North Texas Real Estate & Community News

Sept. 19, 2022

Facebook Live

Join Us on Facebook Live!

Join Raegan Hailey REALTOR & Melissa Hailey REALTOR on September 22nd at 6:30pm on Facebook Live! They will be discussing whether or not home prices are going down!


#facebooklive #realtors #realestate #northtexastopteam #homeowning #homebuying #northtexas 

Posted in Blog
Sept. 16, 2022

FHA Home Buying Process

FHA Home Buying Process

If you are thinking of buying a home, you may have questions about getting a mortgage.  Here is some information about using the FHA home buying process.

What is FHA?

FHA is the Federal Housing Administration.  As part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), they insure mortgages on single family homes, multifamily properties, residential care facilities, and hospitals. They provide mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders nationwide.

How do I apply for FHA financing?

You apply for an FHA loan directly with the mortgage banker/broker, your bank, or any other lender that you choose. Most banks and mortgage lenders are approved for FHA loans.  Since you can apply for pre-approval of an FHA loan with the lender you choose, you have many options.

Do I need a pre-approval for the FHA home buying process?

Once you apply, your lender will gather your financial information and provide a pre-approval within a few days (if you qualify). That will give you an idea of how much you can borrow before you start shopping for a house.  It’s important to know that you are not committing yourself to anything by simply getting pre-approved.  This is, however, the best way to be prepared for the FHA home buying process.

Why would I choose FHA instead of another type of mortgage loan?

FHA home loans require lower minimum credit scores and down payments than many conventional loans. That’s why they are especially popular with first-time homebuyers. In fact, according to FHA’s 2020 Annual Report, more than 83 percent of all FHA loan originations were for borrowers purchasing their first homes.


Remember, while the government insures these loans, they are actually underwritten and administered by third-party mortgage lenders – not the federal government. 

We hope this information is helpful to you if you are considering the FHA home buying process.  Whether you are moving now or next year, give us a call📞, shoot us a text📝, or send us an email📨 so we can help you make your move to North Texas. 👉 Subscribe to our channel to learn more about buying, selling,  or just plain living in North Texas.

Posted in Home Buying
Sept. 8, 2022

Buying A Home For First Time Buyers

Q&A: Buying a home for first time buyers

If you are a first time home buyer, you may have questions about the current real estate market.  You may have questions such as:

Is now a good time to buy a home for first time buyers?

Yes – NOW is the best time we have had in the past 2 years to buy a home for first time buyers as well as repeat buyers.  Today there are more home choices, and prices are stabilizing.  Both of these things are good news for people wanting to buy a home.

I am concerned about high interest rates for mortgages – do I have any options?

Yes – When you are buying a home, the mortgage interest rate is always something to consider.  You have a few options to help reduce the interest rate you may qualify for.  First, you could increase your down payment if you have the funds available.  Additionally, you could work to improve your credit score.  However, both of those options could take quite a bit of time.  If you are ready to buy a home sooner, you also have the ability to “buy down” your interest rates.  Keep in mind that you will also have the ability to refinance your mortgage in the future if rates become more favorable. 

Are there any options to buy a home with no money down?

Yes – there are 2 ways to buy a home with little or no money down.  If you or your spouse is a veteran you likely qualify for a VA Loan.  These loans are available with a zero down payment.  You may also qualify for a VA Loan if you are a surviving spouse of a veteran.  You should talk to a mortgage provider such as Chris Moore at Benchmark Mortgage to see if you qualify.

Additionally, if you want to buy a home in a smaller town, your property could qualify for a USDA Rural Development loan.  The USDA Mortgage Loan is a zero down payment program for properties that are located in qualifying areas. 

 Is buying a new home a good idea for first time buyers?

Yes – Now that the real estate market has shifted home builders are more motivated to sell their inventory of homes.  Make sure to hire a real estate agent to assist you in working with the builders.  They could help you save thousands of dollars on the sales price or the closing costs, especially when you work with the builder’s lender or title company.

Should I get a home inspection when buying a home?

Yes – It’s a great idea to get a general home inspection done while you are under contract to buy the house.  This helps you have a clear idea of what condition the home is in.  We recommend home inspections for not only resale homes, but also new construction homes.  The third party home inspector is there to look out for your best interests.

