North Texas Real Estate & Community News

Oct. 26, 2020

Designing Your Perfect Home Office 5 Must Know Tips


Are you planning to launch a home-based business? Before you get to work, you’ll need a home office where you can enjoy unbroken concentration. Whether you’re interested in looking for a new home with the help of the realtors at North Texas Top Team, or you’d like to remodel a spare bedroom into a workspace, these guidelines will help you design a home office space that will allow you to reach your full potential as an entrepreneur! 


House Hunting


If you’ve been thinking about moving into a larger home, and you’ve realized that you’ll need more space to accommodate your business, it’s time to start house hunting! Consider purchasing a bank-owned or foreclosed home to save money — you can invest those excess funds back into your business.


If you decide to buy a foreclosed home, make sure that you understand the home’s limitations, move forward with a home inspection, and get pre-approved before making an offer. In addition, it’s best to work with a real estate agent who has helped clients buy foreclosed homes before.


Constructing New Space


Perhaps you’re happy with your current home but you simply don’t have any extra space to transform into an office. The remedy: Constructing an additional space! If you have a backyard, you might want to put up a shed and choose an appropriate heating system to keep it toasty in the cooler months. Alternatively, you may have the savings to build an addition on to your home.


Essential Furniture


Finally, you’ve selected the right space for your home office, and now it’s time to furnish it. First, you’ll need to invest in a desk that fits the size of your office space. A writing desk is a good choice for small offices, while a U-shaped desk will be great for larger workspaces. Test out a few different office chairs to find one that feels comfortable for your back, neck, and shoulders.


Once you put together your new desk, come up with a basic organizational system to keep your office clean from day one. Business Know-How recommends keeping office supplies in your desk drawers and installing floating shelves or a book shelf for extra storage space. 


Time for New Tech


Now that you’ve set up your desk and chair and organized your supplies, you’re ready to purchase a monitor that will help you work more efficiently. You don’t have to be a tech whiz to shop smart! CNET recommends getting the largest monitor that you have space for; you might struggle to work with a small screen, and a large monitor will be more convenient.


Starting Your Business


Once you’ve outfitted your space, it’s time to officially form your business entity! To get started, you’ll need to make sure that the name you plan to use for your business is not already in use. You’ll also want to research the filing fees and other requirements in your state. Once you have gathered all of the necessary documents, you’ll need to submit these items, pay your fees, and be patient - your days as an entrepreneur are just beginning!


When switching from working in a cubicle at your employer’s office to running your own home-based business, you might find yourself craving privacy and order. Finding a space for your home office is the simplest solution to your remote work woes. As an entrepreneur, there’s nothing better than having a clean, quiet workspace all to yourself!


Looking for the perfect home in North Texas? The realtors at North Texas Top Team can help you find your dream property at the right price! Call today at 469-759-3899 to start your search!


Photo via Pixabay

Article written by: Lisa Walker

Posted in Blog
Oct. 5, 2020

7 Things to Know when Building Your Dream Home

Thinking of building your dream home?    There are some very important things that you should consider when building your next home.   Below are our Top 7 Things to Know when building your dream home!

Some questions to consider for yourself are:  Do you need to sell your current home in order to buy your new home?  Do you have a place that you can live temporarily while the home is being built?  Do you want to build from scratch or choose a “spec” home?  Are you willing to choose a floor plan option from a builder, or do you want to truly build a custom home?  Would you prefer to be in a subdivided neighborhood, or on acreage?  Some of these questions are covered in the information below. 

Of course, our experts are always available to help you answer all of your questions regarding building a brand-new construction home with a builder.  We have the experience and information that you need to make the most informed decision.

Top 7 Things to Know when Building Your Dream Home

1.    builderYou should hire a professional REALTOR to assist you.  Many times, home buyers believe that the sales person for the builder is there to help them.  While the sales person will help to facilitate the purchase, they do NOT represent the buyer’s best interests.  In fact, they actually represent the seller’s best interest.  That means that part of their job is to get the most money for the builder that they can get.  When you hire a REALTOR, they will not only look out for your best interests regarding the sales price, they will also be an invaluable resource throughout the process.  From negotiating price and understanding the timeframes, to building permits and city inspections – your agent will be your advocate. 

