Getting the DirtAs we mentioned last week, we’ve debuted two new Facebook groups designed to provide a platform for the house hunter and the Realtor alike, and all those businesses also make homeownership possible.

This week’s roundup of open houses features two house that came to us during our Open House Roundup feature that we have on Tuesdays on Getting the Dirt, our open group that is a place to talk about trends, to post a story you wrote and ask for direct feedback, and is also home to regular posts like, “Pitch Me Please,” where we will ask Realtors to pitch us their best houses in the $200,000 to $700,000 price points; “Open House Roundup,” where Realtors will have the opportunity to point us to their open houses for the week; “Hip Pocket Monday;” and “Suburb Sunday,” where readers and Realtors will be able to weigh in on what suburb we will look at on Sunday.

Our CandysDirt.com Open Houses of the Week are listed by members of Getting the Dirt, and range in price from $378,000 to $515,000. Which ones will you visit? Want to see your open house in next Thursday’s roundup? Join Getting the Dirt! (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…)

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…)