Housing Reports Indicate Buyers still need to move quickly

Area Housing Reports were just released by Greater Lewisville Association of Realtors (GLAR) and it appears buyers still need to move quickly, as the days on market figures have all decreased from October 2016 numbers.

FlowerMound-Oct17

Good News for Flower Mound buyers – the median price for homes is down 6.3% compared to a year ago!


Highland Village-Oct17

The numbers indicate Highland Village remains a hot area, with homes selling quickly (days on market 24 days less than a year ago) and very little inventory.


Denton-Oct17

The Denton Market is UP! Active Listings – UP 7.6%; Closed Sales – UP 1.4%; Median Price – UP 4.4% … Buyers still need to move quickly in this sellers market.


Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Call us today – we have over 400 qualified realtors ready to assist you!

 

 

 

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10 Projects to “Green” Your Home

“Going green” means living in a way that’s environmentally friendly. It uses less water, less electricity, and less fuel, conserving natural resources while protecting the environment. It also saves money on utility bills, which is something all homeowners can appreciate. From simple to elaborate, here are a few ways to green your house and property.

Focus On the Light

Replacing your most-used light bulbs with CFLs will lower your electric bill while producing less heat and lasting longer than your incandescent bulbs.

While you’re at it, consider adding dimmer switches, motion sensors, and timers for when you’re away from home in the evening. Also, keep your light bulbs clean: Dirt and grease coats the bulbs and not only reduces the available light, but causes the bulb to burn out sooner.

Mix Your Own Cleaners

Many commercial cleaning products contain bleach and other harsh chemicals. Switch to natural products and solutions you mix up yourself. Clean up hard water deposits with vinegar, for instance, or use it to wash your windows. White vinegar mixed with hydrogen peroxide also sanitizes countertops (killing 99 percent of E. coli).

Go Low-Flow

Low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators (the tip that screws on to the nozzle) cost little and can save about half the water without sacrificing water pressure. Low-flow toilets are another option. Look for a water-saving toilet displaying the WaterSense label. Alternatively, fill a 2-liter bottle with water and drop it in the toilet tank to displace some of the water. This will force the toilet to use less water per flush.

If you’re in the market for a new water heater, consider choosing a tankless water heater. It allows you to use the same amount of water, but it heats the water only when it’s needed, so you save a lot of energy. Wrapping a conventional (tank-based) water heater with a special insulation and insulating all the hot-water pipes also conserves energy.

Spread the Greenery

To really green your house and property, visit your local plant and tree nursery. Outdoors, shade trees not only cut your cooling costs (up to 25 percent), but in the winter, trees and shrubs also break the wind and affect your heating costs. Inside, plants not only make a home feel more comfortable, they also help purify the air and produce oxygen.

Reduce VOCs

Indoors and out, you’re surrounded by volatile organic compounds. VOCs are any carbon-containing substance that “off-gasses” (meaning it becomes a vapor, or evaporates) at room temperature. VOCs pose a significant health hazard. Paints, varnishes, cigarette smoke, pesticides, gasoline and other fuels, various glues and adhesives, cosmetic products, automotive exhaust, even cleaning products are but a few of the items that contain VOCs. When painting, look for low VOC paints, particularly those featuring the Green Seal.

Look for the Energy Star Logo

Getting rid of old appliances and upgrading to new, energy-efficient models can save you a significant amount of money. The EPA suggests replacing any appliance older than 10 years. Select models displaying the Energy Star logo to ensure energy efficiency.

Plant a Garden

Gardening can be a soothing activity, but this project also ensures you have healthy food. Home-grown food costs drastically less, enhances the outdoor environment, and reduces the environmental impact of commercially-bought food. Even if you have a small property, you can use containers and hanging devices to maximize your growing space.

Reduce Your Need for Paper

Register for paperless billing with utility and finance companies, and stop getting as much unsolicited mail as possible. The Federal Trade Commission offers a guide on how to “just say no” to junk mail.

Use Reclaimed Wood

Have a DIY project needing wood? “Used” wood is environmentally friendly and creates a beautiful look. Salvaged lumber can be used anywhere regular wood is used. You can even get creative and build a fence with wood pallets, for instance.

Move the Air

Insulating and sealing your home is critical. Another simple project to lower your heating and cooling costs is installing ceiling fans. In the winter, set the rotation to push warm air downward; in the summer, switch the blade rotation to draw warm air up instead. Moving air makes it feel cooler in the summer as well, allowing you to keep the thermostat a little higher.

As you green your home and lifestyle, be on the lookout for additional incentives. You may be eligible for tax benefits for some energy-saving projects. Going green doesn’t have to be expensive,

STAGING YOUR HOME TO SELL!

In a manner of speaking, staging your home is putting its best foot forward: you’re setting up each room to look inviting to prospective buyers of all types. Showcase your home’s best features, and minimizes any flaws.

Clean and clear
Ideally, you’d start with a completely empty home, painted in neutrals and perfectly clean. In reality, you get as close to this ideal as you can by boxing up personal items, clearing out closets and stacking everything neatly in your tidy and [now] organized garage and attic. Items that must stay out in the open need to go in bins or baskets to keep your home free of clutter. This includes toys and kitchen and bathroom items you need to use daily. And of course everything must be dusted and cleaned of fingerprints and footprints!

Start the staging
Your rooms should look inviting, but they still need to have the minimum furnishings possible so buyers can imagine their own belongings in there more easily. Play to the strengths of each room by accenting its best features. Create conversational groupings in common areas.

Light it up
Bright lighting make the room look warm and welcoming. Chase away dark corners by using both ambient lighting and accent lights.

Head outside
Your patio and yard should also be selling features. Clean up the furniture, make sure the cushions aren’t sun-faded, and get the garden in shape. If you don’t have a green thumb, large potted plants can dress up the exterior.

Make every space count
Dress up a Spartan guest room with a comfy chair and pretty lamp to create a cozy reading spot. The guest room should be obviously a guest room; the same goes for the office. Ambiguity in a room’s purpose can be confusing to homeshoppers. Make it clear what each room is for. If you have an oddly shaped landing, or a little nook in the living room, don’t ignore it: show its potential.

Keep up daily
This can be the hardest part! But while your home is on the market, you need to keep the garbage empty, the laundry folded, the pet toys out of sight, and the cap on your toothpaste.

It’s hard to show your home while you’re still living in it, but you need to think about what a new homeowner will be looking for: a fresh start and a place for their family and their belongings. You want your home to appeal to the most number of people possible. Keep these tips in mind to help your home sell quickly and for more money!

 MAGGIE PANIAGUA
Senior Loan Officer
direct: (214) 290-8090
cell: (863) 602-5970
fax: (864) 469-0994
NMLS: 398878
2611 Cross Timbers Rd., Ste 100
Flower Mound, TX 75028
Email Me
Visit My Website

REAL ESTATE JARGON, EXPLAINED!

It pre-dates “textese” and pager codes, but even to individuals familiar with those modern informal languages, real estate lingo may still be incomprehensible.

There are two types of real estate slang: the acronyms used in ads (of which there are over 6,000) and the daily jargon used by real estate industry professionals in their work. If this is your first real estate rodeo, let’s bring you up to speed on what you may hear coming from the mouth of your real estate agent.

Contingency: It’s surprising how many real estate professionals throw this word around as if everyone knows what it means. “Don’t forget, we have to remove that contingency,” might just as well mean “I need to see a podiatrist for something growing on my foot.”

A contingency is simply a clause in the contract that puts off the terms of the contract until another event occurs. Think of it as saying: “This contract isn’t enforceable unless X occurs by such-and-such a date.” Common contingencies include the sale of your current home, obtaining a firm offer of financing, the home appraising for at least the loan amount, and acceptable inspection results.

CC&Rs: Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions are the governing documents of a homeowners association. They set forth what are known as deed restrictions – which include how the association operates and the rules and regulations that all homeowners must follow. Although that sounds pretty straightforward, these are important documents that may be challenging to read through.

CID: A Common Interest Development is a combination of individual ownership of property and property held and managed in common among all the individual owners. CID might describe a condominium, planned community or cooperative – any development where the individual owns the unit and shares ownership in the common areas.

Closing Costs: The fees paid at the closing of a real estate transaction are known as closing costs. These costs vary, and some are negotiable and may be paid by the buyer, the seller or both.

CMA: Comparative Market Analysis. A research report compiled by a real estate agent that analyzes a segment of the housing market to determine the market value of a particular property.

Escrow Impound Account: You will be asked to prepay taxes and insurance when you close on a home. This money goes into an escrow impound account and is used to ensure that these bills are paid on time. Not all mortgages require an escrow impound account, and if your loan-to-value ratio is 80 percent or less, you may be able to have this requirement waived and sometimes the lender will charge you for this.

FHA and HUD: The Federal Housing Administration is an office overseen by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Many Americans assume that “FHA loans” are loans actually granted by this agency. They’re not. The FHA guarantees the repayment of the loan granted by a conventional lender.

GFE: Good Faith Estimate. A form supplied by the lender that itemizes the terms and costs of the loan for which you have applied.

HOA: Homeowners Association. This is the governing body of a common interest development. It is made up of a board of directors, elected by the homeowners.

HOI: Homeowner’s Insurance. This is required by the lender and it protects the property from hazards such as theft and fire. It also covers your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries on your property, including those caused by pets that live in the home.

HUD-1 Settlement Statement: An itemized list of services and fees charged to the borrower by the lender. By law, the borrower is given at least 24 hours before closing to inspect the HUD-1.

MLS: Multiple Listing Service. A database on which listing brokers share information about properties for sale with other agents. The information contained in the MLS is proprietary and typically not available to the general public.

