My uncle Irving is a kindly old man who enjoys Werther’s Originals and sleepy Sundays on the porch. Sound like your uncle Irving, too? Irving, Texas, however, was purportedly named after Washington Irving and not your mom’s brother. Here you’ll find all that Texan charm you’ve been hearing about, even a few stories about Irving’s famous Rip Van Winkle, who slept for 20 years trying to get away from his wife and his day-to-day responsibilities, like finding an apartment and commuting through the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Fortunately for us (and unfortunately for him) we’ve got the lowdown on Irving’s apartment scene, so your transition to the city shouldn’t force you into a 20-year slumber. If we have one piece of advice, it’s to remember to stay away from the bearded old men in Cowboys hats playing ninepin and eating BBQ, and never partake in their strange golden liquor, light beer.
Unlike old Rip and our uncles, people are getting serious things done in Irving. There are over 2,000 Corporations based out of Irving and it’s home to beaucoup Fortune 500 Global HQs, including Exxon Mobile, Fluor, Kimberly-Clark, and others. The large corporate tax revenue source has benefited the community.
For kitsch factor and dinner party conversation, Irving is also home to Medieval Times’ Corporate Headquarters and where Barney and Friends was filmed (Sweet fun facts, eh?). Irving boasts the largest equestrian sculpture in the world, Mustangs of Las Colinas, nine huge, frozen horses in the midst of galloping through a fountain. Want more fun facts? The Cowboys played in Irving until 2009 before they were relocated to nearby Arlington. Though gone, they are not forgotten, so it’s probably best not to rock your Eagles snapback outside the house, no matter how well it goes with the rest of your outfit. All right, no more fun facts for you! We don’t want to spoil your appetite.
You’ll need the usual fare with you for your search: two forms of government issued ID and a check book for cutting the credit check fees and deposits you’ll encounter on your journey. Some simple preparation should take some of the stress out of the process.
You should also know that large, multi-unit living complexes dominate the area. So kiss those quaint Catskills goodbye and look forward to gyms, swimming pools, and communal areas. Many of these complexes are looking to fill units and thus offer rental incentives like discounted deposits or first month’s rent free with long term lease (usually 12 months). If you pay close enough attention, you might just score some awesome deals.
Highway 183 runs through Irving, bifurcating it into North and South Irving.
South Irving is an ethnically diverse area. Large chains dominate the roadways – think fast food and tire stores. Here, rent is significantly lower, around $600 for a one bedroom.
Above the highway are North Irving and an area called Las Colinas. The rental prices spike up in these ‘hoods, Prepare yourself to pay some hefty fees if you feel like migrating up from the south. Don’t believe us? We dare you to find a one bedroom for less than $1,000. The highest you’re going to see is around $1,400, but as mentioned, these pricier units are often in large complexes with full amenities – pool, gym, and other perks. In a sense, you get what you pay for.
Valley Ranch is due north of Las Colinas, and the area is a mix between family homes, townhouses and apartments. This is also where you’ll find all the larger retail stores – Fry’s Electronics, Starbucks, Wal-Mart and the like. Here, one-bedroom apartments range from $600 to $900, depending on amenities, like washers, dryers, and dishwashers.
We’re just going to treat this like a band-aid and make it quick. You’re going to need a car. Sorry, green team. Irving and its surrounding areas are exurbs, typified by large four-lane roads and sprawl. With temperatures in the summer often in the triple digits, waiting for the bus isn’t really an option unless you’re planning on a long, long sleep or have one of those nifty hats with the fans built into the bill. Although many of the parks in Irving offer excellent bike paths, day-to-day bike commuting is an unfortunate impossibility thanks to the area’s infrastructure. Besides, were you really planning on biking to work in triple digit weather? I mean, come on!
The Dallas Metroplex is infamous for its horrendous commutes. To reiterate, you need a car, and yes, be prepared to think of that car as a second home. Get your iPod ready, because you’re going to need the entire Phillip Glass playlist when getting in and out of Dallas. Or perhaps invest in a couple of Washington Irving’s greatest stories on tape. The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system is extending its line out to Irving, but the roll out won’t be until 2012, and even then the service will be limited. Take it from us, you’re going to need your own set of four wheels.
Irving might not have everything in the world, but that shouldn’t stop you from rolling on into this city and making it your own. Now that we’ve saved you potentially 20 years of waiting and/or ducking your spouse’s tasks, it’s time to get out there and find the perfect spot to settle down in this Lone Star State. Good luck and happy hunting!