North Texas Real Estate & Community News

April 16, 2020

Listing of the week

Check out our Listing of the Week!  This stunning home has a farmhouse style kitchen with the perfect backyard for entertaining.  Would you like to see it from the comfort of your living room?  You can view the 3-D Walk Through Virtual Tour of 1729 Bald Eagle Dr, McKinney, TX.  If you would like to view the home in person, just give us a call at 469-759-3899.



FABULOUS designer home with a very large backyard overlooking a greenbelt. Updates abound throughout both inside & out. Beautiful farm house style kitchen has island, subway tile, granite, upgraded cabinetry, pendant lights, + more. Open floor plan. Living room features stone fireplace, custom mantle, tray ceiling, view of the huge backyard with cedar covered patio, extended patio, fire pit, plus large grassy area. Study has French doors. Media room and game room upstairs. Master suite down has a stacked tray ceiling, walk-in closet, updated bathroom. Large secondary bedrooms. Tons of extra storage. Residents enjoy the beach club, community pools, tennis, golf, sports courts, private lakes-ponds, and more.

Year Built: 2015

SQ. FT.: 3,461

Stories: 2

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 2.5 

Garage: 2 car 

School District: McKinney ISD 

Posted in Blog
April 16, 2020

Virtual Home-Buying Guide

We understand that there is a lot to consider when buying a home during a pandemic. We are here to make that process easier for you. Our team is dedicated to serving our clients and their needs. If you have any questions about buying or selling, give us a call! 


Posted in Blog
April 16, 2020

Spring Cleaning

It’s spring, and you know what that means. Time to clean. I’m one of those weird people that LOVES to spring clean my house. That is, when I’m in the mood. Spring cleaning looks different for a lot of people, so I’ve put together some tips that I know work for me and a few people I know. 


Make a to-do list. If you live at home with your family, divide and conquer your list! If you live alone- you can still do this. Maybe you divide and conquer over the course of a weekend. Pace yourself. Cleaning is a marathon, not a race. 


Dust it, dust it good! When was the last time you dusted behind your entertainment center? Get your Swiffer dust wand out and dust it good! Don’t forget your ceiling fans. 


Junk drawers- clean out everything! It’s been a while, I know. That’s okay! This is what spring cleaning is good for. You can still have a junk drawer, but maybe you use a desk drawer organizer to keep everything in a neat and tidy place. I mean, where else is your junk going to go? 


Wash the kids toys. Do not skip this! Their tiny little fingers are really cute, but can also get very messy. Turn it into something fun your kids can do with you. My sister likes to call it “giving the toys a bath”.



Reward yourself. You’re working hard- and I’m proud of you! When you’re finished cleaning sit on the couch and binge watch your favorite Netflix series, or take a nap. You deserve it. 

Posted in Blog
April 15, 2020

8 Steps to Getting Ready (Financially) to Buy a Home

hand holding keysDuring these crazy times, you may be dreaming of owning a home.  If you are dreaming, you can start planning!  These 8 tips can help you get started.  Now is a great time to start working on a plan so that you can buy your first home.


  1. Develop a family budget. If you have trouble sticking to a budget, it may be because you are budgeting what you’d like to spend (instead of what you really spend).  Try to use receipts to create a budget for what you actually spent over the last month or two. One advantage of this approach is that it factors in unexpected expenses, such as car repairs, illnesses, etc., as well as predictable costs such as rent.


  1. Reduce your debt. Generally speaking, lenders look for a total debt load of no more than 36% to 40% of income. Since this figure includes your mortgage, which typically ranges between 25 percent and 28 percent of income, you need to get the rest of installment debt—car loans, student loans, revolving balances on credit cards—down to between 8 percent and 12% of your total income.


  1. Get a handle on expenses. You probably know how much you spend on rent and utilities, but little expenses add up. Try writing down everything you spend for one month. You’ll probably see some great ways to save.


  1. Increase your income. It may be necessary to take on a second, part-time job to get your income at a high-enough level to qualify for the home you want.  Talk to your lender about your specific situation and the best approach for your family.


  1. Save for a down payment. Although it’s possible to get a mortgage with only 3.5 percent down on an FHA loan or just 3 percent down on a conventional loan, you can usually get a better rate and a lower overall cost if you put down more. Shoot for saving a 20 percent down payment.  (VA Loans and USDA Rural Development Loans have zero-down programs, but you will still incur closing costs when purchasing a home, so make sure you have some money saved up.)


  1. Create a house fund. Don’t just plan on saving whatever’s left toward a down payment. Instead decide on a certain amount a month you want to save, then put it away as you pay your monthly bills.


  1. Keep your job. While you don’t need to be in the same job forever to qualify, having a job for less than two years may mean you have to pay a higher interest rate - or may even cause you to not be able to qualify for a mortgage.  However, if you were a student and have been on the job less than 2 years there could be an exception.


