5th Best Place To Live In DFW Also Has Magnificent Gardens!

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D Magazine voted the city of Murphy the 2014 5th best place to live in Dallas-Ft. Worth for its neighborhoods, schools and quality of life. I want to add another category: Gardens!

Look at Murphy in bloom! These gorgeous stargazers lilies are from the Leflett family garden who live in  Maxwell Creeks. These lilies are so vibrant and beautiful.  Did you know that the pink stargazer represents wealth and prosperity and are a sign of aspiration? More pink stargazers for me! Thanks to the Leflett family for sharing.

There is plenty to be seen in Maxwell Creek. Not only are the flowers radiant, but the veggies are growing strong, too. My next stop was a few doors down where I had a great visit with my Maxwell Creek neighbor and fellow gardener, Kara, and her family. She has a growing vegetable garden which features tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, a variety of hot peppers, cucumbers, squash, garlic and, my favorite from her garden, the beautiful purple hull pea.

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Kara turned a problem area in her backyard into the perfect spot for one of her two gardens. She cleaned the area and placed a nice garden box in the location. This might be an idea for those you who are trying to decide where to build your garden. Look for an unexpected location with lots of sunlight for your beds.

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As Kara showed me her garden, we were lucky to see a busy bee pollinating blooms. Ahhh, the plant life cycle continues…

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…and I will continue to feature magnificent Murphy gardens.  If you would like your garden to be represented, please email me at http://www.dawnredmond@ebby.com

Stay tuned for next week’s gardens.

Calling all green thumbs!

I want to showcase your gardens and best gardening tips on MurphyintheMiddle.com.

Each spring I look forward to planting my small garden.  I am no “pro” by any means, but I enjoy my annual commune with the earth.  Last year, I had a terrible time with my garden.  I planted my usual bounty, watered it regularly, but I had very little to show for my efforts.  It was so bad, I made this video.    

 This year I used my smarts and built a fence around the darn thing and elevated all of my potted plants. While I do have a rabbit that likes to hide behind the garden, he can’t get to it!

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Thanks to the fence and the much needed rain, I actually have a harvest this year.  I know I could have purchased the entire produce section at Sprouts for what I have spent on this garden, but I don’t mind.  I feel victorious every time I pick a ripened gem.

My cucumbers are little deformed, but they taste great.  I just slice them and add a little salt to these babies.

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 The grape tomatoes are so sweet.  I have been popping them in my mouth like they are Tic Tacs.  I am trying keep get enough of them at one time so that I can cut them in half, stuff them with a little feta cheese, broil them a bit then drizzle with balsamic vinegar. YUMM-O!

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 I also have Big Boy Tomatoes.  But like a big boys, they take a long time to mature…(insert laughter here).

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 For the first time, I am growing okra.  I don’t know what to make with the okra as it is not my favorite, I have learned that I like them grilled with a little olive oil.  Any ideas are welcomed.

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 The fresh basil and oregano make me want to cook Italian dishes every night.

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 HELP!  For the first time, I have been able to keep the squash plant alive and blooming.  Sadly, I haven’t had a single squash.  Nor has the poblano pepper plant given me one baby.  Any ideas or suggestions?

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 Enough about my Murphy garden.  How is your’s doing? Tell me your garden story and share photos so that I can share it with others.

Maxwell Creek Easter Egg Hunt

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Please join us Saturday morning, April 19th at 10:00 a.m. for our annual Easter Egg Hunt.

We have over 2,000 eggs!

We will meet at the soccer field behind the clubhouse and swimming pool for the hunt and then return to the clubhouse for refreshments and passing out the prizes.

We still need help with setting up, cleaning up and putting out the eggs.

If you can help, please email: mcnsocial@yahoo.com

See you there!

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Collin County Inventory, Sales Prices Up in October

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The numbers show that listings and sales prices are increasing, while pending sales remain steady and days on market decrease based on comparing numbers from October numbers from 2012 and 2013.

What does this mean for sellers? List now. Buyers are looking for homes to buy and they will make decisions quickly. Buyers should see more choices, but can expect to pay more as our market stabilizes from this summer’s hot market.

Susan G. Komen 3-Day this weekend!

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Good Luck to everyone, especially my Murphy area friends, who are participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day!  What you are doing is so admirable and I thank you for raising funds and awareness for this cause.   Have fun this weekend!

http://www.the3day.org/site/PageServer?pagename=learn_about_cityl_DF_landing

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PSAPSA (Plano Sports Authority) is set to open in Murphy on Friday, November 1st!

Murphy is opening the doors to an 85,000 square foot athletic facility in just over a week!  There will be basketball, volleyball, soccer and football arenas.  The builders did a wonderful job to have the facility match the Murphy style with its beautiful exterior and landscaping.  Maybe we can all join an adult league….who’s in?

Taxes: How Much Money will Uncle Sam get from you in 2013?

I get  confused when it comes income taxes. So, when someone makes it easy for me to understand tax changes, he or she becomes a friend for life.

Bill Smothermon of Brosowske Mares Smothermon & Co. sent out a great tax newsletter that helped clarify the new tax guidelines. I thought I would share with you a table that breaks down some key changes that will impact your tax returns next year so that you can start planning now.

