Proudly Serving Buyers and Sellers in Frisco, The Colony, Plano,  Allen, McKinney, Richardson, and Dallas

The main reason Americans are ditching New York and flocking to cowboy land

  • By Mark Madria
  • 22 May, 2017
Are there really not enough jobs in New York City for people to leave? 

Read more here:
By ross 11 Oct, 2017
Join Brenda Patton this Sunday, October 15th from 2-4 PM  for an open house in this beautiful home.
Broker Open Thu 10/19/17  11:30a - 1:30p

By Mark Madria 07 Oct, 2017

Gary Briggs, Financial Planner, Edward Jones

Gary is one of my favorite people – he makes money for me!

The #1 thing taught in Corporate America today is that you must take care of yourself. No longer can you expect to work your entire career with one company and have a nice pension. People are constantly changing jobs and pension plans are no longer available; so people are now trying to manage their own 401k for retirement. Managing your career is much easier than managing your 401k.

There was a time at my corporate job that my 401k would lose money every year even though I had it in accounts that were not supposed to fluctuate; my money was in mutual funds that were supposed to be stable. Not true! There was no one to ask and when I left the corporate job I had no idea what to do with my 401k. When you work with Gary, that won’t happen.

If you are in the middle of a life change, either in your career or personal life, and you’re trying to plan the next stage or two, Gary can help you look at your situation differently and find good investment opportunities.

Perhaps you have investments and a stack of statements but no real plan. Get on Gary’s calendar for a no-cost consultation. He has many tools at his disposal to help evaluate your situation.

What financial challenges are you facing? Do you have student loan debt that is hindering your ability to provide good quality of life? Are you nearing retirement age with no retirement plan? Do you have the right protections to keep your goals on track if something unexpected happens? Gary will take time to evaluate your unique situation and help guide you to a more secure financial future.

Gary Briggs isn’t just a financial planner at Edward Jones. He’s also very active in our community, serving the community as a Chamber Ambassador, Volunteer at the Job Fair, and stays up to date on local happenings within the community.

Gary is currently licensed in the nine following states: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington. He holds the Series 7 and Series 66 certifications.

Give Gary a call at 972-625-2144 or stop by his office at 5910 Paige Rd, Ste C, The Colony, TX 75056 – you’ll be quite thankful (and possibly surprised) to know what is in your budget.
By Mark Madria 07 Oct, 2017

There are a handful of builders who still recognize that not every resident of Dallas is a millionaire and are still building homes in the entry-level price point. Trails at Riverstone in Princeton, built by D. R. Horton’s Express division, is one such community.

If you’ve not been to Princeton, take Hwy 75/North Central Expressway north to Hwy 380/University Blvd in McKinney. Go east about 6 or 7 miles to Princeton. Continue to the light at Monte Carlo and make a left. Trails at Riverstone in 

Princeton will be up the road about one-half mile on the right.

Kevin Littenberg is the Community Sales Manager ( ) with Brad Schleinz and Jonathan Pollard ( ) are an essential part of Team Riverstone. Phase 2 has recently opened with over 100 lots available.

I was visiting Kevin and Jonathan in the Express model the other day; they have a beautiful model and several inventory homes available. Call Kevin or Jonathan at 972-734-6707 to schedule an appointment or stop in to visit at 1117 Aquamarine Street, Princeton and mention that you saw this blog post. Or, for better representation, call me and we’ll go together. Remember, Kevin & Jonathan work for the builder using the builder’s contracts and I work for you, keeping your best interests in mind.

Community Features

Models are typically open Monday –Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  As we enter into the Winter months you can expect the Models to close at 6pm. There are two Models, with the primary one located at 1117 Aquamarine, Princeton.

According to their website, there are plans for a resort-style community center but so far I’ve not been able to locate those plans or an architect’s rendition of those plans. Express communities are designed to be cost-effective while still providing good value at entry-point pricing, so by their very nature don’t often have the expansive community centers you’d expect at a higher-price community.

This community currently has plans for 500+ lots to be developed and only the 2nd phase has opened so certainly a good time to become a new homeowner.


