2272 Longwood Front

Longtime CandysDirt.com fan Laquita Vickers sent us this week’s Friday Four Hundred, a listing from RE/MAX DFW Associates agent Donna Bradshaw.

Vickers says this cutie pahtootie of a patio home is not only in a fantastic location, but it is on a corner lot with a manicured side-yard right next to a planned greenbelt in the Austin Waters subdivision of Carrollton. Though it’s in Denton County, this neighborhood is close to the planned Toyota headquarters and if you need to go hug a tree, just head to the nearby 200 acre Arbor Hills Nature Preserve.

Let’s jump to find out more!


One of Photo: Darling Homes

One of Larry Corson’s projects with Wilbow Corp. for 2015 is the Hunters Glen development in Flower Mound, with houses from Darling Homes (pictured above) and American Legend Homes. Photo: Darling Homes

Larry Corson is a key player in real estate investment and development in North Texas. Throughout his 30-year career, he has focused largely on residential developments and was recently named co-president of Wilbow Corporation, a privately held Dallas-based residential property developer.

Corson has guided the strategic acquisition of new properties throughout DFW, particularly in suburbs like Southlake, Colleyville, Flower Mound, Roanoke, Keller, McKinney, and Prosper. For example, as a director at Cooper & Stebbins, Corson led the development of the Garden District, a successful luxury enclave located in the Southlake Town Square area.

We sat down with Corson to get his insights on development in North Texas, the housing market, and his big projects for 2015.


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 GlobeSt.com. “We expect to have 20,000 residents when this next generation of homes is complete in about five years.” Jump to read more!


The National Association of Realtors survey looked at multiple facets of the home buying process from mid 2013 to mid 2014. Location was a big factor, as expected.

The National Association of Realtors survey looked at multiple facets of the home buying process from mid 2013 to mid 2014. Location was a big factor, as expected.

First-time homebuyers are being squeezed out, and you gotta move fast to buy! And people are hanging on to their houses for the longest time on record, according to a new study by the National Association of Realtors.

Buyers are living in their homes for ten years, up from six years in 2008, and actually expect to live in their home for 12 years. Some of it is by choice, like hanging on to a fantastic rate after remortgaging, and some by necessity, like too much debt to move, as reported by the Dallas Morning News.

The study looked at the demographics of thousands of home purchases around the United States from July 2013 to June 2014, and its findings speak to many trends we’ve noticed in the market here at CandysDirt.

Take multigenerational homes, for example. We’ve seen more builders offering them, like almost every builder on our approved homebuilder list, from Park Cities to Preston Hollow and north. (I swear Mickey Munir at Sharif&Munir invented the jazzed-up mother-in-law suite.) Texas-based builder Darling Homes is selling multigenerational homes in Frisco’s Lawler Park and Houston area’s Lakes of Cypress Forest like hotcakes.

The survey says they’re right on trend: Since 1980, the number of multigenerational households around the country has doubled, with 13 percent of buyers purchasing one of these homes to accommodate aging parents and boomerang kids in a cost-saving way.


5003 Quail Creek Drive, Photo: Shoot2Sell

5003 Quail Creek Drive, Photo: Shoot2Sell

Plush and sexy with gray paint, white paneling, and chrome everywhere, 5003 Quail Creek is a stunner for sure. And thanks to the help of a Realtor who knows how to make a home appealing to buyers, this house was snatched right off the market in less than a week!

It’s four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath beauty in Stonebridge Ranch’s Quail Creek that was listed for $259,500 by Ebby Halliday Realtor Brea Garza, founder of The Garza Group. Boy, does it look like it is worth every shiny penny. I asked her if she thought that staging this home helped it get whisked off its feet by an eager buyer.


Quinlan Front

We love Darling Homes! Such a great custom builder with wonderful details and quality. If building your own custom home seems daunting, then you should definitely snatch this great house in Allen’s Twin Creeks subdivision that has some fabulous upgrades.

Quinlan Entry Quinlan Dining

With four bedrooms, three full and two half baths, and more than 3,500 square feet, this home is perfect for a big family that needs room to spread out. And the interiors, well, they’re just what you’d expect in a Darling-built home — luxury, class, and functionality. Throw in the huge corner lot and it’s just a great value at $419,000.

Quinlan Kitchen Quinlan Breakfast

There are tons of built-ins throughout 1212 Quinlan Avenue, and the media room is ready and wired for your favorite movies. Of course, the master suite is so well-appointed that you’d have to drive a hard bargain to get me to leave it, that’s for sure!

