HUD Seeks Bailout

Interesting video blog about the HUD’s reserve funds and their request for a Federal bailout.

HUD Requests Bailout

Source: TBWS Daily Show

What is the White Pipe in the Front Yard?

We recently received a phone call from one of our first-time home buyers. He had closed earlier in the month and while he was cleaning out the landscaping in front of the home, he had found an open PVC pipe. He was really concerned that there was a problem.

The good news is that pipe is nothing more than a clean-out for the homes sewer system. If there is ever a problem with the sewer system, a plumber can use the clean-out to diagnose the problem. Many plumbers have a snake with lights and a camera on the end so they can find clogs or breaks in the sewer lines.

The bad news is that it should be covered. However, it was an easy fix. We took him down to our local hardware store and purchased a rubber cap and a large clamp. We went back to the home and had him fixed up and ready to go in 20 minutes.

Need professional help? Click here to find a plumber in our Business Directory.

Photo Copyright 2012 Imaged2Sell 

629 Mossycup Oak Plano Texas Home For Sale

629 Mossycup Oak Plano Texas Home For Sale

4 Bedrooms | 3 Baths | 3554 Square Feet Per Tax | 4 Living | 2 Dining

Well-kept one-owner home in the golf community of Chase Oaks.  Great curb appeal with lush landscaping and flagstone.

629 Mossycup Oak Entryway

You’re greeted with extensive hardwood flooring and a beautiful spiral staircase.

629 Mossycup Oak Kitchen

The updated island kitchen has granite counters, gas cook top, breakfast bar, and stainless steel Kitchen Aid appliances.

 629 Mossycup Oak Study

The handsome two-story library has a wall of bookshelves and stairs leading to the spacious master suite and oversized sitting area.

629 Mossycup Oak Master Bath

Huge master suite with separate sitting room. Master bath has a jetted tub, separate shower, and dual sinks.

Virtual Tour

629 Mossycup Oak Virtual Tour

Additional Information

Click here for more photos, information, pricing, and current status.

Click here to see all homes for sale in Chase Oaks in Plano Texas.

Photos Copyright 2012 Imaged2Sell

1045 Arches Park Allen TX Home For Sale

5 Bedrooms | 4 Baths | 5044 Square Feet per Tax | Built in 2008

Fabulous Drees executive home in Waterford Park. Located across from the greenbelt, this large home has it all! Inside the oak front door is a grand foyer with a spiral staircase. The home has extensive oak hardwood flooring.

The island kitchen is a chef’s dream with a commercial 8-burner gas range, dual gas ovens, an electric convection oven, granite counter tops, and a tumbled marble back splash.

The great room has soaring ceilings and a wood-burning fireplace fitted with gas logs, a floor-to-ceiling oak fireplace mantel and a bar area with built-ins, ice maker, and a sink. The great room overlooks the covered patio and pool-size back yard.

The massive master suite has a bow window and overlooks the back yard while the master bath has a jetted tub, separate shower, dual vanities, and a walk-in closet.

Upstairs you’ll find game and media rooms along with 3 additional bedrooms.

Virtual Tour

Virtual Tour - 1045 Arches Park Allen TX

Additional Information

Click here for more photos, information, pricing, and current status.

Click here to see all homes for sale in Waterford Park Allen Texas.

Photos licensed from Shoot2Sell

Ryan Sparks Joins The Branch Team

Ryan is not a native born Texan but after he moved out of Texas, it only took him a few years to find his way back. Ryan was born and raised in Oklahoma and completed his first year of college at the University of North Texas. He felt like there was more of the world to see and moved to the Chicago suburbs to finish his degree at Northern Illinois University.

Soon after purchasing his first home, Ryan made it a priority to stay educated and involved in the ever-changing real estate market.

Before joining the Branch Team, Ryan dabbled in the field of law and also taught high school and middle school English. On top of teaching and real estate, Ryan is currently earning his MBA with an emphasis in business economics. In his limited free time, Ryan enjoys spending time with his two Labrador Retrievers Will and Grace, traveling, cruising and enjoying good wine.

Ryan met Tom in late 2011 while searching for a new home in the north Dallas suburbs. It was not long after their meeting that Tom’s expertise and skills quickly groomed Ryan’s passion for real estate into a true craft. The Branch Team’s extensive knowledge and professionalism made them the only choice.

