Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Lakeside Luxury

As a real estate agent, I get to see a lot of different homes. There are many I view that I try to figure out what the builder and architect were thinking. For example, I was in a house today that had the master closet in the front of the house facing the street with giant windows. I actually get dressed in the closet--does anyone else!? I don't think that's a very smart design!
I would love to present a new listing to you that leaves you walking away with that "I wish I would have thought of that" feeling. 1130 Emerald Sound in the quiet lakeside community of Oak Point is the fine mix of grace, comfort, functionality and luxury. With over 7900 square feet of space, there are many options if you need space to make things work for you. In fact, the picture of that gorgeous "Tiffany box blue" master bathroom is in this very house. Shocking at first, but this color is absolutely stunning!
For a virtual tour, please follow this link:
If you'd like more information on this or any other home, please drop me a line or give me a call!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ways to Conserve, Cut Back and Curtail (Part 3 of 3)

Here are a few more tidbits of information to guide you on the path to more environmentally soundness!
1. If you're planning on reading a book or meet up with a friend at Starbucks, ask for a ceramic mug! Starbucks hands out 1.9 BILLION paper cups annually. Wow...that's a lot of nonfat, double-shot, extra-whip caramel macchiatos!
2. Try a compost pile or bin. It cuts down on what goes into the landfill, and it's great for your flower or vegetable garden. We have one in our backyard!
3. You can harvest rainwater to use for a later date. Local experts on the subject are Denton-based Tierra Design ( or Arlington-based The Rain Well (
4. Even though buying organic fruits and vegetables are expensive by comparison, the alternative is to put pesticides into your body and onto the earth.
5. Plano-based EnviroGLAS ( takes recycled glass and porcelain products and, using the terrazzo technique (a mosaic look), creates environmentally sound countertops and floors. Just make sure they take the label off the Heineken bottle : )
6. Here's a chance to get rid of the bisque-colored dishwasher you hate: appliances with the Energy Star rating use 10-50 percent less energy and water than other appliances. An Energy Star dishwasher uses at least 41 percent less energy than a traditional one. A front-loading washing machine uses 40 percent less energy. If 10percent of Americans took this route, the effect would be the equivalent of planting 1.7 million acres of trees.
7. Shrink the amount of junk mail you receive by visiting
8. In honor of the Christmas season, make sure you recycle your wrapping and tissue paper. Save those bows to use next year!
For more advice, check out the full article in D Magazine!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ways to Conserve, Cut Back and Curtail (Part 2 of 3)

Here are some additional tidbits of information for you to help our environment!
1. Buy your carpet in pieces! offers an earth-friendly puzzle for your floor. It's a modern, inexpensive and great alternative to traditional area rugs or wall-to-wall carpet. Each square is 19.7 inches, made of some recycled material, and has a lower VOC offgassing than other carpets. The best thing is you can easily replace one square should it dirty or damaged!
2. Use natural cleaning products like Mrs. Meyer's sold at Elliott's Hardware or Seventh Generation from Central Market.
3. I love a good burger so becoming a vegetarian is one thing I just can't do! But, if you don't venture into eating a cow or chicken, try a few vegetarian eateries. Kalachandji's in East Dallas, Spiral Diner in Fort Worth and Toy's Cafe in the Bishop Arts District.
4. If you're like me and my husband, we have uploaded all of our CD's to iTunes and are left wondering what to do with all those CD's. You can donate, trade or send them to the CD Recycling Center of America ( They also take DVD's. We once bought a previously viewed DVD of "Being John Malcovich". We should donate that TODAY!
5. Do you use those new "squiggly" light bulbs? Many of us are now switching to the compact fluorescent lights but did you know they can leak mercury back into the soil if not disposed of properly? Feel free to drop them off at area Motel 6 locations. They started the first national fluorescent light bulb and battery recycling program in the hospitality industry. Just stop by and recycle to your heart's content!
6. Write your grocery list on the back of junk mail coupons and envelopes. Lord knows we don't need four ads for air duct cleaning!
Until next time...Enjoy!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ways to Conserve, Cut Back and Curtail (Part 1 or 3)

