7/16

In spite of Higher Costs, DFW Home Sales Skyrocket

One might find it a bit of a head-scratcher:  Mortgage rates have increased; the cost of building materials continues to rise; and price-tags for land & labor show no signs of going down – yet, new-home starts and new-home sales in DFW are beating the odds with robust activity.  There’s a good reason for the apparent discrepancy; and it’s this:  ‘affordability’.

 

New construction of more-affordable homes is on the increase and they are selling well, without sacrificing quality and craftsmanship.  The statistics speak for themselves:  In 2017, the interest rates were under 4%; and during July 5, 2018 the 30-year mortgage rate stood at 4.52%.  Also, direct construction costs have soared by as much as 6% for 2018 – this, according to Ted Wilson, principal with Residential Strategies, Inc.  Wilson points out that the demand for higher-priced new homes – especially those over $500,000 – is, noticeably, on the decline.  This is quite stunning since the Northern Dallas housing market for 2017 showed stimulated sales of higher-priced homes.  That buyer-market contrast has been, mostly, due to relocation-buyer demand reflective of multiple corporations having relocated in North Texas – Toyota, Liberty Mutual, and State Farm being only three of them.  Companies, such as these, bring in thousands of employees and their families; and that, of course, generates a direct impact on the housing market.

 

The 2018 DFW Housing Market is Looking Good

When sales records are broken, it is a good sign that the economics are healthy – case in point:  During the 2nd quarter of 2018, new-home starts actually set another housing-cycle record; and during the months of April, May and June, local home-builders were able to start more than 9,900 units.  New-housing starts came in at an impressive 35,399 from July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018.  Ted Wilson states that annual new-home starts are up by a hefty 12%, year-over-year.

 

New home closings are looking good, as well.  During the 2nd quarter of 2018, closings reached 8,984 units which translated to an 8.9% increase compared to the same time period the previous year.  The annual closing rate for 2018 comes in at 33,018 which is an 11% rise, year-over-year.

 

Out of the Challenges, Emerges a Solution

The increase in mortgage rates and higher home-construction costs have opened opportunities for home-builders to focus, more intently, on more-affordable price points that are within the $250,000 to $350,000 range.  Early-20th-Century showman, Georgie Jessel, once said:  “Give the people what they want; and they will come!” –  and home-builders are giving home-buyers what they desire:  less-expansive, high-quality homes with prices that don’t drain the pocketbook.  In addition to homes with less square-footage, smaller lot sizes are making homes more affordable, as well.  Starts on lots 50 feet wide and narrower have increased by 44% while starts on lots 60 feet and wider have, for the most part,  tapered off.

 

Interesting Data

Ted Wilson offers some revealing insight concerning growth in new-home starts in DFW, from June 1, 2017 to June 1, 2018:

 

***  8% growth for homes under $250,000

 

***  69% growth for homes $250,000 – $350,000

 

***  18% growth for homes $350,000 – $500,000

 

***  5% growth for homes over $500,000

 

Millenials and real-estate investors are quick to pounce on those homes in the under-$250,000 range; but that lower-price range presents the biggest challenge for builders due to the higher construction costs; and profit margins feel the pinch.  Then, there is a shortage of skilled laborers, such as framers, which adds to the problem of supply and demand.

 

The DFW housing supply remains low, as indicated by the 22,343 homes that were listed ‘for sale’ at the end of May 2018.  That number represents a 2.62-month supply which is peanuts compared the 6-month supply that is considered ‘equilibrium’, where supply and demand run, virtually, neck-to-neck.   Lastly, the DFW vacant-lot supply could use a bit of a boost.  The current inventory comes in at a 22-month supply which is under the 24-month supply that is considered ideal to meet the demand in this part of Texas.

 

DFW home-starts and sales of newly-constructed homes is strong; and no indications suggest that will change, at least for now.  Demand is high; and that is always music to the ears of the housing industry.  DFW builders are fully aware of what the majority of home-buyers want:  beautifully-crafted homes that are more-affordable, with less square-footage on smaller lots.  It’s a small sacrifice to achieve the American Dream of home-ownership!

7/10

Notable Increases in US Home-Purchase Contracts for Dallas

Dallas just continues to forge ahead in the US housing market; and the number of home-purchase contracts for this thriving city has, impressively, increased over the last year.  Ten of the most-robust major housing markets in the US were analyzed by Meyers Research, a California-based housing analyst; and the results, regarding home-purchase contracts, are interesting.  Denver takes the lead; and Dallas fully embraces it’s No. 5 position as it applies to percent changes of year-to-date new-home contracts for 2018, compared to 2017.  