Ryan’s personality, people skills and dedication to get the job done are truly unparalleled. Ryan is a professional committed to taking care of your real estate needs.

Mortgage Lenders See Tighter Credit in Wake of New U.S. Rules

We’re finally getting the housing market going again and now new Federal Regulations may make it even harder for buyers to obtain a mortgage.

Mortgage bankers and Realtors are warning that it could become even harder for  borrowers to qualify for a home loan early next year as the industry faces a  barrage of new rules.

Read more: Mortgage Lenders See Tighter Credit in Wake of New U.S. Rules

We’ll have to wait and see what impact this has on our fragile housing recovery.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle 

Drive Your Dream

DFW Drive Your Dream

At 53, I’ve had the chance to own and drive a number of really cool cars–Porsche, Audi, BMW and an assortment of American muscle cars (my 68 Pontiac Firebird was one of them). Sunday afternoon changed all of that! Gina purchased a “Speed Tour” (I have the coolest spouse!) from DFW Drive Your Dream last holiday season. We’ve been so busy that I had not had the time to set up the tour earlier in the year.

We arrived at their location in Haltom City about thirty minutes early and spent the time chatting with some others waiting to Drive Their Dream. It was Sunday afternoon and the city was quiet. The sound of exotic muscle coming up the street got our attention. It’s a sound that just cannot be ignored in this day of high mile-per-gallon and under-powered cars. The cars pulled into the parking lot and while the first set of drivers went into the office to finish up their paperwork, we had a chance to look under the hoods of the four cars we would “pilot” in a few minutes.

Sunday’s line-up included two Ferraris (a 599 and a 430) , a Lamborghini Gallardo, and the Aston Martin Vantage. After signing our lives away on close to $1m in automobiles (have I mentioned I love USAA?) we listened as the tour director gave us a run-down on each vehicle and the safety rules that would be followed during the tour.

Gina and I started the tour in the Lamborghini. As I started the V10 engine and listened to the 512 horsepower engine growling just behind our backs, a kid-like euphoria overcame me. We eased to car onto the street and we were off on an adventure. The 599 and pace car were in front of us as we pulled up onto the Interstate. The next thing I knew they were gone. I pressed down on the gas pedal and the Lambo took off like a rocket. I’d never driven a vehicle that could accelerate that quickly. The next thing we knew we were doing 90 in third gear and catching up with the tour. The Speed Tour takes place on some quiet and twisty back roads outside of Fort Worth. The Gallardo would go effortlessly through the turns at any speed. We both felt the car was way too performance oriented to be a daily driver.

Our second car was the Ferrari 599. The V12 engine produces 612 horsepower and will do zero to sixty in 3.7 seconds! The 599 is a fantastic car. While it is quick, the front-mounted engine makes the back-end light. It tends to drift a little under heavy acceleration and in tight turns. The cockpit is sexy! Supple leather, race-inspired wrap-around seats, and lots of bright yellow accents. This could be a daily driver if I had $365k lying around!

Our third car was the Aston Martin Vantage. We left the top down to enjoy the late Fall afternoon sun. The Vantage was very refined. I referred to it as “gentleman’s sports car.” The V8 produces 379 horsepower and will do zero to sixty in 4.9 seconds. After driving the 599, the Vantage felt lethargic by comparison. It’s cool but not in the same class as the others. James Bond needs to update his ride!

Our final car was the Ferrari 430. The 430 is a formula 1 inspired  design with a rear-mounted V8 engine that produces 483 horsepower, a more utilitarian interior, and some really sexy lines. It’s not nearly as refined as the 599 but on some levels that’s not a bad thing. You can really hear the engine growl at any speed. This car was fun to drive!

After two and a half hours of adrenalin filled driving, we arrived back in Haltom City. Gina and I jumped into our SMART Car and headed back to Dallas for dinner with friends. I felt like I had been rode hard and put up wet. Be prepared for a post experience emotional crash as the adrenalin wears off!

If you really want to experience the thrill of driving some really exotic cars–check out DFW Drive Your Dream. It is a great experience that will not be soon forgotten.

Photo Copyright 2012 Tom Branch