Should I hire a real estate agent to help me buy a home as a first time buyer?

Yes – in fact, you don’t just want any real estate agent, you need a REALTOR.  Make sure your agent is a member of the National Association of REALTORS because they are held to a higher standard.  Their fiduciary duty is to look out for your best interest as a home buyer.  Make sure to meet with your REALTOR and complete the appropriate “representation” contract/agreement so that you know your rights and responsibilities, as well as a clear understanding of what your REALTOR will do for you.

I hope that this Q&A about buying a home for first time buyers is helpful to you.  If you are moving to North Texas, our Team would be happy to help answer any other questions you have.  Whether you are moving now or next year, give us a call📞, shoot us a text📝, or send us an email📨 so we can help you make your move to North Texas.  👉 Subscribe to our channel to learn more about buying, selling, or just plain living in North Texas:


Posted in Home Buying
Sept. 2, 2022

Welcome To The Team!

Welcome To The North Texas Top Team!

Camilo Ardila REALTOR®

Camilo has been married to his wife, Barbra, for 28 years.  The two have four children and are technically empty-nesters. He and his family have been residents of McKinney for the past 18 years and have lived in North Texas for more than three decades.
Camilo was born in Bogota, Colombia and grew up in Jakarta, Indonesia where he developed a life-long love for soccer.


As a former teacher, he has a love for helping simplify the complex and would love to help you navigate the purchase or sale of your home.
We are so excited to have you on the North Texas Top Team!! 



Posted in Real Estate Agents
Aug. 23, 2022

Welcome To The Team!

We are so excited to welcome Nina Lopez to the North Texas Top Team! 

Nina is a proud member of the North Texas Top Team family and prioritizes her core values of hard work and great customer service when it comes to her real estate career. With an empathetic heart and a passion for serving others, Nina is ready to help with your home buying and selling needs. 

Prior to becoming a realtor, Nina spent the last few years focusing on being a mother and home maker. These roles have taught her the importance of being patient, staying organized and prioritizing things that matter most for her clients families when it comes to finding a home. 

Outside of her life as a Realtor, Nina enjoys doing anything that involves family and friends or a cozy night at home with a good book. She currently lives in Rockwall with her husband, 2 kids and a dog.


If you need help with your next home adventure connect with the North Texas Top Team today! 



Posted in Real Estate Agents
Aug. 16, 2022

Strategies For A Shifting Market Facebook Live!

Join Luke Dyer REALTOR® and Melissa Hailey REALTOR® on August 18th!
They will be discussing Strategies For A Shifting Market.
Facebook Live will start at 6:30pm!
Posted in Blog
Aug. 10, 2022

Important Questions To Ask A REALTOR While Shopping For A House

Important Questions to Ask a REALTOR While Shopping for a House

Shopping for a home is thrilling, but it is a good idea to think through many questions

before jumping into a mortgage. The answer to any of these questions can decide

whether you are falling into a bad deal or getting into a home for an awesome price.

These are the top questions to ask your REALTOR and help them find you the perfect



What Unexpected Repair Costs May Come Up?

This question may come up if you’re looking at older homes especially. The reason you

should ask is this will help you find out what pieces of the property are older and in

need. Is the garage older? You’ll need to know what garage door replacement costs

you may be facing in the near future, luckily this is one update that can add a lot of

value to your property.


This question should have to do with older pieces of equipment, poorly maintained parts

of the property, and whatever the homeowner probably doesn’t want you to think about:

your realtor should notice these things since they work in this field.


What Type of Flooring Is There, and How Old Is It?

Whether it's faux hardwood flooring or old shag carpet, the flooring you have matters

because it tells you how durable the floors are and how long they will last. Although

flooring can eventually be replaced with whatever you want, if you don't want to pay for

that now or deal with the hassle, it's a good idea to know ahead of time.


What’s The Neighborhood and Local Area Like?

You should be curious about the area since you are possibly moving there! It is a good

idea to ask this to determine the crime rates, what types of schools are available, and

what your neighbors would be like. Even if you find a perfect home with the board and

batten siding and five-piece bathroom you want: if it is in a bad area or the neighborhood

is going to make you miserable, it is not worth it.


Has There Been Any History of Flooding or Disaster?

