mckinney

Photo courtesy Flickr

From staff reports

Nearly 40 percent of 2018’s single-family home purchases were made by first-time buyers — with some places being more friendly to those new to the market than others. McKinney ranked 10th among 300 cities WalletHub looked at in regards to how amenable they were for first-time buyers.

The Collin County town ranked 160th when it came to affordability, but scored top marks for its market and 45th for quality of life.  (more…)

Legacy West

Plano’s Legacy West located at the Dallas North Tollway and Legacy Drive

I’m ashamed to say that even though I’ve lived and worked in West Plano for years, I can’t keep all the new developments in this part of town straight in my head. I’m not alone either. Now instead of idle small chat about the weather, Planoites talk about all the coming traffic to “that part of town,” while motioning generally to the west.

You probably know about Toyota, Liberty Mutual, and JP Morgan Chase Bank’s relocations that brought 4.1 million (MILLION!) square feet of new corporate real estate to the area. Then more companies like Nokia, NTT Data, and Fannie Mae followed suit, announcing new or expanded campuses in West Plano. Then I swear by 2018, I just lost count and tuned out when press release after press release announced a new regional headquarters coming to Plano. (Sorta like what people do when they hear a new sport or arena is coming to Arlington.)

There’s hope for confused Planoites and anyone else hiking up the Dallas North Tollway to see quite literally a brand new cityscape rise up from what once was prairie land. Here’s a quick review on what’s going on in west Plano and three shopping experiences you’ll only get at Legacy West.

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Plano oldest home Collinwood

This 1861 Gothic revival in west Plano is the house-that-no-one-wants. Photo courtesy of Cody Neathery/Instagram.

I’m not speaking in hyperbole when I say they’re practically giving away this 3,200-square-foot home in far west Plano, located at 5400 Windhaven Parkway near the Dallas North Tollway. Admittedly it’s not move-in ready, but the Collinwood House’s motivated seller is throwing in a quarter of a million dollars to make sure this rustic beauty really moves. I should tell you that the Collinwood House, built in 1861, currently sits on a future city park site, so you’ll have to move it yourself. Not your belongings, but the actual house.

What sounds like a comic nightmare for a Realtor (or a professional stager) is the latest tumultuous chapter for the oldest-known home in Plano that’s become a money pit the city can’t shed.

In this latest stay of execution in May (one of many reprieves in recent years), Plano solicited proposals for taking ownership of the Collinwood House, offering the would-be owner $250,00 in budgeted city funds to properly relocate the home onto their own land, preferably somewhere in Plano. That’s better than deconstruction, or documenting materials as they are removed and demolished from the home, which has been on the table for years.

More than a dozen people showed up for the open house in mid-May, offering the public a rare glimpse at this relic. Haggard Enterprises (remember that name) submitted the only proposal bid, which has not yet been awarded, according to city documents on the public bid platform BidSync.

It seems the-house-that-no-one-wants remains in limbo, which means if Plano can’t find a qualified bidder, this 1860’s relic could soon be dismantled for scraps.

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If I had my way, I’d weave canine characterizations and puppy puns into every single article I write for CandysDirt.com. It would admittedly be a challenge for a real estate blog, but homes are just better with pets. (And totally stageable too.) That’s why you paws-itively should head to Watters Creek in Allen this weekend for a mega pet adoption event, “Peace, Love, and Paws” on Saturday, April 28 from 1 to 5 p.m.

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Safer Water North TexasIs our water safe? That’s the question concerned residents are still asking three weeks after activist Erin Brockovich called B.S. (literally using the hashtag #StopTheBullshit) on Plano and the regional water district’s claims that the water was fine, despite its pungent chlorine smell. Now those residents are especially fired up after Brockovich revealed Thursday night at a citizen town hall that the North Texas Municipal Water District was issued a violation by the state of Texas for failing to perform some tests for volatile organic compounds last year. [UPDATE 10:35 p.m. Friday] Though it initially released a statement acknowledging the violation, the water district rescinded its update on late Friday night, explaining the violation was a miscommunication because the plant in question was closed. 

A sold-out crowd of nearly 600 Collin County residents — just a fraction of the nearly 13,000 who’ve joined a Facebook group called Safer Water North Texas— packed into the Frisco Celebration Hall to hear Brockovich and water quality expert Bob Bowcock speak. Safer Water North Texas organized this event in a matter of days, after assembling themselves to speak up about water quality at local city council meetings and demand answers why their water doesn’t seem right. Brockovich and Bowcock flew to North Texas on their own dime after thousands of residents contacted the famed water safety advocate for help guiding their own activist efforts, much like the famed water quality advocate did in the eponymous 2000 movie by Steven Soderbergh.

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Photo: Shelby Skrhak

A thousand years ago, I was the founding editor of a weekly newspaper called Plano Insider, which covered features, society events, youth sports and an “around town” calendar of events. Of course, the best part was the “What We’re Drinking” column I wrote weekly, in which I visited Plano bars and restaurants sampling their signature or most unique cocktail. Now I’m brand new to CandysDirt.com so I won’t push my luck pitching that, but I will “get a little Plano in here” to bring you what’s going on outside the loop, starting with a fun Crayola ticket giveaway and this weekend roundup of stuff to do in Plano and Collin County. 

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garner living before picturegarner living after picture

If you look at a lot of flipped houses in the under-$400K range, a pattern starts to emerge in the look and feel. In the sea of beige, you might occasionally see something unusual, but for the most part, flippers follow the “what will appeal to the largest audience and cost the least” formula.

burns family

The Burns family

So when we saw the work of husband-and-wife team Eddie and Tiffany Burns, two Collin County house flippers, we stopped in our tracks. They break the mold by buying and flipping houses in the $275-$350K range that have remarkable style, memorable amenities, and not a hint of boring beige anywhere.

“I do the design and I try to make it look like I would live in the home,” said Tiffany, who is a Realtor and broker with Keller Williams Frisco, as well as an interior designer. “If you spend just a little bit more, you can make it look so much nicer and people feel like they got something nicer than a standard [flipped house].”

Eddie is an adjunct professor of negotiation at El Centro and for the SMU Masters program, as well as a seasoned home remodeler. He has previous experience working for national new homebuilders.

“We’ve both been in real estate industry for 10 years and we’ve seen ups and downs and we’ve seen people be successful with this,” Tiffany said. “With the market the way it is, we thought we’d try it and it has become our main business.”

The couple bought, renovated, and sold their first Collin County house in September 2015, and have seven under their belt. Two are currently under contract, one is listing this week, and one will list in three weeks.

The goal? Twenty flipped houses this year. They’re well on their way.

“Eddie and I we like helping people—the first five years we were in real estate, we did primarily first-time homebuyers and we’re driven by making a difference in someone’s life, especially someone starting out or a young couple,” Tiffany said. “That’s part of the payback and most of our homes are in that price range.”

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Tim Jackson Homes 6

Massive trees and rolling topography add to privacy found at Three Oaks. (Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography)

It has been ages since I have visited Fairview. My kids both graduated from Lovejoy Elementary, and I started my career as a Lifestylist® when I lived there balancing horses, kids, and a career.

A lot has changed, but the elements that made Fairview such a great place to live are still there. Beautiful land with trees and rolling topography, the solitude that makes you realize this is someplace special, and the convenience of feeling like you are away from it all but having the best restaurants, shopping and schools just minutes away. These are some of the many reasons that Tim Jackson Custom Homes is debuting their new Three Oaks community in Fairview.

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