Where do you start when you’re ready to look for a new home? Your first thought might be to jump in the car and begin touring new home communities, and that’s perfectly valid. But without focus and a few ideas about what you want, you may be burning a lot of gas and time and seeing little in the way of results.
Virtual home tours are a great starting point. They were already popular before the pandemic, but in the last few years, the benefits of virtual tours have become more apparent, and the number of virtual home tours has been increasing. The pandemic accelerated the use of many virtual services, especially those for home buying. In 2021, 35% of marketers used virtual reality to market products and services.
Should you buy a home entirely via an online platform? There are many things to consider when purchasing a home, and some intangibles are not easy to gather from a virtual platform. But virtual tours are an excellent place to start the homebuying process while also avoiding the time and hassle of loading the family in the car and driving to multiple communities.
Here are our tips for getting the most out of a virtual homebuying experience:
Location will likely be the first factor you will want to consider. Do you want to live in the city, the suburbs, or in a more rural area that has a small-town feel? Consider the different price points in each of these types of communities and how this affects the size of home you can afford.
Next, take some time to talk with family members about the most critical priorities for your next home. It could be helpful to make three lists: must-haves, nice-to-haves, and the icing on the cake.
For instance, four bedrooms, great schools, and a community pool and recreation area may be must-haves. Maybe your nice-to-have is a park nearby and walking trails for family fitness. Perhaps the icing on the cake is a nearby fishing pond.
Keep your location preferences and critical priorities in mind as you begin to browse communities and homes online.
Once you have identified some locations you like, look for available homes online. There are many excellent new home communities that offer the charm of small-town life just a short drive from the excitement of the city.
Visit some new home community websites. Do they have homes for sale with virtual tours? Can you do a virtual home walkthrough or even a tour of the community’s amenities? These options give you a place to begin investigating.
Most new home communities offer several builders for potential residents to consider. Take virtual tours of homes in the community built by different builders. Look for an easy way to compare prices and features the builders offer. This comparison will give you an idea of your options and whether the community fits your needs and budget.
Does the house look like a place you could comfortably live? Can you see yourself walking in at the end of a long day and sighing with relaxation? Perhaps enjoying family time at the pavilion and pool?
When touring a home or neighborhood virtually, it is easy to forget some of the most important questions to ask. Builder’s warranties, HOA policies, utility providers, and future development plans in the area are a few things you may want to learn more about.
If you write down the questions while shopping online, you’ll have those in hand when you are ready to visit a few communities in person. When touring physically, you’ll quickly be able to compare neighborhoods based on similar criteria.
It’s just as important to know what’s around your new home and neighborhood as it is to have the ideal home. Once you’ve selected a few communities from virtual tours, take a little time to explore the surrounding areas. You can even do this online to narrow your search further before visiting in person. Online tools like Google Maps and Google Earth make this much easier than you might think.
Lilyana by Hillwood is conveniently located in beautiful Celina, Texas within the growing Collin County. The appealing area and proximity to Frisco and Plano make it an ideal location for a busy family, with shopping, dining, major corporate centers, and entertainment just a short drive away.
One of the most critical priorities for families buying a new home is to ensure that the schools have academic excellence and extracurricular variety that keep students engaged in learning.
Lilyana is located in the highly rated Prosper School District, and children in the community attend Johnson Elementary School, Rogers Middle School, and Prosper High School. Lilyana Elementary School, located within the Lilyana new home community, is slated to open in fall 2023.
A virtual tour is a wonderful tool to help narrow down your search. Once you have a pared-down list of the new home neighborhoods that excite you the most, go! Set an appointment to visit and get a feel for the place.
This stage is where the intangibles are most important. What is the feel of the neighborhood? Is it a place you could call home? Do the amenities measure up to the online version? Are your most-used services close to home?
The families coming to Lilyana by Hillwood are not looking for a house; they’re looking for a home. They want a place to live whole, happy, and satisfying lives, which is what our residents have found here. Find your new home by viewing our builders and the designs they offer at our community.
Lilyana welcomes you and your family to come and see our beautiful community. Contact our builders to schedule an in-person tour of model homes and Lilyana’s many amenities.
The best places to live in Dallas, Texas aren’t necessarily within the city’s limits. Often, you’ll find them a bit farther out. The best suburbs of Dallas are just far enough out to feel like small towns while still giving you the convenience of being near a big city. Of all the many wonderful communities on the top Dallas suburbs list, Lilyana by Hillwood in Celina, Texas is a popular favorite.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the best suburbs in the Dallas area and what sets them apart.
As people move away from large cities, new home communities in suburban areas have seen tremendous growth. These suburbs have all of the benefits of being near a major metropolitan area while still maintaining a rural atmosphere. Great school districts, a reasonable cost of living, and a higher quality of life are all qualities shared by the best Dallas suburbs.
In no particular order, the following suburbs are some of the best places to live near Dallas, Texas.
The population of Melissa, Texas has roughly tripled since 2010, making it one of the fastest growing cities in the area. It offers a small-town feel with plenty to do where people can work, enjoy their favorite leisure activities, and live life to its fullest. The historic farmers market in town and five beautiful parks provide excellent ways to spend an afternoon, and Melissa’s proximity to McKinney, Frisco, and Dallas mean the convenience of the city is just a short drive away. The excellent Melissa ISD provides exceptional instruction, athletics, and extracurricular activities for the town’s younger residents.
