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Home Buyers Got Half of What They Wanted in August 2019

PLANO, Texas — The Collin County Association of Realtors (CCAR) reports that as interest rates continued to drop in August 2019, homes sales continues to rise—creating a good news/bad news situation for buyers.

The bad news: Limited inventory for buyers.

August 2019 had 8.5% more listings under contract and 13.1% more projected closed sales than August 2018. Yet, there were 3.3% fewer new listings in August 2019 than 2018.

A combination that resulted in -0.7% less inventory for home buyers in August 2019 when compared to the year prior. In addition, it further solidified the current seller’s market, with only 3.4 months supply of homes. A market is considered balanced with six months of inventory.

The good news: The decreased inventory did not result in increased home prices.

On average, after of 50 days on the market, buyers and sellers agreed on a purchase price that was 95.9% of the original listing price in August 2019, resulting in a median sales price of $315,500. A median sales price that, while 1.8% more than the median sales price received in August 2018, continued a decline that began July 2019.

The change in median sales price paired with favorable lending conditions produced a housing affordability index of 113—8.7% higher than August 2018. Indicating that in August 2019, the median household income was 113% of what is necessary to qualify for a median-priced home under prevailing interest rates.

Overall, August’s market data tells an interesting story. Depending on which data point you look at, it is truly a great time to be a seller, or a great time to be a buyer.

Collin County Job Growth Secures a Seller’s Market

PLANO, Texas — The Collin County Association of Realtors (CCAR) reports that while some real estate markets across Texas are approaching a plateau, Collin County is not one of them.

In April 2019, the CCAR Pulse area had 16.3% more projected closed sales than April 2018; continuing a three-month trend of month-over-month increases of projected closed sales. A trend that began in January 2019 with 2,528 projected closed sales and nearly doubling to 5,002 in April 2019.

The percent of original list price received by sellers also continued an upward climb that began in February 2019—resulting in sellers receiving 96.5% of their original list price. Contributing to a 3.6% increase in the median sales price from the year prior ($320,000 vs. $309,000).

While April 2019 exhibited favorable selling conditions, buyers experienced positive buying conditions. Healthy buying power was demonstrated by a 105 housing affordability index, as well as a 22% increase in inventory from April 2018.

This inventory is reflective of the traditional spring increase of new listings. However, April 2019 outperformed the previous spring with 3.5% more new listings compared to April 2018 (7,167 vs. 6,923). Homes also remained on the market 52 days in April 2019—up 23.8% compared to the same time last year, however the lowest Days on Market for the CCAR Pulse area since October 2018.

Correspondingly, the months supply of homes for sale increased in April 2019 compared to the year prior—resulting in 3.2 months of inventory. While a notable increase from the year prior, an insignificant change from the market performance throughout 2019. Signifying a steady seller’s market. A market is considered balanced when there is a 6 months’ supply of homes.

What does this mean for buyers and sellers? It means Collin County residents chose right. Collin County is growing, and will continue to grow as more companies move headquarters to the area and jobs are created. This provides sellers with a steady influx of buyers, while at the same time, providing buyers with steady jobs and increased earning ability—setting them up to buy when they are ready.

March Home Sales Provided a “Happily Ever After” for Both Buyers and Sellers in 2019

PLANO, Texas — The Collin County Association of Realtors (CCAR) reports that buyers and sellers hit their stride in March 2019, resulting in more projected closed sales, fewer days on the market, and an increase in percent of original listing price received.

In March 2019, there were 4.9% more new listings than March 2018 and 25.2% more inventory of homes for sale than the year prior.

Homebuyers were ready to purchase the increased inventory, resulting in 4.5% more listings under contract than March 2018, 6.9% more projected closed sales than March 2018, and the fewest days on market (60) for the CCAR Pulse area since November 2018.

The increase in sales may be in part to the housing affordability index of 106 in March 2019; signifying that the median household income is 106% of what is necessary to qualify for the median-priced home under prevailing interest rates.  The index may have been boasted by a 1.1% decrease in the median sales price of homes in March 2019 ($313,854) compared to March 2018 ($317,500).

However, the decrease in median sales price should not discourage sellers. When compared to February 2019 ($300,000), the median sales price increased a significant 4.4% in one month’s time, continuing a two-month trend of month-over-month median sales price increase.

Sellers also received 96% of their original list price in March 2019, continuing a three-month upward trend of original list price received. An indication of well-informed sellers setting competitive prices, an additional factor contributing to increased projected closed sales in March 2019 and decreased days on the market.

The months supply of homes for sale is one data figure that continues to remain steady for the CCAR Pulse area. March 2019 reported 3.1 months supply of homes for sale—the median months of homes for sale for the past 11 months. This represents a steady sellers’ market, despite increased inventory and slowing of sales prices.

“Spring is historically thought of as the peak season for real estate and the March market performance in Collin County has indicated this year will not be the exception,” remarked David Alan Cox, CCAR President.

As sellers prepare their homes for the market and buyers qualify for their home loans this spring, signs indicate a happy ending for all parties involved.

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.”