 

Meyers Research tells us that two contributing factors concerning 2018’s home-buying-contract increases for Dallas are:  1) rising interest rates that have aroused an increased number of buyers to purchase new homes before rates become unaffordable and 2) home-price increase rates in North Texas being, noticeably, lower than they were in 2017.

 

North Texas – Robust and Ready for 2018

Local real-estate agents in North Texas state that home sales rose by 4% through May of 2018.  Additionally, through April of 2018, Dallas’ home-buying contracts increased by 8% from where they were during the first five months of 2017.  Part of this can be explained by the fact that North Texas’ median home-sale prices have stabilized. By May of 2018, home-sale prices had a meager increase of about 5% which is, certainly, good news when compared to the double-digit gains during the same time period, the previous year.

 

Reasons for Dallas’ Success

It cannot be argued that Dallas is a hot-spot for company re-locations; and many companies migrate from the West Coast.  Texas is applauded for its business-friendly environment that embraces companies with open arms and manages to keep them in the Lone Star State thanks to lower business-operation costs, reduced taxes via government tax breaks, and fewer business regulations.  From Jamba to JP Morgan Chase, companies stake their claim in Texas; and this, in turn, continues to greatly stimulate job growth at every level. Dallas’ metro area beckons investors to buy and hold real-estate. After all, buying while prices are still low and watching one’s equity expand, is hard to resist; and it makes good business sense.  

 

Dallas is acclaimed as one the most-robust real-estate markets in the US; and highly-respected media outlets waste no time validating Dallas’ attributes.  Dallas News compared the Big D with other coveted metro areas across America, in a variety of prominent categories.  Here are just a few, worth noting:

 

***  #1/37 metro areas:  Best Cities to Buy Housing – Forbes

 

***  #3/21 metro areas:  Fastest-Growing US Cities – Forbes

 

***  #4/10 metro areas:  Best Cities for Families – Parenting

 

***  #5/16 metro areas:  Best Cities for Jobs – Forbes

 

***  #10/200 metro areas:  Best Places for Business and Careers – Forbes

 

***  #15/125 metro areas:  Best Places to Live – U.S. News

 

***  #11/100 metro areas:  Best Places to Retire  – U.S. News

 

***  #4/10 metro areas:  Best States for Growth – U.S. News

 

Dallas’ diverse job opportunities and its high-quality of living appeal to millennials, growing families, and retirees. Vicki Fullerton, Chairperson for the Texas Association of Realtors, states that 2017 marked the third consecutive year that Texas gained more than 500,000 new residents who relocated from other states.  

 

Life in Texas is great; and life in Dallas is good – very good!         

7/10

DFW Housing Market Looking Better – US Forecast Looks Dim

Perspective is everything; and whether the cup is half-full or half-empty could apply to the, overall, Dallas-Fort Worth housing market.  Though pricing and availability with D-FW homes isn’t where it needs to be to cater more to prospective home-buyers, the good news is, it is improving!  Right now, the D-FW home price outlook is ranked as ‘neutral’ by Nationwide Mutual Insurance’s analyses. The ranking of ‘neutral’ may not sound too optimistic, but if we look at the situation from the perspective of improvement, we discover it was only a year ago when Dallas was ranked with a ‘negative’ rating by Nationwide’s quarterly Health of Housing Markets report for 2017.  These quarterly reports take four main factors into consideration when calculating ratings for 400 US metro markets, across the country. They include: 1) employment 2) demographics 3) mortgage market and 4) home prices.

 

Fortunately, since Nationwide’s 2017 assessment, the rate of home-price gains in northern Texas has become less ecorbitant; and increased stabilization in this area means an increased number of prospective home-buyers can take shopping for a new home, more seriously.  David Berson, Nationwide Senior VP and Chief Economist offers a reason for D-FW’s upward movement from ‘negative’ to ‘neutral’ : DFW’s job growth has strengthened. Berson states: “Things are looking better in D-FW – you are not ‘negative’ anymore.”  The improved outlook is good, for sure; but Berson points out that D-FW is, still, on Nationwide’s list of cities that have experienced the largest reduction in available homes since 2015.  

 

The Nation’s Home Market Needs a Boost

The DFW metro area housing market is improving when compared to mid-2017; but Nationwide tells us that the current condition for the overall US home market is far from its potential.  The lackluster condition of the US housing market is ranked by Nationwide as ‘neutral’; and in this case, that term isn’t an optimistic one since it had slipped from the ranking of ‘positive’.  A good deal of that backwards transition has to do with housing affordability.

