Dallas TX Home For Sale 10824 Saint Michaels

 Dallas TX Home For Sale 10824 Saint Michaels

4 Bedrooms | 3.1 Baths | 3 Living | 2 Dining | 2-Car Garage | 2936 SF/Tax

Dallas TX Home For Sale – Updated single-level Preston Hollow home on large lot. Over $500k in updates. Bright kitchen has granite counters, stainless appliances, built-in refrigerator, and wet bar. Master suite has garden tub, dual vanities, separate shower, and dual closets. Gallery formals open to large family room with fireplace. A massive spa room has in-ground spa, sitting area, and separate HVAC. The lush backyard has an open patio that is perfect for entertaining. 

Click here for Current Pricing, Details, Photos, and Virtual Tour.

See all Homes For Sale in Royal Park Estates, Dallas TX.

Source: NTREIS

What Are Rollback Taxes?

Hay Fields in Texas and Rollback Taxes

I recently sold a property out in the country. The home sits on about seven acres and six of them have an agricultural exemption meaning the owner is using the land to produce a crop and the county does not tax the land used for crop production. This saves the owner about a thousand dollars in taxes each year in property taxes.

When the land is sold, the new owner may continue to produce the crop and claim the agricultural exemption. If they decide not to do so, the county will assess a rollback tax. The county will go back and calculate what the taxes would have been without the exemption for the past three years and the new owner will pay the amount due.  While in this case the cost will only be about $3000, the costs could be substantial for larger parcels or land that has a particularly high value due to its location.

Note that the amount of time covered in the rollback period varies from place to place. I was talking to a gentleman from Washington and he told me they go back seven years where he is currently living.

If you are purchasing property with some kind of exemption and you decide that you are not going to continue that exemption, you can negotiate who will pay the rollback taxes as part of the purchase contract.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

Photo – Copyright 2011 Imaged2Sell

9-11 Audio Memorial

I received an email from Kellie Fitzgerald today with a copy of an audio memorial she had put together for a small radio station in Massachusetts. Kellie wrote:

I knew the young woman whose voice is on the last message in the first piece. A reminder that all our connections, however brief are precious…and how while video told the story of what happened to the buildings, sound and audio recordings really told the story of what was happening inside.

As I listened to the 3 minute spot, I flashed back to that surreal day and my eyes filled up with tears. I was was so moved that I asked her for permission to post it in a blog.

Kellie replied:

Thank you for your kind words, that was my reaction…and I just felt the need in my powerless-ness to share. By all means you can share it – with my blessings…I hope the world can be a better place and safe from all human harm….

9-11 Audio Memorial

Kellie Fitzgerald is the voice talent behind lots of commercial audio work. She has taken care of our IVR and voicemail prompts for more than 7 years. You can visit her wesite at www.auroraaudioproductions.com.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

Audio File – Copyright 2011 Aurora Audio Productions (Used with Permission)

Photo Licensed from iStockPhoto

Ridgeview Ranch Market Report August 2011

Ridgeview Ranch Plano Texas
Ridgeview Ranch is a master planned golf course development of about 885 homes located in the heart of north Plano. The community consists of four distinct communities – The Villages at Ridgeview Ranch, The Estates of Ridgeview Ranch, The Manors at Ridgeview Ranch, and Ridgeview Ranch West. Community amenities include two pools, a fitness center, playgrounds, parks, and the Ridgeview Ranch Golf Course. The original homebuider for the development was Centex Homes.

August 2011 Statistics:

Active  – 14
Contingent – 1
Under Option – 2
Pending Sales – 3
Sold – 2
Average sales price per square foot – $86.62
Average Days on Market – 28.5 Days
August was a relatively slow month for real estate in the north Dallas area in general. With daily temperatures over 100 degrees, people were not out looking at homes. What the numbers do show is that homes that show well and are priced right continue to sell in any market.

See all homes for sale in Ridgeview Ranch Plano Texas.

