Dallas TX Area Real Estate Blog

Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Agent

Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Agent

Whether you are looking to sell your home or are a first-time home buyer or seasoned investor, working with a real estate agent is a must. Working with an agent means your interests are properly represented. They will prepare you for every move in a competitive and unpredictable market where experience matters. This will likely be the biggest financial decision of your life and you will need an expert if you want to do it right. Here are our top reasons why you should consider hiring a Realtor® when selling or buying a home.

Has access to additional listings 

Although you can start your home search online, through websites like Zillow or Redfin, your real estate agent has access to more listings not actively advertised or yet to be listed. Some properties are headed to market but won’t show on Zillow or Redfin until it’s actually available for everyone to see! If you're open to a non-traditional route to buying a home, consider purchasing an off-market home compared to one on the open market. Your agent will have access to these listings that you otherwise would not even be able to consider. Then you have other homes that are discretely sold due to personal reasons, for example, a divorce. Your Realtor® has access to all of this and more - as well as more detail on all your property options.

Acts as an expert guide 

If anyone knows the local area best, it would be your real estate agent. Think of your agent not only as an expert on your local area but on the transaction side of the deal, too. Buying and selling a home requires various forms, disclosures, and other legal...

3 Things You Must Know Before Buying a Home

Are you ready to start looking for your dream home? Buying a house is one of the most significant purchases you'll ever make. Keep reading to discover three things you must know before starting your home search. 

1) Get Pre-Approved with a Local Lender

Shopping for a home is exciting and fun, but the process should start in a lender's office, not an open house. Most sellers expect buyers to have a pre-approval letter before making an offer. Sellers will also be more willing to negotiate with those who can prove they have financing. Getting pre-approved by a local lender is also important. When listing agents compare offers in a competitive market, they'll want to work with a lender they can easily contact. Local lenders are usually easier to reach compared to big box banks or online mortgage companies. 

2) Know Your Market

Home inventory is shrinking, and homes are selling quicker than ever. Mortgage rates are also rising, pressuring homebuyers to move quickly to lock in the best rates. That being said, it's crucial to understand how compeitive the current housing market is. Be prepared to make a quick decision or expand your search radius. Also, be sure to determine what aspects of your home and future neighborhood are non-negotiable. What is most important to you about you future home? Is it living in a top school district? Or maybe the distance of your daily commute to work? Narrow down a list of what is most important to you in your future home, but be willing to compromise if needed. 

3) Work with a Local Expert 

Working with a local expert that you trust is one of the most important things you can do. Research the agent you will be working with and check...

Pros and Cons of Buying a Pre-Existing Home vs New Construction

Among the many decisions homebuyers must make, deciding on buying versus building a home is one of the toughest decisions to make in today's market. Keep reading to discover the pros and cons of choosing a pre-existing home versus new construction to help you make the most informed decision.

Pre-Existing Homes: Pros and Cons

Pros

Established Neighborhood
Choosing a neighborhood that is already well-established is a top priority for many homebuyers, especially if they are particular about a location or school district. When you choose an existing home, you are also buying into the neighborhood and its surroundings.

Preferable Location
Most newly-constructed homes are built in more distant locations where there is available land for new development. If you want to live closer to a city or established area, choosing an existing home might be the best option.

Mature Trees & Plants
Thriving plants are more likely to exist in neighborhoods that are established compared to new construction. New lots are often bare or will take time to grow established foliage. 

Add Value with Upgrades
Some homebuyers prefer a fixer-upper so they can personalize it and possibly increase its potential resale value with cosmetic upgrades. 

Cons

Outdated Floor Plan
Older homes may have smaller closets, smaller windows, and a more closed-off, formal floor plan instead of an open living space, for example. 

Budget for Big Repairs
Pre-existing homes have been lived in and repairs of varying degrees might be necessary. If choosing pre-existing, inspect the home thoroughly for any wear and tear that will need attention. ...

8 Ways to Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal

With warmer weather and longer days, April is the perfect time to consider your home's curb appeal and find ways to make it stand out more. Your home's exterior is the first thing guests see after all, so why not invest in a few ways to boost its first impression? Keep reading to discover eight ways to up your home's curb appeal.

1. Add Greenery & Flowers

One of the most impactful ways to boost your home's curb appeal is to add some fresh greenery and flowers. Use plants to accentuate key visual points of your home, like windows and entryways. Experiment with the arrangement of your plants which can significantly change your home's overall appearance.

