Angela Sells DFW

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Archive for the tag “fort worth”

Flipping Grandview: Week 4 & 5

A new week, a new unexpected expense.  Upon further inspection, the water heater that we thought serviced the whole home did not.  The one that does is in need of repair.  Instead of waiting for it to flag on the future buyer’s inspection report, we will go ahead and replace it to ensure it’s up to code before construction is complete.  That will be an additional $1,000 bringing our unexpected total up to $1,500.

Our contractor did see some other unusual items and is going to get them repaired within the original bid which is great!  We are already over budget since we purchased all of the appliances, fixtures, lights, faucets, etc.  We know we will have some electrical work to do once the renovation is done as well so we are really trying to limit our costs.  The holding costs definitely add up quickly, too.  We are getting ready to make our first mortgage payment.

This week, we got the colors right and additional coats of paint on went on.  The progress is visible and that’s exciting.  The contractors believe they will be done around March 23 so our plan is to have the home on the market by the end of the month!

 

Handsomely Updated Fort Worth Home for Sale

7236 Hightower Fort Worth, Texas 76112

This unique home has been lovingly cared for and updated!  From the moment you enter the home, you are greeted with charm in the ceramic tile floors, fireplace and built-in bookshelves.  The kitchen has granite countertops, designer backsplash, top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances with an eat-in space situated next to picture windows!  There is an additional flex space that could be used as as second living or second dining.  The floorplan has flexibility as well because there is a bathroom both upstairs and downstairs.  Each bathroom connects onto a room as well as opens to the hallway so you could easily have a Master bathroom upstairs or downstairs.  The carpets have recently been replaced upstairs and the bathroom has also been updated with a new vanity, countertop,  and tile tub surround!  The cherry on the sundae is that the home also has a brand new roof, recently completed foundation work (both with transferrable warranties) AND recently updated plumbing!  All of this for only $135,000!  If you’re interested in this home or finding more out about first time home buying loans, give us a call at 817-771-0998 or AngelaSellsDFW@gmail.com.

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Move-in Ready, Recently Updated Home in Wedgewood, Fort Worth For Sale!

6152 Wrigley Way Fort Worth, Texas 76133

Situated on a large lot, this home boasts recently updated wood-laminate flooring, frieze carpet throughout & designer tile in the kitchen along with granite counters & brand-new stainless appliances! Updated bathrooms with neutral ceramic tile, granite counters & updated fixtures! NEW ROOF! The large, covered patio is perfect for enjoying the fenced backyard or entertaining!  The mature neighborhood has large trees and is conveniently located within walking distance to the elementary school.  The central location puts you close to Hulen St. as well as 20W for a short commute to shopping, retail, restaurants and more!  You can view the virtual tour here or view the photos below.  To schedule a showing for this home, please call 817-264-7087 or email info@homesbyhornburg.com.  $135,000

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How to Choose a Realtor

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How to Choose a Realtor

Most times, purchasing a home, is the biggest investment we make.  So, how do you choose your agent, the person who will guide, advise you and lead you through the biggest investment of your life? That’s a great question with an often misinformed answer.  Particular aspects are going to have varying importance to different home buyers & sellers but there are always the infallible “go to” qualities that you’re going to want in your agent.

In a world where real estate agents were once ranked very low along side used-car salesmen in honesty, the integrity and ethics of which an agent conducts their business is of highest priority.  What does an agent’s integrity and ethics mean to you as a home buyer or a home seller?  It means that they will not disclose your purchasing position in a way that compromises your negotiation standpoint.  It means that they will properly ensure that your rights and options are protected in the contract that they negotiate for you.  It also means that they will prepare you each and every step of the way for a successful & easy home purchase.  This is important for obvious reasons but you may find yourself surprised by visiting an open house where a listing agent tells you that they know the Sellers will accept less than the asking price.  As a Buyer, you feel like you have the inside scoop but the reality of it is that the listing agent hosting the open house represents the Seller and works exclusively for the Seller so why would they compromise their client’s negotiating position?  Too many agents toss their ethics and integrity out the window to simply close a sale, at your expense.  This is why it’s of utmost importance to choose a Realtor with an impeccable reputation, client references and a proven track record.

