Where Should I Live in Dallas? The Definitive Housing Guide for Life in the Big D

Welcome to Dallas


Moving is a pain. Period. End of story.

Each step in the process is worse than the last, and the people who are supposed to be helping you seem to  (at best) only complicate the matter more or (at worst) to get paid exorbitant amounts of money for providing very little service. Yet almost all of them fail to even answer the most fundamental question:

“Where should I live in Dallas?”

After multiple apartment searches myself since moving to Dallas five years ago, I came to the realization that there had to be a better way. Despite the dozens of “apartment locators” and over 10,000 Realtors in DFW (I’m not kidding), no one had a website that allowed me to search for the things I cared most about.

Which ultimately forced me to ask the question, if in 30 seconds I can find the best restaurants in Dallas, why can''t I do this for where I want to live?

This is where I come in.


So it’s at this point that you’re probably wondering, who is this guy and how is he qualified to guide me through Dallas?

Thank you, I’m glad you asked.

I am the founder of RentSavy.com, which will soon become the web’s first apartment decision engine. It’s a concept that originated from my experience in real estate learning what ultimately drives people’s decisions. I would have thought it was price or location, but I quickly realized that those are usually nothing more than starting points.

In fact, the number one question I get from my clients isn’t a specific question about the best apartments or the best deals, it’s a general question about where I think someone like them should live. A question that more often than not leaves me feeling more like a dating coach for people and their homes!


Over the next few months I’m going to unpack the ins and outs of the major areas of Dallas. Sort of a “20’s and 30’s Guide to DFW.” Hopefully by the end of our time together, you (the readers of ILiveInDallas.com) will be able to make a more informed opinion of where you want to live, grab a bite to eat, or drink your next cup of coffee.

In other words, my goal here is to save you time (and a few grey hairs) during your future housing searches.

(You can thank me later).


Many of you will no doubt remember the incomparable An Insider’s Complete Guide to Oak Cliff Dallas from back in June. A post that, if you’re like me, left you wanting more. Well Neil and Jennifer kindly asked me if I’d lend my expertise to continue mapping out this fair burg of ours in a way that makes it easily digestible.

So with the bar set high, I’ve decided to tackle Dallas in the following manner (check back here for the updated links once the series is complete):

  1. Lakewood & East Dallas
  2. Deep Ellum
  3. Oak Cliff
  4. Uptown
  5. Downtown
  6. Greenville Avenue
  7. Park Cities

Then we’ll close out our series with some additional thoughts about where to rent in Dallas to get the best bang for your buck, a look at up-and-coming areas of Dallas, and maybe a little Q&A section from reader comments (this is where you come in).


We’ll start our series with a spotlight on Lakewood aka “A City Within a City for People Who Hate Big Cities.” In it I’ll highlight everything from, “Who lives in Lakewood” to the “Top 10 locally owned eateries”, to the... well you get the picture.

In the meantime, feel free to chat with me on twitter @mike_ivey or leave a comment below with any suggestions for future posts.

To be continued...

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30 Responses to “Where Should I Live in Dallas? The Definitive Housing Guide for Life in the Big D”

  1. This is exactly what I needed when I moved to Dallas about a year and a half ago! I can't wait to share this insight with newbies who I know that will be moving to the area!

  2. I'm excited about this upcoming series. I've lived in Dallas for five years as well and have lived in Whiterock Lake, Deep Ellum, Downtown, and Uptown.

  3. East Dallas representin'. We used to live near Oak Lawn and East Dallas, while different, is great!

    1. Thanks for the comment! Any personal recommendations for places to check out in east dallas?

  4. @Alisha - I couldn't agree more. When I first moved to Dallas all I knew was that Uptown was supposed to be a lot of fun, but that's about it. So now hopefully others can learn from my frustrations and misfortunes (read: experience) looking for apartments in Dallas.

    Hope you enjoy the series!

  5. @Alisha - I couldn't agree more. The only thing I knew when I moved here back in '05 was that Uptown "was a lot of fun." So now hopefully others can take advantage of my frustrations (read: experience) with search for a place to live here in DFW.

    Hope you enjoy the series!

  6. commmme on I got so excited to read this and it's not here yet!

    1. Haha, sorry for that! Be sure to check back for the first "real" post here pretty quick. This will serve as the index (so to speak) once the series is complete.

  7. [...] more here: Where Should I Live in Dallas? The Definitive Housing Guide for … Share and [...]

  8. So excited to find your series. I am moving to Dallas in October 2011 and have no idea where to live. Looking forward to your insights.

    1. @MAJE - Thanks for the comment. You're exactly who this series is meant for, so be sure to stick around and check out the future posts. And feel free to ask any questions (there's bound to be something I miss).

  9. Almost makes me want to move to Dallas. And if I did, I'd know the guy to talk to! Can't wait for the series...

  10. Great idea, Mike! And I think the info will be applicable to people who are also looking to buy a home and not just rent a place here in Dallas. It's amazing somebody hasn't come up with this before.

  11. Hi there, I'm moving to the Big D and will be working west of Dallas and just SW of Love Field. Any tips on cool urban places to live? I'd love to buy a place that is walking distance to shops, restaurants, a gym with a sense of community.

  12. There is deep ellum, anywhere on lower greenville ave, or downtown live oak. area. If you intend to take dart rail then any of the main stops on the northbound rail line might meet some of your needs.

  13. hey there, can't wait to see what you have to say. i'm shooting to move to dallas for my master's in spring 2012. thanks ahead to all for advice and tips you give. :)

  14. We are moving to the Dallas area soon and know very little about it. Can't wait to read more from you!

  15. this needs to be revisited

  16. I guess this isn't happening, huh?

  17. [...] after a loooong hiatus, I’m back with the continuation of my five part series, "Where should I live in Dallas?" This post is all about Lakewood, a neighborhood that I've [...]

  18. [...] post is all about Deep Ellum and is part 3 of the “Where Should I Live In Dallas?” [...]

  19. [...] post is all about Uptown Dallas and is part 4 of the “Where Should I Live In Dallas?” [...]

  20. The Uptown Guide is now live. Link in the table of contents above.

  21. [...] post is all about Downtown Dallas and is part 5 of the “Where Should I Live In Dallas?” [...]

  22. Just a quick upgrade about this - I'm working with ILiveInDallas to finish the staying community books. Strong Ellum was already released a couple weeks ago (link above) and the others are in the works.

  23. I have lived in Dallas since 1983 and have lived in just about every city and suburb there is, from Duncanville to Sherman. I always wanted to live in a loft but prices were outrageous. Thankfully though, there is a part of Dallas that no one seems to mention or even think about. Now, I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing,

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  26. Hello, I am a teacher and about to take a job for a year in a school in Dallas. Before you take the plunge, I would collect some impressions and advice from people who have lived in this city (or Texas more generally). Is this a livable city? I read that it was the most dangerous city in the US ... that what he feels, is that really the reality of the city?

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