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Windsong Ranch Now Open In Prosper

Windsong Ranch, a new 2,030 acre master-planned community in Prosper is now open! There are four beautiful new model homes by award-winning builders Darling Homes, Drees Custom Homes and Highland Homes that are now open and available to visit. Home prices are to start in the mid $300s. You will also want to visit the interactive Welcome Center to learn about the extensive list of amenities that will await residents in Windsong Ranch. There will be over 600 acres of open space, lakes, parks and walking trails for your family to enjoy. There will also be the Amenity Center known as The Commons which will feature the Windsong Cafe with indoor and outdoor seating, state-of-the-art Fitness Center, lap pool, resort-style pool and cabanas. Additional features will be the outdoor covered living area with huge fireplace that overlooks the pools and a 2-acre lake, children’s play area and The Esplanade which is a linear park designed for social gatherings and community events.

Windsong Ranch is within a few minutes of casual or fine dining, shopping including regional malls, minor league sports complexes, and major entertainment venues. The new Dallas Cowboys training facilities will only be a short drive away. If you are a golfer, the Gentle Creek Country Club is close by. Windsong Ranch is also just a half hour away from Dallas and DFW Airport.

There are three school sites planned within the community and they are part of the outstanding Prosper ISD system. They are known for state-of-the-art facilities and technology, strong leadership and caring teachers.

As the community grows and develops, additional builders including Chesmar Homes, David Weekley Homes and Huntington Homes will be building in Windsong Ranch.

To visit Windsong Ranch, take the Dallas Tollway to Highway 380 (Denton Highway) in Prosper and then travel west about 2.5 miles. Or visit

Steve Lester is a REALTOR with Keller Williams Realty living in Allen, Texas.





Why Should I Live In Allen, Texas?

The July edition of D Magazine has an extensive article and section rating the Top 63 Best Suburbs in North Texas. Allen, Texas was once again recognized as one of the Top 10 coming in at #10. The categories used to determine the final results were varied, but there was a large emphasis on four major areas including crime, education, population and real estate in the final scoring. With the top score being 100, Allen’s final score was an Ambiance Score of 80. Many of the numbers used for the score calculation and final results are listed below.

Allen showed to have a median age of 35 for the residents that live within the city of 26.3 miles. Based on 2013 estimates the population is 92,020 which equates to a population density of 3,500 people per square mile. Allen has experienced a population growth of 111.3% between the years 2000-2013.

The crime statistics were also very impressive as Allen has .062 violent crimes per 1,000 residents and 16.00 nonviolent crimes per 1,000 residents. These numbers once again validate what a great city and community Allen is to raise a family.

As mentioned, education and schools was an important focus on the study and Allen ISD did very well. Students passing the STARR K-11 was 93% and 1588 was the mean SAT score. Allen ISD spends an average of $4,157 per student for instruction spending and shows that 81.7% of their students take the SAT/ACT college entrance exams.

Real estate was also very important in the rankings and Allen experienced an increase in home sale prices of 12.6% between 2011-2013. In 2013 the average home sales price in Allen was $278,844 and the percentage of owner-occupied homes was 79.4% for the city. Allen was also given a walkability score of 25 which was the fourth highest of the Top 10 suburbs listed.

I hope that you will consider Allen, Texas if you are looking for a new home. Allen is truly one of the most desired locations in North Texas to live and raise a family. Source: D Magazine July 2014 Edition

Steve Lester is a REALTOR with Keller Williams Realty living in Allen, Texas.



Allen TX

Good Advice For Home Sellers

Image With 90 percent of buyers looking for homes online, listing photos are crucial and should not be blurred or distorted, taken at the wrong time of day, or overly focused on furniture or other items. When it comes to curb appeal, here are some suggestions for sellers:

  • Add plants at the front corners of the yard, along driveways or walkways, and in front of the house
  • Fertilize grass and shrubs
  • Replace worn gutters
  • Patch driveway cracks
  • Spruce up or replace the front door
  • Install exterior lighting
  • Ensure that entry hardware matches

To jazz up the entryway, sellers should remove clutter and personal items, remove dated carpeting, and ensure that the home smells nice. As for other improvements, experts say sellers should pay close attention to return on investment, spending most of their money in the kitchen and bathrooms but avoiding major overhauls given that buyers are likely to make changes when they move in. Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Steve Lester is a REALTOR living in Allen, Texas. 

Why Did Texans Buy Homes In 2013?

ImageTexans are no different than anyone else when it comes why they were buying homes in 2013. The simple truth is that they wanted to own a home! In a recent report by TAR, statistics revealed more reasons why Texans decided to become homeowners last year. In the 2013 Profile of Texas Homebuyers and Sellers, TAR provided data that was provided by both first-time home buyers as well as repeat buyers that further identified the primary factors leading to them purchasing homes last year. Several of those reasons are listed below.

