Need info about El Paso TX area .. Moving in 3 months ...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mama2littleman, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. mama2littleman

    mama2littleman El Paso

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    Morning All!

    I posted this at the Texas Gardning forum at Garden Web, but thought I would try my luck here as well.

    REmember me? A couple of months ago I posted about an impending move to Texas from Germany ... Well, it looks like it's going to happen. Sooner, rather than later. Instead of July, it looks like we will be moving in April.

    So, since my planning time just got severely shortened, I'd like to ask all of you for some help please.

    I know Texas is a beautiful state, and there are a lot of nice areas, but what I'd really like to know is ...

    Where don't I want to live? We are limited on time to find housing once we get there (only 2 weeks)and I need to know what areas of town to avoid looking at.

    If you have any suggestions about what areas are more desirable, I'd appreciate that to.

    It looks like this maybe a long term assignment for us (7 or 8 years) so we would like to find a nice place. Ideally we'd like to live somewhere that's still kind of rural and within 45 minutes to an hour of Ft. Bliss. We'll even consider New Mexico. We just want a place where I can have my huge garden, DH can have a work shed, and DS can finally get the chickens and horse he's been wanting.

    Any ideas or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Nikki
     
  2. Whistling Pines

    Whistling Pines Member

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    My career took my family and I to El Paso for a few years. I would recommend NOT moving to El Paso, but since your military you really don't have a choice, so I will offer what experiences I learned in three years of living there. We also wanted to homestead, which is pretty easy in the surrounding areas, provided you have an ample water supply. We started living there in a homestead in an area called the Hacienda Water district, about 20 miles east on Montana Blvd. Nice area, lots of open spaces, but very dry and a terrible school district (at the time we were raising 3 elementry age boys). I would never consider living in the city of El Paso, the only area of the country I know where home builders offer bars on the windows as a building option (take note of how many you see). My job required I crossed the border 3-4 times a week, and many co workers expressed not to live too close to the border, crime is rampant in the border area. We finally found a place that had everything we were looking for..homestead, space, good water, access to livestock, and an excellent school system. We moved to Las Cruces New Mexico, loved it and eventually hated moving when my job took me somewhere else. There were only a few drawbacks in living there..1. it is about 45 minutes to Ft. Bliss, 2. Because we resided out of state, I could not reap the benefits of working in Texas with no State Income Tax. That was it. I truly couldn't have found a place I like so much while working in El Paso. If military confines force you to live in El Paso county...GO EAST, STay away from Border, and consider home schooling. REad the statistics from the chamber of commerce on violent crimes, average education level, etc.
     

  3. HarleysMom

    HarleysMom Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Whistling Pines. The smog is horrible in El Paso and the further east you go the better. It is all desert area with lots of chapparal so the scenery is not going to change much. It has been a few years since I was there last, but I think they are selling parcels of land all along Hwy 62/180, not sure if I am remembering the highway number right. Just go as far east as you can. I know the water near Dell City had the highest DDT levels in the state about 20 years ago, don't know if that can improve or not. I liked the Cornudas area then.
     
  4. mama2littleman

    mama2littleman El Paso

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    Thank you SO much Whistling Pines and Harleysmom! This is exactly the type of information we are looking for.

    We're not averse to living in New Mexico, just so long as it's within reasonable commuting distance for DH. I did some checking into Las Cruces, and the area looks beautiful, but it's gotten pretty expensive in some parts. Due to being named in Money Magazine as one of the top 10 places in the US to retire.

    If I could find a nice place with decent land for an affordable price ($225,000 or less), I'd take on the commute in a heart beat.

    ABout school ... DH and I already decided on private school for DS. He's only 3 right now, but I read the education statistics and school crime reports for El paso, and needless to say, I'm scared. And this is coming from a girl who grew up in New York and used to work in Manhattan.

    Once again, thank you for the info and please keep it coming.

    Nikki
     
  5. Whistling Pines

    Whistling Pines Member

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    If school system is not a factor, I would recommend going as far east on Montana as your DH feels comfortable with. Adverse weather never became an issue in my commute. About 25 to 30 mile east of El paso and 5-10 miles north or south you will find some acreage and few neighbors. I preferred north as it was away from the border. These areas haven't been impacted with inflation since very few want to live that far away from the city. I keep hearing they are going to build an amusement park in east El Paso (six flags I think) this will definately impact land prices. For the money you are looking to spend you can surely find what you want out there. You may want to consider buying as large a lot as you can reasonably afford and then build your own home. If memory serves there are either nice plots with poor houses on them, or nice houses with small plots. Most the execs or officers in El Paso live in the more ritzy north El Paso. Most important is water, both availability and quality. What ever you do... don't forget to go eat a steak at the Cattleman's restuarant just North West of Ft. Bliss. Business takes me all over the country and I have never had a better restuarant steak than there.
     
  6. mama2littleman

    mama2littleman El Paso

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    Yum, I love good steak. I'm make sure to stop by that restaurant.

    I see what you mean about the North of El Paso having a bunch of cookie cutter Mc Mansions. We would like to avoid that if at all possible.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. It's so hard to get the real scoop on an area you have absolutely no familiarity with.

    Once again,

    Thank You!

    Nikki
     
  7. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

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    I highly recommend you rent an apartment for up to 6 mo, and look around for awhile. If you are going to be there for 7-8yrs, you'll want to find a really comfortable place. Be very concerned about water.

    Good luck in your hunt.
     
  8. mama2littleman

    mama2littleman El Paso

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    Thanks Sandi!

    Actually, that is what we palnned on doing. We just wanted to avoid getting set up initially in a place that would make us miserable, which is what happened to us in Tennessee.

    Found a nice house, reasonably priced, nice neighbors, we jumped right on it. What we didn't know, and couldn't tell from our several day time trips to the area was that at night the neighborhood was "interesting" to say the least. The area we were in was fine, but the surrounding area was headed into steady decline. We were kept up all night by teenagers driving by playing what I can only refer to as "boots in the dryer" music, because that's exactly what it sounded like. (Mind you, I was 19 year old kid myself at the time so it's pretty safe to say I wasn't oversensitive to this stuff) There was increasing number of breakins and we even had a car stolen out of our driveway.

    We would really like to avoid a situation like that this time if we can, and I figure the best way to help towards that end is to ask the natives for their opinions. And I sincerely appreciate all the wonderfully helpful info I've received between the people here and at gardenweb's Texas gardening forum.

    If there are some areas I can cross off the list from the get go, then that is time and energy saved for me.

    Once again, thanks for all the help and advice.

    Nikki