Finding Your Family Home
Differences between a first home and a place to nurture your growing family can be vast
Words Kambry Ruby, Photography courtesy of Newland/Canyon Falls; Newland/The Grove; Light Farms
Published May 2019
Updated May 3, 2019
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Once upon a time, your biggest considerations for a real estate purchase didn’t sway too far from, “How close is it to my office?” and “What is the distance to our favorite weekend nightlife spots?” However, since you become a parent, your checklist has shifted to school districts, family-friendly activities, floor plans, safety, security, and participating in a community with shared interests and values.

As you outgrow your once-charming nest for two, thoughtfully consider a variety of factors and reflect on the dreams you have for your family. To remove some of the daunting guesswork, weigh all your options and compare your priorities as you navigate this milestone decision. The house hunt for a family home is one of the most exciting and important steps you’ll ever take.

A PLACE TO CALL HOME

It’s an old adage, but it still rings true today: location, location, location. Begin by asking yourself two questions: what kind of location do you want for your growing family, and, what you want out of the location of your new home sweet home? Are you still hoping to keep that same 10-minute commute into downtown you’ve grown accustomed to in recent years, or, is your ideal place to raise children a sprawling property in a master-planned community with space to spare?

Next, decide on a neighborhood or general area, and then focus on the location of your home in terms of site and/or lot, whether you are ready to participate in the process of building your dream home or purchasing one on the market. A tenured architectural expert in Dallas, Ron Wommack encourages his clients to consider everything from east-west orientation on the lot to the natural elements found on the site. “Select a lot that offers an amenity,” he recommends. “For example, choose a site with a great tree or an optimal view.” Next, consider the walkability of the area—all aspects which affect the environmental personality of the location for you and your growing family. Finally, when you’ve considered the proximity of the home to the rest of your life, including work and schools, decide if it’s the kind of place that is safe and fun to play and live. “The greatest gift you can give your children is a home where they feel both security and freedom,” says Wommack.

LIFESTYLE AND RECREATION

While no perfect home exists, keep in mind that you want to find a home that’s perfect for your unique lifestyle and growing family. As you make a needs versus wants list and rank your priorities, start by considering your preferred environment—do you want to see sweeping vistas of open land when you walk outside, or do you like being right next door to your neighbors? Are you looking for a total escape with family-friendly amenities and intentional distance between work and home, or does your family thrive in an urban lifestyle?

Next, think about the kinds of hobbies or recreational activities you enjoy or want to pursue as a family. Many communities around the region offer residents access to a wide range of family-friendly activities, golf, trails, hiking, and biking, to name just a few.

Lastly, ask yourself how you most enjoy socializing and spending time with friends and family on the weekends. From community pools and activity calendars to nearby proximity to restaurants perfect for intimate gatherings, communities around North Texas today offer something for everyone.

COMMUNITY LIVING

The phrase, “It takes a village,” might never resonate with you so much as when you become a parent. Finding a community that offers an atmosphere well-suited to your family dynamic and personality where you can engage with other families as a way of life is often equally important as loving the architecture or floor plan of your new home.

If you’re like many people today, the idea of leaving the hustle and bustle of big-city living and enjoying the quieter, fun-filled atmosphere of a community specifically designed for time spent with family and friends is more attractive than ever when you’re raising a family.

For families who enjoy spending time outdoors exploring the world around them, The Grove, Frisco, features stunning views and natural elements, including tree-lined streets, trails, parks, orchards, award-winnings schools, and amenities designed to engage the whole family. “The Grove is reminiscent of a familiar, village lifestyle,” says Julenne Rushing, marketing director for The Grove, Frisco, a development of Newland Communities. Residents can take advantage of the community’s activity center, Orchard House, which conveniently houses meeting rooms, cozy spaces to catch up with neighbors, a fireplace, and a fitness center. Orchard House is also home to Swirl Bakery & Café, beloved for its made-from-scratch baked good and treats. “Children and parents alike can take advantage of family-friendly community activities and enjoy a lush environment, rich with outdoor activities, that’s like no other place in North Texas,” says Rushing.

Light Farms, another highly sought-after master planned community located in Celina, boasts countless opportunities designed for families. “At Light Farms, we understand that relationships are an integral part of the community,” says Light Farms marketing manager, Natalie Thomas. From concerts on the lawn and movie nights at the pool to farmers’ markets and wine-tasting events, Light Farms offers all the conveniences of modern living with small-town charm and the opportunity to connect with residents who share the same values and enjoy participating in similar lifestyle activities. An on-site restaurant called The Farmstand that boasts a classically trained chef and a market grocery store create central gathering spots to see neighbors or even enjoy a cooking class—all while staying close to home. The community also features the work of local artists, whose work can be found throughout the area, from exhibits to painted murals on the sides of barns and buildings at Light Farms.

EDUCATION MATTERS

Whether you already have school-aged children or you just brought home your first baby and kindergarten seems like a lifetime away, education is undoubtedly a major factor in the search for an ideal family home.

Regardless of whether you’re leaning toward private or public education, you’ll never regret choosing a home located in a strong public school system—a factor that can heavily affect your property value and offers your family a viable option for education, no matter what the future holds for your children.

