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Cooler fall temperatures point to outdoor fun in North Texas!

Labor Day has passed, but that doesn’t mean the fun has ended in North Texas! In fact, Fall’s cooler temperatures make outdoor events the perfect place to be! So grab your family and friends, and head outdoors for a great time at these area fairs and festivals.

grapefestSept 14 – 17, 2017 The 31st Annual GrapeFest! Grapevine TX
The four day family-friendly event includes a grape stomping competition, live entertainment on 3 stages, KidsWorld with interactive games and a live aquarium exhibit. The festival features six different wine experiences, including the People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic  and Grapevine’s Urban Wine Trail. Fun for the whole family!

Sept 16 – 17, 2017 Family Camp Out, Twin Coves Park, Flower Mound TX
Experience Flower Mound camping by pitching a tent at Twin Coves Park! Various family games and activities will be provided along with a catered dinner and breakfast. Bring a tent, tent decorations, sleeping bags, bug spray, and flashlights. The “Most Creative” tent will win the tent decorating contest and a prize! Cabins and RV slots are additional charge and must be booked separately. Pre-registration required by 9/11.

Events - Balloon FestivalSept 22 – Sept 24, 2017 – Plano Balloon Festival, Oak Point Park, Plano TX
45 hot air balloons, sky divers, live music, fireworks and a kids zone. Tethered balloon rides available. ½ Marathon, 5K and 1K runs. General Admission is $5. Parking is $5-$10.

Sept 23 – Nov 22 – Autumn at the Arboretum, Dallas Arboretum, Dallas
Pumpkins, gourds and squash … oh my! This year’s theme for the internationally acclaimed pumpkin village is The Wizard of Oz, featuring 90,000 pumpkins, as well as gardens with 4,500 Chrysanthemums and 150,000 stunning, fall blooming plants. Named one of the “16 Most Beautiful Public Gardens to Visit in the fall,” by House Beautiful magazine. Cost $10-$15

shutterstock_357524000Sept 29 – Oct 22, 2017 The State Fair of Texas! Fair Park, Dallas
For 24 wonderful days, The State Fair of Texas is the largest fair and stock show in the state. Enjoy Big Tex, live music, carnival rides, good eats, art shows and more!

Sept 29 – 30, 2017 Lewisville Western Days Festival, Lewisville TX
The Western Days festival was designed to showcase the history and spirit of the west. Find your inner cowboy through themed events, attractions, food, shopping and entertainment. 3 stages, arts and crafts, Kid Kountry (children’s activities) and a cattle-drive parade round out this fun family event. FREE admission until 7pm each day.

Oct 7 – 8, 2017 Cottonwood Art Festival, Cottonwood Park, Richardson TX
Now in it’s 48th year, the semi-annual Cottonwood Art Festival is a juried show and features works from the nation’s top visual artists. Also features a variety of music, food, spirits, lake views, boutique and Art Stop (children’s area). Well-behaved dogs are welcome!

bonnie and clydeOct 14, 2017 Bonnie and Clyde Days, Pilot Point Town Square
Free festival commemorates and reenacts the filming of the bank robbery scene in the 1967 Bonnie and Clyde movie. Old-time family fun includes 2 reenactments, Model A and Classic Car show, the chain Gang Walk, pie eating contest, Kids Zone, live music and more.

Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Call us today – we have over 400 qualified agents ready to assist you with your real estate needs. 

 

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What’s the GOOD News for July

Good News1July 25, 2017

Uber Freight – Uber’s going big into trucking and nowhere bigger than Texas. This spring, Uber launched Uber Freight, an app that matches truck drivers with loads of goods to pick up and deliver.  Texas, and routes between Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, served as the test ground before the app’s launch.  Texas’ large truckingUber_logo.svg business made it an obvious place to start, since about 14%  of U.S. freight comes in and out of Texas.  About 70% of Uber Freight’s loads and drivers are based in Texas.  Similar to the ride-hailing app, Uber Freight allows truck drivers to pick up extra work when they want to. They also can find a job that fills up their truck on the way home.  Nearly 10% of the nation’s truck transportation workforce lives in Texas. The Dallas-Fort Worth area has the third highest number of tractor-trailer drivers, trailing only New York and Chicago, according a recent study by Dallas consulting firm Site Selection Group, so Uber Freight will continue to be active in the North Texas trucking industry.

Flag_of_Plano,_TexasFrontgate –  On July 21st,  the choices for furniture shopping in North Texas improved with the opening of the flagship store of Frontgate in Plano’s Legacy West.   The luxury lifestyle brand already has more than 20,000 catalog customers in this area.  In total, today Frontgate sends monthly catalogs to 10 million affluent households, and its website has 25 million visitors a year.   The store has 21,337-square-feet with a covered 2,500-square-foot outdoor patio.  Inside, there’s a bistro area where customers can have a complimentary glass of wine, an espresso or a snack.   Frontgate has a another store in Atlanta similar to this north Texas store, and also has a handful of outlet stores.

 3.eia.logoElectricity Prices declining in Texas! – Shopping for electricity is becoming cheaper for most Texans, according to a new study from the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power.  About 85% of Texans can purchase electricity from several providers in a deregulated marketplace, while the remaining 15% must buy power from a single provider in their area.

The report from the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power, which advocates for cities and local governments and negotiates their power contracts, pulls information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration to compare prices for Texans in the two models. 3.electric-632731_960_720Most Texans could begin choosing their electricity provider in 2002.  Between 2006 and 2015, average residential electric prices for Texans in a competitive market decreased by 17.4%, while average prices increased by 5.5% in the regulated areas.  Overall, the average price of electricity in Texas — including the price in the deregulated marketplace, for the third time in four years — was below the national average in 2015.  A separate study from Rice University – one that looked at different and more recent data – found that in 2016, both regulated and deregulated parts of Texas had electricity prices that were decreasing year over year, and cheaper than the national average.

4.homebuildersBuilders answering the demand for lower priced homes – Dallas-Fort Worth builders started 8,812 houses in the second quarter — the greatest quarterly building total since fourth quarter 2006, housing analyst Residential Strategies Inc. reports.   Builders sold 8,244 homes in the second quarter, up almost 13% from a year earlier, scaling a new peak in quarterly sales since the summer of 2007.  Starts during the period were 12% higher from second quarter 2016 — most of the rise in home construction came for houses priced under $300,000.  With the high demand for more lower priced inventory homes, the median price of new homes started in the area fell to $344,094, down from almost $352,000 a year earlier.  Higher land and materials costs, and a shortage of labor have inflated the price tag on new houses, however with brisk demand at prices under $500,000, builders are answering the need.  The biggest increases in starts during the quarter were in Celina, Southwest Fort Worth, Forney, Wyly, the Colony and Princeton.

 5.DFW.airport.parking.termDDFW Airport parking prices not expected to rise – For the first time in five years, there are no new parking rate increases planned at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.   The airport’s parking revenues are expected to remain flat in its next fiscal year as more customers choose to use services like Uber and Lyft instead of parking their cars at the airport. Currently, terminal parking costs $24 a day while parking at the express and remote lots costs between $10 to $15 a day.

DFW Airport receives fees from the car-for-hire services, which is becoming a larger percentage of the airport’s ground transportation revenues. The fees have grown from 6.5% in 2015 to an estimated 11.5% for 2018.

Summer in North Texas – Fun Fun Fun!

Summer Heat? … Pshaw!! North Texas has it all when it comes to fun summertime outdoor activities. So many things to see and do under our beautiful Texas blue skies. So grab a Texas sweet tea and explore all North Texas has to offer!

Bartonville Farmers Market
Bartonville Town Center, 2652 FM-407 Bartonville TX 76226
Every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to sell-out

Lakeside Music Series
The Shops at Lakeside DFW, 2314 Lakeside Parkway
Every Friday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. through the second week of November.

