Monday, November 30, 2015

Wintertime is Surely Here, is Your House Ready?

Avoid Costly Repairs with These Winter Maintenance Must-Dos (a helpful reminder from my friend Joe Boggs at Supreme Lending)

Failure to prepare your home for the upcoming winter months can have dire consequences on your wallet, as well as pose a safety hazard for others. Even those in warmer climes will want to be careful this time of year: Everyone can benefit from an annual maintenance tune-up, and even in the South a winter frost can come as a nasty surprise.

Fortunately, there are some relatively easy preventative measures you can implement in the fall months to help ensure a smooth winter. The list below provides a few of the low-cost measures you can take now that will save you from the hassles of repairs and from the cost of winter issues.
Winterize pipes and outdoor spigots. As the temperatures start to dip below freezing, any water that is exposed to the lower temperatures will freeze. When water freezes, it expands; water left in a hose has nowhere to expand to. The copper piping that feeds the water to the hose will eventually split because of this expansion.
The easy fix here is to remove all the hoses and make sure that there is no water left in them. Also, for more protection, you can place a foam box over the spigot.
Additionally, if you live in a place where the temperatures drop dramatically or stay cold for an extended period of time, you need to make sure the pipes inside the home are protected. This is very important if your home has a crawl space underneath the house with exposed pipes. Simple and inexpensive foam pipe covers can accomplish this.
Clean roof gutters. If your home has gutters you need to make sure that you inspect how they are attached to the roof and that they are clear of debris. You want to make sure no dams or clogs are created. The best time to check is after all the fall leaves have dropped and then again during the spring thaw. Cleaning the drains will help ensure that the drains do not get ripped off from the roof and that water will not back up, which can cause a leaky roof.
Remove foliage and potential tree hazards. Trees and foliage provide great shade for your home in the summer and help keep the heat at bay. However, you want to make sure that you do not have branches and other foliage over your roof or potentially covering electric lines, cable, gas, or any other cables you may have running to your home. It is easiest to trim back or remove any potential problems in the fall. Snow on branches can weigh them down and potentially cause utility problems or even roof damage.
Inspect your furnace. Winter typically requires the use of a heater. Schedule an inspection of your furnace to make sure it is venting properly and will not be obstructed by winter weather. Check and/or replace your carbon monoxide alarms, which is a low-cost fix that may just save your life.
Dryer exhaust.  Much like your furnace, inspect your dryer vent. Make sure no lint is backing up the exhaust and that winter weather will not cause any issues. A backed-up exhaust can lead to house fires.
These few safety precautions will help ensure that the winter months pass safely and protect your home. Take a few minutes and make your home as safe as possible for you and your family.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Home Builder D.R. Horton's New $20 Million Campus

The  Dallas Business Journal reports that D.R. Horton is planning a $20 million campus in Arlington on the I-30 frontage road just east of Collins St. The home builder, which was founded in Arlington in 1978 but is currently headquartered in Fort Worth, will bring 500 jobs with it.  The new campus will have 150,000 sf on six acres. It will include a parking garage.

During the North Texas new home boom of the late 1990's through the turn of the century, Horton built an enormous number of DFW home and developed dozens of full featured housing developments.

Today, the Arlington City Council will consider the company's request for $5.5 million from the city for improvements and drainage, roadways, structured parking and other infrastructure.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

What a Crazy Market

 Crazy Market.
Ok, "in the old days" this beautifully updated home in a sweet spot of Richardson would have sold quickly.

Maybe since folks seldom move from here, it might have gone over a modest list price.  But WAY OVER list price and in ONE DAY!  Nuts.  Totally nuts.

 Time to sell is now.

 Folks, the builders are building as fast as they can.  Cool, hip apartments are poping up in neat locations.

Prices WILL level out, and when there are finally more choices for buyers, prices will gow down, some.

Right now they are up, BUNCHES.


You DO have options if you want to cash in on this hugely seller-driven market.

Call me.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Get to Know Your Neighborhood. friend Joe Boggs of Supreme Lending showed me this is a neat tool to use to get to know your present or future neighborhood.

Get the inside scoop on your neighborhood--or any neighborhood--and see data about everything from schools to household income. It all starts by clicking here.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Recognize these Famous Movie Houses?

Can you correctly identify all of these
 famous movie houses?  I only got 7 out of 16!

