The Legal Lingo. As with any city, Plano has its fair share of bad property managers. Here, the main issues have to do with maintenance. Most apartment complexes from the 70's and 80's have plumbing issues coupled with landlords reluctant to deal with them. In order to get a timely response, your best bet is to send a written notice. If they still fail to respond, send a second written notice with "TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE" written in bold at the top. This is the legal lingo for "get your ----- to work". With these written notices, you will have legal recourse. Just notify the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division and the North Texas Tenants Council, and they will have your back. We know it sounds like a hassle, but when you’re 20 year old pipes start to burst, you’ll be thankful.
Rent Increases. Be prepared to pay higher rent with each new lease. It's quite popular among most complexes in Plano.
The Heat. It's Texas, and for those who have been living under a rock, Texas is hot. It's hotter than a two-peckered dog in a room full of pant legs. It's hotter than a fiddler on a tin roof in the 9th circle of Hell. It's so hot, I could do this all day long. But, instead of complaining, I'll tell you the good news. Since Plano is such a young city, the apartment buildings are newer and better insulated, which will save you tons of money on your electric bill... although, you will still be paying hundreds to keep cool in the dog days of summer. Many people pack an ice chest and head out to Lake LaVon for a beat-the-heat hootenanny. It's a great place for fishing and swimming in clean, clear waters. The lake is surrounded by hiking trails, picnic areas, and neighborhood parks. It's definitely the most entertaining and refreshing way to cool off in the heat of the summer.
The Drive. You will need a car to live here. It's an edge city, and the public transportation system is not comprehensive enough to easily get to work, play, and the grocery store. On the plus side, city planning has made transportation quick and easy. The city is bordered by highways and split down the middle by the Highway 75. There's usually no traffic, and all major roads are wide, with multiple lanes and high speed limits. See? Your need for a car isn’t sounding as bad, is it?
The Great Divide. Plano is split down the middle by Highway 75. On one side of the highway you will find upscale shopping, country clubs, and a "luxury Wal-Mart" (who knew?). Then, directly on the other side, you can find the trailer park. Of course, there are plenty of nice neighborhoods and shopping on the east side, but it's nothing compared to the conspicuous consumption of west side shopaholics and socialites.
Downtown. Downtown Plano features a wide array of eats and treats, adorable antiques, and a few great places to drink. Places you must check out include The Fillmore Pub, A Toast to Texas Int'l Wine Shoppe, Wooden Spoon Scandinavian Shop, Georgia's Farmer's Market and Eisenburg's Skatepark, known for big competitions and great live music.
Old Towne. Postwar cottages, old ranch houses, and Victorian homes from Plano's early farming days make this neighborhood feel like a happy memory the good ol' days. A few residents here have descended from Plano's earliest families.
Douglass Community. An amazing tile mural along the DART light rail track shows a proud history of Douglass Community residents. Originally a home to Plano's early black population, this neighborhood has developed a beautiful, tight-knit community, boasting its old Shiloh Missionary Church, the busy Douglass Community Center, and the future Plano African American Museum.
Haggard Park Heritage Resource District. Architecture and history fans walk this neighborhood for its beautiful historic homes from Plano's early days.
Haggard Addition. This subdivision is home to the oldest neighborhood from post WWII. Homes here were built for returning soldiers and their families, and they were built to last.
West Plano is home to the newest and most prestigious houses. There’s a Saks Fifth Avenue, a Neiman Marcus, a Hummer dealership, and daily hoards of soccer moms making their pilgrimage to the luxury Wal-Mart through streets lined with flowers, palm trees, and slick cars. As such, potholes are something of a rarity around here. The houses are stunning due to the “keeping-up-with-the-Joneses” lifestyle of west side residents. However, apartment life is another story altogether. A little farther from 75, you will find apartments scattered throughout the west side, some of which are nice places packed with luxury amenities. Perks to west side living include awesome golf courses and shopping, as well as the acoustic music night each month at the Heritage Farmstead Museum, where Planoites can enjoy great local bands in the midst of an 1890's setting with farm animals, hay rides, and a historically costumed staff.
East Plano still has the wide open spaces and small-town feel of its old farming days. There are tons of neighborhood parks. For all you park lovers, there is a huge 800-acre nature preserve near the eastern border, with miles of trails through mature tree growth, wildflowers, creeks, a lake, and a pavilion complete with outdoor concerts. The east side is also where you can find the annual balloon festival, a popular event among locals and tourists alike. What’s not to like about balloons? I mean, really.
Plano was named after the Spanish word for "flat", and the Texan-who-doesn't-know-Spanish word for "plain". However, plain and flat are no longer the cliché for this part of the state. Upscale neighborhoods, growing diversity, and cultural and arts districts have created a full-blown city that anyone can enjoy... Plain Jane's and Fancy Nancy's alike. As for you, it’s time to get out there and start hunting! Send us a balloon once you settle in, alright?