Friday, May 25, 2007

Day 2 Looking at Houses

Day 2 (Thursday) we started out looking for houses in Coppell and Frisco.

We toured Coppell and it really wasn't what we were looking for. It was a little out of our price range and it was mostly really big homes, or smaller homes. We took a long drive through Coppell and saw some sights around it to get an idea of what other areas around it was like.

After lunch we went and toured Frisco.

Here's house #1 from Frisco.

  • Nice outside of house
  • Outside pool with palm trees - love that.
  • Nice colors inside
  • Close enough to highway to hear it AND see it.
  • Inside was a bit older looking. House was built in 97. Most of the houses we've been looking at have been built in 99 and newer.
  • Wasn't impressed with the neighborhood - smaller and larger houses mixed in.

Frisco - House 2

Here's house #2 from Frisco.

Loved the front.

Loved that across the street was a green belt with a stream.


  • I REALLY loved the house!
  • The pool is really cool.
  • This is the house that had the coolest layout. It was FULL of stairs, there was an open space at the top for a toy room.
  • hardwood floors
  • Liked everything about this house.

  • Countertop was weird - it was a ceramic tiles grouted. Did not like that. That can be fixed.
  • There was sooo much open space upstairs with railings I got a little heights nervous walking up there.

Frisco House 3

House #3 - This was Briana's favorite thus far.

Loved the house - on a corner lot. Loved the porch.

Cute formal dining.

Loved the living room. I need a Texas star like that! :)

This was a LARGE yard for Texas. The pool was perfect and covered!

Backyard. Love the pergala.

Love the kitchen. The carpet is NASTY ugly though. I would tear it out and replace with hardwood like in kitchen and entry.

Love the entryway and stairs.

Down the street view.


  • This was Briana's favorite house!
  • Corner lot - more yard.
  • Love the neighborhood!
  • LOVE the price. About $50,000 less than the others. Has a little less sq. footage
  • Gated pool (good for kids)
  • Bigger yard for kids.
  • LOTS of light - sky lights in house. LOVE that.


  • Nasty carpet downstairs. Would want to rip it up and replace!
  • Cheap countertops in kitchen.
  • Only 1 bathroom upstairs, most have 2

Frisco House 4

House #4

Nice front.

Awesome pool and they had palm trees right outside the back door. I hugged it (no I'm not kidding, I LOVE palm trees).

The kitchen was really nice. I LOVED the colors.

Great view from the upstairs.

Love the view from the back.


  • One of Joe's favorite houses.
  • Nice outside
  • Love the kitchen
  • The pool was great.
  • Joe loved the media room.

  • Briana did NOT like the neighborhood. Not sure why but didn't get a good vibe.
  • Afraid the field behind them will be built up before long.

Storms, and touble brewing....

Storms rolling in. Lots of lightening (not shown). Very cool.

Our Flight

So Tannah got us back to the hotel by 4:30. We got in our rental, ran down to the airport (took a LONG time because of the rain and lightening). We navigated the airport a lot easier this time. We dropped off the rental car, got ready to get on the bus to take us to the terminal when a man behind us was complaining he didn't see the Detroit flight from American Airlines on the terminal screen.

I turned around and said, 'Oh, you're going to Detroit too?'. We started to talk and we were both on the same flight. I told him I thought the reason it wasn't up there yet was because it was still way too early. Most of the flights were before the 8pm timeframe that our plane took off.

So Jim (the man I talked to) got on his wireless phone connection via his laptop, looked up the flight and guess what - OUR FLIGHT WAS CANCELLED!!!

Honestly - could we have worse luck? Last May when we went to Seattle, we missed our connection flight to Seattle and had to wait until next day to go there. Then we missed our connection BACK and was stranded another day when we just wanted to get home. Now again?

So we got on the bus to take us to the terminal and we could NOT believe the line. There had to be hundreds of people in line waiting to get new tickets. Every American Airline flight had been cancelled. Joe saw this number on the terminal to check flight status that said cancelled flight re-reservation number. I called it and stayed on hold about 20 minutes when I finally got through.

