Little Elm, Texas, is the tiny city that went boom, as in population boom. The 2000 census reported only 3,646 souls living in Little Elm. By 2010, that number had boomed to almost 26,000, making Little Elm, Texas one of the fastest growing towns in the country.
So, what's the big attraction in Little Elm, Texas? There are no reports of gold, black or yellow, in the vicinity, so why does this town keep growing? For one thing, it can't seem to stop getting awards. The FBI labeled Little Elm the second safest city in the country. It has gotten accolades for its urban forestry program, as well. Little Elm is just a nice, safe town with lots of beaches. A ridiculous number of beaches, really. It keeps getting better, too, enough to draw new families to the area each year. If you are looking to rent in a town that has growth potential and Texas charm, then Little Elm should be at the top of your list.
Is Little Elm the Emerald City?
You would think so given the population growth, and by all accounts, Little Elm is a nice place to call home, especially if living near water is the dream. It seems like all the stuff most towns do wrong, Little Elm gets right. That would explain the exponential population growth of 610 percent over the last decade.
The first thing Little Elm has going for it is location. This little town has miles and miles of shoreline, more than any other city in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. In fact, the city motto is "Town with a LakeAttitude". There is a total of 66 miles of shoreline in Little Elm. Speaking of Dallas/Fort Worth, Little Elm is also close to the Dallas North Tollway, making it a prime choice for those looking to commute to work in the city each day.
The town isn't the only thing winning awards, either. The leadership in Little Elm is building a solid reputation as a government that responds to the needs of the town residents. In 2012, town chairman Michael McClellan won Planning Commissioner of the Year, an honor only bestowed on one other commissioner in Texas.
Little Elm is growing in other ways, too. Current projects include a hydrous wake board park, a boat ramp and beach expansion. Honestly, there is little not to love about it, especially if you are looking to find places to rent with small town appeal.
The bad news is that finding a home for rent in Little Elm will take some time. The vacancy rate is low is this growing city. That isn't surprising considering the population boom. Plan ahead so you can find the right place, especially if you're looking for specifics like pet friendly apartments.
It may take six months or more to locate an available rental that meets your needs. The earlier you start, the better. Property owners are likely to be security conscious and want a full background check on potential renters, too. Be prepared to pay the fees for an extensive screening process and to put down a security deposit on the rental property.
Neighborhoods in Little Elm
From end to end, Little Elm covers less than 19 square miles with a total of four designated neighborhoods.
Navo: The largest neighborhood in Little Elm covers the northern half of the town. Navo begins at the intersection of 380 and 423, and includes a large section of shoreline. The vacancy rate is a little higher here than in other parts of Little Elm, probably because of vacation homes and serviced apartments on the shoreline.
FM 423/Walker Lane: Sitting just under Navo is the neighborhood that starts at the intersection of FM 423 and Walker Lane and continues west to Hart Road. This area includes one shoreline and a couple smaller bodies of water.
FM 423/Eldorado Parkway: This region sits in the southeast corner of the town. It moves from Eldorado Parkway and slopes down all the way to Little Elm Parkway, then skirts the Cottonwood Branch shoreline. Going right through the center of the neighborhood is FM 423. This neighborhood offers mostly single family and mobile homes, but like most of Little Elm, it has a low vacancy rate.
CityCenter: Despite the name, the CityCenter neighborhood sits at the tip of Little Elm. It sticks out almost like a peninsula, covered on three sides by water. Of all four neighborhoods, this one has the highest vacancy rate, especially off season.
The Booming Life in Little Elm
You might assume with 66 miles of shoreline, Little Elm would be situated by the ocean, but the town actually rests near the northern border of Texas in Denton County. So, where is all this water coming from, anyway?
Little Elm resides on a spit of land in the middle of one arm of LewisvilleLake, a 194,000-acre-foot reservoir created in the 1940s. The city planning committee is taking advantage of the unique opportunities this lake offers the town. For example, there are four major parks within the city limits.
The city also has embedded miles of hiking and bike trails that run along the water's edge. Little Elm park offers a swim beach, amphitheater and recreational areas for games, too.
Each year, Little Elm hosts a variety of events over the summer and fall. It starts with the July Jubilee in, you guessed it, July, on the fourth specifically. Little ElmPark lights up with fireworks, exhibits and live music right along the lake. The Autumn Festival is a four day event held by the Little Elm Festival Association around the end of September. Festivities include:
1 Mile Walk
Live bands all four days
Fireworks over the lake
Other events to watch for in Little Elm include the Pumpkin Hollow, Summer Rhythms and a seasonal triathlon.
There isn't much in the way of public transportation in Little Elm. One of the perks of living there is its close proximity to major travel routes such as the Dallas North Tollway and the Eldorado Parkway, which is also a major street in Little Elm.
If you are looking for a Texas community with small town charm, lots of water and major growth potential, they don't come much better than Little Elm. There's a lot to do, especially if you like outdoor activities, and it's proximity to the Dallas Fort Worth area is putting the boom into Little Elm.