Are you considering moving to or visiting Allen, Texas? If so, this article is one you will want to read! Keep reading to find out more on what the reasons are to not move to Allen, Texas!
1. Large High School
Allen, Texas has a population of over 100,000 people and only has one high school. While some may love the community care that may come with a large high school, it’s not the most ideal situation for students.
With over 5,000 students enrolled at this school, it feels more like a mini-college campus rather than a typical high school experience. For my family, this aspect of the school was a key reason why we didn’t move to Allen. One reason was that some kids may not thrive in such a large, impersonal environment.
Another reason for disliking the large school is that it doesn’t give all of its students an equal opportunity to participate in normal high school activities. This is especially true when it comes to sports. The school’s sports teams restrict who can participate so only the best will be able to play. Compared with high schools in Frisco, Texas that generally house up to 2000 students, Allen’s schools can’t give each student in its broad student body the chances to participate that they may be looking for.
2. High Property Prices
Are you looking for a house in Allen? Because they aren’t as affordable as it used to be. The average cost of housing currently sits at approximately $660K, while not 5 years ago it was closer to $300K. Compared with the average cost of housing in the United States, which is $370K, and in Texas, which is $350K, Allen’s prices are significantly higher.
The high housing costs aren’t just restricted to homes, as apartment rent is expensive here, too. The average cost of apartment rent in Texas is nearly $1,000 per month, while the average rent in Allen, Texas is $1,771. Whether living a single or family life, those looking to move to Allen may find that it is not the most cost-efficient option.
3. High Cost of Living
The cost of living in Allen is also much higher than in other areas of the state. On average, the city is generally more expensive than other areas around Texas and beyond. In comparison to the rest of Texas, Allen is more costly when it comes to groceries, healthcare, housing, and utilities. These costs, stacked on top of housing costs, make it a difficult place to live in.
Compared with Dallas, which still ranks a little higher than the state average when it comes to living costs, Allen is quite the pricey place to live. This trend seems to have occurred in recent years, and it’s not clear whether these prices will continue to grow or if they will eventually settle closer to the state average.
4. Generic Suburb Experience
One downside to living in the suburbs is that they’re just plain boring. Rows of houses that are periodically interrupted by a Walmart Supercenter, school building, or small park aren’t much to look at. In the suburbs of Allen, as well as surrounding cities in North Texas, this is especially compounded by the houses and yards that are crammed together, making it difficult to enjoy yard games or porch-sitting evenings.
For those who want a more fast-paced life, Allen’s suburbs aren’t going to meet those needs. Several aspects of suburbs tend to make it harder to enjoy extracurriculars; yard upkeep, extra travel time for work and errands, housekeeping, and more, make it difficult to really get outside of the house.
5. There’s Not Much to Do
For people who enjoy a variety of extracurricular activities, Allen isn’t the place to be. By nature of being a generic suburb in North Texas, there just isn’t much to do. Many destinations that would be considered local activities rely on being able to spend money; from malls to restaurants, to a Top Golf location. For people on a budget, or for those that want more from the local social sphere than walking and window shopping, Allen may not be the place they should call home.
The only thing to do in terms of spending time in nature is go to a local park, which, in Texas weather, generally doesn’t make it to the top of people’s “Favorite Things to Do in Texas” list. For those who enjoy little, daily things to do around town or love getting their hiking boots on, Allen isn’t the ultimate destination to call home.
6. Mall Traffic
Do other cities have their own malls? Most do. Does the Allen Outlet Mall still act as a local tourist spot and shopping-spree destination? Yes, it does. Some Allen residents may enjoy the presence of the outlet mall, but it’s also drawing traffic from the surrounding cities.
With the high volume of traffic that comes from suburban growth, getting around the streets becomes complicated when people are also coming from all around the general area. If traffic isn’t your thing, then moving to Allen might not be what you’re looking for.
7. Too Much Hot Weather
If you’re looking to move to Texas, expect the heat to be an ever-present aspect of daily life. Summer temperatures, on average, are around 95 degrees Fahrenheit, with fluctuation that unfortunately breaks the 100-degree barrier. The out-of-the-frying-pan-and-into-the-fire temperatures can last up to 5 months of the year and are followed by fairly mild winters. Over the course of a calendar year, things generally start to heat up around April and May and don’t cool down until October.
Because of these weather conditions, the existence of a 4-seasons cycle is practically non-existent in Allen. While springtime might see a few more green leaves and sprouting flowers than the previous season, the most present seasons are summer (hot) and winter (cold). If you enjoy the experiences that come with changing seasons, Allen may not be the place for you.
Another downturn to Allen’s weather is that it sits right in tornado alley, making it a high-risk location for tornado-related damage. The wind conditions that come with tornadoes aren’t just limited to the weather phenomenon, though; the city gets lots of daily wind, too. The windiest parts of the year last from the end of October to the beginning of June, and during that time, the wind reaches speeds of 11.7 miles per hour or higher.
As someone from another city nestled in this alley, I don’t enjoy the wind conditions. Especially for those with longer hair: unless you don’t mind having hair in your face all the time or want to commit to an updo every day, Allen isn’t an ideal location. Not to mention that the constant wind is just uncomfortable. So, if gusty wind conditions and tornados aren’t up your alley, then tornado alley might not be the place for you.
9. No Nature or Scenery
As is the case with many North Texas suburbs, there really isn’t much in the way of natural, scenic nature. In part, this is due to the high concentration of suburban neighborhoods that plague cities in the area.
It may seem odd to consider neighborhoods in the suburbs as a detriment to their environment, but they are. The constant buildup of homes reduces natural areas and makes for quite a dull landscape. Putting a park here and there doesn’t make up for the number of homes that are crammed together here, especially when those parks sometimes remove aspects of the landscape like trees, natural shrubbery, and animal life.
Allen does have a few lakes, but none are naturally occurring. They are all man-made lakes, and while it’s nice that the city has worked to provide some relaxing natural areas, visiting one of these bodies of water just won’t be the same as heading to Utah’s Bear Lake or going to the coast for a beach day.
10. Unnerving Wildlife
Have you ever stepped out the door to go to work or school and found a bobcat or coyote in your front yard? My family has, as they are just a natural part of life in the broader North Texas area.
Their presence in neighborhoods often has to do with the high population of other small types of wildlife, especially squirrels and rabbits, and they tend not to be too scared of humans. These animals are especially unnerving to run into at night when they are not as easy to spot. While they aren’t particularly aggressive upon accidental close encounters, it still isn’t the most comforting experience to run into a toothy predator.
11. Low Walkability
Walkability is the ability of residents of a city to get around town without needing a car or needing to use too much public transportation. In a walkable city, people would be able to comfortably walk from their homes to schools, stores, libraries, parks, and more. Additionally, walkable cities generally have better access to public transportation.
Oftentimes, suburban areas are built in a spread-out plan. They are divided into neighborhood areas and storefront areas. In Allen, it’s impossible to get around without a car. The only really “walkable” aspects of the city are the trails that might be found in a residential area or park.
As a pedestrian myself who is from a city near Allen with a similar walkability problem, going back to visit home is always a little sad. Having to drive at least 10 minutes to get anywhere always puts me in the sad position of asking myself how I’m going to get out and walk as much as I normally do. Living in a walkable city allows me to walk everywhere I need to go. North Texas suburbia doesn’t provide the same opportunity.
There isn’t really even the option to park and walk somewhere unless you’re at the park. Stores, libraries, and restaurants are all too far apart to make walking a reasonable option. So. for those who prefer to walk around town, Allen isn’t the place to be.
12. No Public Transportation
Allen also doesn’t provide any public transportation. No buses, no trains, not even a bike lane (which makes sense with the lack of walkable access). In such a large city, especially one that is located as north as Allen is, it is more surprising that there is no public transportation available than it is that the city doesn’t have a good walk score. A city like Allen could benefit greatly from providing a bus system that gets people around the city, and especially from transportation that could connect people to cities like Fort Worth, Dallas, and the surrounding areas.
Prioritizing car travel generally isn’t a good look for a city. It boosts traffic, makes it so that a lot of space is taken up by parking lots, and results in endless construction of roads that weren’t built to handle so much traffic.
Additionally, the lack of public transit limits how much locals are able to interact with their city. Access to public transportation means that people have more options for connecting with their community; meanwhile, the nature of car travel is that it is less easy to notice smaller details of a city, like local businesses, events, and art.
13. Not Conveniently Located
For people looking for convenient access to high-commuter areas such as Dallas or the DFW International Airport, Allen is not a convenient location to live in. The airport is located nearly 40 minutes away, and the city of Dallas is nearly an hour away. This may be especially inconvenient for those who need to commute to Dallas for work, as with the lack of proper public transportation and the location in the distant suburbs, Allen doesn’t make it easy to get to high-destination locations.
Because of this, Allen residents will need to take many of the surrounding highways and toll roads to get around. A round trip from Allen to Dallas using the toll roads would cost more than $3, in addition to the gas required to drive down. For those who need close access to airport travel or need to make consistent trips to Dallas, Allen is an impractical location to live in.