2. Take Care of Your Lawn

Taking care of your lawn is a big part of curb appeal. Regularly care for your lawn by mowing the grass, raking fallen leaves, and pulling weeds. Consider a sprinkler system to keep your lawn well-watered and prevent brown spots.

3. Repaint Your Front Door

Consider painting your front door to help it stand out rather than blend in. Painting a front door is an inexpensive project that can make a significant impact. Choose a bold color that will compliment your home's exterior rather than clash with it.

4. Power Wash Dirt & Grime

Power wash years of dirt and grime off your siding, porch, walkway, and driveway. If you don’t own a power washer, you can rent one from hardware stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s.

5. Make Small Repairs

Take care of any small repairs, like ripped screens, burned-out bulbs, or chipped paint. Even tiny flaws can stand out against an otherwise put-together exterior, so it’s worth taking a day to fix them.

6. Makeover Your Mail Box

Swap an outdated...

Your Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Say goodbye to the cold, dreary days of winter and say hello to spring's bright sun and warm winds. With spring fastly approaching on March 20, it's about time to do some much-needed spring cleaning and maintenance around your home. Follow this checklist to target the areas of your home that need the most TLC!

1. Examine Roof Shingles

Winter storms can take a toll on your roof. Examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter. If your home has an older roof covering, you may want to start a budget for a replacement. The hot summer sun can damage roof shingles. Shingles that are cracked, buckled, loose, or are missing granules should be replaced before temperatures increase further.  

2. Clean Gutters and Downspouts

After the frost has passed, ensure your gutters are clean and securely fastened. Clogged gutters can cause wood trim at the eaves to rot and improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Downspouts should also face away from the foundation of the home and be clear of debris. 

3. Examine the Chimney 

Examine the exterior of the chimney for signs of damage. Have the flue cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep.

4. Inspect the Concrete

Freezing and thawing take a toll on concrete especially. Take a walk around your property to check for signs of damage on walkways, paths, and driveways. Inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. Fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete.

5. Service the AC Unit

Air-conditioning systems are usually not taken care of properly. Just because it's cool doesn't mean the AC is working efficiently....

5 Tips for Buying a Home in 2022

With a chronic shortage of affordable and available homes, the nation's population is struggling to find housing options in today's marketplace. A severe lack of new construction is partially to blame for the acute shortage of available housing. Today's scale of underbuilding and rising demand for available homes has led to an imbalance of supply and demand. Towards the end of 2021, the United States was short between 5.5 million and 6.8 million housing units, according to the National Association of Realtors. This statistic factored in single-family homes, townhouses, condos, and rentals, too. With the housing market not budging any time soon, consider these 5 tips when purchasing a home in 2022:

1. Understand what you can afford

Firstly, it's important to understand what you can afford and can't afford when searching for a home. It's easy to fall in love with a gorgeous home you saw during your online search, but the question is- can you afford it? It's more important than ever to understand your budget and choose a new living space that is in your price range. Sticking to a budget doesn't mean you won't find a beautiful space- it just means you won't have to sacrifice in other areas of your life to accommodate housing costs. (Take a look at available homes in your desired area here.) 

Consider these four factors before committing to your dream home: How much you have saved for a down payment; how much your household earns; what debt you carry; and your credit score. Your credit score will directly affect the interest...

2708 Pickwick Ln, Plano, TX 75093 | Plano Luxury Homes for Sale

2708 Pickwick Ln, Plano, TX 75093 | Plano Luxury Homes for Sale

MLS# 13783678

Welcome to the lap of luxury, complete with your own private elevator! This Toll Brothers home has it all! Mother-in-law or teen suite adjacent to elevator can serve as second master. You will fall in love from the stamped concrete driveway to the two-story entry with hand-scraped hardwoods leading to the crown jewel - a remodeled chef’s kitchen with white granite, cultured marble backsplash, SS appliances. Owner spared no expense on the $40k kitchen renovation. Cozy family room with floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, huge media room and gameroom, study, oversized bedrooms and plantation shutters throughout, 3-car garage. Backyard has waterfall and luxury patio plumbed for outdoor grill and sink.

2708 Pickwick Ln - virtual tour of photos

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5520 Weatherby Ln, Plano | Amazing New Luxury Listing on Gleneagles

AMAZING Bob Thompson custom home on fourth hole of prestigious Gleneagles Queens Course! This 4 bedroom, 3 full and 2 half bath, 4,587 square foot home has panoramic views and showcase golf course views from almost every room in the home with expansive windows throughout and soaring ceilings. Kitchen was just completely gutted and redesigned, nominated for national remodeling awards. Thermador appliances, six-burner gas stove, quartzite countertops. Refinished hardwood floors throughout, including upstairs. Huge secondary bedrooms and remodeled secondary baths. Gorgeous French doors open to outside veranda, pool, spa and backyard paradise. A little slice of heaven in West Plano!

