North Texas Real Estate & Community News

Aug. 3, 2020

Why Hire a CRS REALTOR®?

Posted in Blog
Aug. 3, 2020

Repair Request: You need to know THIS!

Posted in Blog
Aug. 3, 2020

What Are Certified Funds?

 

 

 

Posted in Blog
July 24, 2020

Home Trends For A Post-Pandemic World

Since March 2020, we have seen so many changes in our world.  From running out of hand sanitizer on grocery store shelves to wearing a mask anytime you are in public, from late-night talk shows broadcasting from home to professional baseball in an empty stadium.  Our world sure looks a lot different these days.

Another thing that has changed, is what it means to have a "home" and some people have changed their perspective on their idea of what a 'dream home' looks like. Not too long ago, buyers preferred smaller homes and open concept spaces conducive to gathering with friends and family. After a few months of being cooped up inside, those features may not seem so appealing.  Home buyers may prefer more space to spread out, and a home-office could be a must-have in the future. 

Real estate developers are likely taking notice and considering options that a post-pandemic world may demand.  

After doing some research, here are just a few suggested areas of home design where trends may shift in the coming years:

Home office / Study space / Zoom roomshome office
Many businesses implemented work-from-home policies for their office workers over the past few months.  Some people have opted to work remotely entirely.  Add that to the fact that schools are offering on-line curriculum and some parents and students are choosing to learn-from-home.  With all of this in mind, the home office may become essential for many buyers.  Home builders and developers may even consider more than one dedicated space for privacy while multiple people are working/studying at home.

Smart-home technology
Prior to the Covid-19 Pandemic, smart-home technology was already one of the fastest growing trends in home design.  However, smart home technology will likely move from a wish-list item to a must-have item. Hands-free items may become the standard instead of a luxury item.

Home buyers may required that the home office or study be pre-wired for telecommuting with high-speed internet and wi-fi access.  Keyless entry, along with lighting and security that is motion-activated helps families feel safe.  Touchless faucets in the kitchen, motion-sensor garbage cans, and automatic toilet flushing help reduce the spread of germs.  Air filtration and air quality monitoring could become more common too.  Not to mention thermostats, sprinkler systems, and garage door openers that can be controlled through the cloud, eliminating touch points. 

family gardeningOutdoor gardens
Many people have started growing their own food since mid-March. This will likely lead to home buyers considering their backyard size and layout ensuring they have the ability to have a vegetable garden.  Additionally, with more time on their hands due to reduced commute time - home owners are looking for activities that allow them time outdoors.  A backyard space allows for privacy and social distancing while still having outdoor activities.


Home size increase

With so many families spending time at home together lately, there's never been more need for personal space. Plus, if someone is sick they need some personal space to self-quarantine from everyone else at home.

Increased storage space
Home owners have changed the way they shop.  In order to minimize trips to busy retail and shopping areas, home buyers have stocked up on essentials and need space to store those items.  From canned goods and other food staples to other household supplies, home owners will want additional closet space and storage systems to keep things organized.

Shift in floor plan layout
For many years the open-concept floor plan has been the desire of buyers. However, now that families are spending more time together, the demands for 
privacy have increased.  Kids doing school work, parents working from home, and more meals being prepared in the kitchen - all lead to a noisy atmosphere filled with distractions.  Buyers may opt for a home that has dedicated space for some of these activities, leading to more closed off space and a less open floor plan.

 

 

About the author:

 

Melissa Hailey is the Broker-Owner of North Texas Top Team, REALTORS in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  Our Team helps home buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants move across North Texas and we connect clients to other great REALTORS across the country.  She is a real estate instructor and coach who loves to see others succeed.  She is a serial volunteer helping others in her community and in her industry.  Connect with her at https://www.northtexastopteam.com/melissa-hailey/

 

Posted in Blog
July 21, 2020

What REALTORS Do for Home Buyers

Posted in Video
July 17, 2020

Real Estate Glossary - the Letter B

REAL ESTATE GLOSSARY

Today we will focus on the letter B.  We will add more posts in the future with additional terminology that you may run across during a real estate transaction.  If you would like to see our previous terminology, click here.

 

BACKUP OFFER/CONTRACT:  A backup offer may be made by a buyer on a home that is already under contract to sell.  If the secondary buyer and the seller agree to the terms, it becomes a backup contract and is enforceable.  This generally takes place if a home seller wants a secondary option in case the first contract does not go through. Backup offers are extremely common when the housing market is thriving.

 

BANKRUPTCY:  Bankruptcy is a legal remedy available to individuals who have qualified debt that exceeds their assets. There are various types of Bankruptcy such as Chapter 7 or 11.  A person may seek relief from the courts in the form of a complete discharge of their debt or a court-supervised repayment plan.

 

BASIC RATE: When referring to title insurance, the basic rate is the rate charged to a consumer who does not qualify for a reduced rate.

 

BIDDING WAR:  A bidding war generally happens in a “seller’s market” when there are not enough homes to choose from for the number of buyers who are shopping.  In a bidding war there is competition between two or more viable buyers for one property.  Sometimes this also occurs at a foreclosure auction. Ultimately, the bidding war drives up the selling price on the home to the advantage of the seller.

 

BOUNDARY LINE:  A home's boundary is defined as the border between two adjacent properties. It is the spot where one owner’s property ends and another begins. Boundaries are generally established by professional surveyor who can accurately identify the exact location of the boundary between two properties.

 

BREACH OF CONTRACT:  Breach happens when one party to a written or oral contract fails to fulfill their duties without a valid legal excuse. A breach of contract is common in real estate sales and leases when either the buyer or seller (or tenant or landlord) fail to uphold their contractual obligations.

 

BROKER: A real estate broker represents a party (buyer or seller) in a real estate transaction or may act as an intermediary between the parties. A party may work with the broker or with one of the broker's agents.

 

BROKERAGE:  A real estate brokerage is a company/firm that facilitates a transaction between a buyer and a seller for a commission or fee. A real estate brokerage facilitates (brokers) a real estate transaction by working with a buyer and seller to help determine the price of a piece of real property, ensuring all documents are signed, and making sure all parties complete the sale.

 

 

BUYERS MARKET:  A buyer's market happens when there are more homes available for sale than there are home buyers.  This allows buyers to have negotiation power over sellers. 

 

 

We hope these glossary terms are helpful to you as you buy or sell your next home.  If you would like more information about how we help our clients, visit our website If you are moving in or to North Texas, our Team would love to help you personally.  If you are moving anywhere else in the United States, let us know and we can personally recommend a REALTOR to assist you wherever your move takes you.

Posted in Blog
July 3, 2020

Real Estate Glossary - the letter A

REAL ESTATE GLOSSARY

Today we will start with the letter A.  We will add more posts in the future with additional terminology that you may run across during a real estate transaction.

 

ABSTRACT:  An abbreviation of the cardinal aspects of all recorded deeds, mortgages, leases and other instruments affecting the title to a particular piece of land.

 

ADVERSE POSSESSION: The unauthorized occupation of land belonging to another, by a person who does not have the consent of the owner. Said occupier is said to hold possession adversely to the rights and interests of the owner. In most states, by operation of law, title to the land becomes vested in such occupier after a fixed number of years of peaceful occupancy.

 

AMORTIZATION: This term has developed through French and Old English from the Latin words “mors” or “mort” meaning death or dead. It is the killing off of an existing debt by regular partial payments. The word “mortgage” is also derived from the same Latin root. 

 

ANNEXATION:   If a property is outside the limits of a municipality, the buyer should be aware that the property may later be annexed by a nearby municipality. The buyer may find information on the boundaries of nearby municipalities by contacting the municipalities directly.

 

APPRAISER:  A person licensed by the state to perform Appraisals.  The appraiser must follow strict guidelines. The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) was adopted by Congress in 1989 and contains the standards for all types of appraisal services.

 

APPRAISAL:   An appraisal is a valuation of the property. An appraiser renders an estimate of value as of a certain date under assumptions and conditions stated in the appraisal report. Typically, a buyer's lender requires an appraisal to verify that the loan is secured by property that is worth a certain amount. An appraisal is not the same as an inspection.

 

 

APR – Annual Percentage Rate. The yearly interest percentage of a loan as expressed by the actual rate of interest paid.

 

We hope these glossary terms are helpful to you as you buy or sell your next home.  If you would like more information about how we help our clients, visit our website.  If you are moving in or to North Texas, our Team would love to help you personally.  If you are moving anywhere else in the United States, let us know and we can personally recommend a REALTOR to assist you wherever your move takes you.

Posted in Blog
July 3, 2020

Selling a Home when you have kids - TIPS

Selling a Home when you have Kids

If you have ever sold a house while you had young children, then I admire you.  Moving is a stressful experience already – and adding kids (and their mess) can make you go crazy.  Here are a few life hacks or moving tips to help you sell your home when you have small kids. 

 

As a REALTOR, I advise my clients to try to have the home “show ready” all the time.  When it’s just an adult or two, it’s pretty manageable….but it’s just not that easy when you have small kids.  Kids have A LOT of stuff, and they don’t usually do a great job of picking up after themselves.  To help you have the home ready to show you might try the following tips and tricks:

 

Advanced Notice:  Request a 1 or 2 hour notice before each showing appointment.  That should give you enough time to put away any clutter, clean up real quick, and get the kids out of the house.   Most REALTORS in are able to work around a 1-2 hour notice so that your home can look it’s best for their buyers.

 

Pre-Packing:  Pack away things you can live without for a few months.  Not just from plain sight, but also from closets (giving you more room to hide things on short notice). You might pack away things like toys, games and art supplies, but might also include other things like small kitchen appliances (crock pot, toaster oven) or extra bedding/linens, seasonal home décor, etc.

3.      Now that you have more space in your closets, pick a place to store the things you use everyday.  If you have already packed away some items & put them in storage or in your garage – you can utilize your closet space for kids toys or bulky items like play sets.  For smaller items, use plastic bins or baskets to help transport things to the closets.

 

Involve the kids:  Depending on the age of your children, you may want to include them in helping to choose what items go into storage for a few months, and which items they can keep out and use every day.   They might even be able to help bring things to the closet for you to stack away.  Definitely talk to the kids about the upcoming move.  Ask for their opinion on things like what toys they want to see in their new room, or maybe what color they would paint their room if they got to choose.  Keeping them involved will help them not only as you plan the move, but after the move too.  It’s not just a stressful time for you, but also for your kids – make sure to talk with them, and really listen to what they have to say.  Stay positive when talking to them about the move.

 

We have a showing….now what?

Don't panic!  We always recommend that you be away from the home (and remove pets if possible) for all showings.  Now that you got that text or phone call telling you that a  REALTOR wants to show your house….what do you do? 

Pack up the kids (and the dogs) and head to the park or a friend’s house, or take a walk around the neighborhood.  If you don’t have pets, you might also try the library, grocery store, or  shopping mall.  The key is  finding somewhere to go that’s free.  However, you might decide to go get an ice cream or other snack.

Showings are usually scheduled within a 1 or 2 hour window.  The agent & potential buyer could show up at your house anytime during that window.  You can request a 1-hour limit – just let your agent know up front when you list the house. 

 

Getting it sold!
As you prepare your home for sale, and keep it clean and tidy for showings, you will find that a home buyer will fall in love with your home and send you an offer.  Work with your REALTOR to help negotiate the terms and get your home sold.

 

If you want more information, check out our blog posts about moving when you have kids, or our packing and moving tips.

 

About the author:

 

Melissa Hailey is the Broker-Owner of North Texas Top Team, REALTORS in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  Our Team helps home buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants move across North Texas and we connect clients to other great REALTORS across the country.  She is a real estate instructor and coach who loves to see others succeed.  She is a serial volunteer helping others in her community and in her industry.  Connect with her at https://www.northtexastopteam.com/melissa-hailey/

 

 

Posted in Blog
July 3, 2020

Moving When You Have Kids - TIPS

Moving can be stressful....for everyone involved.  Depending on the age of your children, you may want to include them in the moving process.   Talk about the things they want in their new house....what toys they might want to bring, what color they might want their room to be, or what new adventures await them during or after the move. 

 

Let them get involved.  While your kids may not be the best "helpers" when cleaning up the house to show it, they can still help bring their toys to you to put away.  Once your home is under contract and it's time to pack, they could help you pack some things that are not fragile (think pots & pans, metal or plastic utensils, or toys).  If you color code your packing tape, they can even help you mark a box or two.

 

 

Plan ahead for moving day.  You might want to pack a box of things to keep the kids busy on moving day.  Consider packing a box with a few favorite toys or games (or maybe coloring books, stickers, craft items) and labeling the box as a "Special Delivery". When you first arrive at the home, find a quiet place for the kids to play (maybe one of the bedrooms or even a large closet where they can spread out, or in their new backyard if the weather is nice).  Then hand their "Special Delivery" to them and let them play while the moving truck is being unloaded. 

 

Family, it's what makes a house a home.  Remind them that what makes a "house" a "home" is the people that are there, not the actual building.  You will be on this new adventure together - and enjoy making your new place your new home!

 

If you want more information about making a move when you have kids, you may like our post about selling a house when you have kids.

We hope these life hacks are helpful to you as you plan your next move.  Good luck on your next move!

 

 

About the author:

Melissa Hailey is the Broker-Owner of North Texas Top Team, REALTORS in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  Our Team helps home buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants move across North Texas and we connect clients to other great REALTORS across the country.  She is a real estate instructor and coach who loves to see others succeed.  She is a serial volunteer helping others in her community and in her industry.  Connect with her at https://www.northtexastopteam.com/melissa-hailey/

Posted in Blog
July 3, 2020

Packing and Moving - TIPS

Are you about to be moving to a new apartment or a new house?  Here are some good tips for packing and moving.  These life hacks will help you on this move and on your future moves too.

 

Decision to Donate?  As you prepare to move, now is a good time to think about things you don't need any more.  If you have things that you no longer need or that aren't worth moving, consider donating them or selling those items.  Having this step done before packing will help you save time later.

 

Gather supplies.  Start collecting boxes & supplies about 2-weeks before your move.  Ask your local grocery store if you can pick up some of their used boxes before they recycle them.  Produce boxes are especially strong and well suited to carry heavy items. 

Color Code it!  Use different color packing tape for each room.  You won't lose the roll of tape by dragging it from one room to the next, and you will be able to easily deliver boxes to the right rooms.  Go ahead and start packing the non-essential items.

 

The body-bag.  No this isn't a scary movie....but this tip is one of our favorites because it helps keep your move go faster & keeps your clothes from having to be re-hung.  Lay a flat sheet on the floor in your room.  Keep your hanging clothes on their hanger, and then lay them down (a handful at a time) in 1 long row, making sure to overlap hangers and clothing.  Once you have a long row of clothing, just fold the blanket over the clothes & tie a knot in each end.  It might look like you and your friends are carrying out a body-bag, and you might get some strange looks....but you will be so glad when you unpack at the new house and your clothes are already hung up & ready to go.

 

 

The Trash Bag - No you don't have to throw it away.  If you don't want to use the packing method shown above, you might prefer to use a trash bag for those hanging clothes.  You just won't be able to keep as many together in a stack with the garbage bag method as you can with the body bag method.

 

Keep it together.  If you are moving furniture or other items that have multiple parts, keep them all together.  Place screws, bolts, or other small pieces into a baggie and tape it to the furniture that it goes with.  If you unscrew the legs from a table, you can tape the to the underside of the table.

 

Move during the week.  Some moving companies and truck rental locations provide a lower rate during the week.  Plus, the banks, utilities, and government offices will be open so that you can get everything transferred over to your new address.

 

Moving when you have pets.  If you are moving locally, ask a friend or relative to keep your pets for you on moving day.  With all of the commotion, your pets can get stressed too.  Plus, you don't want them to run out the door when people are trying to move boxes in or out of the home.

 

Cleaning up!  If possible, leave the utilities on at your old place for a few days after move out.  That way you can stop back by after everything is out & clean up after the move.  Consider packing your vacuum and a small box of cleaning supplies to leave at the old place, then bring them as the last items to your new home.

 

Good luck with your next move!

 

 

About the author:

Melissa Hailey is the Broker-Owner of North Texas Top Team, REALTORS in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  Our Team helps home buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants move across North Texas and we connect clients to other great REALTORS across the country.  She is a real estate instructor and coach who loves to see others succeed.  She is a serial volunteer helping others in her community and in her industry.  Connect with her at https://www.northtexastopteam.com/melissa-hailey/

Posted in Blog