10 ideas for a pet-friendly home

Your pet is part of your family, so make sure your furry friends feel like they’re also part of your home. Here are 10 ideas for pet-friendly home.

  1. Remove temptation. Dogs and cats have a powerful sense of smell, so they’re drawn to fragrant items and places, which could include your garbage, pantry, and countertops. Keep a strong lid on your trash can and keep food out of the reach of pets. Remember, certain foods are toxic to dogs and cats, like grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions, mushrooms, and xylitol (artificial sweetener). In addition, a dog can choke on small bones discovered in a trash can.
  2. Get rid of dangerous plants for pets. Some common house plants present a risk to pets, who often can’t resist chewing on foliage. English ivy, lilies, azaleas, mums, tulips, and oleander should be removed from any areas where your pets roam freely. Click here to browse the ASPCA’s complete list of toxic plants.
  3. Another reason to put down the toilet lid. The toilet bowl is a curious place for animals. Dogs and cats may go there for a drink, and end up ingesting chemicals. Small animals—hamsters, kittens, guinea pigs, gerbils—have been known to fall in and drown. For safety sake, make sure everyone in your family closes the toilet lid.
  4. Tuck strings, cords, and wires out of reach. Animals may chew or become tangled in the cords from your electronics or window treatments. Protect your animals and your home by keeping those pet hazards out of reach.
  5. Put a latch on cabinets. Cabinet doors can be easily opened with the nudge of a nose or paw. Prevent your pet from getting into your stash of cleaning supplies by putting a child-safe latch on your lower cabinet doors.
  6. Secure your screens. Cats and dogs love to look out windows. They might get a little too excited when they spot a squirrel or bird. If your window screen isn’t firmly secured, your cat or small dog can push the screen and fall out the window. Check your window screens to make sure they are tightly secured.
  7. Provide safe chew toys and scratching posts. It’s natural for dogs to chew and cats to scratch. Cats mark territory with scent from glands in their paws and also scratch to sharpen their claws and stretch their muscles. You can prevent them from taking out their natural instincts on your furniture, flooring, door trim, and windowsills by presenting palatable alternatives. Put healthy chew toys in various places for your dog. Place scratching posts and boards (preferably with coarse surfaces, like sisal rope) near the areas where you cat likes to scratch. Rub catnip oil on the scratching surface to entice the cat.
  8. Give them their own space. You have your bedroom, so why not give your dog or cat their personal space? A dog bed with toys and perhaps a blanket with your scent on it is perfect for your canine companion. Cats prefer to hide away in a secluded space, so a quiet retreat away from bustling activity will be ideal. A perch on a windowsill is also a welcomed space for a cat to relax.
  9. Shop wisely for home furnishings. Be sure your upholstery and carpets are stain-resistant and sturdy. Avoid anything with a thick nap or pile because pet hair will find its way in there and become difficult to remove. You might also consider purchasing furniture that blends in with your pet’s fur color!
  10. Top your bed with washable duvet covers. A majority of homeowners welcome their pets into their beds. A duvet cover is easy to remove and wash—and far less bulky that a comforter.

When you create a safe environment for your pet, you’re less likely to have those “oh no!” moments.


Homes are in Short Supply as Toyota Calls Plano ‘Home’

As of Mid-May of this year, world-renowned Toyota has begun its influx of nearly 4,000 employees to its new corporate campus in Plano, Texas.  A move of this magnitude is noteworthy due to its impact regarding traffic, charitable giving and, of course, housing!  Not only Toyota, but other corporations such as Boeing, McKesson Corp., Kubota Tractor and, literally, dozens more are positioning tens of thousands of new residents into North Texas.  Couple this impressive influx with the fact that more than 60,000 people make their way into the DFW area every year to fill job positions of all types, and you have the perfect scenario for this area continuing to establish itself as one of the hottest home markets in the country.


Due to the increased demand for housing, a seller’s market exists which, logically, stimulates housing prices to escalate; and in the case of DFW, home prices are at unprecedented levels. Home shortages in this part of Texas have become one of the largest, in decades, making home purchases much more challenging.


The Facts Speak for Themselves

One employee who is part of Toyota’s move to Plano shares his own experience regarding the housing shortage – meet Armin Salehi.  Salehi looked at about 50 homes over a period of three months; and one, in particular, was constructed in 1989.  That home had no updates, yet, had nine offers in spite of the fact the home was overpriced.  Since the pre-owned market became too frustrating, Mr. Salehi decided on new construction in Carrollton, which proved to be an easy, 10-minute commute to his new office in Plano.  Though Mr. Salehi decided to grin and bear it by paying about $80,000 over what he had budgeted, other buyers from other states consider home prices in the DFW area to be incredible bargains.


