There’s nothing shy about Big Tex, the official greeter of the biggest family entertainment event of the year, the State Fair of Texas.
The Texas State Fair has been a major source of entertainment for millions of visitors, and has been a contributor to economic growth in north Texas for over 125 year. So, here we go again!
Gear up for giant mechanical man (Big Tex), fried food of every description, exhibits, entertainers and of course the midway rides and games. There’s something for everyone, from gardening enthusiasts to hot rod fans.
This year the State Fair runs from September 28 to October 21, 2012 and as always, it’s at Fair Park in Dallas.
Fried everything — food is a major component of the State Fair.
Every year there’s a friendly food fight like no other, between the Texas State Fair concessionaires for the coveted Big Tex Choice Awards for the Most Creative and Best Taste fried whatever. And it’s official. Organizers actually registered the claim ® that the State Fair is the FRIED FOOD CAPITAL OF TEXAS®. Who can argue? These are the creative minds that gave us fried bubble gum and fried beer!
Best Taste: Deep Fried Jambalaya
Most Creative: Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll
Don’t miss a single fried delicacy — it’s a long time until the next State Fair.
Happy 60th Birthday, Big Tex
The iconic Big Tex has been welcoming visitors to the State Fair of Texas for 60 years. Enjoy this quick time lapse of the process of lifting Big Tex into his royal position overseeing the State Fair. Let’s give a big YouTube thanks to Mr. Holga, a staff art reporter and walkabout photographer for Dallas Art News.
On a side note, it normally rains a lot during the fair. We’re hopeful this year will bring some much-needed drought relief, but not at the expense of fair goers. Enjoy! — N. Wall
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, HOAs are here to stay.
Nearly 5 million people in Texas, or 20% of all homes, are in a Homeowners Association. The percentage is much higher in Collin County, where HOAs are the norm, due to our rapid growth and Planned Unit Developments over the last two decades.
For years there has been a power struggle between homeowners and HOAs. But new laws went into effect this year to give property owners more rights about use of their property.
Here are five property-related upgrades that the HOA can no longer prevent homeowners from doing:
- Installing a solar-energy device on the property.
- Installing and use of rain-harvesting devices.
- Displaying certain religious items on the entry of the property.
- Installing roof shingles that are wind and/or hail resistant, energy efficient, or solar generating.
- Flying the U.S., Texas, or a branch of the U.S. armed forces flag.
Bravo! Of course the HOA may place parameters on these rights.
Other big changes for the HOA takes on the charges and credits, how they can be applied and what the HOA is allowed to use as a basis for foreclosure.
Non-judicial HOA foreclosures are now prohibited. To foreclose, HOAs must use “expedited foreclosure” procedures to obtain a court order.
Learn more in this May 2012 article in Texas REALTORS® “Taming the HOA”
HOAs serve a purpose, that being to keep uniformity in the community, which helps keep up property values. They often care for common areas, community pools, recreational trails, tennis courts and open areas. I don’t want to confront my neighbor about his unsightly yard art or paint color — I’ll gladly pay the HOA to keep the community in line, fences stained, weeds pulled.
But don’t forget they are controlled by the homeowners — only IF the homeowners take control and get involved.
And keep your yard trimmed!
Norma Wall – 214-212-6770
Plano TX, in the heart of Collin County, is ranked #1 among America’s Safest Cities by Forbes Magazine. We always knew that Plano was a great place to live and raise a family – now Forbes confirms it.
Looking for safe cities in which to live? A recent study may help you.
Titled “America’s Safest Cities“, Forbes Magazine compiled data from more than 70 cities with populations of 250,000 or more, and ranked them by violent crime rate as reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
A “violent crime” is one that can be categorized as murder, robbery, and assault, among others. Then, for each metropolis, local traffic-fatality rates were added to the area’s violent crime rate, and averaged into the data.
Forbes presents the 10 safest large cities in America as :
- Plano, Texas
- Henderson, Nevada
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Santa Ana, California
- Lincoln, Nebraska
- San Jose, California
- Mesa. Arizona
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Aurora, Colorado
- New York, New York
Forbes is quick to note that “gridlocked” traffic patterns help keep cities safe; which may explain why cities like Honolulu and New York City made the Top 10. When cars are forced to move more slowly, the report states, traffic-related fatalities tend to plummet.
Don’t rush to make a home-buying decision based on Forbes data alone, however. Like everything else in real estate, data is local and city-wide statistics are too broad to be helpful to an everyday buyer.
For accurate, real-time, local crime data, call me to connect with a real estate professional to help you evaluate Plano, and other North Central Texas cities
Norma Wall, Broker 214-212-6770 – start your Home Search here.
Plano is home to 261,000 people and has long been recognized as a family-friendly community. High-ranking schools, excellent parks and recreation areas, outstanding employment and city planning, give Plano bragging rights as one of the premier North Texas cities. For more information and lifestyle profile, review our Focus on Plano.
By Norma Wall, Broker
Finally! A story about adverse possession that I can support. No — I can applaud!
A couple moved into a $200,000 home in Tarrant County in late July without buying it.
Who do you think will ultimately pay the price for this criminal act? Only everybody!
This is not a victimless crime.
Every person who is struggling to make ends meet are the victim.
Every person who is trying to put together a mortgage loan to buy a home is the victim.
As long as this behavior is not corrected or punished it will continue and everyone else will pay the price – somehow.
The offending couple now faces burglary charges.
Vacant properties are the target. Some homeowners abandon their property when faced with foreclosure. The property is then exposed to opportunist who break into the house, take possession and set up housekeeping, and justify their actions by taking advantage of legal loopholes or outdated laws. They move into the property — as though they have earned the right to do so!
I’m glad to see more aggressive action against this type of crime. Thank you Tarrant County for taking action!
BusinessWeek recently released its 2011 America’s Best Place to Raise a Family rankings. College-town Blacksburg, Virginia took top honors, breaking a 2-year win streak for the Chicago, Illinois region.
For Texas the publication named San Marcos, the college town south of Austin.
In 2009, suburban Mount Prospect, Illinois placed first. Last year, it was Tinley Park, Illinois.
The BusinessWeek report employs data from real estate information firm Onboard Informatics to make its rankings, compiling data across categories such as education, crime, and jobs plus access to parks and affordable homes. All selections are limited by population; all selections are home to 50,000 residents or fewer. Median incomes are within 20 percent — plus or minus — of the state’s median income levels.
BusinessWeek names one winner in each state. The winners in the 10 most populous states and their nearest “big city” are listed below
- California : East San Gabriel (Los Angeles)
- Texas : Wells Branch (Austin)
- New York : Hampton Manor (Albany)
- Florida : Niceville (Fort Walton Beach)
- Illinois : Morton Grove (Chicago)
- Pennsylvania : Cecil-Bishop (Pittsburgh)
- Ohio : St. Henry (Dayton)
- Michigan : Spring Arbor (Jackson)
- Georgia : Hoschton (Atlanta)
- North Carolina : Tryon (Spartanburg, SC)
The winners in all 50 states can be found on the BusinessWeek website.
Rankings like the BusinessWeek America’s Best Place to Raise a Family can be useful for home buyers , but like everything in real estate, statistics do not apply to every home equally. Even within the “best towns”, there are areas in which school systems are better, crime figures are lower, and amenities are more plentiful.
Before you make the decision to buy a home, talk with a real estate agent who has local market knowledge. It’s the most effective means to get data that matters to you.
We specialize in Dallas and Collin County in North Central Texas and our new office in Austin – Call me anytime – Norma Wall, Broker, 214-212-6770