Texas Real Estate Broker Standards to Rise

Texas Real Estate Commission Seal

While Texas already has some of the highest standards for a Real Estate Broker License, it’s about to become a bit more difficult. Senate Bill 747, also known as the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) Housekeeping Bill, passed and was signed into law. One of the major changes affects those people seeking a Real Estate Broker License.

Currently a person seeking a broker license must complete 900 hours of education, have two years of experience as a real estate salesperson, and achieve a passing score on the broker examination.

Effective January 1 2012, Texas will raise the experience requirement to 4 years. It goes one step further. “The commission by rule shall establish what constitutes active experience for the purposes of this section…” Basically, TREC can establish rules that outline what can be counted towards “active” experience.

TREC has formed a working group of brokers, lawyers, and members of the public to create those rules and related forms.

If you’ve been thinking about getting your Texas Broker License, now may be the best time as the old rules remain in-place until the end of 2011.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

Plano TX Home For Sale 8723 Isaac

Francesca - CB Jeni Homes

3 Bedrooms | 2.1 Baths | Study |2-Car Garage | 2474 SF/Building Plan

Plano TX Home For Sale – New floor plan in Frisco ISD. Large island kitchen with granite counters, stainless appliances, and custom cabinets. Master bath with separate vanities has garden tub and huge walk in closet. Nice covered back patio. Designer touches include crown molding, bull nose corners, and art niches. Many energy features. Ready in July or August.

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

See all Homes For Sale in the Estates of Willow Crest.

Source: NTREIS

The Doorstep Chef in Frisco TX

Gina is an Ambassador with the Plano Chamber of Commerce and we get to attend a lot of neat events. A couple of weeks ago, we went to the grand opening for Doorstep Chef in Frisco, Texas.

Located at 4681 Ohio, the Doorstep Chef is the brainchild of Doug and Judy Furney. Their goal was simple—to get families, like theirs, back to the dinner table.  Their motto is, “Great Food. When and Where You Need It.”

The Doorstep Chef is your one-stop for ready-to-cook meal delivery, ready-to-eat lunch deliveries, catering for small or large events on-sire concessions, Care Accounts for others, and so much more.

Click Map for Larger Version

You can visit the website at www.doorstepchef.com or call them at 214-299-8106.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

Photo: Used with Permission | Base Map ©OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA

New Ramps Reduce Some Congestion at SRT/DNT Interchange

Sam Rayburn Tollway

Two new tolled ramps opened at the Sam Rayburn Tollway/Dallas North Tollway interchange in June, improving traffic flow in the busy area.

A new southbound exit ramp from the DNT to Legacy Drive now eases the commute for motorists trying to reach office parks and stores.

A new northbound entrance ramp to the DNT at Headquarters Drive, giving motorists direct access to the tollway from the businesses in the area, has also opened. As part of this ramp opening, an additional northbound DNT main lane will open across the DNT bridge over the SRT.

Read the entire story.

Source: North Texas Tollway Authority

Up, Up, and Away in My Beautiful (RE/MAX®) Balloon

J Webb’s lyrics, “Up and away, In my beautiful, My beautiful balloon” were playing in my mind on Wednesday morning as we gently lifted off in the RE/MAX® Balloon from a park in east Plano.

About 4 years ago Gina finished treatment for cancer and we had talked about taking a flight in a hot air balloon to celebrate the milestone. Life happens and it was placed on the shelf. We joined RE/MAX® in 2009 so the idea of a flight in the RE/MAX® Balloon seemed like the natural thing to do.

The morning flight started at 6 AM as we met with the Wayne Standefer and his crew. Gina and I climbed into the RE/MAX Balloon Team van and we headed for the launch site. We arrived on-site and Wayne and his crew went to work.

(Click on photos for larger versions)

 Preparing the RE/MAX Balloon for Flight  Prepaing the RE/MAX Balloon for Flight

After Wayne checked the equipment in the gondola, it was unloaded and turned on its side. The 80-foot canopy was slowly rolled out onto the lawn and meticulously attached to the gondola.  As the crew stretched out the canopy, a large fan was used to initially inflate the balloon. I was enlisted to help hold open the base of the canopy open.

 Tom Branch Holding Open the RE/MAX Balloon.

Wayne jumped in the gondola and fired up the heater to add some lift to the balloon. That first blast of flame and the rushing sound made me jump! The second blast was easier on me.

 Inflating the Balloon

Before we knew it the huge RE/MAX® Balloon was inflated. Wayne hollered at me to get in the gondola along with my gear (DSLR and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot on ice). I then helped Gina into the gondola and we were off on a new adventure.

As we quietly ascended into the early morning sky, I looked back to see the ground crew loading the van and preparing to follow us on the ground. The morning winds were gentle and taking us north. As we glided across US75, we had a good view of the early traffic as commuters scurried into Dallas.

Leaving the Ground and Chase Van Behind  Early Morning Traffic on US75 at Park

We passed just south of the Cinemark Theater at Legacy and US75. With the commercial areas behind us, we drifted over the Chase Oaks Golf Course and into the residential areas of central Plano. We were both amazed that there is still so much open space in the area.

Cinemark Legacy Theater in Plano TX  Chase Oaks Golf Course Plano TX

We floated along about 150 feet off the ground. As we passed over houses, people out for their morning walks or getting ready to leave for work would wave and call out, “good morning” to us. We waved and returned their greetings.

Gina Branch Riding in the RE/MAX Balloon   Well Kept Home in Plano TX

Our path continued to the north. We few over The Preserve in Allen, a new subdivision that Gina and I have been following. We were able to get some really good photos of the progress the developer is making.

The Preserve in Allen from the RE/MAX Balloon

As the end of our adventure neared, Wayne took a few moments to explain the landing procedures to us. I’m retired from the Air Force and still had not given the idea of landing much thought.  Wayne skillfully descended into a vacant field. The gondola touched down and as Wayne deflated the canopy, the gondola rolled over onto its side. Flight complete.

Within minutes the chase van arrived on-scene. As the crew packed up the equipment, Gina and I popped the cork on the chilled bottle of Champagne. Wayne has a special toast reserved for the end of each flight and we celebrated a nice flight and a safe landing.

Pop Open the Champagne - We're Safe and Sound on the Ground

The equipment was packed and we all boarded the van for the ride back to the launch site to say our goodbyes and pick up our RE/MAX® SMART car.

The Branch Team SMART Car

What a neat experience!

RE/MAX® has a fleet of more than 115 balloons located both in the US and internationally.  RE/MAX of Texas owns 7 of them.

Photos Copyright 2011 – Tom and Gina Branch

A Balloon View of The Preserve in Allen

The Preserve in Allen from the RE/MAX Balloon on June 29 2011
Click for Larger View

Gina and I flew over The Preserve in Allen this morning in the RE/MAX® Balloon. This vantage point gives you a good view of how things are progressing.

The development is really starting to take shape! The lake has been completed and is starting to fill. You can also see that the lots have been surveyed and leveled. The roads have been laid out and the developer will be installing utilities soon. You can see the stacks of blue-green pipes at the front of the development.

You can see all homes for sale in Twin Creeks, Allen, TX here.

Read more about The Preserve in Allen.

Photo: Copyright 2011 – Tom Branch

New Home Rebate

Purchase a new home through us and we'll help you with your closing costs! We'll give you a credit of 1.5% of the price of the home at closing to use towards your closing costs.

Click here for our New Home Rebates page.

Plano TX Townhome For Sale 8633 Naomi

8633 Naomi Townhome For Sale

2 Bedrooms | 2.1 Baths |2-Car Garage | 1633 SF/Building Plan

Plano TX Townhome For Sale – Contract NOW for JULY move in on this gorgeous CATALINA plan loaded with upgrades. Beautiful brick and stone exterior with hand laid brick porch. Welcoming 8ft Knotty Alder front door with speakeasy. Gourmet kitchen has stainless, granite, gas, convection oven, and maple cabs. Two dining areas great for entertaining. Gas on private patio. Energy efficient with 16 SEER HVAC, radiant barrier, cocoon insulation, double pane and low E windows. 

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

See all Townhomes For Sale in the Enclaves of Willow Crest.

Source: NTREIS