This question is vital, especially if you live in an area with flooding. Although most

states make it so that you legally have to disclose this information, many don't. This can

allow sellers to hide this information and possibly put you and your property in danger if

it might flood again. Although there is no guarantee that a place that has flooded before

will attack again, it is still a vital piece of information you should want to know.

This is even more important to ask if you live in an area that’s been hit by wildfires, dust

storms, or monsoons within the last five years. This question could be what saves you

from having to look up composite roofing costs when you find out the roof has been

damaged by extreme weather conditions in recent years. It’s better to be cautious now

and ask questions.


Why Are The Owners Looking to Sell The Home?

What inspired the owners to decide to sell? Although not all owners will make their

reasoning public, it can make things easier on you if you can find this out. Sometimes

it is as simple as them wanting to upgrade to a larger home, but if it has issues with bugs or

neighborhood disputes, that could sour what would have been a great property.


How Long Has This Property Been On the Market?

Sometimes a property being on the market for a long time could mean nothing at all. It

might just be that the sellers haven't found the right buyer or that you are currently in a

buyers market, and there are far too many homes available. It is a good idea to ask to

be safe, though, so that you can allow that to influence your decision.

If they don’t have a clear answer for why something’s been on the market for a long

time, ensure that you carefully comb over the inspection report to figure out if this is a

good property for you.


How Low Can We Get The Price to Go?

If the price is incredibly high: it’s okay to work and bargain against it. Your budget isn’t

as flexible as their selling price, and they’ll have to realize that. Instead of letting

yourself panic, you ask your REALTOR how low they think they can get the price. If it’s

still not within your budget, it might be a good idea to move on and look at other homes.

Your REALTOR Is The Line Between a Good and a Bad Deal.

Your REALTOR is a trained and highly skilled professional whose main goal is to get

you a home that you’ll love. They’re paid to ensure you get the best deal possible, so

it’s a good idea to use them to the best of their abilities. Discuss anything you’re unsure

about, and take the time to find the property that speaks to you.


Andrea Erickson is a contributor to Innovative Building Materials. She is a blogger and

content writer. Andrea is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and

architects discover materials and methods of construction that increase property value, maximize energy savings, and turn houses into homes.

Posted in Blog
July 19, 2022

Open House in Garland, TX

Come see this beautiful home nestled on a cul-de-sac right next to Firewheel town center!

The open house will be from 12pm - 3pm on Saturday July 23rd & Sunday July 24th!
For more information about the home or the open house, connect with
Corbin Jackson REALTOR® 📞972-800-3671
Luke Dyer REALTOR® 📞(903) 217-8425

At first site you will see beautiful landscaping leading you to the front door. Once you step inside, you will see a gorgeous custom hardwood staircase with matching handrail separating two spacious living areas that wrap around to the large-eat in kitchen. Dark granite counter tops adorn white cabinets with silver handles. Hardwood floors in the master bedroom along with a huge walk-in closet lined with cedar. Carpet in the rest of the rooms. If you are looking for fun in the sun you are at the right place because not only does this home have a recently resurfaced pool (inside and out), but it also has a huge covered back patio that is big enough to accommodate a very large gathering! With a masterfully constructed covered parking area in the back, you will have enough room for all of your guests to park.

Don't forget about the shed to store all of your party accessories and lawn equipment!

Posted in Blog
July 12, 2022

How To Build A Successful Real Estate Business

How do you build your business?  Where can you get more leads from?  No matter what you are selling – Real Estate included – these are some ways to get started.

Your Sphere of Influence

Your sphere of influence (SOI) is always the fastest way to generate new business.  Every salesperson has a network of people who know/like/trust them, and the key is to get the people in your network to send people that they know to you for business.  The goal is NOT to get your SOI to all buy a home from you….it’s just to get them to connect you to the people that they know. 

Here are some ways to reach out and stay connected to your SOI:

  •    phone call or text or email

  •    social media posts, comments, or direct message

  •    social media targeted ads (posts just being shown to people you know)

  •    mail letter/postcard

  •    in-person (coffee, lunch, meeting, party, other event)

If you are wondering who is in your SOI - think about these people:  family, friends, co-workers, people from church/gym/school, teachers, friends parents, past-clients, hairdresser, auto-mechanic, financial planner, distant relatives, social media acquaintances, dentist/doctor and their staff, etc 

Advertising & Marketing

Advertising/marketing is always another key concept for lead generation.  Start telling everyone (whether you know them or not) that you can help them solve the problem they have.  In the case of real estate, we are helping to solve their housing problem.  