 

Prospective home-buyers in Texas are well aware of how home prices in DFW have reached unprecedented highs.  In fact, during the last four years, home prices in this area increased by more than 40%! The good news is, home prices in North Texas are becoming more reasonable.  Case in point: as of May 2018, median home-sale prices were a meager 5% higher than during first five months of 2017. This 5% is half of the year-over-year price increase experienced during the same time-period, last year.  Berson points out the reality: “You can’t get double-digit home-price growth all the time, or people can’t afford to buy.”   When home-price growth skyrockets, it has to reach its zenith since an overpriced housing market stagnates sales; and that is bad for everyone.  Nationwide, as well as Wall Street’s Fitch Ratings and CoreLogic agree that D-FW home prices still need to move downward.

 

The Light in the Tunnel

Fortunately, on a national level, two vital components have helped to keep the US housing market quite healthy and above water: stimulated job growth and strong incomes.  It is hoped, by Berson, that delinquency rates will subside in future quarters which should help the national outlook and put its ranking back in the ‘positive’ slot where it needs to be.  The devastation caused by the 2017 hurricanes along the coastal areas of Florida and Texas will be long remembered by those directly, and indirectly, affected. Due to these catastrophes, delinquency rates experienced a spike since more than 200,000 homes were damaged, resulting in more than $150 billion in damage, according to Texas Governor, Greg Abbott.            

7/10

Nathan Carlisle – 100% Committed to Building Energy Star Homes

Conscientious home-owners like the idea of optimally reducing energy consumption, saving on energy bills, and treading more lightly on the environment.  Nathan Carlisle commits itself to the construction of energy-efficient homes that earn the Energy Star label.

 

Energy Star products within each Nathan Carlisle home are meticulously designed to meet demanding energy-efficiency standards, as prescribed by the EPA.  Additionally, the EPA implements third-party certification partnerships to ensure the testing reliability of Energy Star qualified products; and homes that are Energy Star Certified meet or exceed those standards.  According to the EPA, if entire homes are Energy Star Certified, those homes are 15%-30% more energy-efficient than new homes that are not certified in this manner. One specific example would include Energy Star heating and cooling systems that operate up to 45% more efficiently than conventional systems.  

       

Nathan Carlisle adheres to very-specific building guidelines designed to create homes that are safer, more energy efficient, more comfortable and more durable than conventionally-constructed homes.  Here are only a few inclusions Energy Star Certified homes would include:

 

  1.  Tight Construction offers advanced framing techniques such as continuous air barrier and sealing of penetrations which prevents internal leaks and drafts.

 

  1.  Advanced Fresh Air Ventilation System means controlled air-exchange rates which minimize indoor contaminants, pollutants, dust and odors.  Air returns are located in every room to improve air quality and increase the comfort level, with better air circulation.

 

  1.  Innovative Thermal Systems utilize low ’emissivity’ windows with protective coatings as well as enhanced insulation techniques to minimize voids and gaps, and higher thermal properties (R-value) to increase energy performance.  Extreme insulation consists of, both, spray foam and cellulose insulation that results in a total R-Value of 51 in the attic.

 

  1.  Combustion Safety ensures all combustion appliances are sealed or power-vented to avoid build-up of carbon monoxide.  CO detectors add an extra measure of protection.

 

  1.  High-Performance/Low-Flow Faucets allow for 20% to 40% less water usage.

 

  1.  CFL light bulbs are 4 times more efficient than incandescent light bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.

 

  1.  High-Performance Insulation and Radiant Barrier ensures the utilization of an appropriately-sized HVAC system, reducing HVAC tonnage by as much as 40%.

Science – Results – Commitment     

There exists an actual science behind Energy Star components included in each and every Nathan Carlisle home.  It is an evolved, very-complex discipline. Materials, products and equipment work together to ensure the highest level of energy efficiency and savings.  From impressively-efficient appliances to Low-E windows to the insulation between the walls, it’s all about reduced energy expenses that keep more money in home-owners’ pockets as well as treading more gently on our world.

The Energy Star label is the most-trusted environmental label in the US – this according to Kimberly Stargell, Senior Energy Manager for JCPenny. Additionally, Energy Star is the most successful, voluntary conservation movement in history. Energy Star is the simple choice that Nathan Carlisle makes with each and every home it builds; and to that choice, Nathan Carlisle is passionately committed and dedicated.  That will never change!

6/18

Nathan Carlisle Homes Offering Two New Active-Adult Developments

The cities of Prosper and Aubrey, Texas are excited! Why? –  Two new active-adult communities in this region of North Texas are about to set the stage for stunning new homes for those 55 years and over.

 

As a North-Texas-based developer, Nathan Carlisle Homes is not just, simply, in the thick of this endeavor; this private builder is, also, very passionate about continuing to fill a housing-availability void for adult home-buyers who have a desire to relocate or downsize.  In fact, Nathan Carlisle Homes’ first two successful communities in Craig Ranch and Savannah, already, serve the needs of the expanding 55-plus real-estate market.

