Despite only being in her mid-20s, Macey Snyder has already made a name for herself in sales and design. Now the Texas Tech alum is ready to take on real estate as an agent for JP and Associates.

Those who travel to West Texas may recognize the family name. The Snyder’s stores in Seymour and Childress are community staples, selling hardware, building materials and other home essentials.

“We’re just kind of a little one-stop shop for a small town,” Snyder said. She grew up in Seymour, a town of less than 3,000 people nearly an hour away most big-name retailers. When the local western wear store in Childress closed a few years ago, her family decided to start selling clothing as well.

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Financial site WalletHub ranked 182 of the largest U.S. cities to find the most stressful places in America, and found that Plano is the least stressed city in Texas. Houston was ranked the most stressful city in the state. Oh, and the sky is blue. These are things we already knew.

Based on data, WalletHub found the three most stressful cities in the U.S. were Detroit, Newark, and Cleveland. What makes a city stressful? Citywide factors you’d expect such as high rates of unemployment and underemployment, long commute times, and lack of affordable housing. There’s more personal factors that cause stress like personal bankruptcy, foreclosure, poor health, and divorce.

Then, there are the quirky factors that WalletHub evaluates like percentage of binge drinkers (yes, that’s you with your box wine-a-weekend habit), median credit score, obesity rates and share of adults getting inadequate sleep that make writing about WalletHub’s lists so interesting.

People in Plano report lower levels of stress at work, less financial woes, happier families and better health and safety than any other city in Texas, according to the July 2018 study. The new ranking comes after Plano was named one of the happiest places in the United States.

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During the week, Andrea Brooks is a Plano-based Realtor for Keller Williams. Over the past decade she’s built a successful business, one that she says is “busy and fulfilling.” However, on weekends she can often be found traveling around the country promoting her invention called Footsie Soft.

“I think most people have thought of something and said, ‘That would be so cool if I could get my invention out there,’” Brooks said. “I thought why not just give it a try so that’s what I did.”

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Clint Haggard with his father Rutledge Haggard, aunt Linda Haggard Brookshire, and cousin Jeff Lamun at the Collinwood House. Photo courtesy: Collinwood Consortium

Will the historic 1861 Collinwood house get a happy ending after all? Descendants of the Collinwood house’s original owners, the Haggard family, will save the city’s oldest home from demolition if a recently approved plan by the Plano City Council comes to fruition. The city council on Monday unanimously approved Haggard Enterprises’ bid to move Collinwood off the future site of a city park and take ownership of the troubled house that’s been on the verge of destruction.

The city will subsidize the Collinwood’s relocation, pitching in $250,000 in previously approved funds to move the home off the city’s property at the Dallas North Tollway and Windhaven Parkway, which is the future location of Windhaven Meadows park.

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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…)

Vivo Realty Group just launched a new membership-based business model that provides the infrastructure that agents need at an affordable, tiered pricing scheme. The brokerage has three locations in North Texas: Plano, Uptown Dallas, and North Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District. (Courtesy Photo)

As members of our editorial team cover the annual National Association of Real Estate Editors conference, a recurring theme is the transformation of the traditional real estate brokerage. The existing model, industry disruptors say, no longer serves the individual agent. 

Locally, more and more brokerages are touting their digital assets, using social media and mobile apps to make real estate transactions easier for buyers and sellers. But what about infrastructure?

“The real estate industry is not just changing, it’s changed,” says David Maez Jr., co-founder and broker at Vivo Realty Group, which launched their new subscription-based brokerage model. “We had to think, ‘What’s wrong with the way we have been doing things for over 150-plus years?’ The brokerage model has failed to innovate and deliver what agents need: Flexible pay structures, places to meet clients and work from that are easily assessable, contract, and marketing support.”

So Vivo, with three offices in hot North Texas neighborhoods — Plano, Uptown Dallas, and North Oak Cliff — made a new model that fills the gaps of independent agents without sacrifices.

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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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