Wednesday, January 30, 2008


A headline caught my eye tonight on the website. 25 Biggest Decorating Mistakes. Yikes. I have to say that I am guilty of at least one of these. What about you? I do have one toilet surround and that is the 25th mistake so I just barely made the list. Although, I have to admit, I do have fake flowers, but I don't have them on display. In fact, I gave half my collection to my mother-in-law. To see the full list, go to Come back and tell me what you're getting arrested for!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

DFW Home Prices LEAST Likely to Drop

GOOD NEWS for those of us living in the DFW market! Thanks to Shelly Wilson of PrimeLending for this article from the Dallas Morning News!

Dallas-Fort Worth's housing market is the least likely of any in the country to see a decrease in home values, a new report confirms.

At the same time, the chances of a house price decline rose in almost four out of five U.S. markets, according to a report released Tuesday by mortgage insurance firm PMI Group.

Dallas and Fort Worth ranked dead last in PMI Group's latest forecast of cities with the biggest chance for a home price shakeout.

Analysts with the California-based company estimate that Dallas-Fort Worth has less than a 1 percent chance of marked home price drops in the next two years.

By comparison, cities in California, Nevada and Arizona have more than an 80 percent likelihood of falling residential values.

"We're seeing an increasingly polarized market," PMI economist David Berson said in a news release.

"The risk that home prices will be lower in two years has increased for many of the largest cities in the nation, although areas that saw only moderate home price gains during the 2002-to-2005 period still generally have low risks of price declines," he said.

That's certainly the case in Dallas-Fort Worth, where home price appreciation during the last five years has been a fraction of the national average.

"Because Texas did not participate in the double-digit home price gains in the first half of the decade, it doesn't have to take the great pain of the areas that are compensating for that now," Mr. Berson said in an interview.

Now that the housing sector is in a slump, home values in North Texas have been relatively flat while they are falling in many other major U.S. cities.

In 2007, the median price of homes sold through the North Texas Realtors' multiple listing service was up 1 percent from 2006.

Texas markets - including the D-FW area - were also less affected by investors who ran up prices in some cities, Mr. Berson said.

And most Texas cities are outpacing the rest of the country in overall economics, he said.

"The state economy is doing pretty well, and job growth is above the national average," Mr. Berson said.

"It's quite likely Texas will be doing better than the national average for the foreseeable future," he said.

The D-FW area has gotten high marks in the PMI risk report before.

And other national surveys show that North Texas' housing market is outperforming those in the rest of the country.

Even so, pre-owned home sales were down about 8 percent last year, and sales of new homes fell about 17 percent in 2007.

Foreclosure rates also continue to rise.

Analysts are therefore keeping a close eye on D-FW home prices for signs of deterioration.

"I can't argue with the PMI risk assessment, but it doesn't mean that it still couldn't happen - just not as likely as elsewhere," said Dr. James Gaines, an economist with Texas A&M University's Real Estate Center. "So far, most Texas markets are doing well.

"The metroplex probably will do well to have positive overall appreciation, but pockets within the metroplex will have a rough time for a while."

Indeed, Mr. Berson said, the Texas housing market isn't bulletproof.

"There are no sure things," he said.

"It's possible that some parts of Texas will see some declines in the near term."

But overall, the outlook for the local housing market is good, he said.


Markets with the most and least risk of a home price decline, based on price appreciation, economic growth and affordability according to PMI Group, one of the country's largest mortgage insurance firms. An index of 100 means there is a 100 percent chance of home prices falling in the next two years.


Riverside, Calif. 94

Las Vegas 89

Phoenix 83

Santa Ana, Calif. 81

Los Angeles 79


Fort Worth Less than 1

Dallas Less than 1

Pittsburgh Less than 1

Houston Less than 1

San Antonio Less than 1


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mortgage Applications Rise this week

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mortgage application volume rose 8.3 percent during the week ending Jan. 18, according to the trade group Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly application survey.

The MBA's application index rose to 981.5 from 906.4 the previous week.

Refinance volume spurred the growth, increasing 16.9 percent. Purchase volume fell 4.6 percent during the week ending Jan. 18. Refinance volume accounted for 66 percent of all applications.

The index peaked at 1,856.7 during the week ending May 30, 2003, at the height of the housing boom.

An index value of 100 is equal to the application volume on March 16, 1990, the first week the MBA tracked application volume. A reading of 981.5 means mortgage application activity is 9.815 times higher than it was when the MBA began tracking the data.

The survey provides a snapshot of mortgage lending activity among mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. It covers about 50 percent of all residential retail mortgage originations each week.

Mortgage volume rose as interest rates continued to fall. The average interest rate for traditional, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 5.49 percent from 5.62 percent. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, which are often used to refinance a home, fell to 4.96 percent from 5.07 percent.

Rates for a one-year adjustable-rate mortgage declined to 5.51 percent from 5.77 percent.