PITI.: Pronounced “pee-tee,” this acronym stands for Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance, which, combined, make up your monthly mortgage payment.

PMI: Short for private mortgage insurance, a policy paid for by the borrower but benefitting the lender. Lenders typically require PMI when the loan-to-value ratio exceeds 80 percent.

PUD: Planned Unit Development. These developments are designed to offer amenities and conveniences not found in conventional subdivisions. They are typically governed by a homeowners association. Some PUDs are a mix of residences and retail operations.

REALTOR®: Many consumers assume that all real estate agents are Realtors®. This isn’t true. A real estate agent must be a dues-paying member of the National Association of Realtors® to legally use the term REALTOR®. (The association requires the registered trademark symbol be used with the term.)

Title Insurance: There are two types of title insurance policies. One covers a buyer’s interest in real property. The second type protects the lender. Title insurance is necessary to protect your interest from other claims of ownership.

TDS: Transfer Disclosure Statement. This describes a form that is filled out by the seller and given to the buyer as part of the disclosure process. The TDS contains a list of questions that must only be answered by the seller (not by his or her agent). Some of these questions are about the condition of the property and whether or not the seller has knowledge of any major repairs made to the house and items on the property, such as burglar alarms, sump pumps and even rain gutters.

VA Loan: A mortgage offered to U.S. service members, veterans and sometimes spouses that is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Zero-lot line: When a home sits right on the lot’s boundary, with little or no space between homes, it is said to have a zero-lot line.

Keller Williams Dallas Metro North Sold ALMOST 2/3 OF A BILLION IN REAL ESTATE

WE HAVE SOLD ALMOST 2/3 OF A BILLION IN 2014!

WE ARE SELLING MORE, SELLING FASTER, AND SELLING AT A HIGHER PRICE.

To find an agent please visit our website or call the office TODAY! http://www.kwmetronorth.com 972.874.1905

Decamber LORE

WHAT WAS THE GOOD NEWS FOR DECEMBER?

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The first-ever College Football Playoff national championship game, which is expected to have an economic impact of $308 million, is ready to be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.  There are 3 fan events linked to the championship game: Playoff Fan Central is at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Jan 9 – 11 and on Friday, January 9th at 8:00pm CMT’s Ultimate Kickoff Party will air live & will feature country superstars Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum, Big & Rich and Brett Eldredge.; Playoff Playlist Live! is a family friendly music event on Janury 10-11 at American Airlines Center featuring headline performers Lenny Kravitz and Sting; Championship Tailgate is free for game ticket holders and is at the stadium, with fans enjoying the ESPN broadcast sets and a music from the Zac Brown Band.

VivaAerobus has announced that they will be launching service from DFW Airport to 3 Mexican cities -– Guadalajara, its home base of Monterrey, and Cancun.  Plans for next year have flights to Guadalajara and Monterrey beginning March 28 and Cancun starting in July.  The schedule that VivaAerobus shows will start out with three flights a week to Guadalajara on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays, and two flights a week on Tuesday and Saturdays to Monterrey.  VivaAerobus is considered a low cost option and is gaining market share in Mexico.

Fort Worth came in as the top big city in the nation for population growth between 2000 and 2013, boasting a 42.34% increase.  The U.S. Census Bureau released a ranking of the fastest-growing large cities for percentage population growth between 2000 and 2013 on December 4, 2014 – and Fort Worth was at the top of the list when ranked against 30 other cities with populations of 500,000 or more in the year 2000.  Austin, which came in third, had 27.45% growth and #4 on the list, San Antonio, experienced 18.73% growth .  El Paso ranks No. 5 on the list expanding its population by 17.2%.   Houston ranked No. 14 with a 9.2% population gain, and Dallas was ranked 24th with 2.83% population growth.  Charlotte, NC  ranks #2 on the list, growing by 40%.   Interesting to note the New York added the most people — 260,721 — but only grew 3.26%.

After a decades-long relationship with the city of Fort Worth, Tarleton State University plans to build a new campus to anchor a massive 2,000-plus acre development in southwest Fort Worth alongside the newly completed Chisholm Trail Parkway.   The 80-acre campus will be half the size of its main campus in Stephenville, which is about 70 miles southwest of Fort Worth.   Close to 3,000 students, of Tarleton’s total enrollment of 11,681, currently come from Tarrant County.  If built, the school would be the first public university in Fort Worth.   The new university is subject to funding from the state, so stay tuned for updates.

Medical waste recycler Renew Blue Industries will open a new facility in Sherman, creating more than 100 jobs and providing new disposal options for the growing medical industry in DFW.  Renew Blue, a company that recycles nonhazardous medical waste plastics, will begin operations in the former Sherman Manufacturing facility in February 2015.  The company primarily recycles a polypropylene plastic cloth commonly called “blue wrap” into plastic pellets, and projects that the facility will eliminate about 10 million pounds from North Texas landfills per year.