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…)

 

The Shields family will open their Heath home for Friday’s Heath Holiday Home Tour. (Courtesy Photo)

 
People who open their doors for home tours are the most saintly homeowners among us. It takes a lot of fortitude and a near obsessive compulsion for neatness to really make home tour hosting work, and we’re excited to see the incredible estates on tour for the upcoming Heath Holiday Home Tour from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1.

Though sometimes there’s a story behind a home that you have to see to believe, like Sarah Shields’ impressive Heath home that was built on the lot of a home that burned to the ground. In fact, the ruins of the previous house were an eyesore to neighbors and nearby residents. That was, until Shields fell in love with Heath. The rest is history.

“The homeowner put the property up for sale and it sat there for several years as a vacant lot with a portion of the home remaining and the slab until we purchased it,” Shields said. “One day my husband and I were headed to East Texas and there was a wreck so we decided to cut through Heath. It never even crossed our mind to move there — I had barely heard of it.”
 
They drove past the property and Shields almost offhandedly remarked that it was a shame that the lot had gone unpurchased, as it could be a metaphorical phoenix rising from the ashes. “My husband, being supportive of my crazy ideas as he usually is, called the Realtor.”

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It’s an annual holiday tradition that shows off some of the truly stunning estates in Heath, all while benefiting a great cause: keeping kids sober and off the road on prom night. And this year’s Heath Holiday Home Tour doesn’t disappoint, with five fabulous estates sure to impress on Dec. 1.

“We are very excited about the array of homes on this year’s tour,” said Tour Co-Chair Tracee Lamberth. “It’s a great reflection of our community, and we really appreciate the support of each homeowner.”

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Find Your Perfect Rockwall Home with Community Experts Ebby Halliday Realtors | CandysDirt.com

The Rockwall home at 2050 Silver Hawk Ct.

About 25 miles northeast of Dallas on the eastern shores of Lake Ray Hubbard, Rockwall is a popular city for people looking for lake living and a strong sense of community. This is a rapidly growing area, with a population around 40,000 in its 31 square miles. 

It’s a popular place for good reason: family-oriented, small-town feel with cute nostalgic downtown area and lots of locally owned restaurants and shops. Rockwall ISD gets high marks from parents and there are many family activities, like movies in the parks and concerts on the water. The lake creates a sense of separation from the bigger cities, but you’re really only a 20-minute drive from the Dallas Museum of Art, Deep Ellum, and other big city stuff, thanks to Interstate 30, which runs south of the city. Rockwall is well appointed for fun, with 23 parks, spraygrounds, a dog park, aquatics, and rec centers, too. 

“Rockwall offers affordability — people can get a beautiful home in a great neighborhood with excellent schools: the lifestyle they want and have an easy commute,” said Dell Osborn, a Realtor with Ebby Halliday’s Rockwall/Heath/Lake Ray Hubbard office and listing agent for the property pictured above.

I’d love to show you three exceptional properties I found, represented by Ebby!

 

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ChristopherCtPasture-575x381

Our first featured Ranch of the Week from contributor and Ebby Halliday Realtor Kathryn Roan is a knockout! Located in the Bluebonnet Ridge Equestrian Subdivision, Roan calls this stunning home “befitting the setting for a Bronte novel.”

We have to say we agree! It’s the perfect escape from the busy city life, and close enough that you can run away any time you want!

You have to see this home to believe it, so head over to our sister site, SecondShelters.com, to get a good gander at this lovely Rockwall area abode that is perfect for a horse lover who wants luxury, too.

 

Look, I want them to stay together, I really do. Comes this story in the Dallas Observer where Pilar Sanders says she “is committed to their marriage.” Wow. Good for her. For them. Then today, TMZ — and as I have said before, God knows where they get their stuff — reports that Deion’s daughter Deiondra (she’s from a previous marriage) seems to be accusing Pilar of not being truthful, or something:

“…she GOES OFF — claiming Pilar straight up LIED when she claimed she found out Deion filed for divorce on TMZ.com.

Deiondra writes, “#HowYouDidntKnow but yo boxes have been packed for weeks now.”

She adds, “HowYoTopPriorityBeen yo marriage and yo kids when u flying out to see other n**gas … yeah we know.”

Deiondra added, “All u had to do was be a supportive wife. Only thing u ever cared about doing with my dad is reality shows.”

Still does not explain why Pilar (and a friend, Donna) looked at this house in Rockwall about a month ago? Or maybe it does. Despite what Donna said to Rockwall News editor J.J. Smith, she did look at the house (here’s the audio: memo pilar edited1), because they “had a situation”. After I heard that Donna, Pilar’s friend, had contacted the Rockwall News saying that what I wrote was untrue, I diald her up. Did they actually see the house? She told me yeah, they saw it, but they really didn’t like the house and it was really a mess at the time.  (Sellers were moving out an occupant, had let her in because of her “PDQ” call.) She felt the sellers were maybe using Pilar’s name to help sell the house. Seller thinks what Pilar maybe liked best was the owner financing.

What’s not to like about an 11,000 square foot home with two master suites designed to look like Caeser’s Palace? There’s an indoor jacuzzi splat in the middle of one master and, Donna told me, bullet proof glass between the two rooms!

She said that’s not Pilar’s style, no way!

Sounds to me like the PERFECT house for a feuding couple!

I was at the East Dallas MLS meeting early this morning, and I am already pining for Luby’s baking soda biscuits. Great crowd, and as usual I learned as much from them as they (hopefully) learned from me. We talked SecondShelters a lot, and how more agents are marketing second homes properties to their clients. We talked housing and our local market. Awhile back, someone had told me that homes were selling in Rockwall like hotcakes you could barely find any listings. Not so, say my compatriots in East Dallas. Rockwall is now Foreclosure City. Too many new homes, too much borrowed against them, things are not real pretty in Rockwall under the stone facades. But what about Rockwall for a second home? Look at that sunset!