home price range: $208,000 to $9,990,000


Honored with the distinction as one of the Best Places to Live in America by Money magazine, the Dallas suburb of McKinney has seen exponential growth in the past 30 years, expanding from a sleepy town of 21,283 in 1990 to nearly 200,000 in 2020. Now one of the major suburban economies, McKinney still manages to achieve a small-town charm focused on families and a sense of community within tree-lined neighborhoods and the city at large. 


It’s easy to get to, via either the Dallas North Tollway or North Central Expressway (US-75), making it a desirable place to live, even if you work in downtown Dallas. Historic downtown McKinney offers residents and visitors a healthy dose of nostalgic charm, for which many know the destination, but it’s also known as a health-minded community. 


The world-renowned Cooper Fitness Center at Craig Ranch offers a variety of activity options that complement the numerous outdoor offerings of McKinney, including multiple parks and hike-bike trails. Fabulous restaurants (including great Texas barbecue) and two hometown breweries draw people to the area, too. Starting home prices make the area accessible, but more luxurious options are abundant, as well. As for schools, you’ll find 15 five-star-rated elementary, middle and high schools with top-notch teachers ready to educate your kids.


Shops in FriscoFrisco


Distance from downtown Dallas: 27.3 miles
Population (2020 Census): 224,566
Counties: Collin; Denton

Average list price (summer 2023): $685,000
Average list price per square foot: $241
Average sales price: $669,000
Approximate home price range (summer 2023): $380,000 to $7,450,000


North of Dallas and an easy drive up the Dallas North Tollway, Frisco has grown to be a major destination for a variety of entertainment options, especially sports-related activities. This Dallas suburb is home to the FC Dallas professional soccer club, the Frisco RoughRiders minor league baseball team and the Dallas Cowboys practice facility, called The Star, which is also one of the city’s bustling entertainment districts. Shopping is a big deal in town, too, with more than nine million square feet of retail space, including the popular Stonebriar Centre and Frisco Square. Frisco residents enjoy living in a variety of quiet neighborhoods, populated with more than two dozen parks, three golf courses and a whopping 41 five-star-ranked elementary, middle and high schools, making education a major draw for families with children.


Come see all the top North Texas neighborhoods at our info-packed guide: briggsfreeman.com/neighborhoods.


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