 

Nathan Carlisle Homes’ newest projects – Lakes at Legacy in Prosper and ArrowBrooke in Aubrey – are embedded in larger master-planned communities.  Nathan Carlisle CEO, Richard Dix, enthusiastically embraces these projects: “We are excited to announce these two new developments which will introduce hundreds of new owners to the Nathan Carlisle difference…exquisitely-crafted and designed homes, outstanding amenities, and passionate team members who go above and beyond to create a true community for residents.  Lakes at Legacy and ArrowBrooke are located in two of the fastest-growing areas of North Texas; and both offer easy access to all that makes this an outstanding place to live –  vibrant employment, dining and recreation centers, and leading medical facilities.  Our experience in this region, with two already-successful active-adult communities, will enable Lakes at Legacy and ArrowBrooke to stand out, next to competing properties.”

 

Metrostudy’s Regional Director, Paige Shipp, is quick to point out the slim inventory of homes that cater, more specifically, to households 55 and over.  This demographic category represents the most under-served hew-home buyer in DFW.  Even though households 55 and over comprise 41.7% of the market, a mere 15.5% of new-home sales lend themselves to active adults.

 

The demand is there; but the supply is not.  Ms. Shipp goes on to mention that builders have not addressed this marketing issue; and, as a result, many older residents either resign themselves to remodel their current homes or buy a resale home.  Ms. Shipp makes it clear:  “Nathan Carlisle is addressing the needs of this under-served cohort with quality new homes designed expressly for the 55-plus newhome buyers.”

 

New Floor Plans and Designs

Part of Nathan Carlisle Homes’ excitement regarding the Lakes at Legacy and ArrowBrooke projects lies in the fact that their homes in these two beautiful locales will offer all-new floor plans and designs.  Nathan Carlisle has joined forces with two award-winning design firms – BSB Design and Housing Design Matters – who have outdone themselves with the stunning new floor plans and designs that will exemplify the homes by Nathan Carlisle.  Mr. Deryl Patterson, AIA, president of Housing Matters, states:  “We believe great 55-plus housing designs will enhance the lives of future residents.  We are excited to have been selected by Nathan Carlisle to provide new and inspired designs for the active-adult communities.”

 

Lakes at Legacy

The Lakes at Legacy project is located north of Highway 380, only two miles west of the 380/Dallas North Tollway intersection.  The city of Prosper is eagerly anticipating its only active-adult community where Lakes at Legacy will offer the following:

 

  • 345 single-family homes
  • price range from the $300’s to the $600’s
  • square footage from 1,600 to almost 4,000
  • three lot widths:  55′, 65′, and 75′
  • 16 all-new floor plans
  • 5,000 square foot/multi-million dollar community center w/entertainment space, workout facilities, and resort-style pool
  • spectacular 6.5-acre lake surrounded by winding walk & bike trails

 

Features and amenities, such as these, are what make Nathan Carlisle communities so special and coveted.  President of Nathan Carlisle, Rich Rodrigues, added his thoughts:  “We are taking special care to create new floor plans that are not only unique to Nathan Carlisle, but which are distinct from competing properties.  These designs feature the fresh, open-living environments that today’s buyers desire and which will enable them to enjoy their home for many, many years.”

Pre-sales at Lakes at Legacy will commence in late summer of 2018; and model homes will begin construction in mid-September.

 

ArrowBrooke

Two miles north of Highway 380, midway between Denton and McKinney, you will find ArrowBrooke, located in Aubrey.  The active-adult community of ArrowBrooke is approximately 12 miles from Savannah, to the southeast, which is the location of Nathan Carlisle’s first active-adult community.  ArrowBrook will offer:

 

  • more than 200 single-family homes w/elevations distinct from those at Lakes at Legacy
  • price range from the $200’s to the mid-$300’s
  • square footage from 1,600 to 2,650
  • standard 50′-wide lots
  • custom-designed amenity center w/resort-style pool
  • multiple spaces for entertaining
  • miles of walk & bike trails
  • catch-and-release fishing pond

 

ArrowBrooke is all about affordable luxury with more moderately-priced options; and Nathan Carlisle will begin pre-sales, here, in early 2019.  Model homes will be open for viewing the latter part of the first quarter of 2019.

 

Nathan Carlisle has spent several years preparing to introduce these two communities; and even though a number of out-of-town companies are rushing to be a part of the 55-plus market, Nathan Carlisle is proud of the fact that it is not only locally based, but possesses a unique perspective on what active-adult buyers desire in a new home.  Nathan Carlisle is privately-owned; and because of that, it can invest in a product that surpasses more generic, mass-produced homes.

