Angela Sells DFW

Journey with me through my real estate, motherhood and Texas adventures

Archive for the tag “foreclosures”

Top 5 Home Sales in Mansfield, Burleson and Arlington, Texas

Top 5 Sold Homes in Burleson, Mansfield and Arlington, Texas

This month, our top 5 sold homes has yielded 6 homes as two were tied for 5th place!  Here they are, in random order:

415 Shenandoah Drive Burleson, Texas 76028

Listed for $364,900

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2310 Wakeforest Court Arlington, Texas 76012

Listed for $395,000

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6023 Lakehurst Court  Arlington, Texas 76016

Listed for $615,000

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1110 Lake Hudson Dr Mansfield, Texas 76063

Listed for $424,900

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1071 N Day Miar Mansfield, Texas 76063

Listed for $549,900

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1121 Blue Lake Arlington, Texas 76005

Listed at $374,900

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There you have it, folks!  The top 5 (6) sales from the past month in Burleson, Mansfield and Arlington.  Don’t forget that if you’re looking to buy or sell a house in these areas, I am your local area expert!  Find out what my clients are saying about working with me here.

How to Eliminate Smoke Odor

Hydrogen Peroxide

While it is getting more and more rare, we do still see homes that homeowners or tenants have smoked indoors for a period of time.  As much as some home buyers may love the home, they are concerned about whether or not to take on such a lofty project.  I can guarantee you that if they choose to do so, they will not pay full price for the home for the risk involved.

Whether you’re a home owner getting your home ready to sell or a home buyer contemplating the risk of purchasing a “smoky” home, here are some great tips for getting rid of the odor.  I have used some of these on a listing that I had once and I will tell you that my favorite are the charcoal, citrus peels and ammonia based cleaners.  Luckily in my case, there was minimal carpet in the house so that wasn’t as big of an issue.  If you have a lot of carpet in a “smoky” house then your best bet is to replace both the padding and the carpet.  Please note that you cannot just paint over nicotine stained walls.  Your paint will yellow and the contaminants still leech through.  You must clean the wall with an ammonia based cleaner and get an odor locking primer to put on prior to painting.

Of course, one of the best ways to remove odors – especially if there are associated nicotine stains – from carpets, furniture and walls is by using hydrogen peroxide. Just put some 3% hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle. Spray it on and wipe it off as you would with other household cleaners. Hydrogen peroxide is generally anti-bacterial and anti-viral, so it makes sense to use it as a household cleaner. However, it does take time to work, so the short amount of contact time in cleaning counters and windows probably won’t kill all the tiny pathogens in your house. On the other hand, it’s a step in that direction, and if you want to really sanitize something, you can leave the hydrogen peroxide for a longer time.

In any case, cigarette smoke removal isn’t impossible…but it does take some effort to get rid of the smell.

  1. Launder whatever you can. If an entire room smells like last year’s bachelor party, removing cigarette smoke smell from home will require washing or dry-cleaning everything possible in order to maximize cigarette odor removal.
  2. Vacuum. Before you use any chemicals or resort to desperate measures, vacuum up as much of that cigarette odor as possible. Use vacuum attachments to suck the smoke out of furniture and upholstery in your house or car. Beat out and vacuum car foot mats.
  3. Vinegar. A bowl of white vinegar, left out overnight, can do a surprisingly good job removing foul cigarette odor.
  4. Citrus. Some swear by citrus peels when they need to get rid of foul odors. Leave a liberal amount of citrus peels in your car or home for several days (until the peels are completely desiccated). When you remove them, you will also remove cigarette smell – or at least some of it.
  5. Baking soda – one of the tried-and-true methods of odor removal. Whether cleaning your carpet, smelly used couch or dingy car seats, baking soda is your friend. Sprinkle it over the smoke-infused area and let it sit for a few hours. Then whip out your trusty vacuum cleaner to suck up the soda, finishing the job.

One word of advice: before sprinkling at will, test the baking soda out on a concealed part of the surface to make sure the surface or fabric doesn’t interact unfavorably with the baking soda

      6. Coffee. When my old high school friend and I used to fantasize about a coffee-grounds-enhanced laundry        detergent, who  would’ve guessed that there might have actually been odor-fighting merit to that seemingly absurd concept? Utilize the odor-absorbent quality of coffee grounds to get rid of your cigarette odors. Don’t sprinkle them all over the place like baking soda, though, since coffee can stain. Instead, pour coffee grounds into several individual coffee filters and tie them closed. Place the coffee bags on whatever is harboring the cigarette odar.

    7.  Air out the room or car. Requiring less effort than peeling an orange or going to the store for white vinegar, you should definitely open all your windows and doors for several hours to encourage cigarette odors to lift from their cushions, carpets and other surfaces. If a particular piece of furniture reeks of stale cigarette smoke, bring it outdoors for a few hours on a dry day.

     8.  Charcoal. There’s nothing fancy or particularly aesthetically pleasing about charcoal in a bowl, but when you scatter some bowls of charcoal around your room or car (as long as you’re not planning to drive), you’ll find that it has absorbed the cigarette odor after about a week. It’s one of the unexpectedly effective forms of cigarette odor removal.

    9.  Smoke residue on surfaces. Don’t neglect linoleum floors, glass and wood surfaces either; in a room or car that has witnessed heavy smoking, you can often see the residue! Use glass-cleaners, diluted ammonia and wood-cleaning solutions to scrub the stinky residue off of these surfaces.

    10.  Light bulbs. Light bulbs are a double-whammy when it comes to cigarette odor. First of all, they attract smoke. Secondly, each time you turn them on afterward, the heat releases odors from the smoke’s residue. Replace those light bulbs.

As a side note, at least one company (Technical Consumer Products, Inc.) has decided to capitalize on a light bulb’s heat to actually combat odor. “Fresh2 Odor Eliminating Light Bulbs” claim to neutralize odors, thanks to a coating of Titanium Dioxide activated as the light bulb heats up.

I hope this helps put your situation in perspective for you.  As a seller, you should expect to receive at least $10,000 less for your home due to a “smoky” interior than market value for your home.  The hard work really comes into play on whether or not that $10,000 is worth updating the carpet and having the home cleaned.  There are some local companies that we work with that will replace flooring on your home and get paid at closing if cash out of pocket is an issue.  Remember, a knowledgeable and experienced agent may make you uncomfortable by being honest with you on what may cause your home to sell for less than top dollar but remember, that’s why you’re hiring them.  You’re hiring an agent who knows how to get you top dollar if that’s your number one priority.

Can I Buy a House with No Downpayment?

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Can I Buy a House with No Downpayment?

With all the good, national news of the real estate recovery I have been asked this question a lot in the last month.  The good news is that if you live in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area, the answer is “yes”!  However, that is not an unconditional “yes” just yet.  There are three ways to purchase a home without a down payment.

The first avenue to do this would be to obtain a VA loan.  I’m sure you’re thinking, what kind of loan is that?  With all the talk of FHA, VA, 203B, 203K, ABC (J/K), it’s hard for you the consumer to understand it all.  VA is a loan specifically for Veterans that allows them to use their veteran benefits to obtain financing for a home.

The next way to purchase a home without a down payment is by purchasing a rural home with a USDA loan.  USDA is the United States Department of Agriculture.  This loan is geared to help encourage people to purchase homes in rural areas.  The home must be in an eligible area.  You can check individual properties and view city boundaries here:

http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do

Only some lenders can participate in this program so be sure to ask your amazing Realtor for recommendations.

The third way to purchase a home without a down payment would be to go through the Texas First Time Home Buyer program.  The state has a specific amount of funds available to make this happen for you, the home buyer.  As with all loan programs, you must qualify to meet their standards and not all lenders can lend through this program so be sure to ask for recommendations prior to having your credit pulled if you’re thinking of going this route.

You can find more information on this program here:

http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/homeownership/fthb/down-payment-assistance.htm.

One thing to note when reading this information, is that while in some cases you may receive 5% in assistance, that typically will cover only your down payment as there are additional fees to use this program and the other 1.5% tend to go towards that.

Now, you’re probably thinking “That’s great! I can buy a home with no money!” but there is one more thing to consider: closing costs.  When you purchase a home, you need money for a down payment but in your case you’re trying to avoid that which is great.  However, lenders will still want to see that you have “rainy day” or emergency funds set aside and you will need money for closing costs.  Closing costs are the fees associated with obtaining a new mortgage, title work and transferring/ recording the deed.   These costs vary from state to state.  You can ask a seller to pay for these costs for you and in most cases they will.  Just remember that what you’re asking them to pay for you is coming out of their own pocket so you will want to be sure and keep that in mind when offering to purchase their home.

 

 

Still have questions?  Feel free to email me at AngelaSellsDFW@gmail.com.

“Play Like Your Mama’s Watchin’ Every Transaction”

“Play Like Your Mama’s Watchin’ Every Transaction”

June 1, 2012 I officially became a licensed Texas REALTOR!  It felt like it took forever to get my license here but now that I’ve had it, the time has flown by!  I found myself realizing that I haven’t made a single blog post since I started! Please forgive me for I have sinned in the blogosphere…

After much procrastination (and after receiving a 2nd and final notice) I attended the mandatory orientation for REALTORS today at my local Association of REALTORS.  It was quite the seven hour refresher course of ethics.  In Florida, I could always throw in that not all licensed sales associates were created equal because as a REALTOR we had to abide by a very specific code of conduct that set us a part morally and ethically from others but here in Texas, their state law is pretty much the REALTOR Code of Ethics so I guess I’ll have to cross that one off my marketing presentation!

None the less, I did find the presentation interesting.  Interesting in that the difference of demographics here and moral aptitude that Southerners are raised with correlates so noticeably in every day life.  Perhaps being away from Texas for 10 years made me forget?  Perhaps being in the real estate industry in a “bubble” that will forever go down in the history books with greedy and unethical associates made me forget?  I don’t know what clouded my memory exactly but I noticed today how refreshing it is.

The whole idea of the Code of Ethics always seemed second nature to me but by being in the industry with people quickly persuaded with money, it became very clear, very quickly that there was a reason for this Code.  Today, the speaker didn’t stress aspects of it like I thought he would, like so many before had always done in Florida.

His words were simple: “Play like Mama’s watching every transaction”.  To me, that says it all.  My Mom raised me well and by well, I mean with a healthy fear of her catching me making a bad decision!  I knew I would always have to answer to God and I was okay with that because I knew he would forgive me.  But my Mom? That’s a different story.  Forgive? Sure. Punishment? Always.

He went on to tell the class that ‘most people have integrity but beleive it or not, some do not’.  How refreshing of a point of view!  In a world where people are shooting up movie theatres, places of worship and elected public officials, it’s refreshing (albeit a little naive in a certain sense) to hear a public speaker have this point of view.  Granted we’re talking about a professional trade organization and state licensed livlihoods here but it was really refreshing.  Just another reason that I’m excited to be back in the great state of Texas!

Here’s to a refreshing Monday and a kick-start to the week!

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