I was intrigued by the supplement publication to D Magazine this month. There is an article entitled "65 things you can do right now" that references some simple behavioral changes and shifts in consumer spending, making a ptah to being green a little easier.
Here are some of the ways to start:
1. Benjamin Moore Eco Spec 100% acrylic pain line takes away volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that aren't good for you or the earth.
2. If you are comfortable with it, pay your bills online!
3. The "Always at Peace Organic Spa"( in Plano is an earth-friendly indulgence. All the products used in the massages, facials and tratments are organic. That's one way to help the Earth that I am totally on board with!
4. Check out books from your local library or purchase used books from Half Price Books.
5. Wonder what your home's carbon footprint is? Check out Dallas-based Current Energy ( to find out.
6. Plano-based Frito-Lay has been recognized by the EPA for its energy conservation. So, eat up and think about how you're helping the environment, not packing on the pounds!
Until next time...stay warm!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

D Magazine

I think I'm like most Americans in many ways. I drive an SUV, get my hair colored and enjoy going to movies. I also have more magazine subscriptions than I can read in a month. My favorite magazine is Real Simple and I am even behind on that!
I stumbled across a great site a year ago called Cheap magazine subscriptions to many great publications. One I decided to venture out on this year was D Magazine. I wouldn't call myself a Dallasite in the least, but I enjoy reading about money I will never have and designers I wouldn't recognize if I saw them on the street. Either way, for six bucks a year, a fantastic deal to learn about our great city.
This month, they added a special "Dallas Goes Green" issue that has many interesting topics. I will feature some of the highlights of this issue in the coming days.
With the holidays quickly approaching, take the time to remember the reason for the season! Oh, and don't forget that I love referrals!
Until next time....

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pending Home Sales Increase in October

A forward-looking indicator of home sales in the U.S. rose during October, the second climb in a row.

The National Association of Realtors' index for pending sales of previously owned homes increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.6% to 87.2 in October from September's 86.7, the industry group said Monday. The level of the gauge was 85.5 in August and 91.4 in July. The NAR is forecasting sales and prices to drop in 2007 and rise weakly in 2008.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said the worst part of the credit crunch has been accounted for in the data, and that mortgage conditions have gotten better. "Some postponed activity should turn up in existing-home sales over the next couple of months, and I expect sales at fairly stable to slightly higher levels," he said.

The NAR index, based on signed contracts for previously owned homes, was 18.4% below the level of 106.8 in October 2006.

The NAR's pending home sales index was designed to try measuring which way the housing market is going in the future. It is based on pending sales of existing homes, including single-family homes and condominiums. A home sale is pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction hasn't closed. Pending sales typically close within one or two months of signing.

By region, the Northeast increased 16.0% in October from September; it fell 11.1% since October 2006. The Midwest fell 1.4% in October from September; it fell 11.7% since October 2006. The South decreased 7.8% in October from September; it dropped 25.3% since October 2006. The West increased 8.4% in October from September; it plunged 16.9% since October 2006.

In its monthly forecast on the industry, the NAR projected existing-home sales at 5.67 million this year and 5.70 million in 2008. That compares with 6.48 million in 2006. Existing-home prices are expected to decline 1.9% to a median of $217,600 for all of 2007 and rise 0.3% in 2008 to $218,300, the NAR said.

A month ago, NAR projected 2007 sales at 5.67 million and 2008 sales at 5.69 million. It had forecast prices declining 1.7% to a median of $218,200 for all of 2007 and to hold essentially even in 2008 at $218,300.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Custom One-Story home in Argyle

It's not very often a home like this comes along and when it does, move on it now! This Austin Tanner Home is nothing but stunning from roof tip to hardwood floor. Located in the new and secluded subdivision of Liberty Crossing, this is an ideal home for any active family. With no city taxes and a walking path to Liberty Christian School, you'll be saving time and money. No more carpool lanes! Less money on taxes!
To see the floor plan and amenities, visit, a personal website for this amazing property.
Oh, and by the way, I'm never too busy for you or your referrals!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Ways To Go Green

It seems like you can't turn on the TV or see a headline without something about "going green". You may not realize that it's just little changes that can make a difference.
If you've ever wondered how to increase your home's energy efficiency or how to reduce your overall carbon footprint, here's a few sites to help:
Energy Star
With a few of your past utility bills, the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy can analyze your home's energy use and get recommendations to improve it. You can learn about Energy Star standards for lighting, appliances, and electronics. For more information, visit
The Nature Conservatory
If you're interested in a more comprehensive view of your environmental impact, try The Nature Conservancy's Website, where you can fill out a Carbon Footprint Calculator: This online tool includes commuting, travel, and food choices--as well as housing--to construct an overall picture of a household's effect on the world.

*information provided by Texas Realtor, December 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

Internet home searching is up!

If you have ever used the Internet to search for homes, you are definitely not alone.
A new survey finds that 88% of public rely on Web sites as their primary source for the latest real state news and information, with newspapers coming in a distant second at 12%. The poll reinforces the results of a study earlier this month by the National Association of REALTORS(R) concerning the use of the Internet to buy or sell homes.
The latest survey was commissioned by Edward Segal, author of Profit by Publicity (iUniverse, 2007), a how-to PR guide for the real estate industry.

A study released on Nov. 13 by the National Association of REALTORS(R) (NAR) shows a similar reliance on Web sites by people looking to buy or sell residential real estate. According to the 2007 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 84 percent of recent home buyers used the Internet in their search, up from 80 percent in 2006.
Segal observed that, "Web sites represent the new level playing fields for real estate agents and brokers who want to promote themselves or their properties. Although real estate professionals know how to promote listings, this latest poll shows that it is essential they also know how to promote themselves to the media."
The telephone poll of 1,000 adults was conducted Nov. 9-11, 2007 by Synovate, and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percent.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

In With What's Out

Nature remains the rave.
The Earth seems to be on everyone's minds -- and the colors expected to be popular in home decor next year prove it.
"The No. 1 influence is sustainability, the whole environment issue, which is a long-term issue," said Jack Bredenfoerder, president of the Color Marketing Group, an association of color professionals.
Paint and color-marketing companies recently released their forecasts for 2008, and tones inspired by nature continue to be hot: earthy greens, silvers and grays, citrus yellows and oranges, and orchid like purples.
"We are seeking balance, sanctuary and calm from external stress and pressure, which is sometimes achieved by returning to nature," said Aimee Desrosiers, a color expert for California Paints. Cool grays and silvers -- some reminiscent of snow-capped mountains -- are on the upswing.
"What's new is they are taking on a cooler tint, a little inspired by the ice," Bredenfoerder said. "With global warming, it seems to be a real issue."
Although they could be cold and sterile, the icy grays have a hint of blue, giving them warmth and a soothing feel.
Kellie Toole has noticed the trend toward bluish grays and silvers, too. "It hasn't quite hit yet, but it was big at (the International Home Furnishings) Market. It's more of a French blue or a spa blue," she said.
The grays, which once were inflected with a touch of earthy brown, now have slight shades of cool blue.
The shades were popular on fashion runways two years ago and now are trickling down to home decor, following the usual progression.
Other colors expected to surge to the fore are "organic mixtures of yellow and green." Also predicted to gain favor are cool stony grays and gray browns, she said.
In particular, two California Paints colors, Pretty Shady (a grayish green) and Papaya (a fruity orange) reflect "soothing colors of nature."
"Look for a tremendous use of natural materials and colors, decorating with stones, metals, woods, glass, plant materials and colors that are complex and natural," she said.
Likewise, Benjamin Moore's sample paints for the 2008 color trends show lots of earthy tones. One of the top three accent colors is Split Pea, a brownish-green shade that, predictably, looks like a smashed pea.
The company has separated its colors into three themes: Modern Tranquility, a selection of neutral and light grays, beiges and warm whites; Organic Comforts, dominated by earthy greens, yellows and reds; and Pure Opulence, with more vibrant yet still nature- inspired hues of brown, red brick, teal and violet.
"Strong, bright neon colors have gone by the wayside. We're toning them down so you can live with them longer. It's the evolution of color," Horn said.
One specific prediction: Red will be on the rise, thanks to the 2008 Olympics taking place in Beijing, which flies the red flag of China. Also, red fits with the continuing popularity of Asian-influenced design. Citrus oranges also will be popular, Toole said.
"We're not seeing huge changes, just some shifts in colors. Orange is still hugely popular, but it's getting to a darker coral," Thompson said.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Gobble, Gobble

Wishing you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

It Could Be Worse...

Next time you think the housing market is bad in Dallas, read this story:

CLEVELAND ( -- When homeowners moved away after a wave of foreclosures in Cleveland's working-class neighborhood of Slavic Village, crime took off.
Slavic Village is known as the worst neighborhood in the nation for foreclosures. In a study for CNNMoney, RealtyTrac calculated that properties in its ZIP code recorded more foreclosure filings in three months than anywhere else in the United States.
According to Jim Rokakis, Cuyahoga County Treasurer, more than 800 houses now sit vacant and moldering in the area, which was founded in the 1840s by Polish and Bohemian immigrants who worked in area steel mills and factories.
The first thing that happened after owners moved out of foreclosed homes in Slavic Village was that squatters and looters moved in, according to Mark Wiseman, director of the Cuyahoga County Foreclosure Prevention Program. "In the inner city, it takes about 72 hours for a house to be looted after it is vacant," he said.
Walking around the neighborhood, Mark Seifert, director of the East Side Organizing Project pointed out a home he said was still occupied less than two weeks before. The gutters and downspouts were already gone, and trash covered the yard.
Long-time Slavic Village resident Joe Krasucki had celebrated his 78th birthday last spring, when, late in the evening, he heard some noise and went out for a look. Reports said he'd had run-ins with local gangs before. A neighbor's abandoned house had already been stripped of its aluminum siding and, according to Rokakis, Krasucki thought the looters were back, working on his home. Outside, he was attacked and badly beaten. He died some days later.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Trends in Home Design

As most people do, I often wonder what the new and greatest trends will be in the housing industry in years to come. When I enter a kitchen in a house that was built and still looks like the 70s, I laugh at things like a pea soup green oven. Now there are "bronze" appliances making their way into homes. Will we be smirking at that product in 10 years?
It's so hard to say but I imagine our children will joke that they grew up with "granite countertops" much like the way my sister and I used to joke about our huge Zenith TV with three button "clicker". I would call it a remote, but it really did click!
One thing's for sure...the times and products are always changing. Here are some of the newest trends in home design and remodeling:
1. Earth-Friendly Designs--Perhaps the most exciting and most important trend in home design is the increased sensitivity to the environment. Architects and engineers taking a new look at ancient building techniques that used simple, bio-degradable materials. Far from primitive, today's "earth houses" are proving comfortable, economical, and rustically beautiful.
2. Healthy Design--Some buildings can literally make you sick. Home designers are becoming increasingly aware of the ways our health is affected by synthetic materials and the chemical additives used in paints and composition wood products. The most innovative homes aren't necessarily the most unusual; they are the homes constructed without relying on plastics, laminates, and fume-producing glues.
3. Storm Resistance--Every shelter should be built to withstand the elements, and engineers are making steady progress in developing storm-ready home designs. In areas were hurricanes are prevalent, more and more builders are relying on insulated wall panels constructed of sturdy concrete.
4. Flexible Floorplans--Changing lifestyles calls for changing living spaces. Tomorrow's homes have sliding doors, pocket doors, and other types of movable partitions allow flexibility in living arrangements. Dedicated living and dining rooms are being replaced by large multi-purpose family areas. In addition, many houses include private "bonus" rooms that can be used for office space or be adapted to a variety of specialized needs.
5. Outdoor Rooms--An increased interest in eco-friendly architecture is encouraging builders to incorporate outdoor spaces with the overall home design. The yard and garden become a part of the floor plan when sliding glass doors lead to patios and decks. These outdoor "rooms" may even include kitchens with sophisticated sinks and grills.
6. Abundant Storage--Closets were scarce in Victorian times, but over the past century, homeowners have demanded more storage space. Newer homes feature enormous walk-in closets, spacious dressing rooms, and plenty of easy-to-reach built-in cabinets. Cathedral ceilings are becoming passé because families tend to prefer usable space below the roof. Garages are also getting bigger to accommodate the ever-popular SUVs and other large vehicles.
7. Eastern Influence--Feng Shui, Vástu Shástra, and other Eastern philosophies have been guiding builders since ancient times. Today these principles are gaining respect in the West. You might not immediately see the Eastern influences in the design of your new home. According to believers, however, you will soon begin to feel the positive effects of Eastern ideas on your health, prosperity, and relationships.

*Courtesy of

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Steps to Take Before Taking the Plunge!

Last time, I wrote about getting PRE-APPROVED instead of just PRE-QUALIFIED.

Before you decide to go into debt and spend your hard-earned savings on that "great deal" in need of some TLC, think about a few things:

  1. Have I been pre-approved by a reputable mortgage lender?

  2. Do I have any outstanding debt hanging over my head?

  3. How solid is my credit?

  4. Is my/significant other's job secure?

  5. How much money am I going to put towards my down payment?

  6. Am I ready to take on a project like remodeling or fixing up a home?

  7. Do I have a trusted real estate agent to be up front and honest with me?

  8. If, after a year, the roof needs to be replaced, can I afford it?

These are just a few questions to get you thinking about a major move. Many of us (me included) have owned one of those "money pits" that comes with lots of unexpected repairs. Being a knowledgable consumer and being reasonable about what you can truly afford is the first and most important step in homeownership. But, together, we can make things as close to perfection as possible!

Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval

You may have heard of the terms "pre-qualification" and "pre-approved" but did you know there is a difference and that the difference is enormous?
If you are considering purchasing a home, the first and most important step is to get PRE-APPROVED with a reputable mortgage lender. The difference between pre-qualified and pre-approved is the amount of information you provide your lender and the amount of work that lender does.
When you are pre-approved for a mortgage, it means a lender has looked closely at both your credit report and your income and determined that you qualify for a loan. The lender will tell you the maximum amount of loan it will make, which loan programs you qualify for, and will discuss the interest rates it will offer for different types of loans. In most cases, the amount that you qualify for and the amount that you can really afford are different. You may be able to afford a $400,000 home but you would be eating ramen noodles and watching basic cable in that humble abode.
Just because a lender or real estate agent gives you a number you can get approved for doesn't mean you should jump into that shiny new home. There are other things to consider and I'll talk more about that next time. Need a lender? I've got a few high-quality and honest individuals that are ready and willing to help!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

How much house can you afford?

You've driven in the neighborhood and love the tree-lined streets and freshly-cut lawns. You ask your significant other, "We can afford this right?" Your husband or wife looks over and shrugs.
It's so important to know what your getting into before you decide to make a major purchase like a home. If you've never owned a home before, you may just think you can afford the monthly payment because you're paying the same in rent. But, don't forget that you have to pay taxes, insurance and regular home maintanence on your home--all costs that are absolutes in home ownership.
So, before you decide to move up in price range or buy your first home, ask your trusted real estate professional (I know one if you can't think of one) to refer you to a qualified mortgage lender. You need to get pre-approved for the mortgage you can afford, not just pre-qualified. Why is that important? I will give you the details next time!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Vote FOR Proposition 6!

On Nov. 6, 2007, Texans have the opportunity to vote for or against a series of proposed constitutional amendments. One of the proposals, Proposition 6, will guarantee that Texas drivers won’t have to pay an additional tax on their vehicles – if it passes. During the past several years, some central appraisal districts in Texas have targeted independent contractors for an ad-valorem tax on their personal vehicles. Independent contractors are people who work for themselves, including:
-Contract nurses who drive their car to patients’ homes
-Independent landscapers who transport equipment in their personal truck
-Independent cosmetics salespeople
-Independent insurance agents
-Farmers and ranchers
-Independent real estate agents
-Independent providers of on-site technical assistance
-Independent plumbers, electricians, carpenters, handymen and others in the home- repair industry
-Pizza delivery people and couriers who work as independent contractors
-Music teachers who drive their car to students' homes
-Small-business owners who use their personal cars in the course of their business
This tax could mean $600 or more per year. Even if you’re not an independent businessperson today, you could be tomorrow. Voting for Prop 6 on Nov. 6 means not having to worry about this unfair tax in the future.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Great Home in Keller!

This doll house is as cute as can be and has one of the largest yards in McPhearson Ranch! Lovingly maintained and tastefully decorated, the search for the perfect house has ended! This home features about 1500 square feet with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, huge kitchen, oversized breakfast nook, breakfast bar and a spacious living room. The floor plan is ideal with the secondary bedrooms split from the master. The master bathroom has a soothing garden tub, separate shower, dual sinks and a big walk in closet. The best part of this awesome house is the family-friendly backyard and landscaping. Beautifully manicured lawn, colorful flower beds and a covered back patio make this ideal for cookouts or just days playing outside with the pets or kids.
Click the link below to see a Virtual Tour!

Back to School

For the past two days, I have been sitting in class back in school! I was taking continuing education to receive a designation to better serve my clients. I received my ABR, which stands for Accredited Buyer Representative.
One of the main reasons for taking additional courses is to become more educated in this great profession. There's nothing more rewarding than knowing I did, and continue to do, the best job possible for my clients. That means staying up-to-date on the latest trends and getting to know other agents in the industry.
There are so many facets to a real estate transaction. Earning my ABR designation has opened my eyes to the true advantages of a buyer-client relationship. The most important thing to remember is that in one of the biggest and most expensive investments you make, you need full representation from a real estate agent.
If you have any questions about the real estate process, don't hesitate to drop me a line!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Shopping, Roads and Crime-Oh My!

The more and more I drive down 2499 to my home, I can't believe that in three years, this sleepy little town has developed into a place you really don't have to leave! When we first moved to Highland Village in 2004, the only building was the Super Target shopping center. Since then, we have everything from Best Buy to Hobby Lobby to Victoria's Secret. There's not much else to desire, except for maybe less traffic. But, with growth, comes the growing pains. Here are some interesting points to know regarding our little town of Highland Village:
  • The past six years, Highland Village has been voted the Safest City in North Texas.
  • The new Wal-Mart Super Center will open November 7.
  • The developer of The Shops at Highland Village is helping to fund the expansion of the 2499/407 intersection 600 feet in each direction so that it will ease the congestion immediately.
  • Phase 4 of the 2499 expansion (407 to Swisher Rd.) is in the bidding phase right now. Construction should start Jan/Feb with 2.5 to 3 yrs of construction. There is one mile of bridgework involved.
  • 407 West from 2499 to 1830 is funded, but construction won't begin for another two years due to an environmental impact study and condemnation of six properties
  • There is one large retail spot left at The Shops of Highland Village and Williams-Sonoma is being courted to take it.

If you have any questions about real estate issues in Highland Village or your own community, please contact me! Thanks to my team member, Becky, for all this great information!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dallas Area's Home Sales Are a Mixed Bag

Most Dallas-area neighborhoods continued to see modest home price growth during the first nine months of 2007.
On average, median home sales prices in North Texas are up a scant 1 percent so far this year, according to statistics from the North Texas Real Estate Information System.
Other close-in residential districts in East Dallas and the Park Cities have also had significant home price growth this year.
But citywide home sales have trended downward in 2007.
More than 30 of the 45 residential areas The Dallas Morning News tracks have had declines in home sales this year.
The biggest declines have been in Coppell – where listings are low – and Westlake, which has almost an eight-month supply of houses on the market.
Citywide, there's about a 6.5-month supply of pre-owned homes for sale.
Real estate agents say that sales of moderate and low-priced houses have declined because of turmoil in the mortgage markets.
Many buyers who relied on subprime loans are now out of the market.
"It has lowered our sales some, and some of the people can't get in," said Al Herron of Century 21 Galloway-Herron Realtors.
"But it's going to be good for the housing market in the long run."
Mr. Herron said many of the former subprime borrowers are now getting loans from the Federal Housing Administration.
Even with the decline in sales this year, economists give Dallas area housing markets high marks.
Dr. James Gaines of Texas A&M University's Real Estate Center said that while the local housing market "may be somewhat slower, the market is still, relatively speaking, strong."
"The economy is still doing well, employment is still growing, there are people moving to the D-FW area in fairly large numbers," Dr. Gaines said.
"And there is plenty of mortgage money available, but not under the ridiculously easy standards of the past several years."

