September 2014

Found 20 blog entries for September 2014.

Many eager first-time homebuyers were sidelined by the worldwide economic recession. It’s hard to commit to any decision – much less such a major one – when you read almost daily that the market is falling or downward pressure continues. Who needs any kind of pressure?

So it’s not surprising that, after such an exceptionally lengthy period of down or nearly flat economic expansion, the optimism that drives sales of all kind has been slow to reappear. But for the home buying public, and especially for first-timers, that hesitation could prove costly if, as it now seems likely, the market is entering its recovery phase. So just what does a ‘recovering market’ mean for today’s buyers?

The first sign will be a wakeup call: buyers will no longer find a

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When the time nears to sell your Dallas home, one extra bit of due diligence can pay off in the most meaningful way: helping you to get the best return on your investment. It’s not a requirement that every listing agent may suggest, but particularly if yours is an older home, it is one you should consider: ordering an advance inspection.

Ordering your own advance inspection, like the proverbial ‘stitch in time,’ can alert you to deferred maintenance items that might conk out just as you’re preparing a big showing. Things do have a remarkable tendency to cause trouble at the most inconvenient time. Even more likely, maintenance items that you have long accepted but which might sour a buyer will be spotlighted early. Curing them before your buyer

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Gracious living in a well-appointed home may evoke visions of price tags in the millions of dollars, but not all true luxury homes in the Dallas area fall into the seven-figure bracket. If you are considering selling your own high-end home, it’s important to consider your target buyer and the criteria most of them bring to their Dallas property search. What for them constitutes the definition of ‘luxury homes’?.

Although many features could be considered as must-haves for the majority of luxury home listings, three criteria in particular are usually included: well-planned and well-tended grounds, high-quality materials, and distinctive amenities – custom features not duplicated elsewhere.

To attract and suit a high-end buyer, the grounds and

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words might a video’s flood of pictures be worth? The scientists at George Washington University approached the topic a few years ago in connection with real estate virtual tour s. To those of us whose profession is helping our clients buy and sell homes in the Dallas, their findings were --to say the least-- interesting:

They arrived at this conclusion: “Adding a virtual tour decreases the expected marketing time by about 20% and increases the expected sales price by about 2%." I’ve added the italics, but you get the idea: those are some serious stats. Since today’s fast-paced world rewards being able to get information quickly, it’s small wonder that video tours are so powerful. But to be useful,

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Even some veteran renters are looking at today’s housing market and wondering whether it’s time to start your Dallas home search. With prices and mortgage rates as low as they are while rents continue to move higher, the numbers point to home ownership as an ever more obvious choice.

But that’s just the quick, back-of the envelope budget equation: monthly rent vs. mortgage payment less tax savings. If this September finds you at the start of your own Dallas home search, many financial advisors recommend that you also consider another rule of thumb – you should plan to stay in your new home for at least five years.

Transaction costs are only one consideration that makes this a good idea. Here are some of the others why it’s prudent to think about the

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dalpool_640At last! To the joy of every child (and most adults) you know, your DFW home has a swimming pool! Whether you just bought the property or have recently installed a pool yourself, this is a feature that’s not only a pleasure to look at, but also a true centerpiece -- a magnet for socializing and relaxing throughout the hot summer months.

 Pro 1: Boost Your Property's Value

In today's super-competitive housing market, it’s good to stand out from the crowd. Whether you add your property to the local Dallas home listings next week or plan to do so in the future, a pool will boost its overall value. My summer buyers’ ears always perk up when I mention the next home listing we will visit has a pool.

 Pro 2: You (and Future Buyers) Will Enjoy Your Pool

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There is no such thing as a ‘universal trend’ when it comes to residential real estate: a quick look through the current Dallas listings will confirm that. At the highest end, the most luxurious features will always attract some homebuyers, just as in the great majority of listings, practical value prevails. But some shifts in priorities do seem to be underway, perhaps because of today’s altered selling environment. Some features that used to help sell listings in Dallas are no longer being emphasized – a sure sign that buyers aren’t asking for them.

For anyone preparing a property for sale, the listings hold clues that can prevent wasting time and effort. Some formerly popular elements fading in today’s market:

1. Square footage and grandeur

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Those of us who focus professionally on our Dallas real estate trends can vouch for it: outdoor living sells! And depending on what life phase their family is in, homebuyers’ choices tend to follow similar lines.

When potential homebuyers come to me, some of the features highest on their “must have” list virtually always have something to do with outdoor space. Young families buying homes, for example, are usually pleased to find a grassy area off the kitchen where their toddlers can toddle. High-profile clients often seek out impressive spaces with great foot-traffic flow for indoor/outdoor entertaining. Empty-nesters buying homes often come to me seeking the opposite -- less yard with easy- or no-maintenance landscaping. The point is, no

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In the Age of the Internet (that’s what we’re in the middle of, I’m pretty sure) it is widely held that everything you want to buy is merely a mouse click or two away. It’s sort of like“Alice’s Restaurant”: ‘you can get anything that you want’ – only better, because you don’t even have to ‘walk right in.’

If that were true, selling your local Dallas house would be as simple as turning everything over to your listing agent, watching its picture go up on the Web, and WHOOSH!, it’s sold! Pack up and move!

Of course that’s seldom the way homes get sold, and for at least one good and logical reason:

Nobody wants to live inside a computer.

When prospective homebuyers get serious, they leave the computer to pay a visit to the real, 3-dimensional

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We have all heard horror stories about what can happen when people hire the wrong contractor. “It took three times as long as it should have!” “They wound up charging me half again what they said it would cost!” “They never even called me back!”

 Those kinds of tales can be enough to keep you from even considering starting any of the home improvement projects you may have been thinking about for this Summer. But that doesn’t need to happen – and it shouldn’t happen: protecting and improving your real estate investment is too important to your financial future. Sometimes the difference between a successful outcome and a disappointment is as simple as getting started the right way. Just three simple steps (combined with your own good common sense) will

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