Princeton borders McKinney to the south and west, and Melissa on the north. When visiting Trails at Riverstone, take Highway 75 North to Highway 380 and go east about 7 miles to Monte Carlo Blvd. Turn left onto Monte Carlo and go north about ½ miles.


Life at Trails of Riverstone is active with Lake Lavon nearby with boating, sailing, fishing, swimming.  Trails of Riverstone features over 143 acres of trails and if D. R. Horton builds the amenity center typical of their communities, it will be fantastic. Residents of Trails at Riverstone enjoy fishing, hiking, biking, and more great outdoor fun.

According to Trulia , over 80% of the population own their homes and 79% of the population are married.


Residents attend Princeton Schools , a highly acclaimed school district with a 99% graduation rate. Elementary students currently attend Lacy Elementary which has a Great Schools ’ Rating of 9.


Homesite sizes has not been stated in any form so it would be safe to say they are likely small with a limited few premium lots available.


Homes start in the low-$200’s for 1500+ sf up to the high $250’s for 2,500+ sf making Trails at Riverstone a very affordable community.

Tax Rate

Trails at Riverstone is located in Collin County. Tax rate for this community for 2017 was 2.581946% with the largest portion going to the school district.

Taxing Entity

   Tax Rate

Princeton City


Collin County


Collin College


Princeton ISD


Total Tax Rate



Public Improvement District

This community is not in a Public Improvement District (PID).

By Mark Madria 07 Oct, 2017

When you buy a house, price negotiations is just the beginnings of negotiations; there are so many more opportunities beyond purchase price. In fact, they go all the way to Closing!

Earlier this summer my buyers found a house and paid top dollar for it. Their inspection revealed it needed a new roof. Seller agreed to file an insurance claim for the hail damage and a new roof was installed. This saved my client thousands of dollars in the cost of a new roof and reduced their cost of insurance as well.

Other buyers also had to pay top dollar to obtain a contract on their house and Sellers negotiated tough at every repair request, refusing to give much. So I gently mentioned three times to their agent that the house may not appraise for contract price but she would not discuss their position if it didn’t appraise. And, it did not appraise at Contract Price, but rather was $6,000 lower. This was what I was waiting for! We stood strong on this, giving up $1,200 in requested repairs to obtain $6,000 lower contract price.

In another case, we went to the final walk-thru day before Closing to make sure everything was still working correctly and found that it was 91o in the house. It was that hot outside! So I call the Listing Agent in hopes someone had stopped in and turned the thermostat up. That wasn’t the case so I contacted Cold Air AC (Richard Murtaugh 972-679-4072) and he was able to get it running again with a quote of $420 for repair. This wasn’t the Buyers’ fault; they didn’t even own the house yet. And, it must be in good working condition on the day of Closing for Home Warranty coverage to apply. As I mentioned, this was not the Buyers fault and it must be working prior to Closing and I was able to get this paid for too.

Negotiations is all about knowing your leverage, what is it that’s most important to your client, to the other party? At what point do you walk away? Sometimes having the right house is more important than the small amount of money you’re negotiating.

Home is where your story begins and once you’re in the home, your story begins anew. The most important thing to negotiate is the house itself, making sure you have the right house in the right neighborhood for you. All other negotiations are just bragging rights.

By Mark Madria 25 Aug, 2017
Join Brenda Patton this Saturday, August 26th from 12-2 PM and Sunday, August 27th from 2-4 PM for an open house in this traditional home.
By Mark Madria 28 Jul, 2017

One of our newest listings! Come and check out our open house event this weekend.

I'll be hosting Friday July 28th 4pm-6pm, 12pm-2pm on  Saturday July 29th, and my colleage will be there on Sunday the 30th from 12pm-2pm.

By Mark Madria 25 Jul, 2017

Richard Murtaugh, ColdAir A/C and Heating


Richard Murtaugh has owned and operated ColdAir A/C and Heating for as long as I’ve known him, almost 30 years now. Richard could grow ColdAir to a much larger organization but intentionally keeps his business at a level that he can manage with his family and do personal calls himself. He knows every one of his customers by name, where they live, how old their air conditioners are and he knows how expensive it is to replace an HVAC system. So he doesn’t.  Unless he can no longer fix your A/C, or somehow keep it running for you, only then will he suggest replacing the system.

