Richardson, TX is an affluent community that straddles Dallas and Collin counties.
The city itself is named after Alfred S. Richardson, the secretary of the Houston & Texas Central Railroad, which is probably the founders’ way of paying homage to the fact that this was a railroad town. Most of the original settlers here were people from Kentucky and Tennessee, who traveled between 700-900 miles looking to change their fortunes in the mid-1800s.
Today, Richardson probably has the highest footprint of telecom companies in the whole state. You can find the local headquarters of AT&T, Verizon, DirectTV, Cisco Systems, ZTE, Samsung, MetroPCS, and Fujitsu here.
But the main employer of the area is probably the insurance industry. You have the regional headquarters of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, as well as Geico, State Farm, and United Healthcare located in the community. The four companies, for instance, are responsible for 15,000 jobs.
As of 2015, there were 106,000 people living in Richardson but this balloons to over 150,000 in the daytime when employees from adjacent areas file into the city for work. Compare that to early 1900 when there were only 600 people living in the area.
While most areas in the US have suffered the brunt of the economic slowdown, Richardson remained robust in 2017 with a total assessed value of $14 billion.
Healthcare and Education
The doctor-to-patient ratio here is quite high, which can be expected since the residents can afford private health care. For primary care, there’s one medical practitioner to 67 people and one dentist for every 78 residents.
There are also plenty of school districts in the area. The biggest is the Richardson Independent School District with 58 schools. This is followed by International Leadership of Texas with nine schools, and Evolution Academy Charter School with three institutions.
Richardson has more than 60 pre-schools, which form the basis for foundational education for kids. This indicates two things: the city puts a premium on education as a gauge of progress, and more families are relocating to the area and they have the intention of staying for good.
The biggest college is the University of Texas at Dallas.
Although transportation is convenient because the city is included in the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system, with its trains and bus rapid transport, most homeowners here have cars of their own. Each family has an average of two cars. The average commute for the city is around 22 minutes.
You really need to commute or drive in order to get around the city. There are plenty of shopping malls, restaurants, and establishments if you want to shop, dine out, and just hang around.
You don’t have to worry while traveling around because Richardson is a very safe community. According to NeighborhoodScout, the average crime rate here is 1.42 per 1,000 residents. That’s significantly lower compared to the 4.34 ratio in Texas.
Things to Do in Richardson
Feed the ducks at Cottonwood Park, which is a favorite among locals as a place to jog, walk the dog, go on a picnic or just kill time. Get under the shade of the native species of trees in the park. There are also art festivals scheduled regularly in the area, which should be worthwhile to check out.
There are actually more than 30 parks within the city’s territory. The whole list can be seen here.
If cars are your thing, head off to the North Texas Automotive Museum which has over 80 vehicles on display. You can see hot rods and vintage Rolls-Royces, and other brands like Oldsmobile, Ford, and Chevy to the more modern Alfa Romeo, SLR McLaren, and Mercedes.
Four Bullets Brewery is a popular local hangout which gives a Texas twist to traditional English ale. It’s a great atmosphere that will allow you to catch up with old friends or make new friends.
To beat the heat, bring your kids and go ice skating at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter, which used to be called the Ice Training Center. Or you can take a dip at the Heights Family Aquatic Center, which is actually a waterpark that is perfect for kids and adults alike.
You can go to Eastside, CityLine, Preston Park Village, or Richardson Square for some shopping. For a more exotic flair, head off to Cali Saigon Mall, which is your one-stop shop for everything Asian from wares, cuisine, trinkets, and goods.
There’s a movie theater called Funasia that is dedicated to promoting Asian cinema. There’s also DFW Chinatown at the heart of the city. This is actually a metroplex where you can sample authentic Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese dishes, while also purchasing Asian goods at the grocery store.
Real Estate Profile of Richardson
Richardson is definitely an attractive area to relocate. The average home listing in the area has grown modestly year-over-year. Right now, the average listing for a home in the community is around $366,000. One indicator of the rising demand is that the total inventory of homes has gotten smaller year-over-year. The total number of available houses was down 5% a year ago.
Most market projections forecast a 10% increase in property value in 2018. Due to the demand, it’s logical that the price per square foot here is higher compared to the central business district in Dallas and Fort Worth. The price per square foot in Richardson is pegged at $149 against the $136 in Dallas Metro. Rent prices are also $250 higher here.
Everything is big in Texas, right? And so are the houses here in the area where 2,000-3,000 square foot homes are the norm. With temperatures soaring to the high 90s from May to September, you can expect to see properties with swimming pools as homeowners try to find ways to ward off the heat.
There are plenty of mixed-used developments in Richardson, following the pioneering zone called Block 24, which is simply known by locals as The Block, which was established in 2001. Now you have Eastside, The Venue, Brickrow, Galatyn Park Urban Center, and The Shire.
Surprisingly, the cost of living in Richardson, despite having higher household income than Dallas Metro, is lower compared to the national average.