Mckinney greener 1

Roofers likely started work on the wrong house Thursday in McKinney, but the Greener family is now left with a mess and no clue as to who started the job and then left. (Photo courtesy Paige Greener)

The Greener family got a rude awakening Thursday morning — literally.

They were sound asleep when they heard someone on the roof of their McKinney home. Now, they weren’t frightened — they had begun work on getting a new roof thanks to a recent storm that pelted their neighborhood with hail — but they were a little confused.

The work on their house hadn’t been scheduled yet. In fact, the Greeners were planning to wait until after storm season to start the job for a variety of reasons. The family then contacted the contractor they had hired and sent him pictures from their security camera of the crew that had been on their roof, and he confirmed that the men were not working for him.

Just as abruptly as they began work, they left — with the Greener’s roof half demolished, and left exposed to the elements.

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Best real estate markets 2016

Nearly a decade after the housing crisis that sent the U.S. economy into freefall, housing is most certainly back—just look at our DFW market. Citing U.S. Census Bureau data, the New York Times recently reported that sales of new single-family homes nationwide were higher this past July than in nearly 10 years.

Nationwide, a company that tracks the health of U.S. real estate, reported at the end of quarter two that “the overall U.S. housing market is sustainable,” adding that “few regional housing markets are vulnerable to a housing downturn.”

In a new study, financial services site WalletHub compared 300 U.S. cities across 16 key metrics to help prospective home buyers find the most attractive real-estate markets. Their data set ranges from “median home-price appreciation” to “housing affordability” to “job growth.”

North Texas cities scored big: Frisco, McKinney, Richardson, Allen, and Plano made their top-ten list of best real estate markets nationwide in 2016. Denton, Carrollton, Fort Worth, Irving, Grand Prairie, and Dallas scored in the top 50.

So what made DFW cities score so high?

“North Texas cities have healthy and sustainable real estate markets,” said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. “Very few homes have negative equity, home appreciation in the past seven years has continued to increase, and foreclosure rates are extremely low. In addition to having a healthy real estate market, these cities are affordable with low maintenance costs and cost of living. Not to mention, the economic environment in North Texas is thriving, boasting some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country (under 3 percent across the board).”

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H-E-B

DFW Internet was set ablaze yesterday after H-E-B announced the purchase of six Sun Fresh Market stores in the area. (Photo by Dave Stone/Flickr)

Monday afternoon, the Dallas-area Internet exploded: It wasn’t just a rumor, the long-desired H-E-B grocery store chain had bought up six Sunfresh Market sites — four in Dallas, one in Grapevine, and one in McKinney.

Interestingly enough, it seems like the drumbeat for expansion may have been happening even earlier than this, judging from this thread in Retail Watchers.

As neighborhood NextDoor pages and Facebook groups filled with the requisite 15 reposts of the same Dallas Morning News article, people began to express their joy at the possibility of the area finally getting the stores that are ubiquitous in Central and Southeast Texas, but not so much around here. They also began to guess about which it would be – Central Market, or H-E-B. (more…)

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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Historic-Downtown-McKinney

UPDATE: Comes word from Robert Wilonsky at the Dallas Morning News that civil rights groups and activists are demanding a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the police action in McKinney — as they should. Many people feel (as I do) that the officer, Eric Casebolt, way over-reacted and should likely find another line of work. Meantime, I am having trouble locating the man who posted the “neighborhood plea”  we posted below, that is circulating Facebook: Michael Cory Quattrin.

MONEY Magazine voted McKinney, Texas, as the best place to live in America last year, and we are pretty bullish on the town, too: great homes, great values, charming downtown, a good school system.

Honestly, agents tell me most buyers prefer the schools in Lucas, Prosper and Allen. But McKinney’s are highly rated.

Now McKinney is on the national map, for a pool party incident at a private community pool in Craig Ranch, a 2200 acre private development of upscale single family homes, that was videoed, posted and put the community all over the internet as yet another community where white police pick on black. I saw the news last night and emailed Jo. My initial reaction to what I saw was outrage. Outrage at what appeared to be obvious police brutality against a teenage girl and a bunch of black teenagers. The headlines were clearly meant to incite and provoke a negative reaction against the McKinney police department, to suggest that McKinney is a racist community.

This is not the McKinney I know.

Then I recalled a party my daughter threw years ago in our back-yard on Park Lane, circa 1998, along with two friends. Word spread quickly (these kids had cell phones, not Twitter) that someone was having a backyard pool party with underage drinking, WHICH WE WERE NOT. Kids came out and over from everywhere, tall, thin, black and white, public school, private school. They came slinging six-packs over their shoulder, holding bottles of tequila, and we found so much booze in our yard after that night we stocked the (locked) bar for years.

I called the police to help me get the kids off my property, which they did. They were told to go home. And they did. I learned some brutal lessons parenting teenagers that night: (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.

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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!

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The inside has been renovated by Crest Custom Homes!

You’ve been looking for a home that is large and well-appointed and absolutely fresh inside, this beautiful home inside McKinney’s Stonebridge Estates will do just the trick. This home is a gorgeous custom property built in 2003 and just renovated by Crest Custom Homes with a brand new heated pool and spa, fresh paint inside, a beautiful kitchen, and a lovely master bathroom.

This brick and stone home is perfect for entertaining this holiday season, too, from the dramatic two-story entrance to the formals to the  butler’s pantry, wine room, and wet bar. Not only that, but you have a two private suites downstairs, one master and another for those VIP guests you wouldn’t dare set up in a hotel!

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