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.

Collin County Housing Market Approaching Balance; Still Better to Be a Seller

The Collin County Association of Realtors (CCAR) reports that the real estate market continues to favor sellers, but if trends continue, North Texas may soon find itself in a more balanced market. Over the past 12 months, median sales price has increased 1.5 percent to $301,500, which is 6 percent less of an increase than the year prior.

Simultaneously last month, the real estate market experienced 15 percent more homes for sale as compared to October 2017, supplying the market with 3.2 months of inventory. A market is considered balanced when it has six months of home inventory, a seller’s market if it has less, and a buyer’s market if it has a surplus above six months of inventory.

“It is important to remember, despite an increase in home inventory, those homes are still selling, and for more money than the year before,” says CCAR President Melissa Hailey. “It is still a great time to be a seller, Collin County is still experiencing growth, and buyers are excited to buy.”

The CCAR Pulse, which delves into the real estate markets of 37 local communities, supports Hailey’s thoughts, projecting that year-to-date closed sales have increased by 9.4 percent.

For the buyer, Hailey has encouraging news, “You are less likely to find yourself in a bidding war, and sellers are open to reviewing comps and setting a competitive listing price.”

On average, buyers paid 95.4 percent of the original list price of a home in October and homes stayed on the market an average of 49 days. The most popular segment of homes among buyers purchasing in October were those priced from $300,000-$499,999.

Last month, the housing affordability index declined 14.8% compared to the same time last year, hitting its lowest point in 2018. In addition, median household income was only 98 percent of what is necessary to qualify for the median-priced home under prevailing interest rates.

While many are anxious to see if the market continues to trend towards balance, the month of October gave both buyers and sellers reason to smile.

Parker

Parker

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

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-Unique



Parker-Schools

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.


Housing

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

Amenities

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

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.

Growth

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

Melissa

Melissa

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.


MelissaUnique


MelissaSchool


MelissaSchool2

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.

Housing

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

Amenities

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!
Visit their Website

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





MelissaGrowth

Growth

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.


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.

 

ARTS & CULTURE

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

 

FAMILY-FRIENDLY FUN

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

 

FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION

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

 

MUSIC

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

 

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

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

Wylie

Wylie





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.”


Housing

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.

Amenities

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

Growth

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.