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 Real Estate Blog 
Monday, December 23 2013
2013's Most Searched Zip Codes for Homes For Sale

Millions of people search for homes online and recently released the top 5 zip codes that were searched in 2013.   Using the Zip Code search data is able to determine which neighborhoods were the most searched for, the hottest places to live in America. 

We found the list very interesting and surprisingly the 5 zip codes are in different states across the country.  Two are in Florida, one in North Carolina and the number 1 searched zip code is in Illinois! 

The second most searched zip code is McKinney, TX! 

This is exciting news for the community of McKinney!   McKinney is an up-and-coming area with easy access and a forward-thinking growth plan.  It is one of the fastest-growing communities in the Dallas area – one of the main reasons for this growth is that it offers quiet, small-town style of life while being just 30 minutes north of downtown Dallas.  While this commute is attractive to those who work in Dallas and want a slower paced life, there are ample jobs in the area that do not require the commute into Dallas.  McKinney boasts charm, safety and great schools while offering a wide variety of styles of homes, from the historic homes, golf course homes, Victorians and of course brand new homes, and at all price points. 

Another exciting change in McKinney that lends to the desirability to live here is the local airport, which was called Collin County Regional Airport but is changing its name to the McKinney National Airport.  It has a new 70,000 foot runway set to service private jets, giving private and corporate jets a convenient and less busy airport to utilize.  We believe that the airport is just one more reason McKinney real estate will continue to blossom and become more valuable.  

Helping your sell or buy your home is our goal,

Getting you through the process is our expertise!

 Keith       214-649-4823

Reechia   972-979-9978

McKinney homes for sale

Posted by: AT 01:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, December 19 2013

In our last article we discussed the many factors of value of renovation, today we are going to review other aspects of doing a renovation. 

Important Factors

Workmanship - a job well done, whether by yourself or a hired professional, shows. Whether the job is cosmetic or a deeper fix, the work should be of high quality.

Design - well thought out and beautiful, with attention to use, style, scale, and materials; a great design can add the most value to the renovation.

Utility - the more something is used and enjoyed, the more the renovation is worth. Improved access, storage, or other everyday needs is among the most valuable work you can have done. When doorways, stairs or other access points get renovated - check for scale and materials that are user-friendly. Ensure that people can pass each other and that furniture can move where it is needed. Renovations that are difficult to use are a failure.

Lighting - lighting fixtures can be expensive and are very subjective. Consult with a lighting designer and use bright lights that are recessed and well-placed. Avoid the expensive, over-the-top dining room chandelier unless the intention is to use it for years.

Electrical/Plumbing - while not a "sexy" renovation, knowing that the two greatest conveniences of modern living are up-to-date and functioning well is a huge benefit to a homeowner. Document all repairs and renovations and keep the information on hand to show the quality of the work, since it is hidden behind walls and more difficult to assess.

Roof/Foundation/Windows - like electrical and plumbing, renovations that include improvements to a roof, windows or a foundation can add a measure of security as well as immediate and tangible value to a home. Preventing water damage and maintaining the structural integrity of the home is of the highest concern. Ensuring that quality work is done with an eye towards the style of the home is paramount in getting the highest return on this investment.

Kitchen/Bathroom/Basement/Garage - creating MORE timeless and classic space that is used frequently gets the most return in resale value. Storage is king in any of these spaces, but it should be useful and accessible.

What to Avoid

Poorly designed renovations, including poor stylistic or configuration choices, shoddy workmanship or materials can deter a buyer or render your own renovation a failure. Avoid the trap of using the wrong materials: fixtures that are too big, or obviously bought because they were on sale/seconds, using the wrong windows, or inadequate materials for the project that won't hold up in the locale or manner of use.

Fad renovations often lack long-term usability; that disco playroom or man-cave may look cool, but updating it again in a few years may be impractical. Everyone loves a steam room, sauna, billiard room or workout room, but maintenance and upkeep might make it less attractive. Furthermore, repurposing a bedroom or garage for a renovation of this sort removes spaces that future owners may find vital, so this further jeopardizes return on the investment.

Some renovations don't go far enough. Redoing the kitchen or a bathroom without updating the wiring is an example of this. Putting in a bedroom, but failing to make it big enough or to follow the building code, is another example. Seek to find renovations that provide a lot of utility for the dollar, while accomplishing all that is actually required. If you really can't afford to renovate, perhaps waiting is a better idea.

We all know when something is, "Just a little 'off'." One of the worst things is a great idea, done well and with fine materials, that just misses the mark; perhaps there is a corner that always gets in the way or that constantly causes someone to get hurt, or maybe it is a cabinet that opens in the wrong direction. Measurements that are off and made right with a work-around, all of these "little things" end up making a good thing into a frustration.

Don't bash a lot of bedrooms. Converting a little-used bedroom to an office is one thing, but build-ins can diminish the ability to use the room as a bedroom again, potentially limiting the use of the room in the future. Consider carefully before repurposing a bedroom in a manner that limits the future utility of the space. The number of bedrooms in a home greatly influences the home's value. At the same time, putting an extra bedroom in a basement is often a mediocre idea. Code requires two points of egress - a door and usually a window with very specific requirements, which may be expensive. Additionally, basement bedrooms are often unattractive spaces that require special attention to ensure they are not cold and dark.