With lots of growth and new home construction going on, Little Elm is another great Dallas suburb to settle in. The town has a great atmosphere with a number of parks, local museums, and events to enjoy, providing plenty of opportunities to connect with others. Little Elm has various economic development projects underway, including a new lakefront development that will take advantage of the town’s presence on Lake Lewisville. Children of Little Elm attend public schools within Little Elm, Frisco, or Denton ISD schools, depending on their home address. Each of these districts offer a quality education and a wide variety of athletic, fine arts, and extracurricular programs.
Prosper is located just north of Dallas in close proximity to Fort Worth. With a population that has grown more than 200% since 2010, the city is thriving along with the other suburbs in the area. Proximity to Dallas and Fort Worth means there are plenty of exciting employment opportunities, and the city has recently set out a plan to reimagine its historic downtown area, including introducing more space for new businesses.
With an abundance of parks and trails, several local wineries, boutique shopping, locally owned restaurants, and a calendar full of festive local events, there is plenty of fun to be had in Prosper.
The acclaimed Prosper ISD, which serves families in Prosper and some parts of Celina, boasts excellent, tenured teachers with an average experience level of 10 years. Children attending Prosper schools enjoy a student to teacher ratio of 15.8 to 1 and have one of the highest graduation rates (99.1%) in the state.
Celina is a rapidly growing community with plenty to offer residents. In 2020, the population had reached over 16,000 people, and that number is estimated to be more than 23,000 now, according to the U.S. Census. The economy in Celina is thriving, with 5,740 people employed within the city, and its close proximity to Dallas makes it an excellent spot for those looking to build their careers in the North Texas region.
Celina is home to various attractions, including the historic downtown commercial area, several lovely parks, and a few wineries in and around the city. The highly acclaimed local school district—Celina ISD—is known for its commitment to embracing excellence.
Dallas offers many opportunities for a prosperous and fulfilling lifestyle, and with a population of nearly 1.3 million, it has seen a fair amount of growth over the last ten years. The real growth, however, has occurred around Dallas’s suburbs as more economic opportunity and great communities have developed in the area.
The cost of living within the Dallas city limits is slightly higher than the national average, however the cost of living in the best suburbs of Dallas is lower than the national average. For example, the cost of living in Celina, Texas is 17% lower than the national average according to payscale.com. Many who move into Dallas suburbs do so for lower housing expenses, which have a median value of around $230K, as of 2019.
Anyone wondering where to live in Dallas, TX should consider a place that offers a great sense of community, convenience, and proximity to opportunities for both work and relaxation. Green spaces, stellar amenities, and great neighbors add to the quality of life in these communities, making them perfect for anyone moving into the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Before moving to Dallas, be prepared for the variety of communities around the city. Each place has its own vibe, so you can choose the spot that best matches your needs before settling down. There are also plenty of opportunities to work, learn, play, and relax, so do some research and find the community that appeals to you the most.
When looking for great Dallas neighborhoods in which to settle down, Lilyana by Hillwood in Celina within Prosper ISD is an excellent option with various parks and trails, a catch and release fishing pond, and miles of beautiful Texas landscape to enjoy. These amenities, including a future on-site Prosper ISD elementary school, and its great location make it perfect for anyone looking for an excellent new home community.
If you’re considering moving to one of Dallas’s suburbs, consider Lilyana by Hillwood. Built for community and lifestyle, Lilyana is one of the best neighborhoods in Dallas with beautiful new construction homes built by DFW’s premier homebuilders. Our community offers plenty of ways to get outside, relax, and connect, whether you’re enjoying the outdoor green spaces or visiting with friends and neighbors. Browse for your new home online or get in touch to learn more!
Buying a new home is a thrilling experience, but it’s important to make sure your new house is a good fit. That not only means familiarizing yourself with the home, its cost, condition, etc., but also the surrounding community. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or you’ve been around the block already, here are some excellent questions to ask when buying a new construction home in a new home community.
You want a builder who has a good track record and who stands by their work. Asking who built the home you’re considering can help you evaluate the overall quality of its construction. By choosing a home from a reputable builder, you can be certain that the house conforms to a high standard of craftsmanship.
At Lilyana by Hillwood in Celina, our builders are American Legend Homes, Highland Homes, and M/I Homes, all of whom are known for building high quality homes that homeowners love.
Many of the best new home communities have homeowners’ associations. This is typically a good thing. In fact, one survey shows that about 73% of Texas residents believe their HOA provides needed value and support, so it’s worth asking about the local community association.
Naturally, you you’ll want to ask about fees, but don’t stop there. In addition to the total cost, make sure you get details on what those fees cover, whether that includes landscaping, maintenance of parks and common areas, etc.
HOA rules are also important. To make sure a community is a good fit for your family, you’ll want to get some details on the kinds of requirements the association has regarding the aesthetics of the houses in your neighborhood, noise complaint policies, parking guidelines, decoration restrictions, and so forth.
For many, the key to a good community is a good school system. Asking about the local school district can help you make sure your child will get a good education. In addition, the quality of the school district often reflects the community as a whole.
New home communities often have shared amenities, so it’s good to choose a place that has options you and your family will enjoy. Those might include a community pool, parks, playgrounds, walking trails, pavilions, and more, so find out what the area has to offer. For instance, Lilyana has a number of scenic parks (including one with a pickleball court!), a beautiful pool, an outdoor kitchen and even a catch-and-release fishing pond, which can be wonderful for families who love the outdoors.
Local utilities are, of course, vital. The city or companies supplying your utilities such as electric, gas, water, telephone, and more are not only important to know once you move in, but also a potential deciding factor beforehand. Cities with reliable services are more likely to provide a favorable experience and prompt repairs in the event of an outage.
Of course, it’s not all about what’s in the neighborhood itself. Location is a major deciding factor for many people moving into North Texas, and proximity to city amenities can be a major selling point. Asking what cities, stores, hospitals, airports, and other resources are nearby can help you decide whether a given neighborhood is a good fit. For instance, Lilyana’s proximity to Frisco, TX makes it a great option for people looking for a quiet neighborhood with small-town charm that is just a short drive from a vibrant city that offers a fantastic selection of shopping, dining, entertainment, and employment options.
Finally, new home communities are likely to continue growing long after you move in, so it can be helpful to consider what developments are planned for the neighborhood you’re looking at. If the aesthetic of the home’s surroundings is a selling point for you, you’ll want to make sure those surroundings will remain attractive for years to come.
Asking the right questions when buying a house is an important part of making a purchase you’re happy with. If you’re researching homes near Celina or Collin County, you’ll want to consider Lilyana by Hillwood. Many answers to common questions can be found here, and you can even take a virtual tour to get a feel for the neighborhood. If you have further questions, get in touch!
Prosper ISD is an acclaimed Texas school district serving the Prosper community and other select areas. The Prosper, TX ISD is home to numerous preschools and elementary schools, four middle schools, and a high school, all of which are committed to providing the best possible education to students.
Families who live in Lilyana by Hillwood, the new home community in Celina, Texas, can send their kids to Prosper schools and many are familiar with the Prosper ISD benefits. In this article, we’ll go over what parents love about Prosper ISD schools, starting with Prosper Promise.
The Prosper Promise is centered around Prosper ISD’s commitment to creating long lasting partnerships with students, parents, staff, and the community. The program offers parents of students in Prosper schools many opportunities to connect with school administrators, teachers, and each other through events and volunteering. Here are some examples:
The school district hosts various events designed to bring people together. Informational events include campus tours, presentations, seminars, and so forth, while other community events include gatherings such as luncheons, community workouts, and charity events.
The Prosper Education Foundation (PEF) is composed of community members who help support the ISD’s goals of academic excellence, innovation, etc. The foundation raises funds for important initiatives, and it gives community members an opportunity to participate in educating the next generation.
Prosper’s advisory committees serve the school district in a number of ways. Committees include the Superintendent Parent Advisory, School Health Advisory Council, Prosper Parent Ambassadors, Prosper University, District Improvement Committee, and several others. These committees allow parents to have a say in their children’s education while also connecting with other parents.
As parents, teachers, students, and community members all serve together, Prosper ISD schools are able to offer students the best education possible while also helping everyone grow together as a community.
Some of the benefits of living in the Prosper ISD include:
Prosper is committed to helping students graduate, and the figures speak for themselves. On the whole, Prosper ISD boasts one of the highest graduation rates in the state at 99.1%. In addition, a large proportion of graduates are considered college ready, with about 60% of students reaching proficient levels of reading and math for their grade level (statewide average is 44%).
One of the keys to quality education is experienced staff. Prosper ISD has highly competent teachers, with the average experience level hovering just over 10 years. The majority of staff have at least a bachelor’s degree, and about 30% have master’s degrees. The attention your child gets during class is also relatively high, with a student-to-teacher ratio of 15.8 to 1.
With experienced staff members and smaller classroom sizes, you can be confident that your child will get the support they need from highly qualified staff.
As mentioned above, Prosper ISD has many opportunities to connect, whether that’s through the community programs listed above or extracurricular activities offered to students. The school district has various traditions that can help students feel like they’re part of something greater.
The diverse Prosper ISD has a broad range of ethnicities represented and 65 languages spoken in the district. This sets the stage for building a culture of inclusivity and understanding in the rising generation.
Parents also have the opportunity to play an important role in their children’s education by participating in advisory committees, community events, and more.
Lilyana is located within Prosper ISD, with students attending these schools:
We are also partnering with Prosper ISD to bring an on-site elementary school to our community, making your child’s education an integral part of the lifestyle at Lilyana. Parents love the convenience of having their child’s elementary school right in the neighborhood. And studies show that walking or biking to school is good for kids in numerous ways.
We’re excited to be working with Prosper ISD to bring quality education right into the heart of our neighborhood!
In addition to an award-winning school system, Lilyana by Hillwood offers many other amenities and opportunities to connect with neighbors and friends, all while maintaining a family-friendly community layout. To learn more about our new home community, take a virtual tour or get in touch!
Homebuyers in North Texas typically look for homes in the best neighborhoods around. However, searching for a home in only the tried and true “best” neighborhoods can cause you to miss out on some great new home communities. These up-and-coming neighborhoods typically have many advantages over older, traditional communities, such as sustainably built, new construction homes, great schools, a lower cost of living, and a diverse array of amenities for residents to enjoy.
Buying a house in an up-and-coming neighborhood can be a great move for you and your family. Let’s go over the benefits of living in one of these fast-growing new home communities and discuss how to spot the signs of an up-and-coming neighborhood.
First, let’s clear up some of the most commonly asked questions about up-and-coming neighborhoods.
An up-and-coming neighborhood is a new suburban development that hasn’t become completely established yet. It’s still growing, making it an excellent place to put down roots for homeowners looking to get a lot of home for their money.
When looking for the signs of an up-and-coming neighborhood, look for areas experiencing a lot of new growth. The population will be increasing, perhaps because of increased job opportunities in the area. These areas are often part of large metropolitan areas that are popular destinations for corporate relocations. Up-and-coming areas usually have many new homes under construction.
