Dallas Real Estate News


Posted in 
Remodeling Adviser, by Melissa Tracey on February 6, 2017
Retrieved from:http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2017/02/06/do-a-foundation-check-5-things-to-watch-for/

Take a closer look at the home’s foundation before buying, says Matt Stock, president of U.S. Waterproofing, based in the Chicago area.  An undisclosed structural foundation repair could leave a new buyer facing a price tag of $20,000 or more.
We’ve seen foundations sink 8 inches,” says Stock. “That was a $150,000 repair for the homeowner.”Stock offers the following tips on how to detect foundation issues on your own and when to call in an inspector for further investigation:

1. Does it smell like mold or mildew? A foundation leak could be the cause.
2. Look for cracks in outside foundation outside and cracks in brickwork. Do you notice a leaning or tilting chimney?
3. Investigate the driveway and garage door too as well as the concrete patios looking for cracks as well.
4. In the basement, are there signs of water damage (e.g. peeling paint; chalky deposits left after water dries)?
5. Do doors or windows stick when opening/shutting? That is a tell tale sign of foundation damage. If you suspect any issues, be sure to have a licensed home inspector do a thorough inspection of the foundation.
“The last thing we want people to go through is a surprise $30,000 foundation repair charge upon moving into their dream home,” Stock says.
#DallasRealEstate, #CarrolltonRealEstate

Posted by Jean Pasvar on February 10th, 2017 10:05 AM

Retrieved from: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/01/06/
Millennial motherhood is on the rise. About 42 percent of millennial women aged 18 to 33 gave birth in 2015. However, birth rates among millennials whose ages are beyond 30 are rising, New research shows about 1.3 million millennial-aged women gave birth in 2015, which accounts for 82 percent of all U.S. births that year, according to the Research. Millennial women have lagged other generations in birth rates. Nearly half of Generation X women were already into motherhood by the time they were in the 18-to-33 age range, which millennials are at now.  
The desire for parenthood is strong. Sixty percent of millennials say that being a parent is extremely important to their overall identity, according to a 2015 Research survey.
Millennials are a generation carefully being watched by the real estate industry since their numbers rival baby boomers. They now comprise 34 percent of the workforce in the U.S. They’ve been slow to enter homeownership, with many industry insiders saying it’s because they’ve been saddled by debt and slow to enter into marriage and parenthood.

Source: “More Millennial Moms, Older Houses, Job & Retirement Meccas, BUILDER (Jan. 5, 2017)
#DallasRealEstate #CarrolltonRealEstate

Posted by Jean Pasvar on January 9th, 2017 10:52 AM


Retrieved from: http://realtormag.realtor.org/well-being/safety/article
After Christmas, many people put the empty boxes their expensive gifts came in out on the curb. What do you think that says to potential burglars? It screams, “I just got a brand-new TV! Come and rob me!”
That’s just one example of some unwise habits homeowners have. If you are seller opening your doors to the public for showings, habits such as these put you in even greater danger. 
Here are 10 anti-burglary tips for sellers specially, since we are in the holiday season:

  1. Maintain your property. Especially in the wintertime, many people stay indoors and neglect issues such as peeling trim or an overgrown yard. But if the home looks unkempt, thieves may think it’s abandoned and, therefore, an easy target. Cleaning your walkways to clear them of debris and removing holiday decorations and fallen tree branches in a timely manner will signal that the home is occupied.
  2. Know your neighbors. Many people don’t really know their neighbors; it’s more than just saying hi and being friendly. Invite them over to see your home before it goes on the market, and introduce them to the people they may see regularly stopping by during this time (especially your agent). Then they’ll know who is and isn’t supposed to be at your home and can better assess when there may be a threat while you’re gone.
  3. Assess your home’s vulnerability. Walk to the curb and face your house. Ask yourself, “How would I get in if I were locked out?” The first thing you think of, whether it’s the window with a broken lock or the door that won’t shut all the way, is exactly how a thief will get in. Think like a burglar, and then address the issues that come to mind.
  4. Respect the power of lighting. Criminals are cowards, and they don’t want to be seen. The house that is well-lit at night provides a deterrent because thieves don’t want the attention and the potential to be caught by witnesses. It’s wise to invest in tools that make nighttime light automation easy. That includes dusk-to-dawn adapters that go into existing light fixtures and motion detectors. But beware of leaving your exterior lights on at all times, which signifies the occupant is gone for an extended period of time.
  5. Use technology to make your home look occupied. In addition to lighting, smart-home technology has made it easier to make it appear like people are home, even when they’re not. Systems that remotely control lighting, music, and appliances such as a thermostat can help you achieve this. Though not considered smart-home tech, simple lamp timing devices available at hardware stores are also good for this purpose.
  6. Yes, it has to be said: Lock your doors. It’s amazing how many people think they live in a safe-enough neighborhood not to have to lock their doors when they leave. Some facts sellers should know: In 30 percent of burglaries, the criminals access the home through an unlocked door or window; 34 percent of burglars use the front door to get inside; and 22 percent use the back door, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report.
  7. Reinforce your locks. A good door lock is nothing without a solid frame. Invest in a solid door jam and strike plate first, and then invest in good locks. Know the difference between a single-cylinder and a double-cylinder deadbolt. Double-cylinder deadbolts are recommended because they require a key to get in and out. For safety and emergency escape purposes, you must leave the key in when you are home. But double-cylinder locks are against regulations in some places, so check with your local police department’s crime prevention office.
  8. Blare the sirens. Burglars are usually in and out in less than five minutes, and they know police can’t respond to an alarm that quickly. Their bigger concern is witnesses to their crime. For that reason, an external siren is invaluable, whether as part of a monitored security system or a DIY alarm. Even if you don’t have an alarm, it’s not a bad idea to invest in fake security signs and post them near doors.
  9. Consider surveillance cameras. The Los Angeles Police Department started a program encouraging homeowners to install a device called Ring, a doorbell with video surveillance capability that allows homeowners to view what’s outside their door on their smartphone, in a neighborhood that was a target for burglaries. After Ring was installed in hundreds of homes, the burglary rate dropped by 55 percent, according to reports. Most state and local regulations require posting a warning that people are being recorded. (But again, this can be effective even if you don’t actually have the cameras installed!)
  10. Mark your valuables and record details. Use invisible-ink pens or engravers to mark identifying information (driver’s license or state ID numbers) on items. Log serial numbers and take photos of your belongings. Check to see if your police department participates in the Operation Identification program. They will have stickers for you to place on doors or windows warning would-be thieves that your items are marked. These steps may prevent them from pawning or selling stolen items and can help you reclaim recovered belongings.
#DallasRealEstate #CarrolltonRealEstate

Posted by Jean Pasvar on December 7th, 2016 5:25 PM

In this time of gratitude, I give thanks for you. I value your patronage and appreciate your confidence in me. Counting you among my clients and friends is something for which I’m especially grateful.

I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.

#DallasRealEstate #CarrolltonRealEstate

Posted by Jean Pasvar on November 23rd, 2016 10:11 AM

2016 was marked by low interest rates and a surge of millennials entering the housing market, so what can real estate professionals expect to see in 2017? Market Watch recently broke down some major themes that will impact your business in the upcoming year.
The suburbs are not dying, in fact John Burns Consulting says almost 80 percent of residential growth to occur in suburban communities over the next 10 years. Suburbs are, however, incorporating urban amenities like pedestrian-friendly shopping areas, general walkability, and entertainment options. This new type of suburbia also has a new name: Surban.

Word to know: Surban

"These developments are more than simply mixed-use," says Danielle Leach, a senior consultant at John Burns Real Estate Consulting in Chicago. "Surban living is becoming a new way of life for many: where the blend of urban and suburban living provides the best of both worlds."

Housing preference to know: the Move-Up

Many millennials are skipping the starter home altogether and are focusing on the "move-up" home. According to Jessica Lautz, managing director for research at NAR, many millennial buyers have put themselves in a good position in terms of savings, and want something more than a condo or a starter home. You'll want to make sure you're pointing your millennial clients in this direction when helping them with their home search.

Demographic to know: Generation Z

Believe it or not, the next generation of buyers, those who make up Generation Z, are already becoming a focus for real estate professionals, since the first wave will turn 18 in 2017. Gen Z grew up in a much different time than the millennial generation, and experts say they overwhelmingly aspire to be homeowners. At a recent panel at the 2016 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando, a group of Gen Z kids revealed that they want to be reached via technology platforms that were on their level like Snapchat, and not Facebook, which they say is for "old people." They also ranked green features and location as things they find important. Working with a real estate pro is also important to them. In fact,a  whopping 81 percent of Gen Z said they want to work with an agent when buying a home.

Source: "5 big real-estate trends to watch in 2017," MarketWatch (Nov. 15, 2016)
#DallasRealEstate, #CarrolltonRealEstate

Posted by Jean Pasvar on November 21st, 2016 9:19 AM

By: Steve Brown, Real Estate Editor

Retrieved from: http://www.dallasnews.com/business/real-estate/2016/11/14

Developers have gotten the planning go-ahead to build a new transit-oriented development in downtown Carrollton.
Stoneleigh Cos. — which is building one of Uptown Dallas' new apartment towers — and Realty Capital will develop the four-story, 234-unit Switchyard apartment community on Broadway Street at College Avenue, just east of Interstate 35E.
The planned rental project is across the street from the downtown Carrollton DART commuter rail station. And the site is at the crossroads with the planned Cotton Belt passenger rail line, which will run to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
"We're looking to break ground in February," Stoneleigh CEO Rick Cavenaugh said.
He said construction of the two buildings should take 16 to 18 months. Carrollton's planning and zoning commission recently approved the development.
EDI International is the architect for the project.
Stoneleigh is just finishing its 20-story One Uptown apartment high-rise on McKinney Avenue in Uptown. And the developer has another new rental community in the works just north of Main Street in Frisco.
Stoneleigh's project will be the second urban rental community built at the downtown Carrollton DART station.
Developer High Street Residential constructed the 311-unit Union at Carrollton Square starting in 2012.
#DallasRealEstate #CarrolltonRealEstate

Posted by Jean Pasvar on November 19th, 2016 8:24 AM

Eighty-six percent of Americans are unaware that insurers' use of the claims history for the previous owners of their home can be factored into setting their premiums for a new policy, according to a new survey of more than 1,000 adults by Insurance Quotes.

Many insurers use CLUE — Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange — to report and check the claims history of homes. Yet, only 12 percent of buyers say they ask for a CLUE report before buying their current home, according to the survey. 

“Consumers of all ages, from millennials to seniors, are almost entirely unaware of how the CLUE database affects their insurance rates,” says Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at Insurance Quotes. “In most states, an inquiry about property damage can be added to your CLUE report and used against you, even if you never file a claim.” 

Only the owner of a property can request a CLUE report. Home buyers, therefore, need to ask sellers to obtain a copy on their own behalf.

“The CLUE report, which maintains data up to seven years, is a valuable tool for home buyers because it reveals prior claims and potential risks,” Adams says. “It also helps home sellers provide full disclosure about their property’s condition.”

The CLUE report can be obtained for free once every 12 months. 

Source: InsuranceQuotes
#DallasRealEstate #CarrolltonRealEstate

Posted by Jean Pasvar on November 16th, 2016 8:16 AM

Older home owners who leverage the equity in their home may be better off in funding their retirement, according to a new study by the Urban Institute. However, the recession may have hampered many retirees’ abilities to do so.

Before the recession, home owners aged 65 or older could have used their home’s equity to increase their retirement income by over 50 percent – up to $60,000 –either by borrowing a home equity line of credit, selling their home at a profit, or taking a cash-out refinance or second mortgage. However, the Urban Institute’s study notes that percentage fell to 50 percent – up to $49,000 – by 2012, even though retirees accumulated an average 10 percent more equity than in 1998. Home owner’s equity grew from $117,000 to $166,000 between 2000 and 2006 before falling to $129,000 by 2012.“Not only does a house meet the basic needs of shelter, but it’s an asset that typically can be used to build wealth as home owners pay down their mortgages,” the study’s authors note. “In fact, many retirement security experts argue that the conventional three-legged stool of retirement resources—Social Security, pensions and savings—is incomplete because it ignores the home.”

The study’s authors say that older home owners have more opportunity to unlock the wealth potential of their homes in retirement, particularly now with the recession over.

“The majority of older adults, regardless of income, race and ethnicity, and education, own homes that they could use to help finance their retirement,” the authors note.

Source: “Study: Home Equity Still a Retirement Failsafe?” RISMedia/Urban Institute (Nov. 13, 2016)
#DallasRealEstate #CarrolltonRealEstate

Posted by Jean Pasvar on November 15th, 2016 10:09 AM

Average fixed-rate mortgages edged higher this week, but forecasters are unsure if the rising rates may be a temporary blip or a more lasting one.

"This week's survey reflects pre-election market conditions,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “As a result, the 30-year mortgage rate increased to 3.57 percent, only 3 basis points higher than last week's level. On Wednesday, the 10-year Treasury yield closed above 2 percent, about 25 basis points higher than its pre-election value and its highest yield since January. At this point, it is too soon to tell whether Treasuries will hold this new level or if the mortgage rate will increase as much over the coming week."

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Nov. 10:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.57 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.54 percent average. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 3.98 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.88 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 2.84 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.20 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.88 percent, with an average 0.4 point, increasing from a 2.87 percent average the prior week. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.03 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac
#DallasRealEstate #CarrolltonRealEstate

Posted by Jean Pasvar on November 14th, 2016 8:07 AM

For home owners who are putting their house on the market, they may want to take a closer look at their kitchen. It can become a deal-breaker for buyers.

“Dated kitchens—just like bathrooms—are a major barrier for resale,” says Michael Shaw, leader of operations at Centennial360, a custom home builder and renovation contractor in Saskatoon, Canada. “Buyers want modern amenities and styling, and most aren’t interested in renovating post-purchase.”

For landlords looking to rent out the space, the same applies too.

“Renovating your kitchen can make the home more appealing and allow it to command a greater rental price,” he says.

But kitchen remodels are known for being pricey. Even a minor upgrade could cost upwards to $20,000. Rest assured, not all kitchen redesigns have to be expensive. A few strategic kitchen renovations can make your money stretch and still have a big impact, all for under $500.

For example, painting the cabinets white may make for a modern redo. The cost of the paint will be about $150 for the cost of the paint. Add in about $100 more for new cabinet hardware and the kitchen can take on a drastically different look for under $300.

A new backsplash may add more style to the kitchen space too. For example, a mosaic subway tile may add more of a modern twist. One company called SimpleMat can help DIYers install a backsplash without the use of mortar too. The cost is about $170.

Take a look at the kitchen’s lighting too. Buyers love bright spaces so make sure there is ample light. Also, consider adding an LED undercabinet light to add a glow onto the kitchen cabinets. The cost is about $40.

For a really dated countertop, home owners may be best off spending the money to replace it. Quartz is especially on-trend nowadays. Or in a pinch, home owners could try a top coating over their current countertops. Rustoleum’s Counter Top Coating is about $40 for a tint-base.

Need more ideas? Check out these resources from REALTOR® Magazine to gather more ideas about sprucing up kitchens for less:

Source: “7 Signs Your Kitchen Is Way Overdue for a Remodel,” realtor.com® (Nov. 10, 2016) and “Before & After: A Fresh Kitchen Makeover for Under $500,” Apartment Therapy (2016)
#DallasRealEstate #CarrolltonRealEstate

Posted by Jean Pasvar on November 13th, 2016 9:25 AM


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