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Early Voting Ends Friday Nov 2

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This is a brief reminder that early voting is off and running throughout Texas. Early voting ends this Friday, November 2. Avoid long lines on Election Day by voting early.

Early Voting ends in Texas on November 2nd, so before you vote, check out our website TexasRealtorsSupport.com to find out which candidates on your ballot the Texas Association of REALTORS® has endorsed.

And if you have any questions about voting rules or hours, you can visit VoteTexas.gov to get the information you need before you go to the polls.

Thanks, and remember you have a voice, so go make a choice!

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We found a deal!

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Click on Picture for additional photos PRE rehab

 

This post is long overdue! It has been a busy year and the demand for a good Real Estate deal is still driving the market.

In January, I helped some clients close a great deal. We had been on the hunt for several months, and all over the metro-plex.  While they were open to location and condition, they had a clear vision of the mid century modern home they wanted.  They were not afraid of a rehab and had contractors readily available.

We made an offer on a home, during the early stages of our home search.  It was located in North Dallas, in a well established neighborhood, on a circular street.  It had a huge lot and great drive up, but it needed everything. My buyers watched this home online for months and received an alert, every time the price reduced.

By the time they were ready to write the offer, another contract had been accepted.  We pursued a few other options, but couldn’t quite find a home they liked that was a real deal.

As luck would have it, the listing agent called us back in November and said the first deal with FHA financing fell through. Were we still interested? We went back to the home, walked through it again, and made an offer based upon the knowledge the the home would need cosmetic improvements, a new roof, and an a/c system.

After the home inspection it became clear it needed a lot more than cosmetics.  It was going to need system, structural, and mechanical improvements. This included foundation, electrical and plumbing.  During our option period we went back to the seller with a reduced purchase price to reflect the amount of money my clients would have to sink into it,  just to make it habitable.  And folks, we got one heck of a deal.  We purchased it at 53% less than original list price :-)

It pays to be persistent, to do your due diligence, and offer what a property is worth!

The new owners are almost done with their remodel process. I will post a few new photos soon of their custom mid century modern home.

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New Loan Limits are Now in Effect

Home Buyers, Investors, Real Estate, Real Estate Finance, Resources, Uncategorized

There were a few mortgage loan program changes that went into effect onOctober 1, 2011.   I contacted local loan officer, Les Tuttle, to outline the new conforming loan limits and to discuss what role they play in our market place.

Essentially there were no changes to the FHA program, so things there stay the same.   However the USDA program will increase a buyer’s’ monthly payment since monthly mortgage insurance has been added.  And with the changes made to the VA program,   buyers will benefit by having a lower funding fee that is rolled into their mortgage.

If you look at the chart below, you will see Les has included the loan limits for properties with up to 4 units.  These can be financed on an FHA note, and would require 3.5% down, with an average interest rate of 4%.  What a great way for a first time buyer to begin building their investment portfolio!

 The following is a list of the changes:

  1. Conforming and FHA loan limits have been lowered in some parts of the country.   The conforming loan limit is the maximum loan amount Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will purchase and the FHA loan limit is the maximum loan amount HUD will insure.  The good news for all of us in the DFW area and inTexasis the loan limits have remained the same so if you hear the amounts have been changed you will know that in our area they have not changed.  The limits vary from 1 unit properties to 4 unit properties and the limits are as follows:

Conventional                                       FHA

1 unit               $417,000 maximum                            $271,050 maximum

2 units             $533,850 maximum                            $347,000 maximum

3 units             $645,300 maximum                            $419,425 maximum

4 units             $801,950 maximum                            $521,250 maximum

2.   USDA has changed the guarantee fee.  There was always a 3.5% guarantee fee that was rolled into the loan amount and there was no mortgage insurance premium paid in the monthly payments.  Now the upfront fee is 2.0% but there is a monthly premium of .3%.  If the property qualifies and the borrowers qualify this is still an excellent program because there is no down payment.

 3. VA has changed the funding fee.  A qualified Veteran with less than 5% down payment (a veteran can put 0% down) using the benefit for the first time will see the funding fee drop from 2.15% to 1.4%.  This funding fee is rolled into the mortgage and there is still no monthly mortgage insurance premium.  This is an excellent benefit for our veterans.

 

As always, you can contact me with any questions.  Also feel free to contact Les Tuttle.

Visit my blog:              www.realestatemarbles.com/lestuttleblog

Visit my website:        www.lestuttle.com

Office phone:              214-221-4008

Email:                          les@priorityapproves.com

 

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Targeting the Mortgage Interest Deduction

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It’s obviously going to be a Herculean task for Congress to balance the budget and reduce the deficit. It’s sort of like the country song lyric that goes “everyone wants to go to Heaven but nobody wants to go now.” It is estimated that the mortgage interest deduction cost the government $100 Billion last year which is why it is a target for cuts.

The Mortgage Interest Deduction has been part of Income Tax laws in this country since 1913. The United States of America is one of the few countries in the world that allow such a deduction. Our goverment has always supported homeownership as is evidenced in the different tax benefits it receives.

  • Mortgage interest deuction up to $1,000,000 in acquisition debt on a principal residence and second home
  • Deduction of interest on Home Equity debt of $100,000 over acquisition debt used for any purpose
  • Capital gain exclusion on up to $500,000 for married couples filing jointly and $250,000 for single homeowners
  • Favorable long-term capital gain rates if gain exceeds exclusion limits
  • Property tax deduction
There is an interesting relationship between a good economy and a healthy housing market. Contrasted to profits from the stock market which tend to be plowed back into other investments, profits from home sales tend to be spent on consumer products that directly benefit the economy.
The National Association of REALTORS supports the MID and reports that one job is created for every two homes sold. It further states that $60,000 is pumped into the economy for each home sold and that homeownership accounts for over $2 Trillion of the U.S. gross domestic product.
American homeowers are currently paying 80-90% of all federal income tax collected. Some economists believe that a healthy housing market is a leading indicator for economic recovery and that tampering with a significant homeowner benefit like the mortgage interest deduction would hurt the economy.
If you need help with buying or selling a home, please give me a call! 972-588-8863
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4th of July Events!

Lakewood, Neighborhood Events, Real Estate, Resources, Uncategorized

7/3/ 2011:  Kaboom Town Fireworks Display Addison, Texas
www.addisontexas.net
Kaboom Town celebrates its 25th anniversary with a festival beginning at 5 p.m. Food,
music, kid’s activities including rock climbing, giant slide, fun inflatables, sand art, free
movie, an obstacle course and much more. (Location: Addison Circle Park)

7/4/2011 Fair Park Fourth Dallas, Texas

www.fairpark.org
City of Dallas’ official Independence Day celebration will feature spectacular Cotton Bowl fireworks sponsored by Gold Metal Recyclers, a Dallas Wind Symphony patriotic concert, free visits to participating museums … and more! Free and open to the public, this family fun event will also feature the seven-time Grammy-nominated Stefani Little Band, “dancing water” shows at the Esplanade Fountain, concessions for purchase. Guests are encouraged to view the fireworks from inside the Cotton Bowl (enter at Gate D).

7/4/2011    Star Spangled Fourth
7/3&4/2011  Fourth of July Concert

Additional Dallas Events

Fourth of July Concert
Location: Meyerson Symphony Center/Details (214) 871-4550
Location: Dallas Arboretum/Details:(214) 515-6500

7/4/2011 Fort Worth’s Fourth
Fort Worth, Texas

Free live music and family activities. Vendors will offer food, cold drinks, beer and ice cream. Water and watermelon will be provided. Live country music from 92.1 Fort Worth’s Fourth guests can watch the game from levee lawn seats for $5 per person (Location: On the Trinity River bank behind LaGrave Field on North Main Street)

7/2/2011
Fourth of July – Stockyards Style
Fort Worth, Texas

www.fortworthstockyards.org
Bring the family to the Fort Worth Stockyards for the fourth! Free family fun—cowboys style. Herd Cattle Drive at 11:30 a.m. & 4 p.m. Petting Zoo from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Face painter from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Herd Cowcamp 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Gunfight shows at 11:45 a.m. & 4:15 p.m. Live music from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Lots of great food, shopping, museum’s and entertainment! (Location: Fort Worth Stockyards)

7/4/2011
4th of July Parade/Lakewood Loves the Lake
Lakewood (Dallas), Texas

www.lakewoodparade.com
Starting Point: Lakewood Blvd. & Cambria
Time: 10am (participants should gather at 9:15 am)
Refreshments, music and awards after the parade.

7/3/2011   Lone Stars  Stripes Fireworks
7/4/2011

Grand Prairie, Texas
www.lonestarpark.com

Two days of racing, family fun, music and fireworks. (Location: Lone Star Park)

7/4/2011
Lake Grapevine’s July 4th Extravaganza
Grapevine, Texas

www.grapevinetexasusa.com

Be prepared to be astonished by the fireworks spectacular, which can be viewed from any lakeside location as well as several other spots throughout Grapevine. Admission is free at most viewing locations. Some parks along Lake Grapevine may charge a minimal admission fee. (Location: Lake Grapevine)

7/4/2011
Red, White & Lewisville,
Fireworks Festival
Lewisville, Texas

www.visitlewisville.com
Red White & Lewisville Fireworks Display. The spectacular fireworks show will start shortly after dark at approximately 9:30 p.m. The best viewing opportunities will be on the south side of Vista Ridge Mall and along the 121 Bypass. (Location: Around Vista Ridge Mall)

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December 2010: Texas Home Sales Down, Prices are Up

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January 28, 2011
Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.
Material herein is published according to the fair-use doctrine of U.S. copyright laws related to non-profit, educational institutions. Items attributed to sources other than the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University should not be reprinted without permission of the original source.

DECEMBER 2010 TEXAS HOME SALES DOWN, PRICES UP

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – Just over 15,740 existing homes were sold in Texas last month, according to newly released data from Texas Multiple Listing Services (MLS). That’s a 3 percent drop from December 2009.

Meanwhile, the median price for an existing home increased by 4 percent last month to $150,500, and there was a 7.2-month inventory.

December 2010 MLS data for many Texas cities (current as of Jan. 27, 2011) are available on the Real Estate Center website. Here is a sampling:

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Freezing Weather

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With winter weather approaching and possible freezing temperatures, there are a few precautions that you can take to avoid major problems.

BEFORE A FREEZE

  • Disconnect all hoses from exterior faucets. Cover all outside pipes and faucets.  Wrap with newspapers and cover with plastic bags or use buckets full of leaves turned upside down to completely cover faucets.  Then place a heavy object on top to keep the bucket in place.  It is important to check your wrappings periodically during the winter.
  • Cover all openings or vents around the house to keep cold air from under the house.
  • When temperature s drop to freezing or below, open doors under bathroom and kitchen sinks (if on an outside wall) and leave faucets dripping slowly.  Leave heat at at least 65 degrees.

If a pipe should break, try to turn off the water, if possible.  AND  call Dallas Water Utilities immediately at 311 or 214-651-1441.

If you are leaving town for a prolonged period, follow the above precautions, and consider turning the water off at the meter, and leaving the faucets open to allow water to expand if it freezes.   It is always a good idea to have a neighbor, or a house sitter, pick up newspapers and mail while you are gone.

It is always good to make sure you have an insurance policy in place that covers your personal belongings.  If you are a tenant resident, a personal property insurance policy is affordable and will cover your personal belongings should unexpected damage occur.

Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

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Open House: 2337 Chart Drive

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OPEN HOUSE: 2337 Chart Drive, Dallas TX 75228  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

4PM-6PM

ASK AN EXPERT: Our team of experts will be there to answer your Real Estate Questions.

Our team includes:

Pat Nagler with Prime Lending,  Candace & Richard Whitsett with Show N Tell Inspections, Lisa Newman with Newman Insurance Group & Julie Jones with Nations Home Warranty

* Compliementary Wine and Cheese will be served.

* Stop by for an opportunity to WIN $100 gift card to Bed, Bath & Beyond.

2337 Chart Drive, Dallas TX 75228

This is a wonderfully updated and well maintained 1960’s home resting on an oversized lot with mature trees in the peaceful Hillridge neighborhood.  This home is perfectly suited for both entertaining and everyday family living.  With 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, this home features beautiful hardwoods throughout.

Upon entry, a floor to ceiling window provides great natural light for the formal living room and dining room. The kitchen updates include tile counter tops, gas cook-top, tile backsplash, breakfast bar, a built-in wine rack, recessed lighting, and lots of cabinet space.  The kitchen opens to a spacious family room with a brick fireplace & gas starter and built-in bookshelves, wired for an entertainment center. French doors from the family room open to the covered back patio and large wood fenced in yard.

The secondary bedrooms are generously sized and share a Jack and Jill bath.  The master suite is light and bright with French doors leading to the back patio and the master bath has a separate vanity space. The yard is an urban oasis with a small greenhouse, mature trees and a hammock tucked away for a relaxing retreat.  All of this makes for a terrific home in a prime neighborhood with close proximity to the Dallas Arboretum and White Rock Lake.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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