Up in Allen, there’s a three-bedroom, two-bathroom rambling ranch-style house just waiting for you to call it home.

Behind the alley, there’s a three-acre greenbelt the city is said to be converting to a park so swing sets galore. Of course, it’ll have that new mulch and not the hot beads of gravel most of us grew up with. Kids today have it so easy. They never head home with gravel embedded in their knee or having witnessed the daring kid shoot it out of his nose.

ANYWAY, this house has a terrazzo tile entryway and an arched brick wall separating the entry from the living. In case you haven’t heard or seen just about everywhere, terrazzo is having a moment.



Photos: Shoot2Sell

Sometimes homes have little, niggling things that bother you. Perhaps it’s a 1950s post-war with a laundry area in the kitchen. Maybe it’s an ugly color combination of backsplash and countertops in a bathroom. Or perhaps it’s a master suite with no bathtub. Rarely do I come by a home that is priced less than a million bucks that I wouldn’t change at all. This listing in Allen‘s Twin Creeks subdivision fits that bill.


Cathy Browne's listing at 2016 Glenmere was under contract in a week. We asked Browne how she's carved out a niche in Allen.

Cathy Browne’s listing at 2016 Glenmere was under contract in a week. We asked Browne how she’s carved out a niche in Allen.

We’re not even shocked anymore about Cathy Browne’s latest home under contract, 2016 Glenmere in Allen’s Custer Meadows. The home wasn’t on the market longer than a week before it was snapped up, Browne said.

But get this, that’s only one of the three listings Browne has in the neighborhood. The two other properties she’s marketing — 2019 Stonemont and 2027 Burnside — are getting a lot of interest, too. As Browne tells me, she’s sold more than 40 properties in Custer Meadows alone — some of them twice!

Sure, we know that Allen is one of the fastest-growing North Texas suburbs and has won countless accolades and made numerous top-ten lists. But what strategy do you use to capture part of a market that’s moving so fast?

We asked Browne to spill her secrets. Jump to see what she has to say:




This five-bedroom home is located in Allen, one of the best suburbs in Texas according to a recent report from Niche.com. (Photos: Shoot2Sell)

We’re really not shocked to see that Murphy, Allen, Frisco, and McKinney were all in the top 10 of Niche Local’s “Best Suburbs in Texas” list. These four Collin County suburbs focus on great schools, fantastic public amenities, and drawing some of the best retail in the region to their towns.

Niche looked at several factors when it ranked the best suburbs in our state and region:

The Best Suburbs ranking provides a comprehensive assessment of the overall livability and quality of life of an area at the suburb level. This grade takes into account key factors of a location, including school ratings, crime rates, housing, employment, community, and things to do, in an attempt to measure the overall quality of an area.

Some of the highest weighted categories include “Things to Do,” “Easiest Commute,” “Education,” “Community,” “Jobs,” and “Housing.” Of course, as you know, some of the new developments in Collin County include homes built by some of the finest brands, with finish out that would rival one of the upper-crust suburbs such as University Park, which ranked No. 2 on Niche’s list.

Interesting, no?


Photo: City of Allen

Photo: City of Allen

According to Movoto’s recent report on the safest cities in Texas, you have a 1 in 20 chance of being victimized by a criminal in Dallas. In Allen? It’s about 1 in 1,500. The community was ranked fifth in the top 10 safest Texas cities, behind Flower Mound, Keller, Friendswood, and Little Elm.

Here’s what Movoto said about Allen

This Collin County city had one of the lowest rates of violent crime among our top 10, with just 62 per 100,000 people in 2012. Of those 62, there were 35 assaults, 15 robberies, 12 rapes, and no murders.

Additionally, Allen had a reported 50 vehicle thefts, 1,321 thefts, and 242 burglaries, for a total of 1,613 property crimes, and a grand total of just 1,675 crimes per 100,000 people, ranking it 10th in this category.

Sure, Allen is a prosperous suburb where you’ll find excellent schools and a friendly atmosphere, but great shopping and good schools a safe community do not make. So what’s the deal in Allen?


607 Naples Front

Cathy Browne has done it again! She’s found another amazing luxury home in Collin County that is stunning inside and out and has some incredible amenities. Not only was it built by one of the more highly sought after custom builders in Collin County, Huntington Homes, in the sought-after Twin Creeks-Somerset addition.

And this home, from the curb appeal to the tidy and relaxing backyard, is a wonderful home for anyone who values quality and timeless design.


We’re hearing so much about inventory being super short and homes moving faster than the speed of light, I just want to tell the real estate market this sometimes:


So I am almost certain that this home will get snatched up in the blink of an eye. It’s a fantastic family home that has everything you need to settle into life in the ‘burbs. Are you listening?

