Located between Allen and Plano, “Parker is a small town that has access to the larger cities, in case you want to venture out. Parker provides a lot of open space and relaxation, without being too far away from Dallas,” notes City Administrator, Jeff Flanigan.

Parker, Texas is a town that is “strictly 10 square miles and is strictly residential. The City of Parker does not plan to have any change in zoning,” says City Administrator, Jeff Flanigan. “Here in Parker, we value family values and family-centered living. Although you have your privacy, you know your neighbors.”

The average home value in Parker is $500,000, and the city has been in the top 10 of “The 10 Best Dallas Suburbs” in D Magazine since 2002.

Parker, Texas is a town that is “strictly 10 square miles and is strictly residential. The City of Parker does not plan to have any change in zoning,” says City Administrator, Jeff Flanigan. “Here in Parker, we value family values and family-centered living. Although you have your privacy, you know your neighbors.”

What Makes Parker Unique?

“What makes Parker unique from other cities in Collin County is that we are a town that is strictly residential. Although Parker recently annexed Southfork Ranch, where the original television show ‘Dallas’ was shot, Parker remains a bedroom community,” says Flanigan.

“Another unique aspect of Parker is that we do not allow privacy fences. We believe this encourages families to know one another, while still maintaining the open space that many families desire. Here in Parker, each home has a minimum of at least 100 feet of separation between other homes,” explains Flanigan. This is ideal for families and individuals who prefer to have more space than a traditional neighborhood. Parker also has one of the lowest crime rates in Collin County, as well as one of the lowest tax rates.


Parker Schools

Parker is mostly served by the Plano Independent School District, and the northern quarter of Parker is served by the Allen Independent School District. “I always tell families when they move here that their children will receive a great education, regardless of what section of Parker they live in,” notes Flanigan.


Parker is unique from other cities in Collin County because it is strictly residential.


Southfork Ranch

Known for being where the television show “Dallas” was shot, Southfork Ranch is now a premier special events destination. From weddings to corporate retreats, Southfork Ranch can host social and business gatherings.

Festivals and Celebrations


ParkerFest is Parker’s annual community fall Festival open to everyone. It takes place in the Nature Preserve and Trails located off of Gray Lane. There is live music, food vendors, market vendors, walking trails, and more. Bring your family and friends to ParkerFest to welcome Fall and enjoy the great outdoors.


Parker has seen steady growth in the past few years, with the population continuing to expand.

“Right now, the population of Parker is about 4,000 people. We are expecting to see a lot of growth in the next decade, and Parker is prepared for a build-out to about 12,000 people,” notes Flanigan. “Parker is a great place for young and growing families to move. You can have a home with a large lot size and have the peace of mind of living in a safe community.”

Updated December 18, 2017



Located 35 miles north of downtown Dallas, Melissa, Texas is “…one of the last cities in Collin County to have a touch of the rural,” says Reed Greer, Mayor of Melissa. According to Greer, Melissa is “…a fast growing and family-friendly community that has a sense of community pride that is focused around the school system.”

Just two exits north of McKinney off of Highway 75, Melissa is a bedroom community that also offers any kind of retail or commercial need within 6-7 minutes. As a smaller city, Melissa also offers “slower Saturdays,” where kids can go out and play without the fear of a lot of traffic going down every neighborhood street. If you are looking for a quieter lifestyle that is within reach of a big city, Melissa is the place for you.

What Makes Melissa Unique?

Melissa has one line of schools. “From elementary to high school, students are always a Cardinal,” says Greer. “The fact that the kids are always a Cardinal helps students form an identity, and really brings the community together to support all of the programs that our schools offer.”

Nearing a population of 8,000, Melissa has a great community support system that centers on the public school system. Another aspect that makes Melissa unique is something Mayor Greer calls “reverse generational moving,” meaning that young families move to Melissa to raise their children, and the grandparents move to Melissa to be close to their grandkids. Thus, “Melissa has a wide range of age groups from kids to grandparents that makes our city diverse,” notes Greer.



Melissa Schools

“We have a great school system here in Melissa,” mentions Greer. “Our close-knit community makes growing up and going to school in Melissa a great place to be.” Melissa is working to make their schools better both academically and physically, as the population continues to grow.

“New locations for more schools are on the horizon, and new schools will be built in the next 2-5 years,” notes Greer. Melissa ISD is a recognized school district with an “Exemplary” rated elementary and intermediate school. As a “one high school town,” Melissa schools offer students the opportunity to be known by name, and participate in numerous academic and athletic activities. Melissa ISD also works to engage students in innovative learning, and entered a partnership with Texas A&M Commerce that offers high school juniors and seniors the option of earning dual credit.

Although Melissa is a smaller community than other cities in Collin County, students are able to receive more one-on-one attention, as well as participate in activities both academically and athletically that larger school districts are known to offer.


Melissa offers “slower Saturdays,” where kids can go out and play without the fear of a lot of traffic on neighborhood streets.


The Great Outdoors
Melissa Hike & Bike Trail
The Melissa Hike & Bike Trails offers 41 miles of trails for runners, hikers, and families to enjoy while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Visit their Website

Family Friendly Parks
The City of Melissa is proud to offer families three great parks to enjoy! Zadow Park features a pavilion, restroom, picnic areas with grills, a sand volleyball court, basketball court, an inline skate court, and three baseball fields! Bob Miller Park features a pavilion, playground, and restrooms, and Hunter Park has a playground, pavilion area, and benches.
Visit their website

Festivals and Celebrations

Melissa has multiple celebrations and festivities that occur throughout the year. Here are a few notable events:

Celebrations and Events
Celebration of Freedom
Every year, the City of Melissa celebrates Independence Day the Saturday before July 4. Featuring a big fireworks show, local vendors, art, live music, and scouting for sports groups, the Celebration of Freedom is fun for the whole family!
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Melissa Public Library Events

The Melissa Public Library hosts a few events every year, including the Summer Reading Program and movie night for children and teens. Check out the City of Melissa Public Library website for announcements and scheduled events.
Visit their website



Melissa has seen steady growth in the last few years, and is expected to remain steady in the years to come. However, Melissa is landlocked and will eventually expand to the city limits, reaching into McKinney and surrounding areas.

“Although we are growing, the aura created by the rural feel in Melissa is still one that we still enjoy,” says Greer. “Melissa has a plan for longevity, and maintaining the quality of life that our residents love. One thing we have worked toward as a city is to maintain the nature we have. The wildlife has not been sacrificed for the benefit of the developers to put more lots down,” notes Greer.

Avoid Buyer’s Remorse By Staying Clear of These 3 Pitfalls

For most people, purchasing a home is the biggest monetary commitment one makes. Investing in a property that makes financial sense and meets your essential requirements is crucial. Unfortunately, budgetary restraints and other unforeseen situations, including losing out in a multiple-offer situation or unsatisfactory inspection reports, can force a buyer to settle for something other than what he/she desires. Not acquiring one’s dream home doesn’t mean you should settle for a nightmare instead. According to Texas Association of REALTORS®, here are three perils to bypass before you say “I do” to your next home.

1. Inspect for signs that determine the quality of a home. Excitement sets in as you walk through the house you are considering buying. On the surface, everything looks great. The seller has gone through the trouble of adding a master bedroom addition complete with a sitting area. They updated the kitchen and bathrooms. Just because everything looks new doesn’t mean it was done properly. It could equate to putting “lipstick on a pig.” By taking emotion out of the equation, do your research and ask the right questions. Was the addition permitted? Will the seller’s DIY shortcuts eventually cost you more money to fix?

This is why it is necessary to have a home inspection—even if the property is sold “as is.” You will have the satisfaction of knowing what you are investing in, so you won’t be unpleasantly surprised when preventable mishaps occur. Yes, you might have to pay a little more for quality, but by settling for a lower-quality home, you end up spending more in the long run than you saved.

2. Determine the type of house that fits your lifestyle, and stand your ground. Even more important than the look of the house is the particular type of property you choose. Sometimes, people purchase homes that simply don’t suite their needs.

Are you an individual or a busy, young couple who prefer a residence where you don’t have to bother with exterior maintenance and offers just enough room to live comfortably? Then, consider a condominium or townhouse. Prefer to take care of the exterior yourself and forgo the monthly homeowner’s association fees usually associated with condo life? Or does your must-have include a sizable yard young children can play in? Then a detached home is ideal. To make the best choice, consider the type of the house you can live in comfortably for at least seven years and plan accordingly.

3. If it’s all about location, location, location, don’t settle for a home not within those parameters. It is understandable that you prefer to look in areas that make your morning commute bearable. Or if you have children, you might opt to live in a city with an academically-recognized school district. A location might also make it convenient for family get-togethers. No matter why you choose a specific area, keep that in the forefront during your home search. You can always upgrade the home, but it is much harder to pick up and move it.

Collin Country CCAR Pulse Stats

Collin County’s Real Estate Market Hits Several New Milestones in May

Collin County real estate continued to build momentum in May, setting records for new listings, listings under contract, and median sales price. Data from the Collin County Association of Realtors (CCAR) is indicative of the busy housing market that has witnessed a significant boost in the past few years.

“DFW, in general, is in a strong seller’s market right now,” says Jonna Fernandez, CCAR Chief Operating Officer. “The boom in the Collin County real estate market can be attributed to many things, including the companies and corporations that have chosen to relocate here, the great school districts, employment opportunities, and much more.”

A record-breaking 6,919 homes were listed during the month of May. This was a 17.6 percent increase from May of last year, making it the highest number of new listings ever recorded in a single month. Year-to-date, new listings are up 8.1 percent.

Median home prices also experienced a surge, rising to $319,678—11.1 percent higher than in May 2016. This is the highest median sales price ever recorded in CCAR history. The intense interest in Collin County can be credited to the area’s growth.

The number of listings under contract also increased 6.4 percent last month, as compared to May 2016. This is the highest number of listings under contract ever recorded in a single month.

 Year-to-date, projected closed sales are up 12.6 percent, with no signs of slowing down as an influx of new residents and a spike in new home construction are expected. Fernandez said this offers an optimistic outlook for Realtors and their clients.

“There are no guarantees in real estate; however, we see the rest of the year definitely continuing with the seller’s market we have now,” she says. “May through August are always strong months for real estate, as most people plan their moves to occur during this time of year. While the end of the year may not necessarily be record-breaking as compared to the summer months, it will still remain stronger than what we’ve seen in years past.”

Summertime Fun in Collin County

Things to Do in Collin County This Summer

As the commencement of lazy summer days gets underway, so does the anticipation for what the next two months has in store. With children and college students celebrating their break from mounds of homework and test preparation, adults look forward to finally spending those reserved vacation days. Now is the perfect time to schedule a range of family-friendly, and, oftentimes, free activities that can be found right here in Collin County. Here is our guide to Collin County summer activities including popular attractions, city events, and cultural outings.



JUNE 16-25 – GREASE, presented by Repertory Company Theatre (RCT)

It’s time to dust off your leather jackets, pull on your bobby-socks and come along to the biggest party in Dallas, as Danny (Joe Caskey)  and Sandy (Kim Swarner) fall in love all over again. Performed by RCT’s acclaimed REP Company actors.

LOCATION: Repertory Company Theatre, 650 N Coit #2320 in Richardson

COST: $25 adults, $15 youth; group rates for 10 or more

JUNE 23-JULY 16 – Theatre Britain presents: “Nobody’s Perfect” by Simon Williams

Shy and staid statistician Leonard is anxious to break into print and sends book after book to Love Is All Around, a publisher dedicated to writing ‘for women by women’. His efforts are rejected until he submits a novel, based on his experiences as a single parent, under the pseudonym Myrtle Banbury. When his novel is accepted, Leonard has no choice but to assume Myrtle’s identity! Rated: PG13

LOCATION: Cox Playhouse, 1517 H Avenue in Plano

COST: Adults: $23 Students/Seniors (60+): $18 Group discount: 10% for parties of 10 or more

JUNE 23-JULY 2 – Brick Road Theatre presents: “Cabaret”

Welcome to the infamous Kit Kat Klub, where the Emcee, Sally Bowles, and a raucous ensemble take the stage nightly to tantalize the crowd—and to leave their troubles outside. But as life in pre-WWII Germany grows more and more uncertain, will the decadent allure of Berlin nightlife be enough to get them through the dangerous times? Come hear some of the most memorable songs from this acclaimed masterpiece, including “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time.” Leave your troubles …

LOCATION: Courtyard Theater, 1509 H Avenue in Plano

COST: $20 for Students & Seniors; $25 for the General Audience

JUNE 28 – My Possibilities presents: “2017 Create Showcase”

This night promises to be one filled with food and entertainment as My Possibilities celebrates its visual and performing artists. The My Possibilities Create Program provides adults with cognitive disabilities the opportunity to express themselves and showcase their talents as professional artists in the community. Doors open at 6 p.m.; show starts at 7 p.m.

