We have all heard the age old real estate adage: "Location, location, location!" But what does that really mean? For some, it is the proximity to certain features, for some it is a view or easy access to a golf course or a lake or the mountains. For others it might be the size of lots and distance between homes, and still others value the “walk-ability-score” or ability to walk for shopping, entertainment, eating, schools, work, healthcare, and transportation. Whatever you are seeking it boils down to one word: Neighborhood.
Some definitions of “neighborhood”:
A section lived in by neighbors and usually having distinguishing characteristics
A distinctive area: a district with characteristics that distinguish it from the areas around it
Vicinity, the general vicinity or surrounding area of a place
Often times when the word "neighborhood" is mentioned, it takes us back in time to our youth with remembered times and images of playing with friends in the cul-de-sac or street close to home, and mom calling kids for dinner. Sometimes those memories are centered on a specific house but often times it is more an area, street or streets, or a park – the overall landscape of our childhood. Neighborhood is a powerful word. It speaks of a sense of community, a sense of family, a sense of belonging. And it certainly can be part of our identity.
An attractive neighborhood can drive up the value of a property. The personality of a neighborhood shows up in the homes, yards, streets, schools, parks and stores that service the area.
When you are considering a property, especially with a family, you might want to familiarize yourself with the various neighborhoods in your target area. The best way to determine if a neighborhood will live up to its reputation is to spend time there. Visit the chamber of commerce for the town, and find the local newspapers online. Talk to people who have lived in that region and don't be afraid to ask the tough questions: what do they like and/or dislike about an area, and why?
It is always a good idea to visit the neighborhood at different times of the day and evening – the feel and flow of a neighborhood may change significantly at different times of the day – if many of the residents work during the day and are home in the evenings you may discover an complete change in the neighborhood’s personality and the level of activity. How many cars are on the street? How do the outsides of the homes and buildings appear to you? Are there kids and families, and is that important to you? If there is a school within walking distance, how many kids are walking around the community, or is there a bus stop across the street from the home you have your eye on? Does that matter to you? Is there parking available – do people park in the street or in their driveways/garages?
Taking enough time when you visit neighborhoods can be difficult, but worthwhile. If you can get to the area where you will move, try to mimic your own daily routines as you explore. If it is a work day, seek to drive the streets around the times that you might leave and return from work. Explore where you might have dinner out at, how far is it to your favorite restaurant? Where is the nearest grocery store, is it one you prefer or will you have to travel to continue your shopping preferences? Where and how many gas stations are nearby? What route – and is there more than one – you can take to get to work? To your families and friends homes? To other places you visit frequently? Often times it appears you are closer to these type of places only to find that it take you much longer to get out of a neighborhood and to the main streets or maybe the main streets are easier to access therefore your commute time decreases.
For each home buyer there is a list of different important places, here are some to consider: medical care options including a doctor’s office, hospital, urgent care, dentist; place of worship; parks; library; lake/water; daycare; gym; walking paths; schools (all levels); post office; bank; hardware store; courthouse; police station; dry cleaner; pharmacy.
In our next article we continue to explore the neighborhood concept and how it relates to your real estate goals.
Until next time, remember our goal is to help you find your next home and getting you through the process is our expertise!
The S & P / Case-Shiller Home Price Index recently showed that home prices in 20 major metro areas have increased at the strongest pace in the past 5 years. North Texas pending sales are up 6.2%; pending sales tell us the market will continue at a strong pace. The Median Sold Price is up 13.1%.
Below you will find county-wide stats, to learn how your neighborhood is preforming contact us and we will provide a personalized report.
Realtor.com is the one of the most trusted and utilized web site to search available real estate, millions of people use it each year. One of the things buyers are most often researching or using as their search parameters is a specific neighborhood. Using the "zip code search" option Realtor.com has compiled a list of the most popular neighborhoods in America for 2012.