That brings us to the next important criteria for choosing an agent.  Ask your agent for a list of homes that they’ve recently sold.  This is a great way to ensure that your agent is familiar with your area.  Real estate is local in every sense of the word.  It is imperative to choose an agent who knows your market like the back of their hand.  This is important because you’re depending on their knowledge of the market and their understanding of what’s happening locally in that market in terms of property condition, price, competition, inventory and absorption rate to guide you through your real estate sale or purchase.

With that being a key factor in choosing your agent, their knowledge is the next critical element.  You are trusting this person with the soundness of your investment of not only the initial investment but an opportunity to build equity in your investment.  So how critical is their knowledge? Well, the first question to contemplate is to ask them how often they study the market. By the time real estate trends are founded enough to print in the main stream media, savvy agents have already noted these trends and alerted their clients to maximize their selling or purchasing position.  The other aspect of studying the market weekly is that, much like the stock market, the real estate market is ever-changing.  The rules that allow home buyers to obtain financing change several times a year for each lending product.  The requirements on homes change to qualify for financing also.  Were you aware that no matter how well-qualified a home buyer may be, there may be attributes on a home that prevent the house from qualifying for financing?  These are important things to know up front so that you’re not spending $350 on a home inspection and $400 on an appraisal only for the lender to come back and say the home cannot be financed in it’s current condition.

There are a lot of other great components to skilled Realtors like, special designations that can highlight their experience in a niche market like working with senior citizens, being green certified, accredited to work with home buyers only, specialized training in working with banks, asset managers for foreclosures as well as many others.

Hearing about great experiences with Realtors through friends and family can be a great resource to finding a great agent, too.  Often times, there is comfort in knowing that someone you love or trust has entrusted that agent to guide them through their real estate transaction and the outcome was positive.

The bottom line is that you need to feel 100% comfortable with your Realtor.  Different people will place a higher value on the various elements of what makes an agent great.  These guidelines will help serve as a basis to create some questions when you meet with agents to choose the right one for you.  Remember, they work for you and your best interests so you should be interviewing them to find out how they can best represent you.

What is Section 8 Housing?

What is Section 8 Housing?

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This is a question that I have been asked by a lot of young, up & coming real estate investors lately.  Almost like a HUD home, the term itself seems to have a negative connotation in people’s minds.  I would disagree on both.

Section 8 housing is housing that’s provided by the government for very low income families.  The qualification income requirements differ by county in Texas.   Tenants would need to contact their county and go through their qualifying process.  Once they’re approved, they find housing in the area that they want or need to live in within the price that the government is offering to help them with.

Once they find a place to live, the home has do be deemed acceptable by the agency.  The local authority for HUD will sign the lease along with the tenant as there are three parties bound by the agreement: landlord, tenant and Section 8 authority.

The benefit as a landlord is that the rent is typically covered 100% by the Section 8 voucher which is automatically paid each month.  You don’t have the same risk with other tenants as the rent is almost guaranteed so long as the tenants remain at the property.  Landlords can attend local meetings on marketing their properties for free through the local Section 8 housing authority so long as their properties are deemed qualified for the program through the authority.

If you’re thinking about purchasing investment properties, give me a call or email.  I would be happy to help you weigh the different options of leasing them out, flipping or building. (817) 771-0998  AngelaSellsDFW@gmail.com

Here are some informational links & additional information for the Dallas/ Fort Worth area:

What is Section 8 housing?
On how tenants qualify for a Section 8 voucher:
How to get all units Section 8 approved:
Important Things to Know:
Roles – the tenant, the landlord, the housing agency and HUD
Once a PHA approves an eligible family’s housing unit, the family and the landlord sign a lease and, at the same time, the landlord and the PHA sign a housing assistance payments contract that runs for the same term as the lease. This means that everyone — tenant, landlord and PHA — has obligations and responsibilities under the voucher program.

Landlord’s Obligations: The role of the landlord in the voucher program is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. The dwelling unit must pass the program’s housing quality standards and be maintained up to those standards as long as the owner receives housing assistance payments. In addition, the landlord is expected to provide the services agreed to as part of the lease signed with the tenant and the contract signed with the PHA.

Housing Authority’s Obligations: The PHA administers the voucher program locally. The PHA provides a family with the housing assistance that enables the family to seek out suitable housing and the PHA enters into a contract with the landlord to provide housing assistance payments on behalf of the family. If the landlord fails to meet the owner’s obligations under the lease, the PHA has the right to terminate assistance payments. The PHA must reexamine the family’s income and composition at least annually and must inspect each unit at least annually to ensure that it meets minimum housing quality standards.