The neighborhood the home is in is important, or very important, to most people. According to a 2020 study by NAR, 62% of all homebuyers consider the quality of the neighborhood when making a purchasing decision.
Location is important because you’re not only investing in the house itself, but also the neighborhood. It just makes sense to choose a neighborhood based on if it will be an ideal place for you to live, and if you will have convenient access to work, shopping, medical care, and good school systems. In addition to these considerations, the location of a home also affects the amenities you will have access to. Some up-and-coming neighborhoods, like Lilyana by Hillwood in Celina, TX within Prosper ISD, offer an array of amenities for homeowners right within the community.
Buying a house in an up-and-coming community can offer many advantages over moving to a more established, traditional neighborhood. The advantages you can typically see include:
First, the hallmark of an up-and-coming neighborhood is the fact that it’s still growing. That makes it a great investment opportunity since your home’s value is likely to grow with the community. The price you pay now for a home in one of these neighborhoods is likely to be lower than what you might pay ten years from now.
New neighborhoods tend to develop around city centers, and as a result, they are usually conveniently located to many of the amenities that large cities offer, such as shopping, entertainment and career opportunities. That means less time commuting and more time living life to its fullest!
With the population growth that often accompanies up-and-coming communities, businesses will naturally be drawn to the area as well. That means more economic opportunity in the form of jobs, shopping, dining, and so forth.
As schools improve in an area, you’ll usually see more families move in, which can increase demand in the area and preserve home values. That helps solidify an up-and-coming community’s growth, meaning these neighborhoods are usually located within highly rated school systems.
Finally, moving into an up-and-coming neighborhood is a great way to be part of the community. Rather than joining a neighborhood that has already been well established with its own culture and norms, you can help build the community as one of its integral members.
These neighborhoods also make great efforts to involve and welcome people through fantastic amenities, resident events, and thoughtful community layouts designed to encourage chance encounters with neighbors and friends.
When it comes to up-and-coming communities, Celina is the fastest growing city in North Texas with a population of over 30,000 people. That figure is nearly triple what it was in 2010, and it’s likely to keep rising in coming years.
Located just 10 miles north of Frisco, one of the most exciting cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Celina’s future looks bright. With its small-town charm, attractive incentives for small businesses, great schools, and wonderful new home communities like Lilyana by Hillwood, Celina is perfectly positioned for continued growth.
If you’re looking at buying a new construction home in an up-and-coming neighborhood, Lilyana in Celina, Texas fits the bill perfectly. Situated in the acclaimed Prosper Independent School District and in easy reach of lots of amenities—many of which are on-site—Lilyana is the perfect place to settle down and help build a thriving community. Take a virtual tour to see what Lilyana by Hillwood is all about or get in touch with us today for more information.
If you are a longtime homeowner, you may be familiar with the concept of homeowners’ associations and neighborhood associations. If you are shopping for your first home at Lilyana by Hillwood or elsewhere, you may not know the difference. Often used interchangeably and incorrectly, these similar terms can be misunderstood. Let’s compare neighborhood associations vs. homeowners’ associations for their similarities and differences.
A neighborhood association, sometimes called a civic or a community association, is a voluntary not-for-profit organization, organized by residents of a specific area. The purpose of these groups varies depending on the intent of its organizers.
These organizations are strictly voluntary and are typically open to anyone who is interested in being involved in the community, including renters and also local business owners, law enforcement groups, schools, churches, businesses, etc. The association board, made up of volunteers, runs the entity and creates committees to handle issues such as social events, neighborhood crime, beautification, and other areas of concern. Dues for such an organization may be between $20 and $100 per year depending on the benefits members receive.
Many neighborhood associations are formed to bring residents of an area together socially and also to represent the community in dealings with the local government. The group will often take on projects to improve the neighborhood’s appearance or augment government-provided maintenance of local parks and natural areas. Of course, these efforts are totally voluntary and their success depends on the level of participation achieved within the community, which varies greatly.
Sometimes neighborhood associations become an outspoken advocate for or against a particular community issue. For example, when the City of Dallas wanted to change zoning laws on a property it owned in a community, a local community association got involved to oppose this change. The group tried to publicize the drawbacks the change would cause for the neighborhood, encouraged residents to contact their elected officials, and circulated a petition opposing the rezoning. Their efforts ultimately failed.
What is a homeowners’ association (HOA)? An HOA is an organization in charge of governing a neighborhood or community. In most cases, the association provides services and maintains many portions of the community in exchange for monthly or annual dues.
HOAs are private entities led by a board of directors. Sometimes, homeowners can become members of an HOA when they buy a home in an HOA community. In exchange for the benefits and privileges provided by HOA membership, the members are asked to comply with the organization’s rules.
These rules are in place to create harmony within the community and also to ensure that the integrity of the neighborhood’s aesthetic is maintained. HOA guidelines govern items such as home color, fence height, setbacks, home and landscape maintenance, and other concerns that affect the appearance of the community. These regulations protect homeowners’ investments by preventing a rogue resident from painting their home a garish color or letting their fence deteriorate into a pile of matchsticks. Neighborhood associations do not get involved in these types of issues.
Many master-planned communities in Texas use HOAs to manage the neighborhood and maintain the communal facilities that are on-site. For example, the new home communities developed by Hillwood Communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and Houston areas have homeowners’ associations in place. The HOAs in these developments maintain the neighborhoods and provide an amazing array of services for homeowners.