Buyers from very expensive areas such as the West Coast and the bigger cities in the Northeast are delighted with the home prices they are encountering in DFW, according to Ted Wilson, a principal with ‘Residential Strategies’, based in Dallas.  Mr. Wilson shares what most of us already realize:  homes in the West and the North East have median prices that are shockingly higher than median prices for comparable homes in the DFW area.  Mr. Wilson states:  “They (those from parts of California and the Northeast) come here and can afford the median prices; and they put money in their pockets!  Some of Toyota’s people from California are coming to DFW with big equities.  The ‘relo-business’ has been a boon to North Texas housing.”


Then we have Page Ship, from MetroStudy, Inc., who shares an astonishing statistic:  Home-builders have had the luxury of raising their homes’ median prices in North Texas by 55% over the past five years due to corporate transfer buyers who are willing to pay more.  Shipp says:  “These buyers are used to higher prices; and that is one of the reasons builders have been able to push prices.”


Ryan Abenes, who relocated with Toyota into Plano, packed his bags and left California with plenty of enthusiasm:  “It’s amazing the amount of home, here, you can buy for the money.  My wife and I avoided any kind of bidding on an older home. By moving here (from Los Angeles), I pretty much doubled the square footage for equal or less the price; and the traffic in Dallas is nothing like LA traffic.”


Andrew Blomdal relocated from Redondo Beach, California where he and his family had lived in an apartment.  Blomdal had spoken with acquaintances who got a feel for the DFW market; and Blomdal took, seriously, what his friends told him regarding new homes in North Texas:  “Whatever you want, you’d better put an offer on it, or it will be gone the next day.”


Developers are encouraging builders to construct a high percentage of ‘speculative’ homes – those that are built without a specific buyer in mind, although approved buyers can step in and purchase spec homes during at any phase of construction.  Developers feel it is important to have a generous inventory on the ground to attract ‘relo’ buyers.


Mary Frances Burleson, CEO of Dallas’ Ebby Halliday Realtors, says:  “If you go into Collin County Frisco, McKinney, Prosper – it’s a big part of our business.  Corporate America has found us; and they like it!” 


Tips for choosing a mover

Moving to a new home is exciting. However, packing up your home and making the move can be stressful. You can make your life much easier by knowing how to choose a moving company that is reliable and affordable.

Here are some useful tips for choosing a mover that will safely transport your belongings to your new location.

  1. Ask for recommendations. Talk to family, friends, neighbors, real estate agents, and co-workers about their experiences with movers. What did they like or dislike about the mover they chose? Did the mover show up on time, deliver as promised, safeguard their property, and stick to its estimate?
  2. Check reviews. Do an online search of each mover you’re considering. Check the reviews on Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, com, and MovingScam.com. Be sure to look at any responses and resolution offered by the movers when there was a negative review. If they made amends, they are trying to live up to a standard.
  3. Get in-home estimates from at least three movers. No mover can give you an accurate estimate over the phone, and don’t hire a mover who estimates by cubic feet. They need to see your home and your belongings. Do they need to maneuver heavy furniture from an upper floor? Is access a problem? Once a mover has actually seen what you want to move, he can’t complain later that he didn’t know you had a piano on the second floor or a lot of breakables to be packed.
  4. Clearly communicate your needs and expectations. Surprises are wonderful at birthdays, but not when you’re moving. Tell the mover what you need and want—the date of the move, desired delivery, amount of packing to be required, and the type and frequency of communication with the driver along the route. If it’s critical that they movers arrive at a specific time, be sure that’s clear. Make no assumptions that what you want is a standard practice with every mover!
  5. Know the mover’s credentials, safety record, and insurance. Get the mover’s Department of Transportation (DOT) license, and verify it with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Ask which type of liability insurance they offer to customers, such as full value or released value. The FMCSA also has a website where you can check the safety record of a mover. Visit “Company Snapshot” on org.
  6. Know who is actually moving you. Some movers use subcontractors. Do you feel comfortable with this third-party approach? Also, take the time to visit the mover’s office. Look at the condition of the trucks and ask to see their storage facility. You’re trusting them with your life’s possessions, so they should respect your wish to know where and how your items will be handled, transported, and stored.
  7. Study the estimate. Carefully review each moving estimate so you understand what you will be agreeing to. Is there a “not to exceed” price? Is it a binding estimate? What are the possible additional costs? How much insurance is included? Are all the services you requested, like packing and unpacking, included? Finally, be clear about the payment process. When is payment required? What forms of payment are accepted? What is the cancellation policy?

