Rarely do we come across a home that is an urban contemporary through and through. So color us thrilled when Virginia Cook Realtor Angela Downes reached out to us about this white hot contemporary in North Dallas. Not only that, but this home, situated north of Preston Trails Golf Club and west of Preston Road, is inside the Dallas city limits, but located within the boundaries of Plano ISD. 

And the spaces inside this home, with their soaring ceilings and huge windows, are a breath of fresh air. It’s no wonder then that we’ve named this artful urban contemporary our High Caliber Home of the Week sponsored by Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans. There’s so much to love in this luxurious, clean-lined home that we cannot wait to show you.

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This home at 618 Candlewood Trail is inside the Murphy Middle School attendance boundaries and is priced at $324,900.

It’s back-to-school season, and it’s crunch time for families looking to score a home inside great school attendance areas. Of course, you’d love to hit the sweet spot where you can get into a great house with tons of amenities that is also inside a great school district, but be prepared for competition.

Realtor.com just released some new stats that rank the most affordable housing markets with the best schools, and Wylie ISD’s Murphy Middle School attendance area made the charts. It followed Chandler, Ariz., in the No. 10 spot as the top affordable neighborhood with the best middle school campuses. Interestingly, though it’s inside Plano ISD, the homes are located in the little suburb of Murphy, Texas.

The only other Texas town that made the list was Katy, with two of its campuses scoring a spot on the most affordable neighborhoods with the best high schools.

“When searching for a new home, finding something affordable in a good school district with family-friendly features, such as large backyards, tops the list of homebuyer priorities,” said Javier Vivas, manager of economic research for Realtor.com. “These markets offer strong public schools and affordable homes, making them a great fit for homebuyers with elementary school-age children.”

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Grenadier Homes in Creekside Estates are perfect for families with school-aged children.

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of hundreds of North Texas teachers groaning as the first “Back to School” advertisements start showing up on websites and billboards. 

For a lot of people, buying a home is closely associated with education, and many times parents (or parents to be) will select a home based on the performance of area schools and the amenities that make family life a little sweeter. Not only does Creekside Estates have outstanding Plano and Wylie schools, but the amenities make it all the more attractive. 

But wouldn’t you prefer a custom home that’s built for your family’s needs? That’s what Grenadier Homes offers.

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great school districts

This home at 3041 Trinity Lane in Keller is priced at $539,000, which makes it a bargain if you’re looking for a family home in Southlake-Carroll ISD, listed as one of Niche’s great school districts.

It’s not unusual — many of the great school districts in the Dallas/Fort Worth area are also in the priciest cities and neighborhoods.

So when the website Niche advertised that it could help folks find the best schools in your metro area, we decided to take a gander at their list, and then go on a mission to locate the cheapest abode a family could expect to find among their top five districts.

The results are as follows.

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6820 Garlinghouse Front

To some buyers, 6820 Garlinghouse looks like too much work. It’s a 1985-built ranch in Far North Dallas that is in original condition, according to Ashli Clements of Minnette Murray Properties, a boutique real estate group under Coldwell banker residential brokerage.

“It has really good bones and the floor plan works well for today’s families,” she said. “It’s totally livable right now. The seller lived in home for four years and didn’t change a thing. The breakfast nook is actually beautiful, with that gorgeous ceiling.”

6820 Garlinghouse Breakfast

But today’s buyers seem to be lacking in vision and inspiration, because at 2,565 square feet, this home is priced just right for the renovation-minded. This four-bedroom, three-bath home inside the Dallas city limits but with Plano ISD schools is being marketed for just $350,000 — a steal! Plus, buyers will receive a $10,000 allowance toward upgrades, making those Pinterest boards you’ve been carefully curating for your dream house even closer to tangible reality.

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Photo courtesy publicdomainpictures.net

Photo courtesy publicdomainpictures.net

I had more than one person message me to ask what I thought of the story about Plano Senior High and the fact that the school does not use the National Honor Society stoles at graduation.  One person in the real estate business even asked me what kind of impact this might have on parents looking for homes – would they want to send their child to a school that seemingly doesn’t recognize hard work and apparently wants things homogenous?

And I’ll admit, after reading this story, I was all ready with my comparisons of Harrison Bergeron.

But then I started poking around. And as with much outrage, there is another part of this story, one that was not mentioned. And since I really would rather be right than first, I actually asked both Plano Senior High and the National Honor Society for some more details.

So here’s the deal. (more…)

Harry!

I met Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere at a beautiful dinner party last Thursday evening, and I am besmitten. Not only do we share the same city route to life in Dallas —  via New York City —  he is one of the most dedicated young politicos I have ever met. The fact that he is The One guiding Plano through its super growth spurt fascinated me. Who is this interesting man running the show in what was once a sleepy farm bedroom community of Dallas, a suburb the Dallas elite very much disdained in the 1990s? Get a load of this quote from a story written about Plano housing in 1998:

Jeff Witt, the long-range planner for the city of Frisco who held the same job in Plano for 2/2 years, fears a manufactured slum. “1 was always concerned with the housing stock in Piano,” he says. “You have people who don*l want to invest in their houses. Ultimately, you have a very expensive deteriorating structure.” Witt says that the irony of the looming problem of shoddy Piano (sic, I think they mean Plano) housing is that it is a direct result of the city’s incredible growth and success. Perhaps the biggest reason the city has been able to attract some of the best companies in America is the affordable housing. Developers who erected hundreds of homes a year and kept unit costs down could sell for cheap and still maintain a solid profit margin, and employees transferred from Los Angeles or Phoenix or Boston were amazed to find 3.000 square feet for $250,000. The waves of migratory rich moved to North Texas, and, in a state where unions have always been weak, the work of laying bricks or installing carpentry-jobs traditionally performed by trained, unionized craftsmen-was done by workers with no specialized training. Although cheap labor almost always equals cheap workmanship, all the elements necessary for an unparalleled building boom were there: an abundance of low-wage immigrant workers, low interest rates, and great schools. The race was on.

Well then, cheap houses and all —

But the halcyon present is every day inching its way toward a precarious future. Jeff Witt, for one, is worried about that. “Plano is perceived as a very affluent town,” he says. “It’s a nice ZIP code to have. But that perception can change very quickly.”

Really? Now Plano is a near world-class city competing for, and snagging, some of the top businesses in the U.S.A. And where the hell is Jeff Witt?

And Plano has Harry! (more…)

richardson real estateFor families looking to live in a northern suburb, today’s Tuesday Two Hundred offers a chance to get a lot of house for under $300K with the opportunity to totally personalize the space.

The Richardson house at 5403 Kingston Dr. is 2,158 square feet with four bedrooms, two full bathrooms, and an open floorplan in the shared rooms. Located near Renner and Murphy roads, east of Central Expressway, this Collin County house is zoned for Plano ISD, and its elementary, Miller, earns a 10 out of 10 rating from GreatSchools.org.

There’s a nice-sized backyard, and the house is just one block from the 417-acre Breckinridge Park, with trails, pavilions, picnic and playground areas, a gazebo, 12 soccer fields, two softball fields, three ponds, and tons of undeveloped green space. It’s also about a 10-minute drive from the CityLine mixed-use development.

HOA dues are a very reasonable $90 per quarter, and the house itself was listed Sunday by Kurt Buehler with Keller Williams Realty Dallas Metro North for $250,000 ($116 per square foot).

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