 

After It’s All Said and Done

Nathan Carlisle combines its unsurpassed craftsmanship, unique home designs, community layout, amenities, and dedicated customer care to create a truly superior offering for the active adult.  All of this translates in Nathan Carlisle’s philosophy of “Living Life, Loving Life.”  That philosophy generates the backdrop for the kind of lifestyle active-adult customers truly desire.

6/18

Two New 55+ Communities Planned for North Texas

They are coming – two new home communities in North Texas for individuals 55-plus years young!  The cities of Prosper and Aubrey, Texas have been selected as the locales that will embrace Nathan Carlisle Homes’ new residences for mature home-buyers desiring to relocate or downsize.  The popular trend of catering to 55-plus home-buyers is nothing new for Nathan Carlisle Homes which has, already, constructed 55-plus housing projects in McKinney’s Craig Ranch community as well as in the Savannah community, in Denton County.

 

It can’t be argued that baby-boomers are desiring alternatives to large family homes; and builders are very aware of that mindset and aren’t wasting any time in at attempt to provide new homes that cater to the 55-plus crowd.   Yet, as Nathan Carlisle CEO, Richard Dix, put it:  “Nathan Carlisle has spent several years preparing to introduce these two communities.  Many out-of-town companies are rushing into this market, but as a locally-based home-builder, we believe we have a unique perspective on what active, adult buyers in this area want in a new home.”

 

Metrostudy is the leading provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and residential construction industry.  Metrostudy’s Regional Director, Paige Shipp, added an interesting and insightful comment:  The active-adult cohort is the most under-served new-home buyer in D-FW.  Households that are 55 and over comprise 41.7% of our market, while only 15.5% of new-home sales are to active adults.  Unfortunately, builders have not addressed this market with new-lifestyle-appropriate homes and communities.”   

 

Dallas-based Nathan Carlisle Homes, however, continues to fill that void.   Nathan Carlisle Homes is an applauded home builder that maintains a stellar reputation for providing a wide variety of stunning home models that include intricate details, superior workmanship, and an overflow of standard features adult home-buyers, absolutely, fall in love with.

 

The Lakes at Legacy in Prosper

The Lakes at Legacy project in Prosper is an active-adult community coming soon, north of US Highway 380; and it is here where Nathan Carlisle will begin pre-sales of homes in late summer of 2018.  A grand total of 345 single-family homes will range from a cozy 1,600 square feet to a rambling 4,000 square feet with prices varying from the $300,000’s to the $600,000’s.  At the Lakes at Legacy location, lot offerings are 55′, 65′, and 75′ wide with the added bonus of a 6.5 acre community lake!

 

The ArrowBrooke in Aubrey

The beautiful, new ArrowBrooke active-adult community in Aubrey is positioned between Denton and McKinney; and it is, here, where more than 200 beautiful single-family residences will range from 1,600 square feet to 2,650 square feet – priced from the very affordable $200,000’s to the $300,000’s.  The active-adult community of ArrowBrooke will offer 50′-wide lots and a wonderful catch-and-release fishing pond!  It is at ArrowBrooke where like-minded adults can enjoy a vibrant and social lifestyle where making friends with neighbors will become second-nature.  Nathan Carlisle will begin pre-sales at ArrowBrooke in early 2019.

 

The Lakes at Legacy and ArrowBrooke are nestled in two of the fastest-growing regions of all of North Texas.  Homeowners in these two locations will enjoy sought-after amenities:  robust employment, coveted dining and recreational centers, and outstanding medical facilities.  And to top it off, homeowners in Lakes at Legacy and ArrowBrooke will have full access to resort-style pools, entertainment spaces for visiting family and friends, outdoor games, surrounding water features, miles of delightful hike-and-bike trails, and green spaces.

 

At Lakes at Legacy and ArrowBrooke, it is all about relishing luxury living, maintaining an active lifestyle and enjoying the good life!

5/25

Texas Home Supply Struggling with 28-Year Low

Nothing stimulates the ‘home-buying’ mood quite like warm weather and sunshine; and it is this time of year when buyers, typically, face the most competition which means homes will sell faster and at a higher premium.  It should, also, be noted that potential buyers will face a very limited supply of available homes in the Lone Star State.  Unfortunately, Texas has reached a 28-year low with its housing inventory.

 

Across Texas, as of February 2018, only a 3.1-month supply of new and preowned homes was available.  During that same month, new-home permits, statewide, were down by 2.6% – this, according to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M.  Shockingly, new-home construction in Texas is more than one-third below what its levels were, before the Great Depression!  Building permits, per capita in Texas during February 2018, remained more than 36% below the state’s prerecession levels; and housing starts were 39.5% below prerecession levels.