Oprah Tell Me more

OK. Now, from the outside, it looks like your typical suburban home in Collin County. Two stories, brick facade, tree in the front yard with a small lawn. And yeah, I guess it is your typical Allen home. You’ve got four bedrooms, two and a half baths, a two-car garage, and more than 2,500 square feet to move around. Lots of windows, hardwood floors, and Brookside is a fabulous neighborhood.

1202 Heather brook front 1202 Heather brook Entry

Seems simple enough, right? It’s a little predictable, sure, but that’s the beauty of this home. You know? It’s comfortable and still cute, like a brand new pair of UGGs. Put them on and pad around the house a bit and you’ll feel like this:

oprah has all the feelz

And you know what? This home is such an incredible value for its size. Listed by Vivo Realty Group’s David Maez, 1202 Heather Brook is priced at $229,000.

Oprah stunned

I know, right? That’s $91 per square foot for a home with excellent schools and a large, fenced in backyard.

1202 Heather brook Living

1202 Heather brook  Kitchen

It’s a super comfortable family home, a place where you can loosen your tie and relax at the end of the day. It has plenty of space for you to decompress, as well as a home office just off the entry. It has a lovely gas fireplace, too, which is wonderful for the kind of winter we just can’t seem to shake here in North Texas. The living room is open to the dining area, which leads to the kitchen. Built in 1999, this home has the original cabinetry and has tons of light. There are Corian solid surface countertops, too, a refreshing break from your bland builder-grade granite.

1202 Heather brook  Master 1202 Heather brook Master bath

The master bedroom is upstairs, and it’s a good size at 17 x 14. It gets plenty of light thanks to the oversized windows, and is large enough to accommodate oversized furniture, too. The five-piece master bath is sizable, but a little bland. It has a large dual vanity with tons of storage. Sure, it has white on white tile and oak cabinets, but you won’t really care because you can light a candle, dim the lights, put in some bubbles and pour a glass of bubbly and everything looks juuuuuuuust fine.


With a nice covered porch and a spacious backyard, this is the kind of area you can just set the kids loose in when you need a break. Two large trees add plenty of shade, too, which is great for keeping your energy bills manageable.

Overall, this is a fantastic home that just hit the market last week and will move fast!

1202 Heather brook Backyard

Abby Way Front

Ebby Halliday Star Realtor Cathy Browne sent us this listing late last week, and we ooh’ed and ahh’ed over it. Seriously, this home in the highly sought-after Cumberland Crossing neighborhood of Allen with creek frontage is so charming that it was already under contract after just one day on the market.

That won’t keep us from ooh-ing and ahh-ing over this beautiful 3,664-square-foot home in one of the prettiest little cities in North Texas. With a grand staircase at the entry, wrought iron details, hardwood trim, and gorgeous hand-scraped floors, this home would be beautiful just plain empty. But thanks to expert staging advice from Browne, this beautiful estate-worthy abode at 1484 Abby Way shows like a dream, which was on the market for $465,000.

Abby Way Entry Abby Way Dining Abby Way Family

It’s the perfect family home, too, with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, formals, an office, a huge family room, and a media room upstairs. And who doesn’t want their own wine grotto in their home? There is plenty of room to work and to play, that’s for sure.

The kitchen was built to feed crowds of kids or adults, and has a huge island that can accommodate a fabulous spread or even a few kids that need some supervision during homework time (you know what I’m talking about, right!?). With gorgeous hardwood cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and thick granite counters, this kitchen is as solid as a rock. You’ll love the gas cooktop and built-in ovens, too.

Abby Way Kitchen

The master suite, which is on the first floor (great for families with older kids), is sizable at 19 x 14, and sports a perfect bank of windows to let a little light in when you need it. It’s large enough for oversized furniture, too, and would look fantastic with some longer, more dramatic drapes and a wall-mounted TV instead of a bulky armoire.

Abby Way Master Abby Way Master 1 Abby Way Master Bath 2

The five-piece master bath makes the suite a true retreat, with a soaking tub with room for two, a nice stand-alone shower, and his-and-hers vanities. The tile and cabinetry are a perfect match, and the huge walk-in closet is large enough for both spouses, but we know how that often works out …

Upstairs there’s a media room and on the landing you’ll find plenty of space for your billiard table and poker night games. It’s wonderful for sleepovers and hangouts, and it’ll be fantastic to have your house be the one where all the kids want to play.

Abby Way Media Abby Way Billiard Abby Way Backyard

The backyard is great for entertaining, too, but lacks a pool. Still, your $600 annual HOA dues will give you access to all the community amenities you crave. And while this beauty has already been snatched up, you can call Cathy Browne about finding your perfect Allen home today.