Industry

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!

Dallas, Seattle top cities for U.S. Home Price Changes

business - growth 2[reprinted] from Dallas News – by Steve Brown, Real Estate Editor, May 25, 2017

U.S. home values have risen above the peak before the last recession, according to a new report from Zillow.

Nationwide home values are 1 percent higher than they were in 2007, the real estate marketing website said in a new report.

North Texas home prices have already soared past pre recession levels.

Zillow said D-FW’s median home value in April were up 11.1 percent from a year earlier to $207,300.

That’s almost $10,000 more than the U.S. median.

Only Seattle at 11.8 percent had a greater year-over-year home price gain in April, blog 053017according to Zillow.

“Now that the typical U.S. home is worth more than ever, people may be tempted to ask if we’re in another national housing bubble,” Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell said in the new report. “We aren’t in a bubble, and won’t be entering one anytime soon.

“Supply has been slow to catch up to this demand, which is causing home values to grow at a faster clip than we might otherwise expect,” she said. “Beyond that, the market’s fundamentals look largely healthy.”

North Texas home prices are now almost 50 percent higher than they were at the peak before the recession in the summer of 2017.

Median home sales prices in the region are up 13 percent for the first four months of 2017 compared with the same period last year, according to data from local real estate agents.

It’s highly beneficial to have a professional, knowledgeable, local Real Estate Agent by your side! Call Keller Williams Dallas Metro North today for all your real estate needs!

Good News – May 2017

business - growth 5Nationally, homeowners saw 24% average return in 1st Q. 2017 – Homeowners who sold in the first three months of this year saw an average price gain of $44,000 from purchase, according to a report from Attom Data Solutions released April 27, 2017. That represents a 24% return on the purchase price – the highest gain since third quarter 2007.  Nationwide, the median home price was $225,000 during the first quarter of 2017, the report stated, up 13% from a year ago. Homes in more expensive markets have seen the highest average price gains so far this year, the report found. Sellers in San Jose, California, saw an average price gain of $356,500 (71% return on investment), followed by those in San Francisco with a gain of $276,750 (65% return on investment).  The Austin-Round Rock, Texas market is the only Texas market that shows up on the Top 20 metro areas where home sellers are making the most money when selling their homes, with an average return on investment of 39% and an average price gain of $81,795…..and that puts them at the #19 spot on the list.   

shutterstock_389597869Noble Gold Investments opens IRA depository in Dallas – Delaware and New York no longer have a monopoly on storing gold and precious metals for IRAs. This month, Noble Gold Investments opened an IRA depository in Dallas, the first of its kind in this region of the country.  Charles Thorngren, CEO of Noble Gold, said they will store everything from bullions to coins and platinum to palladium at the high-security facility. He could not disclose the  location, only that it is in Dallas.

And yes, they are storing the physical metal. Like any asset, gold prices do fluctuate from day-to-day based on economic conditions and demand. On May 12, spot prices for gold were at $1,226 an ounce.  Noble Gold stores the precious metals for a flat $300 annual fee.

Plano Water TowerAltice USA Inc. expansion to bring 400 jobs to area – International telecommunications firm Altice USA Inc. has decided to expand its presence in North Texas with a new 79,000 square feet office in Plano. The company already has an office in Plano, and this new office, which they expect to occupy by the 3rd quarter of this year, will bring 400 relocated or new jobs to the city.  The company provides internet, video and phone services throughout the country with 4.9 million residential and business customers in 21 states.  Altice has expanded its 1 Gigabit per second broadband services in Texas to about 85 communities in the state and has announced a five-year plan to build a next generation fiber optic network capable of delivering speeds of up to 10 Gbps.   

Innovative Design of Connex Office Park will Use Shipping Containers as Construction Material – Construction has begun on an office park made entirely of shutterstock_554962666shipping containers, which, once started, will deliver a new office and retail option to tenants near downtown Fort Worth.  The three-story office park, called Connex Fort Worth, will sit on a tract at 1201 Evans Ave. and is being developed with the help of 40 shipping containers.  The Connex office park is slated for completion by the end of October.  Upon completion, the Connex office park will bring a zero energy building powered with the help of solar power and wind turbine trees atop the roof of the structure.   

Grand Opening of Kubota Tractor Headquarters in Grapevine – Early April marked the grand opening of the Kubota Tractor headquarters campus in Grapevine, completingshutterstock_322361249 a 2 year building process.  The new facility includes the headquarters building and an adjacent 62,000 square foot research and development building, an outdoor water garden, and a large employee lounge and food service area.  The facilities already have about 280 employees working there, with 2017 employment expected to reach 340 jobs created. The new Grapevine campus is built to ultimately house as many as 600 workers, and has already brought a payroll of $25 million annually to our area. The completion of the $50 million campus for Kubota Tractor Corp in Grapevine has pushed the vertical limit of tilt-wall construction, with its tallest concrete panel coming in at 82 ft 11 in.  In the past, tilt-wall construction has been reserved for mainly industrial buildings, but as technology has evolved — so has the use of tilt-wall construction — and it has fully transferred into the construction of office buildings.  The building appears to be four-stories tall instead of its actual three story height and has 20-foot floor-to-floor heights. A 300-ton crane was used to erect the concrete walls.

How to Move with Kids Without Losing Your Mind

by Cathie Ericson |  Reprinted from realtor.com
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There’s no doubt that moving can be a life-draining experience under the best of circumstances. Add in kids—and it most certainly does not qualify as “the best of circumstances.” In fact, complete chaos can ensue. But don’t despair: Here are some tips to minimize the insanity of relocation with little tykes in tow.

Give them an early heads up

Kids are insightful little critters, and even the really young ones have likely gathered that something is up. Rather than letting them fret, give them the low-down on the plan as soon as you know you are moving.

“Set up a special dinner night with pizza or their favorite food and inform your kids of the move,” recommends Brad Pauly of Pauly Presley Realty in Austin, TX.

Explaining details—that mom has a new job, that the house will have a room just for them, and that the new town has a great park—will help to allay their concerns. Reassure them that all their familiar items will go with them, and that they will have ample time to say goodbye to friends.

Let them decorate the boxes

If you have younger kids, consider doing the majority of packing while they are with a baby sitter or friend, or at night. Not only are they likely more interested in shutterstock_28772560unpacking boxes, but they also might be upset seeing their things go away, even if it’s only temporarily.

Older kids can help fill boxes, and then let them unleash their creativity with stickers and markers.

“Allowing them to personalize their box of belongings keeps them busy and also makes it easier for you to identify what goes to their room when you arrive at the new house,” Pauly says. Kids will want to set up their new digs as soon as they can.

Keep kid ‘essentials’ on hand

Set aside one box of items you will need ASAP, and take it with you in your own car rather than placing it on the moving truck. Let your children choose the “essentials” in their life and place them in this box. For them, it might be a certain teddy bear or toy. No judgments!

This box is all about what your kid will want on hand. That way if the moving truck ends up late or boxes get lost, your kids know they’ve got the things they love most within reach, which curbs the odds of a first-night-in-new-house meltdown.

Keep important family paperwork around, too

Also keep in your own car a box of any important school-related documents (e.g., birth certificates, medical records, and transcripts) to ensure your kids are prepared for their new school.

“It’s easy to misplace papers when moving, so making sure important documents are ready to go will make the move less stressful on the other end,” Pauly says.

Purge while packing—with consent

Kids are hoarders by nature, and that can spell trouble when you realize you are paying to move the bottle cap collection or stuffed animal menagerie.

“This is a great time to go through their belongings and donate items that have been outgrown or overplayed,” says mom and Realtor® Susan Chace of Avenue Properties in Seattle. Talk about the fresh start they will have setting up a room sans clutter, and underscore that the donations can help someone else.

However, you want to make sure they have bought into the whole “letting go” thing; if they’re overly upset, it might be wise to table the purge.

“While you might be tempted to get rid of that broken toy or that shirt that no longer fits, you should keep it unless you’re certain your kid is OK parting with it,” Pauly warns. “Young kids tend to be attached to all their things, and ensuring they see their familiar belongings in their new home will provide comfort.”

Say farewell properly

Closure is tough for everyone, but especially for kids, who may be incredibly anxious about whether they’ll find a new BFF or if their new teacher will be as kind as Ms. Jacki.