LOCATION: Courtyard Theater, 1509 H Avenue in Plano

COST: $25



NOW-AUGUST 14 – Moonlight Mondays at Tom Muehlenbeck Recreation Center

Moonlight Mondays occurs every Monday evening from 7 -9 p.m. now until mid-August. The outdoor pool will be open from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. every Monday during the summer.

LOCATION: 5801 West Parker Road in Plano

COST: Outdoor pool admission is $2 per person (ages 3 and up) after 7 p.m.

JUNE 21 – Summer Movie at the Park: Beauty and the Beast

Bring your lawn chairs or a blanket and get settled in with a showing of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at 8:30 p.m.

LOCATION: J.M. Caldwell Sr. Community Park / P.O.W. Camp, 500 W. College Avenue in Princeton

COST: Free. Popcorn is free; drinks and candy will be available for purchase.

JUNE 24 – Fun with Fostering Open House

Become a foster parent to a shelter animal. The city of Plano is hosting a Fun with Fostering Open House from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. for those interested in opening their homes to a shelter pet. Snacks, drinks and face painting will be provided; veteran foster parents will be on hand to answer questions.

LOCATION: 4028 W. Plano Parkway in Plano

COST: Free

Movies in the Park: Star Wars Rogue One

For Rogue One, attendees and their dogs are encouraged to dress up and take part in Star Wars-themed costume contests at 6:30 p.m. A Jedi Training class will be hosted by Roser Martial Arts Center at 7 p.m., and the movie is set to begin at 8 p.m. Food trucks will be on site to sell refreshments.

LOCATION: Haggard Park, 901 E. 15th Street in Plano

COST: Free



JULY 1 – Splash & Blast

This 4th of July pre-celebration features live music by Jon Christopher Davis, water slides, food, arts and crafts vendors, games, and a car show starting at 4 p.m. The evening ends with a fireworks show around 9:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Old Celina Park, 12670 FM 428 in Celina

COST: Free. Parking per car is $5.

Pride in the Sky

More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the celebration from 5-10 p.m. It is set to include the Pride of Prosper Charity Softball game, live music, food, car show, games and activities, bounce houses, and a fireworks show.

LOCATION: Frontier Park (located east of Prosper High School), 1551 W. Frontier Parkway in Prosper

JULY 3  July Spectacular

A fun event for the whole family that takes place from 5-10 p.m. There will be a variety of bounce houses, train rides, and a dunking booth. The Range radio station will be broadcasting live and live music will entertain those in attendance, with performances by the Vandoliers Band, the Castro Band, and Reckless Kelly. Foods and arts & craft vendors will be present, as will Carter Blood Care for its blood drive. The event will conclude with a spectacular fireworks show scheduled to start at approximately at 9:30 p.m.

LOCATION: J.M. Caldwell Sr. Community Park/P.O.W. Camp, 500 W. College Avenue in Princeton

COST: Tickets can be purchased at the event or in advance at Princeton City Hall. A $5 wristband is required for the kid’s zone for children 3 and older. There will be a charge of $5 per car for parking, and free shuttle service that runs from 4:30-11 p.m. with a drop-off/pick-up location at Panther Stadium.

Plano Community Band Presents

Kick off the celebration of America with patriotic music and an acknowledgement of Military veterans from 7-8:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Haggard Park (next to the DART Red line’s Downtown Plano station), 901 E. 15th St. in Plano

COST: Free

JULY 4  Frisco Freedom Fest 2017

Celebrate our nation’s birthday with a family-oriented event that has plenty of food, music, and a 20-minute firework show that starts at 10 p.m. No alcohol or dogs allowed. The celebration begins at 4 p.m. Activities include a Children’s Expo, hamster ball races, multiple zip lines, Euro bungees, a Community Stage with local entertainers, and Hometown Hero Exhibit.

