McKinneyTo say the W.D. Smith home in McKinney, built in 1902, has been around for a great deal of North Texas history is an understatement — from its early beginnings as a farmhouse to its life as an abode for an alleged bootlegger and later as home to a McKinney mayor, the quintessential Victorian farmhouse has stood on College Street for seemingly forever.

And now the home where even the trees are historic (no lie — they were planted in 1908 and are recognized by the Texas Historical Tree Coalition) is on the market, listed just three days ago by Leah Graybeal Ashley with the Browne + Douglas Group.

“It was erected in 1905 by W. D. Smith, who was a well-known businessman, rancher, cattle trader, farmer and large landowner in Collin County,” Cathy Browne (the Browne in Browne + Douglas) told us last week. “At one time, the Mayor of McKinney lived there and there is also a story involving this house and the notorious gangsters, Bonnie and Clyde.” (more…)

McKinneyMcKinney’s downtown historic district is bustling — and you could find yourself with a home within biking and walking distance from some of the fun shopping, entertainment, and dining available, thanks to this adorable 1950 cottage we found for this week’s Tuesday Two Hundred.

Downtown McKinney has won some awards for its incredible main street feel, and is home to more than 120 small businesses. So whether you want to walk out your front door and head over to Tennessee Street, or stay put at home and enjoy the great large private backyard that is party-ready, you can appreciate all the options provided.



Photo: Lance Selgo/Unique Exposure Photography

Historic districts are some of my favorite neighborhoods. When my husband and I first moved in together, it was a Craftsman bungalow in Junius Heights that set the scene for some of our first days and weeks as a married couple. That huge, open front porch was a great place from which to meet our neighbors, and we loved the cool little details that evoked the home’s own memories.
Sunlight filtered in through the wavy glass in the almost 100-year-old windows, and the hardwood floors were patched with an old yardstick from a neighborhood hardware store now long gone. It’s that built-in character that makes these homes treasures to be cherished.
When restored, of course, these prestigious homes become gems that glisten in the hearts of towns that are growing fast. While newer models are popping up like mushrooms overnight in nearby developments, these homes will stand the test of time. That’s what I love about Historic Downtown McKinney. While the Collin County suburb has fabulous schools and plenty of great new home developments to choose from, everyone gathers at the heart of this neo-Mayberry that calls itself “unique by nature.”
And this prairie home, a diamond that shines so bright, has been restored to wonderful results. Jump to see the perfectly staged interiors within this listing from Christine Hogan of Ebby Halliday Realtors.


Historic downtown McKinney is full of character and tons of cute houses. It's one of the reasons "Money" magazine chose this Collin County suburb as the No. 1 place to live in America for 2014.

Historic downtown McKinney is full of character and tons of cute houses. It’s one of the reasons “Money” magazine chose this Collin County suburb as the No. 1 place to live in America for 2014.

Well, the good news keeps pouring in for Collin County. First Allen is named one of the safest places to live in Texas, and now McKinney is named the best place to live by Money magazine.

With jobs, shopping, excellent schools, and the cutest historic downtown, McKinney has a lot of the things American families are looking for, according to Money.



408 Byrne Front

Historic homes have many charming quirks that make them popular with people who are prepared to put up with the headaches they sometimes provide. To say that building codes have come a long way since the turn of the century, which was when many homes in McKinney’s historic neighborhoods were built, is a vast understatement. Still, when building a home in an area with character such as the T. T. Bradley subdivision, attention to detail inside and out is key.

That’s why this cute farmhouse at 408 Byrne fits the area like a glove!


1214 Tucker Front

I know we toss around the words “adorable,” “cute,” and “sweet” around a lot here, but this is one of those homes where you look up the definition of any of these words and it’s sitting there as the perfect visual example. So perfect, right down to the breakfast nook and farm sink.

And, it’s located in one of the cutest neighborhoods in all of Dallas/Fort Worth: McKinney’s downtown historic district. \ (more…)

508 N. Tennessee Front

What if you could have all of the adorable features you find in a traditional 1920s-era Tudor without all of the tiny rooms, claustrophobic water closets, and impossible-to-maintain stained-glass windows? When I tell you that you can have it all and inside one of the best little neighborhoods in McKinney, well I’m sure you’ll just flip your lid.