The second most popular neighborhood is Willow Bend Country, Plano Texas. This neighborhood is a chip shot away from the Gleneagles Country Club. It is also just a hop, skip and jump from the marinas and fishing spots on Lewisville Lake. Additional perks for this popular community is easy freeway access and commuter train options to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex; plenty of close by shopping and cultural attractions; and families appreciate the superior Plano Schools.
Let us help you find your dream home in Willow Bend Country ~ or any other neighborhood!
We have all heard that the real estate market is improving, but it is always nice to see what the facts say about our own area. Are things really improving in Plano and Allen Texas? The answer is YES! The real estate market is consistent. Here in the Plano area we did not experience the deep valleys that many other parts of the country experienced, we have been experienced a steady market during 2011 and 2012.
Here are the facts and figures for Plano for 2011 vs. 2012:
Average Sold Price
Average Price Per Square Foot
Average Days on Market
As you see, more homes sold in 2012, and the average sold price increased. The average days on market decreased by nearly a month! The average price per square foot is a good “apples to apples” comparison point, and strongly indicates the steady market we have discussed.
As an additional point of reference let’s look at the same facts and figures for the Allen, Texas real estate market:
Average Sold Price
Average Price Per Square Foot
Average Days on Market
While the number of homes sold in the Allen area is less than Plano on average the facts support the same conclusion, we are in a consistent market.
If you would like to know how your neighborhood compares, contact us and we will provide you with the details.
Now that we have celebrated the New Year most of us begin returning our home decor to "normal" and that often involves disposing of your once-live Christmas tree.
In Plano we are offered seveal locations where we can drop off our tree for recycling. All trees and greenery will be processed into Texas Pure products. Texas Pure compost, top-dressing, mulch and soil blend products have been developed as high-quality yard and garden products. You can order Texas Pure products here or watch for information in your City of Plano utility bill.
Homes.com and RE/MAX, LLC, announced the launch of a major new online marketing collaboration. RE/MAX has selected Homes.com to power the new REMAX.com website and the newly released suite of RE/MAX mobile applications for Apple and Android mobile devices. The two organizations will also be launching collaborative efforts to market Homes.com local advertising products and the new Homes Connect marketing platform to RE/MAX Sales Associates throughout North America.
What this means for our you when you list your home with The Powell Realty Group:
RE/MAX listings will also be showcased on Homes.com, driving new traffic to remax.com and leads downstream to RE/MAX offices and Sales Associates.
A RE/MAX co-branded version of Homes Connect is being marketed by the two companies to RE/MAX Broker-Owners and Sales Associates throughout North America.
Just one more reason we are proud to be RE/Max agents, leaders in the industry.
A beautiful custom home in exclusive Plano community of Stoney Hollow!Large covered porches are ideal for outdoor entertaining, or just relaxing & enjoying your slice of Plano!Upgrades and elegance throughout.Backs to 30+ acres of open space, no backyard neighbors!
We all know the media is full of opinions about investing in real estate - is this the time to buy? We beleive the answer is YES! Now is the time to buy a home, become a home owner! It is a great time and being a homeowner is one of life's joys and a wonderful accomplishment!
Here are reasons you want to be a homeowner NOW:
1. Equity. When you pay rent, you never see that money again. It is lining the landlord's pocket. Yes, buying a home may come with some hefty initial costs (downpayment, closing costs, inspections), but you will make that money back over time, in the equity your home will build over time. Historically, homes appreciate by about 4 to 6 percent a year. Some areas of the country (some right here in our Texas real estate market) are still experiencing normal appreciation rates. Homeownership is about building long-term wealth.
2. Relationships: Renters tend to see their neighbors come and go quickly. Homeowners, however, have yards, walking trails, or community pools and clubhouses where they can get to know each other. And neighborhood schools and activities that bring people together to help build relationships. Neighbors stay put much longer (at least three to five years if they hope to recoup their closing costs). This means more time to develop relationships. Research has shown that people with healthy relationships have more happiness and less stress.
