• Laundry Room Storage: 5 Naked Truths

    Unless you do your laundry in the buff, it’s one chore that’s never really done. Follow these laundry room storage ideas, however, and you can breeze through your dirty duds in no time. Read

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2010 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Need a new laundry room?  Call the experts at 972.365.0432. We can help you find the perfect fit!

Article by New Home Gal. www.myrobinsonteam.com  www.northtexashomefinders.com

Cody and I just listed our personal home for sale and I have been treating it like one of my client’s listings.  Wow. I really am tough. So much packing and de-personalization.  But I have noticed the people who did exactly what I said and sometimes more, sold the property in less time than those that didn’t listen.  So I spent the weekend boxing up toys, cleaning out the office, turning the dining room back into a dining room, etcetera.  Here is the home.  If you know someone who is looking to move to Frisco, we would love to show them this home!  Priced to sell at $263,122 for 3640 square feet loaded with upgrades.  Call 972.365.0572 to schedule your private tour today!

 
Four Dallas Fort Worth school districts were awarded exemplary ratings by the Texas Education Agency for the 2008-2009 school year. Three of these districts, Carroll Independent School District, Highland Park Independent School District and Lovejoy Independent School District, top this 2009 ranking of the best school districts in the DFW metroplex, The other DFW exemplary rated district, Sunnyvale Independent School District, is in the fifth spot.Top 10 Dallas / Fort Worth school districts

   
average campus accountability rating
number of campuses rated
1
Carroll Independent School District
3.00
11
1
Highland Park Independent School District
3.00
7
1
Lovejoy Independent School District
3.00
5
4
Argyle Independent School District
2.85
4
5
Sunnyvale Independent School District
2.77
3
6
Coppell Independent School District
2.72
14
7
Prosper Independent School District
2.69
5
8
Frisco Independent School District
2.62
40
9
Allen Independent School District
2.58
19
10
Melissa Independent School District
2.54
4
 
Campus accountability ratings
Exemplary = 3 Recognized = 2 Academically Acceptable = 1 Academically Unacceptable = 0

District accountability ratings and campus accountability rating information for school districts located in the DFW metroplex are shown at the bottom of this page. Also provided is a description of the methodology used to develop the average campus accountability rating on which this ranking of Dallas area school districts is based.

Data from Texas Education Agency Site

If you need help deciding whether or not it’s time for you to buy, then give me a call!

Amy Underwood

972-921-8787- cell

Owner/Realtor/ Buyer Specialist

North Texas Home Finders

www.NorthTexasHomeFinders.com

After walking through thousands of homes with buyers (both new and preowned), I have found one easy thing that sellers can do to make sure their home is showing the best possible presentation…

Lighting!!!   Open all your curtains/binds (make sure your windows are clean) and turn on all the lights and lamps.  A home feels so much better with light.  If all the lights are turned off and the blinds are closed, the home feels like a cave when you walk in.  The cave living was fine for man before we evolved, but not now.

That is it!  One simple step to make your home show its best.

Article by NewHomeGal, Teresa Robinson.  Owner/Agent  Contact Teresa at 972.335.0571 or Teresa@NorthTexasHomeFinders.com  Visit www.northtexashomefinders.com for more information.  For community-specific information, also visit www.BuyProsper.com for added content.  Interested in a free market snapshot of your community?  Visit www.dfwhomeexperts.com and sign up today!
Robinson Team

With my new construction back ground, I just love keeping up with the latest trends.  This tidbit was taken from the January 2010 Nation Association of Home Builders survey of builders.

10 Most Likely Features that builders will include in 2010.

1. Walk-in closet in master bedroom

2. Laundry Room

3. Insulated Front Door

4. Great Room

5. Low-E Windows

6. Linen Closet

7. Programmable Thermostat

8. Energy Efficient appliances and lighting

9. Separate Shower & Tub in master bathroom

10. 9 foot ceilings or higher on 1st floor.

