1327 Rio Grande Front

As much as we talk about the demand for walkable housing, I have to admit that sometimes I want to high-tail it out of the land of potholes and title loan shops for the plush, green lawns and HOAs of Allen. I mean, they have some award-winning city government, great schools, and attractive prices for prime dirt. The suburbs never looked so good.

But not only is this cute Twin Creeks home just spectacular from the curb, it has a backyard you’re going to just die for. Jump to see inside this luxe listing from Vivo Realty Group‘s Bonnie Ottosen.

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607 Naples Front

Cathy Browne has done it again! She’s found another amazing luxury home in Collin County that is stunning inside and out and has some incredible amenities. Not only was it built by one of the more highly sought after custom builders in Collin County, Huntington Homes, in the sought-after Twin Creeks-Somerset addition.

And this home, from the curb appeal to the tidy and relaxing backyard, is a wonderful home for anyone who values quality and timeless design.

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Quinlan Front

We love Darling Homes! Such a great custom builder with wonderful details and quality. If building your own custom home seems daunting, then you should definitely snatch this great house in Allen’s Twin Creeks subdivision that has some fabulous upgrades.

Quinlan Entry Quinlan Dining

With four bedrooms, three full and two half baths, and more than 3,500 square feet, this home is perfect for a big family that needs room to spread out. And the interiors, well, they’re just what you’d expect in a Darling-built home — luxury, class, and functionality. Throw in the huge corner lot and it’s just a great value at $419,000.

Quinlan Kitchen Quinlan Breakfast

There are tons of built-ins throughout 1212 Quinlan Avenue, and the media room is ready and wired for your favorite movies. Of course, the master suite is so well-appointed that you’d have to drive a hard bargain to get me to leave it, that’s for sure!

Quinlan Master Quinlan Master Bath

The backyard, well, with it’s pagoda and amazing pool and spa, it’s a private oasis. Seriously, I love this backyard! And let me say a word about the photos of this place. I love the fact that the front features clouds rolling in, and the interiors have sunlight filtering in through the windows. Just gorgeous, right? I guess it shows that you can have great real estate photography in less-than-ideal conditions, too. What do you think?

Quinlan Media Quinlan Backyard

A quarterly report from Metrostudy says Dallas-Fort Worth new home construction was up 7 percent, and closings on new homes up 9 percent, in the third quarter July, August, September, compared with the second quarter. And housing starts were up 6 percent from the same period last year. Analysts now says the market is coming down off the post-home buyer tax credit bottom that occurred in the first quarter of 2011, almost like withdrawal. David Brown, director of Metrostudy’s Dallas-Fort Worth office, says he continues to hear that sales are sneaking higher than for the same months of 2010.

Home builders closed sales of 3,805 new homes from July to September, and started construction on 3,839 homes.

Last week I told you about the “sweet spot” of pricing on new home sales up in Allen. Hillwood broke ground on the last phase of Twin Creeks; StarCreek and other Allen developers are breaking ground and moving dirt like crazy, I caught up with Hillwood’s president, Fred Balda, who told me it’s not surprising, in times like these, to see consumer home demand in the great master planned communities. It also helps that we have jobs in Texas, particularly tech jobs, drawing in buyers.

What drives the band for our Allen business is employment in the George Bush corridor,” says Balda. “We’ve hit a bit of a dip, but we are still positive. And you need new jobs to create buyers for these homes.”

Last year, says Balda, Hillwood, with 60 major residential master-planned communities across the continental U.S, Hawaii and Costa Rica, only started 300 new lots in Dallas Fort Worth. Tough year. This year, the company has doubled the number here. In the golden years of the boom peak, Hillwood was churning out 1500 lots a year in D/FW.

It’s not just jobs: another Allen draw, says Balda, is great schools, especially “one neat high school that is like a mini-college.” There’s great retail, shopping and restaurants. 

Twin Creeks is the tail end of a development started back in 1993; only 60 lots left to develop, then it’s a completed community adding to the heft of Allen. As a city, Allen saw 425 new home starts in the last 12 months. There are about 800 lots on the ground right now, or an 18 month supply. Equilibrium for this area is 24 months, says Balda, so Allen is actually below equilibrium.   

And Balda agrees: the sweet spot of home sales in this area is below one million. When I asked where the buyers are coming from, he said  20 to 25% are move up buyers coming from other parts of the market — moving away from the private schools, perhaps? — as well as relocations.

Texas is a good buy, f you have great credit,” says Balda. “At this price point housing here is still very competitive with interest rates so low.”

And the upscale dirt here is not too shabby when it comes to sales. The only gated area in Twin Creeks is exclusive Wimberley, where sales are also cooking. Wimberley’s lots are larger and pricier, with homes ranging from $1 million to $3 million: only 50 left to sell. Who’s buying? Upscale buyers — remember, there are plenty of them — businesspeople and professionals who love the hillier terrain and living near ponds and creeks.

I’m just glad to see the dirt flying.