Managing the daily details of large communities is a full-time job and too much to ask of a volunteer board. For communities like these, an HOA management company handles the daily administration while the board serves as overseers. The services provided by HOA management companies are first rate and residents can rely on these professionals to keep their communities looking great and running like a well-oiled machine.
The homeowners’ associations that take care of Hillwood’s master-planned communities provide amazing services for homeowners. The HOAs at our properties maintain the resort-style pools, amenity centers, and sports courts that are exclusively for the use of our homeowners. The HOAs at some of our communities also support additional services like front-yard maintenance or a community garden. HOAs at our bigger communities run robust lifestyle programs that allow resident to enjoy scheduled activities and events with their neighbors. Of course, the amenities and HOA dues vary by community and not every community has every amenity.
The HOA is responsible for maintaining the sparkling pool, pavilion, outdoor kitchen, parks, and landscaped common areas at Lilyana by Hillwood, our very popular community in the fast-growing Celina, TX within Prosper ISD. Exciting news: we just finished a new amenity! Bluebonnet Park recently opened and features a covered pavilion, bocce ball and sport courts, gas grills, and a deluxe play area for children!
That depends on the type of association. A neighborhood association fee is a membership fee in a voluntary neighborhood organization. A homeowners’ association fee is the cost that homeowners pay for the maintenance and upkeep of the common areas of their community. Examples include maintenance of swimming pools, landscaped common areas, outdoor kitchens, pavilions, sports facilities, fitness centers, clubhouses, and other similar amenities.
This depends on the HOA. Some ask that you pay monthly while others have a yearly or bi-yearly payment. HOA fees at Lilyana are $805 per year. This amounts to far less than you could expect to pay for a membership in a country club, or for annual upkeep of a home swimming pool.
No, HOA fees are not included in your mortgage payment. HOA fees typically are paid directly to the HOA itself or to the HOA management company. FirstService Residential manages the HOA at Lilyana.
Still not sure of the difference between neighborhood association vs. homeowners’ association? Drop by Lilyana for a visit and we will explain! Take a look at our beautiful community of gorgeous new construction homes and all the fantastic amenities you can enjoy as a homeowner. If you prefer, take a virtual tour or contact us online.
Are you in desperate need of another bedroom due to an impending arrival? Maybe you can no longer make do with an apartment-sized kitchen. Regardless of the specifics, if your current home is no longer meeting your needs, it’s time to make a change. But is the solution to build an addition to your home? Or is it better to just move to a different home altogether? The build an addition or move question has troubled many a homeowner. Below, we’ll help you evaluate the pros and cons of adding-on to a house vs. building a new construction home.
Moving can be difficult, so many people ask themselves “Should I add on to my house?” if they think it will allow them to avoid a move. But adding-on to a house isn’t easy either. When deciding whether to build an addition or move, there are several factors to consider. Here are five questions to help you decide whether to build or remodel:
Make a list of essential features you must gain from build or remodel. What’s working for you at your current house? What’s not working? Answering these questions may help you determine if adding on is actually the best way to move forward.
Once you know what you need, you’ll want to figure out what you can actually do. There are a number of possible limiting factors here, such as:
Determining what’s physically possible and legally permitted can help you determine whether you should build an addition or move.
Aside from the physical and regulatory limitations, there’s the matter of money. In general, additions and renovations cost less than building new, but costs can escalate quickly, especially when you run into unforeseen complications. This is especially true in older homes, in which a relatively simple addition could wind up turning into a major construction project in order to bring existing systems and structures up to code.
Even if you can afford it, is it worth adding on to your home? As a general rule of thumb, you don’t want yours to be the most expensive house on the block. Put another way, you don’t want to pour money into a home that you will not be able to get back when you sell. Certain improvements, like adding a second bathroom or upgrading the closet in the primary bedroom tend to have a better ROI than adding a sunroom or a garage.
Building a new construction home is often a better investment, especially if you build in the right neighborhood. According to RCLCO, location is one area where buyers are least likely to skimp on, so relocating is often the better choice.
Finally, there’s the matter of how adding on or building a new home will affect your lifestyle. If you choose to build an addition on the house, you’ll need to either put up with the noise and dust of your construction crew or find another place to stay. This requires the added expense of paying rent on top of your mortgage payments. On the other hand, building a new home may take longer than renovating, but it’s much less disruptive.
As you consider the above questions, it’s important to take into account the potential advantages of each option.
Some homeowners choose to renovate for these reasons:
It’s worth noting that while renovating can be a good idea in the right circumstances, you need to go about it carefully. Some additions could make a home harder to sell (depending on your neighborhood), and you might have local limitations, so do your due diligence.
Some of the reasons you might want to build a new home include:
When you build new, you can get the home you want from the very beginning rather than trying to fix up something that may have more issues than you initially anticipated.
Another advantage to building new is the chance to live in a master-planned community like Lilyana by Hillwood in Celina, TX! Located within the acclaimed Prosper ISD, Lilyana offers the advantages of small-town living just minutes away from the $5 Billion Mile in Frisco, TX. Come visit our community that has over 50-acres of green space and an array of amazing amenities or take a virtual tour instead. Contact us to learn more about Lilyana today.
It seems alternative real estate companies and apps are springing up like weeds all over the world, offering homeowners and buyers various benefits, mainly the promise of savings. The number of alternative real estate options, also called third-party syndicated sites, is somewhere in the neighborhood of 175 right now. So how do these companies work, and should you use one of them?
Let’s take a look at a couple of the most popular alternative real estate companies on the market right now and examine how they work.