Here are some advertising options:

  •    Social media posts (free)

    • Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Tiktok, Snapchat

  •    Search engine posts (free)

    • Google, YouTube, Bing - these may be blogs or vlogs

  •    Social media ads (cost)

  •    Other internet ads such as Google/Bing

  •    Direct mail (postcards, letters, coupons)

  •    Radio, TV, Billboard (small or large), or Newspaper ads

  •    Hand-delivered flyers

  •    Trade show booths

  •    Local sponsorships (sponsor little league or other local group or event)

  •    Partner marketing with another business (cross promotion) 

Feed Your Database

Increase your SOI.  The more people you connect with, the more you can build any type of business.  (see item #1 above)    Someone once told me that if I gave someone money I should also give them my business cardHere are some places to go and meet new people:

  •    Chamber of Commerce

  •    Sports and hobbies (who do you know at the gym or other place you frequent)

  •    Join the PTA or other kid-centric organization (meet the parents)

  •    Volunteer (let people get to know your work ethic while finding common ground)

  •    B2B Networking groups (these usually have a cost involved)

  •    Religious organizations

  •    Other locations that you frequently visit (who is your barber, server/bartender, etc)

 When we talk about feeding your database, it’s all about meeting new people.  One of my favorite quotes is “Suit up and show up” and that’s exactly what it will take to expand your network of people.

It’s all about Relationships

All sales positions are relationship based.  Real estate is no different – it’s still a relationship business where we happen to sell houses.  People always like to do business with people that they know, like, and trust, especially when it involves a large financial purchase such as a house.

Know:  It all starts with having something in common (like working out, kids, your hobbies).  The more time you spend with those people you have things in common with, the more of a relationship you build.  That relationship turns into business over time.

Like:  People that like you will do business with you.  Are you likeable?   Keep a positive mindset.  Be prepared.  Be prompt.  Care about other’s needs and really listen to them.  Be helpful.

Trust:  Trust happens when your words and actions align.  Every time you tell someone that you will do something, make sure to do it.  That builds trust.  If you say you will call them next week, then make the call.  When you don’t do what you say you are going to do that breaks trust.  Be honest and truthful.  Be trustworthy. 

I’m going to add one more to this list with regards to real estate. 

Knowledgeable:  It is SO important that you understand the very complicated process of the sale of a home.  Understanding the contract is paramount.  Knowing what is happening in the ever-changing market is important. Being able to negotiate on your client’s behalf is crucial. You MUST be able to give the consumer the information they need to make the most informed decision for their specific situation.  The consumer deserves it….and your fiduciary relationship demands it.  If you don’t have the knowledge yet – find a mentor, broker, trainer, seasoned agent. Get the knowledge you need so that you can continue to build trust and grow your future business.



Author:  Melissa Hailey, CEO Agent Advantage Coaching & Training Originally written 6/30/22

Posted in Blog
July 7, 2022

Open House in McKinney, TX!

Mckinney Texas Listing

MLS# 20069811   

Come see this beautifully maintained home. It has a sparkling pool with a relaxing waterfall wall to cool off in, perfect for summer! Located in Stonebridge Ranch where residents enjoy access to the beach, tennis club, golf course, multiple pools, pickleball, parks, playgrounds, and 20+ miles of trails near the multiple neighborhood lakes and ponds. This beautiful home is updated throughout including 24x24 tile flooring, extensive crown molding, Quartz countertops, wood floors, & more. The master retreat has designer paint and floor to ceiling windows. The spacious en suite bathroom has a large garden tub, separate shower with a bench and walk in closets. The guest bathroom has been completely updated with a walk in shower and classic subway tile. Outside you can stay cool on your covered patio with a ceiling fan. The yard features a low maintenance artificial turf grass and the upgraded board on board fence has dog windows for your four legged family. 

Open house will be on Saturday July 9th and Sunday July 10th from 1pm - 3pm

For more information connect with Julie Baker Realtor® - 972-965-2301
Posted in Blog