What was their reason to buy?

As mentioned earlier, the primary reason for purchasing a home was that 63% of first-time buyer’s desired to own a home. When it came to repeat buyers, the numbers were more diverse. Among this group, 15% purchased because of relocation related to their job, 14% wanted to up-size, and 11% were interested in moving closer to their family, friends, and relatives.

Why did they purchase in 2013?

Among first-time buyers, 44% decided that it was the right time for them to purchase their first home. Home affordability was the driving force for 12% of the respondents and historically low mortgage rates were the primary reason for 26% of those surveyed.

Repeat buyers also chose it was the right time to purchase as the primary reason, as 36% indicated this was what caused them to act last year. Attractive financing options were what appealed most to 20% of those Texans that decided to buy another home.

Combined only 1% of first-time buyers and repeat buyers indicated that they wish they had waited and not purchased in 2013.

What factors were most important when choosing a location?

Not surprisingly, 63% said the quality of the neighborhood was the most important factor in their decision. Other factors included convenience to job at 45% and overall affordability of the homes which was 40%. Living close to family and friends continued to be an important factor at 35% and the quality of the school district was a priority for 32% of respondents. Buyers also considered the design of the neighborhood as a factor as 30% indicated in their responses.

All indications are that 2014 will continue the momentum that was generated in 2013. The motivating factors of rising home prices and interest rates will give potential buyers the initiative to move forward now while home affordability is still a reality for many. Source: TAR

Steve Lester is a Realtor with JP & Associates and lives in Allen, Texas. 

Great Neighborhoods In Plano, Texas

Twin creeks Allen

Last year, the Dallas Morning News conducted a yearlong analysis of the quality of life in communities and neighborhoods throughout the DFW metroplex. There were just over 50 that were identified as best in one or more categories. In Plano, Texas there were three neighborhoods that ranked either first or second as Best Neighborhood for those residents in the Plano, Wylie and Murphy area. The first two were Hickory Ridge and Deerfield which finished No. 1 and No. 2 and then Willow Bend Lakes which was rated No. 2 for wealthy buyers. Below you will find information about all three and why residents love living in these great Plano communities.

Hickory Ridge is a community of just over 200 homes that is located in northwest Plano. It is south of Sam Rayburn Tollway (Hwy.121), north of McDermott Road, east of Preston Road and west of Coit Road. It is part of the Frisco ISD with students attending Borchardt Elementary, Fowler or Roach Middle School and Frisco Liberty High School. The schools are walking distance to many students and all were rated Met Standard (MS) in the 2013 Metroplex School Ratings. The neighborhood features amenities such as a community pool and clubhouse, a large grassy knoll area for kids to play and is close to two hike and bike trails. An additional feature is that the neighboring community Villages of White Rock Creek has a large fishing pond and public park that are walking distance also. There are also a minimum of five community events per year for the residents and their families to enjoy.

In 2013 there were 10 properties sold in the community with an average price of $338,340 and average square feet of 3,423. The average price per square foot was $99.35 and average days on market was 29 days with the homes selling for an average of 97% of original listed price. The ten properties sold were all built between 2002 and 2007.

Deerfield is in northwest Plano also and is a community of 733 custom-built homes. It is located north of Legacy Drive and South of Hedgecoxe Road, between Ohio Drive and Coit Road. Residents and visitors are greeted by two large brick arches that highlight the entrances on Legacy Drive. The community is surrounded by a brick wall, however it is not a gated community. The neighborhood is served by the Plano ISD with all of the schools being rated Met Standard (MS) for 2013 and within walking distance. Those schools are Haun Elementary, Robinson Middle School, Jasper High School and Plano West Senior High School. The community has 24/7 Security and is located close to major highways, many large corporations at Legacy Drive Business Park and lots of retail shopping including Stonbriar Mall. There are many scheduled social events for residents during the year including an Annual BBQ, Oktoberfest, Easter Egg Hunt and Holiday Party. Deerfield has also gained much recognition over the last 25 years for their FREE holiday lights display on most of the neighborhood houses during the months of November and December. Deerfield also has a clubhouse available to rent to residents and homeowners for parties, meetings and other events. Residents are also within a 10 minute drive to the City of Plano’s Tom Muehlenbeck Recreation Center. Located just west of Plano West Senior High School, this almost 84,000 square foot facility offers amenities such as outdoor leisure pool, 25-yard indoor swimming pool and indoor leisure pool, double gymnasium and much more!

In 2013 there were 49 properties sold in the Deerfield community. The average sales price was $390,691 with the avearge square feet being 3,706. The average price per square foot was $105.72 and average days on market of 44 days with the homes selling for 99% of listed price. The 49 homes that sold were built between 1986 and 2011.