Whether you are moving across town or across the country, you need a mover that will reliably handle the critical task of getting your belongings from your current home to your new one. Be sure you’re placing your trust in the right company.


Dallas – An Economic Overview

Skylar Olsen, Senior Economist with Zillow, has some interesting insights regarding the state of the economy regarding Dallas – economic players that are, and will, shape the Dallas real-estate market.  To begin with, Ms. Olsen believes Dallas is continually showing signs of becoming one of the fastest real-estate markets in the entire country; and she proclaims what many of us know to be true:  US home values have experienced a crazy roller-coaster ride over the past several years; and home values, nationally, are at pre-recession peak levels.  Comparatively, however, when one looks at Dallas real-estate, it is interesting to observe a scenario that has played out, far differently.


In Dallas, there was much less of a bubble burst; and it is, here, where home values continue to move fast.  Also, in Dallas, one will find double-digit appreciation, which positions this thriving metropolis as one of the fastest-growing real-estate markets, anywhere.  Currently, Dallas is biting the dust of two of its leading contenders:  Seattle, Washington and Tampa, Florida; but those two cities’ leads are ever-so-slight.  Ms. Olsen feels Dallas will rise to the #2 position over the next year, with Seattle maintaining its position as ‘lead dog’.  Along with this, one should expect home values in Dallas to continue to grow, very rapidly, when compared with other areas of the country; but Ms. Olsen points out that a significant slow-down of rapid home-value growth is, also, anticipated.


Two Vital Generations Offer Massive Potential

Ms. Olsen reveals what many astute observers would echo:  inventory shortages have been the cause of Dallas’ home prices to grow at warp speed; and, additionally, there are two interesting factors, at play, that one needs to pay attention to:   Zillow is seeing a big demand for entry-level homes as millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) become older and experience major life events that, predictably, precipitate the desire for home-ownership – job advancements, marriage, and beginning a family, for example.  According to Goldman-Sachs, millennials compose the largest generation, in history, to move into its prime spending years.  Goldman-Sachs states:  “Millennials are poised to reshape the economy.  Their unique experiences will change the ways we buy and sell, forcing companies to examine how they do business for decades, to come.  They are the largest generation in US history, even bigger than the Baby Boom generation.” 


Along with this, Ms. Olsen, states that many baby-boomers are downsizing and looking for their own version of entry-level homes – Baby Boomers desire simplistic design, lower cost and less maintenance.  Ms. Olsen feels the Millennial and Baby-Boom generation groups are extremely significant as powerful, entry-level home-buyers.


The Millennials are Coming

Massive surveys generated by Zillow indicate the median age of the first-time home-buyer is 33; and most millennials fall into the age-range of 20 to 24.  Ms. Olsen strongly feels new home-buyers from this demographic group will begin to massively merge into the new-home construction market beginning within the next five years.


Millennials, to the surprise of many, have some very definite, conservative ideas concerning home-ownership.  When Zillow posed this question:  “Is home ownership important for the ‘good life’ and the American dream?”, most millennials responded with a resounding, ‘yes!’


Fort Worth Partners with Facebook!

Back in 2015, Facebook announced its plans to open a data-center in Fort Worth.  During that same year, Facebook broke ground for the project on State Highway 170 in Fort Worth’s Alliance Texas development.  Now, as of May 2017, the project has come to fruition.  Just recently, Facebook officially opened its $1 billion data center, via, its May 4th grand opening.  It was at that grand opening where, instead of the usual ribbon-cutting ceremony, Fort Worth and Facebook officials lit a giant “Like” button to commemorate the most-special occasion.  Mayor Betsy Price couldn’t be more pleased to embrace the social-media giant; and she jokingly stated:  “We don’t love each other; we LIKE each other.”   And to make sure the ‘Like’ mantra receives continuous recognition, the address of the Fort Worth Data Center is, appropriately, named:  4500 Like Way.


