So, you’ve decided to join the flood of firms moving to Texas.
Perhaps by now, you’ve narrowed down your search somewhat and are working with a number of localities. Now, it’s a question of digging into the details:
- Is there enough affordable housing for your employees?
- Are there good schools?
- Are there enough amenities or places to eat?
How do you figure all this out? Let’s take an example.
Homes your employees can afford
Starting with the basics, here’s an example of what house prices look like in Allen, Texas.
Mapping out PITIs
That’s nice, but there’s a saying in real estate…people buy “payments, not houses.” Based on how much your employees might be paid, the question becomes whether they can make the payments.
Now here’s something you don’t see every day, a payment map. Or more specifically a “PITI” Map. That stands for principal + interest + tax + insurance. There’s a clear difference in affordability on one side Highway 75 vs the other. Assume most people can tolerate putting 30% of their gross income towards this (and lending standards also dictate this limit), and you can back into a household income required to buy in a given area. For instance, an area with a PITI of $2,500/mo would require a household income of $8,300, or $100,000 /yr.
Are there enough houses?
Sounds great, but are there houses like that to available buy? It’s a tight market out there, and how do different neighborhoods measure up? There are some subtle differences even within the same city, with months of inventory trending lower as you move closer to the 121 Tollway corridor on the northwest side of the map. Popularity of that area is likely due to the greater access those areas enjoy to other job clusters down the toll road.
An indication of where the market might be headed is given by the sales rate. You got that right – the intensity of sales. We measure sales activity per house, per month to understand where buying activity is particularly strong and you might have to work harder to outbid other buyers.
Where the good schools are
Families care a lot about school quality. A quick litmus test for schools is the GreatSchools score, which you have probably seen before. But what you probably haven’t seen is this mapped out by block. Below, we averaged out the scores for all schools that a given location feeds into. There are some small differences, but overall, everything looks pretty good!
That’s great news, but how about you want to be able to walk to those schools. From where, exactly, is it possible to do that? And how about walk to a park after school. We’ve calculated that below. Some nooks and crannies are a lot more convenient than others. It really varies a lot from block to block.
Places to shop, eat, and play
Amenities also matter – restaurants and retail. Looking at retail first, there are some major differences across a short distance. Some areas just don’t have that much within a few minutes’ drive — yet. Of course, with the development that will come in along 121 over the next few years, this will change on the west side.
Are there enough places to eat? Certainly there are. If the whole metro area is put on a scale of 1-10, the central areas along Highway 75 score at least a 7 or 8.
This gives you an idea of how we might answer the question of whether a city fits the bill for your new office. Doing your own corporate relocation or helping someone who is? We can help with the analysis.