5520 Weatherby ln - Matterport

5520 Weatherby - virtual tour of photos

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Coming Soon to Frisco! 8420 Kingston Ln - $395,000

Luxury living in the heart of Frisco! Quaint house has all the touches of a custom home, for a fraction of the price – upgrades galore. Beautiful iron staircase leads to chef’s kitchen with high-end appliances and extra beverage and wine drawers. Lavish finishes include top-of-the-line lighting fixtures, chandeliers and master bath fit for a king and queen. Extended back patio with pergola and custom outdoor lighting. Three bedrooms down plus gameroom, bedroom and bathroom up make this the perfect 1.5-story home with no wasted square footage, plus a bonus tandem three-car garage. Easy walking distance to elementary and middle schools and JR Newman Park. The feel of a French chateau in the middle of West Frisco!

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How to Protect Your Home During Extreme Cold Weather

How to Protect Your Home During Extreme Cold Weather

It's that time of year again when freezing temperatures are upon us.  When temperatures outside are dropping below normal, sometimes we are more concerned with keeping ourselves, our loved ones, and our pets warm and don't think much about steps we should be taking to protect our home against these freezing temperatures.  The following are some steps that you can take to stay warmer and protect your home:

Keeping warm in your home

Keeping Warm in your Home

  • Before it begins getting cold, it's a good idea to have your furnace inspected. Make sure your HVAC company fully inspects the heat exchanger for cracks, installs new air filters, ensure your thermostats are working properly, and check that your home is hitting proper temperature differentials.
  • Inspect fireplaces, and chimneys before using, and have them cleaned if needed.
  • Keep drapes and blinds closed, except when windows are in direct sunlight.
  • Put up storm windows, or install sheet plastic window insulation kits on the inside of windows.
  • Cover or remove any window air conditioners.
  • Insulate electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls with foam seals available at home centers.
  • Caulk any cracks or holes on the outside of your house.
  • Repair or replace weather stripping and thresholds around doors and windows.
  • Run paddle ceiling fans on low in reverse (clockwise when looking up) to circulate warm air.
  • Put draft snakes on window...

7 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling A House

Mistakes to avoid when selling your homeLucky is the homeowner who has experience with selling a home. First-time sellers have a steep learning curve ahead of them and many obstacles on the road to a successful sale. Although common with first-time sellers, some of these obstacles aren't obvious.

1. Not Preparing the Home for Sale

"Dress your house for success," is probably the best advice for home sellers. Just as you wouldn't attempt to get top dollar for a car without cleaning the interior and detailing the exterior, so it goes with the sale of your home.

Cleaning the house is the first step because, face it, nobody will buy a dirty house. But, here's incentive for you to put on the rubber gloves and drag out the cleaning supplies: Clean houses sell quicker and for more money.

According to a recent survey, commissioned by one of the big real estate companies, a $402 investment in cleaning and decluttering a home realizes a 403 percent return on investment. That is a whopping $2,024 in your pocket at the closing table.

As impatient as you are to move on to the next phase of your life, it is vitally important to get the cleaning, painting, repairs and staging done before the house goes on the market.

2. Not Pricing the Home Realistically

The first few weeks that your house is in the local Multiple Listing Service database are known as the "honeymoon period." This is the time when it will get the most traffic. All the traffic in the world, however, won’t compensate for a too-high price.

Buyers aren't ignorant and neither are their real estate agents. They are well aware of current market values in the areas they are searching and will know that your home is overpriced. In the meantime, you've wasted the honeymoon...

Homes for Sale in Plano, TX - 3921 Kite Meadow Dr, Plano, TX 75074

Come home to this beautiful oasis in desirable Plano neighborhood with gigantic yard and three-car garage. Backyard boasts sparking pool and spa with flagstone coping + huge yard for play. Entry includes soaring ceilings and spiral staircase leading to 3 oversized upstairs bedrooms and huge open gameroom, PLUS media room! Secluded master retreat downstairs plus large kitchen overlooking living area. Downstairs also houses a study with French doors and stacked formals with plenty of space for even a large family to gather and spread their wings. Just add your own updates and designer touches to this fantastic floorplan to make this house your home! House is partially owned by an estate and is being sold as is.

