Angela Sells DFW

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

Archive for the tag “real estate”

Flipping Grandview: Week ???

I seem to have lost track of what week it is… maybe it’s denial that we are more than 4 weeks past the initial goal that makes me want to bury my head in the sand?!? It’s actually week 12 and we have flooring! Hooray! Forward movement is progress and I am happy to have it!

The next hurdles are getting the granite & back splash in, refinishing the shower tile, getting appliances in & completing trim out work & the punch list so far. There is still some touch up painting to do as well.

They did get the exterior painted and the workshop painted red, too, since our last update.

We are over on holding costs putting us $5,000 behind on budget currently which we are adding to our other $1,500 of overage expenses. That has us $6,500 in the red on our budget. We will likely be over budget an additional $6,000 In holding costs & odds, ends that will need to be done. We aren’t going to turn the profit that we had hoped on this one and that’s why it’s important to flip multiple at a time! As always, we are learning great lessons on this one and will do the next one differently.  It is coming together though and looking good!

 

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!

 

Homeowners Insurance

One feature you will more than like decide to invest in is homeowners insurance. Legally, you can own your home without having insurance. However, most lenders will not allow you to finance your home through them without having insurance. If you live in a condominium, the board could also require you to have homeowners insurance. Considering this, understanding homeowner’s insurance is very important.

Homeowners insurance protects the owner from fires, floods, and unforeseen circumstances. There are eight different levels of home insurance depending on factors like how old the home is and if the home is being lease. By contacting an insurance company, an insurance agent will be able to match you with the appropriate level of insurance for your need.
It is important to complete an up to date and accurate home inventory so that if there is a loss or damage to the property, the policy can account for it and it will be easily reflected in your tax records. Create a list and take photos of all expensive and/ or valuable items. Make a copy of the list and store one copy in a safety deposit box  for safe keeping and the other on a digital file for your convenience. This way you will have a record and will be able to be reimbursed for your personal items in the house.

 

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 is the Fair Housing Act?

The Fair Housing Act of 1974 is a national policy of fair housing throughout the US. The act makes it illegal to discriminate in the sale, lease, or rental of housing. The owner or landlord also can not make housing unavailable because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, or national origin. No matter who you are in the home buying process, you are affected by it. If you are the home buyer and you feel as if you are discriminated, you can file a housing discrimination claim. The claim will be sent to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Fair Housing Act is something that will always be there for you when you are adventuring through the home buying process. In the end the home buying process can be stressful, but remember to stay calm and that the realtor is always there to help you.

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.

 

Our Story

On my “to do” list this morning was to write out our company story.  We are growing this year and I wanted to do this for our employee handbooks and also to give our future team mates an idea of who we are, where we came from and where we’re going.  It came together nicely so I thought I would share it…

The starting point of all achievement is desire. ~Napolean Hill

Our story began back in 2006 when Angela got licensed in Florida as a real estate sales associate.  After supporting a high producing team in an executive assistant capacity, Angela decided to go out on her own.  Little did she, or anyone else for that matter, know that the market was literally about to crash.  In an effort to evolve, she opened a property management division within her brokerage.  The purpose of this was to help serve the vast amount of investors that had multiple properties they planned to flip before the “bust”.   This proved to be a successful venture as short sales soon became a regular option for selling these homes off and she was also able to help tenants become first time home buyers as well.

As the market slowly recovered, Angela evolved her business transitioning out of property management focusing on residential real estate and representing investors in their new acquisitions.  In 2011, a great opportunity for her family presented  itself in Dallas, Texas.  Having originally been from Texas, it was a no-brainer for them.  Angela relocated with her family and was licensed in Texas June 1, 2012.

Presented with the challenge and opportunity, looking positively at it, Angela began to build her business from scratch. Her passion for business and desire for unparalleled customer service served as the foundation of her business building.  In her first year, she sold just under $2,000,000.  In her second year, she sold $6,000,000 in real estate.  As the business grew, so did the team.  In early 2014, Lola Dobbins, Extraordinary Administrator, joined Angela to help develop the next step of growth.

Here we are, growing again.  We are looking to expand our agent team with two Buyer Specialists positions. If you’d like to be a part of this success story and learn from one of the best agents in the area, this is your opportunity! If you’d like to find out more about the opportunity, please click: http://dallas.craigslist.org/sdf/rej/4441944742.html.

We are headed to a premier level of recognition in our community.  Angela was voted Mansfield/ Arlington’s Best Realtor in 2013 by Living Magazine readers and Mansfield’s Best Realtor by Mansfield News Mirror readers in 2014.  This is due to the truly unparallel customer service and attention our clients receive.  They are not just another “deal” in the works.  These are huge investments they’re making for themselves, their families and their future.  We take pride in taking risks in marketing on the selling side for our Sellers’ bottom lines.  We take pride in gathering every piece of information our Buyer’s hearts desire to ensure that they are 100% confident on their purchase decision and that it’s the right one for them, not the right one of the day.  With an impeccable reputation for doing what’s right and what’s best for our clients we will become the premier real estate group in our community.

 

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.

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!

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.

Can I still buy a house with the government shut down!?!?

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Can I still buy a house with the government shut down!?!?

This is a common question that I’ve received A LOT this weekend.  Stay calm. And a buy a house.  You can still purchase a home with the government shut down.  The only loan types affected by the shutdown at this point will be USDA loans.

FHA and VA loans are not directly linked with the government in the procurement process so you can proceed with your home purchase!

And of course, if you need a phenomenal Realtor, you know where to find me!

 

 

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