2.    You should consider the comparable sales.  You should be aware that builders generally price their homes for the market, however everything in real estate is negotiable.  Your REALTOR will be able to let you know what other homes have been selling for in the area, and give you guidance on where the market is today….as well as where the market will be when the home actually goes to closing.  If the market is hot, the prices could increase while you are in the construction phase.  That is important to know because the appraisal will be done closer to the time when you will complete the sale. 

3.    You have choices regarding your lender.  If you are not paying cash for the new home, you will most likely be getting a mortgage from a 3rd party lender.  Many builders have a “preferred” lender or an “in-house” lender.  Sometimes the builder will offer incentives when buying a home if you use their specific lender.  However, in Texas, the builder cannot force you to use their lender of choice.  As a buyer, you always have the right to choose the lender you want to work with.  Ask your REALTOR for recommendations on other preferred lenders in the area as well. If you have a lender that you love (or that your REALTOR recommends), ask them to give you a quote against the builder’s lender to see which one is a better deal.  Really compare apples to apples.  Sometimes you will find that the builder’s preferred lender gives you incentives, but also increases their fees somewhere else.   Do your homework before choosing which lender you want to use. 

4.    lender manAppraisals Matter.  As you get closer to the day your home will be finished, your lender will order an appraisal of the value of the property.  Many times, a builder will not want to reduce the sales price if the appraisal report shows the value is not as high as needed.  Know your options, and speak to your REALTOR if this comes up as an issue. 

5.    Contingencies are a concern to most builders.   Most home builders will not accept a contingency offer on a new-build home.   The builders that will accept contingencies generally want those contingencies waived about 60-90 days prior to closing.  Many times, the marker for when the builder needs a contingency cleared is when the cabinets are ordered or installed.  Once that happens, many builders will not allow any changes or modifications to the design of the home as they are working toward the closing deadline and don’t want any issues to cause a delay.   What this means for most home buyers is that they must sell their home early in the build process, move into temporary housing for a few months, and then move again into their new home once it’s complete.  There are some ways around having to move twice.  The most common is buying a spec home that is already complete (a builder may take a contingency on that specific house).  The second most common way to avoid moving twice is to work with your lender to qualify for both loans.

6.    Inspections are important.  Many times, a home builder will discourage a home buyer from getting phase inspections during the build process.  While the builder does have to comply with the city/county inspectors and follow all local building guidelines and ordinances, those inspections are generally the base-line for what is required.  Talk with your REALTOR about your inspection options and the benefits of having an independent third-party inspector perform either a phase inspection or a general home inspection prior to closing.

7.    The little things can add up.  Once you choose your builder and your floor plan, and you have agreed upon a price, that does NOT mean that you have determined how much you will spend building your new home.  If you are going with a large-scale builder in a subdivision your next step will likely be visiting their “design center” to choose what color flooring, cabinets, counter tops, and other finish outs you want in your new home.  This design center appointment could be expensive.  Many times, the price of the home only includes the minimum finish outs, while the model home you visited usually has the highest quality finish outs.  This means that you will spend extra money getting those faucet fixtures you loved or getting that extra electrical outlet to hang your TV on the wall.  Talk to your REALTOR about ways to lower your costs here before you finalize your contract. 


We hope these top 7 tips for building a new home were helpful to you.  For more information about building your dream home, call us at 469-759-3899.  Our team of experts are here to help you navigate the process and help your home building dreams come true!

North Texas Top Team serves the North Texas area and we have a network of trusted professionals across the country.  If you need real estate assistance outside of the DFW area, we will gladly connect you with one of our amazing REALTOR friends all across the USA.  Give us a call today!


Posted in Blog
Sept. 19, 2020

Oktoberfest Food Drive for Feed Lake Highlands

Feed Lake Highlands Food Drive

Join the North Texas Top Team, REALTORS on now through 9/30/2020 as we give back to our community.  This food drive benefits Feed Lake Highlands which is a faith-based program that feeds the body, mind, and spirit of Lake Highlands residents who live on fixed, limited, and low incomes. 


Stop by either of the Taco Joint locations in Lake Highlands or Lakewood between now and September 30th and drop off your donation.  While you are there enjoy some of their amazing tacos like Clyde’s Combo or maybe The Lester.  If you love those veggies then maybe check out The Sophie.  Whichever tacos you choose, just pick them up when you drop off your canned food donation.  Win-Win!