Article courtesy of the Dallas Morning News

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fall Cleanup Tips

Now that Halloween is almost here, it's time to start making the transition from picnics and baseball to hot cocoa and football! Before you pack up the summer goodies, here are some tips for you.
  • Clean Garden Pots: Wash grime & rings away with a 50/50 water and vinegar solution. Works well on both plastic and clay containers.
  • Clean out the gutters, but wait until all the leaves have dropped. Check for leaks and any wear and tear and fix now before it snows or freezes over. This will help ensure your gutters are up to the task when Spring rains hit.
  • Check tree branches and lightly trim any that are close to the house. Too much trimming at this time of year can damage a tree, so just do enough to keep the branches out of reach over winter (keeping in mind heavy winds and snow).
  • Before storing the patio umbrella away for the winter, take a pair of pantyhose and use one leg to cover the closed umbrella and the other leg to wrap around the bottom (to keep it closed). This will help protect the umbrella yet still give it air to breathe.
  • Spray down all patio furniture and if not brought inside (garage) to winter, tarp them. This will help the furniture last a lot longer, especially wood furniture.
  • Remove or cover all open containers and pots. Helps protect them when it freezes plus you don’t want to provide pools of water for a mosquito breeding ground in the spring.
    If you have bags of birdseed to feed the birds in the fall and over winter, make sure the bags are in covered containers. The mice *will* find them otherwise and camp out in your storage area.
  • Fill a pail with sand and used motor oil. Dig your garden tools in the mixture to sharpen them up and clean them.

Information courtesy of

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Best Time To Buy and Sell?

Many of my clients and friends ask "When is the best time to sell?" or "What's your busy time of year?"
The best time to sell is now! The fact is there are people looking to purchase a new home 365 days of the year. Sometimes, families are just waiting for the perfect home to come on the market before they leap. So, if your house has what someone is looking for that they haven't seen yet, you might find yourself with a quick sale!
Don't get caught up in timing. Focus on the following:
  • Curb appeal means a lot! Spruce up those flower beds and trim back shrubs
  • Calling All Packrats! Clean out that clutter! If you forgot you had it, you won't miss it!
  • Spring clean even if it's December. Dust and cobwebs are present year round!

There's so much to be said for a clean, comfortable home that's inviting for all types of homebuyers. A plate of cookies and some fresh flowers go a long way for some people. The one that is universal is your junk is not appealing and will result in longer days on market and more frustration for you.

If you need more tips or advice, drop me a line at I'm always here to answer your questions!

Friday, October 12, 2007

State of the Lending Market

The stock market this week reached a new all-time high and then promptly gave it all back later that same afternoon. What is significant about this you might ask? The bond market reacted the way it traditionally does! When the risky stock market is doing favorably the safe bond market -the typical dictator of mortgage interest rates- tends to not fare so well, and vice versa. The volatility of the mortgage market over the past few months had caused a detour from the traditional action/reaction of events. This return to traditional market movement over the past week is possibly another sign that things are beginning to settle a bit. It will certainly take time for things to get back to normal, but we might be heading that way!
How does this affect me if I am buying a house or if I want to refinance? With a market that appears to be getting back to normal, you may begin to take action with some comfort that the major volatility is behind us and smoother sailing can be expected. Rates are great and the buyer's market means that there are plenty of homes from which to choose.

*Information courtesy of Lewis Brooks with PrimeLending

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Take A Look At This Home!

Every week, I will be featuring one of my beautiful listings! Take a look at all my blog has to offer like real estate news and school ratings. Visit every day if you'd like!
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