The Soil is Pulling Away from My Foundation

Soil Pulling Away from a Foundation

I received an email from a past client asking me why the soil is pulling away from his foundation. The short answer is, “The soil is drying out and shrinking. You need to water.”

For those of you interested in a more detailed explanation, read on.

North Texas is known for its clay soil. Clay soil expands and contracts substantially based upon the moisture in the soil. If the soil dries out, it contracts. If it gets wet, it expands. While this seems simple enough, that shrinkage and expansion can have a dramatic impact on a slab foundation.

A slab foundation sits directly on the soil. Since clay soil expands and contracts, the slab is actually “floating” on the soil. Keeping the moisture level in the soil around the foundation stable is critical to the long-term stability of the foundation. While the in-ground sprinkler system often provides enough water, many times soaker hoses are installed to help regulate the moisture level.

The bottom line is if the soil is pulling away from the slab the moisture content is dropping and steps should be taken to add water. Doing so early can save thousands in foundation repairs later.

If you think you may have an issue, contact a DFW professional engineer or a foundation company.

Leasing in North Texas is Hot

For Rent Sign in Front of Home

While the temperatures have been at or above the 100-degree mark, I’m not talking about the heat wave in North Texas. I’m talking about the lease-home market.

If you’re searching for a lease home in the area and find something you like, you need to be ready to submit lease applications because the good, clean, and well-priced leases are going faster than new listings are coming on the market. You need to have completed applications and funds ready for the application fee.

Search for Lease and Rental Homes in North Texas

If you’re an investor looking for solid income-producing properties, the North Texas market is a great place to be. Capitalization rates are on the rise, the local economy is stable, and with more people moving into the area, the demand for rentals is climbing rapidly.

Search the North Texas MLS

Have questions or need more information?  Contact us!

REALTOR® Magazine-Daily News-Foreclosures Facing More Court Challenges

Recent court rulings are raising some uncertainties when it comes to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (or MERS), which electronically tracks and transfers millions of loans and has been in use by the mortgage industry since the 1990s.

Borrowers who have been foreclosed upon using MERS have fought back in court–with mixed success–challenging the legality of MERS and arguing that it doesn’t own the mortgage and therefore, doesn’t have the right to foreclose on them.

The industry is keeping a close watch on recent court rulings since the results could have a big impact on reshaping the mortgage industry and potentially throwing the validity of thousands foreclosures into question, The Washington Post reports. MERS holds 65 million loans in its registry.

Read the entire article at: REALTOR® Magazine-Daily News-Foreclosures Facing More Court Challenges

Update on The Preserve in Allen

The Preserve in Allen - June 11 2011

I dropped out to the 32 acres in west Allen yesterday to take a look at the progress being made. The work crews and heavy equipment operators were busy working on-site.

The developer has made quite a bit of progress since the the last time I was there. The main lake appears to be completed, the ground for the homesites has been leveled, and they are preparing to install the sewer system.

We spoke to Ashton Woods last week and the project is still on-schedule to begin pre-sales in November 2011.

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

Read more about The Preserve in Allen.

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.

The Other Agent Will Not Talk to Me!

REALTOR Code of Ethics

I recently closed a very difficult transaction. There were a number of problems and we had both agents, both clients, and the title company all involved in solving the problems and getting the sale to closing.

After closing I was talking with my sellers while we waited for the sale to fund. They related that they were disappointed that the other agent would not communicate with them. With all the email and phone calls that had taken place, everybody had contact information for everybody else. In an effort to be efficient, the sellers had tried to open a dialog with the other agent. They were kind of upset that she would not communicate directly with them.

I explained the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics to them. Article 16, Standard of Practice 16-13 states:

“All dealings concerning property exclusively listed, or with buyer/tenants who are subject to an exclusive agreement shall be carried on with the client’s representative or broker, and not with the client, except with the consent of the client’s representative or broker or except where such dealings are initiated by the client.”

My clients were surprised to hear we have and operate under a strict Code of Ethics.

REALTORS® Pledge of Performance and Service:

“The National Association of REALTORS® adopted the Code of Ethics in 1913, following the professions of medicine, law, and engineering. REALTORS® are real estate professionals who have chosen to join the National Association and abide by its strict Code of Ethics. What does this mean to you? It means that any REALTOR® with whom you work has voluntarily agreed to abide by a Code of Ethics, based on professionalism and protection of the public. REALTORS® are subject to disciplinary action and sanctions if they violate the duties imposed by the Code of Ethics.”

The Code of Ethics is one of many reasons to choose an agent who is a REALTOR®.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

New Contruction Townhomes at Chase Oaks

New Contruction Town Homes at Chase Oaks in Plano TX

CB JENI Homes is now preselling new contruction townhomes in Chase Oaks.

Located near US75 and Legacy, Chase Oaks is all about location with easy access to major highways and within walking distance to restaurants, shopping, movie theaters, and the golf course. Amenities include over 3 acres of landscaped common area, a luxury swimming pool, dog park, and a basket ball-volley ball court.

The first six units of about 40 are about half-way completed. The new building has five available 2 bedroom units ranging from 1412 to 1651 square feet. Floorplans include the Bridgeport and the Callaway. Prices start in the upper-$140’s. The townhomes will be completed and ready to go in late July or early August.

The builder is offering pre-sale incentives. Contact us for more information.

See Chase Oaks Village Plano TX Townhomes for Sale.

See Plano Texas Townhomes for Sale.

The Branch Team with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs is the exclusive listing broker for CB JENI Homes.

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.

You Did Not Change The Locks!

You did not rekey the locks

I received an email this morning from an agent who represented the tenant on one of my lease listings.

In his email, he noted that, “While the landlord changed the locks after the last tenant moved out, Texas Law requires the landlord to change the locks within 7 days of the new tenant moving in.”

This is common misunderstanding of the Texas Property Code.

“TPC 92.156 – REKEYING OR CHANGE OF SECURITY DEVICES.  (a)  A security device operated by a key, card, or combination shall be rekeyed by the landlord at the landlord’s expense not later than the seventh day after each tenant turnover date.”

“TPC 92.151 (15) – Tenant turnover date” means the date a tenant moves into a dwelling under a lease after all previous occupants have moved out.”

The period in which the landlord must rekey the locks starts when the last tenants move out and runs for 7 days after the new tenants move in. This concept is also part of the standard Texas Association of REALTORS® (TAR) Residential Lease. Paragraph 19A reads:

“Subchapter D, Chapter 92, Property Code requires the Property to be equipped with certain types of locks and security devices. Landlord has rekeyed the security devices since the last occupant vacated the Property or will rekey the security devices within 7 days after Tenant moves in. “Security device” has the meaning assigned to that term in §92.151, Property Code.”

The intent (implied in TPC 92.151 and spelled out in paragraph 19A of the TAR lease) is for the landlord to change the locks between tenants but no later than 7 days after the tenant moves in.

See all Lease and Rental Homes in North Texas

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR