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Thursday, 29 September 2011
LOCATION + CONDITION = PRICE
The 3 Most Important Words in Buying a Home
You know the saying - "the more you do something you become better at it" (hopefully) and that includes shopping and buying real estate. The biggest mistake I see current home buyers make is "it's all about the house"
or are more concerned about the upgrades or amenities in the home than the 3 crucial words that are success in real estate. Location + Condition + Price.
Instead of concentrating on each individual home wherever it may be, first start with picking your ideal location, for example living close to work will save gas and the dreaded commute. Those two items are on almost everyone's list. Start at the beginning and see what's available, like newer or older homes and more importantly, what you are willing to do as far as updating or projects and compromise on. Yes, there will always be compromise!
Schools are also important for resale even if you don't have kids. It's a huge deal! Another time saver for shopping real estate is use the mapping capabilities of the internet to weed out bad locations like busy streets, rail road tracks, power lines and water towers to name a few. You can't trust property descriptions as being true, for example: Yesterday I saw an agent describe a property in a foreclosure neighborhood as being the best street in the development and this street faces the rail road tracks! Lets' not even go there....waste of time.
Two other things that will help with your search is sit down and talk to someone who knows the area front and back, that could be an agent or co worker, family or friends. Next is drive the neighborhoods and see if it fits your criteria. These steps will help filter the house hunting process down in a more logical manner and one home ultimately will become yours to love. Once you pick the location, the condition of the home will determine the price range and hopefully it will have all the updates and amenities you want. ;) And that does happen, sometimes...
Thursday, 06 May 2010
Public Parks - Green Space in every neighborhood
One thing about living in Plano is there are tons of public parks. Common questions in the house hunt process is:
- Where can my children play?
- Where can I walk the dog?
Besides your back yard and pool, chances are there is close access to a public park. There are also private parks in many subdivisions that are just for residents. Some are natural with lakes, fountains and lush landscaping and some have community pools and play grounds. Practically any neighborhood you choose in Plano will be near to a public or private park. And that's a good thing! Above is a photo of Coyote Creek Park in Glenhollow Estates. There is a creek and I hope there aren't any coyotes...
Monday, 26 April 2010
Name Your Neighborhood...
As you know searching for a home online is a labor intensive task. The information available to research is very time consuming but it can save you time from driving around aimlessly in your car even with GPS. Once you decide on an area the best way to target a search is by neighborhood and you can stop browsing listing after listing in neighborhoods you aren't going to like.
The search on this site has always had a subdivision search
, as you can see above you can get very detailed and search up to 10 neighborhoods at a time. You can then enter other property details: pricing, bedrooms, baths, 1 story, 2 story, golf course, etc. etc. etc. And because this IDX search is from the MLS you get ALL the listings. Of course, you can search other ways too, address, MLS #, zip, city, county, school district or condo- building....try it, it will same you time and sanity in locating the perfect home. No registration here unless you want to save a search and that's up to you.
You have your choice of real estate search sites but unless the site is a Real Estate Broker or Realtor, you will not get ALL the listings. I know when I search for clients I want access to everything and I know you do to.
[75093,Plano,Texas, neighborhood home search]
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]
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Public MLS Link
You know if you frequent this site the direct MLS updates to the right (click on the pretty picture) is up to the minute information about West Plano. It is also a public link so although you can save favorites, possibilities, rejects and make comments on each property it is viewed by all, meaning the world. If you would like a personal home buyer site set up with your own criteria that site would be private. The comments at this point in time cannot be turned off, so it's best to have your own site to make personal comments about a property and remember for your house hunt. It needs to be fair for both buyers and sellers. And you know that our opinions can vary greatly depending on individual criteria. This sounds like a public service announcement but we do appreciate your consideration on this. This is only for the link to the right, all IDX - MLS finder searches are private and always have been. Technology - gotta love it and hate it, mostly love it. If you have any questions, please ask. Thanks.
[where:75093,75024,75025, West Plano, TX]
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
Let Your Home Find You
I know there are a ton of online search engines out there and you use what you like. It's just a sea of never ending home listings, which I think has really made the home searching process more complicated because there are more choices and much of the information online is out of date.
For instance - a home that is under contract will still show active on national sites. On this site you will find an IDX (internet data exchange) interface which feeds directly from the MLS, so the information is local and more up to date. You can do detailed search by zip codes, schools and even sub divisions on this site. And you dont' have to register unless you want to save searches, it's called the "no hassle search."
I get many requests for extra information like more photos. The home listings on this site are from all the brokers and agents that belong to the North Texas Information Systems (MLS) so you are getting all of a properties. However, if an agent did not enter more photos or tours when they put it on the MLS, then there probably won't be anymore. It's beyond me why 10 photos can't be uploaded to showcase a home properly. If I've been in a home, I will certainly tell you what it's like...good and bad.
The other search portal I have is directly from the MLS, which is the pretty open house photo on the upper right side bar. What's cool about it, it tells you status changes daily - price decreases, increases, back on market, off market, new listings, foreclosures and status change which means pending. You can really watch the real estate market in West Plano and be the first one to know about a specific property. It also will include seller's disclosure, websites, virtual tours or any additional info that you need about a property. I like to say "Let your home find you". The more detailed you get on your search criteria the easier it is for your perfect home to pop up. This is the search portal that I set up specially for clients with very detailed criteria, unique to each buyer. Heck, you'll probably know of a deal before I do if you watch specific areas and get there first. This has happened on more than one occasion.
It is one step closer than the traditional IDX sites because it changes as listings are entered or changed on the MLS. There is at least a 24 hr delay on IDX sites and even more from national sites because they do not download directly from the MLS because they are not members. They rely on feeds from brokers and agents and are far from having all the listings available. That would be sites like Trulia and Zillow, but other information they have to find out about an area are great! Not even Realtor.com has all the listings because not all MLS's participate in it. The other thing about the MLS is that it is much more than home listing information, it is a system for brokers to share their listings with each other so other Realtors can show and sell their properties, it also discloses how a Realtor is paid since it's a 100% commission job and we are self employed. That's why it's such a secret...and proprietary. More than likely a Realtor will sell your home because they work with qualified buyers and sellers. That's probably more than you want to know but there it is.
The point is the best place to search for homes are on local sites - I really can't figure out why someone would use a national site to find a home in a specific area when they don't have all the inventory.
[where:75093,75025,75024,Plano,real estate home search, mls]
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
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J.W. & Terry Smith
Common name, Uncommon service
Licensed Broker - Owner, TX Realtors®
Smith & Smith Realty
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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?