NOTE: I'm in the process of creating a video which will be a replication of this article along with video snippets and many more pictures, so if you're not a reader, just give me a couple of days to complete it and I'll post the link. I’m going to share why I think Fairview is so unique and special place to raise a family.
I started selling real estate in Fairview around year 2000 and quickly found out many Allen residents, right next door, didn’t even know Fairview existed. There was no sign on Central Expressway indicating its presence and not a single commercial building. Fairview was just a collection of nice residential developments with homes on huge lots. You had to stumble on Fairview to find it by driving down a two lane blacktop (Stacy Rd) with absolutely nothing but farmland on either side. It's come a LONG way since then!
Fairview is situated right on Hwy 75 (Central Expressway) which runs into the heart of the downtown Dallas business area and also Hwy 121 (President George Bush Turnpike) which is a 51 mile tollway connecting Fairview with Plano, Frisco, DFW Airport and points beyond. Some Fairview developments are only one or two two traffic lights away from both of these major thoroughfares.
If your business office is in downtown Dallas, you can hop right on Central Expressway and it's a straight shot there. But more and more businesses are moving into the suburbs of Plano and Frisco and they're much closer to Fairview. Those two cities are only ten minutes away at most times of the day using the George Bush Turnpike.
The Way Fairview Was Developed
Fairview is located right in the path of Dallas suburban sprawl so early on the residents started planning their town the right way. They wanted a strong commercial tax base to provide for their city services but also wanted to keep it all along Central Expressway and out of the residential areas. They envisioned a town of single family homes on one acre minimum lots and for the most part, that's exactly what they have today.
Of course, there's a lesser known reason Fairview turned out the way it has and oddly enough, it’s not because of anything the town was responsible for. Collin County, of which Fairview is a part of, requires homes without public sewer to be on at least an acre of land to allow the septic systems to work properly. With the exception of Heritage Ranch, the only area where sewer is located in Fairview is between Greenville and Central Expwy. That's where all the commercial and high density residential is found.
By the way, if you're concerned by stories you've heard about septic systems, these aren't the septic systems of old. They're state of the art systems inspected four times a year to make sure they're working properly. In fact, they're just smaller versions of the large public septic systems people in high density areas are used to.
Fairview welcomed its first retail store, the 7-11 at Greenville and Stacy Rd around 2004. It was welcomed and the first time, Fairview residents had someplace to pick up items rather than driving further into Allen, and back then, Allen didn’t have much in the way of retail either. When the 7-11 came in, it was an immediate hit. I understand it took a year just to get the permitting through the town of Fairview city council because they were insisting on a nicer, and more expensive structure than your average 7-11 store.
Fairview old-timers will remember the sign at in front of the 7-11 which read “Keeping it Country”. It stood for many years, but as Fairview developed and the Fairview Town Center came in right across the street, the sign lost its meaning and was taken down.
Fairview residents will remember the Willis Food Store shown below which is now gone, but we still have the iconic "sputnik" water tower across the street from the 7-11 still remain. I hope they always leave it as it's a reminder of the past.
The Sonic Drive-in across the road from Fairview in Allen was the first fast food restaurant to come into the area. This picture of riders parking their horses while eating there is one of my favorites. The old and the new.
Buyers looking at Fairview fifteen years ago used to tell me they loved the look and feel of Fairview, but there’s no shopping. Where would they go if they want to have a dinner out or just pick up some items for dinner? Where’s a hardware store, etc. I had to explain that to my sellers when they ruled their homes out.
Ironically, when all the commercial started coming in, homeowners would ask me if all the growth would hurt their home values. I assured them it wouldn't and has actually made their homes even more valuable.
There’s now over 3 million SF of retail, shopping, and entertainment collectively between The Fairview Town Center and The Village at Allen across the street with more on the way. A major development has been announced for Fairview on the land located at the southeast corner of Central Expressway and George Bush Freeway with even more retail and office space.
If sports are important to you, this area is a mecca. Within a few minutes of any Fairview residence, there’s professional hockey with the Allen Americans or you can enjoy a rodeo, gun show, or concert at the Allen Event Center shown above. If you’re a golfer, the Top Golf training facility is just down the street from the Allen Event Center. The Heritage Ranch Golf Course in Fairview is semi-private and one of the nicer courses in the entire area.
For soccer, Fairview has its own lighted soccer grounds although most Fairview residents probably don’t even know it exists. Kids can spend the day at the Hydrous Water Ski Park or the Allen Edge Skate Park located across the street from it. The city of Allen with 105,000 residents can afford all of these great venues and Fairview residents get the benefit of their use too.
Frisco, a city of about 190,000 people is just ten minutes away on Hwy 121 and it offers even more sports venues like the Frisco Roughriders professional baseball team, FC Dallas professional soccer, and the Dallas Stars professional hockey. Frisco is also the home of the world class Dallas Cowboys training facility which is really impressive. You need to take a tour! It's also the new home of the PGA along with the new course they’re building.
Two large and highly respected hospitals are located within several minutes’ drive of Fairview. Presbyterian Hospital in Allen is just a mile or so south of Fairview on Central Expressway and Medical Center of McKinney is even closer on the boundary of Fairview and McKinney. Paramedics have told me McKinney Medical Center has a great reputation for handling severe trauma cases and they consider it the Parkland Hospital (in Dallas) of the North.
Traffic has increased in Fairview with all the new commercial and apartments along Central Expressway and Greenville but residents still enjoy getting around the city quickly. They aren’t waiting for two light changes to get through intersections and unless there’s been an accident, backups are rare.
Fairview residents also know how to avoid the higher traffic areas by using the back roads. One of the most scenic drives is up Orr Road in far east Fairview which takes them to the Fairview soccer fields and the really neat McKinney historical town square.
There are two school districts serving Fairview, McKinney ISD and Lovejoy ISD. While McKinney ISD has excellent ratings, Lovejoy ISD has been getting all the attention over the past 15 years or so. It’s consistently one of the top three public school districts in Texas as rated by the Texas Education Agency trading the top spots with Highland Park and Carroll, two other highly acclaimed districts.
It all started in 1917 with "The Little Red Schoolhouse" shown below, the original Lovejoy Elementary School. It's now being used as the Lovejoy administration building and is a nice reminder of how far the district has come. The lone Lovejoy elementary was originally part of Allen ISD. If you'd like to learn more about the district and the story, there's much more on our Lovejoy page and here's the LINK. If you'd like to see a quick view of the Lovejoy schools and where they're located, here's another LINK
As much as anything, the growth in Fairview has been fueled by the attention Lovejoy ISD has received locally, state-wide, and nationally. No school within Lovejoy has ever received anything less than the highest academic rating by the Texas Education Agency and that’s remarkable.
We relocate buyers into Fairview for their kids all the time. They want them to attend Lovejoy schools and many are leaving private schools to do it. Every year well over 100 families pay the out of district fee of up to $12K per year for their child to attend Lovejoy ISD. That speaks volumes about the prestige and reputation of the district.
Along with the tremendous academic reputation of Lovejoy School District, Lovejoy High School has also set the bar for girl’s volleyball. They’ve already won the Texas state title a staggering eight times and become a dynasty. In 2020 the team was named the top national high school girl’s volleyball team by Volleyball Magazine.
Lovejoy ISD is not a large school district compared to many of Texas’ major city school districts, but parents who have chosen to live in the district appreciate the fact. With the smaller size, the kids tend to better know each other as do the teachers and administration.
Because there are no apartments within Lovejoy ISD, it doesn't experience the usual high turnover rate with their students. Kids often start out together in first grade and remain in the district all the way through high school with their friends.
PTA and meet the teachers event are always well attended and parent participation is almost unheard of. When a teacher has a need for some volunteer help making copies or some other project they’re working on, all they have to do is put the word out. Within an hour, the need is taken care of by a parent volunteer. I know because we used to be volunteers and by the time we got our call in, someone had already volunteered. Great education begins with parent participation and that’s where Lovejoy ISD really shines.
Lovejoy ISD is considered a property wealthy school district by the state of Texas so it’s always fighting the battle of losing tax revenues to other school districts. To offset this monetary drain, the district has fund raising events throughout the year and the parents always respond.
One example is the annual Denim and Diamonds social. It’s an upscale dinner, auction, and party where Lovejoy parents can reconnect and raise funds for the district. The event raises well into the mid $100K range and all of those proceeds go right to the district. We like to sponsor the bourbon tasting booth for some reason. If you'd like to see more of the 2019, pre-covid event where no-one was wearing masks, here's the LINK.
Fairview has come a long way since it was operating out of a decrepit old building on Greenville Avenue. It now owns its own beautiful four story town hall. I’d be interested to know if there’s another town of around 8,000 residents with such an impressive town hall, but there can’t be many in the entire country.
The city receives guaranteed taxes of one million dollars per year from the Fairview Town Center. That helps tremendously to provide the funds needed to build a four story city hall along with a fully staffed police force and fire department.
By the way, the thing I've always thought it was pretty neat the back of the building, which really isn't used by visitors, is just as stately as the front. Since it's the dominant structure within the Fairview Town Center it had to be dressed up as well.
Fairview used to be a best kept secret in the Dallas area but those days are long forgotten. The town has become known for it’s beautiful homes in developments like Oakwood Estates, Tranquility Farms, Stone Creek Estates, River Oaks, and Three Oaks, Ascot Heath, and The Woods of Ascot Heath. If you’ve ever been to the hill country in central Texas, it has a similar feel with small winding roads, hills, mature trees and creeks.
There's also open land where you can still see horses and cattle grazing. With one to two acre lots selling from $450K and up (if you can still find them) it's just impractical to use this valuable land for grazing but it's sure nice to enjoy it now.
Then there's the 289 acre Heard Wildlife Sanctuary right across the street from Fairview in McKinney. It features five separate and distinct habitats of Blackland prairie, wetlands, bottomland forest, upland forest and white rock escarpment. It’s a peaceful and quiet walk along the paths and hard to believe it’s so close to two major thoroughfares and cities. The tours also offer an amazing learning experience for kids and adults alike.
Fairview is very proactive in trying to preserve our dark skies. With their lighting restrictions they can designate the amount of light that can be projected in both the residential and commercial areas and in which direction. They want street lights directing light down, not up into the sky. That, along with Lake Lavon being located to their immediate east, helps to keep skies darker.
The map below shows the commercial areas in green which allow more lighting and the residential areas in blue with less. If you'd like to read the ordinance, here's the Fairview dark skies ordinance, here's the LINK.
An Affordable Mixture of Housing Opportunities
When I mention Fairview to people these days, they recognize the name. The comment I always get is "I've heard you have to be a millionaire to live there". Much of that is the result of homes like those shown below. These are pictures of six of the Fairview million dollar plus homes we've sold and and if you'd like to see more, here's a LINK.
The median price for new construction homes on acreage is now $1 million and much of that is the cost of the lot. It's becoming increasingly difficult to find any home on acreage for under $500K. If you do, it's probably a smaller, older generation home requiring updating. In my opinion, those are the best opportunities in Fairview.
The three homes shown below are older homes on acre plus lots. They all sold at over $500K but well below $1 million. The most popular price point in Fairview by number of sales is around $800K
If you don't have to live on acreage, the three developments shown below are great options. All are in west Fairview and have public sewer so the lots can be smaller.
Sloan Creek is very popular development with newer generation homes and nice sized city lots with back yards. Apple Crossing, under construction at the time of this post offer brand new construction with smaller homes and small lots. And the areas all within walking distance of Fairview Town Center offers duplexes, condominiums, and apartments with very small back yards, if any.
There's even an active living community restricted to 50 years old and up called Heritage Ranch in east Fairview. For various reasons, Fairview allowed public sewer to be brought into that area so the homes are smaller with very small back yards. Many of them back up the golf course which winds its way through the development.
Heritage Ranch has an excellent semi-private golf course, driving range, tennis and pickle ball courts, and an indoor and outdoor pool. Inside the attractive clubhouse is the restaurant, pool room, meeting areas, and various meeting rooms for social events. It's a gated and guarded community which is nice for seniors wanting to take trips and not worry about their homes being vandalized.
Once the kids have moved off to college or left the home, quite a few Fairview homeowners elect to move into Heritage Ranch when they sell their homes on acreage. It's a very well run community.
Home prices are escalating in Heritage Ranch just like everywhere else in Fairview but you'll still find much more affordable housing here. When these homes were built, lot costs weren't nearly as high as they are today and of course, they're much smaller lots than the acreage homes.
And Last, But Certainly Not Least, The Residents are the Reason Fairview is Special
Just take a drive through any Fairview neighborhood and you’ll probably see drivers waving at you even if they don’t know you or recognize your car. Texans by nature are friendly but a lot of that is lost within the big cities.
Fairview residents share a common bond and values. Even with the inevitable growth, I know the townspeople are very committed to keeping it that way.
What About Lucas, Texas, Right Next Door?
In some ways, Fairview and Lucas are joined at the hip, but in others, they're quite a bit different. We’ve lived in Lucas for over twenty years and I’m an unabashed "Lucas homer”. I’ll be talking about this small town in a future post so stay tuned.