CelinaIt’s both the town that was country enough to appear in a Kenny Chesney video, but fancy enough to be home to two acclaimed vineyards — and people move to Celina every year for that small town feel with the big city amenities.

Halfway between Dallas and Oklahoma, Celina is a straight shot up State Highway 289, and is also right on the Dallas North Tollway extension. Dallas is 45 minutes away and Denton is 35 minutes away, making it easy to enjoy the country life while still being able to access all the shopping, entertainment and more that the city has to offer as well.

And did we mention Celina’s longtime pastime? Because quite possibly the best entertainment to be had in Texas comes on Friday nights in a small town, and Celina offers up some of the best small-town Friday night football in the state, with eight state championships and 40 playoff appearances under its belt.

So for this week’s Suburb Sunday, we trek to Celina, where depending on where you live, you could be in Celina ISD or Prosper ISD. Three homes, three different price points. Which one is your favorite? (more…)

Light Farms Fall Fest 2014-127

This is one of those events that really shows off a community from all angles. Activities for families, live music, and great food helped Light Farms shine, that’s for sure. And the weather was great, too!

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Photo: Republic Property Group

Photo: Republic Property Group

It’s the perfect opportunity to see what all the hubbub is about up in Prosper, as Light Farms hosts a community kick off day celebrating the return of cooler temps.

The event, which will feature open houses at the many beautiful new home models inside the community priced between $240K and $600K, also includes family-style lawn games, prizes, as well as burgers and snow cones to send off summer in good form.

Food will be served between 5 and 7 p.m., and hang around for a live performance from the Roomsounds between 6 and 8 p.m.

Sounds like a great time to us, and we’re sure you’ll love Light Farms as much as we do!

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Republic Property Group — developers of masterplanned community Light Farms in Celina, TX — has donated $2 million to Prosper ISD as well as the land for a new elementary school. The campus, which will be located within RPG’s sustainably oriented Light Farms development, a 1,070 acre community with tons of family friendly amenities.

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Light Farms sunset

Since Republic Property Group started dreaming up Light Farms, a master-planned community in Celina, we at CandysDirt.com have been intrigued. The location, the amenities, and the builders all drew our attention and we’re happy to hear that the Dallas Business Journal has named Light Farms one of the “Best Real Estate Deals” in all of North Texas.

Light Farms Info CenterWith builders such as Darling Homes, Highland Homes, and Lions Gate, this development will attract plenty of buyers. And with tons of great amenities — pools, green space, and parks out the wazoo — well, I’d definitely call that a great value.

According to a story from the Celina Record Star, city officials were bowled over by the appraisals coming in from Light Farms:

Projected at around $240,000, home values actually came in much higher than that at $350,000, a pleasant surprise to everyone involved.

“When all of this started, we were all concerned about the home values,” said Mike Foreman, city manager. “We were amazed at the values.”

 

Tony Ruggeri of Republic Property Group said that the success of Light Farms was possible because of the hard work the City of Celina put into the partnership. On the other hand, the Celina city officials think it’s the amenities offered by RPG and Light Farms that make it attractive and an incredible buy.

“This is the first big development that is going to kick-start major development in Celina,” Foreman said. “It is going to help provide the rooftops needed for retail in the city.”

Well, I think it’s a combination of both! Great planning and fabulous amenities are really drawing in residents. You can check out the models in Light Farms today, and see why 37 homes in the development are already sold.

Light Farms sunsetLast Thursday I zipped up to Light Farms in Celina after touring the Sorrento at Preston Center. Why am I boring you my nightly schedule? I hit two events in one night, and Light Farms in CELINA was a good thirty-five minute drive north. That is significant. This new Republic Properties Group development is so conveniently located for being in the boonies — it is way up there, but RIGHT OFF the Dallas North Tollway. In fact, when the Tollway is complete, the development will have it’s own Light Farms exit as the main drag in. So you have a pretty direct route to just about anywhere. Light traffic on the tollway means a fast and easy commute to Light Farms.

It’s also the newest RPG development everyone is talking about.

Light Farms (1)Light Farms is not your typical North Texas housing development. 908 acres smack in Celina/Prosper neighboring up to many other family home developments, 2700 homes, 8700 residents. But at Light Farms, you can tell that things up there are different — some old charming stuff, like the wifi/coffeehouse community center built with repurposed barn timbers from the 1830’s in upstate New York’s Mohawk River Valley, timbers with more strength because they were created before climate change.

Light Farms will offer 132 acres of manicured green space, a $13 million greenbelt, multiple playgrounds, parks, gardens, picnic areas, a community lawn, four pools (one has a beach-like walk in), tennis courts and exercise clubs.

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Local wineries!

As far as schools, they are why most people move north. Families can plop kiddos in the highly rated Prosper ISD.  Light Farms is designed with kids in mind, rumbling everywhere, walking/biking/running to award- winning schools. Republic donated 11 acres within the community for a new Propser ISD elementary school, and more will be on the way like expectant mothers.

Homes start at $240,000 on up to $400,000 from quality builders such as Darling, American Legend, Highland, Drees, Lionsgate and Shaddock. Phase one will see the finish out of 267 homes.

OK, so the Serenbe connection? A few weeks ago at the National Association of Real Estate Editor’s annual conference, we were whisked off to Serenbe, an amazing sustainable community just southeast of Atlanta that is unlike any other U.S. development. (There is Prairie Crossing in my native Illinois.) The 1000 acre community lies in the heart of 40,000 acres in a protected plan that calls for 70% green space. Serenbe is a very new approach to community development — and so is Light Farm. At Serenbe, though, all homes are EarthCraft certified, buildings are heated with geothermal, boutiques are scattered closer to homes for increased walkability, trash cans go underground where you sort trash and compost out of sight, even mail boxes have to be tucked away. There are front porches, no lawns, 10 miles of paths and trails and everything is connected. You will be hearing more from me about this amazing community.

You may have to get to Serenbe by car, but once you get there, the foot rules. Oh and the farm to table? When you buy a home at Serenbe, you also get ownership of a patch of farmland where you raise your own vegetables so you can pick up what you need for tonight’s dinner right at the local farmer’s market. Community gardening and a farmers market is a concept Tony Ruggeri told me he and Jake Wagner, both RPG executive vice presidents, are contemplating at Light Farms.Tony-and-Jake