Angela Sells DFW

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

Archive for the tag “hornburg”

Buying the Nicest Home in the Neighborhood

When you buy the nicest house in the area, your house will naturally appreciate at a much slower rate than the simplest home in the neighborhood. The reason being is that any improvement or renovation you make on the simplest home will immediately add value to the home. However, if you buy the nicest home in the neighborhood, your home is already valued at the top of the market and will, therefore, appreciate at a slower rate.

In addition, when you are selling a mid-range or low-range home and other houses are selling in your neighborhood, the value of your home will naturally be increased. When you are selling the nicest home in the neighborhood, the sale of other homes in your neighborhood does not raise the value of your home since you are already valued at the top of the market.

The nicest home in the neighborhood will also be harder to resell than a mid-range house in the same neighborhood. There is a select number of buyers looking to purchase the nicest home in the neighborhood. Most of the market prefers to buy a home in the mid-range of the neighborhood. People care what the neighborhood looks like along with the house itself. Buyers tend to be turned off if the house itself is beautiful but it is not surrounded by equally beautiful homes.

Finally, no one can predict the future of the real estate market. Buying a home is an investment and there is no guarantee that the property will appreciate which makes buying a mid-range home more appealing to prospective buyers.

For all of your real estate needs, please contact the Hornburg Real Estate Group at Keller Williams Realty at DallasFtWorthHomeSearch.net or (817) 264-7087.

Safety Tips When Selling Your Home

 

When you are selling your home, a wide variety of strangers will be entering your home. Though the process may be stressful, it is important to still make sure that you take certain measure to protect yourself.

Make sure that you remove or lock up all personal or valuable items. Anything of value, such as jewelry, family heirlooms, and financial information, should be locked away in order to prevent them from getting stolen or misplaced when people are coming in and out of your home.

After every showing, make sure you check all doors and windows to ensure that they are secure and were not left open during the showing. If someone was looking to return to your home after a showing, they may leave a window unlocked or be looking for weak locks while they are there. It may also be a good idea to invest in home security such as an alarm system and/ or cameras.

In addition, your agent should have a list of procedures and screening in order to ensure their safety as well as yours. Familiarize yourself with agents policies and procedure in order to ensure both of your safety. Ask their advice on you can properly secure your home.

Utilize a lockbox to allow your agent to ensure that your home remains locked even when the agent needs to do showings. An electronic lockbox will offer a record of when people are coming in and out of your home.

For all of your real estate needs, please contact the Hornburg Real Estate Group at Keller Williams Realty at DallasFtWorthHomeSearch.net or (817) 264-7087.

What You Need to Know About Mold

 

Mold needs three things in order to grow and survive: an ideal temperature, food and moisture. Mold isn’t a new problem, nor is it a problem that is easy to prevent. Homes typically have a humidity range that is ideal for mold to grow and have dust particles in the area which means that mold can grow. Most homes have mold spores, however, most of the mold that grows is allergic mold, and not toxic mold. This means that some people are going to have reactions to the presence of the mold while others may not. Some people may have no symptoms, other may experience itchy eyes and sneezing, and others may develop asthma and breathing problems.

If moisture is not cleaned up within 48 hours,  you risk being exposed to mold being created.

The musty smell that is associated with the presence of mold is a result of mold spores feeding off nutrients in the environment. The color of the mold is a result from the type of nutrients that is receiving, not the type of mold it is. This is why it is impossible to determine what kind of mold it is without professional testing.

If there is surface mold in your home, try mixing detergent and bleach to remove the mold. If a large area is covered in mold, consult a professional to help you. After you have removed the mold, it is important to make sure that you replace your air filters regularly, run a fan to promote air circulation, keep the home ventilated, and check the grading on your property to ensure water is running away from your home and not toward it.

A home having mold can depreciate the value of a home significantly because a lot of homeowners do not wish to purchase a home with mold in it. However, it is possible to buy a home for less than the costs to fix the mold with equal to meaning you will get a great deal. Just be sure to contact a professional so that you can be sure of the extent of the mold before you purchase the home.

For all of your real estate needs, please contact the Hornburg Real Estate Group at Keller Williams Realty at DallasFtWorthHomeSearch.net or (817) 264-7087.

Tips for a Cheaper Mortgage

Buying a home is a great way to give yourself control over your housing costs and to eliminate the need to deal with rising costs of living. However, make sure the mortgage that you are agreeing to pay is realistic for your budget as it is a long-term investment that you are agreeing to.

