As many communities in the North Texas area are headed back to school this week and next; I wanted to put out a reminder about some of my previous posts on our local schools.
Additionally, if you are looking to search for homes for sale by school or school district, check out my Collin schools page. You can also search by other school districts and schools, using my Advanced Search.
Our Schools Are Some Of The Best In Texas
We have some of the best schools in the state. I run into folks daily who are targeting specific schools in their home search. Check out this article from last year about our top-ranked elementary schools.
This year the Texas Education Agency rolled out the report card rating system on our schools. This website is a great way to research schools.
Each Scool District Has Distinct Advantages
I love all that our area school districts have to offer. Check out this article that will help you break down some of the differences in some of our larger districts.
How Can We Help You?
Give me a call if you need help setting up your specialized school search. I am here to help! Have a great school year.
The numbers are in! That is right - the end of June marks the end of the first half of 2019. It is hard to believe this year is halfway over. Time flies when you are selling homes.
What's the market like?
Lately, people have been remarking about how many homes they see for sale in their neighborhood. Real estate activity always picks up in the summer. However, this summer, the days on market indicator has jumped way past the point it was at this same time last year. Inventory is high, and demand has waned. In spite of the high inventory, prices held steady.
Take a look at the video below where I discuss the market and dropping interest rates with loan officer, Anthony Patton.
Text Anthony Patton for mortgage or interest rate questions: 214-226-0885
Buyer's Market? Seller's Market? Balanced Market?
In a nutshell, we are experiencing a balanced market. I like the market this way as both buyers and sellers can benefit.
Of course, every area is different - and hyper-local matters! So if you would like a detailed report for your specific neighborhood, contact me, and I will get a similar statement to you specific to your location.
One month down and just one and a half to go! Summer will be over before we know it. If you are wondering what to do with your remaining time, then check out some of my favorite picks for area summer activities.
There are so many fun choices all over the metroplex, but I narrowed it down to my favorite three. Then I threw in an alternate! Let's go!
1. Family Fun Fridays at the Arboretum
Summers at The Arboretum are splendid. The current feature is the Gary Lee Price "Celebrate the Children" exhibit of sculptures. These sculptures are so much fun to see. Be sure to check out Family Fun Fridays going on now through July 28th. There will be a petting zoo and face painting as well as other family fun activities.
On July 21st you won't want to miss the annual Ice Cream Crank-Off in downtown McKinney at Chestnut Square. Celebrate National Ice Cream Day bigly! There will be plenty of food vendors and TONS of ice cream. Also on the agenda are pony rides, face painting, balloon art, and a magic show.
Why are rental investments so popular in North Texas?
Real estate investing is one of the best ways to safeguard your future. This is true, especially in North Texas. Historically, our housing market is on the rise. When our housing market dips, it is usually a small dip followed by a recovery. Here is a snapshot of the Collin County market trends over the past 10 years.
Properties in the area are likely to increase in value over time.
Population growth is exploding in Collin and surrounding counties.
Corporations are flocking to the state to set up headquarters.
North Texas schools are some of the best in the country.
All of these are great reasons to buy and also to invest in homes in the region.
4 Great Benefits Of Owning Rental Property
Cash flow is the result of subtracting all expenses from income. The key to figuring out your cash flow is to understand ALL of your costs. Expenses on a rental can include mortgage, taxes, HOA dues, homeowner's insurance, repairs, capital expenditures, property management, supplies, vacancy rate, etc. The more money you put down on the home, the higher the cash flow potential you will realize. This is a great article on calculating cash flow for your rental.
Beyond cash flow, investors should consider property appreciation. While not always, generally speaking, housing values tend to appreciate over time. An investor in a rental property needs to make smart and efficient repairs and improvements to the home over time, keep the home maintained, and buy in a desirable location. This sets you up for the best chance of appreciation. Read more about this subject here.
By taking out a loan for an investment property, you can leverage your resources to own more properties. As long as you have carefully calculated your cash flow, you should realize a more substantial profit. These are some great articles showing how leverage works.
Landlords have a few tax advantages over regular homeowners. They get to deduct items such as interest, insurance, maintenance, and even depreciation over time as business write-offs. Read more about that here.
What makes a house the right candidate?
The property should be in a desirable location where plenty of potential renters live. The home should be priced well - not over-improved or under maintained. The rental should produce a beneficial return on your investment. This is another great article to help you find the right home.
When you are ready to get started on your next investment home, give me a call. We can get started right away.
The Texas Association of Realtors recently released the 2019 Texas Homebuyers and Sellers Report. It has some excellent data on the makeup of home buyers and home sellers in our great state. It also offers some great infographics on how we compare to national statistics.
The New vs. Preowned Debate
One area where Texans differ from the rest of the nation is in the purchase of a new home. The report states that 29% of homebuyers in Texas bought a new home compared to only 14% nationwide. I think the statistic makes sense given the population surge we've experienced in the last few years.
