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Eat, Drink & Be Scared at these North Texas Halloween Attractions

Halloween is just around the corner, and North Texas is a great location to get your fright on! If you’re looking for things to do to get you in the spooky mood, try some of these local attractions.

Scare Factor:
1 – Kid Friendly, not scary at all!
2 – A little bit Scary
3 – Super Scary – Yikes!

The Dark Path Haunt, Denton TX
Ages – 13+     Scare Factor: 3 (See warnings/rules on website)

This scary experience takes place outdoors, on an authentic haunted trail in Denton called the Dark Path. Located in the vicinity of the legendary Goatman’s Bridge, you will step right into horror down a winding path through the darkness, lit only by a single lantern to guide you. The area surrounding the Dark path has been home to various murders, suicides, disappearances, seances, ghost sightings and paranormal investigations since 1938. Be prepared!!

Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival, October 28, 2017
Ages – ALL     Scare Factor: 1

A free, family-friendly event held outside, celebrating the fall season and paying homage to the goodness of the harvest, Dia de los Muertos, and all things Halloween, including coffin races, twilight lantern parade, and cirque du horror performance. Fun down to your bones!!

Zombie Safari, Dallas
Ages 8+     Scare Factor: 2

Zombie Safari Dallas is an interactive, real-time, first-person shooter experience where you get to shoot without getting shot back. This is a one of a kind adventure and it only happens in October. A true D/FW Zombie Hunt experience.

Zombie Safari is a full service paintball facility during the day and a Zombie Hunting Adventure at Night! Food, Snacks, Drinks, Face-painting, Corn-hole, Giant Jenga, Silly String fight area and other fun stuff to do while you wait.

Advance reservations are strongly suggested.

The Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch
Ages – ALL     Scare Factor: 1

All activities are free at the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch, including the hay bale maze, bounce houses, hayrides, pumpkin patch train, picture opportunities, playground and much more! Food vendors (on the weekend only). Pumpkins for sale. Parking charge. Visit website for more details.

Canned Goods accepted to benefit CCA.

Dan’s Haunted House, Lake Dallas 
Ages – 14+     
Scare Factor: 3 (See Warnings/Rules on website)

The 2017 Theme is “Mokusatsu – Kreep’s Atomic Shadows”. This full feature outdoor walk-through professional haunted attraction features creepy Japanese inspired sets and some of the best live Halloween entertainment actors around. “Listen for the Screams of Terror and you will know you have arrived at One of the Scariest Haunted Attractions in the DFW.”

12th Annual Saints and Sinners Tour, Historic Oakwood Cemetery, Fort Worth
Ages – ALL     Scare Factor: 1

Walk under magnificent oaks on graveled paths to meet many of the famous and infamous characters of early Fort Worth as they tell the stories of their lives and times. Twilight tours available. Presented by the North Fort Worth Historical Society.

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

 

 

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North Texas Housing Market remains strong

Keller Williams Dallas Metro North presents the September 2017 Market Reports, Courtesy of Texas Association of Realtors® (TAR) and Greater Lewisville Area Realtors® (GLAR). How is your market doing?

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Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Call us today to see how YOUR market is doing! We have over 400 qualified realtors eager to assist you with your real estate needs. 

Insider Tips: 5 Benefits of Choosing a Suburban Life Over City Living

suburban vs cityChoosing the right house for you and your family can be a very daunting process. One thing to note, however, is that the type, style and square footage of your abode are all secondary to location. Location is the one property feature that homeowners can never alter. You can redecorate, upgrade, and add on to a home, but its location will always remain fixed. As you decide whether or not you and your loved ones want to be city dwellers or suburbanites, you should consider these five benefits that can be gained from a commitment to suburban living.

1. Get More Square Footage for Your Money
When compared to the average city home, a house in the suburbs will usually provide far more square footage for the money. People living in rural areas enjoy large tracts of land that are sufficient in size for accommodating back, front, and even side yards. Moreover, many suburbs have only recently evolved from areas that were once heavily wooded, which means that they’re often still surrounded by active wildlife and plenty of trees.

2. Less Noise and Less Pollution
Suburban ParkFor some people, there’s nothing like falling asleep to the sound of trains, freeway traffic, and outside conversations. For these individuals, a short jaunt to visit family in the country can be downright maddening. They find it harder to drift off to the sounds of chirping crickets, or even deep and heavy silence. The suburbs are ideal for couples and families who enjoy quiet nights, fresher, cleaner air, and far less nighttime foot traffic near their abodes.

3. Top-Rated Schools
schools-HebronHighSchool_LISDWhether or not you have or intend to have kids, it’s important to look for property in neighborhoods with top-rated schools. Not only will this provide better educational opportunities for minor residents living in your household, but it will also increase the marketability of your property and its resale value. For instance, some of the very best places to live in Minnesota are suburban areas with nationally ranked schools. Comparatively, schools in the suburbs are far higher in quality than inner city schools. They also tend to have better standardized test scores and a lesser likelihood of overcrowding.

4. Enjoy Living in a Tight-Knit Community
Cities often provide a much broader range of housing options than most suburbs. City residents can live in apartments, condos, family homes, townhouses, and more. There’s also a much higher number of renters in cities than there are in suburban areas. This means that both units and neighborhoods tend to have higher turnover rates, and that residents have much less opportunity to forge long-lasting bonds and establish a strong sense of community. This is hardly the case in the suburbs. Historically, suburban children have the chance grow up together given that many suburban homeowners retain their properties throughout most or all of their lifetimes.

5. Take an Active Role in Community and Government
politicsIf you love democracy and want to start taking a more active role in the development and maintenance of your community, the suburbs are probably perfect for you. With fewer people living in the region, it’s much easier for residents to assume roles within local government, and to voice their opinions and be heard. This benefit additionally gives property owners a greater ability to take part in decision-making processes for issues that could positively or negatively impact their property values.

While the suburbs lack the high energy and excitement of a bustling metropolis, they do have a number of important amenities for ensuring optimally high qualities of life. Residents can find a wonderful array of restaurants, grocery stores and entertainment venues, right within their own neighborhoods. Best of all, they can enjoy these things while still managing to escape the noise, pollution, and ongoing stresses of living in a densely populated area.

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!

7 Best Things About Buying a Home in the Fall

landscape - leavesFor the first time in recent history, October surpassed June as the most popular month to get married. And these autumn-loving brides may be on to something: Although the spring months are notoriously the best time to buy real estate (as well as have a wedding), fall may be the new ideal season to buy a home.

Hear us out: One obvious reason is that it’s easier to get from open house to open house without questioning if you’ll need an AC repair ASAP upon moving into that home for sale in Phoenix, AZ. Also, families on a mission to move into a new home before school starts are out of the picture. Besides these two more obvious reasons, here are seven expert insights on why you should consider a fall real estate purchase.

Competition for houses drops off in the fall, a time many people consider to be off-season in real estate. But there are still homes for sale — and in some cases, there’s just as much inventory as there was during the spring and summer. “[Fall] means new inventory and repositioned old inventory that did not sell in the prime season,” says Wesley Stanton, a New York, NY, agent with The Stanton Hoch Team.

This puts you in a great position to negotiate. “Fall homebuyers should consider [making] lowball offers, followed by more aggressive negotiation,” says Brian Davis, a real estate investor and director of education at Spark Rental. Davis points out that many sellers are very motivated to sell before the holidays. If possible, buyers should let these sellers know that they can close before Thanksgiving or before the school winter break.

2. Sellers are worn-out

Sign Compliance (1)Some sellers who put their homes on the market during the prime selling times of spring and summer might have been a tad overconfident by listing their homes for more than buyers were willing to spend. After months of no action, these sellers are often ready to make a deal. “Sellers who were unrealistic earlier in the year about price will now be more willing to reduce the price come fall,” says Thomas Miller, a Washington, DC, real estate agent. “Because there [are fewer buyers] and because the sellers are now eager to sell, they are more inclined to take the low offer than wait another six months for spring to come around.”

3. Sellers are serious

Not all homes on the market in fall are summer leftovers. Some people need to sell in the fall because the timing is right. Maybe they were having a home built, and it’s now ready. Maybe they need to move because of a job. “The sellers with houses on the market in the fall tend to be serious,” says Sam Heskel, president of Nadlan Valuation, an appraisal management company in Brooklyn, NY. “That means sellers could be more open to negotiating and accepting a lower offer.”

4. You can take advantage of tax breaks

First-time homebuyers, take note: Although you can’t escape paying income tax, you can make a dent in what you owe when you become a homeowner. “Property tax and mortgage interest are both deductions you can take for your whole year’s worth of income, even if you closed on your home in December,” says David Hryck, a New York, NY tax adviser, lawyer, and personal finance expert. “Any payments that are made prior to the closing of the loan are tax-deductible. This can make a serious difference in the amount you owe the government at the end of the year.”

5. Fall is a safer time of year

Did you know that burglars have peak seasons? They do, says Sarah Brown, a home safety expert for SafeWise.com. “July and August are prime months for burglaries to take place,” she says. “Waiting until the fall [to buy] gives you an advantage when learning about a home and the neighborhood.” You’ll be settled in your home and can take precautions — like setting up that new alarm system — before the next burglary season rolls around.

6. You’re the center of attention

Realtor 01Because spring and summer are ideal times to buy a home, real estate agents are usually busier then. And that could mean you might not always get the attention you want. This is also true for other professionals you’re working with to buy a house. “Service providers, such as mortgage lenders and title companies, are moving out of the summertime sales swamp and can often respond more quickly,” says John Lazenby, president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association in Orlando, FL.

The same goes for movers. “Because summer is peak moving season, people often experience more delays and service issues, such as moving companies reaching capacity and running out of trucks to pick up shipments,” says Jack Griffin, president and chief operating officer of Atlas World Group. “The probability of experiencing a delay goes way down in the fall season.”

7. You can take advantage of end-of-year sales to outfit your homeSale2

There are bound to be improvements you’ll want to make after buying a house. You’ll also probably need to buy items to maintain your home, and if appliances weren’t part of the deal, you’ll need those too. Wouldn’t it be great to coordinate your home purchase with sales on items you’ll need? According to Consumer Reports, the calendar determines when it’s a good time to buy all sorts of consumer goods. In particular, September is a great time for buying carpet and paint. October means lawn mowers go on sale, and appliances and cookware are cheaper in November.

 

Article courtesy of Trulia.com

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

Buyers Remorse: 4 Ways to Conquer it

You’ve finally signed the last document. That “For Sale” sign turns to “Sold” in front of your brand-new home. The real estate agent hands you the keys, and you’re full of emotions. You should feel on top of the world, excited to move into a home of your very own. But what if you don’t feel good? What if, in fact, you feel bad? You feel anxiety over buying a house, and you’re panicked. This, my friends, is buyer’s remorse.

Why do I care about you and your remorse? Not so long ago, I also bought a house. I felt overwhelmed with creating a new budget, navigating property taxes, and all of the maintenance work I had ahead of me. Eventually, however, I overcame the fear of first-time home-ownership and grew to love my house, living day to day in my home without a care in the world. How did I conquer the hand-wringing existence you currently find yourself in? Follow these tips to help calm your nerves and fast-track your way into the rewarding world of home-ownership.

Control only what you can control
Stoic philosophers believed that to live a more content life, you should attempt to control only the things you have the ability to control. Even though they were pretty much constantly getting exiled, those guys knew their stuff.

You may feel like you’re on the brink of a full-fledged panic attack, but try to calm your fears and give this new home a chance. (Plus, you paid your closing costs, and you can’t turn back so easily now.) So strap yourself in. This is your reality now, so control what you can and make the best of it.

Remind yourself of all the reasons why you bought the home in the first place. This wasn’t a split-second decision, after all. You put in a lot of time, money, and effort to find your perfect home. You might be surprised at how quickly those anxious feelings fade when you focus on accepting (and enjoying!) your new space.

Check off one thing
Now that you’ve accepted that this is your new house, why are you panicking? Is it because you worry you will lose your job and miss your mortgage payments? Is it because there are many improvements to make to your house?

Make a list of your worries or concerns and solve just one of them. Paint a room, put in a new light fixture, or set a new emergency fund savings goal. Cross one thing off your list, and you’ve just made progress toward settling into daily life as a homeowner.

Throw a party!
Most well-adjusted adults don’t use “party” as a verb. But it’s time to make an exception, because when you buy a house? It’s time to party. Have a cookout, host a grown-up dinner party, or throw a tailgating party in your new home. The point is: Gather your friends, family, and loved ones in your home for a celebration. The enthusiasm will be contagious. Your guests will be genuinely excited for you and your new home purchase, and some of that excitement might just rub off on you too.

Find your favorite place
Walk around your house and consider each room. Be mindful of the light and of the space. Find your favorite place in your house and just enjoy it. Drink it in. Appreciate this spot. It’s the best spot in the house and this is your house. You bought it!

Whenever you feel your anxious mind running away again with buyer’s remorse, come back to this spot. This is a good, relaxing spot. It’s home. And soon the rest of the house will be too. Take a deep breath. Your buyer’s remorse will pass, and eventually, when you’re enjoying your new home (and maybe even considering buying a vacation house), you’ll wonder why you ever worried.

Source: Trulia.com, written by John Viera

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! 

Preparing your home for a Fall sale!

AutumnFall is a great time to sell a home! While springtime may be the most popular season to put your home on the market, there’s no reason to wait to sell your home – especially with housing inventories on the decline.

With fewer homes on the market, you will want to make sure your home really stands out to buyers by following these tips to prepare your home for a speedy sale:

Create Autumn Curb Appeal
Keep the outside of your home clean and neat; rake leaves, make sure lawn is mowed regularly. Plant fall flowers – chrysanthemums and pansies are very popular in this area. Make sure the front door is clean and hang a simple fall wreath. If the welcome mat is worn, replace it.

Make sure your windows are sparkling!

Check the Heating system
You don’t want any surprises when your home is on the market – be proactive and have the HVAC system checked so your furnace is ready for the first cold days of fall. By the way, you want the air inside your home to smell fresh – change your furnace filter.

Highlight the Fireplace!
First, make sure it works and is clean! Then emphasize it. Arrange your furniture to make the fireplace the focal point of the room; decorate your mantle with tasteful fall accessories or neutral artwork.

apples1Prepare Autumn Edibles
While it’s not necessary to bake cookies for your potential buyers, consider creating the same homey feel you get from baking with a few well-chosen foodie accessories. Fill a bowl with shiny red apples, open a cookbook to a chili or stew recipe (with pictures!), use autumn hued placemats on the table. Create a homey, welcoming atmosphere!

Emphasize comfort and luxury
Emphasize comfort by tossing a cozy throw over a chair, using plush pillows on the sofa, and adding a few fall accents (pinecones, pumpkins, gourds, candles). Use table linens. Don’t forget about the bedrooms – layer the beds with luxurious throws and pillows, display plush towels in the bathroom.

Brighten up your home!
Autumn signals shorter days and chances are good your home will be viewed in the evening. Make sure your outdoor lights have working light bulbs, and clean the glass. Indoors, turn on the lights! Include closets, stairways – you want your home to be bright and welcoming.

During the day, bring in the light. Pull up the blinds, open the shutters, pull back the curtains.

mintsApply a Little Southern Hospitality
While not required, it’s a nice touch to leave a treat by the front door that potential buyers and their realtor can grab as they leave your home … wrapped mints, individually wrapped candy corn, snack size candy bars. It’s also nice to provide a small tray or bowl for realtors to leave their business cards.

pumpkin-on-haybaleAbout Halloween Décor
According to Realtor.com, you don’t have to forgo all festive decorations, but you do have to choose them wisely. In general, decorations should be neutral. Think scarecrows, pumpkins, and hay bales. As for what not to do, well, avoid blood, gore, political decor, clowns, and don’t over decorate. And a word to the wise … keep an eye on the pumpkins. Nobody wants to encounter rotting produce!

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

Inventory on Longest Downward Stretch in Two Decades

Arrow downHousing inventory is officially on its longest downward stretch in two decades, with 11 percent fewer homes on the market year-over-year in June, according to the latest data preview from realtor.com®. Prices in June were 9 percent higher than those one year ago, with the national median at $275,000 and the national median age of inventory at 60 days.

“We have now gone 24 months in a row seeing the number of homes drop on a year-over-year basis, the longest streak in more than two decades,” says Javier Vivas, manager of Economic Research at realtor.com. “More markets than ever are struggling with inventory problems; in 80 percent of markets, there are fewer homes for sale currently than this time last year.

shutterstock_232969765“It’s good to see that more homes are coming onto the market, but the bulk of those homes are too pricey for the largest, most desperate group of buyers. With no clear indication that newly-built homes will be able to provide short-term relief soon, there appears to be no end in sight for the inventory shortage. The market will likely remain very challenging for would-be buyers throughout the summer.”

The housing markets ranking in realtor.com’s Hotness Index for June:

1. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.
Median Age of Inventory: 31 days

2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.
Median Age of Inventory: 29 days

3. Kennewick-Richland, Wash.
Median Age of Inventory: 34 days

4. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, Calif.
Median Age of Inventory: 34 days

5. Columbus, Ohio
Median Age of Inventory: 37 days

6. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich.
Median Age of Inventory: 37 days

7. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.
Median Age of Inventory: 37 days

8. Colorado Springs, Colo.
Median Age of Inventory: 33 days

9. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
Median Age of Inventory: 27 days

10. San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.
Median Age of Inventory: 37 days

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!