If there ever was a year to celebrate the 4th of July, this it it! Our Independence! Check the links below for all the shows around the area. Looks like you can enjoy plenty of shows on Saturday and Sunday. Fair Park show in Dallas is on July 5th. Be sure and check the sites for last minutes changes and updates! Enjoy!
This week we're lucky to have a guest post written by Brandon Fischer of VA MortgageCenter.com and he has been kind enough to provided us with updates and important information regarding veterans benefits. It's a quick read and if you know anyone that can take advantage of this - please pass it on...
With Old Glory waving above porches as we approach Independence Day, it's fitting that veterans and military personnel reap the benefits they rightfully deserve.
Earlier this month, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development teamed up to provide almost 8,000 homeless veterans with permanent housing assistance. The program simply bridges a gap between Veterans Affairs Medical Centers(VAMCs) and local housing agencies, which will provide homeless veterans with rental assistance vouchers. About $58.6 million from HUD's Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH) gives these agencies the resources to help our abandoned heroes. But there's more relief on the way. Total investment in helping homeless veterans should reach $75 million this summer. HUD plans to provide another 1,355 rental vouchers in July, and 400 project-based vouchers before summer's end.
Veterans who need a jump start to find a home should go to their local VAMC. The medical centers work in conjunction with housing agencies to find eligible participants. Case managers at VAMCs also cooperate with housing agencies that take part in the HUD-VASH program. This time of year, it's important to not only celebrate our country's independence, but also those who fought proudly in its defense. There's no better way to do than to help veterans find their footing. "We owe every man and woman, who has worn nation's military uniforms, a level of courage and determination that matches theirs as we work to end veteran homelessness," said VA Secretary Erik Shinseki.
Another privilege for military personnel comes in the form of a tax credit extension. Certain military members on official extended duty have several more months to make the most of the home buyer tax credit, which stipulates that non-military taxpayers close on a home by Sept. 30 of this year. Qualified personnel in the Foreign Service, Armed Forces and intelligence agencies, who are overseas, have until April 30, 2011 to sign a binding sales contract that must close by July 30, 2011.
To meet the VA loan eligibility requirement, military members must have served at least 90 days overseas between January 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010. The maximum tax return for first-time home buyers is $8,000 or 10 percent of the home's purchase price whichever is smaller. For repeat home buyers, the maximum return is $6,500. First-time home buyers are considered military members and spouses who have not owned a home in the last three years. Married couples who make $250,000 annually and individuals who make $125,000 annually are ineligible. To use the credit, taxpayers cannot purchase a home valued at more than $800,000.
After giving so much to our country, it's essential that veterans get the recognition and benefits they earned. With these programs in place, veterans get more than to see our Stars and Stripes floating in the breeze for July 4.
All you need is a valid drivers license and Cadillac will donate $10. for every drive to: Share Our Strength. This is a non-sales event! So, enjoy the drive and good eats from Cadillac & Bon Appetit. Where, When and Why below...
Here's the details:
Cadillac and The Shops at Legacy invite consumers to drive for a cause and enjoy a culinary experience. This is event is open to the public and is FREE to everyone!!!
This Saturday, June 26 & Sunday, June 27 Culinary demonstrations will be held at 11:30AM, 2:00PM, and 4:00PM.
Where: The Shops at Legacy; on the North side, the newest addition to the center; in-between Legacy Books and Bachendorf's. Who: Feature demos and culinary competition between Kent Rathbun, Jasper's and Scott Gottlich, Bijoux.
With each test drive, $10 will be donated to Share Our Strength- a national organization working to eliminate child hunger. Qualified drivers are invited to test drive select Cadillac vehicles and compare them to their competition in a non-sales environment.
Vehicle specialists will be on hand to answer questions and assist with driving demos. After test drive completion, consumers can participate in the culinary demos. For more information and to register for the event, visit cadillac challenge. All drivers must present a valid driver's license in order to participate in the test drive. Sounds like a great challenge and great food!
[75024, Plano, Texas, Shops at Legacy, Cadillac Challenge]
Are you looking to build a new home in West Plano?
Well, the right opportunities may just well exist for a great buy on a prime lot. From my experience, clients will consider a new home vs a resale. If you deal directly with the builder or developer you will not know the status of an existing development, like how many lots have sold and build out plans. Most the time you'll get a better buy in the close out of the development. You can get good buys in the beginning but you'll have to wait much longer for appreciation and have to put up with the construction.
There are quite a few lots for sale in Kings Gate, Kings Lake (Kings Ridge), Normandy Estates and Willow Bend Park. Some are investor owned, builder owned and bank owned but exceptional buys do exist. Just might be a great time to buy a lot in West Plano! Any questions? Just ask...
[75093,Plano,Texas,Kings Gate,Normandy Estates,Willow Bend Park]
Absorption rate is defined as: The rate at which homes will sell within a given period of time. Unit sales per month....so if I take the last 6 months in each County then you can see how long it will take to sell your home today. It's more accurate than a CMA because it defines the current trend. You just need to import the drilled down data to figure the number. These numbers are from the MLS and are deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Every report you get in real estate is not guaranteed, you need to verify everything. So, what else is new.