People love Zillow. People love it so much that there was a sketch on Saturday Night Live earlier this year about how people escape the stress of the pandemic by looking at Zillow homes. Zillow is useful for researching neighborhoods, getting an idea of the style and size of a home you want, viewing photos of homes, and seeing what’s on the market in your desired area. You can even get pre-qualified for a mortgage. But can you actually buy a home through Zillow? And more importantly, should you?
The primary complaint about Zillow among homebuyers is that its information isn’t always accurate. Zillow gets most of its information from the multiple listing service (MLS) which is a database where realtors input information about homes they are selling. (Zillow users only see the most basic MLS information–the rest is only visible to realtors within the MLS.) Zillow’s data is only as fresh as its last database download, that’s why price, availability, and other information about a home can be wrong.
If you’re lucky and the home is available, you can ask the listing agent to show it to you. Some people think you don’t need a realtor if you’re buying a home you find online, but there is actually little benefit to going at it alone. The seller pays both the buyer’s agent and the listing agent’s fees from the proceeds of the sale, so there’s no financial downside of using a realtor.
The listing agent may offer to represent you in the transaction, but this is a tricky business. Some states don’t even allow a “dual agent” arrangement because it is so difficult for one realtor to represent both parties fairly in such a transaction. Texas does allow a realtor to act as a dual agent but be careful here. You may not want the person representing you in the purchase to also be representing the buyer as it can be a conflict of interest.
A much better choice is to select your own trusted realtor and let them arrange for the showing of any homes you come across on Zillow. Chances are that your agent will have already found them for you anyway. According to the NAR 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 91% of recent buyers found a realtor to be a very or somewhat useful information source. And 91% said they would use their agent again and recommend their agent to others.
A local real estate agent learns what you want and can find it much faster than you can through their network of other agents and their knowledge of the market. Realtors make it their business to know what is about to come on the market and a good realtor can get you in to see a home soon after it has been listed, before it even shows up on Zillow.
Redfin is another alternative real estate website that offers a database of homes for sale. Like Zillow, Redfin pulls its data from the MLS. Redfin is a discount real estate broker, and their realtors are paid a salary rather than receiving a percentage of each sale. Redfin’s listing fees are about half of a traditional realtor’s although the company does have a minimum listing fee.
You can use a traditional realtor to buy a home listed with Redfin and many people do. Homes sold with Redfin typically pay a standard commission percentage to the buyer’s agent to ensure the home gets plenty of traffic and a quick sale.
You can also buy a Redfin-listed home with a Redfin agent. When this happens, Redfin receives the buyers commission, which is typically 2.5%-3% of the sales price. The company claims it will then rebate the buyer a percentage of the buyer’s commission, depending on various factors such as your location, home value, closing costs, etc. It’s important to note that Redfin will not disclose how they calculate their rebate amounts. This rebate might sound good in theory, but this is an example of “you get what you pay for” because Redfin is able to give the buyer a rebate by paying their realtors less.
Traditional realtors, on the other hand, are paid by the seller, so there’s no money out of your pocket to use them. They most likely have a wealth of knowledge about the local area, have a huge network to draw on, and have a tremendous incentive to do a great job for you. They know if they do, you are likely to use them again and refer them to others!
So, what’s the bottom line with alternative real estate services that claim to save you money? Online real estate services have to make their money somehow, but how can they afford to do it? If you work with one of these companies, you might save some money, it’s true. But it’s probably not worth it if you lose at the negotiating table because you don’t have the right representation. In general, traditional real estate agents have much more to offer their clients than the online real estate services. Online home databases are great for getting ideas and choosing neighborhoods, but it’s hard to beat the personal touch of a full-service realtor.
If you’re looking for a new home within Prosper ISD that’s just minutes from Frisco but has small town appeal, take a look at Lilyana by Hillwood in Celina, TX. Your realtor can work with you to find the home that’s perfect for you and can guide you through the purchase process. Take a virtual tour of Lilyana today.
Are you asking yourself “Should I live in a master-planned community?” Many people are drawn to planned communities for their many benefits, but there are a few misconceptions about these neighborhoods than can give folks pause. Below, we dispel these myths and misconceptions and explain why buying a home in a planned community like Lilyana by Hillwood in Celina, TX is a great decision!
One of the most common myths about planned communities is they are full of “cookie cutter” houses that all look the same. When it comes to Hillwood Communities such as Lilyana, this is simply not the case. Most master-planned communities have anti-monotony codes that keep houses from all looking the same. In fact, the zoning codes (pages 102 and 110) in Celina, Texas where Lilyana is located have rules governing matters like elevation and materials, all in order to keep homes in neighborhoods from looking too similar.
At Lilyana, we have a variety of home designs, with different options for both internal layout and exterior appearance. The homes in our neighborhoods are constructed by a number of builders, each with their own specialties and styles. You can check out our different styles with virtual tours here.
Homeowners associations, or HOAs, are a common part of living in a master-planned community and all homeowners become members when they buy a home. A common misconception is that HOAs wield an unreasonable level control over homeowners. The reality is, the HOA is there to support the community, take care of common facilities, and improve the neighborhood overall.
Many of the HOA’s rules are designed to help preserve property values. The HOA works with homeowners who wish to customize their home to help them stay in line with community standards. According to survey data from the Community Associations Institute, 71% of homeowners know their association’s rules both protect and enhance their property values.
HOA rules also govern noise, lawn care, yard signs, use of common areas such as pools and pavilions, etc. These reasonable rules set expectations for the community so there are no surprises. The end result is a community everyone can be proud of.
