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Celina is truly a city on the rise.

Did you know that when it’s fully built out, Celina will have 350,000 residents. That’s pretty incredible to think about when you consider it has around 37,000 today.

I love all of the new developments coming to Celina, the Square downtown and the quality of their school system.

Celina has been ranked the #1 fastest growing city in North Texas for three years in a row by the Dallas Business Journal. This ranking really comes as no surprise when you learn about all of the great things they have going on.

Learn about Celina’s welcoming atmosphere and thriving economy from my friends at Check Out DFW:

Economic Development 

Celina has a population of 37,000 (and is steadily growing). Most residents are young families, with the median age being around 36. Celina’s median household income is $98,277, with an average home value of $465,000. 

Economic development is a strong focus in the community. The majority of residents are community-minded and committed to shopping locally while supporting their neighbors. With this healthy cultivation of growth, the town is shaping out to become an ideal place for small-town businesses to thrive.  

Situated along the coveted Collin County Corridor, Celina’s maximum projected buildout population is approximately 350,000.  

A Gigabit City 

Gigabit cities are places that offer ultra-high-speed broadband that is available citywide at speeds of 1 gigabit per second (1 Gbps) or faster. This makes it easier for residents to access the Internet and allows businesses and schools to thrive and expand.  

Celina received its official designation as a Gigabit City from the Office of Governor Greg Abott in 2020.  

Community Spirit 

Despite the projections of growth and amazing accessibility to technology, Celina is committed to its roots and maintaining a strong community spirit. The town regularly hosts community events, including its series of annual events to keep up the fun and outreach building.  

These annual events include Friday Night Farmer’s Markets, Movies on The Square, Parkfest, CajunFest, their 4th of July Celebration, Trick-or-Treat on the Square, and Christmas on The Square. You can read more about these events on the city’s economic development Facebook page

Celina School district 

For several years in a row, the two school districts serving Celina students — the Celina and Prosper Independent School Districts — have received A ratings from the Texas Education Agency. 

Between these two independent school districts there are six elementary schools: Boyer, Bryant, O’Dell, Johnson, Light Farms and Lykins. Four middle schools: Celina Junior High, Reynolds Middle, Rogers Middle, and Rushing Middle, and two high schools: Celina High and Prosper High.

They are all ideally situated within close proximity to Celina’s expanding neighborhoods. Read more about Celina ISD here

The Square 

In 1997, the City of Celina was designated as an official Main Street City by the Texas Historical Commission and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Square remains the heartbeat of this special place.  

They say you can tell a lot about a city’s health from its downtown. Celina’s historic downtown area is thriving with opportunity and offers dining, shopping, professional services, city offices, and green space within walking distance of the town’s pavilion.

Checkout DFW has covered some of the amazing businesses along The Square which attract locals and visitors alike. Dining options include Lucy’s on The Square, Toasted Walnut Table and Market, Tender Smokehouse, and Celina Star Café. Shopping options include Willow house Boutique, Annie Jack, Grace Bridge Resale, and Hey Sugar, candy store to name a few.  

There is no shortage of inspiration along the streets of Celina’s downtown Square. This is where the town’s heritage lives on and where the community gathers, works, and plays.  

For more information on Celina or other cities in the Dallas Metroplex, contact Matt Braun at [email protected]

One of my favorite subdivisions in the DFW area has to be Star Trail in Prosper. The homes are beautiful, the location can’t be beat and students go to the acclaimed Prosper ISD.

Prosper is a community on the rise, with lots of new retail and development coming to this North Dallas community this year. Being in Star Trail puts you near all of this action, in a neighborhood that residents tell me over and over again that they absolutely love.

My friends at Check Out DFW have put together a really nice guide that gives you everything you need to know about this great community:

About the subdivision: It is ideally located on the Dallas North Tollway in Prosper, with fabulous amenities and Prosper ISD schools. Star Trail is all about getting you to what you want, fast. Conveniently located just north of US 380 on the Dallas North Tollway, Star Trail’s prime location offers you the ability to commute with ease to all areas of the DFW metroplex.

Just three miles from Star Trail is The Gates of Prosper, a major regional shopping area developed by Blue Star Land with a Walmart Supercenter, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Texas Roadhouse, Gloria’s Latin Cuisine and many other popular restaurants, shops, and services.