Here's the absorption rates for a few of our close in counties:
It's still a buyers market and I would say with new listings down in the double digits across the board that prices might come down some more too if homes are just sitting and not selling. It certainly depends on the initial pricing, location and condition on how fast something will sell but if the home is priced in the lower range of the defined market it should sell sooner than later. Doing a thorough analysis of home pricing will get you to the closing table much faster. It's unusual for inventories to be going up this time of year but then again real estate is consumer driven and only they determine demand.
Closing Date Could Be Extended for Home Buyer Tax Credit
Don't get too excited if you think you can still claim the tax credit for buying a home. The extension is only for the closing date and it has not passed final approval yet. You still have to be under contract by 4.30.2010. Originally you had to close by June 30th. The extension is for Sept. 30th. The bill is really for the banks to make sure they get the foreclosures and short sales done in the same process they have been, SLOW. So, if it passes there are no worries for buyers, you will get an extra 3 months to close if you need it. There is an estimated 180,000 buyers who qualified for the tax credit that are waiting by the lender to be approved and closed. Good Luck!
[75093,Plano, TX, home buyer tax credit]
There have been a few searches on our site for foreclosures in Normandy Estates. And YES, there are several even though the community hardly has any homes built. How Many?
There are 7 lot foreclosures on the villa side and another 2 custom homes already built or almost complete. You can find them on the foreclosure link to the right. In my opinion, the pricing is not foreclosure pricing which is typical for banks to try get the most out of it. Especially in a prime West Plano location and one of the few remaining new home developments. This would be highly speculative but a good bet if you can buy it right. It's going to take longer for this luxury gated community to get built out, the lot prices are 229K and up. Minimum sq ft home is 2500 sq. ft. and if you plan on building a custom home - there are also foreclosure lots in Kings Gate and Kings Lake. So, there are some choices. The two foreclosed homes that are already built are 1.2M and 1.45M, respectively. And over 5000 sq. ft. If you have any questions let us know. Have a great weekend, check the open house link and stay cool.
Is it Hard to Get A Loan Now?
Easy Loan Approval - Just know the facts...
Getting a loan now can be easy if you have good credit and a nice down payment, no clitches on credit, just a clean slate. It's easier if you're looking to do a standard loan like 15- 30 year fixed with a 20% down payment. If your looking to be a little more creative there will be more scrutiny in the loan under writing requirements. Just be prepared.
I look at home sales daily across the area and believe it or not most contracts are closing in 30 or 45 days. All different lenders. That's not to say you'll have to jump through hoops, you might depending on what you want to do. The lending is tighter but still very doable.
The two things you need to know is what has changed for the consumer when you apply for a loan:
When you get a loan commitment your have a 7 day disclosure period, kind of like an option on a home, and you cannot close for 7 days and that includes if you do two loans you will get 2 disclosures periods if you commit at different times with different lenders. So you need to plan that in your closing time line. Compliments of the government.
As of June 1st your credit will be checked again, within 5 days of closing. So just keep paying the bills and don't go out and buy anything big till after you close, unless you pay cash. Compliments of the government, again.
Checking your credit again could cause delays for the closing date and moving. These are the two things to be aware of and to make it even easier, go ahead and get pre-approved and you'll have less stress and no surprises. And just for the heck of it, how has your experience been?
One positive note about the Dallas real estate market is it looks like luxury end housing is finally getting the financing it deserves. Overall, there were 65 home sales for over a $1M that closed. A 14% increase over last year.
4237 Armstrong Way in Highland Park was originally listed for $11,499,000. over a year ago, last list price was $7,995,000 and it sold for an undisclosed price, on May 12. Totally renovated 1926 Tudor.
This just shows the available opportunities and how buyers determine the value. Prices have come down way down and that's why the Park Cities is experiencing greater activity the last two months. Location and schools have a lot to do with that as well as security. Some things never change and never will. Area 25 which is the Park Cities experienced a 61% increase in sales from a year ago, average price is also up 17%.
Hit bottom and cycles back up. There are still lots of great buys and prices to be had, inventory is still high at 12 months, down 32% from last year but still a good selection to preview. Just as there is a lull right now in the market other areas that have been soft are showing a rebound. Thank goodness!
[75205,75225,Park Cities real estate]
"Companions" is the name of this beautiful mosiac sculpture that's right in front of the Plano Animal Shelter on West Plano Parkway. It's part of the Plano Public Art Collection. Makes you definitely want to adopt and they have some great deals now, check out the pets here . June is adopt a cat month, only $25. for a feline over 6 months old and $60. for dogs and includes vaccinations and lots more.
If you're thinking about jumping in the market, it's good to know what's happening in certain areas. Since May just ended let's take a look at two West Plano Zip Codes: 75093 & 75024. What price points are moving and where are people buying?
Here's a price point break down for the month of May 2010.
100K - 200K - 22 units
201K - 300K - 17 units
301K - 400K - 20 units
401K - 500K - 7 units
501K - 600K - 5 units
601K - 700K - 5 units
701K - 800K - 3 units
75% of the real estate sales are under 400K for May. It's still holding true that the upper end market is still soft due to tighter lending. But I can tell you that 20 units selling over 500K is a positive sign for these two West Plano zip codes compared to last year. Pricing is very competitive and rates are very very low, so watch for more activity in the upper tier market. They are some awesome buys if you're moving up!
