Once Home to Sensational News, Now Home to Sensational Pizza

Sensational News

From 1886 to the 1950’s, The McKinney Examiner delivered local, state and national news along with advertising every week.

The Examiner was conveniently located directly across from the former jailhouse for the latest scoop, and was the trusted source of information for McKinney residents.

The McKinney Examiner did not shy away from sensational stories and boldly reported on one of the worst disasters in McKinney history, the collapse of the Central Continental Bank Building (depicted).

When The McKinney Examiner closed its doors, the McKinney Penny Saver used the space. However, it wasn’t until the Cadillac Pizza Pub opened its doors that the location was returned to its former glory.


Sensational Pizza

No longer home to sensational news, 112 South Kentucky Street is now home to sensational pizza handcrafted and locally sourced by Cadillac Pizza Pub.

Cadillac Pizza Pub makes gourmet pizzas with fresh pizza dough and sauce made daily, topped with Texas-grown vegetables and herbs to ensure ultimate freshness.

The pleasure of eating a slice of pizza at Cadillac Pizza Pub is only enhanced by the vibrant surroundings, friendly atmosphere, and fascinating history.

In fact, if you look up from your table, you will see old machinery hardware from The McKinney Examiner hanging from the ceiling!


So head on down to South Kentucky Street and enjoy a fresh slice of pizza, hear some of the best live music in North Texas, and don’t forget to look around and find signs of scandals past.

Winter’s Chilly Sales Pace Is Beginning to Warm Up

PLANO, Texas — The Collin County Association of Realtors (CCAR) reports that while the Collin County real estate market has had a slow winter, the promise of spring began to force its way through in February.

“Both buyers and sellers experienced positive outcomes in February. Sellers enjoyed solid offers from well qualified buyers, and buyers enjoyed more inventory than previous months,” reports David Alan Cox, CCAR President.

Indeed the February stats agree. In February 2019 there were 7.4% more new listings than February 2018, 29.4% more inventory of homes for sale than the year prior, and 2.6% more listings under contract than February 2018.

February 2019 also presented stats that are initially concerning for sellers when compared to 2018, but promising when examined next to January 2019. For instance, there was a 0.0% increase in the median sales price in February 2019 ($300,500) compared to February 2018 ($300,441). However, when compared to January 2019 ($289,450), the median sales price has increased a significant 3.7% in one month’s time.

The percentage of original listing price received in February 2019 decreased 1.2% compared to February 2018. Yet, remarkably, February 2019 was the first month since May 2018 that the percentage has increased from the month prior, with 0.8% more of the original listing price received in February 2019 than January 2019.

Homes also remained on the market 25.5% longer than the year prior for a total of 64 days. This is not an alarming increase when compared to January 2019, when homes remained on the market for 63 days.

Similarly, the months supply of homes for sale increased 38.1% from February 2018, resulting in 2.9 months of inventory of homes in February 2019. A large change from one year ago, but only a slight change from January 2019, which experienced 2.8 months supply of homes.

With such a positive experience for both buyers and sellers in February, many are hopeful that the winter chill is thawing and the real estate market will be warming up.

Blue Ridge

The City of Blue Ridge immediately greets its guests with beautiful rolling hills and friendly residents. The residents of Blue Ridge enjoy slowing down and appreciate the beauty of big blue skies filled with color from sunrises and sunsets. Blue Ridge is committed to revitalizing its downtown and maintaining a small town feel. Whether you are house shopping or just passing through, be sure to stop and eat at Cattleman’s, established in 1953, and featured in “D Magazine” and other media outlets. Cattleman’s Café never fails to serve up an outstanding chicken fried steak along with a friendly atmosphere.

WHAT MAKES BLUE RIDGE UNIQUE?

Blue Ridge is the Home of the Last Texas Prairie in Collin County boasting unique open spaces sprinkled with cattle and horses and a distinct rural flair. Although Blue Ridge is considered part of the DFW metro area, it is a town of just over 800 residents that values family and community life as well as open space and nature.

BLUE RIDGE SCHOOLS

Blue Ridge has one high school, one middle school and one elementary school. The City of Blue Ridge Independent School District’s website boasts a “mission is to provide the highest quality education by creating life-long learners through comprehensive academic, athletic, cultural, and extra-curricular opportunities for the children of our community.”

Read more about the city of Blue Ridge here.