HUD’s Role: To cover the cost of the program, HUD provides funds to allow PHAs to make housing assistance payments on behalf of the families. HUD also pays the PHA a fee for the costs of administering the program. When additional funds become available to assist new families, HUD invites PHAs to submit applications for funds for additional housing vouchers. Applications are then reviewed and funds awarded to the selected PHAs on a competitive basis. HUD monitors PHA administration of the program to ensure program rules are properly followed.

 

 

A Green Evolution

A Green Evolution

 

I have thought about blogging about 15 times since my last post.  Unfortunately, I got so busy that each time I was pulled away from my thoughts.  So, here I am, a time later.  I feel like I should update you about my “green” evolution since my last blog post.

After I calmed down, which was about three days later, I made a list of all the items I wanted to replace.  The frugal side of me, having just gone to the grocery store the day I read that article, didn’t want to just toss all of the new products I had purchased.  So, my husband and I decided to make a conscious effort to replace things with “green” ones as we ran out of them.

My suspicions were correct that everything “green” is significantly more expensive than the bargain brands we had become accustomed to purchasing.  I will tell you that a lot of products being touted as “green” are not green by my standards (which developed from my reading online).  The most helpful rule I have come by is to ensure it’s not made with any parabens or fragrance.

As a start we changed our: all-surface cleaner, dish soap, hand soap and lotion.  We have switched our sugar free lemonade mix to all natural apple juice.  We now start with one apple juice and all subsequent drinks are water.  This was a surprisingly easy transition for my 4 and 5 year old.  We didn’t transition to bar soap but we are using a fragrance free, hand soap without any antibacterial.  It is my goal to eventually rid ourselves of dye but that seems overwhelming still so it’s still a goal at this point. We did also switch to only real butter and sugar.  We are working on getting some “green” cookware since that’s something we use on a daily basis.

Much to my friends’ dismay, I have shared this information with them.  Being from the South and talking bad about Scentsy is a crime (I got a few “Bless her heart” looks!).  I do love Scentsy but I just can’t justify it’s delicious fragrance with knowing it’s ingredients are a known carcinogen.

What this whole fiasco has made me realize is that going “green” is very difficult.  Especially as a working Mom, housekeeper, wife, cook and pet caretaker.  I visited quite a few sites that offered strictly green products but I couldn’t justify the prices against our monthly budget.  I did find thehonestcompany.com though and I love it.  I will be ordering the essentials family pack which will mail me my choice of completely green products each month.  I’m ordering things like shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, laundry soap, soy candles from here.  The prices (besides the candle) are comparable to what we spend now on these items so I feel good about it.  The shipping is a reasonable $5 which is fine with me.

All in all, I calmed down.  I realized I have to start somewhere and became conscious & educated.  From here on out I will make better, “green” choices.

 

 

Upside Down

Upside Down

 

My world got turned upside down last night.  Completely upside down.

I like to say that I run a tight ship at home.  My kids are well behaved and clean (most of the time).  My house is clean (most of the time).  Dinner is cooked (almost) every night.  I read the daily news both of-interest and not-of-interest articles, mostly on things I feel should be known for my well-being and the well-being of my family.

Last night, I read an article that turned my world upside down.  How did I not know these things?  It wasn’t a “Breaking News” story so the information had obviously been out there for some time.  I felt dumbstruck after reading it.

Did you know antibacterial is a known carcinogenic?  Did you know my awesome smelling air-fresheners are a known carcinogenic?  Lavendar Fabuloso? Carcinogenic. My faux flawless skin AKA makeup?  Carcinogenic.  The revolutionary non-stick pans that I have become quite the chef with? Carcinogenic.

Here I am trying to be “Mom of the Year” by having antibacterial gel strapped onto my purse, the kids’ lunchboxes, backpacks, several in the car….I even contemplated getting some made with my work label on them to give out.  I’m sure that would have went over big! “Here’s some cancer gel, I’d also love to sell your house!”.  Oh. my. goodness.  Panic has started to ensue in me at this point.  The cool Spiderman and Avengers antibacterial soap I just bought the boys has carcinogens in it?! What have I done?

