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Saturday, 29 August 2009
The open house link is always updated every Friday for the weekend. You can find it on the right side bar. If there isn't a time you can bet it's between 1-4. The open house report should include all dates and times along with basic data about the home. Open houses include zip codes: 75093,75024 and 75025. If your thinking about participating in the first time buyer tax credit you will need to be under contract in the next 30 days. Happy Hunting! Looks like the weather is going to be cooler so enjoy.
[where:75093,75024,75025, open houses, Plano, tx]
Friday, 28 August 2009
Something you don't see everyday...
The "Live Oak" is one serious tree. One reason people want to move to Preston Hollow is because of the larger lots and beautiful tree lined streets. The builder of this home definitely took advantage of this awesome tree and used the branches to frame the entry, quite effectively I might add. You don't see this everyday and it makes this a memorable property and a nice place to call home.
[where:75225,75230,75220,75229, Preston Hollow]
Friday, 21 August 2009
I've talked to a few agents and clients this week that really don't understand the tax credit. After all the ads on TV say you're going to get $8000. The truth is the tax credit is for home buyers that have never purchased a home or haven't owned one in 3 years. You qualify for the program by your income and the Home Buyer Tax credit brochure is here for specifics
. The amount you receive is 10% of the sale price up to $8000. So, if your home purchase is $350K than $8K is your credit if you make under 75K or under 150K as a couple. If you make more than that it phases out in 2K deductions but still a nice break.
You can take it off your 2008 or 2009 taxes. The credit expires on Dec. 1st 2009 so there is not much time left on it. Some lenders will allow for closing costs but it really is a credit for your taxes. With the housing market still in the slow mode - I bet they extend it through next year...what do you think?
[where:75093, Plano, Texas, real estate, first time home buyer tax credit]
Thursday, 20 August 2009
What You Need to Know: New Mortgage Disclosure Rules
If you are applying for a mortgage whether it be a home purchase or refi these new rules went into effect the end of July. There were previous truth in lending laws in place until corrupt people and companies decided to break the rules. Fraud comes to mind. Anyway, here are the basic points to know where you stand as a consumer. These are from the Collin County Association of Realtors financing committee:
- The rule applies to "any extension of credit secured by the dwelling of a consumer;" this includes home refinance loans and home equity loans, but not Home Equity Line of Credit.
- Loans secured by a dwelling even when it is not the consumer's principal dwelling are covered.
- Disclosure to consumers that they are not obligated to complete the transaction simply because disclosures were provided or because they applied for a loan.
- No imposition or collection of fees, including appraisal, application or processing fees, prior to the consumer receiving early disclosures (other than a bona fide and reasonable fee for obtaining a consumer's credit report).
- The lender cannot order third-party services, including appraisal, title policy, survey, or flood certification until after receipt of the disclosures. The lender can incur minor costs prior to disclosure as long as the cost is not billed to the applicant.
- Mortgage disclosures still must go out within three business days of application, but now a proof of receipt is required except with regular mail, which extends receipt an extra three business days.
- Closing cannot occur until after seven business days from the initial loan application, Good Faith Estimate, Truth-in-Lending (TIL) and other documents are delivered to the borrowers, even on transfer files. Business days include Saturdays, but exclude Sundays and holidays.
- If the APR changes by more than 1/8 percent, the TIL must be re-disclosed and triggers a new three-day waiting period, so it will delay some closings, even if the adjustment is requested by the borrowers. This includes when the seller agrees to pay TIL-related closing costs at the last minute, changing the APR.
- The consumer can expedite consummation for bona fide personal emergency such as a financial emergency like a pending foreclosure.
The biggest take away here is work with someone you know is a professional and honest. You now get a buyers remorse period like in the option period in a contract, lets call it contemplation. The other shout out is even though you have a loan commitment you don't have do it. You can change your mind at any time not to do the loan. If you wait until the last minute you will incur some minimal fees like credit report or appraisal fees but you are never locked in. However, don't do it right before you close because you will have contract issues to deal with then. By the way - you have always had the option to back out of a loan I guess some loan officers decided not to disclose such details. So, here we are today and a better tomorrow to come.