Facebook’s facility, as of now, spans a mammoth 100 acres, and boasts as being the largest data center, to date.  The first three buildings are operational and cover 440,000 square feet.  Facebook recently added an additional 50 acres to its property in Fort Worth where its facility will accommodate three more buildings of approximately the same size.  Interestingly, 750 construction workers are on-site, daily, to ensure the newest of the three buildings will be completed, on schedule.  This monstrous undertaking is projected to be finished four to five years from now, and will house more than 2 million square feet of server space.


Joe Straus, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, is incredibly excited with Facebook’s new home in Fort Worth; and he states:  “Facebook has made a major investment in Fort Worth and Texas; and that investment is already paying off through the creation of new jobs and through the company’s growing involvement in the community.”


Charlie Geren, from the Texas House of Representatives, is equally enthused:  “Fort Worth’s continued economic development is testimony to many years of hard work and planning; and I’m proud to be a part of it.  We’re excited to have a great corporate citizen, like Facebook, come here; and we welcome Facebook employees and their families to the Fort Worth community.”


The Project is Enormous AND Energy Efficient

Facebook’s Fort Worth data center is ranked as one of the most-massive projects in North Texas.  Not only that, but the center is one of the most-advanced on the planet, featuring the latest in Open Compute server, storage, and network designs.  It is Facebook’s multiple data centers, in various parts of the country, that serve as the heartbeat of what Facebook does:  delivering its family of apps and services to countless billions of people, around the globe.


It is worth noting that the data center is powered by 100% renewable energy, thanks to a 17,000-acre   200MW wind-energy farm in Clay County, only 90 miles away.  The wind farm was constructed by Citigroup Energy, Alterra Power Corporation, and Starwood Energy Group, and provides more electricity than Facebook will actually utilize, within the foreseeable future.  Additionally, the facility will be cooled by outside air, versus, energy-intensive air-conditioning systems.  Ken Patchett, director of data center operations for Facebook’s West Region, states:  “Yes, we can make that happen even in the middle of the kinds of summers we have, here, in Texas.”


Facebook personnel share their immense enthusiasm regarding their partnering with Fort Worth:  “We are thrilled to be online and serving traffic.  From groundbreaking to grand-opening, it has been an incredible journey in Fort Worth!” 


Construction Worker Shortage Impacting the Dallas Housing Market

Here’s a question:  What is, probably, the one major factor preventing Dallas from becoming the number-one, single-family home market in the country?  The answer might surprise you:  limited worker availability within the construction arena.  The Texas Workforce Commission tells us that by the end of 2016, almost 81,000 people were employed in Dallas’ construction-related occupations. Though that number may sound huge, in reality, Dallas should have closer to 99,000 construction workers to fully meet the needs of building projects in this area.


The Angst of Worker Availability

Though Dallas is booming in terms of construction, a limited skilled and unskilled workforce is hampering Dallas’ housing market potential.  The median new-home price in the Dallas-Fort Worth MSA increased a whopping 42% since 2012.  Seattle and Denver are the only two cities that have surpassed Dallas, in the last four years, regarding home-price appreciation – this according to a Case-Schiller survey.  A small wrench gets thrown into the mix, however, which is this:  local incomes have increased by only about 21%.

Dallas’ economy is strong; and around 118,000 new job positions emerged in 2016 helping this thriving  metropolis maintain its lead as one of the top-performing local economies in the entire US.  Fortunately, Dallas’ strong and stable economy was a huge factor with pushing new-home sales in the area to almost 25,000 during the previous 12 months.  As a side note, Houston managed to exceed that 25,000 mark by about 1000 units.


In addition to a limited workforce, wages for construction positions have dramatically increased – in fact, construction wages are some of the fastest increasing in the MSA.  Covering the breadth of all industries, as a whole, average hourly wages have increased by a mere 10% since 2012.  If we compare that to hourly, construction-related pay, we see an increase of two to three-times that amount!  The demand in the market has driven up earnings for sub-contractors.  It can take 20-25 different tradesmen to build a home – from concrete preparation to framing, electricity, plumbing, roofing and more; and sub-contractors know home-builders depend on their expertise, big-time!


During the later part of 2012 and the early part of 2013, the demand for houses strengthened but the labor-force began to lag behind.  Bank of America’s Michelle Meyer says:  “Housing construction fell to historically low levels and stuck at those levels for several years, after the financial bust.  People who had been employed in the construction industry left and found other jobs.  It will take time take for workers to enter the construction labor market again.”  After the bust, many subcontractors, out on their luck, moved on to other employment sectors.  In fact, according to Reuters, eight years after the housing bust, an estimated 30% of workers left the construction industry.