I told the woman our flight to Detroit was cancelled and she said the soonest she could get us back to Detroit was 2:45pm Saturday - two days away! This was Thursday evening!!!! So I told her that's fine. She rescheduled Joe and I. Joe called our hotel to ask to get another two nights. We got it cheaper than our work booked it for - by almost $60/night! We then went and got a rental car from budget - a FORD MUSTANG for $20 cheaper than the Toyota corolla we had the day before! I was really upset Wednesday and said I didn't want to come home (well I wanted to see my kids but I loved it in Texas) and I guess I got my wish! hahahah. Joe and I looked at each other and was like - we got a VACATION out of this deal! hehehe!

Joe and our rented Ford Mustang.

Off to our hotel we go in a Ford Mustang. Now to be perfectly honest, the mustang is almost a white trash vehicle. Sorry, I don't mean to offend but I see a LOT of white trash - esp women that don't own anything, except a nice car. Sooooo we knew this renting this but we still liked the power it has. Joe didn't want it was first but I told him it was only $8 a day more because the lady at Budget gave us a deal and it was still cheaper than what our work got us the other one. Once Joe got out of the lot, he hardly touched the gas and that engine roared right out of the airport.

So last night we decided we wanted dinner near 9pm. We decided Italian and went to Maggianos. We were a bit underdressed but it was still a nice meal. I suggest to anyone coming to visit this area to bring a few dress clothes outfits because a LOT of the restaurants are really upscale. I had manicotti with chicken and spinach, Joe craved spaghetti and meatballs and we shared calimari. It was very good. Huge portions. The outside was impressive as all hell. Look below.


More things we noticed differences between Texas and Michigan.

  • Everyone either drives like an ass here, or like a grandma. No in between.
  • Everyone here is nice (when they are not driving). People in Michigan are kinda rude. Here everyone is sooo nice. Little conversations, smiles, just nice.
  • There are garbage cans in the median in case you want to throw out trash. It helps keep the litter from going in the road or on the sides.
  • Most of the new homes have a magazine rack built into the wall next to the toilet!
  • Most of the houses have a sink in the bathroom and the toilet is in a closet in the bathroom. I think this is weird, but Tannah said she couldn't imagine going in an open room. Too funny! Also the main master closet (that can be as big as a bedroom (9x9 or larger) is in the master bathroom. Along with the linen closet. Their master bathrooms are amazing.
  • There are toll roads everywhere.
  • There are reflectors in the road instead of reflective paint.
  • At semi - fast food places there is bottled of beer in buckets of ice. When you go through the line to get your food, you can grab a bottle of beer to drink with your meal.

That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure more will come to me!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Day 2 - House hunting - well kinda. House #1....

Let me just say, we are looking at houses but we aren't going to be buying until end of the year because we aren't supposed to be moving until at least January. This was just a sampling of the different areas and houses available. We got to really see what's out there and get to know our AWESOME real estate agent!

Plano is a nice town. Very cityish. Lots of shops, lots of streets and lots of houses right in town. Very nice area.

House #1 - Plano. $314,000. Click on the link to the left to see the MLS listing.

Gorgeous front yard.

Great kitchen.

Love the arches and open ceilings.

View from the living room.

  • Really nice neighborhood
  • Loved the front of the home
  • Game room
  • 5 bedrooms
  • Beautiful kitchen
  • It was really dirty. It was a relocation so the relocation company hasn't taken the best care of it. Lots of small bugs inside. It would need to be sprayed.
  • It was expensive for the money
  • Backed to a main road (there was a fence behind it though)
  • Pool was not maintained

House 2 - Plano

Click above to see more info.

The kitchen was beautiful! Granite countertops.

The living room is stunning.

Joe did NOT like the front. He felt the entryway was not 'big' enough like the others.

Their pool. I guess all the pools looked green because of the recent storms.

  • Awesome kitchen
  • Love the pool
  • Love the living room
  • Unimpressive entryway in front of house
  • Seemed dark (lots of curtains)...

House 3 - Plano

House 3
Check out the photos in the listing above to see the nice kitchen. I took a photo of it but my camera corrupted it and I can't download it! Augh!

Love the entryway.

Love this pool.

Nice living room and kitchen (which is to the right).