Article by NewHomeGal, Teresa Robinson.  Owner/Agent  Contact Teresa at 972.335.0571 or Teresa@NorthTexasHomeFinders.com  Visit www.northtexashomefinders.com for more information.  For community-specific information, also visit www.BuyProsper.com for added content.  Interested in a free market snapshot of your community?  Visit www.dfwhomeexperts.com and sign up today!
Robinson Team

Organic Weed Control Techniques

Weeds are simply plants that we don’t consider desirable in our gardens. They compete with garden plants for nutrition, moisture and space. Most soils are banks of weed seeds. When we cultivate the soil in our organic gardens, we help the weeds germinate. How can you combat this huge seed bank in your soil? Here are some organic gardening techniques for weed control:

Mulch: Using a healthy layer of mulch in your garden beds is a great way to keep weeds under control. You can use grass clippings, chipped branches, beauty bark, hay, leaves or compost. Apply it thickly so that it keeps sunlight from reaching the soil. This will prevent weeds from sprouting.

Hand Weeding: Good old-fashioned human labor is a great way to get some exercise and clear your organic garden of any undesirable plants.

Barriers: Laying a barrier of plastic or newspaper down around your organic garden plants will block weeds. Newspaper is preferable because it is organic and can be turned into the soil in the spring. Wet the newspaper down as soon as you place it to stop it from blowing away, and then cover it with a layer of straw.

Article courtesy of Real Estate .com

If you need help deciding whether or not it’s time for you to buy, then give me a call!

Amy Underwood

972-921-8787- cell

Owner/Realtor/ Buyer Specialist

North Texas Home Finders

www.NorthTexasHonmeFinders.com

One of the most confusing parts of the home buying/selling process is understanding the closing costs involved.  I know before I started in Real Estate, I thought if a home cost $200,000 then I needed $200,000 to buy it.  Wrong.  There are other fees involved.  Even if you have the full amount in cash.  Let’s take a look at what you can expect.  Remember this is just an estimate.  These numbers are based on a home purchase in Texas. Your area may have different fees.  Check with a realtor for details.
 
Sellers:
In Texas, it is customary for the seller to pay for the owner’s title policy.  This is based on a formula of .00534 x (sales price -100,000) +843.  Let’s take the example of a $200,000 sales price. Your owner’s title policy will cost you $1,377.  Additional fees a seller can expect to pay include the broker fees (what your agent and the buyer’s agent are charging to sell your home), escrow fees (this is the what the title company charges to handle the transaction),  you will have attorney fees from the title company (this is simply to prepare and review the documents), courier and express mail fees,property taxes (for the time you live in the home), recording fees (to file the documents with the county), survey fee (if you cannot find your original survey or you have made changes to the property), tax certification fee, wiring fees, HOA transfer fee (if you community has an HOA), and in some cases the buyer may ask for a Residential Service Contract otherwise known as a Home Warranty.  On a $200,000 sales price, the seller can expect closing costs to be around $17,000 including all of the fees listed above. This is assuming a tax rate of 2.9% closing on May 1st. In some cases, buyers will also ask for their closing costs to be paid. This can add an additional 4% of expense or ($8,000).

Buyers:  Your closing costs are different from the owners.  Especially if you have a loan for the purchase of the property.  With a loan, you can expect to pay to set up an escrow account.  Think of this as a mini savings account that the mortgage company is going to use to pay your property taxes and home owners insurance at the end of the year.  You will set it up with 14 days worth of interest for the loan, 2 to 3 months of property taxes, and 14 months of home owner’s insurance.  Also with a mortgage, you will loan fees.  Don’t forget your down payment.  The minimum down payment these days in most cases is 3.5% of the sales price.  The title company will also charge you a fee for handling the transaction.  Let’s take the $200,000 sales price as an example here as well.  You can expect closing costs with a minimum down payment to be around $15,000.  Remember when negotiating your purchase with seller, you can ask for the closing costs to be paid for by the seller.  This will reduce the money you need to bring to closing by $8,000.  This means for a $200,000 home you would need $7,000 to close.

Hope this helps clear up some of the questions about closing costs.  Remember these are just estimates.  Fees can vary from title company and also broker to broker.

Article by NewHomeGal, Teresa Robinson.  Owner/Agent  Contact Teresa at 972.335.0571 or Teresa@NorthTexasHomeFinders.com  Visit www.northtexashomefinders.com for more information.  For community-specific information, also visit www.BuyProsper.com for added content.  Interested in a free market snapshot of your community?  Visit www.dfwhomeexperts.com and sign up today!
Robinson Team

Navigating Short Sales: What to Do When the Sale Price Leaves You Short

If you’re thinking of selling your home, and you expect that the total amount you owe on your mortgage will be greater than the selling price of your home, you may be facing a short sale. A short sale is one where the net proceeds from the sale won’t cover your total mortgage obligation and closing costs, and you don’t have other sources of money to cover the deficiency. A short sale is different from a foreclosure, which is when your lender takes title of your home through a lengthy legal process and then sells it.

