Rita’s Ice Custard Happiness Opens in Plano

Gina and I attended the Plano Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting for Rita’s Ice Custard Happiness in Plano yesterday afternoon.

Located at the northeast corner of Independence and Legacy, Rita’s offers traditional custard and Italian ices in numerous flavors. We tried samples of both and they were delicious!

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Rita’s “Cool Catering” offers to “put some happiness in your happening.”

For more information visit their website at www.RitasWestPlano.com or call Rita’s at 972-312-9640.

Photo Copyright 2012 – Tom Branch

Highland Homes Begins Pre-Sales in Lawler Park

lawler Park Frisco Texas

Highland Homes has just announced that they have begun pre-selling homes in Lawler Park – The Crossing. Located in Frisco, Texas this master planned community will have beautiful 75 by 125 foot home sites and Highland Homes will be introducing exceptional new floor plan designs. Home prices start in the $430’s.

Lawler Park is a master planned community located just north of State Highway 121 off of Independence Parkway. The Crossings will consist of 199 homes ranging from 2900 to 4700 square feet. Prices will begin in the $430’s.

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Lawler Park offers easy access to all that Frisco and north Dallas has to offer–shopping, restaurants, entertainment, and much more. Children will attend exceptional Frisco ISD schools.

Contact us for more information on Lawler Park or any other new home community in the north Dallas Suburbs.

Photo Copyright 2012 – Imaged2Sell 

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.

Check Those Sprinkler Heads!

I was out walking early this morning and I came across a home with a broken sprinkler head. While the new “water feature” looked great, the entire zone was not working and the lawn was all brown.

Most people set their systems to run in the early morning so they do not lose water to evaporation during the day. The downside is that they don’t see the system running so unless some good Samaritan lets them know about the broken head it may be too late when they finally figure it out.

The best idea is to test the system once a month. Most systems will allow you to run each zone manually for a couple of minutes so you can quickly check to make sure the system is running properly. Broken heads can be replaced for a couple of dollars and a few minutes of your time.

Do yourself and your lawn a favor–check out your sprinkler system!

Photo Copyright 2012 – Tom Branch 

Now May Be The Perfect Storm For Sellers

Storm CloudsIt’s been a crazy year so far in the north Dallas real estate market. Buyers are out in droves and homes are flying off the market. The bad news for buyers is there are very few homes available in some areas and the ones that are properly priced, prepared, and show-ready are under contract in days.

This is fantastic news for potential sellers! With low inventory and lots of willing buyers, this may be one of the best times in years to list and sell their homes.  Even better news is that homes are selling for close to list price and in many cases for more than list price.

Many sellers believe that the spring may be the best time to list and sell, but selling now may actually be a better time given the market conditions and low inventory.

Thinking about selling? Click here to find out what your home may be worth.

Please contact us at 214-227-6626 if you have any questions.

Photo licensed from iStockPhoto

Hamilton Hills Kick Off Party

Hamilton Hills Kick-Off Party

Gina and I attended a kick-off party for Hamilton Hills last night at the “old farm house” in Montgomery Farm. Belclaire Homes and David Weekly Homes sponsored the event for a limited number of agents who have been actively involved in the early stages of the project.

Hamilton Hills East and West are located just west of Central Expressway where Bethany Road intersects with Alma Road, these two developments offer a small community feeling while still enjoying all that Montgomery Farm has to offer.

We picked up quite a bit of new information that we want to pass along.

Belcaires Homes will build on the 18 exterior lots including the greenbelt and creek lots. Homes will range in size from 3900 to over 5200 square feet and prices will start around $550k.

David Weekly Homes will be building the Custom Classic line on the 19 interior lots along Hamilton Green. Homes will range from 3200 to 4800 square feet and prices will start in the low $500k range.

Both builders will begin presales in October and the model homes should be open in January 2013.

Click here to visit our Hamilton Hills Allen Texas webpage.

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.

How The Hell is The Market Supposed to Heal?

Housing Market RecoveryIt’s been a crazy ride in the North Dallas real estate market this year. The heavy buyer’s markets of previous years have given way to a strong seller’s market in 2012. Properly prepared and show-ready homes are flying off the market in days at premium prices.

All should be well except appraisers keep killing the sales.

According to Fannie Mae, “Market value is the most probable price which a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller, each acting prudently, knowledgeably and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus.”

Appraisers were more than happy to take us down the “lower value” path. Part of it caused by the pressure asserted by the Appraisal Management Companies (which are usually owned by the banks themselves) and appraisers are tired of having to defend their valuations (why take the time when the AMCs lowered the pay per appraisal?) to underwriters so many of them take the path of least resistance.

I’ve had three sales in the past three months die because the appraisals were ridiculously low. Willing sellers and buyers have agreed upon a price and terms usually in a short period of time in an open market. Yet appraisals continue to come in low and no amount of work on our part can get the appraiser to look at it again. They’re dug in.

How the hell is the market supposed to heal if we can’t get values to go back up?

Photo licensed from iStockPhoto

Are Hip Pocket Listings Really A Good Thing?

Hip Pocket ListingsI read a blog posted on Candy’s Dirt this morning titled, “Newest Status Symbol: Our House Sold Before Going on the Market. Hip Pocket Sales and Why Brokers Love Them” In this blog, Candy talks about the growing trend for brokers to hold new listings off the market and then sell them to their own clients.

She goes on to write, “The proliferation of Hip Pocket sales is really good for Realtors, because they are back cutting deals again and doing what they do best: network. Also, it’s good for the brokers, especially if they can get both sides of the sale in the same firm. Yippee to that one!”

I’m going to argue that hip pocket listings are not really a good thing for the vast majority of sellers. Yes, there are some sellers who just rather not have people in their homes or desire to keep the sale secret for some reason–however this is not true for the vast majority of sellers. Exposing the home to the larger market will most often allow the seller to achieve the highest possible final sales price and better terms.

We listed a nice home in west Allen several weeks ago on a Friday. By Monday we had 7 offers and the seller wound up with a higher sales price and an all-cash offer. If we had held the listing with the intention to sell it to one of our internal buyers, the result would not have been the same. The multiple offer situation worked in the seller’s best interest.

The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires us to put our client’s best interests in front of our own. In the vast majority of cases, hip pocket listings most likely put our best interests in front of our client’s best interests.

Photo Licensed from iStockPhoto