3. Predictability: Well, as long as you have a fixed-rate term on your mortgage it's predictable. Most people buying homes today know that a fixed-rate is the way to go. This means your payment amount is fixed for the life of the term. If your mortgage payment is $500 today, then it will still be $500 a month in 10 years. This allows for people to budget and make solid financial plans.
4. Ownership: Okay, this is a given. Homeownership means you "own" your home. Ownership has some great perks - you can renovate, update, paint, and decorate to your heart's desire. You can plant trees, install a pool, expand the patio, or do holiday decorating that would rival the Kranks. The bottom line is this is your home and you can personalize it to your taste. Most renters are stuck with the same beige walls and beige carpet that has been standard apartment decor for 20 years. Now is your chance to let your home speak!
5. Great Deals: It's a great time to buy. Interest rates are at historic lows. This means big savings for today's buyers. Home prices have also taken a dip since the recession, which means homes are more affordable than ever. Also, the supply of homes for sale is strong. If you have steady income and cash for a downpayment, contact us and let's talk about what homes in our area can be a fit for you and your family!
Homeownership can be a real joy. The time is right for you to become a homeowner!
As might be expected in a challenging economy in which large numbers of boomers are downsizing or buying second homes, the era of the McMansion has passed. Homebuyers have readjusted their priorities for how to design and use living space, with a focus on function over extravagance. A recent American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey highlights the following shifts:
·As more people work out of their home or telecommute, homeowners desire a dedicated workspace.
·An expanded outdoor living area featuring furniture, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and so on increases functional living space.
·Mud rooms offer an informal transition area between the outdoors and indoors and also provide additional storage.
·Homebuyers continue to seek energy-saving features, including double- or triple-glazed windows and tankless water heaters.
I am sure it is not news to anyone that we have been dealing with some frigid weather here in the Plano, TX area lately; so we are providing some hints, tips and good suggestions on ways help you and your home weather the cold!
·If you have pipes that are exposed on the outside of your home, they could be the first to freeze – if you haven’t already – give them a blanket, wrap something around them and secure it so it won’t blow off.
·Inside you can open up cabinets where there is plumbing (kitchens and baths) to allow the warmer air to circulate around those pipes.
·Keep your home thermostat at a warm temp, don’t allow it to drop below 55 degrees, even while you are sleeping or traveling.
·Let cold water drip from your faucets, dripping water won’t freeze.
·Know where your main water shut off is in your home.
If you have had a pipe break here are some things you can do to help make filing the insurance claim a little stressful:
·Be prepared to give your insurance representative a full description of all damage: take photos.
·Prepare a detailed inventory of all damaged or destroyed personal property, make 2 copies.
·Make temporary repairs and save your receipts.
One last item, Atmos Energy has asked that conservation methods be implemented in order to help
the area get through this period of extreme cold (this will also help keep your gas bills lower):
·Set your thermostat at 65 degrees. Wear sweaters or use blankets in your home to help keep yourself and family warm.
·Limit early morning hot water use. Taking showers, doing dishes and laundry in the late afternoon or early evening prevents additional use at peak times.
·Close doors to rooms not in use in your home (closets, laundry rooms, guests rooms)
Enjoy a lifestyle of elegance and privacy in this stunning move-in ready home! Spacious and open floor plan with 5 bedrooms and 4 baths and a sparkling pool and spa!This home has just experienced a price reduction – it is priced to sell!Hurry and you can be celebrating the holidays in your new home!
Located in Plano’s Stoney Hollow community, this home will exceed your expectations!The seller says, bring an offer!!!
This wonderful townhome in Carrollton has a new price and you can enjoy a life of luxury and convenience here!Ideally located!Two spacious bedrooms!Well equipped and spacious kitchen.Dining room!Living area offers a cozy fireplace.You will not be disappointed!
A wonderful spacious and elegant home in Plano that boasts a sparkling pool and spa has just experienced a price reduction!A great home that is ready for new owners – be sure to put it on your MUST SEE list!
