Allen Parks and Trails

 

The Allen Parks and Trails maps shows over 700 acres of city parks and recreational facilities.

The City of Allen classifies parks into four categories:  neighborhood parks, community park, greenbelts and special usage parks.

 

 

Allen Parks and Trails Classification

 

Neighborhood parks are generally under 10 acres and serve people within a 1/2 mile to 1 mile radius of the park. Community parks can be up to 150 acres and offer more passive and active activities.  Celebration Park is classified as a Community park.  Specific activities such as swimming, golf, or sports are deemed special use parks.  Greenbelt are 100 foot walking trails designed around a natural habit such as a creek or wooded area.

Allen Parks and Trails  Recreational Centers

 

Allen has 7 major recreational centers:   Joe Farmer Recreational Center,  Ford Pool, Allen Senior Recreational Center,  Allen Community Ice Rink, Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium, The Edge Visitor Center and The Courses at Watters Creek.

Upcoming Allen Parks and Trails Additions and Updates

Spirit Park

Design of Phase I of the community park is complete and includes a lighted adult softball complex with parking, restroom facilities, multi-use fields, looped pedestrian trail, nature trails and playground

Moslen Farm

Moslen Farm is a 14-16 acre tract located west of Greenville Avenue and south of Ridgemont Drive. Plans   include a permanent tree farm, community gardens, prairie habitat restoration areas, pond enhancements, soft surface trails, day camping and a potential site for an environmental education center. Molsen Farm also has a trail connection between Plano to the east and the west side of U.S. Highway 75.

Historic Water Station

Allen’s Historic Water Station features an interpretive trail through Allen’s historic Houston and Texas Central Railway Water Station within Allen Station Park.  The project includes preservation of the existing historic features, including Allen’s 1873 Old Stone Dam and water tower foundations, interpretative trails and signage, overlooks, enhanced trail access, trail head improvements off of Cedar Drive and minor landscape improvements.

Green Park

Green Park, located at Alma and Comanche drive, will soon be updated with a themed playground. The design includes a fire fighter themed play structure for older children, a police officer themed structure for younger children, a play ambulance, and swings.

Allen Heritage Village

Allen Heritage Village is a re-creation of the Allen of the 1920s and 1930s. This collection of structures includes the original St. Mary Church ,  Allen Christian Church  and The Bolin House.  All are beautifully renovated and available to rent for weddings and special events.   Recent updates include additional parking, lighting and  restrooms.

 

Allen Parks and Trails Public Art

In addition to the 700 acres of parks and recreational facilities, the City of Allen also has a Public Art Program . Throughout the city there are on site-specific artwork with opportunities for hands-on encounters with art.   The Public Art Program began in 2005 with the cities first Public Art Plan.  It was later approved by the citizens of Allen in 2007.

As the city of Allen grows,  the Public Art Committee is tasked with identifying future art projects that align with the Public Art Master Plan.   For each project identified by the Public Art Committee, a subcommittee is formed to recommend the selection of an artist or artwork.   The subcommittee if formed from a pool of citizen volunteers.  Find out more about the application and selection process here.

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), announced Allen Parks & Recreation as the winner for the 2016 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.

 

 

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City of Allen Tax Rebates and Incentives

City of Allen Tax Rebates and Incentives

 

The City of Allen tax rebates  to help conserve water.

 

Allen Tax Rebate for H2O Home Improvement

 

The City of Allen has partnered with the EPA WaterSense to help Allen residents conserve water. Therefore, the City is  offering a H2O home Improvement Rebate Program.  Because the Allen tax rebate offerings are subject to yearly budget restraints and can be put on hold if budget is consumed.  So it is important to act quickly!

 

 

Fill out this form and I will send you a rebate form

 

Check Out the New McKinney Apex Centre

Check Out the New McKinney Apex Centre

 

McKinney Apex Centre is McKinney’s New Aquatics and Fitness Facility

McKinney Parks and Recreation opened  the state of the art 80,000 square feet McKinney Apex Center on March 1, 2017. The aquatic and fitness center cost over 36 million dollars to build and is one of  the most expensive facility of its kind in North Texas.  The  McKinney Apex Centre is called the Apex Centre because it rises above the Gabe Nesbitt Community Park.