LOCATION: Toyota Stadium, Simpson Plaza at City Hall

City of Richardson’s “Family 4th Celebration”

The traditional event is open to the entire community. Attendees are encouraged to bring picnics, blankets and/or lawn chairs, and enjoy the evening under the stars. A live performance by Counterfeit Radio takes place at 6:30 p.m., the Richardson Community Band presents its annual Patriotic Salute Concert at 8:30 p.m., and the fireworks proceed at 9:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Breckinridge Park, located just south of the intersection of Renner and Brand roads in northeast Richardson

COST: Free



JUNE 23-24  A Midsummer Night’s Rock Musical

“A Midsummer Night’s Rock” is Read Play Love’s newest original musical. When a bunch of mismatched kids are stuck together in a Shakespeare class in summer, a music competition leads them on an unforgettable adventure. Featuring 55 kids ages 3-15, this colorful rockin’ musical tells a story with heart through music with soul. From 7-9:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Read Play Love, 1251 S. Sherman Street in Richardson

COST: $5-10; Open House Encore on 6/26 at 2 p.m. is only $10 for the whole family

JULY 1 – Bluegrass on Ballard

Bluegrass on Ballard features top bands, a car show, arts and crafts, and food taking place in historic downtown Wylie, the annual tradition draws citizens and visitors into the heart of the city. The day begins at 10 a.m. with arts and crafts vendors, a chili cook-off, and food and goes through the evening with a 200+ car show and bands performing on stage in Olde City Park from 3-10 p.m.

LOCATION: Ballard Ave. (Hwy. 78 to Brown St.) and Olde City Park in Wylie

COST: Free



JUNE 22 – The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson

Be a part of the Guinness World Record for the largest swimming lesson where every participant will receive a free lesson and certificate. Occurs 8-8:50 a.m. Register using course #193076.

LOCATION: Jack Carter Outdoor Pool, 2601 Pleasant Valley Drive in Plano

COST: Free



Originally named Nickelville, Wylie, Texas has seen significant growth and development over the last decade. Incorporated in 1887 and named after W.D. Wylie, the city was once a sleeper railroad town. Once the agriculture industry started to flourish, people began to flock to the city. In 2005, 29,800 people resided in Wylie. “Wylie has heart,” says Mayor Eric Hogue. “Of course safety, schools, parks, cost of living, and amenities are all factors to be considered when families choose a community, and Wylie checks all those boxes.”

What Makes Wylie Unique?

Listed as Money Magazine’s 25th Best Place to Live in the U.S. and one of the Best Cities to Relocate to in U.S., Most Energetic City, and Cities on the Edge of Greatness by Sperling, Wylie has lured residents seeking the best of both worlds. Nicknamed “Wide Awake Wylie” in the 1940s, Wylie’s appeal is due part to its historical preservation. “When the nickname was initially coined, it was inspired by the stores and night spots that stayed open downtown to accommodate late-night gatherings and downtown socializing, made even more robust when the railroad infused the town with visitors and commerce,” Hogue explains. “Today, the moniker evokes a nostalgic fondness for the hometown feel that residents still treasure, while embodying the liveliness and energy of a community that enjoys gathering for recreation and special events. Citizens share a proud history, and the historic downtown area, vibrant with retail and restaurants, continues to be a gathering place for families and friends.”

Another draw to the area is the sense of community and pride that citizens display, especially in the wake of a devastating disaster like the one that took place in 2016. “The Wylie community has always had a strong sense of oneness and mutual support. In April 2016, a massive hailstorm ripped through Wylie, flinging record-setting hailstones, some larger than 5 inches in diameter, through roofs and windows, damaging over 80 percent of our homes, a total of more than 12,000 houses,” Hogue recalls. “Car windshields were bashed in. Many structures sustained severe damage, in some cases damage beyond repair, including some city facilities. As devastating as the storm was, the way the community pulled together in the days ahead was amazing and inspirational.” Hogue says city employees, school district personnel, members of the faith community, local organizations, and individual citizens came together and created the Rebuild Wylie coalition. The volunteers went into the community in teams and assessed needs and lended moral support and labor to homeowners and business owners. “It’s this sense of standing together, of reaching out without waiting to be asked, that makes Wylie so unique,” says Hogue.

Wylie East High School
Photo Courtesy of Wylie ISD

Wylie Schools

Wylie ISD has consistently maintained high marks in academic achievement and post-secondary readiness. Its outstanding academic curriculum is complemented by The Wylie Way program that begins in elementary school and is designed to set students on the path to achievement in every area of their lives.

“Built on the foundations of relationships, strengths and interests, plan and purpose, and core ethical values, the district strives to provide students the tools they need to close the achievement gap and experience success in life,” Hogue notes. “Wylie ISD also offers a wide range of programs from culinary arts to television production and emphasizes technology in the classroom and as a communications tool for parents.”


Since 2016, Wylie has been named the #2 Hottest Suburb in the U.S., the #1 Best Small City for Families in U.S., and the #19th Safest City in Texas, making it an appealing city to relocate to for families, young professionals, and retirees.


There has been an influx of new retail businesses and restaurants spurred by Wylie leaders and members of the Wylie Economic Development Corporation. In addition to over 700 acres of parkland and open space, including over 10 miles of trails, 15 playgrounds and eight pavilions, horseshoe pits, soccer, baseball and football fields, a nine-hole disc golf course, and a cricket pitch a mile-long hike and bike trail circles the Wylie Municipal Complex campus. The city of Wylie offers family-friendly facilities and hosts a variety of festivals and events that bring residents and visitors together.

Founders Park & Community Park

Wylie has two athletic complexes‑ Founders Park and Community Park‑ that together boosts amenities including 12 t-ball, softball, and baseball fields, two football fields, one lighted and one unlighted multi-purpose field, soccer fields, two sand volleyball courts, and three concession stands with seasonal restrooms.
Visit the website

Wylie Recreation Center 

Providing a host of activities and programs for all ages and interests, the Wylie Recreation Center is located in a scenic setting that features a 2-mile trail and art installations. Among the amenities offered are a state-of-the-art fitness area, 3-lane indoor track, guest WiFi, climbing wall, basketball/volleyball gym, meeting room space, a variety of activities and classes, rental space, and childcare.
Visit the website

Shopping & Dining

In recent years, Wylie has attracted a host of known retailers stemming from the opening of retail zones on both sides of Hwy. 78. From the popular Woodbridge Crossing shopping mall with big-box options to smaller mom-and-pop boutiques and eateries that boosts ample of charm, Wylie offers something for everyone.

Festivals and Celebrations

Bluegrass on Ballard Car Show

Wylie has numerous celebrations and festivities that occur throughout the year. “Citizens are invited to attend events such as the annual State of the City address, and some are live-streamed on social media for those whose work schedules may prevent them from attending,” Hogue says. Here are a few notable events:

Wylie Arts Festival and Christmas Parade

The annual holiday event kicks off with the Arts Festival, an opportunity to shop from more than 100 handmade art and craft vendors selected by the Public Arts Board. This is proceeded by the Festival of Lights Christmas Parade in Historic Downtown on Ballard and the Tree Lighting in Olde City Park.

Bluegrass on Ballard

Taken place in the historic downtown area, nearby bluegrass bands and musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments for a jam-packed day. In addition to the music, participants enjoy a classic car show, arts and crafts vendor, and food, including an infamous chili cook-off.

Boo on Ballard

A partnership between Wylie Downtown Merchants Association and the City of Wylie, Boo on Ballard is a free, family-friendly event that takes place on Ballard Avenue. The trick-or-treat festival invites families to frequent local merchants to retrieve sweets and other treats, live music, and fun games.

The Magic of Wylie

Fostering the imagination and interest in magic, Wylie sponsors The Magic of Wylie. In addition to promoting magicians, the event also serves to encourages the community to support and explore the art form.

Photos Courtesy of City of Wylie
Photos Courtesy of City of Wylie


In 2005, 29,800 people resided in Wylie. By 2015, however, almost 46,000 residents called Wylie home, making it one of the fastest growing cities in Collin County.

“Wylie’s leaders have been consistently forward thinking as growth began to gather momentum,” Hogue says. The growth accelerated when then Assistant City Manager Mindy Manson, currently the City Manager, rerouted the Kansas City Southern Railway tracks around the downtown historic district in 2001.

The project was credited for bringing new development opportunities for the city and removing the physical barrier that divided the historic downtown area and the rest of Wylie. “Rerouting them around downtown created a subtle unity, bringing all parts of the city closer together,” Hogue says.