Sellers in Plano, TX are enjoying a consistent market, even during the holiday season. When we compare sales between December 2009 and January 2010 it is obvious it is a seller’s market. Over 100 homes sold in January, many more than the other areas we track. The average sold price and price per square foot increased with January sales. Days on market did increase slightly but remains under 2 months!
Traditionally January Real Estate can be slow, and even though fewer homes sold the prices remained fairly constant!
Our market remains steady and with the expanded tax credit it is a great time to purchase a home. To qualify for the tax credit you need to have a home under contract before April, which will be here before you know it! Call us and we can help you find your dream home and take advantage of the tax credit!
As we look toward the New Year we wonder what will the real estate market do? Let’s first take a moment to reflect on the past 6 months. Often reviewing what we just finished helps us prepare for the future.
Single Family Home sales in Plano, Texas were very consistent for the final half of 2009.
·Average List Price $266,889
·Average Sold Price $258,033
o4% difference between list price and sold price!
·Average Price Per Square Foot $93
·Average Days on Market 60
These stats tell us that homes sold on a consistent and reasonable basis. Not quite what the media would have you believe is it?
We are here to assure you that people are buying homes and they are selling for a fair and reasonable price!
The government tax credit has been extended and expanded – it is a GREAT time to buy a home!
Plano real estate has remained steady with some interesting and slight changes. In July over 300 homes sold, since then the number of homes sold has decreased each month. However the days on market and price per square foot has barely changed! Plano continues to enjoy the least amount of days on the market for this area. We expect the market to continue in a steady fashion due to the recent government tax credit.
For Plano in September – Sold Properties:
257 homes sold
Average List Price $264,670
Average Sold Price $256,733
Average Price Per Sq Ft $94
Average Days on Market 59
October – Sold Properties
242 homes sold
Average List Price $249,894
Average Sold Price $241,793
Average Price Per Sq Ft $91
Average Days on Market 62
Plano saw a steady number of homes sold during the “summer season”. The average sold price decrease slightly, however homes sold for an average of 96% of the list price (that figure stayed very steady). Price per square foot and number of days on the market were consistent. Plano enjoys the lowest number of days on the market. Remember this is the largest area we review, therefore the price range and style of homes varies significantly.
For Plano in July – Sold Properties:
329 homes sold
Average List Price $274,772
Average Sold Price $265,764
Average Price Per Sq Ft $94
Average Days on Market 60
August – Sold Properties
284 homes sold
Average List Price $260,047
Average Sold Price $251,401
Average Price Per Sq Ft $90
Average Days on Market 63
First time buyers – the clock is ticking and time is running out to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit. Allen remains a great place to purchase your first home.
The tax credit only applies to first-time home buyers. The law defines a "first-time" buyer as any buyer who has not owned a home within the previous three tax years. For married couples, the homeownership history of both individuals must meet this qualification.
The tax credit is only available for homes purchased between January 1, 2009, and December 1, 2009. For the purposes of this credit, the purchase date is the date when closing occurs and the title to the property transfers to the new home owner.
As long as the property is purchased by a qualified buyer for use as a principal residence, any type of home, including single-family detached homes, townhouses, condominiums and manufactured homes can qualify for the credit.
The tax credit does not have to be repaid provided that the buyers use the home as their principal residence for at least three years.
The full tax credit is only available for individuals with an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 and for married couples with a combined adjusted gross income of up to $150,000. The tax credit phases out for anyone above those income thresholds.
The tax credit applies for up to 10 percent of the home's purchase price, with a maximum of $8,000. For example, a first-time buyer of a $50,000 home would be eligible for a tax credit of $5,000 while a buyer of a $150,000 home could receive a tax credit of a maximum of $8,000.
Call me today and we will start the process so you can be settled in your new home by the holidays!
In our last article we discussed how soon it will be too late to use the $8,000 tax credit for first time home buyers. Today we want to review things that may cause a delay in closing and being qualified for the credit.
Buying a home is a complicated process, and it is not unusual for purchases involving first-time buyers to take slightly longer than those involving experienced buyers. Some of the delays that first-time buyers may face over the coming months:
Competition with Other Buyers
While home may be selling at a lower rate than in years past, in many areas changes in inventory have created extremely competitive buying environments. Foreclosures or other homes with greatly lowered asking prices are particularly sought after, and in many cases investors are very active in the marketplace.
Disclosures & Contingencies
The seller is obligated to disclose any material facts about the property, including any property defects or any lawsuits regarding claim to ownership on the property. Disclosures can stall negotiations and delay the contract signing depending on their nature and severity. Contingencies (written clauses in the sales contract that give protection to both the buyer and the seller of a home) can also result in some delay in negotiation, particularly if the contingency requires the seller to make specific repairs.
The lender will arrange for appraisal of the property, which will include a thorough inspection of the home's interior and exterior. The appraiser's report will describe the physical characteristics of the property and comparable property values will be used to determine the value of the property. If the appraisal of the home's value is lower than the agreed upon sales price, the buyer's chance of loan approval can be in jeopardy. In addition, recently added rules for appraisers have been causing some delays based upon anecdotal evidence.
While interest rates remain advantageous for buyers, lenders are being much more fastidious during the approval process. Obtaining pre-approval can help prevent many delays.
The Holiday Season
Buyers who submit an offer in mid-fall may likely run into another roadblock to a pre-December 1st closing date: the approaching holiday season. Closing a real estate sale requires the work and attention of a number of professionals; from real estate agents to attorneys to bankers. Like many Americans, it is not uncommon for individuals in these fields to use up vacation time in the last few weeks of November. Securing a closing date during Thanksgiving week may be something approaching miraculous.
Additional Delays for Short Sales and Foreclosures
Buyers who make an offer on a short sale property or bank-owned foreclosure may find that it takes a significantly longer time to receive a reply than expected. Overall, buying these types of properties is a longer process than buying homes listed on the market by individual owners.
Let’s get started today, call us and let us help you through the home buying process!
While the economy continues to show signs of improvement and many housing markets are beginning to heat up, scores of would-be buyers are still waiting on the sidelines for further positive housing trends. But for first-time buyers, time is running short on the federal government's $8,000 tax credit.
Though the official expiration date of the credit is December 1, in reality on-the-fence buyers will need to make a decision one way or the other fairly soon. The reason: in order to qualify for the credit, the home purchase must close by December 1st. Merely having loan approval, an accepted offer or a signed contract won't be enough to qualify for the Housing and Economic Recovery Act.
Decision-Making Timeline - While each transaction is unique, closing a real estate deal is no speedy matter. On average, closing takes place 45 to 60 days after the date that the contract is signed. In order to meet the December 1st deadline, this would mean having a signing date in late September or early October. Those who consider the tax credit an important incentive but are still unsure about entering the market will need to make a decision one way or another before many more summer days pass.
To have any chance at finding a home and having an offer accepted by early October, buyers will want to wade into the home buying process right away. The immediate steps include making a final list of desired home attributes, scouting favorite neighborhoods and areas, starting the mortgage pre-approval process and beginning the home search process online.
Plano is different than the other areas we review each month, it is larger and therefore offers a wider variety of homes, the price range is also larger than the other areas.
For Plano in May – Sold Properties:
261 homes sold
Average List Price $253,284
Average Sold Price $244,413
Average Price Per Sq Ft $90
Average Days on Market 53
June – Sold Properties
288 homes sold
Average List Price $284,885
Average Sold Price $275,125
Average Price Per Sq Ft $97
Average Days on Market 59
As you can see things change from month to month, and in the Plano area things are increasing in the right areas (average sold price and price per square foot) and decreasing the right areas (days on market).
It’s obviously a good time to sell your Plano area home – call us and let’s talk about our marketing plan for your home!