[where:75093, Plano, Texas, real estate, new mortgage disclosure rules]
Monday, 17 August 2009
Please don't levy a real estate transfer tax...
First, let me preface this by saying I've always been a big consumer advocate. That's one reason we have this site. Information and transparency should be available - especially in real estate! For several months I've had a polling question on the left side bar - your opinion if sales price of a home should be disclosed? You can take the poll and view the results, or read it here: around 80% of you say yes! I think for the very reason that when you are house hunting one of the first things you want to know is what the home sold for. Right?
As a real estate professional you have access to that information which we share freely with our buyers and sellers. In this months Texas Realtor - there was an article on this particular subject and it has been hotly debated for the last 3 legislative sessions. Texas is one of only 10 states in the U. S. that does not do this. How come?
The Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) answers this issue with a very compelling thought process,so I thought I would pass this valuable information along. Most the opinion on mandated sales price disclosure comes from journalists and most don't even practice real estate but are reporters of real estate and don't discuss the reasons why. TAR represents Texans and while you might want prices disclosed there is a bigger picture. Let me explain...
Since Texas does not have a state income tax our properties are high - very high and now with the market adjusting I know next year will a record for fighting our property tax value. The one thing that 31 other states use the price disclosure for is for a new real estate transfer tax
- yes, another line item on the closing statement for selling your home. In fact, most other states don't even use it for appraisals, so why have it?
Did you know that Florida actually repealed their price disclosure law when it failed to deliver on its promise. Most appraisers found the data insufficient or inaccurate to be used. The problem in Texas is there is no statewide uniform standards in appraising a property. Yes, you heard me right. Probably doesn't surprise you though. The whole appraisal process in the U.S. as well as the mortgage industry are being scrutinized by the government, more controls to come....as in the new mortgage disclosure laws that just went into effect which is a post for another day.
The appraisal and real estate values have always been 2 different markets, one for taxes and one for market value, they are a different number. Definitely, a more equitable appraisal system needs to be pushed for more consumer protection and accountability across the board. So not disclosing sales price sounds like a good way to avoid a real estate transfer tax which would make it even more expensive to buy or sell a home. And just like any tax it always go up! So why have one in the first place?
Even if the sales price of a home is disclosed, my experience tells me that a seller sets a price and a buyer determines value and a lot of the time the comps have little or nothing to do with what a buyer or seller want. It is something to use to determine value but only in a particular frame of time.
[where:75093, Plano, Texas, real estate, property taxes, sales price disclosure]
Friday, 14 August 2009
Relax! It's Friday...
All over the metro area we have our fountains - we don't have oceans to look at or many lake views in the general area but we have tons of fountains. Photo above is in Frisco at the Creeks at Stonebriar, right across the street from the country club. Enjoy the weekend, stay cooler and get the kids ready for school. Open house link has been updated above.
[where:75093, Plano, Texas, Frisco, Fountains]
Thursday, 13 August 2009
Save on Household items....
Being a Real Estate professional we use Old Republic
home warranty company for our clients. They have excellent programs for buyers and sellers during the real estate process. Whether you continue to use it after the sale is up to you. Yesterday, I received a perk to pass on to site visitors, customers or clients:
You can receive discount pricing from Sears Commercial on items for the home including appliances, tools, TVs, mattresses, lawn & garden equipment, and fitness equipment.
Ready to save? Here's how to get started:
- Visit www.sears.com/appliances
and find the model number of the item you want to purchase.
- Call 800-570-9047 for your special pricing - use Savings Code: ORHPS2009.
Rest assured that with the Sears price match policy, you will always receive the best price. For information on the Sears price match policy, visit www.sears.com
This is not for Sears retail stores - only Sears Commercial - and of course, they can withdraw the offer at any time. But till then, have at it...
[where:75093, Plano, Texas, Old Republic, save money on appliances]
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Plano Real Estate Market Update - July 2009
Although the spring summer selling season really never took off, July was better - sales only down 11% against last year. The most important fact for a buyer or seller in Plano is prices are holding - quite strongly, I might add. Average price of $267,851 is only down 3% and median price up 1% - believe or not. It's true.
Year to date sales in Plano are down 25% but average and median prices are only down 4%. Believe me, it could be a lot worse! This is a strong message that should assure a solid commitment in selling or buying a property in Plano. One reason for prices holding is the lower inventory and correct pricing from seller's. And the value perceived North of LBJ - you do get more for your money and great schools. Upper end properties are suffering but that is due to the banks simply not lending.
There are currently 1160 active listings in Plano, that's 7 less than last month.
- Highest price listing is $5.4 million in Kings Gate: 6416 Old Gate Rd. reduced from $5.75 million, still no takers...same as last month...
- Lowest price listing is a 2400 Jupiter Rd. condo for $56,500K in 75094.
- Pending sales (under contract waiting to close) is 258, that's 20 more than last month.
- Closed sales were 339 that's 30 more than last month.
Of the active listings in Plano 33 are foreclosures, 25 sold in the month of July and there are 35 pending. You can see where the action is. Foreclosures will be with as for a while and they can be a good opportunity if you are willing to put some sweat equity into properties that have been vacant a long time. There are FHA rehab loans that are attractive but are difficult to execute and of course the first time home buyer tax credit makes home ownership even sweeter. Even thought the credit is up to 8K it is usually 10% of the sales prices and based on your qualifications.
Lowest price home sold for $51K located on Hawthorne Lane and the most expensive listing sold was in Willow Bend Lakes at $1.150 million on Windjammer, 2 other properties sold above a million so that is a good sign, perhaps lenders are becoming less shell shocked.
[where:75093, Plano, Texas, June real estate market update]
Thursday, 06 August 2009
West Plano Zip Code Trends
Watching the market by West Plano zip code is a great way to start getting familiar with the trends - locally. Whether buying or selling you need to be aware of all conditions and all options you have available to make a wise decision.
Homes absorbed is not sold properties so that number will fluctuate with homes being sold or taken off the market for other reasons. As you know Texas is a non disclosure state and does not report prices of sold homes. And that was still protected this last session in congress. I find that buyers determine the value by recent comps which are easily available and by physically going into properties that are for sale, that in itself, shows potential buyers what the value of a given property is. If your on the selling side - It's also a good idea to go in the competition to see how you stack up against other homes and get your home priced correctly. In this market - price is the number 1 issue.
[where:75093, real estate, Plano, Texas, live market trends]
Wednesday, 05 August 2009
Live Listings - Is this home still available?
That is probably one of the most asked questions we get on this site. There certainly is no shortage of real estate listings on many sites that include all kinds of rich geeky data to help with your home search. Although you can find out just about anything you want to know about a location, demographics and neighborhood, the status of a particular home is never up to date on any real estate we site except your local MLS feed. On this site the most accurate status of a listing includes price changes and availability is the New listings, Open Houses and Foreclosures photo link on the upper right hand corner of the sidebar. This feed is directly from the MLS and no 3rd party vendor or advertising is involved, just good old direct feed. That, my friend, would be the first place to look for the most updated information locally and of course, we'll always be happy to answer any questions you might have if you can't find the information you want. Below is an example of info you can gather from this live MLS feed, it changes daily and gives the most accurate property updates you can find online.
[where:75093, real estate, Plano, Texas, live listings]
Housing Information Overload?
I Hear You!
Take a look at the monthly housing breakdown for Feb. 2013 for insight into the current real estate market. Every month new information will be posted as a trusted souce for excellent advice. Any questions about local real estate in Plano? Just ask us
for expert advice.
J.W. & Terry Smith
Common name, Uncommon service
Licensed Broker - Owner, TX Realtors®
Smith & Smith Realty
|Real Estate Forms and Consumer Info |
Property Tax Rates 2013
Sales Tax 8.25%
Just Listed! 3225 Oak Hollow, Plano, 75093 -MLS 11927773 - Hills at Prestonwood, Plano Schools, Hard to find 5 bdrm,4.1 bath, 4589 sq ft, .45 acre lot, pool & spa-Updated, Lux Spa Master Bath & Outdoor Livng Area--$629K, See more info on this property. Call or text for private showing, 214.415.9829
Should Texas Home Sale Prices be Disclosed?