[75093,75024,Plano,Texas,real estate data]
The housing sales for May 2010 increased for the third month in a row. Up 18% from a year ago. Another positive sign for our market. This summary report is compiled by Texas A & M Real Estate Center for NTREIS (Net-tris) our MLS that stands for North Texas Real Estate Information Systems. It's deemed reliable but not guaranteed. I don't think anything is guaranteed.
Most numbers are positive, median price up 2%, days on market is 73 which is 8% lower than last year. Active listings are down 2% and new listings are flat. Pending sales are down 23% which means future sales activity will be down. These numbers are for single family residential sales.
Real Estate is retail so it's always a moving target, the market has been quieter but that could be because of the ending of the tax credit, holidays, school ending and summer vacations. Mortgage applications have also been down. Interests rates are at a 50 year low way under 5%. So despite the ending of the tax credit - lower interest rates are providing a savings incentive, indeed.
As far as Plano (Area 20) May results so far are below:
Sales: 254 units -5%
Average price: $251,403 +2%
Price per sq ft: $94.+3%
Days on Market: 57 +8%
Pending Sales: -33%
Months inventory: 5.3 -1%
I predict that due to low, low low rates and exceptional pricing opportunities buyers will be finding and making some great buys in the future market place.
[75093,Plano,Texas,housing numbers DFW]
You'll see horses all over West Plano. There isn't much land left but there are pockets of undeveloped property that can be rezoned or is agricultural. Plano has urban, suburban & rural all in one city and only 20 miles north of Dallas. Best of all worlds! Plus newer homes and great schools, no wonder folks are moving here. Enjoy the weekend and don't forget to check the open houses link on the right sidebar under Plano Property Portal.
[75093,Plano,Texas, local photos]
Posted by: Terry Smith - Broker-Owner -214.755.9895 AT 08:40 am
Starting June 1st, yes - just a few days ago all lenders will run another credit report after you close on your home. Did you hear that right? Yes, if you buy a new fridge it could kill a deal. Seriously, if you're a buyer and have been through the lending process last year or so you've probably been through the ringer, meaning once you fill out the loan application the hard part starts. Underwriting the loan has become a lengthy process and whether it be the government (Fannie & Freddie included) or attorney's every detail is being scrutinized. A wild ride indeed for some! And yes, even with great credit 750 and up.
So, As a buyer how do you prepare for this process?
Here's a few suggestions that will make life easier and less stressful. And these are in no particular order.
The banks still really don't want to lend money so they are making it harder to qualify. If you are seriously going to buy a property go ahead and get yourself pre approved. Submit all docs and get through the lending process first. You will know your loan package and any surprises up front. Rates are so dang low now, a fifty year low and you'll find out exactly what you can get.
In making an offer on a property a pre approval letter will get you to the head of the pack if there are multiple offers. It will also make a very favorable point of negotiation to the seller knowing this is SOLID contract. Too many properties still fall out because of financing.
Go with a smaller bank, credit union or in town lender. The big banks that are "too big to fail" are the ones making it harder. You want someone who will pick up the phone, email or you can personally go see.
Don't go out and buy a new fridge or car or anything that can derail your home purchase. Do it after the property closes and funds, then you're in the clear. So now two things happen after you close.
1. Your employment will be verified.
2. Your credit score will be run again and compared to the one before.
Each lender will have their own variance and you just won't ever know what it is. And don't test them either. Once these two items have been cleared the title company will receive the funds from the lender and funding number from the Federal Reserve. Then you've got the house! Pick up the keys and by all means go out and get a new fridge! And whatever else your heart desires, you deserve it! More importantly, you just got the most awesome interest rate ever and that's the big picture.
As we wait for May numbers to come out - here are Collin County housing numbers for April and year to date. This is helpful for buyers and sellers to get an overall view of the market. You have to remember that every neighborhood is different as far as demand and activity.
So if you're thinking of selling be sure and get sold numbers for your area and neighborhood.
April was a good month overall for the DFW Area, May will show some weakness as home showing activity has slowed due to the seasonal holidays and schools ending their year. As you can see very positive numbers over last year but anything would be better than last year! Pricing is holding, it's still a buyer"s market but inventory is lower despite new listing activity and days on market has fallen 16.1% year to date. It'll be interesting to see May sales numbers compared to last year and what the summer selling season will have in store. Numbers will be out next week as it takes a week or so to get a good reading on sales. Stay tuned...
[75093,Plano,Texas, Collin County Real Estate Sales]
New price! 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--$599K, See more info on this property. Call or text for private showing, 214.415.9829
J.W. & Terry Smith Common name, Uncommon service Licensed Broker - Owner,TX Realtors® Smith & Smith Realty
YourNeighbor@PlanoHomesAndLand.com Smith & Smith Realty
Jerold and Terry Smith
Common name, Uncommon service Licensed Texas Real Estate Broker - Owner
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