This 80s soft contemporary at 2524 Ellis Court in Plano’s River Bend neighborhood will probably be under contract by the time I press publish on this Thursday Three Hundred post. That’s just how hot this four-bedroom, three-bath home has been, listed for $319,900 by Von Truong of Re/Max Premier Properties. Listed just six days ago, Truong says she’s had approximately 60 showings for the house that seems to be popular with both east- and west-coast transplants. (more…)

Niche

Photo courtesy Plano Parks and Recreation

Which North Texas cities made the cut for Niche’s best places to live list? How did Texas fare in a ranking of best (and worst) states to retire in? How is Texas trending in foreclosure starts? We have all this and more in this week’s roundup of real estate news. (more…)

Plano

Photo courtesy Plano Chamber of Commerce

Plano was named the happiest city in America by Wallethub recently, citing high scores in emotional and physical well-being, income, employment, community, and environment. Yes, but what about more intangible measures of happiness, like whether you’ve got a home that gives you joy or whether you’ve got separate his-and-hers bathrooms. And we’re not just talking dual vanities. We mean the whole separate sink, shower, toilet, and closet shebang. These are important things.

For this week’s Suburb Sunday, we’ve highlighted a few homes that exemplify some of the more impalpable components of happiness: a home that indulges your interests or hobbies, decor that’s bright and full of personality, and a master bath that’s easy to share with your significant other. There are many components of a happy life, but for CandysDirt.com purposes, we think these three homes are great examples of happy living in Plano.

Finally, a Home With Its Own Gift Wrapping Room

Address: 5045 Royal Creek Lane, Plano

  • 6 bedrooms, 9 baths
  • 13,406 square feet
  • $4.95 million

This palatial estate designed by noted architect Fred Wynn has twin Cinderella staircases, Juliet balconies, and a ballroom, but it’s the personal tropes to the owners’ interests that make this home a happy one. Case in point: a gift wrapping room! A wall of built-in shelves house all the gift wrapping supplies you’ll need, while built-in paper rolls and gift bag hooks help you wrap the perfect present. Another luxury: The 1,500-square-foot auto showroom is large enough to feature all your favorite vehicles and entertain others at the same time. It has an 80-inch flat screen television and a 10-seat granite bar.

(more…)

If you picture a 6,000-square-foot home on a sprawling ranch with a barn and chicken coop to boot, you probably aren’t thinking Plano. However, the recently updated home at 3745 Morton Vale Road is exactly that — an immense, rustic retreat in the middle of one of North Texas’s fastest growing areas.

The gated 12-acre farm is just off Parker Road, a mere six minutes from Central Expressway. It is neighbored by Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve, home of the annual Plano Balloon Festival. The popular park features over 800 acres of open space, hiking and riding trails, and a small amphitheater. There’s even a zip-line park hidden under the treetop canopy.

(more…)

For this week’s Saturday Six Hundred, we head to north Plano for this 3,918-square-foot Toll Brothers home at 6913 Portobello Drive in Kings Ridge. For all those employees flocking to west Plano in the land of corporate relocations, this home is in the perfect location for commuting. The four-bedroom, three-bath open floor plan offers plenty of natural light and neat, clean lines for $665,000, plus a little soft Italian style for flair.

(more…)

recessionThe two Metropolitan Statistical Areas that encompass Dallas-Fort Worth ranked in a recent list of top 10 metros that have recovered the most from the Great Recession, HSH.com said.

But that recovery isn’t all that usual — 27 major cities still haven’t seen home prices recover peak values they were posting pre-recession. But that number is dropping, HSH said, and so far, 73 U.S. home markets seen complete recovery.

Dallas-Plano-Irving found itself in fourth place, with home prices 68.51 percent above peak). Fort Worth-Arlington was fifth, at 59.85 percent above peak.

Three more Texas metros found themselves on the recession recovery list as well: Austin-Round Rock at No. 2 (72.55 percent), Houston-The Woodlands- Sugarland at No. 6 (57.05 percent), and San Antonio-New Braunfels at No. 8 (44.47 percent).

“Although the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO metro still holds the top slot, Texas markets dominate the most recovered group, holding five of the 10 slots,” the company said.

Additionally, El Paso made the company’s “nearly recovered” list, signaling that its current values are only one or two percent below previous peaks, and that the city is likely close to making that “fully recovered” list, possibly even by the next quarter.

The rankings are determined by using the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Home Price Index to determine which markets have recovered fully and which ones are still lagging.

Christmas lights

As Christmas creeps closer, and the nights get longer, you can ask just about any North Texan — checking out the homegrown light displays in various neighborhoods is as much a tradition as tamales and NorthPark Santa.

But do you worry you’re missing out on a great neighborhood? Or are you new to the area, and don’t have the skinny on the great displays? Fear not — CandysDirt.com staffers have been quizzing readers, scouring the Internet, and strapping jingle bells on our gumshoes to find some of the best neighborhood and city-led decoration displays in Dallas-Fort Worth.

And thanks to one of our favorite luxury Realtors, Christy Berry with Compass, and CandysDirt.com, you can check out our list of great cruising spots this holiday season. Think you might want to find a house in a neighborhood that embraces their inner Clark Griswold, or maybe something a little uh, more Martha Stewart? Stay tuned, because Christy has a listing to share that could get you right in the middle of Christmas central. (more…)

10-minute

The Farmers Branch Historical Park is home to numerous events year-round, including a vintage baseball tournament in the Spring (photo courtesy city of Farmers Branch).

Is your home a 10-minute (or less) walk from a park? One-third of Americans have a much longer trek than that to get to their nearest park, according to research by the National Recreation and Park Association, Urban Land Institute and, The Trust for Public Land.

Recently, Rachel Banner, a senior program manager at the NRPA, wrote a piece for the National Association of Realtors’ Spaces to Places blog about a year-long initiative to make more public spaces and parks available — within a 10-minute walk from every person.

Banner also talks about the Emerging Trends in Real Estate report, which revealed that while residential and commercial developers may create amenities within their buildings or spaces, that’s not necessarily what creates a lifelong resident of a city.

“The report talks a lot about the growing demand for amenities in both office and residential development.  In the discussion about the report Owen Thomas, CEO of Boston Properties also remarked that while each year a new set of cities may be pegged for growth, we must look at how long those cities will remain “hot spots” and the places people stay long-term,” Ballard said. “While including amenities within a building may initially attract owners or tenants, it is the amenities outside of the building open to all that will get them to stay.” (more…)