One way to cut down your mortgage is to eliminate the need for a Private Mortgage Insurance, PMI. In order to do this you will need to put up a twenty percent down payment. Typically lenders will only agree to a minimum of eighty percent borrowed money, ten percent down payment, and ten percent private mortgage insurance. Private Mortgage Insurance will typically cost you about one percent of the total loan amount. By eliminating the need for PMI, you will decreased the excess you will repay on your loan.

Another way to lower your mortgage is to buy a less expensive home or consider downsizing. This will not only make it easier to come up with a twenty percent down payment, but will also lead to a lower monthly payment and less insurance on your mortgage since you would be borrowing less money. In addition, you will also save money on property taxes and insurance. It is important to note, that you can save a lot of money by researching what company has the cheapest rates.

Make extra payments on your mortgage when you can. By doing this, you will pay less interest in the long run. For example, if you make an extra payment of $1,000 and have an interest rate of 10%, you will pay $100 less a year for the duration of your loan. By making regular extra payments, you will pay off the loan sooner and with less interest which can save you a lot of money by the time that you make the final payment on the loan.

For all of your real estate needs, please contact the Hornburg Real Estate Group at Keller Williams Realty at DallasFtWorthHomeSearch.net or (817) 264-7087.

How to Spot Signs of Rodents and Bugs

Unfortunately, just because you don’t see pests during an open house, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t there. Hiring a professional is the best option when deciding if the home that you would like to buy would has a pest problem. However, there are certain signs of pests that you can look for in a potential home that will give you an idea if the home has a pest problem. Successfully determining whether a home has a pest problem can save you a lot of money in the future.

Rodents carry ticks, fleas and diseases as well as leave their droppings everywhere. Since they are nocturnal, it can be hard to determine if a home has a rodent problem. When looking at a home, listen for scratching noises in the walls to help you determine if there are rodents. In addition, look for rat nests in dark places like corners of cabinets and pantries. They make their nests out of shredded fabric and shredded paper. It is also a good idea to examine the baseboards for holes or dirt that might indicate that the home has rodents. In addition rodents are attracted to food and humidity so be mindful of the atmosphere in the home.

Bugs and insects can destroy personal property as well as expose you to a lot of diseases. In some cases they can even cause asthma attacks. They can be hard to get rid of in the future which could end up getting expensive. When looking at a new home, look for dead bugs, bug parts or holes where bugs could potentially enter the home.

Termites can put the structure of your home at danger. If they have been there for an extended period of time, they can even damage your foundation. Insurance doesn’t typically cover termite damage which means you would be responsible for the repairs. When looking at a new home, pay special attention to the wood. If the wood is sagging, there are visible holes, or it sounds hollow when you knock, the home might be in danger of having termites.

Bed Bugs will bury their beaks into your skin and extract your blood. Signs that the home might have a bed bug problem would be if you see rust-colored stains on the bedding, or furniture. In addition, look for cream-colored eggs in the corners of furniture. If you think that you were in a home that has a bed bug problem, it is important you clean all your personal items with hot water to ensure you don’t bring them with you as the can be really difficult to get rid of.

For all of your real estate needs, please contact the Hornburg Real Estate Group at Keller Williams Realty at DallasFtWorthHomeSearch.net or (817) 264-7087.

Pros & Cons of Timeshares

Pro: If you can not afford to buy a vacation home, owning a timeshare will allow you to live in the property for the duration of the time that you reserve it for at a lower cost that if you were to own the property. 

Con: There are more fees involved then people initially believe. You will have to pay monthly payments, special assessments, and maintenance fees, whether you use them or not. You may also be subject to pay for utilities and property taxes. All of the fees added up can be way more than people anticipate.

Pro: You do not have to deal with the maintenance of the property as that is included in the maintenance fees. In addition, you will also not need to worry about the security of the property aside from major damage.

Con: Timeshares are contracts that will lock you into paying for a specified amount of time. Some are even lifetime meaning that your future generations will also be bound to the timeshare whether or not they want it or can afford it.

Pro: Timeshares offer the opportunity to make profit through subletting as long as the monthly payments, maintenance fees, and special assessments do not cost more than you make from subletting.

Con: Due to the amount of timeshares available, the price of the timeshare a depreciate after you purchase the contract. This means people will sometimes be forced to basically give them away when they choose to sell. In addition, the market for timeshares is limited which means that selling your timeshare could prove to be very difficult.