The builders: American Legend Homes, Britton Homes, Coventry Homes, Highland Homes and Toll Brothers all build in this community.

Range: New construction builds in the subdivision range from the low $500,000s up to $1 million and above.

Amenities: Star Trail has a focus on natural landscapes, with serene lakes and beautiful fountains to greet you upon arrival. There are miles of trails for hiking and biking throughout the community. Follow the winding, tree-lined entrance to find the community center and amenity area. This five-acre haven is reserved exclusively for Star Trail residents and includes:

Schools: Star Trail is positioned in the heart of the highly-acclaimed Prosper ISD, and a site has been reserved within the community for a future elementary school. One of the top districts in the area and among the top 20 districts in the state of Texas, Prosper ISD upholds its exemplary status by maintaining low student/teacher ratios and offering the latest technology to students, generating a sense of community pride.

Here are the schools that students go to:

Stuber Elementary

Rushing Middle School

Prosper High School

Opening Fall 2022: Joyce Hall Elementary:

In August of 2022, Prosper ISD’s 15th elementary school will open in the Star Trail subdivision on the west side of the district. The campus, in alignment with most other Prosper ISD elementary campuses, will have a core capacity of 900. The campus will be named Joyce Hall Elementary School. Ms. Hall served the district in multiple roles, including serving as the district’s first Director of Curriculum and Instruction.

HOA: Dues are $100 per month, billed quarterly at $300 per quarter.

For more information on Star Trail or other subdivisions in the area, please contact Matt Braun at Merit Homes 214-903-6727.

Springs are amazing in Texas: The weather warms up a little, patios begin to fill in and we all start thinking about pool season and summer vacations.

But the spring also means it’s time for spring cleaning. While no one enjoys cleaning, doing certain things around your house in the spring can protect your home — and your wallet — for years to come.

I have seen the return on my home and homes I have sold by doing just a few simple things that keep your house updated and looking beautiful.

Check out these 5 tips from my friends at Check Out DFW to do around your home and garden. Your summer self will thank you.   

1. Spring cleaning

Spring cleaning is a necessity in Texas thanks to this season’s new blooms of allergen-inducing particles.

2. Clean and insulate your home’s exterior 

We all remember the old childhood rhyme, “spring showers.” Springtime absolutely brings lots of rain and other weather surprises.

3. A/C maintenance and inspection 

No air conditioning during a Texas summer is the worst. Some of us have unfortunately undergone it, and nothing will motivate you more to take care of your home’s air conditioning unit.

4. Lawn Care

Springtime is a suitable time to fertilize and treat your lawn. This is a simple and affordable process that can save you a lot of expense and time in the summer. For a helpful guide on current lawn fertilizers and what they offer, check out this site

5. Planting/Gardening

While it does depend on your zone area (you can look it up here), many Texans plant spring gardens and do landscaping work in April, after Easter. Weather patterns are such that most of Texas is free from fear of freezing or deadly frost by then.

The Prosper, Celina and Frisco Real Estate market did not take a break for the holidays. We are still seeing multiple offers on the vast majority of homes that come on the market, with homes going into contract typically within about a week (or less). Home inventory is still very low in the area with Prosper, Celina and Frisco all having less than one month supply of homes. Buyers may see a little relief over the next couple of months if inventory increases and some buyers tap the breaks on their home search as interest rates rise.

It’s no secret that purchasing a home can be a daunting task for many. From the initial saving for a down payment to completing the necessary paperwork, the process of obtaining a decent mortgage can be quite involved.

While buying a house can be an intricate process, there are undeniable benefits to owning your own home. To begin with, having ownership of your own place means that you are building equity and paying monthly for something that builds equity. That is, the money you pay for your home mortgage each month isn’t completely lost.

Furthermore, purchasing your own place gives you the creative freedom to paint, renovate, and build onto the structure as you see fit. Owning a home means there are no landlords telling you what you can and cannot do within your own living space.

Although purchasing a home has many more benefits than renting, there are quite a few factors that can hold someone back from taking the leap. Whether you need time to rebuild your credit or you would like to save more for a down payment, these criteria do not have to prevent you from living in your dream home.

Now, you don’t have to wait for your finances to align perfectly to reside in the home that you want to purchase one day. There is a new and innovative program that provides people the ability to rent a home before they purchase.