“Have kids take photos of their room, yard, school, friends, and anything else that’s important to them so they can create a memory book of this chapter in their lives,” suggests Chace. You also might want to throw a going-away party to allow for proper goodbyes.

Enjoy the journey

If you’re moving out of the region (road trip!), make the drive part of the excitement. Show them the route you’ll be taking, and highlight areas of interest you’ll see along the way. Try to plan a few fun stops along the way. And don’t forget the souvenirs.

“If you’re traveling across many states, collect a magnet from each place you visit and display them on your new refrigerator,” says Chace.

Stick to routines

Make sure to stick to your schedule throughout the moving process, including naps and rituals like family meals or family game night, says Pauly: “Maintaining familiar routines as much as you can is reassuring.”

Finally, remind them that the most familiar thing they are bringing is still with them: their family. Cheesy we know, but deep down, your kids really do care.

Cathie Ericson is a journalist who writes about real estate, finance, and health. She lives in Portland, OR. Follow @CathieEricson

Is Home Flipping for You?

Luann 1While you may think that home flipping went the way of the dinosaurs after the real estate bust, flips actually rose 3.1 percent from 2015 to 2016, with gross profits averaging $62,624, according to research from ATTOM Data Solutions.

Home flipping enjoyed a boost last year thanks to low inventory in many areas of the country and an infusion of foreign and domestic capital, says ATTOM, who reported that roughly 6 percent of condo and single-family home sales in 2016 were flips – the highest share in three years.

Hot markets in California – like San Jose, San Diego, and San Francisco – along with cities such as Baltimore, Md., Boston, Mass., New York, N.Y. and Seattle, Wash. earned more than $100,000 in profits. The most flipping took place Florida and Tennessee, where it comprised 11.7 percent of all sales in Memphis, Tenn.

Are you ready to get into the flipping game? Consider these pros and cons:

Pro: Home flipping can be very lucrative, earning you a sizable sum of money within a very short period of time.

Con: Conversely, when a flip becomes a “flop,” you can lose money. This can happen when unexpected expenses for home repairs or taxes arise, or when holding costs accrue from paying the mortgage and other expenses for a longer than anticipated period of time.

Pro: Home flipping is a great learning experience and will sharpen your skills on all things real estate, including construction, related finances and the local market.

Con: The process can be very stressful. There will be bumps along the way and there is always a risk involved, so make sure you’re ready for the roller coaster ride.

If you’d like more detailed real estate information about your market, please contact Anne Lakusta, Keller Williams Dallas Metro North, at 972-874-1905.

Aging in Place? Prepare to Pay – or Change Your Mind

mature coupleForty-three million homeowners plan to stay put in their current home as they age, but lack the accessibility features to make it practical. A recent Insight from Freddie Mac reveals that adding those features – levered handles, widened doorways and hallways – could be costly, or impossible.

According to Freddie Mac, half of Americans age 55 and older and three-quarters of Americans age 75 and older have one or more “physical functional limitations” that necessitate accessible features at home. Approximately 1.5 million existing homes require some retrofitting to make them accessible – and 2 million will require retrofitting by 2030. Retrofitting includes relocating living space to a single floor and replacing stairs with ramps.

Simple retrofits, according to the Insight, such as grab bars and pull-out cabinets, can cost on average $100-$270. Complex retrofits, however – a bathroom remodel, for instance – can cost between $5,600 and $13,000.

Some homes, as well, are unable to be retrofitted at all. Fifty-seven percent of homes in the Northeast – which tend to be older than homes in other regions – can accommodate single floor living, compared to 73 percent in the Midwest and 80 percent in the Southwest and West.

“Nearly a quarter of all baby boomers are going to be faced with the financial realities of aging in place, which can range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac chief economist. “Of course, the cost depends on the type and condition of the home. Many older homes, such as many of the Colonial-style homes common in the Northeast and Midwest, may not be good candidates for retrofitting. For some of them, aging in place until the bitter end may not even be a possibility. Like Bette Davis said: ‘Old age is not for sissies.'”

According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) at Harvard University, only 3.5 percent of homes today have accessible features.

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