Another common misconception has to do with HOA dues—that people don’t want to pay them and question what they are for. HOA dues cover maintenance of the amenities and common areas of the community and in most cases are reasonable. For example, annual dues for Lilyana’s HOA are $805 per year, or a little over $67 per month. These dues go cover the maintenance of the community’s common areas, parks, and amenities, such as:
Each of these amenities adds value to the community. At Lilyana, your HOA dues go toward creating and maintaining a wonderful neighborhood for everyone.
A common misconception about master-planned communities is that they’re located too far from shopping and other needed services and resources. With Hillwood Communities, this just isn’t the case. Lilyana, for example, is conveniently located just 10 miles North of Frisco and the $5 Billion Mile, which is jam-packed with shopping, restaurants, health care services, commerce, sports and entertainment venues, and just about anything else you could want!
In the future, Lilyana will have an on-site elementary school, making it even more convenient for parents and their kids to walk or bike to school!
Some people believe, incorrectly, that homes in a master-planned community may not hold their value. Again, in Hillwood Communities like Lilyana, this is simply not true. With a combination of top builders, favorable locations, award-winning school districts, and country-club-like amenities, homes built in master-planned communities typically maintain or increase in value over time.
There’s no doubt homes within master-planned communities are in high demand. In fact, sales at the top master-planned communities grew over 40% in the last year according to RCLCO’s most recent mid-year report, and Texas is among the top locations in terms of home sales in master-planned communities.
Still just thinking of buying a new home in a planned community? Now that we’ve busted the common myths, there’s no reason not to! If you’re looking for a great place to live, drop by Lilyana in Celina, TX within Prosper ISD for a visit or get in touch!
In recent years, Texas has been the scene of massive growth, both in terms of population and job opportunities. Collin County in particular has seen tremendous expansion, adding more than 202,000 jobs between 2010 and 2019 and nearly 220,000 residents between 2010 and 2020. With gains like these, it’s no surprise Collin County is one of the fastest growing counties in Texas.
As more people move into the county, so have more businesses, creating an attractive job outlook for residents in the area. If you’re looking for a great place to live and work, Collin County is an excellent choice.
Aside from the booming population, other factors that are helping to draw employers to Collin County include low tax rates and business-friendly policies, especially in the wake of the recent pandemic.
Texas has no individual state income taxes, and the state franchise tax rates (what Texas calls its business tax) are extremely low. Businesses with less than $1.18 million in receipts pay no tax and those with $1.18 million to $10 million pay a rate of only 0.375%. The maximum franchise tax rate in the state is 0.75%. These favorable tax rates make it easy for employers great and small to operate, and many businesses have moved into the area as a result, including quite a few from out of state.
Smaller businesses in particular have prospered in Collin County as a result of the small business grants provided through the Collin CARES program. The program was created to help those impacted by the pandemic and offers grants up to $25,000 to businesses that saw gross revenue losses in excess of 15% in the last year. As a result, businesses that might not have survived have had a fighting chance to pull through.
Collin County has brought businesses of all sizes into the area. Some of the largest employers in the county include:
These are just a few of the large businesses that have moved into the area in recent years. Countless other employers have found their place in Collin County, and they provide many opportunities for residents to land fulfilling careers. In coming years, the county’s future job growth is projected to be over 48%, much higher than the national average of 33.5%. Median household income in the area is also well above that of other states, exceeding $84,000 per year.
The area’s massive growth makes it a great place to live if you’re looking for fulfilling work with successful companies. However, that very fact makes it attractive to other people too. That means the time to move to Collin County is now.
If you’re on the lookout for a great place to live in Collin County, look no further than Lilyana by Hillwood. This picturesque community in Celina, TX within the acclaimed Prosper ISD has all the charms of small-town life yet is conveniently located just 10 miles north of Frisco with an easy commute to many Collin County employers. For more information on Lilyana, get in touch with us today or take a virtual tour.
Not all neighborhoods are created equal. How do you find a great neighborhood for your family, especially now when home inventories are at record lows? What should you look for in a neighborhood? Many things can make a neighborhood good like attractive homes and steady home values. While no two neighborhoods are going to be exactly alike, the best ones tend to share the same critically important characteristics. So just what is it that makes for a good neighborhood?
One of the most important qualities of a good neighborhood is that the residents care about the neighborhood and want to see it develop into something special. This means folks own their homes and take a sense of pride in ownership. The homeowners in the area care about their community, and they want to contribute to make it a better place to live.
It’s easy to care about your neighborhood and your neighbors at Lilyana by Hillwood. The master-planned community in Celina, TX is made to be walkable so neighbors can meet each other on their way to the pool, heading to the fishing pond, or while walking the dog. It’s not unusual for neighbors to meet at the outdoor kitchen and event pavilion and enjoy fellowship while their kids play at the parks and playgrounds. That’s all part of the design at Lilyana.
Another aspect of what makes a good neighborhood is plenty of places for recreation. Outdoor activities are a great way to get exercise, meet your neighbors, and improve your mental health. In fact, studies have shown that those who have high exposure to green space have better psychiatric health, while those without green space nearby are 55% more likely to develop mental disorders. It’s clear that having natural beauty near your home is good for your health.
Lilyana offers many opportunities for fun outdoor activities including:
Opening soon is Bluebonnet Park, which will offer an outdoor pavilion, sports courts, a children’s play area, and more.
If you have kids, the local school system is probably high on the list of must-haves when looking for a good neighborhood. You want to make sure your children are getting the education and support they need at school. Not only that, but homes within good school districts tend to have higher resale values.
