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 Real Estate Blog 
Wednesday, April 23 2014

As Spring continues to "bloom" around Plano and we all begin our spring cleaning it is just natural for us to want to "freshen" up our home, give it a new look and feel.  I want to share a few quick, trending and inexpensive ways to give your home a spring fresh look.   

Colors

One of the easiest way to keep your home decorating current is to update colors, it is also an inexpensive answer.   Move

Navy room

over grey & beige it is time to bring color back into our homes.   As  you window shop or read magazines you may have noticed that deeply hued colors are making a come back - I have noticed it in homes I have been showing and in models homes at new construction sites.  I have also noticed that a classic is making a strong come back - NAVY.  Some are saying that navy is the new neutral color thanks to its ability to blend with other colors and styles.  Look at this room with the dark navy walls - grabs your attention and yet makes the room seem larger and brighter.  The rug draws our attention and yet pulls the whole room together.  If painting your walls a dark color like this seems a little too much for you, then try adding a piece of furniture in this dramatic color.   

If navy isn't really a color that excites you what about using the "color of the year"!  Did you know there is a color of the year? I didn't but I did some research and discovered that the color of 2014 is Radiant Orchid!  My first thought was "what color is that exactly?" - well if you are wondering too, here it is: 

I read one description that said "an enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple, and pink undertones" it inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health.  Okay, I can see that - but HOW and WHERE do I use it to decorate?  Use it in a main living room, like subtle splashes with pillows or art.  I found this beautiful dining room table and bedspread ideas: 

              

One of the other trends I have seen a lot of lately is mixing textures and finishes.  The rich colors really lend themselves to this look as well, rich blues and orchids really complement the wood and classic metals you find in many homes.  Don't be too "matchy" as you re-do your rooms, mixing velvets, corduroy, cowhides, and high gloss laquers can really give you a WOW factor!  Play with scale and color and I am betting you will find a new and fresh look you love and can't wait to show off.  One more sample for you, check out this room, lots of different textures and yet it is all pulled together with the color.   

So you if you are just sprucing up your home for yourself, or maybe you are considering selling your home, I hope these ideas spark some ideas for you.   

Helping you find or sell your home is our goal,

Getting you through the process is our expertise!

 Reechia & Keith

Powell Realty Group

Homes for Sale in Allen, Texas

Posted by: AT 08:03 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, April 17 2014

As any homeowner knows, heating and cooling bills can top the charts during the height of summer and winter in many parts of the country. Homes that are well insulated can aid in keeping bills in line by helping to keep temperatures at a constant - but there are additional ways to tackle energy bills, and increasingly popular solutions include solar energy.

Depending on your climate and surrounding buildings, trees and topography, solar energy can be a resource that could be harnessed to lower your bill from the local electric company. In fact, many people are able to generate enough electricity and heat from the sun to power their home without the need for power from a utility company at all, and a few even manage to generate excess energy that they can sell back to the power company energy credits or for a profit.

Contrary to popular thought, solar energy is not just for dry desert climates. Northern regions where summer days are long and often sunny have a distinct advantage: solar panels operate more efficiently at cooler temperatures. While the diffuse light of a cloudy day will not generate as much energy, there is still some benefit seen. And climates that have rain will also see benefits to maintenance, as periodic rains can help clean the collection panels.

Passive solar homes use smart design and construction to capture energy from the sun and keep it within the home as heat when it is needed, and generally reject heat when it is not needed. With distinct features of southern windows and heat-gathering materials, passive solar homes don't use mechanical systems to collect and convert energy into electricity, but rather use their environment to the best advantage and store heat in a thermal mass for distribution in the home over time.

However, most people who are considering solar as part of their energy profile are seeking to outfit a more traditionally designed and built home to take advantage of sunny days to produce electricity for diverse use. There are three popular "active" systems for using solar energy that are of importance to homeowners - the first and most obvious is the type of system that is intended to generate electricity. This system, comprised of Photovoltaic (PV) collection panels, tracking mounts to move the panels to follow the sun, inverters, switches, wiring systems, and meters that work together to create electricity that is usable in your home and by others on the power grid. The second system worthy of note is a solar hot water heating system. These systems enable homeowners to use the power of the sun to heat water used in showering and cleaning. And finally, there are also solar heating systems for heating the water in swimming pools.

