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 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.


Real Estate Story

Best and Worst Texas Cities for Families

The Lone Star State is thriving economically, doing much better than many other parts of the country. We’ve also got hoards of people moving here for jobs at places like Plano’s Toyota headquarters near Frisco, JPMorgan Chase, and Liberty Mutual Insurance. As these people consider DFW, ranking the cities becomes important.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, just released an in-depth analysis of 2016’s Best Texas Cities for Families. The good news? Eight cities in North Texas made the top ten. The bad news? Dallas is ranked 107 out of 112.

Analysts at WalletHub compared 112 of the state’s cities across 21 key metrics in four categories: family life and fun; education, health, and safety; affordability; and socioeconomic environment. Their data set ranges from the number of playgrounds per capita to the the violent-crime and divorce rates.

So what made the ‘burbs so appealing and Dallas rank so poorly?

“Many big cities struggle in being family-friendly, especially depending on the size of the family— Dallas ranked poorly due to having the 2nd most expensive housing market in the state and the 4th lowest median family income (adjusted for cost of living) at just $47,428 per year,” said Jill Gonzalez, a WalletHub analyst. “It also has both a high crime rate and divorce rate, 27.18 percent, ranking 99th.”