  1. Establish a good credit history. Get a credit card and make payments by the due date. Do the same for all your other bills. Pay off the entire balance promptly. Your credit score will affect the interest rate that you qualify for on your home loan.


Posted in Blog
April 14, 2020

Organization Motivation

Here it is… the moment we’ve all been waiting for. The time to get all the closets in our homes cleaned out! Remember thinking, “I just don’t have time for that”? Well, now you do. 


Organizing does not have to be painful. Actually, quite the opposite. Doing what works best for you to “get in the zone” is key. For me, it’s playing records with all the windows open on a bright weekend morning. Here are a few home-organization projects you can tackle: 


Clean out your closets. You will be so satisfied when you open the linen closet and everything is folded to perfection. Trust me, it’s the best feeling in the world. 


Go through old clothes. You don’t need that old sweater you wore 1,000 times in college. Like Elsa from Frozen once sang, “let it gooo”. I get it. Getting rid of clothes can be hard, but it feels great once you’re done! Organizing your closet when you’re at it can be helpful as well. 


Get your spice cabinet in order. Where is that garlic powder you’re 100% sure you bought just 2 months ago? Oh, it’s there. You just can’t find it! Pull all your spices out of your pantry or cabinet. Wipe down the bottoms of the cabinet in case anything accidentally spilled out. Put everything back in how you’d like for it to be organized. I have all my salts and peppers together, then my herbs, then my spices in order by type. Your spices have never looked so good and organized. 


Oh, and don’t forget your garage. Every person’s garage looks different. You may have tools, a fridge, lawn and garden supplies. Whatever the method to your madness here is, don’t forget to sweep the floors! 


Feeling motivated? Me too! Together we will get through this. We are rooting for you on whatever project you’ve chosen to take on. Remember it’s okay to take it easy every once and awhile. Be kind to yourself and others. You’re doing great.



About the Author:


Taylor Redfearn joins our team with 5 years of multi-family property management experience. Her attention to detail and event planning skills are a perfect fit for our client-appreciation parties.  Her can-do attitude, and passion to help others makes her a great Client Care Coordinator. In her spare time, she enjoys tending to her garden and listening to music. 

Posted in Blog
April 11, 2020

Quarantine Interior Design

We don’t always have the energy to clean out every closet, paint a bedroom, or do lawn work. While I’ve been sheltering-in-place I have found that I really enjoy creating mood boards. This has been allowing me to organize my thoughts on where I want to take the design of our home. You can do this for your whole house, a nursery if you’re expecting a baby, your living room, organization systems… this list literally can go on forever.


Our guest room is really just a “mixed-use” space. It’s not much of a guest room, but more a tv room with my office in the corner. I have been wanting to redo this room for quite some time. One day I was exploring through furniture stores online and I just got overwhelmed. I couldn’t put all these different pieces of furniture and decor in my head together. The best solution I found was to take photos of these items and put them together on a mood board. Now, you can do this in a number of ways. I use the website You can print the images out and tape them on a piece of paper, or you can even copy and paste the images into a Word Document. The point is to get all your thoughts on one space so you can visually put together your new design for your room. Pinterest is also a really great resource for this kind of project! 


I’ve started mood boards for all the rooms in our house. With the help of my boyfriend we are starting to layout our specific taste and what we think will work best for us. This is a fun project to do just to pass the time or a great starting point for when you get serious about redesigning your home. 


Happy designing! 


About the Author:


Taylor Redfearn joins our team with 5 years of multi-family property management experience. Her attention to detail and event planning skills are a perfect fit for our client-appreciation parties.  Her can-do attitude, and passion to help others makes her a great Client Care Coordinator. In her spare time, she enjoys tending to her garden and listening to music.

Posted in Blog
April 10, 2020

Listing of the week

Check out our Listing of the Week!  This awesome home is situated on 1 acre with a view of the lake.  Would you like to see it from the comfort of your living room?  You can view the 3-D Walk Through Virtual Tour of 4060 Wincrest Drive.  If you would like to view the home in person, just give us a call at 469-759-3899.


STUNNING! This beautiful custom home on 1-acre with views of multiple private lakes was thoughtfully constructed with quality in mind. Relax and enjoy luxurious country living just minutes from city conveniences. Enjoy the sunset with a peaceful lake view. Home incl: custom cabinetry, travertine & hardwood floors, plantation shutters, study, craft room w. built-ins & gift wrap station, mudroom, butler pantry, wine station, Wi-Fi Smart double convection oven, island kitchen, media room seating, master suite w.sitting area, radiant barrier, ample storage, 3 car garage with additional 1 car garage, PLUS 51-piers at construction, 2 tankless water heaters, mosquito mister, Phantom screen shades.