Need to refinance or find out how much house you can afford? Give me a call or shoot me an email! I've got a few high-quality mortgage lenders who will give you the service and attention you deserve!
*Courtesy of

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Housing Predictor for 2008

As a broadcast news major in college, I really enjoyed TV and journalism.
However, in recent years, sensational television has ruined consumer confidence. As a real estate agent in Dallas, I can safely say that the market in the Metroplex is strong. That doesn't mean we don't have our share of inventory or problems, but compared to other parts of the country like Ohio, Michigan, Florida and California, we are kicking some tail!
Let's compare some statistics from the past three summers for Dallas:
The first column is number of sales
The second column is average sales price
The third column is total sales
The fourth column is months of inventory

June 2005 6,416 $210,700 28,875 6.1
June 2006 6,875 $219,900 30,323 5.9
June 2007 6,009 $233,700 33,624 6.6

Very interesting statistics if you ask me. I remember the summer of 2006. You couldn't keep a good house on the market for three days. Multiple offer situations were not uncommon. That was the summer that the "coast" real estate markets were at their peak. Smart folks were cashing in on their overpriced home and getting the heck out of Dodge. Where did they go? Ah ha, the Lone Star State. I ran into more buyers from California and Florida! Those buyers were creating the temporary frenzy because many of them thought the market in Dallas was like that in their state. Not so much. Builders were trying to keep up with the trend by churning out spec homes like elves at Christmas. So once the bust happened, that left our consistent little market here suffer a bit. But the most interesting stat to me is that although the summer of 2007 saw 800 less homes sold than the previous summer, the price was also considerably higher. While most states were suffering from double-digit depreciation, we have actually stayed steady or enjoyed appreciation.
Dallas has a sort of mystic romance for an urban area, attracting many newcomers to "Big D." Its real estate market has had a history of erratic battles, but nothing as dramatic price-wise as major east and west coast markets. Dallas will still work through 2008 with healthy home sales volume and is projected to appreciate slowly at 2.0% in 2008 (courtesy of
The bottom line is, the interest rates are fantastic and there are a lot of homes out there. If you are hesitating to buy because of the doom and gloom you hear on the nightly news, take a look at the stats and ignore the haters!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

DFW Home Foreclosures jump by 31%

The number of homes facing foreclosure in the Dallas-Fort Worth area has jumped by more than 30 percent.

The big rise in the number of homes scheduled for foreclosure in February follows a moderation in postings in recently months.

More than 5,300 homes in the four-county area are set to be sold at next month's foreclosure auctions, Addison-based Foreclosure Listing Service said Thursday. That's a 31 percent hike in foreclosures from the same month of 2007.

The biggest increase was in Denton County, where postings were up 50 percent.

Dallas County had the smallest increase - 22 percent.

February's foreclosure total for D-FW was the highest on record for the month.

And Dallas, Collin and Denton counties all set records for the largest number of postings in any month, according to Foreclosure Listing Service.

One reason for the substantial increase in February postings may be that the January auction fell on New Year's Day, Foreclosure Listing Service analysts said.

By law, lenders in Texas are only allowed to take properties through foreclosure on the first Tuesday of each month.

Between 50 percent and 60 percent of the monthly foreclosure postings result in an actual forced sale of the property. In some cases the sales are delayed, or the borrower reaches a new agreement regarding the debt.

Almost 43,000 Dallas-Fort Worth area homes were posted for foreclosure in 2007 - an increase of 10 percent for the year.

Home foreclosures in the D-FW area have grown by one of the biggest amounts in the county in recent years due in large part to lax lending standards, analysts say. Many homeowners who took adjustable rate loans a year or two ago can't afford the monthly payments when the interest rates rise.

And despite lots of publicity, government and mortgage industry mortgage relief plans have so far not had much impact in the market.

Courtesy of Dallas Morning News

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Remodeling for Resale

Does your bathroom look like this? If so, read on!
As you may know, when selling your home, you will get the most "bang for your buck" to update the kitchen and master bathroom. But there are a few other points to consider if you're thinking of selling your house soon. Followthese guidelinefor choosing improvements that will pay off:
1. Ensure that fundamentals are in good repair. You won't gain points for having basics buyers expect, such as a sound roof and dependable water heater, but you'll generally lose time and money on the sale if you don't.
2. Keep up with the Joneses. Add amenities that will bring your house in line with others that are selling in your neighborhood and set your asking price accordingly. Once homes get to be 7-10 years old, it's time to start updating. For example, gold or brass fixtures and hardware were all the rage in the mid to late 90s. Seeing those colors in a house today absolutely dates it. Spending some money to update those make a huge impact on the sale of your home.
3. Manage your expectations. The right remodeling job may add value to a home, but you're unlikely to recoup the entire cost in your asking price.
If you need any additional information, please don't hesitate to give me a jingle!