The McKinney Apex Centre features a  gymnasium, an elevated track, babysitting, classrooms, locker rooms, Lifefitness machines, a weight room, and basketball courts.  There is also an outdoor leisure pool with over 10,000 square feet of surface water.

The fitness part of the Apex Centre will offer group classes in cardio, core, flexibility and stability.  Furthermore, some of the group classes will:

  • Zumba
  • Pilates
  • Spin (Utilizing the Spivi system)
  • Yoga
  • Step
  • Water Aerobics

Personal trainers are available for an additional fee.  In addition, various sports classes will be available as well. Some classes will require an additional fee, such as BOGAfit.

In additional, the McKinney Apex Center will feature an indoor leisure pool, an indoor competition pool, an indoor water slide and an outdoor water park.

The Apex Centre also has numerous opportunities to host parties, weddings, reunions and other types of receptions and gatherings throughout the year.

The Apex Centre is located at  3003 Alma Rd, McKinney, TX  75070 which is within the Gabe Nesbitt Community Park.

Operating Hours (Once Open)
Monday – Thursday – 4:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday – 4:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday – 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday – 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Yearly Membership Fees

Resident  Adult $500, Family $700, Youth and Senior $300

Non-Resident  Adult $600, Family $850, Youth and Senior $400

Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium

Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium

 

Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium is over 5000 square feet and features a 25 person group exercise room and a free- weight room.   Cybex strength machines, Matrix cardio machines and the FitLinx system are also available.     Fitlinx records and stores each exercise to measure the user’s progress.   The FitLinx program is free for all members.

The group exercise classes include Zumba, Pilates, Core Fitness, cardio drumming, Roden-Barre Classes and individual personal training.    Or, individuals can climb the 24 foot high by 18 foot wide indoor rock climbing wall.

In addition to the other group exercise programs, the Natatorium offers the national Silver Sneakers Fitness® program.    By encouraging physical activity, the program helps older adults gain more control of their health. Silver Sneakers classes are free for  Silver Sneakers members.  Non-Silver Sneakers members can attend with an aerobic punch card.

Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium

The main indoor pool is over 7000 square feet.   The pool is separated into two 25 meter by 25 yard competition swim areas.  Each area has a 1 meter diving board.  Other pool features includes a play structure, a flume slide, a lazy river and a spa.   In addition, here is a zero depth entry and shallow play area for younger children,

In addition the public open swim times, the natatorium offers small class swim lessons and American Red Cross certification classes.   Room rentals are available for birthday parties and special events.

Water fitness classes are a popular low-impact physical exercise program.  These classes focus on flexibility, endurance, strength, and coordination.   Moreover, the classes eliminate stress on the joints and the back.

Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium Special Events

Dine in Movies are held April through October for children over 3 years old.

Children dive under water to hunt for eggs during the Under the Sea Easter Adventure.    Every player receives a “goodie bag” for playing.

Other specialty classes include beginner diving classes, group adapted swim lessons, and competitive stroke boot camp.

Additional features in the natatorium include a multi-purpose room, bleachers, and locker rooms.  In addition, there is a covered outdoor patio, a conference room and a family changing area.

Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium Hours of Operations

 

Monday – Thursday, 5 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Friday, 5 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Saturday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday, 1 – 6 p.m.

Call 214-509-4770 for more information.   Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium is part of The Allen Parks and Recreation Department.

Located at 110 Rivercrest Blvd, Allen, TX 75002.

1212 Sanderson in Allen is an Awesome Buy

1212 Sanderson in Allen is an Awesome Buy

1212 Sanderson in Allen is an awesome buy.   Moreover, this home is a bargain at $285,000 but that is not the only reason why this 2312 square foot one story home located in Shadow Lakes is such an awesome buy.   