Quinlan Master Quinlan Master Bath

The backyard, well, with it’s pagoda and amazing pool and spa, it’s a private oasis. Seriously, I love this backyard! And let me say a word about the photos of this place. I love the fact that the front features clouds rolling in, and the interiors have sunlight filtering in through the windows. Just gorgeous, right? I guess it shows that you can have great real estate photography in less-than-ideal conditions, too. What do you think?

Quinlan Media Quinlan Backyard

I happen to be pretty crazy about Frisco-based Darling Homes. Apparently, others are too. Darling Homes has entered into a purchase agreement to be acquired by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based home builder Taylor Morrison. Even more exciting: Taylor Morrison, which is owned by private equity funds, wants to go public. The company is working on a $250 million stock offering right now. Thus Taylor Morrison would be the first home building company to go public since the housing crash. And certainly having Darling on board will make investors do a major double take. Word from Taylor Morrison was that the acquisition will give home buyers a bigger pool of homes to choose from, and as usual, the acquisition is subject to many conditions and approvals, But still, what a great move!

What do I love about Darling? Their New Home Smell scent, for one, and the way they build “move-up” affordable homes at volume builder prices, but finish-outs that rival some of the best custom homes in Dallas. Darling is just killing it up in the hinterlands of Prosper, Frisco, McKinney, Lantana, Coppell, Allen, Arlington, Carrollton and Las Colinas.

Darling builds in about twenty communities in Dallas and Houston, and I am dying to get up and see their new patio homes in Carrollton at Austin Waters.

The family-owned home builder recently celebrated its 25-year anniversary and does a great deal of philanthropic work in the community, such as Manegait and is consistently voted as one the the best places to work in D/FW. This new acquisition will put another locally-birthed Dallas company on the national map. That’s just Darling!

People are always asking me how to find a builder they can trust! Last Thursday, you may have heard me Face-Booking, tweeting and making noises about Highland Homes, Darling Homes, Lantana and Castle Hills. And why was I so bullish on these¬† builders? Because they were cleaning up the show at the Home Builders Association of Greater Dallas McSam Awards. These winners were the People’s Choice because, for the fist time ever, people like you and me had voted on them, given them their seal of approval.

The McSam , or “maximum creativity in marketing and sales”, rewards excellence in building sales and marketing. High volume builders as well as luxury builders¬†who have created a Luxury Home of the Year can enter.¬† McSam is part of a bigger network of local and regional building excellence awards programs– such as MAME in California and Colorado, and the PRISM Awards in Houston. The program started in l979 and grew in the boom years of new home sales.¬† Usually a gussied-up, Oscar-style event, this year, as you can imagine, it was toned down to a dance boogie session at House of Blues. And in years past there have been more categories like architectural design, interior merchandising, individual sales achievement in all price categories, advertising and marketing programs, Builder of the Year and Community of the Year. The builders also did some “crowd sourcing” for a genuine real People’s choice Award. Highland Homes won People‚Äôs Choice Builder of the Year honors. Lantana was named People‚Äôs Choice Community of the Year.

Darling Homes was the REALTOR®’s Choice Builder of the Year, and Castle Hills was honored as the REALTOR®’s Choice Community of the Year.

Now in its 32nd year, The McSAM Awards added the new People‚Äôs Choice Awards based on consumer and real estate professional voting.¬† Market Research Answers, Inc. was enlisted to conduct a survey of recent homebuyers, prospects and real estate agents from email contact lists supplied by participating builders and communities, more than 30,000 contacts in all. MRA’s clients include Pepsico, Frito-Lay and Starbucks. MRA dug deep into respondent‚Äôs feedback about their experience on everything from home design, sales experience, customer service, community lifestyle and overall satisfaction.

“Specifically for the purpose of the People’s Choice Awards, Market Research Answers asked respondents to rate – on a scale from zero to 10 – how likely they would be to recommend a particular builder or community to a friend or family member,” explained Harold Gross of Market Research Answers. “This question is THE gold standard in customer satisfaction surveying.  Responses were tallied and for each builder and community and an average score was calculated – the winners, of course, being those builders and communities with the highest average score.”

Winners in additional judged categories were:

  • Best New Product ‚Äì K. Hovnanian Homes, The Villas at Craig Ranch;
  • Best Green Building Program ‚Äì Meritage Homes;
  • Most Innovative Marketing Concept ‚Äì Meritage Homes, De-Constructed Home Learning Center;
  • Luxury Home of the Year ‚Äì Simmons Estate Homes, Casa Montecito;
  • Multifamily Community of the Year ‚Äì Grenadier Homes, Villas in the Park;
  • Sales Professional of the Year ‚Äì Michelle Brighi, K. Hovnanian Homes; and
  • Real Estate Professional of the Year; ‚Äì Carole Waugh, Ebby Halliday REALTORS¬Æ.