Lilyana is located within the award-winning Prosper ISD, which is known for academic excellence and commitment to student success. The district currently ranks as one of the best in Texas. In the near future, Lilyana will be home to a new on-site Prosper ISD elementary school making it extra convenient for kids to walk or bike to school.
Speaking of convenience, proximity to important services and amenities is another essential quality of the perfect neighborhood. Master-planned communities like Lilyana are ideal for walkability since it’s one of the main tenets of the design. Pathways and roads are designed to accommodate pedestrian traffic and minimize congestion from vehicles, all while keeping local amenities within convenient walking distance of everyone in the neighborhood.
Besides having easy access to our on-site amenities, Lilyana’s great location in Celina, TX means residents can also easily reach Frisco’s “$5 Billion Mile” which is just 10 miles away. It takes a short drive to reach the city’s offerings like entertainment, shopping, restaurants, medical care, businesses, sports venues, and much more.
Naturally, you want your neighborhood to be safe. A local crime rate is a good indicator of the neighborhood’s quality, with a low or decreasing rate showing improvement in the area as a whole.
For instance, Lilyana is located in Celina, Texas, which has an A+ rating when it comes to local crime rates. That top rating means it is safer than the majority of cities throughout the U.S., with Celina’s total crime being about 70% below the national average. In addition, crimes are currently decreasing in the area by 23% per year, meaning it’s still improving as a community.
Finally, the perfect neighborhood is not only going to be objectively good in terms of amenities, walkability, schools, etc., but it will also be a subjectively good match for you and your family. Each person has their own preferences and lifestyle, after all, and you want your community to match what you value most. The best communities often cater to specific interests.
Each of our communities is designed around common interests and lifestyles that bring people together. For instance, Lilyana is the ideal place for those with an active lifestyle since it provides plenty of opportunities for walking through nature, fishing, swimming, or just getting together for a picnic outside. You’ll find people with shared interests and enjoy time with like-minded neighbors.
If you’re currently in the market for a new home, Lilyana by Hillwood has all the makings of a great neighborhood. From excellent outdoor amenities to thoughtful neighborhood design, we take pride in providing one of the best master-planned communities in North Texas. To learn more about our community, get in touch today!
Why is fishing fun? Those who don’t fish may wonder. Many people fish for the thrill of landing a big catch. Others simply want to relax and get away from everything for a few hours.
Recreational fishing has become highly popular, with 37% of Americans going fishing at least four times per year. The number of youths who went fishing between the years of 2006 and 2019 totaled over 10.85 million, making it a truly popular sport among all ages.
But why do people fish? The reasons to go fishing aren’t complicated. Some people fish because it’s so doggone relaxing and others do because it’s an easy hobby to pick up. There’s no doubt, fishing is a great pastime that offers many benefits.
Let’s talk about some of the great things about cultivating a fishing hobby. Fishing can lead to improved health, support conservation efforts, and help kids develop important skills.
One of the health benefits of fishing comes from its potential to relieve stress. Simply being out in nature can help reduce levels of stress hormones. According to a study published in 2018, people who spend time in wilderness settings report much lower levels of stress than those in more urbanized areas.
The act of fishing also entails focusing on a single task. This mental focus takes your mind away from the pressures of daily life and can induce a quasi-meditative state of mind that further helps relieve stress.
When you sit outside at the fishing hole you are getting some sunlight, even if it’s a cloudy day. Being outside fishing for a few hours can help your body get some much-needed vitamin D3, which can lift your spirits and fend off depression.
Aside from the health benefits of fishing, it also helps the environment. Fishing licenses fund many wilderness conservation efforts, including fish stocking in ponds, land conservation, and wildlife management. Your purchase of a fishing license helps make Texas a better place for everyone to live.
Finally, fishing is great for your kids! They can learn many useful skills through fishing, including:
In addition, it helps your kids develop an appreciation for nature that will stick with them for the rest of their lives.
Now that you know the reasons why you should start fishing as a hobby, let’s go over the basics you’ll need to get started. It’s fun and easy to learn!
Many fishing holes are catch and release, meaning if you catch a fish, you have to release it shortly afterward. Catch and release helps preserve fish populations in heavily fished areas.
When releasing a fish, make sure to gently remove your hook and release it back into the water as quickly as possible. Doing so helps increase its chances of survival.
In terms of equipment, the first thing you’ll need is a fishing license. A license can be purchased online or through local retailers. Kids under the age of 17 or people with disabilities fishing under the supervision of a licensed angler aren’t required to get licenses.
In addition to a license, you’ll need the following starting equipment:
You might upgrade your kit as you go, but this is enough to get you started. Some ready-made kits come with knots already tied, which is a bonus for a beginner.
Finally, it helps to ask local experts about fishing in your area. They’ll have experience on what types of lures or techniques work best, the best places to fish, and the best time of day. The right techniques depend on the fish and climate in your area, so it’s definitely worth chatting a bit with experienced anglers before you go.
You don’t have to go out for a weekend-long trip to go fishing in Texas. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area alone, there are over 50 different fishing ponds, all within easy access.
Some popular catch and release spots in Collin County can be found here.
A list of additional spots around Dallas-Fort Worth can be found here.
If you love fishing—or if you’re wanting to start—and if you are looking for a great place to live, Lilyana by Hillwood is the perfect place to be! One of our most popular amenities is our catch and release fishing pond! Lilyana also offers miles of hiking trails, a beautiful pool, an outdoor kitchen and pavilion, and acres of lush green spaces. Contact us to learn more about our homes and community.