Pro: Timeshares provide large families with bigger places to stay than a hotel as well as access to a kitchen and common areas to relax and spend time.

Con: Maintenance fees will appreciate every year meaning every year the amount you will pay for your timeshare will increase.

Pro: If you prefer to vacation in the same spot at the same time every year, a timeshare can take the hassle out of planning a vacation by eliminating the need to deal with booking or availability because every year the space will be reserved for you at the times you specify.

Con: Some resorts will misrepresent the availability of the timeshare which can make booking the timeshare more difficult.

For all of your real estate needs, please contact the Hornburg Real Estate Group at Keller Williams Realty at DallasFtWorthHomeSearch.net or (817) 264-7087.

4 Tips for Buying a Vacation Home

 

Tip #1: Make sure it’s in your budget. Many people buy a vacation home with the intentions of renting it out to cover the costs. Before buying a home with this intent, be sure to check the market and be sure that you can rent your home enough to cover the costs that you will need to have covered. Remember that real estate is not a liquid investment and when the market changes you could be at risk of having to sell your home for a much, much lower price than you paid for it.

Tip #2: Know the Rules before you buy the property. Sometimes HOAs, cities and other institutions will put requirements on which homes can be used as a rental property and may have certain standards in order to do so. Sometimes hotels and resorts can require you to operate your rental through them. It is important that you look into any rental restrictions before you purchase your home.

Tip #3: Be realistic with the amount that you expect to make from renting your property. Remember to be realistic about what costs are going to be required to maintain your property, such as cleaning between guests, HOA fees, and utilities. Also consider how much it is going to cost in order to completely furnish your home. With all these costs, it is important to be realistic about the amount that you expect to make in profit from your rental.

Tip #4: Pick a vacation spot that you can go to regularly. Damages can cost a lot more when they are left unattended. It is important to pick a vacation spot that you intend to and can realistically visit often in order to be able to check on your vacation property and ensure that any needed repairs are done in a timely matter to keep costs down, especially if you do not intend to rent your vacation property.

For all of your real estate needs, please contact the Hornburg Real Estate Group at Keller Williams Realty at DallasFtWorthHomeSearch.net or (817) 264-7087.

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!

 

Renting Your Home

Renting Your Home

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In a real estate market that has an enormous cash flow opportunity for rentals, we see more and more homeowners choosing to lease their homes out as they purchase their “move up” home.  With record low interest rates over the past several years, especially on 15 year notes, this creates a wealth building opportunity for homeowners.

As this trend has gained traction, it has created an obvious vacancy for tenant procurement in our marketplace.  You can find property management companies that will put it in the MLS for you but are they willing to answer their phones or drive out to show the home?  Often times these companies are located far away from the property which means two things. First, the property manager could quite possibly have no clue about the rental market where your home is.  Second, they’re not going to be very motivated to show your home to potential tenants.  That leaves potential tenants with trying to find an agent to show rental properties.  The problem with this is that often times, it’s new agents that are willing to show rental properties due simply to the fact that based on pay per hour on rentals, the revenue to the showing agent is very low.  What this means for you is that your home could be shown to unqualified tenants because their “new-by” agent didn’t know enough to pre-qualify them before taking them out.

I would say that 90% of our lease showings on our tenant procurement homes come from Trulia.com, Realtor.com and Zillow.com.  These are consumer inquiries that come in for free of people requesting to view your home.  We pre-screen each and everyone prior to showing them your home to ensure that this home could be a great fit for them.

Once the property is shown and they’re interested, we have them complete a Texas Association of Realtors Residential Lease Application as well as submit their last 30 days of paystubs and copies of their current driver’s license.  With the information from that, we perform a background, eviction and criminal check that’s cross referenced with the National Terror List.  Once this information is back, we decide whether or not to move on with the approval process.  The next steps are that we verify their employment, last two year’s of rental or ownership history and check personal references.  Once all of this information has been gathered, we will put together a package of information to you with our recommendation of the tenant but you will have the ultimate decision on whether or not to allow them to lease your home. We are a fair housing advocate and we do not discriminate against any applicant or tenant based on race, creed, color, religion, national origin, handicap or family status.

Once they’re approved, we have them in to our office to sign the lease and put down their security deposit.  The security deposit is at least equal to one month’s rent.   This is to ensure that they act in good faith during the term of their tenancy and also that they leave the property in the same condition that it was received. If they have a pet, their non-refundable pet deposit will also be collected at this time.

The majority of families and singles have pets. We prefer to advertise that pets are negotiable, so that they will tell us about the pets when they apply instead of trying to sneak them in later. Each pet will require an additional non-refundable pet fee. These costs are negotiable by you, the homeowner. If damage exceeding the pet deposit occurs, you may withhold funds from security deposits. You are in no way required to accept pets, this is completely your decision.

On the day that they take tenancy, we meet them at the property at 9 a.m. to perform a walk through of the property where they will complete an Inventory and Condition Checklist.  This checklist will allow them to notate any current flaws, damage or issues prior to move-in.  While they complete the checklist, we accompany that list with photos of the entire property.  Both the homeowner and the tenant will be given access to these photos as well as the checklist to reference upon move out.  Normal wear and tear is expected in a property so long as it is not from neglect or damaging to the property.

Once the tenant moves in to the home, you are now their point of contact.  We do not manage homes on a monthly basis.  However, if this is something you’re interested in, we do work hand-in-hand with a local property management company that handles day to day operations of managing tenants, repairs and maintenance for you.  They generally charge 10% of each month’s rent for their service.

If you choose to manage your home yourself, we do recommend purchasing a home warranty.  A home warranty covers all of the major mechanical appliances and issues in a home for the cost of around $400/ year.  Should you need to utilize the warranty, they typically charge a $69 call fee to repair/ complete the work.   We also have a list of vendors that we refer out and we’re happy to provide you with that list or contacts as you may need them.

If you’re looking for a company with a proven track record of finding well-qualified and quality tenants, give us a call.  We’ll be happy to discuss this program in detail with you as well as let you know what your home will bring in monthly rent in today’s market.  Visit us at www.HomesbyHornburg.com for more information or call us anytime at (817) 771-0998.

Tips for Building Credit

Tips for Building Credit

Knowledge is Power. -Francis Bacon

Credit cards

I get a lot of calls from potential home buyers who would really love to purchase a home and thought that they would be good to go but unfortunately, they were misinformed about credit issues or not informed at all.  I have compiled some helpful information that will help align your credit with your home purchasing goals.

  1. Open a Checking AND Savings account- Try to make sure you get it for FREE!  Most banks are competing hard for your business so negotiate fees (if any) with them.
  1. Get at least 2-3 Major Credit Cards- I recommend the following companies based on their approval rate.  Please bear in mind that you are essentially “paying for your credit” by getting your first credit cards.  These cards will come fees and that should be expected because right now you are considered a “high risk” case. Don’t over do it though.  If you’re denied by the first 3 companies below, don’t try the 4th.  Too many “hard inquiries” on your report will drop your score lower.

http://www.OrchardBank.com

http://www.CreditOne.com

http://www.MyPremierCreditCard.com

http://www.Discover.com

  1. Use your credit cards- The key to building your credit is using it and using it correctly.  Buy something small on your credit card each month.  Pay that bill off completely each month.  This will help boost your credit worthiness.  Keep your monthly balances at $0 or as low as possible.  The amount of available credit vs. total credit you have affects your credit score.  The more available credit you have, the better off you are…yet you still need to use the credit cards to help boost your scores so don’t let them sit unused.
  1. Monitor Your Credit Report- Yes, this too will cost you a fee.  I recommend http://www.FreeCreditReport.com ($14.95/ month) because it is extremely user friendly and offers helpful tools to understanding what affects your score.  You will receive monthly credit score reports on how your score changed and what caused it.  You can also see all of your open credit accounts, past and present.  Sometimes you may find that a company may have mistakenly identified you as someone else.  The credit monitoring websites make it easy to dispute claims online.  If you have items on your credit report that are incorrect or are old, try disputing them and having them from being seen on your report.
  1. If you are Renting an apartment or home, ask your Landlord to report your good paying habits.  Websites like http://www.tenantverification.com allow Landlords to do so for free.  You can suggest this to them as a great way to attract responsible adults as tenants because renting their home helps the tenant build credit.

I recommend using your credit cards responsibly as mentioned above for 6 months.  Within 3-6 months it should help boost your score.  If you’re watching your score on a credit monitoring website, notify your real estate agent when you’re at or near 640.  This is a great number and you can often secure prime interest rates with this score!

These tips are based on personal experience and tools that have helped prior real estate clients.  They are not guaranteed and each person’s credit report varies because of everyone’s unique financial history.

 

 

Please feel free to ask if you have any questions or concerns regarding this information!

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