To generate electricity, one of the biggest issues is where to mount the collection panels. In areas where land is at a premium, the roof is the obvious answer. Closest to the source of power (the sun) and usually unobstructed by trees, roof mounted panels can be unobtrusive and effective at the same time. However, professional installation is advised, and sometimes extra support is needed for the extra weight added to the roof. Often it is advised to replace the roof prior to installing the solar panels to reduce efforts later as the roof ages. If solar water heating is also being employed, a water tank would often be installed on the roof, close to the solar panels, resulting in even more weight. Again, these are often jobs that would be accomplished by professionals who understand the issues involved. Aesthetic issues may also be raised.

Solar energy systems begin at the very beginning - first steps include having a site assessment followed by a design and planning period. Professional installation is desirable due to the load on the roof and wiring and electrical issues. Savvy homeowners can do their own maintenance and monitoring, though check-ups by the professionals might result in higher efficiency.

There are some potentially off-putting financial considerations. Initial costs can be high, though State and Federal incentives and subsidies can bring them down. Choices during installation can be made that will lower the bill, so good planning up front will be a distinct advantage. Generally, it is wise to stick with simple, tried-and-true technology and a professional company with a good track record that specializes in sales and installation of quality products. Get recommendations and talk to homeowners who have been through the process as they can shed light on your concerns.

On the Federal level -- homeowners can get a Residential Income Tax Credit of 30% of the total cost of an installed system. This incentive is available until 2016 and can be "carried over" each year until it's used up, or until time is up, whichever comes first.

Some states offer no sales tax on solar installations, and even pay customers a base rate on the total energy produced by the system, regardless if it is used by the building or sold back to the grid.

There are arguments against solar: Photovoltaic (PV) panels are created using quite a bit of energy, and they do contain heavy metals (cadmium), so they should be disposed of properly at the end of their life cycle. However, if they are maintained well, that could be 25 or 30 years from now. Systems are also costly to install, even with governments making them less expensive through incentive programs. Be sure to look closely at the installation and warranties offered by those doing the work; warranties offered by companies that are small may be worthless if the business fails. Additionally, stay on top of industry trends and know what you are buying: not all solar panels are made with the same quality, and the new, thinner PV sheeting seems to break down more easily, shortening its useful life, so you might want to consider whether or not to use it.

In areas that are off grid, where solar systems are in use, there are also banks of lead-based batteries that serve as storage for power collected during daylight hours. These batteries are not environmentally friendly, and must be maintained and disposed of properly as well. These expensive panels of batteries may require replacement every 5 years. Solar water heating systems sometimes require the use of antifreeze in the system, which can be an environmental hazard so a good maintenance plan is desirable.

Know how to maintain your system and what to do in an emergency. Keeping panels free of debris, dirt and pollen will ensure maximum production and keep the panels from deterioration. Everyone in the home should know how to disconnect the system from the house in case of fire, and how to disconnect from the grid power as well.

A quality solar power system can provide many years of excellent service, reducing your electric bills, and enable you to be more self-sufficient. In addition to the benefits of lower power bills, homes that are efficient and whose owners have invested in quality systems are often valued at a higher rate. Remember to keep all records associated with the purchase, materials, installation, warranty and maintenance. As buyers become more familiar with the benefits and use of solar power, these systems can set your home apart and make a difference in the sale.

Helping you find your home is our goal,

Getting you through the process is our expertise!

 Reechia & Keith

Powell Realty Group

For additional information in understanding the basics of photovoltaic (PV) systems, http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/the-basic-components-of-a-home-solar-power-system.seriesId-246926.html is a helpful resource. 

We recieved this article from Reliance Network. 

Posted by: AT 04:05 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, April 11 2014

We know that recently we have talked a lot about the low inventory of homes in our area; while that remains fact it is also not meant to say that you can't find a home to purchase in Plano.   There are currently over 390 homes for sale in Plano, and at least one of them is just what you have been looking for!   

So as we did earlier this week with homes in Allen, we thought we would show you both ends of the spectrum – the most expensive and the least expensive homes for sale in Plano.  

1428 Ridgecrest is priced at $69,000. This one story home offers 3 bedrooms, a garage and a large backyard.  If this home is “calling your name” contact us to see it for yourself! 

5837 Bridle Bend Trail is about the “middle” of the list of available homes in Plano.  Priced at 433,900, this charming home offers 3 bedrooms, a family room with a wet bar and a private pool.  A must see home we will be happy to show you.

So that makes us think – well what is the most expensive home look like:

5500 Cavendish Court is priced at $6,900,000.  A stately home on 6 acres that fronts a gorgeous pond.  Exquisite finishes throughout, each of the 5 bedrooms boast master sized baths!  Completely renovated in 2010 this home is ready and waiting.  Contact us to schedule a private showing.     

