This home at 618 Candlewood Trail is inside the Murphy Middle School attendance boundaries and is priced at $324,900.

It’s back-to-school season, and it’s crunch time for families looking to score a home inside great school attendance areas. Of course, you’d love to hit the sweet spot where you can get into a great house with tons of amenities that is also inside a great school district, but be prepared for competition.

Realtor.com just released some new stats that rank the most affordable housing markets with the best schools, and Wylie ISD’s Murphy Middle School attendance area made the charts. It followed Chandler, Ariz., in the No. 10 spot as the top affordable neighborhood with the best middle school campuses. Interestingly, though it’s inside Plano ISD, the homes are located in the little suburb of Murphy, Texas.

The only other Texas town that made the list was Katy, with two of its campuses scoring a spot on the most affordable neighborhoods with the best high schools.

“When searching for a new home, finding something affordable in a good school district with family-friendly features, such as large backyards, tops the list of homebuyer priorities,” said Javier Vivas, manager of economic research for Realtor.com. “These markets offer strong public schools and affordable homes, making them a great fit for homebuyers with elementary school-age children.”

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Grenadier Homes in Creekside Estates are perfect for families with school-aged children.

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of hundreds of North Texas teachers groaning as the first “Back to School” advertisements start showing up on websites and billboards. 

For a lot of people, buying a home is closely associated with education, and many times parents (or parents to be) will select a home based on the performance of area schools and the amenities that make family life a little sweeter. Not only does Creekside Estates have outstanding Plano and Wylie schools, but the amenities make it all the more attractive. 

But wouldn’t you prefer a custom home that’s built for your family’s needs? That’s what Grenadier Homes offers.

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Aerial view of home and stables.

Aerial view of home and stables.

Always wanted to have a little place in the country where you could stable a few horses? A 100-acre horse ranch in Anna is your dream come true. And it has some features you probably don’t know you need or want … until you see them.

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Ebby Halliday Collin County

From left, Ebby Halliday, her brother and Executive Vice President Paul Hanson, Ebby’s first sales associate Mary Lou Muether, and Mary Frances Burleson, who today is President and CEO of the Ebby Halliday Companies, celebrate the opening of the Plano office in 1972.

With thousands of people moving to Collin County for jobs with Toyota, Liberty Mutual, and many others, it’s not a big surprise that North Texas residential real estate firms are now flocking to the area.

It’s easy to forget that one firm, Ebby Halliday Realtors, has served Collin County since 1971. That’s when Ebby herself opened a one-room office in the growing town of Plano. There was a great deal of home construction going on in the area and Ebby’s office — a builder’s shack with a porta potty — was a favorite gathering spot for homebuilders who knew she always had a hot pot of coffee ready and enjoyed visiting about the potential of this small community north of Dallas.

“Keep in mind that NorthPark Center opened at the corner of Northwest Highway and Central Expressway in 1965 and that many Dallasites were of the belief that civilization didn’t actually exist north of Northwest Highway,” said Mary Frances Burleson, President and CEO of the Ebby Halliday Companies. “That goes to show just how visionary Ebby and her leadership team were about the future growth of the North Texas region.”

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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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Al_Coker_Windrose_Hero_Perspective_Final

Windrose Tower at Legacy West is currently open for pre-sales, but the sales center is slated to open just next month.

No one could be more excited about the new Windrose Tower at Legacy West than us here at CandysDirt.com.

Pre-sales have already launched for the luxurious 24-story high-rise, and the all-new sales center for the ground-breaking building — the only luxury condo development built north of LBJ since the Bonaventure — slated to open next month. The building will offer 85 to 95 condos ranging from 1,300 to 11,000 square feet with sleek, unparalleled finish-out.

The pre-sale campaign has been expertly spearheaded by Al Coker and Fernando Gonzalez of Al Coker & Associates. The marketing and brokerage firm is thrilled to show off vignettes of the property, so that prospective buyers can really picture themselves in the spaces. And the center is conveniently located, too, just across from the future site of Windrose Tower at Headquarters and the Tollway, 7800 N. Dallas Parkway, Suite 156.

The estimated completion date for the residences will be in the fourth quarter of 2018, but if you want to see the units before they’re built, make sure you’re the first person in the door of the sales center. Stay tuned right here to CandysDirt.com for more on Windrose Tower and the incredible, game-changing Legacy West development.

 

Statler Chandelier
This is the chandelier that will soon hang in the main foyer of Deion Sanders’ former home in Prosper. Don’t worry: it’s getting all spiffed up. Technically, one grand chandelier will be created out of three identical Statler Hilton Hotel chandeliers from the downtown Dallas hotel undergoing a dramatic restoration. (Some of the crystals are cracked and broken, so restorers will scavenge from the three to create one perfect fixture.) I found it on a tour of the Statler Hilton earlier this week, stay tuned for that report.

As I told you a couple weeks ago, Deion Sanders’ 29,000-square-foot mansion of mansions built in 1999 with turrets and columns and Taj Mahal architectural features on 109 acres is back on the market and better than ever.  It has been updated, remodeled, staged, painted, carpeted, freshened — you name it.

The Dallas Morning News just published the listing this week. (Print media is a little slow.)

The Statler chandelier is courtesy of Mehrdad Moayedi, who is completing an extensive renovation of the Statler Hilton in downtown Dallas. His company, Farmers Branch-based Centurion American, is also developing a 22-acre neighborhood around Deion’s former pad, encircling it like a queen’s cushion, called Montclair.

Deion’s big house has been re-named Chateau Montclair.

Deions New exterior

Chateau Montclair

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PeteAmaya2

We love hearing stories that really put a face on the good people in the home loan industry, which is why we’re so thrilled to feature Pete Amaya of Guardian Mortgage Company on the blog today. He’s this month’s Guardian Angel, and we love that he’s putting down roots in Prosper, building a new home, and using Guardian Mortgage as his lender. If that’s not loyalty, we don’t know what is!

Jump to read more about Amaya, who is quite the gardening enthusiast, and why he chose a career with Guardian Mortgage Company.

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