  • Nice neighborhood - This neighborhood is really kid friendly.
  • Love the entryway
  • Lots of light (windows)
  • Pool
  • Awesome kitchen.
  • Joe thinks it has a small gameroom (he wants something big enough for a pool table)
  • Master room is upstairs which has bad resale value the realtor told us. Most people prefer the master downstairs.
  • Small garden tub.

House 4

Some of the houses requested that no video (or cameras) be taken in so I did not.

Here is house 4. I loved the kitchen and pool.

My photo of the front was kinda crappy. See the photos in the above listing for more.

  • Nice colors
  • Pools
  • Sound speaker wiring installed
  • Great entryway
  • Ok kitchen
  • Smaller in size than the others
  • Lots of clutter in the house (it's still lived in)

On the way to house #5 I saw this house and gasped. I guess with the recent really bad storm they had, the power line fell down and caught the roof of this house on fire. Tannah (our realtor) said this is the only time in her life she can remember losing power. I couldn't believe that. We lose our power in Michigan a few times a year due to storms.

House 6 - Still in Plano

House 6
My photo of this was corrupted off the camera (not sure what was going on) I pulled it from the listing. Another house that asked no photos - so check the listing.

  • Pools
  • Front of home
  • 5 bedrooms
  • Game room
  • Railings
  • The fireplace was UGLY. There was a weird shelf going over the top, and it looked funny.
  • I didn't like the kitchen. It looked out of date.
  • Living room was boring.

House 1 - Allen

Allen is a wonderful town just north east of Plano. It is more of a small city feel. It has central shopping in the main area of Allen but the outskirts are trees, some fields and it just feels a bit less crowded. We really really liked Allen.

House #1 Allen.

The listing photo really turned us off as it looked like an apartment but when you actually saw the house, it looks really impressive, like above.

I loved the kitchen!

The biggest master bedroom I've ever seen. There is actually another part of the room I'm standing in - it's 21x16. Amazing!!!!

This is the most beautiful master bath I've ever seen. Lots of light, spacious. It was nuts.

  • One of Briana's favorite houses
  • love the larger master bedroom
  • love the larger master bath
  • love the kitchen.
  • the front master bedroom has a balcony off it (see house photo).
  • I loved the colors inside the house. Greens, blues, oranges, it was beautifully painted.
  • Neat stairs inside
  • Small downstairs living room.

house 2 - Allen

This was house #2 we saw in Allen. Joe liked this one a lot.

Nice entry way. Garage in front (most are in the back of the house in an ally).
Now, I hated these wood floors, but Joe liked them and Tannah said they are the real deal and has great resale. I still think they are ugly.

living room w/fireplace.

All Texas houses have HUGE walk in closets. I was in one today that was bigger than my youngest son's bedroom. Here's an example of a large walk-in!

  • Hardwood Floors (Joe)
  • Kitchen was beautiful with granite counter tops
  • Huge game room upstairs
  • Lots of storage in attic
  • Huge closets
  • No 5th room for study for me for working
  • Master bedroom was on the top floor though it stepped up into the master bedroom and that was really neat.

Allen - House 3

Another favorite of ours.

Here's house #3 in Allen

GORGEOUS walkway.

Spiral staircase!

Great master bath.

Look at this beautiful kitchen!

Love the living room - again hard wood floors.

The stairs from above.

  • 3 car garage.
  • Spiral staircase
  • love the kitchen
  • Love the master bedroom
  • Reasonable priced
  • In golf course community
  • Game room too small for a pool table
  • No 5th room for me to work from
  • View from upstairs wasn't that wonderful (just overlooks other's garages, yards, etc).

Allen - House 4

House #4 - The photos actually look better in the listing link.

Beautiful entrance.

Nice living / dining / kitchen layout.

Beautiful kitchen.

The master bathroom is gorgeous.
Bedroom. I love how it steps up into the other space.


Downstairs living room.

  • 5 bedroom
  • Another one of my favorites
  • great master bedroom
  • great master bathroom
  • Kitchen was nice
  • Front of house was nice
  • gameroom
  • Parks are convenient for kids
  • The sub had high and low end houses in it, so this brings down the resale of the house.
  • Master on top floor