Top Rated Dallas Schools

Top rated Dallas schools

1928-Flag-Pole-Restored-4-19-2013 Top rated Dallas schools can be found in the Lakewood community. Whether your student is in grade school, Jr. High or High school Lakewood has some options for you. All of the schools are doing some great work in helping students further their education. Here’s a list of some really good school options here in Lakewood!


To prepare Lakewood Elementary students to become self-motivated problem solvers through the setting and modeling of high standards in a socially diverse community.

It has an active parent/teacher organization and their annual school fall festival has been instrumental in bringing the community together and adding to the charm that is Lakewood.

  • Long Middle School ( : Long Middle School is noted for its International Baccalaureate program. When Long first opened their doors in 1933, it was named for a superintendent of the Dallas school district during the turn of the 20th century. At that time, they were only the second Jr. High School to open in Dallas. Now they are the premier middle school in Lakewood with students continuing on from their International Baccalaureate program into the recognized IB program at Woodrow Wilson High School. In 2005, Long was designated a Dallas historical landmark.
  • Woodrow Wilson High School ( : Unique with Woodrow Wilson High School is that it maintains four different academies within its doors and students may choose to have a particular emphasis in their studies.
    • The Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math
    • Business, Finance, and Entrepreneurship
    • Creative and Performing Arts
    • International Baccalaureate (IB) Program

Each of these top rated programs gives depth and helps to prepare students for their personal and professional interests after high school. The International Baccalaureate Program is especially unique inasmuch as it is not offered in every high school and many DISD students outside of Lakewood will apply to the program and drive across the district just to attend.

Across these top rated Dallas schools you will find a robust community involved in many activities for students at these schools… all contributing to the charm and historic nature of Lakewood!

The Lakewood Theater

LakewoodTheaterThe Lakewood Theater

The Lakewood Theater (link)  in Dallas, Texas was built in 1938 at the tail end of the Great Depression.

At the opening ceremony on Oct. 27, 1938, the Dallas Morning News lauded the theater’s cutting edge RCA sound equipment, the first air-conditioning system for a theater in Dallas, and the upholstered auditorium seating. It reported the tower “rises 100 feet and carries 7,000 watts of power for illumination.” The 1,100-seat theater cost $125,000 to build.

The opening movie was “Love Finds Andy Hardy” featuring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland.

The theater’s owner built the Lakewood Theater as a neighborhood theater where family-friendly films would be shown and Lakewood families have visited the theater now for nearly 8 decades.

Over the years the Lakewood Theater has gone through several ownership changes but the façade and the iconic, lighted tower remain as a fixture to Lakewood.The theater has served as not only a single screen movie theater but also a meeting hall, a private dining venue, a desired wedding and reception hall and most recently as a burlesque theater, hosting Rocky Horror Picture Shows.This last fact is particularly interesting since the theater was initially dreamt up as a family-friendly venue.

In January 2015 the last tenant moved out and the current owners are trying to find a replacement tenant that would continue the tradition of keeping the theater as a movie-house.The City of Dallas Landmark Commission has also stepped in and initiated a historic designation for the theater in the summer of 2015 amid concerns that the theater could be razed.Currently, the building is getting an interior facelift to remediate some asbestos and to prepare for the next tenants, whomever they are.But the current owners assure the Lakewood community that the theater will not be torn down.They state that their primary goal is to find a tenant like an Alamo Drafthouse to keep the theater as it was designed.

With the pending historic designation and continued development in the Lakewood and White Rock Lake areas, the Lakewood Theater and its famous lighted tower looks to be a permanent fixture in the Lakewood area for years to come.

A Brief History of White Rock Lake

White Rock LakeWhite Rock Lake, built in 1911 and completely filled in 1914, is perhaps one of the most beautiful places in DFW. This urban oasis, once the main water source for the city of Dallas, has become a recreational haven for Dallas-area residents looking to partake in the park’s well-maintained hike-and-bike trails. The lake also offers sailing, kayaking, bird watching, picnic sites, fishing and even several marathons and other running races throughout the year.

Although, less than 10 minutes from downtown and uptown Dallas, White Rock Lake has a timeless, relaxing feel, which can be a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of The Big D. The biking/jogging trail is exactly 15k around and provides lovely views of the shoreline, downtown, the Dallas Arboretum and the Mockingbird Dog Park. And if you’re a HGTV watcher, the White Rock Lake trail is lined with some of Dallas’ finest homes. Whether you’re a fan of historic, vintage homes or prefer the modern styles of new construction, you’ll certainly be impressed with eclectic home designs around the lake.

Lakewood and Forest Hills are just two of the historic neighborhoods surrounding the lake making it one of Dallas most sought after residential areas. Yet, many homebuyers take existing homes and completely remodel them inside and out, creating that modern, open concept so many love today. Other homebuyers in the area opt to start anew with a vacant lot and build their own dream home from the ground up. Lot sizes range from 10+ acres all the way down to garden-home sized lots and townhomes. And there are even several condominium properties if you’re looking for a simpler, lower maintenance life near the lake.

Whether you’ve lived in the DFW area for years and are considering East Dallas for the first time or if you’re relocating to Dallas from out of state and don’t know anything about the Dallas real estate and housing market, the White Rock Lake area has something for everyone all right in the heart of Dallas, Texas.

5 tips for you to buy a home

HomeLooking to buy a home? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.

Get your finances in order.

Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house.

Find a house you can afford.

As with engagement rings, there’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a home: two-and-a-half times your annual salary. There are also a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. Don’t forget, too, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, etc.

Hire a professional.

While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. That’s why you’re better off using a professional agent than going it alone. If possible, recruit an exclusive buyer agent, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process.

Do your homework.

Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood. Look at prices for the last few months. Come up with an asking price that’s competitive, but also realistic. Otherwise, you may end up ticking off your seller.

Think long term.

Obviously, you shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years. Beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new home’s resale value down the line. When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future.

Moving from a small town, relocating to a big city

moving from a small town

Relocating to a big city

Moving from a small town

Moving from a small town or suburb to a large city can be an intimidating proposition. Here are a few tips to help make your move as painless as possible.

Research before you move. When moving from a small town, it’s important to understand the culture you’re joining. Do research online and find out about school systems, neighborhoods, parking, weather, public transportation, and laws that are native to that area. If you can, visit a city before moving and connect with someone who’s lived there before.

Have a plan. There are a lot of steps to go through before you start packing the moving truck. Find housing before you leave, or at least know where you’ll stay while you look for a home. Never sign a lease on an apartment that you haven’t seen. If you can’t get there, find a friend or an employer to check for you. Have a job waiting for you, or if that’s not possible, know what you’ll do for money in the first few weeks of living there. Try to line up things like driver’s licenses, car insurance, renter’s insurance, and parking passes ahead of time as well.

Get involved. Meeting people in a big city can be daunting. Don’t expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when you arrive: city life is often too noisy and hectic. Take the initiative. If there are things you liked to do in your town, find ways to do those things in the city. Try new things. Volunteer. Big cities offer so many opportunities to engage other people, so find what you like.

Mind your wallet. City life is expensive. Everything costs more: food, insurance, clothes, rent. There are also a lot more ways to get ripped off, whether legally or criminally. Be careful how you spend, and know where your money is going.

Preparing to Sell your home

Preparing to sell your home

Preparing to sell your home

Preparing to sell your home

Preparing to sell your home doesn′t just mean hiring a realtor to stick a sign out front. There are a lot of preparations you should make to ensure you get the best offer possible in the shortest time.

Repair. Just because you’ve gotten used to the cracks in the walls and the rattles in the radiators doesn’t mean a buyer will get used to it too. If you have hardwood floors that need refinishing, be sure to get it done—hardwood is a huge selling point. Buyers like to snoop around, so be sure to fix any sticky doors or drawers as well. Finally, don’t forget to address any issues with the exterior—fences, shingles, sidewalks, etc. After all, without curb appeal, some buyers may never get to see the inside of your home.

Neutralize. You want buyers to see themselves in your home. If your living room has lime green shag, wood-paneled walls, and all your collectibles and personal photographs, it will be much harder for them to imagine themselves in the property as their new home. Try replacing any bold color choices in your floors and walls with something more neutral — some recommended colors might be beiges, tans, and whites. Preparing to sell your home might mean that repainting and reflooring to make everything look fresh and new, and help prospective buyers imagine all the possibilities.

Stage. Once your house is clean and updated, it’s time to play dress up. Home stagers can add small details and décor touches that will bring out the possibilities in the various spaces in your home: lamps, mirrors, throw rugs and pillows, flowers, decorative soaps and towels, patio furniture. Home staging can be particularly useful if your home is especially old or if the exterior looks dated. Think of it as a little mascara and rouge—if it’s done right, you notice the beauty, not the makeup.

Dealing with Financing

Dealing with Financing

dealing with financingAs the events of the last few years in the real estate industry show, people forget about the tremendous financial responsibility of purchasing a home at their peril. Here are a few tips for dealing with financing and the dollar signs so that you can take down that “for sale” sign on your new home.

Get pre-approved. Sub-primes may be history, but you’ll probably still be shown homes you can’t actually afford. By getting pre-approved as a buyer, you can save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can’t afford. You can also put yourself in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Unlike pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual income, debt and credit history. By doing a thorough analysis of your actual spending power, you’ll be less likely to get in over your head.

Choose your mortgage carefully. Used to be the emphasis when it came to mortgages was on paying them off as soon as possible. Today, the debt the average person will accumulate due to credit cards, student loans, etc. means it’s better to opt for the 30-year mortgage instead of the 15-year. This way, you have a lower monthly payment, with the option of paying an additional principal when money is good. Additionally, when picking a mortgage, you usually have the option of paying additional points (a portion of the interest that you pay at closing) in exchange for a lower interest rate. If you plan to stay in the house for a long time—and given the current real estate market, you should—taking the points will save you money.

Do your homework before bidding. Before you make an offer on a home, do some research on the sales trends of similar homes in the neighborhood with sites like Zillow. Consider especially sales of similar homes in the last three months. For instance, if homes have recently sold for 5 percent less than the asking price, your opening bid should probably be about 8 to 10 percent lower than what the seller is asking.

Dallas Arboretum Christmas

DallasArboretumThe Dallas Arboretum Christmas

Celebrate the at the Dallas Arboretum Christmas and the holidays like never before with this centerpiece exhibit featuring an elaborate collection of 25-foot Victorian gazebos filled with the charming costumed characters and whimsical animals made famous by the beloved Christmas carol. Each gazebo will be encased in glass and extravagantly decorated on all sides to provide a dramatic, three-dimensional experience, and will feature mechanical parts and festive music that will assist in bringing the characters to an even more life-like state.

Play The 12 Days of Christmas Search

During the evening, the garden remains open for extended hours for the entirety of The 12 Days at Night displaying the illuminated gazebos for magical nighttime viewing. New this year is the addition of 500,000 lights throughout the Dallas Arboretum garden, trimming the architecture of the historic homes and lighting the canopies overhead—including a 30-foot-tall tree at the center of property. Click the link above to grab a glimpse of some of what the 12 Days of Christmas is all about!

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