1212 Sanderson in Allen is an Awesome Buy because it has a Pool and Spa

The first reason 1212 Sanderson in Allen is an awesome buy is because the current owner has taken great care of the pool and spa.  The pool equipment has been recently replaced and multi-colored lighting has been installed.

 

1212 Sanderson in Allen has an open One Story Floorpan

The home is over 2300 square feet which is very large for one story home in Allen, TX.   When you enter the home you will find elegant stacked formal living and dining rooms to your right and large study to your right.  The study can also be used as a fourth bedroom.   The secondary bedrooms are “split” from the master bedroom with the family separating the bedrooms.     The master bedroom is located to the rear of the home which maximizes privacy and allows for a great view of the pool.

 

Massive Amounts of Upgrades and Updates

There is no carpet in the home.  None.   Not anywhere.   Hardwood flooring and ceramic tiles are the only flooring in the home.   The kitchen has been updated with stainless steel appliances, a ceramic surface cooktop, a very deep stainless steel sink, new lighting and fresh paint and thicker than average granite countertops.   Both bathrooms have updated vanities, vanity mirrors and lighting fixtures.

Allen School District

The Allen Independent School district is one of the highest  rated school districts in Collin County. Student enrollment has more than doubled since 1989, bringing the current number of students to more than 20,780 in grades K-12.  Currently the district has 17 elementary schools, three middle schools, one freshman center and one high school.   Residents of Shadow Lakes go to Story Elementary, Ford Middle School, Lowery Freshman Center and Allen High School.

Walking Distance to Bethany Creek Park

This is an incredible park!    It is the home of the Allen Veteran’s Memorial and the Joe Farmer Recreation Center.   The park itself has 4 catch and release pond,  hiking and biking trails, a play area, sports courts and tons of picnic areas.

For more information about this home or if you would like a private showing, please contact Diana Clary, Keller Williams Allen at 214-263-3711.

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Increase Your Home’s Appeal

Increase Your Home’s Appeal

 

Increase your home’s appeal so that it makes a great first impression.   Remember the 60-second rule: You only have 60 seconds  to create a winning first impression.  Here are some simple ways to maximize your home’s appeal.

 

Increase Your Home’s Appeal on the Exterior

 

* Keep the grass cut and remove all yard clutter.
* Weed and apply fresh mulch to flower beds.
* Apply fresh paint to wooden fences.
* Tighten and clean all door handles.
* Clean windows inside and out.
* Powerwash home’s exterior.
* Ensure all gutters and downspouts are firmly attached and functioning.
* Paint the front door.
* Buy a new welcome mat.
* Place potted flowers near the front door.

 

Increase Your Home’s Appeal on the Interior

 

* Evaluate the furniture in each room and remove anything that interrupts “the flow” or makes the room appear smaller. Consider renting a storage unit to move items off-site.
* Clean and organize cabinets, closets and bookshelves.
* Clean all light fixtures and ceiling fans.
* Shampoo carpets.
* Remove excessive wall hangings and knick-knacks.  De-clutter.  Then, de-clutter again.
* Repair all plumbing leaks, including faucets and drain traps.
* Make minor repairs (torn screens, sticking doors, cracked caulking).
* Clean or paint walls and ceilings.
* Replace worn cabinet and door knobs.
* Fix or replace discolored grout.
* Replace broken tiles.
* Replace worn countertops.

 

Increase Your Home’s appeal with Special Details 

 

* Turn on all the lights.
* Open all drapes and shutters in the daytime.
* Keep pets secured outdoors.
* Buy new towels for bathrooms.
* Buy new bedding for bedrooms.
* Replace old lamps or lampshades.
* Play quiet background music.
* Light the fireplace or clean out the ashes and light a candelabrum.
* Add a comforting scent, such as apple spice or vanilla.
* Set the dining room table for a fancy dinner party.
* Be sure to Vacate the property while it is being shown.

