Thursday, July 28, 2011

Prices are down in the DFW Area

I said. it.
House A -- Murphy
2008 = $199,900
2011 = $185,000
The thing is, people have been forecasting doom and gloom on the real estate market for years now.  Maybe they were well meaning sorts that wanted to slow down an out of control industry that was lending money to people who couldn't afford it.  Builders were starting up new editions anywhere there was open land.  REALTORS.... well, we brokers and agents just ride the waves, right?  Wrong.  We were all too happy to push folks in and out of transaction in order to cash checks.

But now, 3-4 years later, I can show you several instances of prices sliding.  Now, don't panic.  We're still only talking about a decline of less than 10% in the NE Dallas area.  But that's a real decline and there isn't any denying it.  Some areas will resist the drop in price better than others.  If you have updated your home regularly in the 5-7 years you've owned it, you won't see a drop but an increase in sales price.  But it won't be as much as you'd like.
House B -- Richardson
2008 = $140,000 (needed updating)
2011 = $160,000 (updated, should have been > $170K)
In a buyer's market you have more inventory than you do buyers.  More supply than demand.  Hey, I got a C+ in Economics at Blinn Jr. College (Go Buccaneers) and I leaned this stuff in between keggers, so you can too.  If you and three other guys are trying to sell the same thing to the same one guy, you have to make yours stand out.  So you fancy it up and you sell it for less than the other two guys.  Note I used the conjunction "and" not "or?"  I could have said "or" ...I didn't.

In a buyer's market you have to consider that every buyer wants more for the same.  You and the other two sellers have to offer more house, more amenities, more updating than each other.  One of the amenities is the price.  So, put in your granite, your slate, your butlers with shoe-shine kits, and lower the price.

Fear not, we are likely near the bottom.  But don't forget this advice because ours will not be an overnight change.  Dallas resisted the recession and we'll likewise ease into the recovery while Californians are screaming hallelujah---or whatever you scream when you're happy in California.

Want to know what the value of your home has done in the last three years?  Want to know what it is worth, today?  Email J.T. and he'll produce for you a detailed and logical market analysis for free and without any arm twisting run-you-out-of-your-house-pressure.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Move into Snoopy's House!

Super-cartoonist Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts cartoon, purchased his Santa Rosa, Calif. property from the Catholic church and married his second wife there in 1973. The chapel has been converted into a media room and gym, and the six-bedroom home still bears evidence of Schulz's presence. 

The office, complete with typewriter, aging television, and Peanuts art, has been left as a sort of shrine to the famed funny pages master. The rest of the Wine COuntry Estate is uber plush, including two large homes totaling 8,000-square-feet, two acres of well-landscaped grounds, and broad outdoor entertaining spaces, including a swimming pool.
The property is listed by Southerby's International.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day! ...How to Make a Smoke Bomb

The smoke bomb you would purchase from a fireworks store usually is made from potassium chlorate (KClO3 - oxidizer), sugar (sucrose or dextrin - fuel), sodium bicarbonate (otherwise known as baking soda - to moderate the rate of the reaction and keep it from getting too hot), and a powdered organic dye (for colored smoke). When a commercial smoke bomb is burned, the reaction makes white smoke and the heat evaporates the organic dye. Commercial smoke bombs have small holes through which the smoke and dye are ejected, to create a jet of finely dispersed particles. Crafting this type of smoke bomb is beyond most of us, but you can make an effective smoke bomb quite easily. There are even colorants you can add if you want to make colored smoke. Let's start out with instructions for the easiest/safest type of smoke bomb you can make:

Smoke Bomb Materials

sugar (sucrose or table sugar)
potassium nitrate, KNO3, also known as saltpeter (buy it online or you can find this at some garden supply stores in the fertilizer section, some pharmacies carry it too)
skillet or pan
aluminum foil