And…Aging Workers

Construction is troubled, also, by many current workers who are aging; and the problem lies with much younger individuals, in their twenties, who are not making themselves available to take on various construction roles which, inevitably, become vacated by older personnel.


Interestingly, the median age of construction workers is just over 40 years, though a good number are even older. Whether it is painters, dry-wallers, pipe-layers, plumbers, electricians or carpenters, forty and older is the reality.

In Texas, trade-schools are becoming more popularized where specific skills are targeted.  Perhaps a partial solution to the aging dilemma is to equip older teens, via trade-schools, on how to go out into the workforce and make a decent wage by becoming skilled in various aspects of construction.


The National Association of Home-builders tells us there are approximately 200,000 unfilled construction jobs in the US – a jump of 81% in the last two years.  John Courson, chief executive of the Home Builders Institute wishes he had more positive news when he states:  “The labor shortage is getting worse as demand is getting stronger.”   After it’s all said and done, the labor shortage is raising builders’ costs and workers’ wages as well as diminishing home construction.


3 Common Mistake To Avoid When Building a New Home

There is a feeling of eagerness and delight you experience when you realize you’re finally on track to build the home you’ve worked so hard to acquire! Everything from the home’s floor-plan to the floor covering adds up to a dream-come-true in the making!


However, building a new home requires some very thoughtful decision-making to help the building process flow seamlessly. Here are 3 common mistakes to avoid.


Mistake number one is not double checking to make sure that everything you discussed with the Sales Manager is in writing.  This could include major items such as the need for a contingency, to items such as options and upgrades you want to have inside your home.


Remember, circumstances can arise that are unexpected and may require an alteration or two. Sometimes those changes will involve additional costs. But, without a written statementon the builders authorized forms that show consensus on the part of the buyer and the seller, problems can ensue which can throw a wrench into the entire construction process.


Mistake number two is building the most expensive home in the neighborhood.


Having the most expensive home in the neighborhood does not allow your home to reach its full sale potential simply because it is now located in an area where the market value of neighboring homes is considerably lower.


Mistake number three is settling on a floorplan because the price is right.


Buying a home is often the single largest investment one will make in their life. Being that this is such a large investment, you don’t want the whole reason you purchased your home to be due to the lowest price.  Find a floorplan that truly fits your needs and your wants, the additional cost, when calculated out per day is often minimal.


Selling Your Home to the Millennial Homebuyer

There’s a new generation of homebuyers out there, and they are distinctly different than those who came before them.

Millennials—a total of about 80 million people born between 1980 and 2000—constitute about 35 percent of today’s homebuyers, according to a 2016 National Association of Realtors study. Although many of them have school loan and credit card debt, they’re also living with their parents longer (a lot longer) to save money. It’s a market segment you can’t ignore, but you also can’t overlook the fact that they have strong preferences in their home choices. If you want to successfully sell to this generation, you need to learn how to appeal to the Millennial homebuyer. Here are some home staging tips.

They live lightly. Millennials aren’t clutterbugs. They aren’t likely to be weighed down by possessions, as they prefer to feel unencumbered, to pick up and go on a whim. They like simplicity in their surroundings. When you’re preparing to sell your home, be sure to remove all the extra décor and furnishings. What you might think of as “cozy” or “charming”, they might perceive as “mom’s house”.

DIY doesn’t cut it. This is a generation that has been accustomed to instant gratification. They want a home to be move-in ready. That means updated and clean. They want stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Carpets are passé to this group; they prefer the natural look of wood flooring, so even manufactured wood, laminate, or wood-like tile is a plus.

Open spaces are preferred. This generation of homebuyer is looking for something more modern than their parents’ home. They want an open floor plan that is conducive to the frequent entertaining they anticipate. They prefer multi-purpose space to defined areas (like dining rooms). Show them how to use a space as a media room (with Internet connectivity, please) and you’ll get their attention.

Go for the green. Millennials are more committed to eco-friendly living than any other generation. They want energy efficiency in the construction (insulation, windows), systems (HVAC), appliances, and fixtures (toilets, showers, LED lighting). Be sure to point out any repurposed or recycled materials used in the home (cork or bamboo flooring, recycled glass surfaces).

Every year, more Millennials will prepare to buy a home. Are you ready to sell to them?


Take your spring cleaning outside: Exterior maintenance checklist

Spring cleaning is not just an indoor sport. The outside of your home needs some sprucing up this time of year, too.

