So to start, the good stuff.
We have great schools.
I’ve been thrilled to have my kiddo get to be a part of this district and she has had a great education. Most of her teachers have even had their master’s degree. The principal makes an effort to know his students and they’re all about making school fun. So fun they start the morning off with the music going and a lot of the staff is out in the dropoff area to greet the kids and start the day off with great energy.
We have 16 elementary schools, three middle schools, two high schools, and a College and Career Academy that focuses on offering STEM programming along with career clusters that allow students to explore career options and professional certifications.
The total student enrollment for the district is 16,859 and we have 1,041 full-time teachers. Ratings weren’t taken the last two years for the state of Texas, but the last report from 2019 shows we have an overall A rating for the state with a score of 91.
Our location with Lake Ray Hubbard stretching through the county is pretty great. Lake Ray Hubbard is a recreational lake where there is plenty of boating, sailing, watersports, and fishing. Most of the lake is surrounded by residential properties, so there are only a few areas where you can publicly access the lake.
If you’re looking for a sand beach to enjoy at this lake, you’re actually not going to find it unless you live in one community, Chandlers Landing. Residents of Chandlers get to enjoy a private sand beach that’s about as big a tennis court.
The neighborhoods that either have direct access to the lake or have next to a lake access point are:
The aforementioned Chandlers Landing where there’s a marina.
Harbor Bay Marina that’s next to the neighborhood of Lakeside Village.
Heath Golf and Yacht does not have a marina or boat ramp but it does have slips for day-only docking. This way if you’re spending a day on the lake you could park your boat in one of the slips and walk up to enjoy food at the restaurant but you have to be a neighborhood resident to enjoy either of those.
For a population of 44,000-plus, Rockwall has a small-town feel. We have a farmers’ market, lots of small, local businesses and the idea of supporting your neighbor has a nice feel to it. You’ll often run into friends or neighbors at a restaurant or at the grocery store.
Then there’s number Four..
Which expands a little on number three.. We are small in size.
We are the smallest county in Texas. At just 149 square miles, you don’t have to go far to get from one side to the other. This also means that you can get anywhere you need to be relatively quickly. We have two Krogers, two Tom Thumbs, two Aldi stores, a Target , a Walmart and a lot more. There’s little reason you need to leave Rockwall and you can get all your shopping done so quickly.
We have great house prices considering our median household income. Our median household income in 2019 was $100,920. Our median home price in August of 2021 was $385,000. That’s a home that’s only 3.8 times our household income. When you look at the city of Dallas, the
median household income in 2019 was $52,580 but the median sales price of a home in August 2021 was $434,500. That’s 8.3 times the household income.
So I’ll give you one more good thing about the city of Rockwall since we’ve got to stop the list somewhere. The city is big on events. We have an active parks and recreation department. You can see what I’m talking about if you go to the website, PlayRockwall.com. Rockwall is actually the Free Live Music Capital of North Texas. Mm hmm. Not sure who else we’re competing with, with a name like that, but we’ll take it! The most notable event series we have is probably the Concerts by the lake. On Thursday evenings from May through July, bands from around DFW come to entertain at the outdoor pavilion located in The Harbor. And they’re really good bands. The harbor is packed with boats along the shoreline and with people in the pavilion.
Alright, so I promised I’d shoot straight with you and tell you the things that aren’t so good about Rockwall too.
The first on the list of not-great-things is the traffic.
We’ve had so much development in Rockwall and in some of the towns further east that our infrastructure has not kept up. So there’s a lot of road congestion during peak times. And if you get stuck on the bridge when there’s an accident… well, don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon. Clearing up accidents on the I-30 bridge over Lake Ray Hubbard can take hours and often all of the lanes are shut down because of the small size. They are working on improving this, though.
Road construction. This is the number 2 item on my con list and you could group it in with the traffic but I think it needs a number all its own because it requires some explanation. You see, things are about to get rough in Rockwall. The main road that goes through the middle of Rockwall, north to south, is about to get widened. We need it but it’s going to be painful while it happens. And also while that’s happening, Interstate-30, the main road that goes through Rockwall going west to east is about to get widened as well. Yep, the two biggest roads through every direction in Rockwall are about to be under some heavy construction. And it’s not little, let’s add a turn lane, type construction. This is going to take a while.
We lack of great outdoor walking or scenic trails on the south side of the city. The city is separated by Interstate-30. You have the north side, which is the zip code 75087 and you have the south side which is 75032. The north side of town has squabble creek and some long, walking trails that go through different neighborhoods and take you through some parks and nature. On the south side, we only have a few parks that have teeny tiny trails that you have to circle over and over to get in a decent walk.
Property Taxes. I talk a lot about property taxes in my videos and this is one downside of Rockwall. But here’s the strange thing, it’s only in certain parts of Rockwall. In the older parts of Rockwall, the taxes are great in comparison. Like take the neighborhood, The Shores, for example. The tax rate for those homes is 1.9931%. But then there are other neighborhoods like Sonoma Verde (which is actually in a town called McLendon-Chisholm but it’s still in Rockwall County) where there’s a PID that puts the effective tax rate at about 1% higher. Well, when you’re looking at home values close to $400,000, that’s a lot of money!
Jennifer Shannon is a Texas real estate agent and broker, licensed since 2006.