Many master-planned communities are situated in highly coveted school districts and several even offer on-site elementary schools—making the idyllic image of neighborhood families walking to school alongside one another a reality. Light Farms is conveniently located in Prosper ISD and residents of this development enjoy two on-site elementary school options, Light Farms Elementary and Mary J. Boyer Elementary, as well as an early childhood option, Light Farms Montessori Academy.

Canyon Falls, a development of Newland Communities, offers families the academic advantages and distinguished programming found at both Argyle Independent School District and Northwest Independent School District. Residents of Canyon Falls are known to often organize school-age and pre-kindergarten playgroups, in a concerted effort to support one another and meet new families.

ARCHITECTURAL STYLES AND FLOOR PLANS

The need for modern amenities or a change in floor plan is frequently a chief reason families look for a new nest. Open concept floor plans beloved for today’s lifestyle create a natural, comfortable way for families and friends to congregate and affords parents of young children the ability to keep a watchful eye on little ones throughout the day.

Consider features such as good closet space, a versatile layout, adequate storage, outdoor areas, a well-functioning garage, and an optional play space as you look for a new home—amenities that can make significant differences not only in the livability and life of your home but also in its marketability if you relocate in the future.

Many master-planned developments today offer unique building styles that lend a signature look to the atmosphere of the community. Located near Flower Mound, Northlake, and Argyle, Canyon Falls features Prairie-style architecture throughout much of the community, including the activity clubhouse, a design that beautifully compliments the 1,200 acres of natural landscape, creeks, mature trees and rolling hills.


Finding Your Family Home: Resource Directory

As you look for the perfect place for your family to call home, learn to ask the right questions and prioritize your needs—and remember, finding the appropriate people to advise and help you is equally important. The following industry experts are highly sought-after for their in-depth knowledge and the experience they bring to every project. Working alongside a trusted expert can provide invaluable insight as you navigate this exciting journey for your family.


Canyon Falls

Master-planned Community
Located in the Denton County corridor within the municipalities of Northlake, Flower Mound, and Argyle, family fun and adventure awaits at Canyon Falls. This thoughtfully designed master-planned community by Newland Communities features a rolling, natural terrain of stunning views, high bluffs, and a creek-side canyon that aren’t merely a backdrop for this multi-generational, unique lifestyle—rather, at Canyon Falls, nature is part of the main story. Canyon Falls is situated within 1,200 expansive acres and the development’s layout includes more than 250 acres of open space designed to connect residents to a shared community through appealing, approachable neighborhoods designed with authentic, regional architectural styles and open floor plans for today’s lifestyle. Residents have access to miles of paved trails beloved by walkers, bikers, runners, and fitness groups, as well as the Prairie-style community clubhouse that features a fitness center, pool and splash pad, spacious lawn, playground, and trail head. Families enjoy academic advantages at some of the area’s highly ranked school districts, Argyle Independent School District and Northwest Independent School District. An exceptional oasis of beautiful scenery and family fun, Canyon Falls offers something for everyone.
Canyon Falls, 6950 Canyon Falls Drive, Northlake, TX 76226; 972/795-8850; canyonfallstx.com


The Grove, Frisco

Master-planned Community
A new home community crafted for the modern life, The Grove, Frisco is located at the Four Corners of McKinney, Plano, Frisco, and Allen, and is located within Frisco Independent School District. Tree-lined streets, parks, an orchard, award-winning schools, and amenities designed by Newland Communities to engage the whole family create an environment reminiscent of a familiar village lifestyle. This 735-acre community offers residents an atmosphere where curiosity and a sense of wonder are encouraged throughout outdoor activities and annual events and gatherings at Orchard House, The Grove, Frisco’s modern farmhouse-style amenity center and heart of the neighborhood that also boasts a bakery and cafe. Architectural elements seen throughout these charming village-style neighborhoods include cottage, eclectic, clean-lined, and sophisticated styles. Residents can enjoy a backdrop that features mature landscapes, a lush natural environment, and harvesting trees.
The Grove, Frisco, 15480 Crape Myrtle Road, Frisco, TX 75035; 972/370-3478; thegrovefrisco.com


Light Farms
Master-planned Community
Boasting more than 1,000 acres within a master-planned community, the development of Light Farms is located in Celina, Texas, and offers young families the perfect place to grow while enjoying best-in-class amenities. Parents and children alike can take advantage of more than 13 miles of hike and bike trails, tennis courts, five resort-style pools, and community activities designed for families to spend time together and neighbors to connect with one another. Light Farms is also home to more than 240 acres of manicured green space, multiple playgrounds and parks, greenbelts, neighborhood gardens, picnic areas, and a community lawn perfect for neighborhood events throughout the year. Light Farms is situated within the acclaimed Prosper Independent School District. From an on-site café to a local park that includes an 11-acre recreational lake, Light Farms offers families a neighborhood culture centered on community, outdoor recreation, and amenities designed with the whole family in mind.
Light Farms, 1234 Homestead Court, Celina, TX 75009; 214/618-4542; lightfarmstx.com