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Road to Homeownership

The home-buying process is a long and complicated one. Even those who have purchased homes before may need guidance with some of the more convoluted steps. Our staff has boiled the process down as much as possible while still maintaining all the important parts and weren't able to get the total number of steps under 20!

The below graphic, "The Road to Homeownership," is designed to make the home-buying process easier for aspiring homeowners to understand. A more complete walk-through of the home-buying process can be found below the graphic.

The Road To Homeownership

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FRISCO APPROVES RESIDENTIAL HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION OF 7.5%

Frisco TX Homes for Sale

Frisco homeowners will soon get a break on their property tax bill in the form of a ‘homestead exemption’ beginning in fiscal year 2018.  
 
Tonight, the Frisco City Council unanimously voted to adopt a 7.5% residential homestead exemption.
 
The exemption translates to an average savings of $143.00 on a future property tax bill based on a .45 cent property tax rate and Frisco’s average home value, which was $391,923 in fiscal year 2017.  Preliminary appraisal projections show Frisco’s average home value will increase by as much as 9% next year.  Council may vote to raise or lower the exemption annually. 
 
“We’ve heard our residents’ concerns over rising home values and the impact those values are having on home affordability,” said Mayor Jeff Cheney.  “Our city has a history of being fiscally conservative and this is the most effective way to give Frisco homeowners immediate tax relief.”
 
In a memo to council, staff noted the ‘proactive approach’ will not compromise maintenance and operations and maintains adequate reserves. 
 
“It will provide the high level of services residents expect,” noted Jennifer Hundt, Assistant Finance Director.
 
Staff estimates the exemption will affect city revenue by approximately $3.2 million dollars.  Currently, the City of Frisco is in the early stages of its budget process.  
 
Homeowners must have ‘homestead’ status to receive the exemption benefit. To qualify, you must:

  • Own the property on January  1;
  • Occupy property as principal residence on January 1;...

Homes for Sale in Allen, TX - 1437 Lampasas Dr, Allen, TX 75013

Homes for Sale in Allen, TX - 1437 Lampasas Dr, Allen, TX 75013

Homes for Sale in Allen, TX

1437 Lampasas Dr
Allen, TX 75013

When looking at homes for sale in Allen, TX or evaluating Allen real estate, there are, obviously, thousands of things to consider. Let’s look at specifics for 1437 Lampasas Dr, a part of the Twin Creeks subdivision.

Don't miss your opportunity town these amazing homes for sale in Allen, TX in the master planned community of the Twin Creeks. Completely updated gem in the heart of Plano. 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths plus downstairs study with French doors, hardwood floors throughout, spacious updated kitchen with SS appliances and subway tile backsplash, built-in wine fridge, soaring entryway ceilings, double-sided gas fireplace, renovated secondary baths, oversized corner lot with sparkling pool and spa, covered patio and yard to spare

Allen ISD | Homes for Sale in Allen Independent School District

1437 Lampasas Dr is perfectly located in some of the best schools in the Allen Independent School District (Allen ISD) - more specifically Allen High School - are some of the best schools in the state of Texas and also one the football powerhouses. These amazing Homes for Sale in Allen, Texas are rarely rivaled for their academic excellence, but this home in particluar feeds into Evans Elementary, Lowery Middle School, and Allen High School.

The Brent Germany Team specializes in Homes for Sale in Allen,...

Homes for Sale in Frisco, TX - 12176 Terrazzo Ln, Frisco, TX 75035

Homes for Sale in Frisco, TX - 12176 Terrazzo Ln, Frisco, TX 75035

Homes for Sale in Frisco, TX

12176 Terrazzo Ln
Frisco, TX 75035

When looking at homes for sale in Frisco, TX or evaluating Frisco real estate, there are, obviously, thousands of things to consider. Let’s look at specifics for 12176 Terrazzo Ln, a part of the Dominion of Panther Creek subdivision.

Don't miss your opportunity town these amazing homes for sale in Frisco, TX in the master planned community of the Dominion at Panther Creek. This 5 bedroom, 4 bath, 3 car garage home has everything including a new roof and gutters to be installed before closing. This home is perfect for entertaining with it's back patio and kids with it sitting on over a third of an acre with a playset that will stay for your kids. The home has all new, gorgeous hardwoods downstairs, with updated bathrooms, and a remodeled kitchen. Don't forget about the extra game room and media room upstairs. This home comes with tons of privacy, room for a pool, and the community has plenty of amenities for the family.