Sunday, January 6, 2008


As I sit here overlooking a stunning orange sunset and water view in Orlando, I can't help but think how much money the Disney family has.
This is my family's first trip to Disney World. One of the deciding factors to go now is that my daughter isn't quite three. She's at that "magical" age where she is free to the theme parks. Thank God because we would have had to take out a loan to finance this trip!
For those of you who have never been here, save up before coming. So far, the best deal for us was Cinderella's Royal Table breakfast. It was $160 for five of us and we received two, 8x10 professional photos with Cinderella herself along with some 4x6s to send to family. Also, a great breakfast, one-on-one time with four other Disney Princesses and a cheap (yet fantastic in the eyes of a two-year-old) plastic wand with a star on top. Everything else is just very expensive! It's even $10 per day to park!
One thing that's not going to cost you your firstborn is my service. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Team Nelson way of real estate, here's your education: If you buy or build ANY home, I will sell your existing home for FREE. No catch, no gimmick, cancel at any time. If you're downsizing, upsizing or just ready for a change, imagine saving 3% on the sale of your home. Example: Your house is worth $200,000, I will save you $6,000 or 3% right off the top. It's that simple!
So, before you pay full price for the same service you'll get for half price, give me a call or email me. Keep that money in your pocket should you decide to head to Orlando!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Existing Homes Sales Rise in November, Market Likely Stabilizing

Existing-home sales rose slightly in November, indicating a stabilization in housing in the wake of mortgage disruptions earlier this year, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Total existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – rose 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 5.00 million units in November from an upwardly revised pace of 4.98 million in October, but are 20.0 percent below the 6.25 million-unit level in November 2006.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the market appears to be stabilizing. “Near term, existing-home sales should continue to hover in a narrow range, just as they have since September, and that’s good news because it’ll be a further sign that the housing market is stabilizing,” he said. “Mortgage interest rates are near historic lows and the most current data shows decelerating price declines, along with a modest reduction in the number of homes on the market.” Disruptions in mortgage availability and pricing peaked in August, which caused sales to slow in subsequent months.

The national median existing-home price2 for all housing types was $210,200 in November, down 3.3 percent from November 2006 when the median was $217,300, but there remains a downward drag on the national median as the mix of closed sales has shifted away from expensive markets.

“Just like the weather, there are large local variations in home prices,” Yun said. A quarterly examination of price performance on a metropolitan basis shows nearly two-thirds of metro areas are showing price increases. Among the many metros experiencing healthy local price gains are Farmington, N.M.; Reading, Pa.; Columbia, S.C., and Fargo, N.D.

Total housing inventory declined 3.6 percent at the end of November to 4.27 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 10.3-month supply3 at the current sales pace, down from a 10.7-month supply in October. “Inventory is still high, and further reduction in prices may be required in some areas to induce buyers back into the market,” Yun said.
*article courtesy of NAR

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Another reason to use me as your REALTOR!

It has been over a year since I took and completed my e-PRO certification. As an Internet consumer, what does this mean to you and is it important?

When you're on the Internet, you don't have time to waste on endless searches for useful real estate information. You want to get things done quickly and without hassle. So chances are you'd like a real estate agent who:
-Answers e-mail promptly and professionally.
-Respects your on-line privacy.
-Offers home listings and other Internet tools to help you find or market a home.
Enter the e-PRO.
An e-PRO is a REALTOR® who has successfully completed the e-PRO training program for real estate professionals. Endorsed by the National Association of REALTORS®, the e-PRO course teaches professionals the nuts and bolts of working with real estate on-line: Web sites, e-mail, on-line tools, and most of all, what today's consumer really wants.
What does all this mean to you? There are several benefits of working with a certified Internet professional.

More privacy
Are you reluctant to give out contact information through the Web for fear of being pestered or spammed? e-PROs understand. They've learned the Web isn't just a place to do business; you need information from someone you can trust.
That's why e-PROs respect your privacy. They respond quickly to your questions, but don't send you unwanted communication. And they protect your personal information.
Less hassle
Tired of struggling to find information? e-PROs are more likely to have access to the latest Internet utilities, making your life easier. These tools may include:
-On-line home tours
-Instant access to comprehensive neighborhood data
-Extensive property listings
-Immediate e-mail notification of just-listed homes meeting your criteria
-Referral networks and on-line forums, where e-PROs can quickly find information——even potential buyers——from other e-PROs
-Newsletters on current real estate conditions in your area
-Electronic faxes sent to you by e-mail
-Advanced software, PDAs, and laptops to find you answers on the spot
The result: you get more information, more easily. With electronic files, you have less paperwork to deal with. And since your agent uses e-mail, you can even eliminate phone tag. The e-PRO streamlines your entire transaction, from showing to closing.
Less expense
An e-PRO's access to advanced technology can save you considerable expense. You have more tools to find or market your home, so you're likely to get a better price. With on-line home tours, you reduce in-person showings——and the costs involved. And by using e-mail, you save money on long-distance calls and fax charges.

Relocating? An e-PRO is ideal for you. With the tools to do your research electronically, you can make a decision on a home the first day you're in town——or without traveling at all. You and your family save on travel costs. And after you've decided to buy, monitoring the sale by e-mail saves you even more.

Should you use an e-PRO? Yes——especially if you're an Internet user. In this fast-paced age, technology has become a necessity. An e-PRO is someone who has recognized and responded to the needs of the new consumer. If you choose an e-PRO, it's a safe bet you'll get the kind of service you want——and need.

Happy New Year to all of you! I look forward to helping you with your real estate needs!