Renovations can be “the best thing” you ever did for your home, but they also require a lot of thought and research to ensure success.  

Helping your sell or buy your home is our goal,

Getting you through the process is our expertise!

 Keith       214-649-4823

Reechia   972-979-9978

Posted by: AT 01:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, December 17 2013

Renovation is a hot topic for home owners – whether you are considering selling your home or just wanting to improve your “enjoyment factor” there can be many layers to the discussion and ultimate decision about what, when and how much to renovate.

If you are considering renovating your home for your personal enjoyment factor then some of these decisions will be easier – enjoyment factor doesn’t always come with a ‘return on investment’ figure.  You really want that built-in pool and you will enjoy it and that is the bottom line for you and your family.   However if you are renovating to prepare for selling your home then ‘return on investment’ becomes more important!  Not everyone sees a pool as an added value point. 

Some factors cannot be defined by a dollar amount.  The enjoyment factor is one. The stress and disruption in your day to day life during the renovation is another factor that is not often considered and can’t be priced out.  Some renovations are “time period” sensitive – think of the built-in entertainment areas that were so popular 5 - 10 years ago – a “hole” for your big screen and additional stereo components looks dates today with the popularity of flat screen televisions.  

Real estate agents and home inspectors can be incredible assets when deciding what renovations should be completed to benefit selling your home and receiving the most “bang for your buck”; both professionals have seen many homes, and understand the market and condition of a home with a keen perspective.  They can also guide you when placing the value on a renovation. 

Essentially the value of a home is the price a seller is willing to accept and a buyer is willing to pay.  Yes, renovations will increase the appeal of your home, attracting buyers but you also want to be sure you have not “over updated” your home.  Often times it is challenging for a home seller to remember that the pride they feel in completing renovations is not directly related to the value to home buyers.  

The fundamental hope is that the money put into a renovation results in an increase in the sale price. Often renovations are needed to simply bring a home up to the value and standards of other homes in the vicinity. Completing major renovations to put a home on the market may attract more buyers which often times increases the value of the home.

The key to evaluating a renovation is understanding that balancing act behind the end result - what was achieved, how was it achieved, by whom was the work done, and with what materials. Understanding the market and the scope of the renovation all become part of the equation in determining its worth.

Home buyers will look at an updated bath and think: All the fixtures and tile were replaced that is good.  Did they also replace the electrical wiring and water pipes?  What are the pipes made out of? Copper or PVC?  And what was their rationale for not doing, or doing, those additional updates?   If the wiring and pipes were in excellent condition and did not require replacement it is just fine to leave things alone. The key is to ensure that what was needed was actually accomplished. Doing too much or too little can cause a project to fail in the ultimate goal: to actually improve the home.

In our next article we will discuss more things to consider as you plan your renovation. 

Helping your sell or buy your home is our goal,

Getting you through the process is our expertise!

 Keith       214-649-4823

Reechia   972-979-9978

Posted by: AT 01:22 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, December 12 2013
What Your House Wants For Christmas

We know most of us are in the midst of making lists and checking them twice but have you taken a moment to think about your house and what it might want for Christmas?  No seriously!  Your home is your biggest investment, it gives you shelter and warmth shouldn’t it get a gift or two?  

(Remember, this is your house speaking…)

New windows: Things got a little drafty this year, and I know you weren’t too happy about the hike in utilities cost. Some new windows will make both of us happy.

A Deck: Not only will this make my yard more inviting, but just think about all the family time that can be gained by a new deck. When summer comes around again, barbecues can take place somewhere that everyone can get together, instead of out in the driveway.

A New Front Door: To be honest, the peeling paint and warped wood on my front door is more than a little embarrassing. Just think about what will happen to your curb appeal with a brand-new front door. Maybe the mailman won’t be afraid to knock on the door anymore.

A New Roof: Do you really think that those spots on my roof are supposed to be there? Not only will I look better with a new roof, but you’ll also get your money back in increase in home value. Santa almost didn’t land on my roof last year, I’m not sure what he’ll do this year.

A New Garage Door: That dent from when your daughter accidentally put the car in reverse before letting the garage door open all the way is not going to fix itself. A new garage door could really make my exterior look like you did a major makeover, and don’t worry, I’ll keep it between us that all you did was swap out the garage door.

New Siding: Do you wear clothes that are frayed or have holes in them? Well, I don’t know if you’ve seen some of my siding recently, but I’m pretty sure your “work jeans” look better than it does. I’d look as new as the day you bought me with some newly-replaced siding. Maybe you could even switch to that siding that Bob down the street just put in on his house. I heard he doesn’t have to paint it. Tempting, right?

Some Custom Upgrades: Maybe instead of a regular front door, you could spring for a nice iron one, or maybe a custom window for my foyer, so that all the neighbors’ jaws will drop in awe every time they pass by. I just know that something custom will really make me stand out on the inside.

And if you have splurged on other people on your list, here are some easy and last minute gift ideas:

Have my furnace inspected and serviced, and give me a clean filter. 

Have my chimney swept (ahhh it will feel like a massage to me). 

Install a carbon monoxide detector on each floor.

A new “coat” of insulation for my attic.

Merry Christmas,

Keith & Reechia Powell

Powell Realty ~ Homes for Sale in Plano

Posted by: AT 03:29 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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Allen, TX 75013
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