Follow this exterior maintenance checklist and take your spring cleaning outside.

  1. Wash the walls. You might be surprised at how much dirt has built on your home’s exterior walls. Use a pressure washer to clean it, but be careful if you have vinyl siding or damaged shingles. The best way to clean vinyl siding is with soapy water and a long-handled brush.
  2. Inspect the roof. Snow and ice might have caused damage to your home’s roof. Check for cracked, loose, or missing shingles, and replace any that you find. Also, look for water stains on your ceilings. Melting snow might have left marks where you have roof leaks.
  3. Clean the windows and screens. No one enjoys washing windows, but you’ll enjoy the results of a better view. The best window cleaning solution is a mixture of equal parts of white vinegar and water. And don’t waste paper towels. Use crumpled newspaper, which doesn’t leave lint behind.

Scrub your screens with warm, soapy water and a soft brush. Small holes can be repaired by pressing the mesh back in place and applying a few coats of clear nail polish to hold them there.

  1. Clear out the gutters. Twice a year (spring and fall), you should remove all the debris from your gutters and flush out the gutters and downspouts with a hose. Build-up can lead to water damage to your home. Inspect your gutters for cracks and make sure they’re firmly attached.
  2. Refresh your patio, porch, and deck. Get ready for outdoor entertaining by pressure washing your outdoor living space surfaces. Reseal the decking. Check the steps and railings to be sure everything is firmly in place.

The upside of this side of spring cleaning is that you can enjoy the outdoors while you’re working through your exterior maintenance checklist!


A Galvanized Connection with Texas and Japan: Hello, Kubota!

Grapevine, Texas has a lot to talk about these days – the move of Kubota Tractor and Credit Corp. to the community of Grapevine is creating a good deal of buzz!  Kubota executives and Grapevine business leaders worked hand-in-glove to work out the logistics of the Kubota Tractor Corporation headquarters’ transfer from Torrance, California.  Kubota is known as one of the largest tractor producers in America, and has held on to that honor since 1969.


It’s Official

Kubota Tractor Corp. has, officially, opened its new Grapevine facility for operations – around 200,000 square feet which accommodates the headquarters and research & development departments.  The office building boasts of about 125,000 square feet; and the research and development department takes up about 68,000 square feet.  The office project covers 25 acres north of State Highway 121.


One of the remarkable benefits of Grapevine embracing Kubota Tractor Corp. is the fact that more than 340 job positions are being anticipated with $51 million generated in capital investment.  Currently, around 280 employees are working at the Grapevine headquarters; and president and CEO of Kubota Tractor Corp., Masato Yoshikawa, tells us his company will continue to expand.  Mr. Yoshikawa also stated, “This is the most significant change we have undertaken in our long and successful history in the US; and we are looking forward to further establishing our roots here in Texas.”


Texas Reaps the Rewards

It is no secret that Texas is reaping the rewards of offering a business-friendly climate.  Kubota Tractor Corp. will enjoy Grapevine’s centralized location as well as Texas’ regulatory and licensing simplicity, among other coveted business incentives.  Being business-friendly is good for business; and Kubota Tractor Corp is among a myriad of corporations that have exited California and have chosen the Lone Star State to be their new home; and the trend continues.  Many businesses and corporations that have migrated from California into Texas leave behind, what is felt to be, an intrusive and sometimes-hostile business environment.  That type of climate is replaced with a business environment, in Texas, that is far more embracing, positive and supportive.  What is continuing to be California’s loss, in terms of businesses, continues to be Texas’ gain.


The expanding economic connections between Texas and Japan is a positive step in a very promising direction.  As Texas Governor Abbott proudly exclaims:  “If you look at all the states in the US, if there is a best place for a Japanese-connected business to establish their roots and their headquarters to grow and prosper, it is in the great state of Texas.”  Osaka-based Kubota Tractor joins the ranks of Farmer Brothers Coffee which recently moved its headquarters to Northlake.  Then, there is Toyota which is in the process of moving its North American headquarters and its 3,000-plus employees to West Plano where a huge business campus is being developed.


From 2004 to 2016, Chief Executive Magazine ranked Texas as #1 for ‘Best States for Business’; and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, responded: “For the 12th straight year, CEO’s across America have agreed there is no place better for conducting business than Texas.”  Corporations and businesses of all sizes continue to migrate into Texas since, in the Lone Star State, they don’t simply survive, they thrive!