508 N. Tennessee Dining

Marketed by the Rierder & Hogan Group at Ebby Halliday Realtors for just $330,000 is this adorable gingerbread Tudor at 508 N. Tennessee. It’s in the sought-after Lustig neighborhood near downtown McKinney and you’d totally think it (and its twin next door) were straight out of Lakewood Heights, Gastonwood, or Hollywood/Santa Monica and built in the 1920s, but guys, this cutie was built just this year!

508 N. Tennessee Office

So you get all the benefit of new construction and all of the curb appeal of a classic Tudor. It’s totally win-win! And of course, you get excellent schools, too, and this lovely four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home is just a short walk from the historic McKinney Square. The kitchen, with its two tone cabinets and sage green subway tile backsplash is just the cutest thing ever. It’s also a great opportunity to make the kitchen totally yours by picking out all your own appliances.

508 N. Tennessee LivingtoKitchen

Everything’s new inside, but you don’t have to sacrifice on period details like stained glass, arched doorways, or gorgeous wood floors. What you won’t miss is all the walls you’d have to knock down to open up and renovate a 1920s Tudor, because this home just flows so perfectly thanks to an excellent floorplan and tons of huge windows.

508 N. tennessee master

I love that this master bath is a five-piece bath with a great layout — it flows from the spacious master to a smaller sitting area, and then opens up to this oversized bathroom with fully-enclosed shower. You get to pick out your own mirrors, too!

508 N. Tennessee Master Bath

And speaking of huge, I’ve never seen a 1920s Tudor that was more than 2,000 square feet, but this gorgeous house is 2,450 square feet with a lovely backyard.

508 N. Tennessee Backyard

So what do you think? Is this cutie just as good as the real thing, or better?


College Front

I may not live in the suburbs, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like them. In fact, I do love a good small town feel, like the one you get with McKinney’s W.A. Rhea historic district. Tidy sidewalks, lots of picket fences, and a great area to teach your child how to ride a bike.

If this small town America feel sounds like a jackpot to you, then you’ll love this 1940 prairie-style home. At 310 N. College Street is a completely updated four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath, 2,100-square-foot historic gem that will make your heart skip a beat. It’s listed by Private Label Realty for $274,000.

College Living Dining

From the refinished floors to the new lighting fixtures, everything in this home has received a good going-over. The huge front porch remains, which is an absolute bonus considering that it’s a great place to meet and greet your new neighbors, which I am sure will be just as thrilled to meet you. I mean, how could you not?

College Sunroom

Inside you’ll find fresh paint and built-ins that will make you wonder why you ever considered buying a homogenous tract home in some HOA out yonder, where you’ll probably be greeted by bobcats and coyotes. I’m just sayin’. The painted brick fireplace is beautiful, but the real scene-stealer is that cool staircase. I love that it doesn’t obstruct your view of the rest of the first floor. Genius!

College Kitchen

In most rehabbed kitchens you might find builder-grade cabinets and blah, blah, blah … yeah, I’m already bored by that, too. Which is why I’m so glad that they kept the original cabinets in this adorable cottage. Remember: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! With a fresh coat of white paint, some lovely slate tile, granite counters and stainless fixtures and appliances, it looks so much more at home in this historic property.

College Master Bed

I love the sunroom, too, which gives you a great place to hang out when it’s too hot in the summer and too chilly in the winter. It also gives you a great view of the excellent deck and huge backyard — another bonus of buying an older home.

College Master Bath

The master bedroom is 14×14 — a good size for this age of home — and features wainscoting and built-ins, as well as cool vaulted ceilings and exposed beams. In the master bath you’ll find a gorgeous claw-foot tub and even more wainscoting, as well as a separate shower and two separate vanities. I love the configuration of this bathroom as it is very versatile.

College Deck

And that brings us to the gorgeous backyard, where there is an ample deck and plenty of room for you to garden to your heart’s content, living your own Mayberry dream. Seriously, how could you not love this house?