Congratulations! You’ve decided you’re moving to Waco!

Things to Consider When Moving to Waco? Well first off, you probably should call a Realtor (insert hair flip emoji). We are your best resource when it comes to this area of expertise!

My name is Katie Snapp and my husband Brody and I decided to move from Dallas to his hometown nearly 5 years ago. We both work in real estate and even in this short amount of time, SO much has changed. I mean, Waco even has a Top Golf now! Hurry up, Trader Joe’s…

One thing continues to remain the same: what newcomers often refer to as “Waco” is actually more likely McLennan County, a collection of small towns all within about 30 minutes of THE small town they came here for.

Although this blog post is in no way inclusive of all areas and perspectives throughout McLennan County, here are a few fun summaries on each community and what I think you want to know about them:

Waco Proper | You’ll find a lot of people really pride themselves on living in what they(we) hilariously refer to as “Waco Waco”, and I can totally see why! The old-world charm, mature trees, hip vibes, and convenient distance to downtown all definitely count as perks. This urban-adjacent area offers not just diverse home-styles, but a community full of different walks of life and flavors like what you might be more used to when coming from a bigger city. There’s also the prestige of the Ridgewood Country club and Lake Shore Drive areas where the select few get to enjoy a stunning lake view. It will cost you though! Boutique shopping and eating out is easy over here – large grocery hauls, not as much. And while Waco ISD schools are not currently the highest rated, the community as a whole has been experiencing a major polishing and is a constant focus for investors from around the world. There are also many private school options that can be more affordable than in bigger cities. Live Oak Classical, Vanguard Preparatory, or Waco Montessori just to name a few. If this sounds like a set up that fits your happening lifestyle – Castle Heights, Mountainview, Ridgewood area, Wooded Acres, or the Lake Streets could be the place for you!

(Photo courtesy of Camille Johnson Realtors)

The 84 Corridor Woodway, Hewitt and North-McGregor – If you have dreamt of that suburban, stroller pushing, walking crew with a house that has all but the picket fence – you’ve found your spot. Beautiful, newer, masonry construction where things can be a little cookie cutter, but who doesn’t love cookies?! Several of the county’s most pristine planned communities are located here (Badger Ranch, Twin Rivers, Stone Creek Ranch, and coming soon Tanglewood) and you can find some of those coveted neighborhood amenities like parks, community pools, and even sidewalks (ooooo ahhhh). Or if you still want the mature trees and diverse 1970s-80s home styles, with maybe even room for a few personal touches, the hills of Bosque or Poage Park would be a great compromise. This area of McLennan County features the highly rated (but large) Midway ISD, some of the best of the FEW private daycare options in town and the most popular HEB Plus around. Around here you are “in town”, but not “up or down town”. Be prepared for that premium pricing, but the resale values cannot be beat.

(Photo courtesy of Camille Johnson Realtors)

Western Outskirts | Crawford & China Spring are west of Lake Waco, just a HWY 6 drive away. Here you can find room to stretch out or have an outdoor adventure, wide open spaces style. Small or large acreage is a lot easier to find around here and the public schools are big, but not AS big. We’ve even been hearing (granted for a while now) they’re even getting their own HEB. These parts are amongst the fastest growing when it comes to new residential construction, but commercial business is still trying to catch up, so you’re looking at a little bit more of a commute when it comes to that. Also – if being a short distance from a hospital is important to you, the way out might not be your cup of tea. However, if you love a good Ace Hardware, are good with Sonic on the regular, and like the idea of more land with ample mesquite trees – head on over yonder!

(Photo courtesy of Camille Johnson Realtors)

Small-town Feels | Lorena, Robinson, McGregorThink Friday Night Lights, minus the tumble weeds, but plus easy access to I-35. They’ve got higher rated schools, with lower teacher/student ratios, and are often sought after if you want your children to be able to play multiple sports without having to necessarily be NFL draft ready. They all have some of the cutest homecoming parades, small local businesses, and lots of friendly neighbors. Lorena in particular is undergoing a huge development as what once were agricultural fields and private ranches are turning into higher end neighborhoods with lots of $300-700k homes being built. Can’t say all of the hometown locals are thrilled about the new construction, but what has been built sure is pretty to look at! McGregor is also home to the nation’s leading, private space exploration company – SpaceX. In these little towns, homes fly off the shelves even faster than one of Elon Musk’s rockets.

(Photo courtesy of Camille Johnson Realtors)

As I mentioned, I can’t include them all, but I would be remiss to not note that the West, Lacey-Lakeview, and Bellmead areas up I-35, towards Dallas, are getting just as refreshed as everything else and can be a fine option, especially if you are on a budget!

We are THRILLED you have chosen or are considering “WACO” as your hometown and encourage you to explore your options – but remember, calling a professional can be very helpful (wink).

Katie Snapp

Camille Johnson Realtors


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The concept of “home” has always been a long story for me! Being from a military family, I was always a Texan, but where exactly I was “from” was a lot longer of a story than people were typically prepared to hear. After a few trials and errors, I’ve become fairly good at introducing myself and making home out of wherever I happen to be. Everything from designing my many childhood bedrooms, unpacking my suitcases at hotels, to watching HGTV with my Mimi in her bed, home-making has always been my favorite subject. After finishing my degrees in Strategic Communication and Art & Architectural History at Texas A&M, I jumped right into a career in luxury apartment development. I bounced from project to project hiring, training, and working with teams at different universities all over the country to achieve marketing and leasing goals for new and ultra-chic, off campus, student communities. My office was based out of Chicago, but I maintained an apartment in Texas near my now husband. I was (and in a way still am) always on the move. I eventually came close to settling down in Dallas where I worked in apartment management, focusing on new developments again, until finally it came time to plant some roots and move to my husband’s hometown of Waco, TX. A Texas girl who toured a few other states throughout her life and made it back just in time to have a career and family here! If you and I met at a coffee shop right now, I’d probably be going on and on about how my career in residential real estate has me busy on feet, as I also try and keep up with my daughter Stella and Golden Doodle, Willie Nelson. I might also be laughing about how working in real estate, often with my husband, is far beyond different from what some people have grown to expect a husband and wife team from Waco to look like. Long story long, I have a love for making people feel at home and I’m so excited to share my journey and hodge-podge perspective with you here!


  1. Wow that has been so helpful. We are looking relocate all the way from Australia for my partners work. I love the look of Waco and yes am a huge fan of fixer upper. Thanks for your post

  2. Hi! Valley Mills is beautiful, friendly, and more affordable than other areas. It is also only about 30 minutes from downtown Waco. I have family with children who have grown up there and they love it! Very small school but just what you would expect for a very small, Texas community

  3. This is an awesome article! I’m a single mom originally from NYC, looking to buy a condo or manageable single home early next year (not a fan or yard work). I love your background since you have big city experience which I can relate to. I’m not a fan of waco but don’t have a choice being here, for now at least. My biggest issue is the lack of diversity that I grew up with in Nyc. I want my daughter to grow up in a school system like such. With prices on the rise, I don’t know when it’s a good time to buy or which area is best to buy. Sometimes I feel like is limited with their inventory.


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