Take a selfie of yourself helping out and tag us on social media so we can say Thank You!  Follow us and tag yourself on FacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn

Posted in Blog
Sept. 15, 2020

Windsong Ranch in Prosper Texas

mainvue homes

Did you know that having a REALTOR on your side when building a home was important?  The builders have a representative working for them, and you deserve representation too.  There is never a cost to you as a home buyer for our services – and we are experts when it comes to working with home builders.


windsong amenitiesWindsong Ranch is over 2,000 acres, including 600 acres of open space, lakes, wooded creeks, parks, hike & bike trails, outdoor fields and resort-style amenities, Windsong Ranch is one of the largest and most naturally beautiful master-planned communities in North Texas.


Neighborhood amenities include a 5-acre freshwater lagoon with white sand beaches, paddleboarding, and kayaking; a 2-acre lake with adjacent amenities such as tennis, pickleball, basketball, fitness center, as well as multiple swimming pools, 30+ miles of trails, and even an 18-hole disc golf course.

 windsong model home

There are multiple builders to choose from when building your dream home at Windsong Ranch.  From American Legend to Drees to MainVue, and more – there is a home style and price for everyone at Windsong Ranch. 


Whether you are relocating from out of state or looking to escape the busy city, Windsong Ranch will provide the perfect setting for peaceful, comfortable living in a convenient location.


For more information about this neighborhood, you can visit their website at


If you want more information about the new construction homes available for sale in North Texas, feel free to search the builder database or search our website for more homes built this year.


Posted in Blog
Sept. 14, 2020

Oktoberfest Food Drive for Minnie's Food Pantry

Food Drive for Minnies

Join the North Texas Top Team, REALTORS on Friday 9/18/2020 as we give back to our community on North Texas Giving Day.  Our Team is partnering with the Collin County Association of REALTORS (CCAR) for a drive up food drive.  Stop by the CCAR office at 6821 Coit Road, Plano, TX anytime between 9am-11am on Friday 9/18 and drop off your donation.  

If you see our signs, follow them through the parking lot to Academy Mortgage (6833 Coit) and say “hi” to our broker Melissa Hailey.  She will be working with one of our great lenders, Don Thomas, and they will be helping out with the food drive from across the parking lot!   J


Take a selfie of yourself helping out and tag us on social media so we can say Thank You!  Follow us and tag yourself on FacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn.  

Posted in Blog
Sept. 11, 2020

Inspiration Neighborhood in Wylie Texas

New Home Spotlight – Inspiration Neighborhood


Did you know that having a REALTOR on your side when building a home was important?  The builders have a representative working for them, and you deserve representation too.  There is never a cost to you as a home buyer for our services – and we are experts when it comes to working with home builders.


Beautiful living roomInspiration is a 638-acre Master Planned Community created by Huffines Development.  You will find this lovely neighborhood nestled among the rolling terrain and scenic views of Lake Lavon in the towns of Saint Paul and Wylie, Texas.  Neighborhood amenities include multiple resort-style pools, playgrounds, specialty parks, and open green spaces. There is an elementary school within the neighborhood, and the lots along the Eastern side of the subdivision have stunning views of Lake Lavon. 


There are multiple builders to choose from when building your dream home at Inspiration.  From Bloomfield to Gehan to Pulte, and more – there is a home style and price for everyone at Inspiration. 

Lovely kitchen


If that wasn’t enough, this neighborhood has won the ‘Community of the Year’ award by the Dallas Builders Association three times.


Whether you are relocating from out of state or looking to escape the busy city, Inspiration will provide the perfect setting for peaceful, comfortable living in a convenient location.


For more information about this neighborhood, you can visit their website at


If you want more information about the new construction homes available for sale in North Texas, feel free to search the builder database or search our website for more homes built this year.

Posted in Blog
Sept. 9, 2020

The Story Behind the Soup

Today was a rainy day.  The first cooler-weather day, full of rain, sort of the beginning feeling of Fall here in North Texas this year.  It was exactly the kind of dreary day that makes you want to have soup or other warm/autumn foods.

tomato basil soupOne of my favorite things in the world is the Tomato Basil Soupe at la Madeleine French Bakery.  I love walking into la Madeleine for a lunch with a friend, sitting by the warm fire, and enjoying a cup of soup along with a salad or quiche (sometimes I even get the Chicken Friand or Spinache Pochette, which are both equally amazing).  Of course, you wouldn't want to leave la Madeleine without trying something from their amazing bakery either.

Did you know that their famous Tomato Basil Soupe was created when someone made an inventory mistake?  Apparently, they were supposed to order just 1 case of Roma tomatoes, but instead ordered 10 cases.  Of course, not wanting them to spoil the first executive chef at 
la Madeleine (Remy Schaal) created what would become on of their top selling items.


Whatever the story, or however it came to be, I am just so glad that the Tomato Basil Soupe was created.


Bon Appetit



About the author:

Melissa Hailey is the Broker-Owner of North Texas Top Team, REALTORS in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (and a huge fan of la Madeleine French Bakery restaurants).   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


Posted in Blog
Sept. 9, 2020

What NOT to do When Getting a Mortgage

As REALTORS, we help people through the entire home buying process.  Many times, that includes getting a mortgage.  Here are a few tips from one of our trusted lenders, to ensure a smooth loan process and closing.

You will find that these tips to ensuring a smooth mortgage process mostly include the list of what NOT to do when you are buying a home.  This list includes some of the most common reasons for stress and possible delayed closings due to the mortgage process.

Mortgage Guy with Dollar Sign

  • ·        Don’t move money around until your lender has had an opportunity to review your documentation. (Call them before you transfer funds so they can advise you accordingly).
  • ·        Don’t deposit funds that come from a source other than your paycheck without speaking to your lender first.
  • ·        Don't borrow funds (not even from family).
  • ·        Don't deposit cash on hand, aka "mattress money", or any cash whatsoever.
  • ·        Don't open ANY new credit cards.
  • ·        Don't buy a new car unless you are trading in your current vehicle or a current lease vehicle. 
  • ·        Don't open any new loans or lines of credit.
  • ·        Don’t change jobs, especially if you are changing careers/industries

If you are thinking about doing any of these things, please call your mortgage lender first to avoid unnecessary issues or delays. 

To be clear, we’re not saying you can’t do any of these things. We’re just saying don’t do them without calling the lender first. They can give you advice on how to move forward and what documentation will be required for underwriting.



*Thanks to Mortgage Mark for the great advice and tips on what NOT to do!

Posted in Blog
Aug. 25, 2020

Real Estate Glossary - the letter C

Today we will focus on the letter C.  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.


CHAIN OF TITLE – Beginning with a conveyance out of an original source of title such as a government, each succeeding deed, will or other document that conveys/transfers the title to succeeding owners constitutes a link in the chain of title. The chain of title is the composite of all such links.


CLOSING –The process of completing a real estate transaction. Closing occurs when the deeds, mortgages, leases and other required instruments are signed and/or delivered, an accounting between the parties is made, the money is disbursed, the papers are recorded, and all other details such as payment of outstanding liens and transfer of hazard insurance policies are attended to.  This is what finalizes and completes the sale of real property.


CLOSING DISCLOSURE – Sometimes referred to as the “CD”, the Closing Disclosure must be provided to the consumer three business days before they close on a loan to purchase real property. The Closing Disclosure details all of the costs associated with their mortgage transaction.


CLOUD ON TITLE – An irregularity, possible claim, or encumbrance which, if valid, would affect or impair the transfer of the title to the real property.


COMMISSION – The amount due to a real estate broker or a mortgage loan broker (or other real estate professional) for services performed in conjunction with a real estate transaction.



COVENANT – A formal agreement or contract between two parties in which one party gives the other certain promises and assurances. This could include covenants of warranty in a warranty deed.  This is also commonly used by home owner associations. 




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.

Aug. 19, 2020

Client Stories: Mary and Anthony

Congratulations to this amazing family!  It is always rewarding when we get to help veterans buy their first home. Plus both Mary and Anthony make the world a better place by their service to others.
Thank you Anthony for protecting our freedom.  Thank you Mary for positively influencing children's lives that are impacted by Autism and ADHD.
When I first started working with them I knew we needed to find a bigger home for their family. They really wanted more space for their adorable daughter to run around and play.   And that's exactly what they got. (You should see the video of her running around in her brand new home the 1st day they owned it.)
When we found the perfect house for them there were multiple offers but Mary and Anthony took my expert advice when making their offer. While we weren't the highest offer the seller still chose to work with us.  
I am so glad that they got their dream home.  Congratulations Mary and Anthony!  
Posted in Blog