Collin County’s Market is Becoming More Favorable for Buyers

PLANO, Texas — The Collin County Association of Realtors (CCAR) reports home buyers are finding themselves in a more attractive market in 2019, with more homes to choose from, a higher ability to qualify for financing, and negotiable sellers.

The year began with 8.4% more new listings than the year prior. Listings remained on the market for 18.9% longer in January 2019, as compared to January 2018; remaining active for 63 days, the longest reported Days on Market since February 2013. This combination created a market with 31% more inventory in January 2019 than January 2018.

Buyers were more easily able to qualify for the median priced home in January 2019 than they were in the previous 11 months of 2018. The Housing Affordability Index in January 2019 was 113, indicating that the median household income is 113% of what is necessary to qualify for the median-priced home under prevailing interest rates. Additionally, sellers continued to be negotiable, on average accepting 5.3% less than their original listing price.

However, despite an increase in favorable buying conditions, January 2019 had only 2,528 projected closed sales, the lowest projected closed sales reported since January 2015. Listings under contract also showed a slowing in real estate activity from the year prior, with 9.3% fewer listings under contract than in January 2018.

“Buyers are beginning the New Year timid and curious which direction the market will trend,” explains CCAR President David Alan Cox.

Their curiosity is not misplaced, in January 2019 there was a 40% increase in months of inventory (2.8 months), as compared to the same time the year prior. While a bold movement towards a more balanced market, Collin County is still a seller’s market, and will only reach a “balanced market” when inventory hits six months.

With a continued increase in both median sales price (+1.6%) as well as average sales price (+1.2%) from January 2018, Cox reminds, “Patient sellers are stilling reaping rewards. Homes are selling for more money than they would have one year ago, but it is important sellers remain patient.”

Soon, we will be in spring, traditionally some of the hottest months of real estate and what is hoped to be a welcomed warm-up from winter’s chillier sales pace.

A Victorian Era Home in the Middle of Plano: Featuring A Colorful Exterior and Occupied by Women Who Refused to Sit Still and Look Pretty

The Farrell home was built in 1891 by Hunter Thomas Farrell for himself, his new wife, Mary Alice, and her daughter, Ammie Estelle. The family home is a stunning example of Victorian Era Architecture uniquely situated in what was once the Texas Prairie Lands, and today is the thriving city of Plano.

The progression of Victorian architecture into rural areas was enabled by the industrial revolution, allowing wealthy families to purchase elaborate pre-cut trim. The family home was painted a neutral color with bold red trim and mint green Victorian accents and shingles. It’s vibrant color scheme can still be enjoyed today when visiting the Heritage Farmstead Museum.

However, the colorful exterior pales in comparison to the lives of its occupants.

Hunter Thomas Farrell was the patriarch of the homestead, but the path to love and his life on the Heritage Farmstead was not a straight one. In 1886, five years prior to the construction of his Victorian era home, Farrell began an affair with Ellen Henry, a married woman.

On the afternoon of April 9, 1887 Ellen Henry’s husband, Mr. Henry, came home to find his front door locked. Mr. Henry kicked in the door and discovered his wife and Hunter Thomas Farrell in bed. Mr. Henry attempted to shoot Farrell, but the gun misfired and Farrell took off running. Mr. Henry shot a second time at his wife, leaving her fatally injured.

After narrowly escaping death, Hunter Thomas Farrell reemerged on the witness stand for a divorce hearing.

The divorce hearing was for Mary Alice, requesting a divorce from her then husband, Stephen Juhan. She was successful in her quest, not only receiving a divorce but also being granted full custody of her daughter, Ammie Estelle. Both highly unusual occurrences, and in large part due to the testimony of of Hunter Thomas Farrell recounting episodes of physical and mental abuses by Juhan towards his wife.

One week after the final divorce decree, Hunter Thomas Farrell and Mary Alice were married. One year after their marriage, they purchased the land situated in modern day Plano, and the following year built their family home, the colorful Victorian home that continues to grace 15th Street today.

Ammie Estelle grew up in the home and went on to marry Dr. Woods Lynch. In 1903 Dr. Woods Lynch and Ammie welcomed their first and only child, George Hunter, lovingly referred to as “Little Hunter” in adoration of her stepfather. Her marriage was unsuccessful and following her divorce she returned to her family home in Plano.

Three months after her divorce she went on to marry Dudley Wilson. The two would spend the rest of their life together, giving Ammie her final name, Ammie Estelle Wilson.

