Month: June 2015

Do you have a service that would help REALTORS® and their clients in the home buying or selling process?

Keller Williams Dallas Metro North is looking for additional vendors that can add value and service to our REALTORS® and their clients. Our office currently has 365 agents and we are growing every month. What a great opportunity to grow your business!

Our vendors are featured on our office website, invited to participate in our bi annual vendor fair, featured in our Little Red Book that is printed twice a year and have opportunities to sponsor our monthly office events!

Vendors agree to respond promptly to all service requests, provide professional and courteous service at all times, and treat clients fairly and honestly in all situations.  The Keller Williams belief system:  Win-win or no deal, Integrity – do the right thing, Customers always come first, Commitment in all things, Communication – seek first to understand, Creativity – ideas before results, Teamwork – together everyone achieves more, Trust starts with honesty, and Success – results through people. 

Please contact Sarah Bordelon for more information and questions regarding our preferred vendor program.

940.367.6513   sarahbordelon.kw@gmail.com

Little Red Book Cover

Advertisements

WHAT’S THE GOOD NEWS FOR JUNE 2015?

Great press will continue to attract new jobs!  On May 22, 2015, MarketWatch released their rankings of the “Most Business Friendly Cities in the Country.”   MarketWatch scored the nation’s 100 largest metro areas — all with a population of more than 500,000 — on multiple metrics.   The DFW area ranked as the #1 most business friendly city.  The Dallas-area landed ahead of San Francisco, Seattle, Des Moines and Raleigh which rounded out the top 5.  MarketWatch ranked the cities on a combination score that factors in 23 factors including business climate, company performance, number of patents granted, transportation routes and economic outcome.

In early May, CEO Magazine’s 11th annual survey of the “Best States to do Business” was released and Texas topped the rankings for the 11th year in a row.  In the rankings, Texas was ahead of Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia which rounded out the Top 5. California was once again the worst state for a second year.  The rankings takes into account state GDP, unemployment, domestic migration, state government and state-local tax burden.

Argyle ISD is building its first new school campus since 2005.  They expect to open a new middle school for 6th,7th and 8th graders in August 2016, in the 6600 block of Canyon Falls Drive in Flower Mound’s Canyon Falls development. This will be a two level school built on a 107.5 acre site.

Located on the southeast corner of Chinn Chapel and FM 407 in Flower Mound, construction on the Highlands Plaza shopping center addition is moving along. Crews are working on the building facades and the patio overlooking the water feature in the rear is almost complete. Gloria’s Latin Cuisine is also one step closer to opening its doors after an application of permit filed May 15. The Table, Snap Kitchen, and Pie Five Pizza are a few of the other restaurants slated for inclusion in the development.

 

El Pollo Loco will be opening 7 locations in North Texas in 2016.  Based in Costa Mesa, California, El Pollo operates roughly 400 locations in five states, including 15 in Texas.  El Pollo Loco fast food restaurant creates flame-grilled, citrus-marinated chicken cooked in front of customers. The chicken is served whole or shredded into dishes such as burritos, quesadillas and tacos. For the health-conscious, there’s an Under 500 Calories menu, which includes salads, bowls, tostadas and quesadillas.

 

The National Association of Realtors reports that 40% of previously-owned homes sold went at or above the asking price for the month of April 2015.  That’s up from the 1/3 of all U.S. properties sold in March that went at or above asking price.  While inventory remains tight, home sales have now increased on a year-over-year basis for seven straight months.  NAR also reports that in April 2015, the share of homes purchased for all-cash was 24%, down from 32% one year ago.  Individual investors accounted for about 14% of home sales in April 2015, down from 18% in April 2014.

North Texas home prices jumped by 14% in May – one of the largest year-over-year gains ever for the area.  Home sales were up 6% from May 2014 with 9,484 properties sold.  National surveys show that the Dallas-Fort Worth area is seeing the largest annual home price gains in the country.  More homes sold and at higher prices = Good News.

shutterstock_150297281 (2)

Can You Convert Your Attic? 6 Questions to Ask

Maybe you have always dreamed of a better master bedroom, as large as the house and as private as can be. Or perhaps your teenager needs more space – but you can’t imagine where you’ll make it. Maybe you want a little rental unit, or a romp room for the kids. The answer you’ve been looking for might be, literally, over your head.

You have two choices if you want to add onto your home’s living space: either build outward, or convert an unlivable space into something you can live in, instead. As attractive as it sounds to add on to the house, it usually costs much more to build an addition, plus you have to worry about easements, buried lines and much more. For most people, it isn’t very practical.

Almost everyone has an attic, however. Of course, some simply aren’t practical to convert. Others are begging to be transformed. As an added bonus, an attic conversion increases your home’s value significantly. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value Report, an attic bedroom adds almost 85 percent of the cost of the remodel to the home’s value (also referred to as the ROI, or return on investment). This analysis is based on an average cost of about $50,000, so if you can perform some of the work yourself, your ROI will be even higher.

Here are some essential considerations to help determine if attic conversion is feasible for your home.

from-a-storage-space-to-a-functional-area-attic-conversion-8980

1. Do You Have Rafters?

The first thing you need to determine to find out if your attic is convertible: Do you have rafters or trusses? Grab a flashlight and take a quick peek inside your attic and you’ll know.

Rafters are large internal beams that create a triangular structure with the floor at the bottom and the roof peak at the top. The inside of the triangle provides an opening that’s easily remodeled.