Renting to own is not a new concept; however, this process has gained an unsavory reputation in recent years. Now, there is a company putting a new age spin on the old concept of renting to own. Instead of renting to own straight from a homeowner, homebuyers can now rent from a reliable company.

On top of that, this company is ready to help you in your journey to homeownership by providing guidance on topics such as saving for a down payment and credit recovery. Have you been thinking about purchasing a home but are not in a place to do so yet? Check out this new spin on renting to own your own home!

Why Renting to Own is Better

While the benefits of owning a home over renting are undeniable, there is something to be said about waiting until you are fully financially ready. The more you can put towards a down payment often means the less you have to pay in additional fees and interest.

As stated by Experian, “For a conventional mortgage, traditional wisdom says to save up 20% of a home’s purchase price for a down payment. A down payment of that size reduces interest costs and means you won’t have to pay for a mortgage insurance policy that covers the lender if you are unable to keep up with loan payments.” This leads us to our first point of why renting to own is a great option.


You Can Buy Once You’re Prepared.

Renting to own from a supportive company will give you the time you need to financially prepare for your first home. In addition to saving for a down payment, many people feel more comfortable going into homeownership with an emergency savings. Renting your home now with the idea of purchasing later can give you the time you need.

You’ll Be Living In Your Future Home.

You’ll have the best of all worlds with this option, as while you’re “renting” your future home, you’ll be putting money aside for its purchase at a future date. This is amazing because you can test out living in a home before you commit to buying it! In addition, if you decide to purchase the home, you won’t have to arrange a big moving day since you will already be living there.


You Can Walk Away.

There are many reasons that can lead an individual or family to be unsure if they will be living in the same area within the next one, two, or even five years. Renting to own can give you the option to begin moving towards purchasing a home without committing fully just yet. In the end, you don’t have to purchase the home if you decide against it.

How to Get Started

Are you interested in learning more about the new renting-to-own process? Fortunately, the path to renting to own is much more simple than the process of applying for and obtaining a mortgage! Contact Matt Braun for more information about how to rent to own your dream home. You may also reach out to him directly through email at [email protected]

Located just thirty minutes from Dallas and forty-five minutes from Fort Worth, Frisco is the perfect location for families or individuals seeking a laid-back city experience.  

With a population of 200+ thousand people, you’d expect Frisco to feel like a big city, but it actually has a small town vibe compared to nearby Dallas-Fort Worth (United States Census Bureau). This makes Frisco a fantastic place for families looking to settle down, or individuals ready to start a new life.

A Hot Spot for Families

With low crime rates and an exceptional school system, Frisco, TX is a great town for families. 

Frisco’s K-12 education system is renowned for its high-quality educators and dedicated district leaders. Both Liberty High School and the private Legacy Christian Academy are in the top 100 of Texas High Schools with a strong focus on academics, sports, and college prep.  

In addition to the safe environment and great schools, Frisco is known for both its low cost of living and booming economy. This favorable combination gives Frisco an edge on surrounding areas! 

A Foodie’s Dream Location

Do you enjoy foods from different cultures and regions of the world? Frisco, Texas is the town for you! Take your pick from an unlimited selection of delicious restaurants sure to take care of any food craving! You name it, Frisco has it; from Chinese and Mexican selections to mouthwatering sushi and world-famous BBQ, Frisco is a dream location for any foodie. 

New restaurants are opening each year in Frisco. This means that you will never run out of new cuisine to try. So, whether you want to head downtown for a quick drink or spend hours tasting different courses at a five-star restaurant, you’ll never run out of things to do in Frisco!


A reputation for Luxury

Known for its invigorating nightlife and the extraordinary Stonebriar Country Club, Frisco is a top destination for those looking to relax or have a good time. Enjoy a night on the town or head to the country club to relax while getting to know like-minded people over a game of golf. 

Lake Lewisville is a local favorite for anyone looking for a “fishing, skiing, swimming, relaxing, and recreational boating” good time. With so many local activities available, it is no wonder why so many are choosing to relocate to Frisco.

Take Those First Steps

Choosing a location near the larger metroplex is a great way to stay close to big-city life without the hassle of actually living inside a big city. For this reason, Frisco, Texas is a prime location for individuals and families hoping to relocate to a safe but entertaining area! 

