Historic downtown McKinney is full of character and tons of cute houses. It's one of the reasons "Money" magazine chose this Collin County suburb as the No. 1 place to live in America for 2014.

Historic downtown McKinney is full of character and tons of cute houses. It’s one of the reasons “Money” magazine chose this Collin County suburb as the No. 1 place to live in America for 2014.

Well, the good news keeps pouring in for Collin County. First Allen is named one of the safest places to live in Texas, and now McKinney is named the best place to live by Money magazine.

With jobs, shopping, excellent schools, and the cutest historic downtown, McKinney has a lot of the things American families are looking for, according to Money.


Craig ranch TPC overviewWe shot our second episode of PartyLine Real Estate tonight up in a luxury townhome at 17 Green, at Craig Ranch in McKinney, sipping wine as the sun set over the TPC. The luxury townhomes at 17 Green ALL overlook the Audubon-certified natural greens of the TPC Craig Ranch golf course. The homes feature formals, huge masters, rocking master baths, outdoor living spaces with fireplaces, and second-floor terraces that take in the beautiful view of more than 200 acres, all care-free. Prices are great — listed with Christy Berry, Briggs Freeman Sothebys. By care-free I mean that at 17 Green, everything is taken care of by the nice folks at Craig Ranch, even the perfect-sized green patches in your own backyard! Of course, what makes Craig Ranch so special is that it’s really one of the most intelligent, walkable urban planned communities set in a charming city. And one of the healthiest: my Lord there’s Cooper Fitness Center with a rock climbing wall (!) and one of the biggest lap pools in the state. There’s Playtri, the new triathlon mega-store in Craig Ranch’s Time Square building. (more…)

1809 Provine Front

This home is truly a labor of love, and it shows! This amazing Tuscan-style estate in McKinney took three years for the owner, an artist, to design and build. It has so many gorgeous and warm, intimate rooms to fall head-over-heels for, and trust me, this home is romance with a foundation and walls.

From the lush landscaping that surrounds the 4 acre lot, to the finishes and tile work, you’ll be transported to an Italian countryside with this 7,600-square-foot masterpiece. It has five bedrooms, four and a half baths, and some incredible touches you don’t often see outside of luxury resorts.

1809 Provine Courtyard

This property in Provine Farms Estates is marketed by Patton International Properties Realtor Myla Patton for $1.75 million. To me, considering some of the amenities this lovely home offers, it seems like an absolute steal! Considering the three-car garage, as well as the stocked pond, gorgeous outdoor spaces, and picturesque courtyard, 1809 Provine would be an excellent bed and breakfast. It certainly has enough visual interest throughout to be a magnet for honeymooners.

1809 Provine Living

I love the exposed and painted beams, the plaster walls, and the incredible stone work in the kitchen, which has painted cabinets and high-end stainless appliances as well as a cool stainless steel island counter top and a painted wrought iron pot rack. Most people would be put off by the many different materials and patterns on the floor in this home, but to me it just makes it feel more like an artist’s haven — a muse, or source of inspiration.

1809 Provine Kitchen

You know where you won’t lack inspiration, though? The master bedroom. This is absolute romance, with exposed beams in the ceiling, a two-sided fireplace, and amazing views of the property. In the master bath you’ll find one of the sexiest tubs I’ve ever seen. It’s a sunken tub encased in glass mosaic tile. Imagine having a soak in that gorgeous thing, right next to a fire … just incredible!

1809 Provine Master 1809 Provine Master bath

If you’re looking for resort-worthy amenities, all you have to do is go outside to the patio and outdoor kitchen, where you’ll find a pool that has both a beach entry as well as a swim-up bar and a water feature. Pure romance!

Where would you fall in love with this home?

1809 Provine Patio and Pool 1809 Provine Pond 1809 Provine Fire Pit

Downtown McKinney Texas

There’s a lot to love about McKinney, the North Texas town that brands itself as “unique by nature.” Looks like more people are finding the unique and natural in McKinney, as the little suburb that could ranked No. 2 in Realtor.com’s report of the most-searched Zip Codes in the nation for 2013.