Trusses are a network of W-shaped boards that support the roof. With no central opening, one must be created. This should never be done by a DIYer, as the trusses are load bearing. A structural engineer must determine how to support the weight while modifying the trusses. In the end, it may not even be practical to convert an attic with trusses, due to the costs involved.

2. Is There a Staircase?

You probably don’t have a permanent staircase leading to your unfinished attic space – but you will need one. Building codes will not allow a permanent living area without a permanent stairs leading to it. (In the case of a rental unit, you may build a staircase on the outside of the house, if desired. Consult your local building code or a builder for more information.)

Stairs aren’t difficult to build, but they do eat up a large amount of space. A straight stair will take 10 to 14 horizontal feet of floor space, while a spiral space will take up about 5 feet. Think about where you might want the stairs and how you will work around the space. Keep in mind typical code requirements:

Stairs must have a minimum of 6 feet 8 inches of headroom the entire length of the stairs.

Stairs must be at least 36 inches wide.

Treads must be at least 10 inches deep.

Risers must be at least 7 ¼ inches high.

3. Is There Enough Headroom and Space?

Building codes vary on headroom and space. However, most require that at least half of the attic has a height of 7 feet 6 inches. Don’t forget to factor in the inches you will lose with flooring and ceiling coverings. In addition, the living space must equal at least 70 square feet with a minimum width of 7 feet.

loft-conversion2

4. How’s the Floor Strength?

Your attic was probably built with dead loads in mind – things such as boxes and trunks that don’t move. When converting your attic, you need to consider live loads – people, animals, and anything that moves. As home improvement expert Bob Vila explains, most building codes require a load capacity of 30 pounds per square foot. Consult a structural engineer or professional builder for assistance. (You can use an online calculator to assist your estimates.)

5. What About Lighting?

Some building codes require a certain amount of lighting. Here’s where dormers work like magic. Not only will a dormer raise the roof height (helping you attain the minimum headroom) and add light, it also provides a second exit – which most building codes require. Check your local building code for further information.

6. Can You Heat It?

You’ll probably want to add insulation to keep the space warm. More importantly, you may need to extend electrical lines, plumbing and HVAC systems. According to Bob Vila, building codes generally require that the heating system be capable of keeping the attic temperature at 68 degrees. Consult professionals for assistance or more information.

Source: http://interiorfind.com/g/small-house-attic-conversion-ideas-photos/from-a-storage-space-to-a-functional-area-attic-conversion-8980/

http://curiousamerica.com/loft-conversions-london

Sellers Behaving Badly: The Top 3 Ways to Turn Off a Buyer

Not all real estate transactions turn sour. In fact, few do. But once in a while, a bad apple ends up either selling or buying a home, and can throw the entire transaction into chaos.

From buyers allowing their children to run wild through a house they’re viewing to sellers trying to hide home defects, the potential to behave badly in a real estate transaction is ever-present.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways homeowners sabotage the sale of their homes.

Dirty Houses

If you’ve ever sold a car instead of trading it in, you probably spent some time spiffing it up: cleaning the upholstery, vacuuming the interior, washing and waxing the exterior. Why? Because you know that to get top dollar for the vehicle, it needs to look like a car worth paying top dollar for.

Yet so many homeowners don’t seem to understand the value of thoroughly cleaning their homes before putting them on the market. A home is the one thing most people own that is probably worth more than any other possession, but many don’t take the time to ensure that it brings top dollar in a sale.

A messy, cluttered house screams out to homebuyers that you don’t care. They may imagine that if you put off cleaning your house, you might have put off maintaining it as well. This, in turn, justifies lowball offers.

Clean the house until it is immaculate. If you don’t have the time, consider hiring professionals to do the job for you.

Overpriced Houses

Pricing your home over market value does not leave room for negotiation. It leaves your home sitting on the market for so long that homebuyers get the impression that there is something wrong with it.

When a new listing hits the MLS, it begins the “honeymoon” phase, with a flurry of showings. It’s during this phase that you are most likely to attract the highest offer. By overpricing the home, you are wasting this valuable marketing time, and the home may eventually end up listed for less than market value just to attract attention.

As special as we all think our homes are, they are not worth more than a buyer is willing to pay for them – which is market value. If your home is in good condition, yet still sits on the market for more than 30 days, your price is too high.

Failure to Disclose

If you’ve ever sold a home before, chances are good you are familiar with the disclosure process. If you aren’t familiar with the process, you will need to get up to speed before you respond to an offer to purchase.

As the seller, you are required to provide the buyer with any information about the house that might affect his or her desire to purchase it – including any material facts that might affect the home’s value or desirability.

For example, if you painted the ceiling to hide water stains, you wasted your time. Leaks must be disclosed to the buyer. The items that must, by law, be disclosed vary by state. California, for instance, has some of the most stringent disclosure requirements; such as deaths on the property, neighborhood problems like barking pooches or loud parties, and more. Environmental hazards must be disclosed, as well as known sex offenders in the area.

In other words, the very things you think might sabotage the sale must be disclosed to a potential buyer. Some sellers still keep secrets, which is a big mistake.

The penalty for nondisclosure? Big, fat lawsuits with big, fat payouts for the buyer. Sellers run the risk of having the contract rescinded as well.

No matter how tempted you are to keep quiet about problems with the home or the neighborhood, don’t do it. Disclose every defect that is not readily observable and that is significant to the home’s desirability. In other words, disclose everything.

There are few simple steps to avoid behaving badly when selling your home. Cleaning well, making small repairs and pricing the house right will bring in a buyer. Then treat that buyer with the respect the law demands, and you’ll have yourself a sale.