Here's a hint for this one, say the name three times!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Real Estate Auctions. Going once, going twice....

Follow my friend Joe Bogg's link here and read all about Auctions... 

Real Estate: Getting A Deal At Auction...

Certainly, auctions let you acquire valuable properties at a low price. For example, the National Association of Realtors estimated foreclosed homes were selling at a 14 percent discount in the final quarter of 2014.
And while everyone loves a deal, foreclosures represent only a small fraction of all the properties listed for sale in any market.

You might find an even better bargain among the properties that aren't foreclosures.  Auctions can be complicated, emotional and financially risky. Here are five tips ...

Monday, March 16, 2015

"Net Neutrality" and Real Estate

Real estate wins with federal rule prohibiting fast & slow lanes on the Internet. #NetNeutrality
3/13/15, 10:30 AM

My concern here is truly apolitical

I strongly disagree. Federal Gov. interference will make the net a mess!
You know that mountain of forest-decimating paperwork you have to go through when you buy a house?  Well, Lawyers and plaintiffs are mostly to blame, the rest of the fault for the deforestation and hand cramps you see at a closing rests on the shoulders of the government. heard of the real estate crash of 2006-2007?  Want to know who was the main contributor to that popping bubble?  The Federal Government.  Now the Feds want to regulate access and speed and content on the internet.  As REALTORS(R) we have first hand experience with the Fed. Gov. NOT improving things when they increase their involvement. Advocates for the federal restrictions cite "fairness to companies that can't afford it."  Regulation via the FCC is a terrible idea and not at all a free-market solution.

Of note is that FCC commissioner Michael O’Rielly voted against the FCC's plan and called it “monumentally flawed”, did ReMax, Ebby, Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, etc. get where they are through innovation, struggle, and character in a free market environment or through propping up by the gov. and under the thumb of federal control?”

I said this was an apolitical issue for me.  But it has a strong philosophical or world-view elements behind it.  If you believe in a zero-sum world, if you suffer from Tall Poppy Syndrome, then yeah, you'll love net-neutrality.  But since when does a fervently entrepreneurial group like the National Association of REALTORS(R) think like that?  If that was our mantra, there would be no real estate professionals... period.

If JTOden Realty has a huge presence on the web it should be because we worked hard to achieve it.  Invested lots to get us there, etc.  This isn't a "You didn't Build that" political jaw.  I know the government is responsible for infrastructure and communication to a degree and that's cool.  But cutting off the tall poppies because you think it's the fair thing to do to the short poppies is immoral, foolish, and frankly un-American.

Prior to becoming British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher explained her philosophy to an American audience as "let your poppies grow tall" --Wikipedia.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Gap Year? How about instead you get a RE License?

Very off-topic for this little blog.  However, my friend posted this on FB and I thought it worthy.  It is germane to real estate in the sense that I wish I'd started my RE career earlier.  After high school as an intern, assistant, etc?  You bet.  I wish I'd gone to Texas A&M with the sole purpose of discovering the Real Estate Center.

Anyway, here's my friend's inspiring post, and the link to the article to which she refers:

Saturday, February 7, 2015

2015 Safest Places in Texas Study -- Value Penguin

Hey, you can't argue with a penguin, right?

2015 Safest Places in Texas

How do the many cities of the Lone Star State fare in terms of safety? Our team has taken the most recent FBI Crime Report to determine how safe Texas cities are relative to each other. The 210 cities ranged in score from 175 to nearly 4,400. Generally, the larger cities ranked worse than cities with fewer residents, after accounting for population. The state capital ranked in the bottom 20 and Houston came in last. Take a look at the report for more insights:

The Top 5 Safest Places in Texas

Most of our top five cities are located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The average adjusted crime score for our top five places was 237.07, 83% more favorable than the typical town in Texas according to our methodology. Most of the cities had populations less than 20,000, with the notable exception being Colleyville, which has approximately 25,000 residents.

1. Murphy, TX

Located in northeastern Texas, Murphy takes our top spot with an adjusted crime score of 175.04. Its extremely low rate of violent crime—21 per 100,000 people—earns it the first spot on our list. Murphy is far and away our first place town, beating out second place by about 55 points.
  • Adjusted Crime Score: 175.04
  • Population: 19,347
 Read the rest of ValuePenguin's report here...