McKinney was beat out only by the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago, and placed ahead of the Wellington area of West Palm Beach, Fla.

Here’s the complete list:

1. Old Town in Chicago, Illinois
2. McKinney in Dallas, Texas
3. Wellington in West Palm Beach, Florida
4. Pembrook Pines in Hollywood, Florida
5. Ballantyne in Charlotte, North Carolina

Last year’s most popular Zip Code in North Texas was Keller, but McKinney is this year’s winner for several reasons. Here’s what Candy has to say about McKinney, quoted in Realtor.com’s post:

McKinney IS fabulous, one of the nation’s fastest-growing communities because it offers a quieter, small-town style of living, yet is only 30 miles north of downtown Dallas. But that proximity really doesn’t matter because there are jobs all over Dallas and Collin Counties, spread out in “depots,” like the Telecom Corridor in Plano, Frisco, Richardson and Arlington. McKinney boasts charm, safety and great schools. Taxes are low, too, but keep in mind property taxes in Texas are high because we have no state income tax. You can choose from historic homes with quaint front porches, Victorians or brand new, “Big Hair” McMansions with master spa baths and media rooms for less than $500,000.

I think McKinney is a place to watch carefully in the future, too, for incredible growth and appreciation. Let’s look at the airport. In fact, it’s changing its name from the Collin County Regional Airport to the McKinney National Airport. It has a new, one-year-old 70,000-foot runway set to service private jets. This is important because Dallas Love Field, the city’s oldest airport, will be free from the restraints of the Wright Amendment in October of 2014. The Wright Amendment restricted air traffic at Love Field to bordering states to help grow Dallas/Fort Worth Regional Airport back in the 1970s. McKinney could benefit from Love Field’s expansion, with many private and corporate jets landing there. That is going to accelerate the real estate market like crazy. I know of some other changes coming to McKinney that will make it even hotter – stay tuned to CandysDirt.com for all of it!

Of course, there are some amazing neighborhoods and new developments inside McKinney, such as Craig Ranch. What do you love about McKinney?

508 N. Tennessee Front

What if you could have all of the adorable features you find in a traditional 1920s-era Tudor without all of the tiny rooms, claustrophobic water closets, and impossible-to-maintain stained-glass windows? When I tell you that you can have it all and inside one of the best little neighborhoods in McKinney, well I’m sure you’ll just flip your lid.

508 N. Tennessee Dining

Marketed by the Rierder & Hogan Group at Ebby Halliday Realtors for just $330,000 is this adorable gingerbread Tudor at 508 N. Tennessee. It’s in the sought-after Lustig neighborhood near downtown McKinney and you’d totally think it (and its twin next door) were straight out of Lakewood Heights, Gastonwood, or Hollywood/Santa Monica and built in the 1920s, but guys, this cutie was built just this year!

508 N. Tennessee Office

So you get all the benefit of new construction and all of the curb appeal of a classic Tudor. It’s totally win-win! And of course, you get excellent schools, too, and this lovely four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home is just a short walk from the historic McKinney Square. The kitchen, with its two tone cabinets and sage green subway tile backsplash is just the cutest thing ever. It’s also a great opportunity to make the kitchen totally yours by picking out all your own appliances.

508 N. Tennessee LivingtoKitchen

Everything’s new inside, but you don’t have to sacrifice on period details like stained glass, arched doorways, or gorgeous wood floors. What you won’t miss is all the walls you’d have to knock down to open up and renovate a 1920s Tudor, because this home just flows so perfectly thanks to an excellent floorplan and tons of huge windows.

508 N. tennessee master

I love that this master bath is a five-piece bath with a great layout — it flows from the spacious master to a smaller sitting area, and then opens up to this oversized bathroom with fully-enclosed shower. You get to pick out your own mirrors, too!

508 N. Tennessee Master Bath

And speaking of huge, I’ve never seen a 1920s Tudor that was more than 2,000 square feet, but this gorgeous house is 2,450 square feet with a lovely backyard.

508 N. Tennessee Backyard

So what do you think? Is this cutie just as good as the real thing, or better?


2904 dove front

This past weekend I found myself wishing my little Post War Traditional had a pool, because the temperatures were perfect for lounging and splashing. That’s what my almost 2-year-old son thought, too. It was that day that I vowed an end to plastic pools on the deck, and that our next home would have a pool with a fabulous patio where I could lounge about (because, you know, moms do a ton of lounging, right? Ha, ha, ha.).

2904 Dove Living Dining

This house, 2904 Dove in McKinney’s Fawn Hollow, is a super cute house with a fabulous pool and patio in the backyard. With four bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, and more than 3,000 square feet, this home is fabulous for a family considering moving to the ‘burbs over the summer. There’s an HOA, with fees, which cover access to community amenities. And if country traditional decor is your thing, you won’t have to change a single finish, either.

2904 Dove Den

There are formals, which will be great for big family dinners and entertaining, but you’ll probably use the huge den and kitchen dining areas more, especially considering how open they are to one another. There are plenty of windows to keep things bright, too, and definitely play up the lovely hand-scraped hardwoods throughout the first floor.

2904 Dove Kitchen

The kitchen features granite counters, a large breakfast bar area, and stainless steel appliances. We all know I am a fan of two-tone cabinets, but counting the dark stained island and the sage colored hutch cabinets, this lovely kitchen has three different finishes. Overkill? No, I love it!  The backsplash is Chicago brick — a lovely choice to offset many of the typical tumbled tile backsplashes we see.

2904 Dove Master

The master bedroom is big, not too huge, but big at 18 x 14. I love the huge bay windows, which bring in plenty of light to this suite. This master is a fabulous opportunity to create a true retreat, too, with perhaps a chaise or a comfy chair and ottoman as this owner has done, right next to the window.

2904 Dove Master Bath


The master suite has a five-piece bath, but is showing its age a little due to the brass fixtures. The home was built in 1997, so it isn’t terribly old, and some people do love a bit of brass.

2904 Dove Backyard

But it’s the backyard that catches my eye. This pool is perfect for parties or just generally lazing about on a weekend without a care in the world. The patio is huge, and unlike a lot of homes with pools, this lovely oasis doesn’t take up the entire backyard. And get this — this home is only $309,000! Snatch it up!

519 W. Hunt Front

This place is just too stinking adorable to pass up! Located in McKinney’s W. A. Rhea subdivision, 519 W. Hunt St. was built  in 1901 and has so much of that turn-of-the-century beauty intact.

It’s labeled as a Victorian, but I’d call this more Louisiana French, wouldn’t you? The columns on the expansive front porch are a pretty big giveaway, but there’s a lack of fretwork and trim that usually belies most Victorian architecture.

519 W. Hunt Foyer

Still, I love this little yellow house. There are three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and more than 3,000 square feet under this roof. All bedrooms are upstairs, and there are several living areas downstairs. It’s priced at a very specific $367,750.

519 W. Hunt Parlor

There are at least three fireplaces in this gorgeous home, one of which is in the foyer. They all look to be original, too, which is such a treat! I love the look of older fireplaces, but be sure to have it cleaned and properly inspected before use, because after several years and shifting bricks, they can be a huge fire hazard.

519 W. Hunt Dining

The parlor is just beautiful, and this is where guests would be traditionally received. Again, gorgeous fireplace! And this room really shows off the Louisiana pine wood floors, as well as the effort put into this historic property’s preservation.

519 W. Hunt Living

The kitchen has a definitely modern feel with granite counters and fresh cabinets. While there’s a glass-topped table in the middle of the kitchen, I’m sure you could have a skilled carpenter put in an island that would be a perfect match for your commissary.

519 W. Hunt Kitchen

The master bedroom feels alternately large and small thanks to the vaulted ceilings and recessed windows that form nooks in many places. Of course, considering that it’s a historic property that is more than 110 years old, you have to accept its quirks.

519 W. Hunt Master

The backyard is just perfect for entertaining, with a huge deck that looks out onto a treed lot. There’s also a detached garage with workbench if you’re the handy type! Listed by Ebby’s Riederer and Hogan Group, you can check this lovely home out this Sunday between 2 and 4 p.m. during the open house.

519 W. Hunt Backyard