That’s the amazing thing about Richard. He could make more money by changing out your HVAC or air conditioning unit but he will patch it for you instead to save you money, or at least keep you from spending thousands of dollars on a new unit until it’s absolutely necessary. When he can no longer fix it, yes, he will put in a new one.

Give Richard or Jessica a call at 972-972-679-4072 to service your unit before a disaster strikes; you’ll be glad you did.

By Mark Madria 22 Jul, 2017
Join Brenda Patton this Sunday, July 23rd from 2-4 PM for an open house in this exquisite house.
By Mark Madria 21 Jul, 2017

It’s time to get back to reviewing new home communities for my readers and this week I had the good fortune of visiting the DR Horton section of Valencia on the Lake in Little Elm. Other builders in this community are Cal-Atlantic , Dunhill and First Texas. It’s great to see Builders move back into the $300’s price range with their new communities and each of these builders have houses in that range.


This desirable community is located in the charming town of Little Elm near the 380 and 423 area. If you are going West on 380, turn left at 423 and then right at the first street. Go past Lakewood Elementary and you will have arrived at Valencia on the Lake. This section of town will soon have a new Kroger, Home Depot and many great places to shop and dine.


Enjoy lakeside resort style living at its best.   Living at Valencia on the Lake allows you to be outside on the walking trails, boating or enjoying the soon-to-be-built pool at the tip on the peninsula. Other amenities include a lakeside community center, tennis courts, sand volleyball and a ballroom. 


Children at Valencia on the Lake have the opportunity of attending Little Elm ISD and some sections have Denton ISD.


Valencia on the Lake has a range of homesites from 50’ wide to the larger 80’ wide sites and many with lake views.


Each builder has homes starting in the mid-low $300’s for 2,200+ sf up to the high $400’s for over 3k sf.

Tax Rate

Tax rate for this community is 3.2%

Public Improvement District

This community is a Public Improvement District (PID)

By Mark Madria 20 Jul, 2017

4 Signs Market is Cooling

Why do I think the market is slowing when the numbers aren’t really showing it yet? There are four sure signals not previously seen in four years.

1.       Agents in my office are asking why their listing hasn’t sold. Last summer this lament was heard only at the higher price points and now it’s being said at the lower price points. Just the other day an agent was asking why her $350,000 listing has been on the market for almost 60 days. And in April an agent with another brokerage lamented about his listing in McKinney, priced under $300,000, had not sold in two months on the market. And, to really cinch my belief this is happening, a well-known coach stated he has heard the same from some of his top clients across the nation.

2.      Builders of new construction are offering more incentives to buyers and dropping prices significantly. My inbox is flooded with messages from builders who have available inventory and discounted prices on existing specs. One builder in Frisco, with home prices in the upper $500’s - $700’s was dropping $60,000 and more off the price of inventory homes.  And, I’m seeing more new construction in the lower $300’s than previously. Two years ago it was nearly impossible to find new construction under $400,000 and builders offered no incentive or very little incentive to buyers. Negotiations at that time consisted of the builder saying this is the price; do you want it?

3.      Fewer multiple offers on houses. While it’s true that some properties are still seeing a large number of offers, that is not as prevalent as it was two years ago. Now it’s likely there isn’t multiple offers on a house, and when there is it may be just two or three offers. That hasn’t always been true but today many houses are sitting longer on the market and may not receive multiple offers.

4.      There is lesser talk about new jobs being created. For several years now if people weren’t talking about how hard it is to get a house, they were talking about the constantly increasing jobs market. And rightfully so. DFW has seen the addition of 100k+ jobs per year from 2012 to 2015 but 2016 didn’t see the same increase in jobs creation. According to an article in D Magazine’s July edition, 2016 new jobs created only equaled about 88,000 for our area.

Very soon we should be seeing data showing houses staying on the market a little longer, even in the lower price points. Does this mean prices will start rolling back? Absolutely not! It means that there’s finally available housing to choose from.

More Posts
Share by: