Angela Sells DFW

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

Archive for the tag “texas”

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!

 

Burleson Home for Sale

3701 Trails End Burleson, Texas 76028

Looking for a home for sale on land in Burleson, Texas?  Look no more! This unique home has a 4-stall horse barn, loafing shed, pond, cross fencing, outdoor kitchen & living area with hot tub on over 8 acres!  The possibilities are endless.  Oh, and did I mention that the property could be an income producing property?  It has a full kennel facility on it that was generating $300,000 annually when it was operating!  Give us a call, email or text to take a look at this rare property!  817-771-0998 or AngelaSellsDFW@gmail.com.

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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.

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 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.

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.

 

 

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