Source: NTREIS on September 4, 2011

Farmersville TX Home For Sale 530 CR 547

530 CR 547 Home For Sale Farmersville TX

4 Bedrooms | 2.1 Baths | 6.46 Acres with Pond | 3-Car Garage | 2013 SF/Tax

Farmersville TX Home For Sale – Custom designed home, 6.5 acres, trees, and pond! Slab on 36-pier foundation. Geothermal HVAC for true energy savings. Extensive hardwood flooring in all high traffic areas. Large family room with wood burning fireplace. Gourmet island kitchen with breakfast bar. Master suite is split away and has a jetted tub, separate shower, and walk-in closet. The upstairs storage has been finished out as a bedroom with a separate HVAC system. 3 Car garage. 

Click here for Current Pricing, Details, Photos, and Virtual Tour.

See all Homes For Sale in Farmersville, TX.

Source: NTREIS

The Grass Will Not Grow Under The Trees

No grass growing under Bradford Pear trees in Plano, TX

I was chatting with a past client this morning. They love the house we found for them but they are unhappy with the lawn. The grass under the trees has all died off despite heavy watering.

It’s not a water problem; it’s a sunlight (really a lack of sunlight) problem!

When they purchased the home, the trees had been kept trimmed and thinned out allowing sunlight to reach the ground. Over the past couple of years, the new owners had not kept up with the trees. The Bradford Pear trees that line their driveway grow much quicker that the Live Oaks and had completely blocked out the sunlight from reaching the ground.

All they need to do is to trim and thin the trees’ canopies and reseed under the trees. Rather than Bermuda, Zoyia grass might be a better choice as it requires less sunlight.

According to zoysias.com, “In the south Zoysia has good shade tolerance while in the cooler areas it needs more sun…Zoysia establishes a dense thick turf that crowds out weeds after several mowings.”

Tree trimming and thinning should be completed every year. Visit our Business Directory for lawn and landscape contractors who can take care of your trees.

The Key to Leasing is Tenant Screening

Modern Home for Rent

With the shift from home ownership to leasing brought on by the aftermath of the mortgage crisis, more people see the long-term investment and cash flow potential of residential real estate as a good place to invest their money.

We’ve all heard the horror stories about the “tenants from hell” who fail to pay the rent and destroy the homes they’re leasing. These tenants cost the landlords an untold amount of money from lost income, expenses of eviction, and damage done to the properties.

The real question is, “How do we minimize the risk and avoid the tenants from hell?”  You have to filter out the problem tenants before you sign a lease and let them take possession. The key is tenant screening.

Before I discuss the various screenings, I want to encourage anyone who is considering leasing their property to establish their lease criteria before ever advertising the property. By establishing criteria in advance and not deviating from those criteria, you can avoid most Fair Housing issues.

When processing applications, we try to verify as much of the information on the application as possible. We verify employment and income with their current and past employers. We verify rental history with their current landlord or we can see mortgage history on a credit report.

We then calculate the rent-to-income ratio. We use 30% as our standard. While some people can support higher rent-to-income ratios depending upon their total debt load, we reject any applicant exceeding 30%.

A credit report is pulled on every applicant. The data is used to calculate the total debt load against their monthly income. Our standard is 50% debt-to-income ratio (including the proposed rent).  Once again, we reject any applicant exceeding 50%.

We pull a criminal background check on all applicants. We reject any applicant with a felony conviction within the past 5 years and misdemeanor convictions within the past 2 years.

Applicants are checked against the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Applicants on the OFAC list are rejected.

Last we search for past evictions. Applicants who have been evicted within the past 5 years are rejected.

While this appears to be a high standard for applicants, we find that applicants who meet these criteria pay their rent on-time and generally take care of the property.

If you are considering leasing your property, I encourage you to give some thought to establishing leasing criteria and putting a tenant screening process in-place. While this requires some time and thought, it can save you lots of time and money in the long run.

Looking for an experienced and effective property manager in the north Dallas area? Give us a call at 214-227-6626.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR