Waterfront Homes in North Texas

Waterfront Homes in Noert Texas

“You know, we would really like to find a home on water.”

We hear these words quite often as people move into the north Dallas area. While there are many homes on water, the prices are considerably higher.

Why? Water is scarce in Texas.

Many of our lakes were built by the Army Corps of Engineers and while these lakes are available for recreational use, the Corps owns much of the land adjacent to the lakes and they do not allow homes on the water. In those places where they do allow access, land prices are quite high driving up the price of waterfront homes.

Many Waterfront homes in the urban and suburban areas are built on smaller, private lakes or running creeks. Most of the lakes are too small to allow docks or motorized watercraft.

If you’re willing to live in the more rural areas, lake homes and lots can be found at affordable prices.

Click here to view all waterfront homes for sale in the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) area.

Click here to view all waterfront homes for sale in north Texas.

Contact us at 214-227-6626 if you have any questions about lake-front or other homes in the north Dallas suburbs.

Tom and Gina Signatures

Photo: Copyright 2011 – Imaged2Sell

Aspens in Velvet


“Aspens in Velvet”

The snow that accumulated on the Aspen trees reminded me of the velvet on deer antlers.

Photographed on January 12, 2013 at the Steamboat Springs Ski Resort using a Nikon S9100 at f8.8. Post-shoot processing in Adobe Lightroom.

Copyright 2013 – Tom Branch

Homes with Media Rooms in North Texas

Media Rooms in TexasMedia rooms have become the rage in North Texas over the past few years. According to TheaterAdvice.com, “A media room is a dedicated room in the home in which  a Home Theater is installed and enjoyed. You can do anything from a modest system with above average results for around $5000 installed to a sky is the limit scenario on both level of equipment and custom craftsmanship making the room anything you can dream of. Even for a fairly modest budget you can easily exceed anything you will see and hear in a Movie Theater without the crowd and people texting during your movie.”

Click here to see all homes for sale in Collin County with Media Rooms.

Contact us at 214-227-6626 for more information or to schedule a showing on homes inthe greater north Dallas area.
Tom and Gina Signatures

Photo: Licensed from Shoot2Sell

Why Did My Homeowner’s Insurance Go Up?

Texas HomeHomeowner’s insurance provides coverage for your house and contents. In states like Texas, homeowner’s coverage starts high and goes higher. Texas had the highest homeowner’s insurance in the nation in 2011. States regulate homeowner’s insurance, approving the policy language and rates. One solution to rate increases is to shop around for your homeowner’s insurance. High price does not necessarily give you better insurance.

Homeowner’s insurance comes in three basic types. HO-1 is too basic, and some states and companies no longer use the form. It covers 11 items or perils and no others. HO-2 includes the 11 basic perils and 6 more for a total of 17 perils. HO-3 provides better coverage for the home and contents ans is more expensive than the H0-2. HO-3 covers 17 perils and any others it does not specically exclude. Exclusions might include flood, earthquake, war and nuclear accident.

Your homeowner’s policy costs will go up based on certain factors. Premium calculations are based on location, sometimes down to the county or city, and the distance from a fire hydrant. So if those risk factors  changed in the past year, you could see a premium hike. The Federal Trade Commission reports that auto and homeowner’s insurers use credit scores for determining insurance costs too, because better credit scores represent more stability and less risk. If your credit scores have decreased, your homeowner’s insurance premium may increase.

Most polices increase the policy limits based on inflation rates. Your premium cost goes up each year, but so do your coverage limits. If you have a replacement cost insurance policy instead of actual cash value, premiums will increase with the cost of construction materials. Actual cash value considers depreciation and age of the home and contents; replacement cost considers only the cost of replacing the item in today’s market.

C.L.U.E. -The Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange database retains records of information about any claims you make . Homeowner’s insurers use C.L.U.E. reports for your history to evaluate your likeihood of making a claim. If you have made a claim in the last seven years, C.L.U.E. has it in the database and the insurer rates your policy premium based on the report. A recent claim will cause your homeowner’s insurance to increase.

Photo: Licensed from iStockPhoto | Source: John Wendell, Risk Guru

Golf Course Homes in McKinney Texas

Golf Course Homes in McKinney, Texas

If you’re a golf enthusiast, McKinney Texas is a great place to look for a golf course home!

McKinney is home to eight golf courses including Stonebridge Ranch (two courses–one private by Peter Dye and the other public), TPC Craig Ranch (designed by Tom Weiskopf), The Eldorado Country Club (designed by Gary Roger Baird), The Golf Club at McKinney (designed by Lyndy Lindsey), Oak Hollow Golf Course, Hank Haney Golf Ranch at  Westridge, and the Heritage Ranch Golf & Country Club (an over 55 community).

Click here to see all golf course homes in McKinney Texas.

Contact us at 214-227-6626 if you have any questions about golf course homes in McKinney or the surrounding areas.

Tom and Gina Signatures

Photo: Licensed from iStockPhoto

Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Extended

TaxesThe American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 passed both the House and the Senate over the past couple of days. The bill is on it’s way to the White House where President Obama has stated he will sign it into law as soon as possible.

While the primary thrust of the bill was to prevent massive tax increases there were a number of “extenders” in the bill as well.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, “Of most interest to real estate, the bill would extend mortgage cancellation relief for home owners or sellers who have a portion of their mortgage debt forgiven by their lender, typically in a short sale or foreclosure sale for sellers and in a modification for owners. Without the extension, any debt forgiven would be taxable, which, for underwater households, represents a financial burden.”

This is good news for many Americans who are working through a short sale, deed-in-lieu, or a foreclosure. Without an extension of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, many of these people would have owned thousands of dollars to the IRS as a result of the distressed sale of their primary residence.

Have questions about short sales? Contact us at 214-227-6626.

 Tom and Gina Signatures

Photo: Licensed from iStockPhoto

The Shops at Legacy Plano Texas


The Shops at Legacy in Plano, Texas has become one of the premier areas in north Plano for dining, shopping, entertainment, and urban living. Gina and I enjoy Sambuca 360, Nicola’s, Jasper’s, Taco Diner, and Seasons 52.

The holiday lights are spectacular. After enjoying a nice meal, we often stroll along Bishop enjoying the lights and stopping in for an after-dinner Irish Coffee or a nice glass of wine at one of the many local stores that line the street.

Click here to see Homes For Sale near The Shops at Legacy in Plano, Texas.

Tom and Gina Signatures

Photo: Copyright 2012 Tom Branch