Motivation Behind The Decision To Build Or Buy Existing
The reasons why people purchased a new home or an existing home were fascinating. The study cites that the motivation for buying new construction is mostly to avoid renovations and repairs, amenities of new communities, customizing the design, and energy efficiency. In contrast, those buyers that purchased an existing home stated that value, price, and charm were the most significant deciding factors.
Of all my research on this topic, I found my old buddy Dave Ramsey with the best take on the debate of new versus existing. His pro/con list is spot-on.
Last year, I took the plunge and moved to a smaller home for the empty-nest phase of life. We debated new construction, but in the end, we opted for location and the charm of a pre-owned home in an established neighborhood. The only thing I wished I had in my new-old home is better energy efficiency. We will get there eventually with some new insulation and upgrades to the mechanicals as they age.
Looking For New Construction?
What about you? Are you a buy-new kind of Texan? If so, I have an outstanding resource for you. You can view all of the new home sites in one place with this great tool. Give it a try!
Finding A Great Pre-owned Home To Suit Your Needs
If you are a pre-owned kind of Texan, then use my Advanced search feature to see all the homes available within your custom parameters.
Ready To Buy?
Whether it is new construction or an existing home, I have all the tools and resources to keep you on track, on budget, and on time. I can make your Texas home dreams come true! Give me a call today.
It is that time of the year where parents everywhere are looking for ideas to keep those kids active during the summer months. If you are one of those frazzled parents, scrambling to find a great camp, I've got a great resource for you.
I recently attended a presentation by the Texas A&M AgriLife Water University. Have you seen the new facility? It looks impressive, and I look forward to the eco-park to opening later this year.
The Catch Can Test
In honor of Earth Day, I bring you a simple watering test I learned about from the resources at Water University. You can easily perform this test to ensure that you are properly watering your lawn.
Texas A&M AgriLife recommends one inch of water per week from your sprinkler system during dry periods. The root zone of most lawns runs about 6 inches deep in clay soils. One inch of water will fill this zone.
The catch-can test will help you understand how long you need to run each station on your system. Take a look...
Here are the steps summarized:
Place cans in a grid within the sprinkler zone.
Water the zone for 5 minutes
Divide 1 by the number of inches you collected. (If you obtained a quarter of an inch of water, then you would divide 1 by .25 giving you 4)
Multiply that number by 5 - in this example, the result is 20. That is the number of minutes the station should be run to obtain one inch of water.
The dry season is coming, and it makes sense to water smart. I hope this inspires you to make a plan and participate in making water-efficient choices.
It is also house-hunting season. I've got the smart plan to help you in this department. Whether you are ready to buy a home, sell a home, or both, I can help you get it done. Give me a call.
I've got a great resource here to help you get started. They say that if you have not purchased a home in the last three years, you are essentially a first-time home buyer. That is because our contracts in Texas are changing every year. Whether you are a seasoned home buyer or a first-time home buyer, I can help you get to the finish line with finesse.
I've created an infographic outlining eight things you can do now to prepare yourself to buy a home.
Start with partnering with a genuine real estate professional. Your agent will be essential to your success. The best part is that they work for you, protecting your best interest, and it does not cost you a thing. The seller or the builder will pay the fees of your agent in most cases.
Next step is getting with a lender if you are going to be financing your home. A lender will make or break your deal so make sure you are using a local and reputable lender. I've got my favorites linked right here.
We are coming up on one of the best spring passages in Texas. Bluebonnets! For so many of us, it is one of our favorite things about Texas. I love watching for them as I travel - they bring such peace and comfort. I also enjoy seeing my friends and family post pictures on social media of kids and pets amongst the blooms. This year promises to be one of the best years to view them because of the wet fall we had.
Today I bring you two truths and a lie about the great flower.
The Texas bluebonnet grows throughout the state. There seems to be a bit of a power struggle for the top spot, but Texas is big enough for more than one. The bluebonnet festivals take place the weekend of April 12th thru 14th this year. There is one in Chappell Hill, Burnet, and Ennis, with Ennis being the closest one to our area. Take a look at the Bluebonnet Trails in the Ennis area.
The state of Texas adopted the Bluebonnet as the state flower in 1901. It narrowly beat out the cactus or cotton boll. I am personally grateful for all the votes the bluebonnet received. There are actually 6 species of the bluebonnets that are all under the umbrella of the state flower - ones of different colors like red, pink, purple, and maroon.
There is a rumor out there that it is against the law to pick a bluebonnet. That is not true - you may pick a bluebonnet if you have permission. It is never allowed to pick OTHER PEOPLE'S bluebonnets, and you must always make sure you have permission to be in any fields you come upon.
Another Spring Rite Of Passage
There is one other phenomenon that ushers in with the bluebonnets. That is the spring housing rush. If you are ready to jump into the market to buy a home or sell a home, give me a call.