Tragedy struck the family in 1933 when Little Hunter died unexpectedly at the age of 29. The loss of her son had a devastating effect on Ammie. To cope with her pain she searched for a hobby and found a passion for raising sheep. From 1941 on, Ammie’s life was dedicated to her thriving sheep business. She won “grand champion,” swept almost every major show, including the Texas State Fair, and in 1952 won “The International Livestock Exhibition” in Chicago. She went on to win six consecutive times at the Houston Fat Stock Show.

“I chose a man’s work so that I could prove that I can do as good or better job than they do.” – Ammie Estelle Wilson

To learn more about other members of the Farrell-Wilson family and to see the land on which winning sheep were breed and where strong women broke the mold, visit the Heritage Farmstead Museum in Plano.

Special thanks to the Heritage Farmstead Museum for providing all of our images and the book “Never a Good Girl,” which was relied heavily upon for the information in this article.

The Jack McCullough House

Photo Courtesy Susan K. Beers Realty – Fathom Realty Co. 

Since 1931, the “Jack McCullough House” has adorned N. Waddill Street in McKinney.

But before there was a home, there was an Olympian hopeful and track star.

Jack McCullough attended Texas A&M and, as previously mentioned, was a legendary track and field star. McCullough not only held the Southwest Conference Pole Vaulting record in 1924, he won first place at all 21 state competitions he participated in. After graduation, he earned a spot at the final qualifying round for the Olympic team. However, his employer was not supportive of his athletic aspirations and he withdrew from the competition. He went on to marry his wife Catherine and to become the County Agent for Collin County. The happy couple purchased a charming lot on Waddill street in 1930.

They built their home in 1931 with the help of the historically significant contractor, J. Ed Micheal. The home was built as a three-bedroom home, and still remains so today with the addition of  a sun room and a second bathroom. Original windows and moldings remain intact throughout the home. The steep roofs and prominent chimney are signatures of Cotswold style architecture.

Cotswold Style Architecture is based on homes from the Cotswold region of England, often referred to as Tudor, and sometimes lovingly referred to as “Storybook style.”

Lisa Hammett and her husband both grew up in older homes, so when home shopping, they knew they wanted a home with charm and character.  They found an abundance of both at 418 N. Waddill. The peaked roof drew them in immediately. They found signs of years’ past around every corner and were delighted to see the original phone niche remained adorned to the wall in the hallway.

Jack McCullough’s daughter herself stopped to speak with the new owners while walking in the neighborhood. She grew up in the home, and was able to point out ways the home has remained the same, areas it has been updated, and memories she had made on the property.

Lisa and her husband will now add to the history of the Jack McCullough home, caring for remnants of times past while imparting their own modern tastes and traditions to the home.

Special thanks to Tom Michero for historical content contributions, and Lisa Hammett for sharing her home with us.

Sellers More Negotiable on Price: Imperative Buyers Hire Agents Equipped to Handle Changing Market

PLANO, Texas — The Collin County Association of Realtors (CCAR) reports that sellers were more motivated to sell and negotiate in December than the area has experienced since 2013. On average, sellers accepted 5.1% less than their original listing price in December 2018.

Despite sellers’ willingness to negotiate on sales price, accompanying stats indicate Collin County remains a seller’s market. A market is considered balanced when there is six months of housing supply; Collin County reverted below three months of supply to 2.7 in December.

Additionally, sellers continue to enjoy increased returns on their investment, as median sales prices continue to rise. The median sales price in December was $309,907, a 2.5% increase from $302,375 reported in December 2017.

However, the good news is not limited to home sellers. The Housing Affordability Index increased to 105 in December, signifying that the median household income is 105 percent of what is necessary to qualify for the median-priced home under prevailing interest rates. This is a surprising rebound after two months of record breaking low index numbers.

Home buyers not only found themselves more financially qualified to buy a home in December, they had more to choose from. December 2018 had 26.1% more inventory than the year prior, with 10,763 properties actively on the market at the close of the month. This is a result of an increase in new listings (+3.5%), a decrease in listings under contract (-4.5%), and an increase in days that homes remained on the market (+15.4%).

David Alan Cox, CCAR President, emphasizes the crucial role real estate professionals have in this unusual climate. “We are starting off the year in a unique situation. We have more homes on the market, highly qualified buyers, and sellers who a more motivated to negotiate than we have seen in over five years,” notes Cox. “Clients are depending heavily on the expertise of their agent during their transactions. Now, more than ever, it is imperative buyers and sellers are represented by a Realtor who is educated on market values, engaged with their clients’ wants and needs, and ready to negotiate and protect their clients’ best interest.”