Willow Bend Lakes is a community of 315 homes that is located south of West Parker Road, north of West Park Blvd., east of the Dallas North Tollway and west of Preston Road. As mentioned earlier, this neighborhood was rated No. 2 for wealthy buyers. The criteria for this category required neighborhoods with median home values of $400,000 or more and household income of $85,000 per year or more. The homes in this community can range in size from 3,300 square feet to as much as 9,000 square feet. Part of the appeal of this neighborhood is that it is surrounded by lakes, waterfalls, creeks and open areas. Residents have access to all types of outdoor activities including bike riding, walking their dogs and even going fishing as they stock the ponds with fish. The neighborhood is highly coveted because of its quiet atmosphere and park-like amenities. The Plano ISD serves this community with Centennial Elementary, Renner Middle School, Shepton High School and Plano West Senior High School. All four received Met Standard (MS) ratings for 2013 in the Metroplex School Ratings. Renner, Shepton and Plano West also received AA/ELA ratings which stand for Academic Achievement In Reading/English Language Arts. Major roads are close-by and retail shopping is less than 10 minutes away at Willow Bend Mall.

Property sales for 2013 included 24 homes with average sales price of $757,563 and average square footage of 4,855. Average price per square foot was $155.03 and average days on market was 67 days with the properties selling for 96% of listed price. The homes that were sold were built between 1979 and 1994.

If you are considering moving to Plano, Texas then you may want to visit these three neighborhoods that have been chosen as some of the best to live in for their amenities, their schools, and their sense of community and neighborhood pride. Sources: The Dallas Morning News, NTREIS
Steve Lester is a Realtor with JP & Associates Realtors living in Allen, Texas. 

December 2013 Real Estate Market Report For Allen, Texas

Image The just released market report for home sales in Allen, Texas is further evidence of the continuing momentum in the local housing market. Sale prices are up and inventories are down as compared to December 2012 numbers. Here are the latest results and the percent of change as compared to last year.

New Listings 61  Percent of change 7%
Sales 102  Percent of change 9%
Average Sales Price $284,850  Percent of change 16%
Sold Price To Listed Price 97%  Percent of change 0%
Average Days On Market (DOM) 38 Days  Percent of change -25%
Months Inventory 1.1 Month  Percent of change -36%

The local Allen market as well as the DFW market in general will continue to be very active as high demand and low inventories of available homes will continue into 2014. Multiple offers will also continue to more of the norm and less of the exception in today’s market. More than ever, it pays to speak with your mortgage lender first and have your pre-approval letter in hand. Source: NTREIS, Texas A&M Real Estate Center, Old Republic Title

Steve Lester is a REALTOR living in Allen, Texas 

Getting Started: New Home Buyers

ImageIf you are considering the purchase of a new home, there are several steps to the process that if done properly will make your purchase experience more enjoyable and less stressful. Listed below you will find a brief description of each step in the process as you prepare to look for your dream home.

Selecting A Mortgage Lender – It is crucial that you begin the mortgage loan process well in advance of beginning your search for a new home that you would want to purchase.

(1) Loan Options – Take the time to speak with several lenders to determine what types of loans are available to you. Talking with mortgage companies, financial institutions such as banks, credit unions, and savings and loans will allow you to determine what program is best for you and the opportunity to compare rates.

(2) First Time Home Buyer – Many lenders offer programs specifically designed for first time home buyer. If you qualify, these special programs provide terms that include minimal money down, low interest rates or federal programs that provide one or both.

(3) Financial History – As with all consumer loans, home mortgage interest rates will be directly related to your credit history and debt-to-income ratio. When you have a good credit history and limited debt load, then you automatically qualify for a better rate. If you are in a less than ideal credit situation, your lender can provide advice and a plan of action to help you improve your current credit score and earn a better rate.

(4) Types Of Loans – Your trusted loan officer will review your credit file and discuss with you which loan program is best for you and how much you can borrow. He will then move forward to get you pre-approved and provide you a pre-approval letter.

(5) Pre-Approval Letter – The pre-approval letter will allow you to focus on homes that are in a price range that are realistic for you and also show potential seller’s that you are a serious buyer as you begin the home buying process.

Selecting A Real Estate Agent – Just as you interviewed and spoke with several mortgage lenders, you will want to speak with several agents to be your Buyer Represenative. The agent you choose can research for homes within your price range that meet the other criteria that you have provided them. They also can preview homes for you in advance or arrange to preview the homes with you. When you find a home you want to make an offer for, they will prepare a contract to offer to the seller and assist you with any and all negotiations. Yes an agent receives a commission, but that fee is paid by the seller and not you. Besides, an experienced agent will be a valuable asset with their knowledge of local communities, the real estate market current trends, schools, etc.

Buying a home should be an exciting time and if you will follow the simple steps within the process, you may find the experience more enjoyable and less intimidating. Source: Old Republic Title

Steve Lester is a REALTOR living in Allen, Texas.