 

The Real Estate Center tells us that existing homes have been in short supply for some time; but the current shortage is greater than it has been and is being much more felt by buyers and builders, alike.  North Texas, especially, is feeling the brunt of this historically-low inventory.  Compared to February 2018’s 3.1-month supply for Texas as a whole,  North Texas stats were lower with a slim 2.7-month inventory with preowned, single-family homes listed with local real-estate agents.  Lower, still, were move-in-ready new homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area which came in at only a 2.2 month supply.  This may not mean a whole lot unless one realizes that a healthy home market will offer a 6-6.5 month supply of available homes.

 

Supply and Demand Tells the Tale

In 2017, the DFW area was able to boast of being the top home-building market in the country!  During that same year, DFW had more than 30,000 starts; but the demand for homes in North Texas is, most definitely, outweighing the low supply that currently exists.  Texas home inventories have been falling since 2011.  Economist, Luis Torres, puts it quite simply:  “Building permits peaked in 2007; and they have never come back.”  Though building permits maintained growth during 2017; by February 2018, new-home permits, statewide, were down by 2.6%.  In 2017, median home prices rose by 9% which was an unprecedented high, due to the home shortage.

 

The current, meager housing inventory is a result of:

 

minimal availability of skilled labor

scarcity of affordable building sites

new and costly building regulations

US tariffs on Canadian lumber

 

High demand added to a stark shortage of land availability for new-home construction translates into increasingly expensive land prices.  In turn, new home prices continue to rise with land accounting for about 20% or more of the cost of new-home construction.

 

Now Could Be the Best Time to Buy

Total-Texas housing starts were stable during the first quarter of 2018, but they could not come close to 2017’s impressive first-quarter growth. The Texas housing market is being challenged, to say the least; and home-builders are facing frustrating difficulty as they attempt to keep up with Texas’ strong economic growth and population expansion.

 

When it comes to purchasing a new home, this could be the best time to buy since the harsh reality is there likely won’t be a lowering of prices anytime soon.

5/25

Texas Cities Reign Supreme as Best Cities for Jobs

When it comes to a robust economy and impressive population growth, Texas is recognized as a national giant.  Along with that, the Dallas-Plano-Irving area of the Lone Star State can put a feather in its cap since this area has been honored to be 2018’s best city for jobs in the country – this, according to Probuilder.

Probuilder ranks cities, annually, based on short, medium, and long-term job creation; taking momentum into account.  Probuilder’s America’s Best City for Jobs in 2018 gives the Dallas-Plano-Irving region the No.1 position in its rankings; and this metro area has held the No. 1 spot for the last two years.

 

A few statistics for Dallas-Plano-Irving are very interesting:

2.8% job growth for 2017

19.6% job growth since 2012

25.6% job growth since 2006

 

Dallas Taking the Lead

Since 2012, in virtually every mammoth economic arena in Dallas – from construction to finance to business – Dallas has relished its double-digit job growth.  Also worth noting is the Dallas-Plano-Irving area which experienced a 2.02% population growth in 2017.  This is very impressive since that reflects the highest rate of any of the ten-largest metro areas.  Forbes Magazine quipped:  “This Energizer Bunny just doesn’t stop!

 

Job-creating giant, San Francisco, had to take a back seat to Dallas with taking the honors as the best American city for jobs growth during 2017.  San Francisco had been recognized as a jobs-growth leader for a number of years, with its tech-driven job growth being its proverbial cash cow.

 

Dallas’ robust job growth and population influx have been two significant components that have allowed the Big ‘D’ to forge ahead as a jobs-growth goliath.  A broad range of industries acts as a huge stimulant for Dallas’ economic strength – from aerospace and defense to insurance and financial services to data processing, transportation and others.

 

There is a ‘personality’ component to Dallas, also, that attracts businesses who are looking for a refreshing work environment.  Forbes Magazine quoted Southern Methodist University’s Klaus Desmet and Collin Clark’s demographics report, which stated:  “Dallas isn’t looking to appeal to the elite, ‘creative class’, but to middle-class workers and the companies and executives who employ them.”  Add on top of that, Dallas’ welcoming business climate, lower taxes, and a myriad of cultural amenities, and you end up with the perfect mix that optimally generates a jobs-creation environment!

 

Dallas and Austin – Take a Bow!

Some of the largest and most-successful companies have chosen to, either, completely settle in Dallas or they have positioned crucial operations in this thriving metropolis – Boeing, Jamba Juice, Jacobs Engineering, Toyota’s North American headquarters, and Louis Vuitton, to name a few.  Dallas has become a major go-to destination for companies looking to relocate their operations in order to escape high taxes and burdensome regulations that a number of other states impose.

