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…)

Christie RanchFull confession — we asked our readers to give us the skinny on some of the best neighborhoods and communities that really embrace the whole trick-or-treat, neighborly fun of Halloween. And one reader not only pointed us to the Christie Ranch and Grayhawk neighborhoods, but then pointed out a great house — a house perfect for our Thursday Three Hundred.

“You can’t get through the streets, so many people,” our inside source told us.

And the house? Get a load of this four-bedroom, three-bath Traditional with 2,853 square feet of living space located at 13073 Broadhurst Dr.

Right from the curb, the stucco home is inviting. Yes, there’s another home going up next door, but that just means more awesome neighbors to trick-or-treat with, right?

Inside, a sweeping staircase leads to the second floor, and great office space with French doors is immediately to your right. Keep going, and you walk right into the common areas, which feature easy-to-care-for concrete flooring. Offices and bedrooms, as well as the upstairs living space, have carpet. (more…)


Yes, it’s in the suburbs, just north in Collin County, but this beautiful home has some serious appeal for those who want great schools, fantastic shopping, and tons of amenities. It’s another fabulous Allen listing from Cathy Browne, and you won’t believe what is inside those amazing iron doors.

Clad in brick and cast stone, this traditional has subtle Mediterranean features and lush gardens that will captivate. It’s inside one of Allen‘s most exclusive neighborhoods, The Reserve at Starcreek. The lot is just immense at .42 acres, and it’s on a cul-de-sac, so your family will feel safe playing in the front yard, meeting your neighbors.

Jump to see the incredible interiors!


Photo courtesy Craig Ranch

Photo courtesy Craig Ranch

Developer David Craig was in the right place at the right time when he bought the first tracts of land for Craig Ranch 15 years ago, north of State Highway 121 in McKinney.

With northward expansion of the population and careful planning by Craig for the mixed-use development, the 2,200-acre planned community has been hugely successful, with 2,359 houses, more than 1,000 apartment homes, retail, and commercial space. It is one of the largest developments in Collin County and more than 9,000 people call Craig Ranch home; in January, it enters the final phases of residential build-out.

For Craig, that means plans to build a final 1,434 houses and more than 3,000 apartment homes over the next 28 months. Builders will be Ashton Woods Homes, Beazer Homes, Darling Homes, David Weekley Homes, Landon Homes, and Megatel, with houses ranging in price from $300,000 to more than $600,000. Craig’s partner in the development is VanTrust Real Estate.

“This final phase of residential construction in Craig Ranch is timed perfectly with the strong housing demand in the area,” David Craig, founder and developer of Craig Ranch, told “We expect to have 20,000 residents when this next generation of homes is complete in about five years.” Jump to read more!


Update 11:08 p.m.: Here’s Steve Brown’s take on the shrinking Dallas real estate market. If you don’t want to read it, he’s basically saying what I said: fewer bargains, less inventory, and we may be inching towards a seller’s market!

I am so excited to be on Daybreak with that precious Ron Corning, who, as it happens, went to the same college I went to, Wheaton College in Norton, Mass. (Or, as my husband says, the “heathen Wheaton”. This one is NOT Billy Graham’s alma mater.) Besides Ron’s taste in paint colors, we are going to talk about how there are way fewer homes on the market these days! If you are looking to buy, you need to arm yourself with the latest info and read this blog RELIGIOUSLY. Hip pockets abound: those are homes not formally on the market or in MLS.

Is t just me, or are there more FSBO’s, too?

How bad is it? Listings in North Texas are down by almost a quarter from last year! That’s from the huge NTREIS system that stretches from the outskirts of Waco up to the Red River:  22% fewer listings than there were a year ago! That’s because sellers fear losing money on declining home values or went out and leased their homes to ride out the storm. Builders aren’t really building spec homes, though some of the volume builders like Darling are doing great in Collin County. Bottom line: there’s now way less to choose from.

In February of 2006, when the market was getting on steroids, 26,793 homes were for sale in Dallas. Two years later (2008) 29,206 were available. Flash forward to February 2011, only 22,868 homes were on the market. February 2012 stats are not out yet but in January, 2012, there were only 16,721 homes on the market in Dallas

Thats a 4.7 month supply in Dallas. Six months is considered healthy.

There’s even less in Collin County, which is down to a 3.5 month supply. This is just happening in Texas, by the way. With apartment rents rising there’s a good chance we might see some price appreciation, say experts, but I think they are building so many apartments the competition will temper rents. More details on Daybreak, so tune in IF you can get up that early… you know me, that’s about the time I usually wrap blogging and go nighty night. But to sit next to Ron is well worth getting up with the chickens!