If you have questions about the guidelines or need help with your tax planning, don’t call me…call Bill at 972-392-2727. Tell him Dawn Redmond sent you!
Key 2013 Tax Information

Item 2013 2012 Change
Maximum income tax rate 39.6% 35.0% +4.5%
Maximum Medicare tax rate 2.35% 1.45% +0.9%
Social Security employee rate 6.2% 4.2% +2.0%
Max Dividend/Capital Gain rate 20% 15% +5.0%
Personal Exemption $3,900 $3,800 +$100
Standard Deductions
Single $6,100 $5,950 +$150
Joint or Qualifying Widow 12,200 11,900 +$300
Head of Household 8,950 8,700 +$250
Married Filing Separate 6,100 5,950 +$150
Elderly/Blind: Married Add $1,200 Add $1,150 +$50
Elderly/Blind: Unmarried Add $1,500 Add $1,450 +$50
Key Credits
Child Tax Credit $1,000 $1,000
Adoption Credit $12,970 $12,650 +$320
Lifetime Learning Credit $2,000 $2,000
American Opportunity Credit $2,500 $2,500
Savers Credit $1,000 $1,000
Retirement Plan Contributions
Traditional IRA $5,500 $5,000 +$500
(age 50+ catchup) Add $1,000 Add $1,000
Roth IRA $5,500 $5,000 +$500
(age 50+ catchup) Add $1,000 Add $1,000
401(k), 403(b), 457 & SARSEP 17,500 17,000 +$500
(age 50+ catchup) Add $5,500 Add $5,500
SIMPLE IRA $12,000 $11,500 +$500
(age 50+ catchup) Add $2,500 Add $2,500
Mileage Rates
Business 56.5¢/mile 55.5¢/mile +1¢
Medical/Moving 24.0¢/mile 23.0¢/mile +1¢
Charitable 14.0¢/mile 14.0¢/mile
Section 179 $500,000 $500,000
Property limit $2 million $2 million
Other Information
Tuition and Fees Deduction $2,000 $2,000
Medical Itemized Deduction AGI Threshold
(7.5% in 2013 for 65 and older) 10.0% 7.5% +2.5%

Murphy ranked among the best small towns by Money Magazine

Murphy homeowners are smart shoppers! The city was ranked #27 on  Money Magazine’s 2011 list of the 100 best small towns to live in the US . The towns were selected based on “great job opportunities, top-notch schools, safe streets, economic strength, nice weather, plenty to do, and more” according to the magazine article. Readers have the opportunity to vote for their favorite small town by “fanning” the city’s Facebook page.

My family initially elected to live in Murphy because of the green space,  decent schools, moderate home prices and cultural diversity. The city has grown since in the six years we have been here and now offers many desirable amenities such as a variety of restaurants and nearby shopping. I still call it DFW’s best kept secret.

Other Texas small towns listed include The Colony (#68), Cibolo (#77), Wells Branch (#92) and Keller (#93).

Here is a link to the story: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2011/index.html

2011 Maxwell Creek Easter Egg Hunt

One of the strongest attributes of Maxwell Creek is that it is a family-friendly community with plenty of kids. The Easter Egg Hunt is always a big hit for residents and a great way to kick off the Easter weekend.

Dawninthehood was on the scene to capture this year’s hunt on April 23rd. The Egg Hunt committee, headed by Maxwell Creek neighbor Shelly Johnson, put on quite a “hoppin” event which included 2500 eggs and a special visit from the Easter Bunny.

See it here:

Maxwell Creek for sale, under contract, sold! – updated 3/16/2011

Maxwell Creek housing inventory at a glance

New to the market

Seven homes are new to the market since my February 21st update; one has already gone under contract!

400 Parkside is back on the market after being taken off the market back in October 2010. With its new list price of $244,900, a $40,000 drop from its original $289,900 in June of 2010, this home has positioned itself to sell.

522 Creekside is back on the market after being under contract. This “for sale by owner” property has the longest days on market of 232 days. The list price is still $250,000.

233 Crepe Myrtle is back on the market at a new sales price of $275,000. This home has nice swimming pool and shows relatively well. I suspect the new lower sales price will interest buyers who want a pool.

506 Royal Oak Drive ($290,000), 439 Teagarden CT ($306,900)and 637 Sundown Way ($329,500) are new to the market at bat-your-eye prices.

Under contract

528 Chalk Hill is technically new to market since my last update, however this listing went under contract in 16 days. Way to go my fellow Ebby agent! This home is great of example of price, location and condition helping a home to sell in the least amount of time.

634 Waters Edge Way is still pending

Sold!

705 Twin Valley sold for $179,900

809 Morningside Trail sold for $257,500

521 Wildwood Drive sold for $270,900

510 Wildwood Drive sold for $347,303

 For a market analysis of the Maxwell Creek Community, click  For Sale3.16.11

(This information is my professional opinion and not that of my Broker Ebby Halliday Realtors, Inc. and is not meant to solicit houses under contract by other brokers)