So, I’m thinking, okay, let’s rid the house of these things right? That’s easy.  “Don’t panic, Angela, let’s think this through” my brain says.  “You can’t undo what you’ve done but you can start tomorrow” (It’s 10 p.m. by this point and while I was reading this article I was also watching Liam Neeson’s ‘Unknown’ movie so I was emotionally drained by now. Stopping carcinogens in the house would clearly have to wait until tomorrow).

Remove antibacterial handsoap and gels? Sure, I can do that. But then what? What will we wash our hands with? Bar soap? What about when we’re in public and need a quick rinse? I guess we will be making more public bathroom visits.  My budget is going to sigh a happy-sigh of relief that I will no longer feel the need to purchase Bath and Body Works’ expensive antibacterial soaps. YAY! One positive here.

Air fresheners, I count these as a simple pleasure/ luxury in my busy life.  When I don’t have time to clean my house like crazy, I vacuum and turn on the Scentsy….now I see that I’m breathing in an amazingly scented carcinogenic chemical. Excellent. Now I’m starting to freak out again because here we are at the cleaners.

I tried the “green” cleaners before, when they first came out and they smelled like…um…I don’t even know what, but it wasn’t a pleasant smell.  I specifically remember thinking to myself that I work hard all day and I work hard to clean my house so I want it to smell fresh.  Back to the regular cleaners I went! Ugh.  That was well over 8 years ago, I am so hoping that when I go to Walmart today they will have better options.

And do I wear makeup to Walmart? Yikes! This is what most freaks me out, personally and on a totally vain level.  The stuff I’ve been putting on my skin religiously for several (I don’t want to age myself here) years has carcinogens in them? Is there even a makeup that doesn’t?  I am so confused by all of this. Why is everyone not up-in-arms about all of this?!

I’m not going to lie.  My husband and I have mocked people for spending more than double the price of ordinary food for “organic”.  I have a feeling that I’m about to regret that when I look at the “green” items’ prices.  I am just floored that these every day things are so harmful.  I have a girlfriend who has two boys about my boys’ age.  She is finishing her second bout with cancer in her short life.  This time requiring a double mastectomy and a long treatment of chemotherapy.  I know first hand that cancer doesn’t discriminate on age.  The 16-year old me that made the poor decision to smoke cigarettes never imagined the 28-year old me that would have an amazing family and career to live for.  I felt invincible then, I feel vulnerable now.  Vulnerable to succumb to all of these things I’ve done my whole life that I never knew were harmful to me or my family in addition to the ones I did know where harmful but was “too cool to care”.  Because cancer doesn’t discriminate, I definitely don’t want to put my family in any danger or higher-risk because of every-day items at home.

Today, I will start by purchasing “green” cleaners and a stainless steel cooking pan or two. (I’m really kicking myself for literally throwing away an entire set of stainless steel pans because they were difficult to clean prior to moving back to Texas.)  I will also package up my newly bought Scentsy packs to put into gift baskets for people.  That’s the trick though, so… “Here you go! Have my wonderfully scented cancer chemical blocks!” Yikes. I might re-think re-gifting those bad boys. Dang. But they smell soooo good.

I will also look into alternatives for hand soaps, makeup and the medicine cabinet and hope that the prices don’t give me a coronary.  And of course, I am sharing this information with you.  Do with it what you will. Here I thought I was on my “A-game” and I didn’t even know this stuff.

Here is the article to read with your own eyes that I have referenced this post off of:

http://causes.msn.com/get_smart_about_cancer/#section=gallery_3

“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!

Inaugral Post

Thanks for reading my blog!  I am so excited about continuing my career here in Texas!  I have chosen my brokerage, Keller Williams Realty Arlington, which is an exciting step.  The company is so refreshing and I anticipate that we’re going to make a great match for the remainder of my career.

My business cards came in today, my listing signs and open house signs came in yesterday, my social networking is set up (but not published yet).  I am still waiting on the great state of Texas to send my license to my Broker which means I can hit the ground running!

In the mean time, I may direct my posts in a direction other than real estate while I wait impatiently (my subconscious is vigorously tapping her foot in the corner of my mind).  If you happen to come across this post and care to know something about the area, I’d love to hear it!  Otherwise, you will succumb to my blog posts about things that interest me! 🙂

 

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