“Wylie’s leaders are wide awake as they look to the future, planning for growth but ensuring that the city’s infrastructure and heart and soul aren’t sacrificed,” Hogue says. “Leaders maintain positive relationships with neighboring communities as well as county, state and federal elected officials, and other organizations, guaranteeing assistance when there are opportunities to work toward common goals.”

-June 6, 2017

Prepping Your Home for the Summer

If you’re like most people, you’re ready to bide adieu to torrential downpours and the first wave of elevated pollen levels that spring is notorious for. While spring cleaning often requires homeowners to clean and organize their homes, here are a few home maintenance tasks you should consider addressing this summer.

  1. Once the April showers have subsided, call a professional to inspect the condition of your roof. Also, clean out the debris from the gutters and downspouts if you haven’t done so already.
  2. Whether you are in the process of getting your home ready to place on the market or you just want to ensure it is still in good condition, opt for a pre-listing inspection. According to Wes Hartman of Hartman Home Inspections Inc., the investment and piece of mind is worthwhile. “I would recommend that people make sure their AC unit is checked, and they replace their filters,” he said. It is ideal to schedule a HVAC inspection and service when shifting from heating in the winter to cooling in the spring/summer months.
  3. Your flower bed might be the envy of the neighborhood, but be sure to check the equipment you use to maintain it, particularly the garden house. A garden hose can leak, and over time, that simple seemingly harmless leak can waste water and increase your water bill. Check to see whether it is a worn-out hose or the fitting that is problematic before you toss the entire thing out.
  4. Winter storms and rainstorms make the exterior of your house look dingy. Hire a professional or head to your nearest home store to purchase pressure and power washing supplies. Pressure wash any pavers and concrete surface and power wash the sidings, brick surfaces, and stonework.
  5. Hire a landscaper to handle big jobs like trimming the limbs of large trees and removing any dead trees. For smaller jobs, set aside an afternoon to remove smaller tree limbs and scrubs and clean up unwanted debris.
  6. The thought of circulating dust mites around a room is one that most people would want to avoid, but by not cleaning the ceiling fans, that is exactly what happens. With a bucket of warm water and a drop of vinegar, it is easy to clean dust off of ceiling fan blades and the unit that secures it. Take the proper precautions to make sure you are stable on a ladder or a chair. If you use the fans in a 6-month period, you should clean them at least three times over that period, or every-other month.
  7. The same vinegar and water solution can also be used to wipe upper and lower trims. Dust gathers easily along the baseboard and can be more effectively removed by a damp cloth than by a broom.
  8. Test emergency systems in the home to make sure they work. This includes the home alarm, smoke fire alarm, fire extinguisher, and carbon monoxide alarms. This should be done twice a year.

McKinney Residents Eligible for SETH 5 Star Texas Advantage Program

Courtesy of the City of McKinney

The City of McKinney Housing & Community Development Department has announced the city has been added to the Southeast Texas Housing Finance Corporation (SETH) 5 Star Texas Advantage Program.

The SETH 5 Star Program makes homeownership possible for families and individuals wanting to purchase a home in McKinney by providing support for down payment and closing costs. The program provides qualified buyers a grant for up to 6 percent of the total loan amount. The grant can be used toward a buyer’s down payment and closing costs. Mortgage options include 30-year fixed rate FHA, VA, USDA, and conventional financing. The program is intended to assist a broad range of families that include middle- and low-income households.

With this program, there is no first time homebuyer requirement. All borrowers on the mortgage loan must complete the SETH on-line Homebuyer Education Course. The program can be used for the purchase of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and owner-occupied properties containing up to four units. Interested homebuyers can find more information about the program here.

home foundation

10 Steps for Maintaining Your Home’s Foundation

by Jessica Barker, Director of Marketing and Social Media – Arch Foundation Repair

Happy Spring! As warm weather moves into North Texas, it is important that you understand the essentials required to maintain a home’s foundation. Here are 10 tips to keep their foundation in good shape:

1. Make sure that the soil around the foundation is graded so that water flows away from it. The soil should drop 4–6 inches, every 4–6 feet.

2. Avoid trapping water against the foundation. Water can be trapped against the building by sidewalks, raised flower beds, metal edging or other borders that do not have openings to allow water to escape.

3. Place soaker hoses around the foundation to keep soil damp during dry periods. Soaker hoses should be placed 6–12 inches away from the home. In addition, hoses should be replaced every couple of years.

4. Keep the majority of shrubs around the house under 3-feet tall. Large plants need large amounts of water, which can cause foundation problems.

5. If there are large trees around the house, consider installing root barriers to keep them from pulling water out from under the foundation.

6. Use downspout extensions or splash blocks on all down spouts to move excess rain water away from the foundation.

7. Make sure that all paved surfaces that border the foundation slope away from it—this is particularly important for pool decks.

8. Keep the soil around the foundation between 2–4 inches below the brick line or edge of a house’s siding. The soil helps to hold the water in the ground and reduces seasonal settlement.

9. If the sewer becomes blocked or backed up, have it tested for leaks. Many times, sewer blockages are caused by roots, which mean there are openings in the sewer.

10. Leaking sprinkler lines and pool circulating systems cause foundation problems. Have the systems tested for leaks every 2–3 years.

South Collin County Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Habitat for Humanity to Open Larger ReStore in Plano

The store staff and volunteers have put in extra time transporting the items over from the current location in anticipation of the new store. According to Manager Christine Martin, the community of Plano has been supportive in donating items and time.
The store staff and volunteers have put in extra time transporting the items over from the current location in anticipation of the new store. According to Manager Christine Martin, the community of Plano has been supportive in donating items and time.

Coinciding with its 10th anniversary in Plano and Earth Day, the South Collin County Habitat for Humanity ReStore is relocating to a larger facility.

Habitat for Humanity ReStores are non-profit home improvement stores and donation centers that offer a vast array of new and gently used items and building supplies at discounted costs. These donations range from appliances, tools, and furniture to electronics, home décor, and building supplies.

The current ReStore occupies a 10,000-square-foot facility located at 1400 Summit Ave. in Plano, in which 75-percent of its space is sales floor. The new 18,000-square-foot facility will be located at 2060 W. Spring Creek Parkway, Suite 402 in Plano. In addition to having a larger, more accessible facility, the new site will boost a sales floor of 90 percent, will be forklift-able, and will offer more new and close-out items, in addition to gently used donated items. Parking will also be ample with hundreds of parking slots available, instead of the current 20 spaces.

“The proceeds from the ReStore helps Habitat for Humanity build more homes for low- and moderate-income families in Collin County. We currently have over 200 families on a two-year waiting list needing help.” — Christine Martin, manager of South Collin County Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Upon entering into the store, there are two sectioned spaces that will house antiques and new or barely used furniture.
Upon entering into the store, there are two sectioned spaces that will house antiques and new or barely used furniture.

“The new location of the Plano ReStore is expected to provide much needed visibility for the South Collin County Affiliate, help obtain more sponsors, increase community involvement, and provide a perpetual income stream for future projects,” said ReStore Manager Christine Martin.

According to Martin, the staff will be able to focus on what they can do and who they can help in the new location, rather than primarily focusing on warehouse sales.

“The working poor, seniors on fixed income, disabled vets, and challenged individuals are our direct beneficiaries,” Martin said. “Indirectly, the 2,500 to 3,000 volunteers per year in our area doing all the work of building and repairing and operating the ReStore and much more also find they have benefited.”

The local Habitat for Humanity organization operates the Plano ReStore. The items in the ReStore can be used in the homes Habitat helps build or repair. One hundred percent of the proceeds benefit the South Collin County cities of Plano, Allen, Wylie, Nevada, North Dallas, Richardson, and Fairview.

“The proceeds from the ReStore helps Habitat for Humanity build more homes for low- and moderate-income families in Collin County,” Martin said. “We currently have over 200 families on a two-year waiting list needing help.”

“Habitat for Humanity is a Helping Hand Up, not a hand-out. Homeowners who cannot qualify for a normal mortgage must put in 400 “sweat equity” hours in their project or help others with theirs, and then pay back the cost minus interest over an agreed upon period of time,” she explained.

Throughout the space, the artwork of local artists and members of Collin College Spring Creek Campus' Art Club can be seen in the form of painted murals.
Throughout the space, the artwork of local artists and members of Collin College Spring Creek Campus’ Art Club can be seen in the form of painted murals.

The Grand Opening is planned for April 29-30 from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Family festivities will include prize giveaways, cultural dance performances, martial arts performances, cheerleading and drill team performances from local colleges and high schools, chair massages, henna artists, and face painting. For more information, visit or call 972-424-0791.