Factors that Affect the Sale of Your Home

Factors that Affect the Sale of Your Home

 

There are many factors that affect the sale of a home.   However, the seller is only able to control three of these factors:

Factors that Affect the Sale of a Home that a Seller Can Control

* The home’s condition
* Asking price
* Marketing strategy

 

However, it’s important to note that there are numerous other factors that influence a buyer.  Furthermore, it’s important that understand consumer trends when you enter into a  sellers’ market.  The more your home matches these qualifications, the more competitive it will be in the marketplace. Your real estate agent will advise you on how to best position and market your home.

 

Factors that Affect the Sale of a Home that a Seller Cannot Control

 

Location

The home’s location is the  most influential factor in determining a home’s appeal to a  buyer and it is something that a seller can’t control.  According to the National Association of REALTORS, neighborhood quality is the top reason  buyers choose certain homes. The second most influential factor is commute times to work and school.

Size

While some buyers want to simplify their lives and downsize to a smaller home, home sizes in general have continued to increase over the decades.   Home sizes have nearly doubled in size since the 1950s. Smaller homes typically appeal to first-time home buyers and  “empty nesters”,   Whereas, homes with more bedrooms and larger yards typically appeal to “move up” buyers with growing families.

Amenities

Preferences in floor plans and amenities go in and out of fashion, and your real estate agent can inform you of the “hot ticket” items that buyers are willing to pay more for.  If your home lacks certain features, you can renovate to increase its appeal.   However, that may not always be the right move.  An experienced real estate agent  will help you determine whether the investment is likely to help or hinder your profit margin and time on the market.

Good Seller’s Etiquette

Good Seller’s Etiquette

When your house goes on the market, you’re not only opening the door to prospective buyers, but also sometimes to unknown vendors and naive or unqualified buyers.

As with any business transaction, there is an expected protocol to how sellers, buyers and their respective agents interact. Should you find yourself in a sticky situation, let  your agent know.  Your agent can address the issue and remedy the problem.

Here are a few suggestions on how to you can begin using good seller’s etiquette to handle these situations.

 

The aggressive agent

When your house is on the market, all promotional materials state clearly that your agent is the primary contact for buyers and buyers’ agents.  However, sometimes a buyer’s agent will contact a seller directly.    This is not reputable behavior.  Let your agent know immediately if it happens to you.

The unscrupulous vendor

Have you ever moved and suddenly found your mailbox full of junk mail?  Unfortunately, this also can happen when you put your house on the market.  When you sell your home, there may be various purchasing decisions.  Sometimes  less-than-ethical vendors will take advantage of this.  Though MLS organizations enforce rules on how posted information is used, some companies have found ways to produce mass mailing lists.   If you think your address was sold, let your agent know.

The naive buyer

Yard signs, Internet listings and other advertisements can generate a lot of buzz for your home. Some prospective buyers – particularly first-timers – might be so excited to see your home that they’ll simply drop by.  If this happens, no matter how nice these unexpected visitors are, it’s best not to humor their enthusiasm by discussing your home or giving an impromptu tour.  Instead, politely let them know that your real estate agent is in charge of scheduling tours and provide them with the agent’s contact information.  If you attempt to handle these surprise visits on your own, you might inadvertently disclose information that could hurt you during negotiations down the road.

Price To Sell and Still Make A Profit

Price To Sell and Still Make A Profit

 

Price to sell and still make a profit is one of the biggest concerns that homeowners have when listing their home for sale. The asking price you set for your home significantly affects whether you will profit in the sale, how much you will profit and how long your home will sit on the market.

My knowledge of the overall market and what’s selling – or not selling – will be invaluable in helping you determine the price. My  objective is to find a price that the market will bear but won’t leave money on the table.

Price to Sell Points to Consider

 

Time. Time is not on your side when it comes to real estate. Although many factors influence the outcome, perhaps time is the biggest determinant in whether or not you see a profit and how much you profit. Studies show that the longer a house stays on the market, the less likely it is to sell for the original asking price.

Therefore, if your goal is to make money, think about a price that will encourage buyer activity (read: fair market value).

