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Is a One-Story or a Two-Story Home Better for You?

Choosing between a one-story and a two-story home can be challenging. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Your decision will come down to your family and your needs.

Read on to figure out which home is best for you.

Advantages of a One-Story Home

There are both pros and cons of a one-story house. Some of the pros include:

  • More usable living space
  • More affordable to heat and cool
  • Better for aging in place
  • Safer for children & older folks
  • Easier to add square footage in the future

Living Space

One of the biggest advantages when it comes to a one-story vs two-story house is more usable living space. You won’t lose space to staircases and you can truly maximize your square footage by minimizing hallways. One-story homes also tend to feel more expansive, especially if you have an open floor plan.

Lower Heating & Cooling Bills

Because heat rises, it’s more difficult to cool the second floor of a two-story home. One-story homes tend to be less expensive to heat and cool overall.

Safety & Aging in Place

Staircases can be dangerous and difficult for both the elderly and small children. Climbing a staircase can be difficult for those who suffer from arthritis or other health issues. And even if you have no problem climbing stairs now, that may change later. A one-story home will be easier to navigate into your golden years.

For families with young children, there are a few considerations. First, stairs can be dangerous for little kids who aren’t steady on their feet. Even older kids can fall if they’re running up and down the stairs several times a day.

If the main bedroom is on the first floor and the children’s rooms are on the second floor, you’ll also want to consider that you’ll be a floor away from your kids at night. If you have a baby, you may be carrying the baby up and down the stairs several times a day.

Finally, while nobody wants to think about the possibility, single-story homes are easier to evacuate than two-story houses in the event of a fire.

Potential for Adding on

If you plan on adding square footage to your house in the future, it’s much easier to do with one story. You can just extend your roofline as much as you need. With a two-story home, it gets much more complicated and expensive.

Disadvantages of a One-Story House

Now that we know the pros, realize there are also some cons to a one-story vs a two-story house.

These include:

  • More expensive to build
  • A larger footprint and therefore a smaller yard
  • Less privacy

Higher Cost

In most cases, when it comes to the cost of a one-story vs a two-story house, it’s more expensive to build a one-story house. A home’s foundation and its roof are typically two of the more expensive line items and both of these will cost more in a one-story home versus a two-story home. Your plumbing and electrical systems will also require longer runs, which will make costs higher.

Since a one-story house has a bigger footprint, you may need a bigger lot, which will cost more as well.

Larger Footprint

While it’s easier to add on to a one-story house, you’re going to have a larger footprint. If you don’t opt for that larger, more expensive lot, you’ll have less yard space.

Less Privacy

All the windows of a one-story home are at street level, meaning that passersby can see into your home. Rooms on the upper floor of a two-story home have some measure of privacy based solely on their distance from the ground.

In a one-story home, public and private spaces are all on the same level, which may be inconvenient if you have young children and want to entertain guests after bedtime. Depending on your floor plan, you may have guests walking through bedrooms to use your bathroom which isn’t ideal.

Advantages of a Two-Story House

Two-story homes are popular. Here are a few reasons why people love two-story homes:

  • Lower building costs
  • More outdoor space and better views from inside
  • Privacy

Lower Cost

Two-story homes are typically cheaper to build. They have less foundation to pour and less pipe to run, which means you’ll most likely save on materials.

Outdoor Space & Views

Two-story homes have larger outdoor spaces. You’ll have a smaller footprint, which means a bigger yard. Two-story homes work well on narrower lots that won’t always accommodate a one-story home.

Since you have a second story, you’ll also have better views. You can often see out and appreciate the nature around you, whereas with a one-story home, you’ll be at eye-level with your neighbors’ homes.

More Privacy

If you prefer a house with separate living and entertainment spaces, a two-story may be right for you. You can have all of the bedrooms upstairs if you want privacy. This way the windows are not at street level and there’s less of a chance of someone looking in while walking or driving by.

If you have older kids or teens, you may enjoy the separation that a two-story home can offer. You can have the main bedroom on the bottom floor and put your kids rooms upstairs.

Disadvantages of a Two-Story Home

When considering the pros of a two-story house, there are also some cons to consider:

  • Safety issues
  • Less usable square footage
  • Longer build time

Safety Concerns

Stairs can pose a safety hazard, especially to the elderly or children. You may want to consider a staircase with a landing. If you have small children, you’ll need to use a gate to keep them protected.

Stairs Take Up Space

Not only are stairs dangerous, but they also take up a lot of space. If you’re working with less square footage, you may not be willing to give up some of it on stairs.

Longer Build

Two-story homes typically take longer to build. If it’s imperative that you get into your home as quickly as possible, you may want to consider one story.

Is a One- or Two-Story Home Better for You?

If it comes down to if it’s cheaper to build one-story or two-story houses, a two-story home will be less expensive to build but more expensive to maintain and expand. It’s not really the best strategy to let cost be the primary determining factor, though.

When you’re deciding between a one-story vs a two-story house, consider everything. Do you like the look of one- or two-story homes better? How long will you stay in the home? How large of a yard do you want? What are your privacy requirements? Consider how you will use your home, who will live there with you, and what features are most important to you before you decide.

A master-planned community like Lilyana by Hillwood offers both one- and two-story homes in a range of prices and styles! Plus we have a variety of amenities that homeowners love. Take a virtual tour of Lilyana and contact us today to discuss your dream home!

4 Reasons to Move to Collin County, Texas

Relocating to a new area can be quite overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to choose the right city for you and your family. If your next move is to the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area, the growing cities in Collin County, Texas should be at the top of your list.

Where Is Collin County, Texas?

You may be wondering where Collin County is. Collin County, TX, is situated in the northern part of the state, just south (about 30 miles) of the Red River. The county seat, McKinney, is less than 35 miles northeast of Dallas. As a part of the DFW metroplex area, Collin County is an ideal choice for people who are looking for access to all that DFW has to offer while still enjoying the benefits of a smaller city.

Collin County, TX, is one of the fastest-growing counties, not just in Texas but in the entire nation! The county had more than 1 million residents in 2018, and an estimated 80 people a day move to Collin County. The Collin County area includes fantastic cities such as Frisco, Plano, Celina, Prosper, Melissa, and many others. Consider these notable Collin County demographics:

  • There is a female-to-male ratio of 51 percent to 49 percent.
  • The median age of residents is 37.3 years.
  • More than 93 percent of the residents have completed high school, and 52 percent of them have acquired a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • The average household income is approximately $118,000.

Now that you have a snapshot of Collin County, let’s take a look at a few reasons that the county is the best place to call home.

1. Employment Opportunities

Collin County’s tax rate of .208395 per $100 of assessed value has remained the same for more than 20 years, making it an attractive location for large corporations, small businesses, and startups alike. The area is home to Toyota, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, Texas Instruments, NTT Data International, JP Morgan/Chase, FedEx, and Frito Lay, to name a few. The area is home to many innovative mixed-use projects and is expected to provide over 1.16 million job opportunities by 2054.

2. Housing

Along with all that business growth comes a bustling housing market. Collin County, TX is home to the number one place to live in the country, Frisco. It also offers a number of smaller cities where residents enjoy the benefits of small-town living just minutes from the excitement of the big city. There are many affordable options for those who want to own a piece of land in the country and those buyers who are seeking the vast array of amenities that master-planned communities can provide. Collin County offers an unmatchable blend of affordable and high-end neighborhoods featuring historical and newly built homes in urban and rural settings. You’re sure to find your forever home here.

3. Educational Opportunities

Collin County has the highest concentration of top-ranked schools in the state. It is home to 267 public schools and 108 private schools, as well as Collin College. According to the Public-School Review, Collin County, TX, public schools average math proficiency scores of 68 percent compared to the state average of 48 percent and reading proficiency scores of 65 percent compared to a statewide average of 45 percent. The county’s schools rank in the top 1 percent of Texas public schools. High-quality education is one of the main reasons families are choosing to move to Collin County.

4. Quality of Life and Things to Do

You’ll never run out of fun things to do in Collin County. Outdoor recreational opportunities are plentiful, and the county has numerous public parks, lakes, and natural areas for hiking and biking. Several professional sports teams have practice venues and stadiums in Collin County including the Dallas Cowboys, FC Dallas, the Dallas Stars, and the Frisco Rough Riders. There are also small-town farmers’ markets, a wide range of year-round cultural and community activities, and a slate of seasonal events and festivals including the Celina Cajun Fest, the Wildflower Festival, and the Anna Glowfest. And of course, there are fantastic shopping, dining, and entertainment options throughout the county and in nearby Dallas. 

Visit Lilyana by Hillwood

If you’ve decided Collin County, Texas is for you, take a look at Lilyana by Hillwood. Our 400-acre wooded master-planned community in picturesque Celina offers homesites for those seeking a tranquil life in a beautiful, natural setting, within minutes of the bustling city of Frisco. Our holistic approach to neighborhood design helps develop a community rooted in shared values, connection, and stewardship. We think you’ll find Lilyana is the perfect place to call home. Take a virtual tour or contact us to learn more.

Benefits of Buying a Home in a Small Town

Lilyana is in the small town of Celina Texas

One of the best parts of our great country is its friendly small towns. No matter where you live or what state you come from, you have likely experienced small-town charm and hospitality at some point in your life. The NCES classifies small towns as an incorporated area of 25,000 residents or less, meaning that many of our country’s most charming areas are considered small towns.

Despite this average, most small towns have around 6,000 residents, meaning that there is a real range of population sizes for U.S. small towns. Many people love small-town life for a variety of reasons, and there are certainly small-town advantages. Living in a small town means less traffic, lower crime rates, and a more relaxed way of life. For many, the pros of living in a small town far outweigh any negatives, which is why thousands of people are dropping their big city, stressed-out lifestyles for the joys of small-town life.

So why is it better to live in a small town? Let’s find out.

Close to Nature

One of the main advantages of living in a small town is increased time spent outdoors. Many small towns are located in areas with significant wildlife and open spaces. This extra green space and fresh air can improve mental health, and often inspires residents to get outside and do something active, as well. Living close to nature is one of the biggest benefits of living in a small town.

Affordability

Another of the advantages of living in a small town is affordability. According to Wealth Meta, prices on just about everything, from groceries to insurance to basic services are often cheaper in small towns. Additionally, in a small town, you may find that you can afford more home than you can in the city. Property tax rates are usually lower in smaller towns, too. This means you can create a home to your exact specifications and save in many other areas. Greater affordability is definitely one of the pros of living in a small town.

Safety

When talking about the benefits of living in a small town, one of the major topics of conversation is safety. As you may assume, crime rates are much higher in metropolitan or urban areas, where there are many more people. The number of violent crimes per 100,000 people in cities with populations of 500,000 or more is roughly double that of cities where the population is 100,000 or less.

The farther you move away from a large city, the more the crime rates go down. This is one of the small-town living benefits for families, as you are more likely to feel comfortable leaving your children unsupervised outdoors than you would be in a large urban area.

Community

One of the best reasons to live in a small town is the friendliness they are known for. Small towns often have a greater sense of community than big cities. Urban environments can create an atmosphere of stress and overachievement, which leaves little time for community bonding. What’s more, massive populations in cities make it easier to feel anonymous and harder to get to know those around you. In small towns, your neighbors are more likely to stop and say hello, and you can easily get to know others in your area. Small towns often have community events as well, which is a great way to bond with your neighbors. Community is at the top of the list of good things about small towns.

What It’s Like to Live in a Small Town

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to live in a small town. Living in a small town sets the scene for relaxation and family togetherness. Without the long commutes that are common in the city, your family will have more time to spend together at home. With more natural green spaces, you’ll likely find yourself spending more time outside enjoying nature, which is good for the mind and body.

Explore Lilyana By Hillwood

If the small-town life is calling your name, contact us at Lilyana by Hillwood. With our passion for nature, community, and smart living, we can help you find a home that fits your lifestyle.

Is It Better To Build Or Buy A House?

Have you ever thought about having a house built? It’s not uncommon for people to dream about designing their ideal home, from the floor plan to the fine details. However, building a new house vs buying an existing one can be complicated, depending on the circumstances. If you’re uncertain about building vs buying a home, we will take you through some important points to consider before you decide.

Building A New Home

Having a house built within a master-planned community offers a more structured process than you would have if you buy a vacant lot in a subdivision. The infrastructure of a master-planned community will be established and there will be amenities like fitness centers, event pavilions, pools, parks, and playgrounds that are either available to residents now or planned for the future.

Additionally, the building process in a planned community is simplified as well. You can start by choosing your lot or the home design you want from an array of available options. Then, construction begins. The home builders at Lilyana by Hillwood offer homebuilding sites in our master-planned community in Celina, Texas and work with you to help you create your ideal new home.

Benefits of Building

There are several benefits of building a house including greater control and options for customization, among others.

  • Customization. You can select the design, features and finishes from the start rather than remodeling an existing house.
  • Control. When you choose to build, you will have much more control over the final product. An existing home may have features you do not like that you accept because you like other elements of the house.
  • Competition. Some cities have very few existing homes for sale. This means homeowners receive multiple full price offers before their home is even officially on the market. When you build a house vs buy a house, you don’t have to worry about competition from other buyers.
  • Newness. A home you have built will be brand new! It will have sparkling new appliances, updated finishes and likely be more energy efficient and tech savvy than an existing home. So, while the cost of building a home vs buying is likely more per square foot, you ultimately will get what you want (or very close to it) and great value for your money.

If you’re concerned about affording the cost of building new vs. buying existing, it may be possible to qualify for a Federal Housing Association (FHA) One-Time Close Construction loan that will significantly offset the construction costs of your new home. These are just a few of the reasons why many people opt for building versus buying their homes.

Buying an Existing Home

Buying a home can be a more straightforward process than building one, but you will face certain limitations. You may not face construction costs, but you must still account for certain expenses beyond just the market price of the house. You’ll need to prepare for your closing costs, the cost of an appraisal and home inspection, and any remodeling you require before you move.

There are many different loan programs available that can make buying a home easier and more affordable. The FHA, USDA, and VA all offer loan programs for first-time homebuyers, some of which may include zero down payment and lower interest rates. It’s worth taking time to investigate all of your options for financing to get maximum value from your home purchase.

When considering buying vs building a house, these factors may make buying more attractive:

  • Timing. Provided you don’t do an extensive remodel, there is no need to wait for construction when you choose a move-in ready existing home. If your moving timeline is urgent, then it may be in your best interests to choose an existing home to buy instead of having a house built
  • Price. Depending on the neighborhood, you may pay less for an existing home than you would for a newly built home. But then again, you may not. An existing home in a sought-after neighborhood can cost more than a newly built home in a brand-new development.
  • Decision Making. If you find it difficult to make decisions, building a house may not be for you. You will have a lot of choices to make from the lot to the home design, countertops, paint colors, flooring, etc. Buying an existing home will not require as many choices.

These are just a few of the benefits of buying vs building a house. Of course, if you decide to buy instead of build, you’ll need to decide what type of home you want to buy. The age of the home is one of the most important factors to consider.

Buying an Old Home vs. a New Home

There are some key considerations to evaluate with a new home vs old home. An established older home has a certain charm that many homebuyers will find attractive. New homes may have modern features and amenities, but some homebuyers find them less personal and attractive than older homes. Ultimately, buying a new home vs an old home comes down to personal preference.

Is It Better to Buy or Build a House for You?

If you are torn between the decision to build a house vs buy a house, it is vital to consider your family’s needs. If you are still unsure about building vs buying a home, Lilyana by Hillwood can help. You can take a virtual tour of our model homes or schedule an appointment with a builder to visit our community. If you are leaning toward building vs buying a home, Lilyana offers a wide range of amenities and community-driven features that will help you make your homesite selection with confidence. Contact us today for more information about building and buying options in Lilyana.

Things To Do and See In McKinney, TX

Whether you’re new to the area or are a native Texan, if you’ve never explored the many fun things to do in McKinney, you are in for a treat. There’s a lot going on in this Collin County town that is home to more than two hundred thousand people. Take a look at all this historic town has to offer. Our collection of fun stuff to do in McKinney includes something for everyone!

Things to Do in McKinney

Wondering what to do near McKinney, TX? You’ll find a variety of activities for all ages. McKinney is a historic town that offers art galleries, live performances, outdoor recreation, shopping, great dining, and nightlife.

Explore McKinney’s History

McKinney was founded in 1848 as the county seat for the newly created Collin County. Visitors can learn more about the area’s history at the Collin County History Museum which is located in the historic 1911 post office building.

Just a five minute walk away is the Chestnut Square Historic Village which houses many historic buildings and is home to the 1854 Faires House, known as the oldest house in McKinney. The 501(c) (3) non-profit Heritage Guild of Collin County operates the village and offers tours of the village, larger city tours, and community farm tours. The guild also hosts a Saturday Farmer’s Market at the village and puts on various fun events such as family workshops, holiday tours, murder mystery dinners, ghost walks, and much more!