 1. Consider loan modification first. If you are thinking of selling your home because of financial difficulties and you anticipate a short sale, first contact your lender to see if it has any programs to help you stay in your home. Your lender may agree to a modification such as:

  •  Refinancing your loan at a lower interest rate
  • Providing a different payment plan to help you get caught up
  • Providing a forbearance period if your situation is temporary

When a loan modification still isn’t enough to relieve your financial problems, a short sale could be your best option if

  •  Your property is worth less than the total mortgage you owe on it.
  • You have a financial hardship, such as a job loss or major medical bills.
  • You have contacted your lender and it is willing to entertain a short sale.

 2. Hire a qualified team. The first step to a short sale is to hire a qualified real estate professional* and a real estate attorney who specialize in short sales. Interview at least three candidates for each and look for prior short-sale experience. Short sales have proliferated only in the last few years, so it may be hard to find practitioners who have closed a lot of short sales. You want to work with those who demonstrate a thorough working knowledge of the short-sale process and who won’t try to take advantage of your situation or pressure you to do something that isn’t in your best interest.

 A qualified real estate professional can:

  •  Provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) or broker price opinion (BPO).
  • Help you set an appropriate listing price for your home, market the home, and get it sold.
  • Put special language in the MLS that indicates your home is a short sale and that lender approval is needed (all MLSs permit, and some now require, that the short-sale status be disclosed to potential buyers).
  • Ease the process of working with your lender or lenders.
  • Negotiate the contract with the buyers.
  • Help you put together the short-sale package to send to your lender (or lenders, if you have more than one mortgage) for approval. You can’t sell your home without your lender and any other lien holders agreeing to the sale and releasing the lien so that the buyers can get clear title.

 3. Begin gathering documentation before any offers come in. Your lender will give you a list of documents it requires to consider a short sale. The short-sale “package” that accompanies any offer typically must include

  •  A hardship letter detailing your financial situation and why you need the short sale
  • A copy of the purchase contract and listing agreement
  • Proof of your income and assets
  • Copies of your federal income tax returns for the past two years

 4. Prepare buyers for a lengthy waiting period. Even if you’re well-organized and have all the documents in place, be prepared for a long process. Waiting for your lender’s review of the short-sale package can take several weeks to months. Some experts say:

  •  If you have only one mortgage, the review can take about two months.
  • With a first and second mortgage with the same lender, the review can take about three months.
  • With two or more mortgages with different lenders, it can take four months or longer.

Article taken from Realtor.org

If you need help deciding whether or not it’s time for you to buy, then give me a call!

Amy Underwood

972-921-8787- cell

Owner/Realtor/ Buyer Specialist

North Texas Home Finders

www.NorthTexasHonmeFinders.com

I found this great website today for our current home owners out there.  It gives wonderful maintenance information for your home.  Updates that have proven returns, must do maintenance items, and more.  Check it out:

www.houselogic.com

Article by NewHomeGal, Teresa Robinson, Owner/Agent
Contact Teresa at 972.335.0571 or Teresa@NorthTexasHomeFinders.com  Visit www.northtexashomefinders.com for more information.  For community-specific information, also visit www.BuyProsper.com for added content.  Interested in a free market snapshot of your community?  Visit www.dfwhomeexperts.com and sign up today!
Robinson Team

 Let’s face it. A ton of people are getting Tatoo’s these days.  I can’t say that I have any desire to voluntarily have someone shoot me with a needle over and over again.  Laser hair removal was hard enough to bear the pain!  So why is the real estate transaction process easier than getting a tatoo?  No Pain.  Especially if you have an expert on your team.  We will take all the stress and pain and solve each problem as it arises.  Best of all the process is only temporary.  Once you have closed on the home (either selling or buying) it is over.  You have cash in your pocket (or no mortgage to pay any more) or a new home to live in. 

Let us make the process easy for you!  Call today.

Article by Teresa Robinson, Owner/Buyer Specialist, North Texas Home Finders
Get a Buyer Specialist and rest easy! The builder pays our service charge from their advertising budget which is built into every home they sell. Since these fees do not come out of the home construction budget, you cannot negotiate one penny of a better deal alone.  Visit www.northtexashomefinders.com for more information.

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