Year Built: 2006

SQ. FT.: 3,686

Stories: 1

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 2.5 

Garage: 4 car 

School District: Rockwall ISD 

Posted in Blog
April 9, 2020

Positivity is a Choice

I don't know who needs to see this today, but during these crazy days it could be YOU.  When my kids were young, I always told them "make good choices."  They heard that from me all of the time and now I am saying that to you too. 

Positivity is a choice.  

Stay positive - even today (or maybe even more today than usual)

Positivity is a Choice

Posted in Blog
April 9, 2020

Spring Holiday Zoom Calls

Easter and Passover are here! Just because you can’t go on your egg hunt or family seder dinner, doesn’t mean you should skip out on your traditional meals. I recommend getting the correct portions you’ll need to make those familiar spring holiday meals for yourself and your family. You can also try hosting a Zoom holiday celebration! While you may not want to chomp down on your food on video, you might try hosting a Zoom call with your family before or after your meal.


How to set up Zoom on your computer:


How to join a Zoom call:


How to set up a Zoom call:

Posted in Blog
April 6, 2020

Mortgage Forbearance Facts

We have been getting calls and messages recently from our home owner clients that are considering applying for “forbearance” on their mortgage.  Most people have found themselves unemployed or underemployed due to the Covid19 Coronavirus pandemic….but this could happen to anyone at any time.  Should you do it? Maybe. However, you really need to understand the details of it all. We will cover some important points below.

During this pandemic, if you are able to manage, you should do EVERYTHING you can to continue to pay your mortgage. We WILL rebound from this.  However, if that is not an option your choices would be to either begin the process of forbearance with your lender or if you don’t think forbearance is an option for you and you have some equity in your house, you may want to sell the house.

If you need help with your mortgage, the first call you should make is to your lender.


What is mortgage forbearance?

If you're facing a short-term financial hardship you might consider applying for a mortgage “forbearance”.  Most lenders offer mortgage forbearance when someone needs temporary assistance with a mortgage – but forbearance is often combined with a “reinstatement” or “repayment plan”.

If you decide to move forward with mortgage forbearance, your lender will temporarily reduce (or suspend) your mortgage payments for up to 6 months while you get back on your feet.

The reinstatement or repayment plan coincide with forbearance to make arrangements to pay off the missed or reduced mortgage payments when your financial situation has stabilized.


What is mortgage reinstatement?

 If you have the funds to repay missed mortgage payments, as well as any associated fees and late charges, a reinstatement can allow you to bring your loan current and avoid foreclosure. A reinstatement typically requires you to pay a lump sum by a specific date to become current.


What is a mortgage repayment plan?

 If you're a few months behind on your mortgage due to a short-term financial setback, but are now financially secure, you may be eligible for a repayment plan. This option will enable you to make up your missed payments and late fees, over a fixed amount of time by adding a portion of what is past due to your regular monthly payment. By the end of the repayment period you will have paid back the amount of your mortgage that was delinquent.


“Mortgage Forbearance” math – a good example

I saw an email today from a great lender that I know - Kristy Osborne with Fairway Mortgage.  It included this example which really brings this whole thing home.  


Mom and Dad have a mortgage. It's currently $1,500 per month.

Dad gets laid off, calls the mortgage servicer, and asks for forbearance.

In one phone call, he gets 6 months "off" from paying.


Seven months later, Dad is finally back to work, and hasn't been able to save any money during the forbearance.

Forbearance is lifted and the mortgage servicer says, "That will be $9,000 + $1,500, which is now due". ($10,500)

Dad almost passes out and says, “WHY??"

Servicer: "That's the 6 months of forbearance plus the current month.”

(This is reinstatement, mentioned above)

Dad: "I can’t do that, can we work something out?"

Servicer: "Sure, we will spread out the $9,000 over 12 months."

Dad: "Phew....ok, good. What will that look like?"

Servicer: That will be $2250 a month for the next 12 months."

                              (This is the repayment plan, mentioned above)

Dad: " OH NO!!!  I can't afford that."

Servicer: "Sorry....."

Dad: "Can I refinance?"

Servicer: "No because the loan went into forbearance."

Dad: "What can I do?"

The answer is either reinstatement, a repayment plan, or foreclosure. 


Forbearance is not forgiveness.

Use it as a last resort.

We would appreciate it if you could share this info.  We need to keep putting this message out there, because we are still getting a lot of questions from home owners (and we are not the only ones getting those calls).

Please understand the seriousness of this, and if you still have questions, call your mortgage company.  If you want to talk to a real estate professional in the DFW area, we are always here for you at 469-759-3899.  If you decide to sell your home, we will provide a free consultation (over the phone, via video conferencing, or in person when allowed).

If you would like to read more about this topic, please view this Freddie Mac guide to avoiding foreclosure



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


Posted in Blog