Visit Downtown McKinney

McKinney’s historic downtown square is a lovely marriage of historic architecture and modern commerce. The centerpiece of the square is the majestic old Collin County courthouse which was thought to be the tallest building north of San Antonio when it was completed in 1875. Visitors can take a self-guided walking tour of McKinney’s downtown historic district. Guided and trolley tours are also available.

Downtown McKinney is home to more than 100 businesses. Browse for antiques, books, clothing, jewelry, and art. Stop in for a relaxing spa treatment, a fresh baked treat, a coffee or a gourmet meal. Even geocaching enthusiasts will find treasure hunts to enjoy.

Enjoy Outdoor Recreation in McKinney

Some of the best things to do in McKinney, TX involve outdoor activities. Here are a few examples of great places to visit in McKinney, TX when you are feeling active and ready to burn off some energy.

Towne Lake Recreational Area is maintained by McKinney Parks & Recreation and offers activities for all ages including paddle boating on the lake, a fishing pier, a disc golf course, volleyball and horseshoe courts, and baseball fields. There is also a recreation center with a gym, a weight room, an outdoor play structure, a nature trail, and a multi-purpose rec room where programs and classes are held. Contact the rec center for more information on programs and hours of operation and any restrictions due to COVID-19.
Another outdoor option is Erwin Park, a beautiful 110-acre suburban park in North McKinney. There are swings, picnic areas with grills, overnight camping, 3 pavilions, and a 9.5-mile natural-surface trail for hiking and mountain biking.

Visit a Brewery or Vintner

If you are a fan of adult beverages, you’re in luck. You may find the local breweries and wineries to be among your favorite places to visit in McKinney, TX. Franconia Brewing Company produces Bavarian-style beers using traditional German methods. This environmentally-friendly brewer offers weekend tours with tastings. Tupps Brewery is located on the premises of an old cotton mill. Though they are not currently offering brewery tours, the taproom is open.

Wine lovers wishing to try a new varietal have two places to go in McKinney, both located in the historic downtown area. Lone Star Wine Cellars offers food and wine pairings, flight tastings and live music. Landon Winery offers their award-winning wines along with appetizers. You can enjoy them on site at their location or take anything with you to enjoy at home.

Places to Go in McKinney

If you’re looking for more exotic things to do around McKinney, read on. How about a thrilling high-altitude adventure or an all-natural experience? Here are a few more exciting places to visit in McKinney, TX.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

One of the coolest places to go in McKinney, TX is up! Yes, you read that right! Rohr balloons offers hot air balloon rides year-round on weekdays and weekends. Rides can accommodate large groups, you can arrange a private ride for two, three or four passengers, or you can book a shared ride. Free digital photos and video are included with each flight. Special options such as tethered flights, proposal packages, and wedding packages are also available.

Heard Wildlife Museum

One of the best things to do with kids in McKinney is to visit the Heard Wildlife Museum. This 289-acre nature preserve and museum has been connecting people and nature for more than fifty years. Heard is a wildlife sanctuary with an amazing assortment of wildlife, natural science exhibits, animatronic dinosaurs, miles of nature trails, a native Texas plant and butterfly garden, a ropes course with a zip line and much more. The museum hosts events and programs for kids and adults throughout the year such as night time hikes, summer and break camps, and Halloween and holiday themed events.

Events Near McKinney, TX

The greater North Texas area is home to so many great things to see and do, there’s no wonder it’s growing by leaps and bounds. That’s one reason so many families are buying new homes in Celina, just minutes away from all fun things to do in McKinney. In addition to all the attractions we’ve reviewed above, our area hosts some wonderful seasonal festivals that offer additional excitement for residents and visitors alike.

Some examples of the wonderful events near McKinney, TX include the following:

Arts in Bloom in Historic Downtown McKinney. For this April festival, more than 100 artists set up on the streets surrounding the performing arts center in downtown. The festival includes fine arts, dance, performance art, music, food vendors, Texas wineries, and more!

Red, White and BOOM! This July 4th celebration offers free fireworks, entertainment, and family activities.

McKinney Oktoberfest. Held in late September/early October, this festival features local breweries, food trucks, and live entertainment.

Home for the Holidays, a McKinney Christmas. Celebrate the season in historic downtown McKinney with Santa Claus, a Christmas carousel, family activities, an art market, and much more.

We hope you find a few things to try amongst all these McKinney, TX things to do! When you are ready to explore master-planned residential communities in North Texas, get in touch with us at Lilyana by Hillwood.