Allen

Allen





The City of Allen can be found “nestled among scenic trails and resting beside one of Dallas’ major thoroughfares, a destination filled with options and opportunity.” It is a big town that maintains a small town feel and is great for families, young professionals and retirees. With endless shopping, dining and recreational activities, the City of Allen quite literally has something for everyone.

Allen’s low cost of living, thriving economy, highly ranked schools, housing inventory, low crime, convenience, as well as its cultural and recreational amenities consistently puts it on the top of the nation’s “Best of” lists. The City of Allen has received national recognition from “Family Circle”, “Money Magazine”, “Forbes”, “WalletHub” and “Safe Wise”.

The City of Allen has received the National Gold Medal Award for their parks and recreation system, the Governor’s Community Achievement Award for environmental programs and recognition as a top Digital City.

Allen Schools

Nationally recognized, Allen has an award-winning school system that is serviced by three school districts: Allen ISD, Lovejoy ISD, and Plano ISD. Each district operates independent of the city and receives its funding by their own taxes and governance by their own administrations. Students are zoned based on their home address and their designated school can be viewed by using the school district locator tool.


Public Safety

The City of Allen is well equipped to care for it’s residents in their moment of need. The City’s Fire and Rescue has been recognized nationally for innovative training and for the administration of advanced life-saving medical protocols. Additionally,  the Allen Police Department is a Texas Law Enforcement Best Practices agency.

 

Housing

Named one of the country’s 10 Best Towns for Families and Best Cities for Young Families, Allen is a great place to live and work for people in all stages of life.

Amenities

From shopping, restaurants, and sporting events to great schools and a wide range of housing availability, Allen has it all.



Allen Event Center

The Allen Event Center is home to multiple sports teams including the Allen Americans hockey team, the Dallas Sidekicks soccer team, and the Texas Revolution indoor football team. It also hosts the annual Lone Star Conference, a four-day NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament.
Visit their website


Allen Public Library and
Civic Auditorium

The Allen Public Library is a two-story building that is over 54,000 square feet and offers something for all ages. From the children’s zone and the Teen’Scape area to a 300-seat theatre, there is always something going on at the library to pique one’s cultural and educational interests.
Visit their website




The Great Outdoors

Allen provides citizens with over 1,200 acres of parks and trails to enjoy. Allen boasts nature and hiking trails, spray grounds, a community ice rink, and a new innovative golf venue. There is something active for every member of the family.
Visit their Website


Allen Arts Alliance

The Allen Arts Alliance supports ten organizations that provide cultural and artistic expression programs. The organizations include the Allen Heritage Guild, the Allen Civic Ballet, Allen Community Theatre and the Allen Philharmonic Orchestra and Symphony Chorus.
Visit their Website




Shopping & Dining

Allen provides a range of shopping and dining options. From upscale boutiques at Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm to price-savvy shops at Allen Premium Outlets, Allen is a shopper’s paradise. The Village at Allen is also a great place to find restaurants, boutiques, and big-box stores.



Festivals and Celebrations

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



Market Street Allen USA Celebration

This event celebrates Independence Day and takes place the last Saturday of June. Held at Celebration Park, Allen USA includes live music, vendors, various zones that feature fun for the whole family, and an amazing fireworks finale. While admission is free, the cost for zone tickets, wristbands, promotional merchandise, food and drink varies.


Summer Sounds Concert Series

The Summer Sounds Concert Series takes place at the Joe Farmer Recreation Center Amphitheater and features music from local artists. The series takes place every Monday evening for four weeks during the summer and the music varies from classical to contemporary pop music.




Eggcellent Family Adventure

A  fun family tradition, the Eggcellent Family Adventure takes place at Allen Civic Plaza. Community organizations and businesses participate in trick-n-treat fashion by setting up tables for children to visit and retrieve egg-filled goodies. In addition to crafts, face-painting, and activities, the Easter Bunny makes an appearance.


Rudolph Run

In early December, the Rudolph Run draws a crowd to Main Street in downtown Allen. The festive event includes a non-competitive run, a one-mile run and the USATF-registered 5K Rudolph Run. Any one can participate, regardless of age or skill level.




Holly Jolly Celebration

A magical night of live entertainment sure to fill you with holiday cheer. The event includes a visit from Santa and his elves, Candy Cane carriage rides, Comet Express toy train rides and more festivities, culminating in the annual lighting of Allen’s 46-foot Christmas tree with more than 20,000 lights.




AllenGrowthGrowth

In October 2014, residents and business owners met to re-examine how the city will continue to grow and develop over the next 15 to 20 years.  As a result of their participation, the city adopted “The Allen 2030 Comprehensive Plan” to establish goals and growth strategies. The growth plan pays special attention to community livability, mobility, as well as land use and design.

Every two years, the City Council receives a report summarizing the implementation of the 2030 plan. At these meeting the plan will be reviewed and updated as needed. Residents can stay up-to-date on the city website, www.cityofallen.org.

The City of Allen releases a short video October of every year. This video recaps the year prior, the city’s growth, achievements and why Allen is a great place to call home. Watch the video now. 

Updated on January 22, 2019

Home Affordability in Collin County and Surrounding Area Remains at All-Time Low

PLANO, Texas — The Collin County Association of Realtors (CCAR) reports that November 2018 continued to be a difficult time to qualify for the purchase of a home. According to the Housing Affordability Index, the October 2018 drop of home affordability did not improve in November, and remained at 97 percent. This means that the median household income is only 97 percent of what is necessary to qualify for the median-priced home under prevailing rates.

The CCAR Pulse, which delves into the real estate markets of 37 local communities, reflects this decrease in affordability. In November 2018, Collin County had 7.2 percent fewer homes under contract and was projected to close 5.1 percent fewer sales. While it is traditionally accepted to see a seasonal decline in sales towards the end of the year, the decline is highlighted by a 3.9 percent decrease year-to-date in listings under contract—the first negative year-to-date stat regarding listings under contract our area has seen in over three years.

The median sales price of a home in Collin County increased again last month to $306,900—2.3 percent more than in November 2017. Sellers accepted on average 95.2 percent of their original list price after staying on the market for an average of 55 days in November 2018—a 14.6 percent increase in days on market than the year prior.

While experiencing an increase in days on market for home listings, Collin County also had 9.9 percent more new listings in November 2018, versus the same time last year. The combination of homes being on the market for more days while experiencing an increase of listings has allowed housing inventory to reach 3.1 months—a continuing sellers’ market.

What does this mean for buyers and sellers? According to Melissa Hailey, CCAR President, it means continuing home sales.

“Individuals who are home shopping during the holiday season are serious buyers. And right now, sellers are aware of the increase of home inventory and options that buyers have. This means the market is seeing motivated buyers and sellers who are ready to make a deal, and that’s a win for everyone,” says Hailey

Do You Share a Home with Jesse James’ Ghost?

“Collin County is the perfect blend of past and present, with its charming historical remnants nestled next to modern amenities. Simply put, the region offers the best of both worlds,” Mary Leidy, CEO, Collin County Association of REALTORS®

While exploring Collin County, you will no doubt stumble upon historical treasures. Historical buildings and homes are sprinkled throughout the county, each eager to tell the stories of their previous owners, and of the era in which they were built. LoneStarHomes.com is embarking on a new series featuring some of these treasured spaces, exploring their history as well as their current day uses.

Our first stop is the City of McKinney. McKinney has gone to great efforts to preserve its unique history, providing numerous grants to businesses that purchase and restore historic buildings and store fronts, as well as tax perks to homeowners of history homes.  Tom Michero of McKinneyHistory.com highlights that the “architecture and public spaces stand unchanged from their original forms [in McKinney]. Neighborhoods established in the beginning of the 20th Century remain intact.”

McKinney undoubtedly has architectural treasures, but you would be amiss to overlook the colorful personalities that resided in the city. When roaming the streets of downtown McKinney, you may just be walking in the footsteps of Jesse and Frank James or even those of Bonnie and Clyde Barrow.

In 1923, McKinney hosted one of its more infamous visitors. Michero shares the story of J.J. Raney, “an oil man, who embezzled $234 from his employer, the Texhoma Oil and Gas Company.” Authorities thought Raney had drowned in an East Texas lake after he eluded arrest. Much to their surprise, he reemerged in McKinney a few months later while visiting his relatives. It was in McKinney that he was finally arrested for his crimes.

Come along with us as we visit historical homes and places in Collin County over the upcoming weeks, both sure to boast stunning architecture as well as amusing personalities of homeowners past.