 

Second-ranked Austin has a lot to boast about, as well – its tech-job growth is phenomenal with a 39% increase since 2006, and a 3.4% increase during 2017.  Also, in 2107, Austin experienced the strongest population increase and rate of domestic in-migration of any city in the country!

 

Out of the 422 metro areas, for which, full data sets were available for job growth, Forbes’ No. 1 and No. 2 rankings for Dallas and Austin are, truly, an honor for these two thriving metro areas.  A few other metro regions that received coveted recognition were:  No. 3:  Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee, No. 4:  San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California (aka: Silicon Valley), and No. 5:  Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, North Carolina.

4/19

One Thousand Samsung Jobs Moving to Plano’s Legacy Central

Things are hopping in Plano, Texas; and the city’s mayor couldn’t be more delighted since it involves a huge development project that will include the international tech conglomerate, Samsung.  This South Korean-owned company will be moving 1,000 of its current Texas personnel to Plano’s Legacy Central complex by the early part of 2019.  The move, by Samsung, represents one of the largest office-lease transfers in North Texas, so far, in 2018.   The 1,000 Samsung transfers will include experts in customer care, mobile, mobile research and development, and engineering.

 

Located on US Highway 75 and Legacy Drive, Legacy Central is the recipient of a massive make-over that includes office space, retail outlets, and 15,000-square-foot conference facility, and much more.  Other tech companies are excited to be positioned at Legacy Central, as well, including Roland Technology Group which is a tech-support provider and The 20 MSP which is a business development group for the IT industry.

 

A Massive Campus, Indeed

Out of the 1 million square-feet of dedicated office space on the Legacy Central campus, Samsung will utilize 216,000 square feet of an entire building on the north end of the campus.  The entire campus spans a whopping 84 acres and purposed to offer more-affordable offices on Plano’s east side, which is a welcome addition when compared to more-costly leases on Plano’s west side development where Toyota, Liberty Mutual Insurance and others, reside.

 

A third larger office building at Legacy Central is being completely redeveloped to accommodate other new office tenants; and a parking garage and a food-hall, which will cater to 400 people, are in the works.  Another exciting Legacy Central addition will include stunning apartments, in addition to hotel companies that are forging ahead with development plans within this coveted locale.

 

A beautiful wellness center at Legacy Central includes 25,000 square feet with amenities including a lap pool, basketball court, private fitness studios, and a rock-climbing wall.  As if that weren’t enough, Wi-Fi-enabled courtyards will create a fun, interactive work environment.  Employees at Samsung are fortunate, indeed, since they are part of a company the invests in its people through career development and physical, emotional and intellectual well-being.  And as one Samsung employee put it:  “As employees, we aren’t here to just work; we’re here to improve ourselves in all capacities; and Samsung provides us with the resources to do just that!”

 

The Legacy Central campus is all part of a $100 million renovation, resting in the expert hands of LA-based developer and investor, Regent Properties.  Samsung President and CEO, Tim Baxter, remains extremely proud and excited regarding Samsung’s move into Legacy Central.  He states, “This move not only provides us with an opportunity to create an improved workplace experience for our North Texas employees, but it truly showcases our investment in our Texas roots.”  Plano’s mayor, Harry LaRosiliere, is equally pleased and says, “It is a pivotal moment to have a company the magnitude of Samsung to be the catalyst that helps create a vibrant mixed-use development at Legacy Central.”

 

North Texas is home to Samsung Electronics, America’s 2nd largest employee population in the US, across multiple divisions.  Samsung is being eagerly embraced in Plano; and the company’s history as an asset to the region is, truly, notable:  Samsung has provided more than 10,000 jobs to the Central Texas region and has pumped $2.24M into the North Texas area since 2014, which includes technology donations to schools, support to local Boys & Girls Clubs of America chapters, and so much more!

4/19

Spring Cleaning – 10 Easy Tips

It’s that time of year, again, when spring is in the air; and spring-cleaning becomes, either, a passion for some or a dreaded chore.  Either way, no one wants to prolong the cleaning of their homes any longer than necessary, so using cleaning tips that are effective and easy is the goal.

Here are 10 spring-cleaning ideas that will effectively clean, deodorize and organize your home so you can move on to more important endeavors, such as spending time with family and friends!

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty:

 

Tarnished Tubs

Tubs harbor embedded stains and discolorations that can make your entire bathroom feel and look dingy.  A non-toxic remedy involves combining equal parts of baking soda and cream-of-tartar with enough lemon juice to make a creamy paste.  Spread the mixture where stains are obvious and let stand for 30 minutes.  Rub the paste for a few minutes, rinse clean, and polish with a dry cloth.

 

Spotted Stainless-Steel Appliances

Stainless-steel appliances may not, necessarily, remain stainless.  When water spots, rust spots, and smudges appear, a sure-fire way to regain the sparkling sheen you love is to use cream-of-tartar to remove it all!  Add enough water to cream-of-tartar to create a thick paste and apply with a wash cloth or sponge, rubbing in the direction of the steel’s grain.  The grain can be distinguished by fine lines traveling in an upward or sideways direction.  After rubbing, wipe with a damp cloth; and use a dry cloth to polish the surfaces to a brilliant sheen.

 

Rancid Refrigerator

Refrigerators can take on a variety of odors that don’t seem to want to go away.  A very simple solution involves filling a bowl with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and placing it on the back of the middle shelf.  Lemon juice and ACV do a wonderful job of aggressively absorbing odors – your fridge will smell spring-time fresh!

 

Cluttered Spaces

Nothing says “chaos” more that unnecessary clutter on counter-tops, tables, dressers and end-tables.  Doing away with clutter is more of a psychological endeavor than a physical one, and takes mental determination; but once done, one’s home turns from ‘havoc’ to ‘haven’.  Clutter can rob a person of the optimum comfort and relaxation a home is designed to provide.

To begin, start with one room and line up three boxes labeled as “Keep”, “Toss” and “Donate”.  Use the same procedure for other rooms where excess ‘stuff’ has invaded your space; and keep in mind that everything really does have its own place.  Once done, you can mentally relax and enjoy your home as the welcoming sanctuary it is meant to be.

 

Smelly Dishwasher

One wouldn’t think dishwashers would, ever, take on any funny smells since, after all, they are powerful cleaning machines.  But with food debris that can become lodged in various places that are unseen, smells can surface.  Here, white vinegar comes to the rescue as an unrivaled cleaning agent that will not only thoroughly clean every component of your dishwasher, but it will disinfect, as well.

Clear out the dishwasher and pour one cup of white vinegar into the washer’s soap dispenser.  Use the heavy cycle with the hottest setting and let the vinegar do its magic.  Once done, your dishwasher’s tub and all parts will be squeaky clean and, virtually, germ-free!

 

Messy Microwave

Microwaves truly are unsung heroes – they are continually bombarded with spills and splatters that are, often, left ignored.  That stuck-on grime, though very stubborn, can be effortlessly removed thanks to white vinegar, once again.  Simply pour equal parts white vinegar and water in a coffee mug and heat in the microwave for 3 minutes.  Carefully remove the hot mug and take advantage of the steam that has softened all the stubborn, stuck-on mess.  With damp paper-towels, wipe away the debris; and the inside of your microwave will look new, once again!

 

Crammed Closets

Many closets aren’t as spacious as we would like them to be, so why use a portion of that valuable space with clothing that is no longer needed?  We are all guilty of holding onto sweaters, sweatshirts, slacks, blouses and shirts that we haven’t worn in many months and are items we know we will, never, wear again – it’s time to get into ‘purge mode’ and let go of those items that are literally collecting dust.

Again, labeling three boxes as “Toss”, “Keep” and “Donate” will help to make the decision on which items of clothing are keepers, which should be discarded, and which will benefit someone with a greater need!

 

Stale Mattresses and Pillows

Mattresses are expensive; and because of that, we hold onto them for a number of years.  Along with older mattresses come odors; but a natural product can eradicate them – bicarbonate of soda.  This product is a natural deodorizer that neutralizes smells.  Simply sprinkle the powder over the mattress’ entire surface and allow to set for 8 full hours, and then vacuum.  Your mattress will smell fresh and clean.

If your pillows could use a good cleaning, place two in your washer and add a half-cup bleach and your normal detergent.  Use the hot cycle and run an additional rinse cycle to more-thoroughly remove the bleach.  Lastly, toss the pillows in the dryer with several tennis balls to maintain the pillows’ form – freshness never felt so good!

 

Limescale on Shower Heads

It is inevitable that limescale will, eventually, build up on shower heads which not only looks unsightly but hampers water flow.  There is an incredibly easy fix for this dilemma:  Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and place under and around the shower head and close with a rubber band or string of wire.  Allow the solution to set overnight and, then, scrub away the loosened residue.  Your shower head will look like new!

 

Let the Aroma Flow

Part of spring-cleaning is making your home smell warm and inviting – either while you are cleaning or after your spring-cleaning is complete.  A quick and fun trick is to fill several bowls, jars or cups with whole coffee beans and place a vanilla-scented tea light in the center of each container.  The warmth of the candles will warm the beans and make your home smell like a delicious cup of coffee!  Enjoy!