Our team of local experts at Merit Homes are available to answer any questions you have about the Frisco, Texas area. For more expert information about the Frisco housing market and what your next steps should be in order to move, we invite you to Contact Matt Braun any time!

Prosper, Frisco, Celina & McKinney

Although we have seen a little softening in the market in some areas the past three months, prices remain dramatically higher when compared to twelve months ago. Prosper +24%, Frisco +25.8%, Celina +42.8% and McKinney +25.8%

Lack of available homes continues to be the primary cause of the solid price increases we’ve been experiencing in the area.  The number of homes available for sale in Prosper is -47.6%, Frisco -43.1%, Celina -42.9% and in McKinney -25.7% when compared to the same time last year.  Based on forecasts for 2022, we won’t be seeing inventory levels like prior to 2019 anytime soon. 

Days on market is the number of days a home is on the active prior to the sellers accepting a purchase contract.  Due to lack of inventory and an abundance of buyers looking for homes in the area properties are going into contract within 6-8 days.  Rule of thumb is if you’re looking to buy a home and something you like comes on the market, see it TODAY!

Percent of Original price is the percent over asking price that a home is selling for.  While we are well off the highs we saw this past June, homes are still garnering multiple offers and buyers are offering over asking price along in hopes to have their offer accepted.

Whether you’re buying a new home or looking to sell your existing home our team uses the latest tech to streamline your experience and finds out-of-the-box solutions to any challenges. We help you make timely, accurate decisions, but most importantly, we offer you personalized service and loyalty. We’re here to ensure that you enjoy a real estate journey with Merit — one that delivers top value and one you’ll remember for years to come. Click here to contact us to see how we can help you achieve your real estate goals. 

Do you need a safe and close-knit community to raise a family? Are you looking for a peaceful but eventful location to attend college or send your children to school? Does the small-town lifestyle appeal to you? Look no further! Celina, Texas is a beautiful location to settle down or even attend college. Collin College attracts students from all across the nation for its Business Management, Construction Management, Health Sciences, and Information Technology courses.

Known as the “fastest-growing city in North Texas,” Celina is packed full of potential for families, young singles, and even college students (About Us)


Historical Small Town Appeal

Enjoy a pleasant stroll through the historic town square that was notably established in 1902 when the railroad began to run through town (About Us). Since the early 1900s, the town has grown to an impressive 30,000.

Celina, Texas offers the calm environment of a small town with all of the benefits of living near a large city. Located only 46 minutes away from Dallas, the restaurants, shopping opportunities, and events of the big city are just a short drive away!

The beautiful town of Celina, TX has many entertainment opportunities. Check out Hope Park for its rolling hills and innovative playground or Arcade 92 for pinball, amongst other games. Also, Frisco Fresh Market is a farmer’s market that is a notable local favorite.

Perfect Family Environment

Impressively, Celina, TX has earned A’s in the “Public Schools,” “Housing,” and even “Good for Families” categories. This makes Celina one of the best places to relocate to for settling down and raising a family (Niche).

In addition, the school district in Celina, Texas is known for its dedicated teachers, safe campuses, and proven results. Your children will enjoy their Celina public school experience with the district’s dedicated teachers and secure campuses. Go bobcats!

Employment and Commuter Potential

Whether you want to relocate for better employment opportunities or you have an established career in one of the surrounding areas, Celina, TX is the perfect town for you! Within close range of Dallas and even Fort Worth, many professionals choose Celina for its commuter potential.

According to BestPlaces, the average resident of Celina, Texas makes over 5% more per year than the rest of the United States. As an added perk, the cost of living for Celian is also much lower than the national average. As Celina has shown rapid growth in the recent ten years, the area continues to show more and more promise and has proven to be rich in new employment opportunities.

Let’s Get Started!

Are you interested in moving to Celina, Texas, or any other smaller town inside the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex? Join other individuals and families who, like you, desire a secure place to put down their roots.

For more information about the homes available in Celina, Texas, Contact our Merit Homes Team at any time! Matt Braun, or one of our other local specialists, will be pleased to answer your questions or to consult with you about your upcoming move.

Have you ever heard of the saying, “you can’t have it both ways”? Well, that certainly isn’t true about Prosper Texas! Being just 35 miles away from Dallas, this lovely suburban town is renowned for giving individuals and families the small-town feel they crave while still providing close accessibility to a big city.

With over 1.3 million people living in Dallas, it is no wonder why so many are seeking refuge in the cozy suburbs just outside of the city (WorldWidePopulationReview). Located in both Western Collin County and Eastern Denton County, Prosper has been tasked as one of the top five Dallas suburbs. 

We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to! Here are the five compelling reasons why you should move to Prosper: 

Little-Big-Town Vibes

Prosper currently has an estimated 31,000 residents with only a 35-minute drive to Downtown Dallas. This means this suburban area has the perfect little-big-town vibes many people desire when choosing a place for settling down! 

Being on the outskirts of the big cities means that you will have access to the normal hustle-and-bustle that comes with larger metropolitan areas. The appeal of Dallas and Fort Worth are just a quick drive away. However, you will be far enough from the cities to enjoy the peaceful and charming flow of a smaller town. 

Charming Historical Aesthetic

Like some pockets of Texas, Prosper has its own historic charm and appeal. This can be seen through the older brick buildings scattered throughout downtown and the historical homes spread across town. Although Prosper is known for its stable growing economy, many enjoy the chronicled aesthetic of the area.

According to Town of Prosper, the town of Prosper was first settled for the land that was rich in fertile soil perfect for growing cotton. Dr. A. T. Bryant purchased the Rock Hill and Richland settlements, and this land “later became the center of the present town.” 

There was a time when the railroad between Dallas and Sherman treated Prosper as a landing station. Notably, the name of the town was inspired by a prosperous year of crops, and the town was established with a beginning population of 500 (Town of Prosper). 

Those who move to Prosper enjoy the rich downtown entertainment opportunities including dining, shopping, and lovely walk areas. In addition, the whole area of Prosper is known for its open green spaces that tend to make us forget all about congested cities. 

Excellent School District

It is no secret that living in an area with a good school district can make all the difference when it comes to your child’s future. School districts with high rankings compared to others in the state are known for their dedicated staff, nurturing educational environments, and high graduation rates. 

Qualities That Make Prosper a Highly Rated School District: 

Impressively, Prosper Texas ranks #11 in the state amongst other quality school districts! In fact, the district’s educational system includes three A+ schools that demonstrate a 91% average on state test scores. It is also worth mentioning the 94.1% of seniors attending high school in Prosper successfully graduate. 

With the town’s low crime rates for both adults and adolescents, parents can feel safe sending their children to school each day. Furthermore, children in Prosper experience smaller class sizes than they would in a larger school district. As such, they receive more direct attention and care from their teachers.

Close-Knit Community

The town of Prosper comes together during different times of the year for various celebrations and events. Residents are known for throwing memorable Fourth of July events, cheerful Christmas Festivals, and even the historical Founders Fest. 

These activities can be enjoyed by a variety of people including individuals as well as whole families! With regular events being scheduled for all to enjoy, it is easy for people to get to know their neighbors and form long-lasting and meaningful friendships. 

Known for its safe streets and vast spaces of greenery, it is no wonder why so many families are choosing to move to Prosper, Texas to raise their children. 

Growing Economy

Don’t let the small-town atmosphere fool you! Prosper, Texas is booming with sustainable commercial developments, which means there has been an increase in quality jobs for the area. The businesses and companies that have chosen to establish their roots in Prosper are thriving, growing, and here to stay. 

Furthermore, the fiscal responsibility of the town is favorable to all who live in Prosper Texas! There is a successful balance between taxes and the general upkeep of the town. Unlike other areas in Texas, there isn’t a report of Prosper residents feeling financial pressure from high taxes.  

Final Thoughts

Are you having difficulty pinpointing the perfect area for you and your family to live in? To help you narrow down your choices, create a checklist of qualities you value in a community. What are your non-negotiables, and what factors are you willing to compromise on? 

Common Qualities People Look For When Moving: 

Once you choose your must-have qualities, you can now conduct your own research to determine what areas harbor those traits. Since Prosper is known for checking many boxes for desired qualities, we invite you to contact us at Merit Homes so we can show you homes that fit your needs. Matt Braun is a Prosper resident and award winning Realtor. He is here and ready to meet your real estate needs.

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