There are currently 396 active listings in Plano.  Here are the average stats of those 396 homes:

  • 4 bedrooms
  • 3,975 square feet
  • $595,226
  • $133.59 – list price/square foot
  • 52 days on the market

We have lived and worked in Plano for more than 20 years, we know the neighborhoods – we can help you find the home of your dreams!  Contact us today to begin your search.  

Helping you find your home is our goal,

Getting you through the process is our expertise!

 Reechia & Keith

Powell Realty Group

Posted by: AT 09:56 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, April 09 2014

We know that recently we have talked a lot about the low inventory of homes in our area, while that remains fact it is also not meant to say that you can't find a home to purchase in Allen.   There are currently over 180 homes for sale in Allen, and at least one of them is just what you have been looking for!   

Today for fun we thought it might be interesting to show you the least expensive home on the market in Allen today:

559 Oldbridge Drive, Allen TX

559 Oldbridge Drive is priced at $114,900.  A lovely ranch style home with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a one car garage. This is a great starter home, contact us to see it for yourself today! 

 

We have a wonderful golf course home in Allen for sale, 1103 Navarro Drive is a stunning home with 5 bedrooms and 5 baths. Elegance and privacy abound in this special  home ideally priced at $749,987.   You will find more details and photos here, and can contact us to see it in person.   

So that makes us think – well what is the most expensive home look like:

405 Wood Lake Drive is priced at $2,600,000.  A stunning custom home located in Wimberly Place, Allen’s only gated community.  This 5 bedroom home sits on an amazing lake and golf course  lot.  All the bells and whistles to delight and amaze you, contact us to schedule a private showing.     

There are currently 180 active listings in Allen.  Here are the average stats of those 180 homes:

  • 4 bedrooms
  • 3,648 square feet
  • $477,288
  • $126.19 – list price/square foot
  • 40 days on the market

We have lived and worked in Allen for more than 20 years, we know the neighborhoods – we can help you find the home of your dreams!  Contact us today to begin your search.  

Helping you find your home is our goal,

Getting you through the process is our expertise!

 Reechia & Keith

Powell Realty Group

Posted by: AT 10:54 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 07 2014

We are all happy to see the spring season fast approaching our Plano area.  With the blooming flowers and greener grass we are also seeing more homes available for sale. 

If you have been thinking of selling your Allen or Plano area home here are some tips to get a head start and be ahead of the pack:

Right NOW is a GREAT Time to Sell

The winter selling season was crippled by the extreme winter weather so many buyers are anxious to get out there and purchase a home.  Now that the weather is warmer they will be heading out to view homes, is yours ready and on the market?  Also mortgage rates continue to be at historic low levels, so buyers are poised and ready to hit the streets!   

Know The Numbers

60% of ALL homes sold in 2014 will be bought and sold during the months of May through August!  Putting your home on the market at the beginning of the selling season will help your chances of snagging a buyer before they turn their attention to summer activities and vacations! 

Price It Right

Well many of our local communities have enjoyed home value increases in the past year; however the last quarter has seen a slow-down in price increases.  Pricing your home is a critical component to getting your home sold.   The Plano & Allen market has seen some fluctuating lately which makes knowing the local market that much more important.  You are your real estate agent should view homes in your neighborhood that are similar to yours – also be sure you review the homes that have sold in the past 60-180 days – this helps you give you a more true picture of the value of your home.   In recent markets you will hear people say that Location, Location, Location has been replaced by PRICE IT RIGHT!  

It Pays To Be Ahead Of The Curve  

 If you want to get a jump on the competition – NOW is the time to get your home on the market.  Plano, Allen, and Murphy are all experiencing low inventory.  Having your home on the market before kids get out of school and the summer season arrives will give you your “moment in the spotlight”!  One more good point is that those buyers who are out looking at homes now are more motivated; they are dealing with cold weather and less inventory!  Now is the time to contact us and get your home on the market! 

Be Sure Your Home Can Be Found Everywhere

When you are interviewing agents be sure you know where and how they feature your home.  In this new mobile area, a huge number of home buyers start their home search online – and most of those people are using their smart phones!  Be sure your home POPS OFF THE SCREEN!  Lots of photos and good descriptive words are important.  We have a strong marketing plan for your home and we will help you show your home off in its best light, and yes it will be on all the most popular real estate websites!   

Helping you sell your home is our goal,

Getting you through the process is our expertise!

 Reechia & Keith

Powell Realty Group

Posted by: AT 09:34 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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Reechia Powell

Reechia Powell Realty Group
301 S. Watters Road #100
Allen, TX 75013
Phone: (972) 979-9978
Email: Reechia@Reechia.com

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