Dallas

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.

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!

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!

4 Strategies to Make a New City Feel Like Home

Moving to a new city? You may find these tips from Real Simple Magazine helpful.Moving - 1Many big changes follow graduation day—including the overwhelming task of moving, often to a new, unfamiliar city. If you’ve recently settled in a brand new place, or you plan to move any day now, this week’s episode of “Adulthood Made Easy” is for you: Host Sam Zabell interviews Terri White, editor of Time Out New York, on how to take advantage of everything a city has to offer. Here, a few of White’s strategies for feeling a little less lost.

One last thing … “WELCOME to Texas!!!”
area - texas welcome

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.