 

Value vs. Cost. Pricing your home to sell in a timely fashion requires some objectivity. It’s important that you not confuse value with cost – in other words, how much you value your home versus what buyers are willing to pay for it.

Don’t place too much emphasis on home improvements when calculating your price, because buyers may not share your taste. For instance, not everyone wants hardwood floors or granite countertops.

 

Keep it simple. Because time is of the essence, make it easy for the buyers. Remain flexible on when your agent can schedule showings. Also, avoid putting contingencies on the sale. Though a desirable move-in date makes for a smoother transition between homes, it could cause you to lose the sale altogether.

10 Questions You Should Ask Your Realtor

10 Questions You Should Ask Your Realtor

Here are 10 questions you should ask your realtor before signing the dotted line.    .

Are you a full-time professional real estate agent?

How long have you worked full time in real estate?  How long have you been representing buyers? What professional designations do you have?
Knowing whether or not your agent practices full time can help you determine potential scheduling conflicts and his or her commitment to your transaction.  As with any profession, the number of years a person has been in the business does not necessarily reflect the level of service you can expect, but it is a good starting point for your discussion. The same issue can apply to professional designations.

Do you have a personal assistant, team or staff to handle different parts of the purchase?

What are their names and how will each of them help me in my transaction?  How do I communicate with them?It is not uncommon for agents who sell a lot of houses to hire people to work with them.  As their businesses grow, they must be able to deliver the same or higher quality service to more people. You may want to know who on the team will take part in your transaction, and what role each person will play.  You may even want to meet the other team members before you decide to work with the team.  If you have a question about fees on your closing statement, who would handle that?   Who will show up to your closing?

Do you have a Website?

Can I have your URL address? Who responds to emails and how quickly? What’s your email address?
Many buyers prefer to search online for homes because it’s available 24 hours a day and can be done at home. So you want to make sure your home is listed online, either on the agent’s Website or on their company’s site. By searching your agent’s Website you will get a clear picture of how much information is available online.

How will you keep in contact with me during the selling process, and how often?

Some agents may email, fax or call you daily to tell you that visitors have toured your home, while others will keep in touch weekly. Asking this question can help you to reconcile your needs with your agent’s systems.

What do you do that other agents don’t that ensures I’m getting top dollar for my home?

What is your average market time versus other agents’ average market time?
A real estate professional’s unique method of research and delivery can make the difference between selling quickly or lanquishing on the market.   For example, an agent might research the demographics of your neighborhood and present you a target market list for direct marketing purposes.

Will you give me names of past clients?

Interview an agent like you would interview a potential employee.  Contacting references can be a reliable way for you to understand how he or she works, and whether or not this style is compatible with your own.

Do you have a performance guarantee?

What happens if I am not satisfied with your performance?

In the heavily regulated world of real estate, it is almost impossible for an agent to offer a performance guarantee. If your agent does not have a guarantee, it does not mean they are not committed to high standards. Typically, he or she will verbally outline what you can expect from their performance.  Keller Williams Realty Allen understands the importance of win-win business relationships: the agent does not benefit if the client does not also benefit.

How are you paid?

How are your fees structured? May I have that in writing?

In many areas, the seller pays all agent commissions.  Some agents charge other administrative or special service fees that are charged to clients, regardless of whether they are buying or selling. Be aware of the big picture prior to signing any agreements.  Furthermore, ask for an estimate of costs from any agent you contemplate employing.

How would you develop pricing strategies for our home?

Although location and condition affect the selling process, price is the primary factor in determining if a home sells quickly, or at all.  Access to current property information is essential, and sometimes a pre-appraisal will help.  Ask your agent how they created the market analysis, and whether your agent included For Sale by Owner homes, foreclosed homes and bank-owned sales in that list.

What will you do to sell my home?

Who pays for your advertising?  Ask your real estate agent to give you a clear plan of how marketing and advertising dollars will be spent.  If there are other forms of marketing available but not specified in the plan ask who pays for those.  Request samples or case studies of the types of marketing strategies that your agent proposes (such as Internet Websites, print magazines, open houses, and local publications).