Ready to move to Plano for the amazing schools? You should consider this listing from Vivo Realtor Bonnie Ottosen.

Ready to move to Plano for the amazing schools? You should consider this listing at 7209 Fair Valley Way from Vivo Realtor Bonnie Ottosen.

Of course a Collin County town made Movoto’s list of top 10 suburbs for schools. But Plano? I was betting on Frisco, Allen, or McKinney for that, but good ol’ Plano was the only suburb in Collin County — and in Texas, for that matter — in the top 10. The next highest ranking Texas town was Cedar Park at 14, followed by League city at 16 and Round Rock at 17. You can read the full list here.

You’re probably wondering about what makes Plano so great for education. Me, too. Plano was measured against its peer towns by student-teacher ratio, money spent per year per student, high school graduation rate, and GreatSchools.org rating (which is sometimes off-based). Here’s what Movoto said:

If you’re surprised to see Plano, TX on our list, well, you must not live here. Locals know that this Dallas suburb receives high marks pretty much across the board—it’s affluent, safe, and,according to these numbers, an all-star student.

Not only did Plano have one of the lowest student-teacher ratios of 14 to 1, but it also had a high school graduation rate of 94 percent and some of the highest test scores in the nation.

Well, well, well. Congrats, Plano. What do you think of the ranking?

The 10 Best Suburbs For Education By Movoto Real Estate

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Builders and home buyers have purchased the last of the available tracts in Phillips Creek Ranch.

I can’t say that I’m surprised. Republic Property Group’s Phillips Creek Ranch is officially 100 percent sold to either builders or homebuyers according to this report from Candice Carlisle of the Dallas Business Journal. The community was brought to market in 2011, and RPG’s officials thought it would take 10 years to sell out. Turns out they only needed 4.

“Everything has been sold to home buyers and builders for future lots,” [Jake Wagner] added. “We’ll probably still have another three or four years of development, but 100 percent of the project has been committed to either builders or home buyers. The success of the project and the velocity of home sales have greatly surpassed our expectations.”

With 102 acres of open space and greenbelts, plus amazing schools and amenities, it’s not hard to see why people have flocked to Phillips Creek Ranch in droves. Location has a lot to do with it, too, as Carlisle notes the community’s proximity to the under-construction Toyota headquarters had to help things along.

Besides those factors, another reason the development sold so far ahead of schedule is the strong housing market in Frisco and in Collin County. Builders have been drawn to award-winning communities such as Phillips Creek Ranch and Light Farms like ants to a picnic, bringing a building boom to our northern suburbs.

“Being able to reach this milestone six years ahead of schedule is a testament to the confidence our builders have in the continued success of Phillips Creek Ranch,” Wagner said in a press release.

Congratulations to RPG on a successful development! We can’t wait to see what’s next for the brand.

Photo courtesy Bright Realty

Artist rendering of Discovery at The Realm in Castle Hills in Lewisville. Photo courtesy Bright Realty.

Since the first homeowners moved into Lewisville’s Castle Hills community in 1998, more than 12,000 people have decided to call the master planned community home, and it is about 60 percent built-out today.

Located off State Highway 121 and Farm-to-Market Road 544, Castle Hills is 60 percent residential and has single-family houses ranging from about $300,000 to $1.5 million and more.

Developer Bright Realty is enticing a different demographic with their next stage of work at Castle Hills with a $75-million project called Discovery at The Realm. These 4,000 luxury rental apartments are being built with young professionals in mind.

Tim McNutt, Executive VP of Multifamily Development at Bright Realty and a Castle Hills resident himself, said these apartments are part of the strategy to develop Castle Hills in stages.

“The long-term plan was to establish the single-family housing, then to develop the remaining commercial properties,” McNutt said. “Along with the commercial [real estate], we wanted to expand the demographic and this will broaden our appeal to a whole new market.”

Photo courtesy Google Maps

Photo courtesy Google Maps

Bright Realty broke ground in December on Discovery at The Realm, which will include high-end, three podium-style buildings (underground parking with four stories of apartments above) on over 20 acres of land located south of Windhaven Parkway at Castle Hills Drive. The first units will be available in April 2016, with all phase one units completed by October 2016. Jump to read more!

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400 AcklingtonEverything is bigger in Texas, and that certainly holds true in the residential real estate of Dallas’ northern suburbs.

But spacious houses can be hard to come by under $300K, so today’s Tuesday Two Hundred listing at 400 Acklington Dr. in Anna caught my eye with 3,701 square feet, four big bedrooms, and 2.5 baths. It is newly listed by Steve Warren at Re/Max Dallas Suburbs for $289,900.

That’s just over $78 a square foot—right on par with comparable sales in the area, which have ranged from $63 to $100 a square foot (and this house is the biggest in size of the recent sales I’ve found).

400 Acklington

Anna is located about 11 miles northeast of McKinney and 40 miles north of Dallas on U.S. Highway 75, State Highway 5, and State Highway 121. Those highways make getting around DFW a cinch. It’s also one of the fastest growing cities in Collin County with about 11,000 residents and offers great amenities, like Natural Springs Park, which is walking distance from the house. This heavily wooded park has a spring that feeds into a pond, as well as a large open space. Future plans for the park include walking trails with three bridges, picnic tables, benches, a gazebo, and a fishing pier.

The house is also only 1.9 miles away from Slayter Creek Park with its splash pad, playground, walking trail, skateboard park, horseshoe pits, shuffleboard court, disc golf course, athletic fields, and large pavilion. Jump to read more and see lots of pics of the house!

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102 Skyline A

Gone with the Wind was a childhood favorite of mine, with its winding storyline, genteel fashion, and dramatic romances. In one memorable scene, Scarlett’s father, Gerald O’Hara, an Irish peasant immigrant, proclaims in his rough brogue, “The land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.”

That sort of mentality about the importance of land to heritage, identity, and wealth still exists, and there’s something visceral and deeply gratifying about owning actual land, as opposed to, say, stocks, which seem to exist in the ether.

If you’re an urban homeowner, the amount of land you’re likely to own is quite small, as plantations like Tara don’t exist within city limits. But there are properties in DFW with actual land, and for today’s Tuesday Two Hundred, I found one sitting on almost an acre in Collin County.

The house at 102 Skyline Dr. in Murphy is listed by William Duke of Carrington Real Estate Service for $259,000 and sits on 0.98 acres. It is located near the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 544 and S. Murphy Road.

Murphy is a fast-growing bedroom community of about 18,000 residents, bordered by Plano, Richardson, Wylie, Sachse, and Parker. It’s about 20 miles from Downtown Dallas, 35 miles from DFW Airport, and 25 miles from Love Field Airport.

This house is a 2,496 square foot fixer-upper with three bedrooms, three full bathrooms, and a pool. At $104 per square foot with all that land, I think it’s got huge potential. Jump to read all about it!

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Historic downtown McKinney is full of character and tons of cute houses. It's one of the reasons "Money" magazine chose this Collin County suburb as the No. 1 place to live in America for 2014.

Historic downtown McKinney is full of character and tons of cute houses. It’s one of the reasons “Money” magazine chose this Collin County suburb as the No. 1 place to live in America for 2014.

Well, the good news keeps pouring in for Collin County. First Allen is named one of the safest places to live in Texas, and now McKinney is named the best place to live by Money magazine.

With jobs, shopping, excellent schools, and the cutest historic downtown, McKinney has a lot of the things American families are looking for, according to Money.

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Photo: Republic Property Group

Photo: Republic Property Group

It’s the perfect opportunity to see what all the hubbub is about up in Prosper, as Light Farms hosts a community kick off day celebrating the return of cooler temps.

The event, which will feature open houses at the many beautiful new home models inside the community priced between $240K and $600K, also includes family-style lawn games, prizes, as well as burgers and snow cones to send off summer in good form.

Food will be served between 5 and 7 p.m., and hang around for a live performance from the Roomsounds between 6 and 8 p.m.

Sounds like a great time to us, and we’re sure you’ll love Light Farms as much as we do!

Tractor1 Web

Gazebo Web

 

Jenkins Front

Yes, we do love Plano! It’s the original upscale suburb to Dallas, and it is full of gorgeous homes in pretty much every price range. It’s both affordable with great amenities, but you’ll also get a great bang for your buck considering the excellent schools. And it’s not too far from downtown Dallas if you’re the type who doesn’t mind a commute.

Jenkins Living

If you’re mentally ticking off boxes, then you should definitely consider this lovely home in Deerfield East. Marketed by Christine Shannon at Vivo Realty for $392,500, at 4537 Jenkins Drive you get five bedrooms, four and a half baths, and a lovely pool in the backyard, complete with a spa! Sounds like the perfect place to take a dip after a stressful day at work or school, no?

Jenkins Fireplace

What I really love about this home is the huge corner lot, a sought-after feature in Plano. Also, there’s a great mother-in-law suite downstairs and a fabulous master bedroom upstairs complete with tray ceiling and crown moulding.

Jenkins Office

The kitchen is great, and only needs a few updates to be ready for an active home chef. I love how it opens to the family room, too, and with the butler’s pantry, you’ll have plenty of storage space. New counters and appliances are really all it needs to make it totally sleek.

Jenkins Kitchen

Of course, this home was meant for a large family, because there’s nothing skimpy about it! With more than 3,900 square feet, you will have tons of room for you and your family to spread out. And if you work from home, there’s a fabulous office with coffered ceilings that will satisfy anyone. A gameroom upstairs is the perfect place to sequester toys and video games, too.

Jenkins Master Jenkins Master Bath

The master suite features a huge five-piece bath with a steam shower, too. Of course, the first thing you’ll want to do is rip up that carpet (I have a thing about carpet in bathrooms and kitchens!!!) but otherwise it is just fantastic and such a great size for a retreat!

Jenkins Backyard

Hurry and snap this great home up!