inventoryDallas-Fort Worth housing inventory is increasing, which could be good news for buyers, and three separate cities placed at the top of two different growth charts. We’ll explain in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

DALLAS HOUSING INVENTORY INCREASES IN SEPTEMBER

National housing inventory is starting to flatten, Realtor.com’s September housing report revealed, declining only 0.2 percent from a year ago and showing an 8 percent increase in new listings — the largest yearly jump in five years.

“After years of record-breaking inventory declines, September’s almost flat inventory signals a big change in the real estate market,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com. “Would-be buyers who had been waiting for a bigger selection of homes for sale may finally see more listings materialize. But don’t expect the level to jump dramatically. Plenty of buyers in the market are scooping up homes as soon as they’re listed, which will keep national increases relatively small for the time being.” (more…)

Live a Charmed Cottage Life in this Renovated House Near McKinney Square | CandysDirt.com

We’ve found sweet cottage style and a coveted address just blocks from McKinney Square, remodeled and move-in ready.

Our Thursday Three Hundred at 504 N. Bradley St. is in the McKinney Historic District, a rejuvenated area that draws people from all over that city and DFW. 

“The whole square of downtown is what people come up to see — its the true old downtown, charming atmosphere,” said listing agent Marilyn Iness with Coldwell Banker Apex, Realtors. “This area is attracting a lot of millennials and would also make a great vacation rental since there’s not a lot of hotel availability [nearby].” 

The house itself is beautifully redone, yet maintains its character in three bedrooms, three bathrooms, two living areas, and 1,522 square feet on one story, built in 1950. There’s an open house this Sunday, Sept. 16, from 2-4 p.m. Sneak peek, anyone? 

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north texas

(Photo courtesy VisitFrisco.com)

How did North Texas fare in a ranking of overall best housing markets in the U.S.? How far has the Dallas-Fort Worth apartment market come in recovering after the recession? How much of their income is the average Dallas-Fort Worth homeowner spending on housing? All this and more in this week’s review of real estate news. (more…)

Head north to McKinney to discover a magnificent Mediterranean with panoramic views of Kings Lake and every luxurious detail a buyer could want. 

The house at 537 Sea Side Ln., located in the Adriatica Villa District, is a rare find with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two half baths, three living areas, an office, and 6,593 square feet on two stories, including an oversized wine cellar. 

“Everything about this property is extraordinary and the finish-out is exquisite,” said listing agent Christine Hogan with Ebby Halliday Realtors. “It is one of the nicest lots in the area and the views are unparalleled — almost all the rooms on one side of the house overlook the water.” 

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Frisco was named the best city for raising a family, closely followed by Allen, and Southlake as part of a new 2018 “best Texas cities” list, ranking the best and worst Texas cities for families. Wallethub, a D.C.-based personal finance site, compiled the new June 2018 report that ranked the 117 largest cities in Texas based on family life, fun, education, health and safety, affordability and socioeconomic environment.

What makes a city good for raising a family? Plenty of attractions such as museums and theaters, a quality school system, high graduation rates, number of playgrounds per 100,000 residents and a whole lot of pediatricians were all factors that Wallethub took into account when it named the best Texas cities for families.

While the weighted scores and rankings provide a holistic view of cities, a look at the raw data we requested provides some interesting headlines as well. Missing from the list is Highland Park, which did not rank among the largest cities in Wallethub’s data.

Eagles vs. Dragons

Turning to education, Allen had the number one highest graduation rate in Texas – 96.6 percent, according to Wallethub’s data. Frisco, the overall number one, has a 91.8 percent graduation rate, and Southlake, overall number three on the list, had a 87.3 percent graduation rate, according to Wallethub. (more…)

Safer Water North TexasIs our water safe? That’s the question concerned residents are still asking three weeks after activist Erin Brockovich called B.S. (literally using the hashtag #StopTheBullshit) on Plano and the regional water district’s claims that the water was fine, despite its pungent chlorine smell. Now those residents are especially fired up after Brockovich revealed Thursday night at a citizen town hall that the North Texas Municipal Water District was issued a violation by the state of Texas for failing to perform some tests for volatile organic compounds last year. [UPDATE 10:35 p.m. Friday] Though it initially released a statement acknowledging the violation, the water district rescinded its update on late Friday night, explaining the violation was a miscommunication because the plant in question was closed. 

A sold-out crowd of nearly 600 Collin County residents — just a fraction of the nearly 13,000 who’ve joined a Facebook group called Safer Water North Texas— packed into the Frisco Celebration Hall to hear Brockovich and water quality expert Bob Bowcock speak. Safer Water North Texas organized this event in a matter of days, after assembling themselves to speak up about water quality at local city council meetings and demand answers why their water doesn’t seem right. Brockovich and Bowcock flew to North Texas on their own dime after thousands of residents contacted the famed water safety advocate for help guiding their own activist efforts, much like the famed water quality advocate did in the eponymous 2000 movie by Steven Soderbergh.

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Photo: Shelby Skrhak

A thousand years ago, I was the founding editor of a weekly newspaper called Plano Insider, which covered features, society events, youth sports and an “around town” calendar of events. Of course, the best part was the “What We’re Drinking” column I wrote weekly, in which I visited Plano bars and restaurants sampling their signature or most unique cocktail. Now I’m brand new to CandysDirt.com so I won’t push my luck pitching that, but I will “get a little Plano in here” to bring you what’s going on outside the loop, starting with a fun Crayola ticket giveaway and this weekend roundup of stuff to do in Plano and Collin County. 

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The McKinney Performing Arts Center is the launching point for many downtown festivities. A $150,000 grant could help preserve the historic building (Photos courtesy McKinney Main Street)

McKinney officials have been lobbying for a few weeks now, but time is dwindling to increase their odds of winning a $150,000 grant that will be awarded based on daily votes by the public.

But if you want to vote and haven’t, you only have two sleeps to get it done — the contest wraps up tomorrow night. (more…)