Compass Real Estate announced Wednesday that Chad Schulin, a top-producing agent in Plano, is now affiliated with the technology-driven brokerage.  He will be based out of the firm’s soon-to-be-opened Plano-Frisco office. But leaving Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s was not a decision he made lightly.

“I very much enjoyed my time at Briggs,” Schulin said. “It was a tough decision, but I just felt that for me and my business growth plan, this decision made the most sense.”

While a large percentage of Schulin’s business lies in the corridor between Dallas and Prosper, he also has clients in Westlake and other points west. One of the motivating factors for him was the number of agents he will be able to collaborate with at Compass. The Plano office will be the firm’s fifth local location, joining its Dallas headquarters, Fort Worth, Lakewood and Southlake outposts.

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Plano

Photo courtesy Visit Plano

From staff reports

Out of 180 cities, Plano made the top 5 in a comparison of what WalletHub describes as “essential family dynamics.” In other words, Plano is family-friendly.

Plano’s total score was 67.88, with top 10 scores in health and safety and in affordability. But Plano wasn’t the only North Texas city on the list: Grand Prairie came in 61st, Fort Worth 72nd, Arlington 83rd, Irving 101st, Garland 116th, and Dallas 133rd.

“WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities based on 47 key metrics that consider essential family dynamics, such as the cost of housing, the quality of local school and health-care systems, and the opportunities for fun and recreation,” the company said. “While obviously not perfect — given personal preferences and the limitations of publicly available data — our findings will hopefully give movers a sense of their options.” (more…)

5935 Deseret Front

More proof that there are some really cool houses up north that are far from your standard, brick-and-stone-clad builder’s special. This 1970s contemporary in West Plano is a wonderful example of how you can find a fabulous, updated home with tons of great details up in Collin County.

Located inside Bent Trail, this lovely home not only has great curb appeal and perfect landscaping, but inside is a transitional transformation that is just perfect for a modern family.

Jump to see inside!

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plano arts district

An artist’s rendering of the soon-to-be-renovated Saigling House, which will be the new permanent home of ArtCentre Plano. This will be part of the new Plano arts district in the historic downtown area. Photo: Suzy Sloan Jones

Downtown Plano has gone from sleepy suburb center to bustling business and cultural area over the past decade. Now the city is looking to create an official arts district in its historic 80-acre downtown.

The downtown area has already seen over 50,000 square feet of private development, including more than 1,100 urban apartments built or approved, and the restoration of historic commercial and civic buildings. Multiple art galleries, shopping spots, and restaurants draw people of all ages to the area. An official arts district will is the next step to encourage business and job development, create a tourist and resident destination, and foster local cultural development.

“It’s the right move, especially with all the growth in Plano,” said Suzy Sloan Jones, executive director of the ArtCentre of Plano. “With Toyota, Liberty Mutual, and FedEx headquarters moving to this community, those people will be looking for things to do with the arts.”

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Toyota groundbreaking 1.20.2015

At a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday, about 100 attendees watched as a Toyota Tundra truck moved the first shovels of dirt for the Japanese automaker’s $350 million North American headquarters in West Plano.

The relocation of Toyota Motor Corp.’s $350 million headquarters to Plano from Southern California was North Texas’ biggest corporate relocation of 2014. By the time construction is complete in late 2016 or early 2017, some 4,000 jobs will have been created at or moved to the 100-acre campus, including transfers from California, New York, and other states. Plus, for every one of the jobs Toyota brings to Plano, four more jobs will be created.

That’s a colossal business opportunity for Collin County realtors, who are getting ready to be a part of finding homes for those who need it. The company’s 1 million-square-foot campus is located off the Sam Rayburn Tollway and Legacy Drive in Plano, and many of the corporate employees will want to live close to that area.

“We’re all gearing up for it and we are ready to take them on, whether they’re going into Plano or Uptown,” said David Maez, broker and co-owner at VIVO Realty. “Another thing we’re going to see is all the corporations that do business with Toyota moving to the area. You’ll be adding all those other jobs and people to the area.” Jump to read more!

Toyota Executives groundbreaking

Toyota CEO Jim Lentz, President and CEO Michael Groff, and Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere (center). All photos courtesy of WFAA-TV.

 

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Tom Branch

Realtor extraordinaire Tom Branch passed from this life on September 13, 2014, leaving a devoted wife, a loving family, and many, many friends. Rest in peace, dear friend, rest in peace.

Jenkins Front

Yes, we do love Plano! It’s the original upscale suburb to Dallas, and it is full of gorgeous homes in pretty much every price range. It’s both affordable with great amenities, but you’ll also get a great bang for your buck considering the excellent schools. And it’s not too far from downtown Dallas if you’re the type who doesn’t mind a commute.

Jenkins Living

If you’re mentally ticking off boxes, then you should definitely consider this lovely home in Deerfield East. Marketed by Christine Shannon at Vivo Realty for $392,500, at 4537 Jenkins Drive you get five bedrooms, four and a half baths, and a lovely pool in the backyard, complete with a spa! Sounds like the perfect place to take a dip after a stressful day at work or school, no?

Jenkins Fireplace

What I really love about this home is the huge corner lot, a sought-after feature in Plano. Also, there’s a great mother-in-law suite downstairs and a fabulous master bedroom upstairs complete with tray ceiling and crown moulding.

Jenkins Office

The kitchen is great, and only needs a few updates to be ready for an active home chef. I love how it opens to the family room, too, and with the butler’s pantry, you’ll have plenty of storage space. New counters and appliances are really all it needs to make it totally sleek.

Jenkins Kitchen

Of course, this home was meant for a large family, because there’s nothing skimpy about it! With more than 3,900 square feet, you will have tons of room for you and your family to spread out. And if you work from home, there’s a fabulous office with coffered ceilings that will satisfy anyone. A gameroom upstairs is the perfect place to sequester toys and video games, too.

Jenkins Master Jenkins Master Bath

The master suite features a huge five-piece bath with a steam shower, too. Of course, the first thing you’ll want to do is rip up that carpet (I have a thing about carpet in bathrooms and kitchens!!!) but otherwise it is just fantastic and such a great size for a retreat!

Jenkins Backyard

Hurry and snap this great home up!

 

Local Market Monitor February

The Local Market Monitor Report for the Dallas, Plano, and Irving areas calls the real estate market “Low Risk.” This is echoing what we’ve heard since November — prices are up, homes are on the market for a 30 to 60 days, inventory is low.

The report forecasts a 3 percent increase in home values over the next twelve months, and says the recession is pretty much over for our area, as jobs are growing, too, thanks to our large finance sector. So there are fewer homes on the market, more demand for homes, and a job growth rate that is almost twice the national rate …

 

That got me wondering. In some areas, I’m seeing the same signs in the same front yards that have been there for months. If the market has such awesome momentum, why aren’t some of these perfectly fine homes in an otherwise great area not selling?

Take this cute, well-preserved midcentury modern in the Ash Creek area of East Dallas. We’ve said (pretty much ad nauseum) that this area has amazing momentum and is growing like gangbusters. Still, this steal of a deal isn’t selling. I wonder why?

What do you think? Are buyers being more picky than normal despite the low inventory? What are you seeing buyers turn their noses up at?