Dallas by Chocolate Foodie Tours
chocolate tourA fun way to learn more about our area, these luxury bus and walking tours take groups and individuals on Corporate Team Building, Taco & Margarita, BBQ, Bishop Arts, Best of Everything, Hidden Dallas, Italian, Bacon, Wine, Scavenger Hunt, Best of Everything and Chocolate Tours. Named “One Of The Ten Best Things To Do In Dallas” by USA Today.

Walking Friends and Fun Meet-up group
Nature hikes, urban hikes, park walking, leisure bike riding and the company and friendship of nice people – the motto of this group is “Get off the Couch!” The group is not about extreme exercise but they do enjoy getting out and being active.  Everyone is welcome!

Evenings on Oak Street Concert Series
Austin Street Plaza, 221 N. Oak Street, Roanoke. 7 – 8 p.m.
Next concert scheduled for August 10 – continues through September 21. Check website for exact datesfireworks.jpg

Friday Fireworks in Grapevine
A 12-minute show every Friday night over Lake Grapevine at 9:30 p.m.
Fridays, May 26 – September 4, 2017

Yoga in the Plaza
Wayne Ferguson Plaza, 150 W. Church Street, Lewisville
Every Wednesday until September 20, 6 p.m. Bring your yoga mat or towel/blanket, water, and your family & friends!

Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA) Nature Preserve
offers a variety of outdoor experiences for all ages. Kayaking, hiking, stargazing, bird walk, nature hike, tours of Minor-Porter Log House. LLELA is 2,000 acres of prairies, forests, and wetlands managed as a wildlife preserve by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, University of North Texas, City of Lewisville, and Lewisville ISD.

Denton County Farmers’ Market
Corner of Mulberry Street and Carroll Boulevard, Denton TX
Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to sell-out, through September

Highland Village Concerts in the Park
Doubletree Ranch Park, 7:00 p.m.
Through September 23Events - Balloon Festival

Highland Village Lions Club 30th Annual Balloon Festival
Friday, August 18-Sunday, August 20, 2017
HV Unity Park, located near intersection of Briarhill Blvd and FM-407

Glow in the Dark Nerf Wars!
The Battlefield, 1512 I-35W, Denton 76207
Saturday, July 22, 2017 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Fort Worth Rockin’ the River – Tubing on the Trinity & Live Music Series
Panther Island Pavilion
Every Saturday until August 5th

Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Over 400 qualified real estate agents to assist you with all areas of real estate. Contact us today!

For Millennials, Homeownership Is a Waiting Game

shutterstock_282602042Millennials have their sights set on homeownership – but a new report makes a case that their dreams could be years from becoming reality.

According to a recent survey, though 80 percent of millennial renters aspire to become homeowners, 72 percent are held back by an inability to afford a home, with saving for a down payment the most challenging obstacle to overcome. Sixty-eight percent have less than $1,000 saved for a down payment; 44 percent, decidedly, have no down payment savings at all, and 40 percent have no savings plan in place to start.

Older millennials – those aged 25-34 and now in their prime home-buying years – are struggling to save for a down payment, as well: 42 percent have set aside nothing.

millennial-moneyThe down payment goose egg suggests millennials grossly miscalculate how much savings they need to afford a down payment, whether 20 percent – ideal to avoid monthly mortgage insurance and obtain better mortgage loan interest rates – or less. (In fact, when controlling for a 10 percent down payment, only 36 percent can save enough in three years.)

Another snag? Millennials who are saving up for a home have a long wait ahead of them. According to the survey, most will need to save for more than five years to accumulate enough for a 20 percent down payment, with those in the hottest housing markets – think ATX, the Bay Area and Silicon Valley – needing to wait roughly 20 years.

Injured Piggy Bank WIth Crutches“Our analysis shows that the lack of savings by millennials, combined with the extreme shortage in affordable entry-level homes, means that a large share of millennials may be stuck renting for years,” according to report authors Andrew Woo, director of Data Science and Growth, and Chris Salviati, senior growth associate, at ApartmentList.com.

All’s not doom and gloom, however. Millennials saving for a home in Kansas City, Mo., will need to squirrel away money for just five-and-a-half years, while those in Las Vegas, Nev., and Miami, Fla., will need about 6 years.

Millennial - indecisiveThere are other, less intimidating influencers keeping millennials from entering the housing market, too. Forty-five percent are “not ready to settle down” yet, and 36 percent are simply waiting to say “I do.”

“These results underscore the long-term crisis that homeownership in the United States may face, as millennials delay buying a home until later in life,” the authors state. “One of the outstanding questions for the housing market has been whether or not the nation’s largest generation – millennials – will purchase homes at rates similar to their parents or if they will continue to rent long into adulthood, or even indefinitely.”

For now, millennials are playing the waiting the game.

5 Sizzling Reasons to Buy a Home NOW

summerWe’re heading into the dog days of summer here in North Texas. The days are longer, the pool water is warm, and ice cream sales are up!

Yep, we’re sitting right in the middle of the most popular time of the year to buy and sell a home. And there’s no reason to sweat the idea of buying in the summer. In fact, there are some distinct advantages to making your way into the marketplace during housing’s hottest season – as long as you can stand the heat of a little competition.

1. Prices aren’t necessarily higher

“A huge myth about the real estate market is that homes sell for more in the summer and less in the winter. This is simply not true,” says Dippy Chhina of Dippy Real Estate.

Let’s be clear: Home prices do usually peak in June–August. And it’s a seller’s market in most areas. But other forces beyond the summer sun play a major role in a home’s asking price, Chhina notes. They include the number of similar homes also for sale in a given area, interest rates, and the job market.

“What is true, however, is that there are more homes on the market in summer than in the winter, and there is also a higher number of sales in the summer than the winter,” Chhina says.

Which leads us to our next summer-buying advantage.

2. Inventory is broader

shutterstock_1638721You wouldn’t buy a car from a dealer with only two models for sale, so why limit your options when it comes to picking a house? The open-plan kitchen you’ve been yearning for or a home in a stellar school district is much more likely to pop up in a busier marketplace.

“The large inventory offers significantly more opportunities for purchasers to identify specific floor plans, amenities, and locations,” says Sarah Lilly of Five Star Lakeshore Real Estate. Buyers “feel more confident in their search because additional properties hit the market every week.”

In some less competitive markets, knowing that there are plenty of homes for sale can give you more leverage for price negotiation, and peace of mind knowing that if you have to walk to away, another home will be just around the corner.

3. Buying and selling at the same time could be easier

If you need to sell your current home before you can buy another, you’ll likely have an easier time with the balancing act during the summer. Rather than getting trapped with two mortgages, you could have a more seamless transition in a busier market.

“If the client needs to sell a home before buying, the home will be more likely to sell, and potentially at a good price, allowing the client to purchase their new home sooner,” says Joe Lopez of Connect Realty.

But remember, these transactions take time, so if you’re planning on pulling off a double act, get ready as soon as possible so you can capture as much of that golden season as you can.

4. School’s out for summer

kidsAny beleaguered parent can tell you why this factor is crucial. By waiting until summer to make your move, you can minimize disruption to your kids’ lives. Plus, their schedule is clear to bring them along to showings. (Beware, though, not all agents appreciate young kids underfoot.)

“House hunting during the summer break from school means that kids can more readily attend showings— important when offer time is of the essence and parents want each member to approve of the new family home,” says Orlando Regional Realtor Association President Bruce Elliott, of Regal R.E. Professionals.

And if the sellers have kids, they might also be trying to cement a sale in time for the new school year—and will likely be more motivated toward the end of the season.

“Sellers who find their properties still on the market as summer draws to a close and the ranks of buyers thin out may be more open to price negotiation,” Elliott says. “In addition, those buyers who were unable to secure a home after months of looking and making offers may become fatigued and drop out of the hunt.”

5. You’ll get to know the lay of the land

It’s easier to do a little detective work on your potential home when the weather’s nice and the days are longer. Trees and flowers are in full bloom, so you’ll get a better idea of your prospective new yard. You can step out on that back porch and envision what it will really, truly be like to live there and host your long-anticipated Margarita Mondays. Plus, everyone’s more active, so you’ll get a better feel for the community.

“Summer brings people out of their homes, so while you are home shopping with your agent, you will get the chance to take the pulse of the neighborhood and see your potential neighbors,” says Kyle Springer of South Central Homes.

“Families can often get a feel for the neighborhood’s kid population during the day in the summer,” Elliott says. “Here in Orlando, where daytime temperatures reach the high 90s and so many homes have pools, buyers listen for sounds of shouting and splashing.”

But beware! Sometimes the romance of summer can distract you from some red flags.

cellphone tower“It is fine to stop and smell the roses, but also pay attention to what lurks behind them,” says Jerry Grodesky of Farm and Lake Houses Real Estate.

For example: the eyesore of a junk pile in your neighbor’s yard. Or the giant cellphone tower you didn’t see through those beautifully full trees—that now you can’t unsee. And make sure that foliage isn’t blocking any potential problems with the home, such as foundation issues or peeling roof tiles.

You should also use this opportunity to test how the property holds up in warm weather. See how well the air conditioning works when it’s pushing 100 degrees outside, and open all the windows to see if any stick or simply won’t open. Of course, your home inspector will check these things, but it never hurts to get a jump-start.

Source: Realtor.com

Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Call us today for assistance with your real estate needs!

What’s The GOOD News?

Good News1

June 20, 2017

Toyota2

Toyota Plano – Starting May 15, 2017, the first wave of Toyota employees — mostly in facilities and information systems management — began working in the new 2 million square foot North American headquarters in Plano.  By December 11, 2017, about 4,000 Toyota employees will work in the 100-acre development.   The company plans to move in employees in waves of about 250, with a peak of about 350 during the summer. Construction is expected to officially end in October and the project is reported to have remained on schedule.

Forbes1Forbes 2017 Global 2000 List – The Forbes 2017 Global 2000 list of the world’s largest public companies was released in late May.  The list features public companies from 58 countries that together account for $35.3 trillion in revenue, $2.5 trillion in profit, $169.1 trillion of assets, and have a combined market value of $48.8 trillion. All four metrics are up from the 2016 ranking, with market capitalization up 10% from last year. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank are the #1 and #2 largest public companies in the world, with the top five rounded out by three American financial institutions: Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

AT&T has leapfrogged Exxon Mobil in Forbes’ 2017 Global 2000 list, taking over the perch as the largest public company in Texas.  The Dallas telecom giant moved up a spot to 11th in this year’s edition of the rankings, with Exxon dropping down to 13th from 9th in 2016.  Japanese automaker Toyota Motor comes in at the 10th spot on the list. Round Forbes4Rock-based Dell Technologies Inc. landed at No. 608 overall and No. 14 in Texas on Forbes’ list.  Dell has been privately owned since a 2013 buyout led by CEO and founder Michael Dell, but it has a tracking stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “DVMT.”  Overall, the U.S. earns 565 of the top 2,000 spots, with China grabbing 263 and Japan taking 229.   The three countries account for more than half the list.

 DFW1DFW International Airport – More than 18 million passengers are expected to travel through Dallas Fort Worth International Airport during the 2017 summer travel period — a projected increase of 3.5% over last year.   More than 65 million customers pass through DFW Airport every year, making it one of the most frequently visited super hub airports in the world. The airlines serving the DFW offer a total of 163 domestic and 55 international nonstop destinations worldwide, including new DFW2nonstop routes to Rome and Amsterdam.  DFW Airport plans to spend $400 million on infrastructure, including an August 2017 start date for a new north entry cellphone lot, a better baggage handling system at Terminal B, passenger boarding bridges and more employee parking over the next few years.

TreeHouse – Home improvement retailer TreeHouse, which opened in TreeHouse4Dallas Friday June 2nd, is the world’s first retail store to produce more energy than it uses. A Tesla power pack battery wall stores harvested solar energy to redistribute when needed, and to put excess back into the grid. All of its plants are native species and watered from harvested rainwater. The store uses daylight as much as possible, and cools by using Big Ass fans.

The Austin-based home improvement store sells products that fall into 3 categories: Performance – meaning energy efficient merchandise,EKO_symbol_cmyk windows, roofing, insulation; Design including paint, flooring, cabinetry, lighting; Landscaping including decking, irrigation, gardening.  Many products come from recycled materials, are free of toxins, are more sustainable or integrate automation for ease.  Inside the store, customers will also experience a live kitchen with local chefs demonstrating smart-home appliances, and two to three classes each week on topics like native landscaping.  The location is at the northeast corner of Interstate 75 & Walnut Hill Lane. The store will span 25,000 square foot, including 5,000 to 10,000 square feet for an outdoor landscaping section.  TreeHouse has also announced it will open a second North Texas location this fall at the corner of Preston Road and Park Boulevard in Plano, adjacent to a Whole Foods.

EpicWaters1New Epic Waters Waterpark – A new Dallas-Fort Worth Waterpark is set to make an EPIC Splash! The city of Grand Prairie announces their new $75M recreational facility that is slated to open in November of this year.  Epic Waters indoor waterpark is an indoor-outdoor venue with a retractable roof that’s open year round.

EpicWaters3The park will have nine water slides, including an outdoor wave pool, a lazy river, an activity pool, a children’s area, and an arcade. There will be cabanas, a full-service grill/bar, and private party/meeting areas, both indoor and outdoor. It’s part of The Epic recreation center, which will feature fitness equipment, indoor tracks, a digital library, and recording studio. The complex will also have a 5,000-seat amphitheater, and more than two miles of trails. Epic is the final phase of the 172 acre Grand Central recreational development.

Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Call us today for assistance with your real estate needs!

Keller Williams Dallas Metro North remains a strong presence in the Metroplex!

Newest data indicates that Keller Williams Dallas Metro North remains a strong presence in the Dallas/Fort Worth real estate market!

Slide1In May 2017, Area 41, Keller Williams Dallas Metro North (KW-DMN) closed more than twice as many units as the next closest brokerage firm.

Area 41 = the communities of Argyle, Bartonville, Copper Canyon, Corinth, Double Oak, Flower Mound, Hickory Creek, Highland Village, Lake Dallas, Lewisville, Shady Shores and parts of Hebron and Northlake.

 

Slide2Similarly, YTD 2017 data for Area 41 clearly demonstrates that Keller Williams Dallas Metro North (KW-DMN) closed more than double the units of their nearest competitor!

Area 41 = the communities of Argyle, Bartonville, Copper Canyon, Corinth, Double Oak, Flower Mound, Hickory Creek, Highland Village, Lake Dallas, Lewisville, Shady Shores and parts of Hebron and Northlake.

 

Slide3In May 2017, Keller Williams Dallas Metro North (KW-DMN) ranked 5th in closed units for the D/FW four-county area (Collin, Denton, Dallas and Tarrant Counties). Also notable – Keller Williams brokerage firms are a strong presence in the area, holding the top eight positions for closed units in the Metroplex!

 

slide4YTD 2017 figures indicate another strong showing by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North (KW-DMN), ranking 5th in the D/FW four-county area (Collin, Denton, Dallas and Tarrant Counties) for closed units. 8 of the top 10 Metroplex brokerage firms for Closed Unit Data belong to Keller Williams brokerage offices!

 

Slide5Keller Williams Dallas Metro North (DMN) improved to 5 fewer days on market for YTD 2017 when compared to 2016.

Furthermore, our listings are selling 16 days faster than the area MLS listings, an improvement over 2016 figures by 3 days!

Area 41 = the communities of Argyle, Bartonville, Copper Canyon, Corinth, Double Oak, Flower Mound, Hickory Creek, Highland Village, Lake Dallas, Lewisville, Shady Shores and parts of Hebron and Northlake.
It’s highly beneficial to have a professional, knowledgeable, local real estate agent by your side! Contact Keller Williams Dallas Metro North today for your real estate needs!