Frisco ISD | Homes for Sale in Frisco Independent School District

12176 Terrazzo Ln is perfectly located in some of the best schools in the Frisco Independent School District (Frisco ISD) - more specifically Heritage High School - are some of the best schools in the state of Texas. These amazing Homes for Sale in Frisco, Texas are rarely rivaled for their academic excellence, but this home in particluar feeds into Tadlock Elementary, Maus Middle School, and Heritage High School.

The...

Homes for Sale in Plano, TX - 6104 Birkdale Dr. Plano, TX 75093

Homes for Sale in Plano, TX - 6104 Birkdale Dr. Plano, TX 75093

Homes for Sale in Plano, TX

6104 Birkdale Dr.
Plano, TX 75093

When looking at homes for sale in Plano, TX or evaluating Plano real estate, there are, obviously, thousands of things to consider. Let’s look at specifics for 6104 Birkdale Dr., a part of the Heather Glen Estates subdivision.

Absolutely gorgeous one-owner home on quiet cul de sac in the heart of West Plano. Completely updated, top to bottom. Soaring ceiling in main living area, crown moldings, hardwood flooring downstairs, travertine flooring in kitchen, SS appliances, double oven, two-sided fireplace connects two living areas (one open to kitchen), double staircase leads to gameroom and four large bedrooms up, master down, spa shower in master, all ancillary bathrooms updated, beautiful pool with flagstone coping and water feature. Don't miss this one! Plano has to offer amazing parks and some of the best schools in Texas that people looking for houses for sale in Plano or those investigating Plano real estate are interested in.

Plano ISD | Homes for Sale in Plano West Schools

6104 Birkdale Ln is perfectly located in West Plano because the Plano Independent School District (Plano ISD) - more specifically Plano West - are some of the best schools in the state of Texas. These amazing Homes for Sale in Plano, Texas are rarely rivaled for their academic excellence, but this home in particluar feeds into Barksdale Elementary, Renner Middle School, Shepton High School, and Plano West Senior High.

The Brent Germany Team specializes...

Youth Sports in Frisco

Youth Sports in Frisco

It’s time for the kids.

The Brent Germany Team is often asked by people looking to buy a home in Frisco, TX or investigating Frisco real estate options about sports and recreational opportunities in and around town, not for mom and dad but for the kids.

And if there is one thing Frisco loves — heck, the whole North Texas area — it’s sports . . . the professional teams, leagues and fitness for mom and dad, and youth sports for the kiddos.

As you’d imagine, there’s pretty much every youth sport played in Frisco — from the majors like football, baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, and hockey to the minors like swimming, wrestling, volleyball and martial arts.

In this post we help parents looking to buy a new house in Frisco or are contemplating real estate in Frisco with a basic understanding of the youth sports scene in town.

Facilities

The local schools, of course, offer a full range of boys and girls sports. The focus of this post, however, is on what else is out there for the kids to join. Frisco, you see, is home to some of the best youth  sports facilities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which attracts not only residents but families throughout the Metroplex.

Here’s one other thing to know about youth sports in North Texas:

Athletics are so incredibly competitive for kids in the area that if Bobby or Susie have aspirations to move from the youth ranks into high school athletics and beyond, they pretty much have to play year around in summer leagues, on select teams, and (often) with additional coaching and instruction.

There is plenty of these opportunities in Frisco:

FieldHouseUSA...

Recreational Athletics in Frisco

Recreational Athletics in Frisco

As amazing access as Frisco, TX residents have to professional sports in the Dallas area, they also have tremendous pickings for adult recreational and kids sports in town, which is of interest to those looking to buy a new home in Frisco or simply investigating Frisco real estate opportunities.

The Brent Germany Team is often asked about adult recreational and kids sports opportunities in Frisco — residents sure do love their games — so we’ve assembled a list of what’s out there for weekend warriors and their baseball-playing, soccer-playing, swimming, Tae Kwon Do-kicking kids.

This post focuses on the adults.

Adult Athletic Leagues

These are available through the Frisco parks and recreation department. There are other league opportunities available through clubs or membership businesses.

Softball

Softball leagues are offered three times a year — spring (late February to mid-May), summer (late May to mid-June), and fall (late August to early November.

The whole North Texas area is full of softball-playing fanatics and every bedroom community has softball fields and leagues. Some even boast huge softball/youth baseball complexes.

Flag Football

Flag football, that sport you used to play in grade school, is offered in the spring (late February to mid-May) and fall (late August to early November.

Kickball

Not to be confused with dodgeball, kickball is another sport you may have played in grade school. It even shows up as a recreational sport played at companies in the DFW area because it involves men and women playing the same game. Kickball is offered in the spring (late February to mid-May), summer (late May to mid-August), and fall (late August to...