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Well, another good challenge comes to an end. I published 41 entries (42 with this one), had 4 Featured, attended RainCamp in Dallas, and had lots of fun! While the 3000 points are cool, the best part is always being consistant in your blogging efforts. It's like running a marathon, you have to keep up the pace over the long-haul.
I did an interview with Bonnie Petrie on KRLD Radio last week. It was an interesting conversation. She wanted to talk about the shift away from flipping homes to buying homes to use as income producing investments. We’ve been talking about this shift for the past several years yet the emphasis has remained on flipping houses. Why the shift? The primary reason is the lack of “easy” money that once fueled the flipping engine. Investors were able to purchase properties, rehab them, and then get them back on the market. Buyers were able to take advantage of the “easy” money, (4 comments)
I was out showing homes yesterday afternoon. As we walked the outside of the home, I noted a trail of larger ants on the white stone wall. They were blazing a trail from the ground into the house where the stone transitions to siding. Bad news! While I’m not a specialist, I’m almost certain these are carpenter ants. Homeowners need to watch their foundations and the exterior walls of their homes. Trees and shrubs should not be allowed to touch the home as these give insects an easy and hard-to-detect path into the home. According to Texas A&M: Carpenter ants (7 comments)
As a retired combat veteran, Memorial Day holds a special meaning to me. I've lost friends who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our way of life. While the memory of the personal loss fades with time, the ideals that they believed in have grown stronger. Seeing the flag raised and hearing the National Anthem played still brings tears to my eyes. I'm beginning to think that only those who have served her and accepted the unlimited liability clause can love her and see her the way we do. Ronald Reagan may have captured it best in his farewell address to the (18 comments)
Ridgeview Ranch Splash Day 2011 - 05/29/11 07:22 AM
For the fourth year, Gina and I sponsored the Ridgeview Ranch Splash Day. Hosted at the Bellerive Pool, the annual event was attended by over 200 homeowners and their families. In addition to food and drinks, there was a huge waterslide, a DJ, games, and lots of prizes. Splash Day is one of many social activities hosted by the Ridgeview Ranch Homeowners Association. Located in North Plano, Ridgeview Ranch offers golf course living in four distinct sections. About Ridgeview Ranch in Plano, TX Ridgeview Ranch Homes For Sale Golf Course Homes For Sale
Handing over the keys is one of the best parts of working with home buyers. It's the culmination of weeks or months of work. Friday evening Gina handed the keys to a new home to her clients after a celebratory dinner at The Outback in Frisco, TX. Larry and Theresa purchased a nice home in Frisco's Saddlebrook Village. Part of Lone Star Ranch, Saddlebrook Village is located just west of Teal Parkway and north of Lebanon Road. The location offers easy access to highways, shopping, recreation, and dining in Frisco and North Dallas. See Saddlebrook Village Homes for Sale. See (2 comments)
Texas Expected to Ban Real Estate Transfer Fees - 05/27/11 12:58 PM
This is actually good news for Texas homeowners. It really wasn't just HOAs that were adding fees to the CC&Rs, some sellers figured out how to do it as well. Tom Via MIKE WONG Realtor, GRI (Keller Williams Realty Southwest): The Texas House and Senate have overwhelmingly voted for a bill that would ban private transfer fees on real estate. The new legislation bans new private transfer fees. Developers who have existing fees on properties must file a notice of the obligation in county property records by Jan. 31, 2012, and update it every three years, or the transfer fee is void. Homeowner and property owner (1 comments)
An You Do The Hokey-Pokey and Turn Yourself Around… - 05/27/11 12:02 AM
Gina and I were in the office early this morning. I had attended RainCamp in Dallas and was playing catch-up after hanging out with all the folks who came to Dallas for the event. I was finishing my second cup of coffee and Gina was on the phone trying to track down agents to schedule showings. I heard her repeating the following as she wrote it down on the MLS sheet: "Appointment Required. 2 Hour Notice, 1 Hour Window. Dogs in back yard. Leave little one alone. May throw 3 treats from jar to pacify barking dogs." Gina looked over and (10 comments)
I was speaking with another broker this morning. He knows I'm not only a Texas Real Estate Broker but a licensed Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) as well. He was telling me about a transaction that was going south quickly. One of his agents has a listed property under contract. The buyer's agent provided a pre-approval letter from a local lender. The sellers have a new home under contract. Inspections have been completed, repairs negotiated, and the appraisal is done. The only contingency is the sale of the seller's current home. His agent follows up and the buyer's agent related that (4 comments)
Dallas RainCamp Night-Before Dinner - 05/24/11 12:52 AM
The Dallas RainCamp crowd began to arrive this afternoon. About 18 of us gathered for dinner and face-time at PapaDeaux in Dallas.
Phone calls were made to the missing action (Bob was stuck in Tulsa) and a good time was had by all.
I had to laugh at inflation. On the original menu a Filet Mignon was 45 cents. I paid $29 for one this evening! Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow...
It’s Raining, It’s Pouring… - 05/21/11 11:23 AM
...The old broker is showing! Yesterday morning the skies in North Texas turned black and water fell from the sky at an alarming rate. I had scheduled a bunch of showings for a client relocating to the area. She was just getting out of the service and had accepted a position at a local hospital. She had flown in the night before and I called her as soon as the skies opened up to see if she wanted to reschedule for Saturday. She told me she had a return flight home on Saturday morning as her spouse (who is still in the service) was getting (7 comments)
I was out showing homes the other day to some out of state buyers. As they looked at homes, they would spot some hairline cracks in the sheetrock of some of the homes. They were concerned about potential foundation issues. Welcome to Texas! North Texas is notorious for expansive clay soil. Why is this important? The foundations of our homes are built on top of this soil and this causes the foundations to move with changes in the water content of the soil. When the foundation moves, hairline cracks can appear in the sheetrock. The key to minimizing the movement (5 comments)
Golf Course Homes in Collin County Texas - 05/19/11 07:56 AM
When I retired from the Air Force, I relocated to the Dallas area. As I began my search for a place to live, I was amazed at the number of golf courses in the area. I eventually settled on the north Dallas suburbs in Collin County. Collin County includes the cities of Plano, Richardson, Allen, Fairview, Lucas, McKinney, and Frisco. While I don’t golf, the idea of living on the course is appealing for a number of reasons. Living in the suburbs usually means subdivisions with homes on smaller lots. I really don’t want to have to look into my neighbor’s (1 comments)
Like the Dallas Mavericks over the LA Lakers, The Branch Team swept all office awards for April 2011 including Top Listings, Top Closings, and Top Closed Volume. A First Place sweep in all three categories sweep is very rare. The Branch Team is part of RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs, the #1 RE/MAX® office in the Dallas Area. The office swept all 2010 Production Awards and was ranked #14 (ranked by number of closed sales) in all of North Texas by The Dallas Business Journal. Want to work with a team with a proven track record of success? Contact The Branch Team. (3 comments)
I dropped by The Preserve in Allen yesterday to see how things are progressing. I went around the backside and got a good look at the construction of the main lake. The original lake has been drained (you can still see the old dock) and the heavy equipment is reshaping it to fit the new development plan. Once completed, the dam will be built on the east end and it can be filled. Gina spoke to the builder last week and they are still progressing on-schedule for November presales and initial move-ins in early 2012. We will post more information (3 comments)
I received an email today from a past client. She has a window that has water in it and wanted to know what to do. A little background is helpful. Modern windows are actually two panes of glass separated by a thin layer of open space. This space is filled with an inert gas. Eventually the seals breakdown allowing the gas to escape. Once that happens, the outside air replaces the inert gas. If there is moisture in the air, it can form condensation in between the panes of glass. The result? You have water in your window. I've seen (4 comments)
Wildlife Surrounds Us in Ridgeview Ranch - 05/13/11 08:34 AM
The amount of wildlife in Ridgeview Ranch never ceases to amaze me. I guess it’s the benefit of living adjacent to the golf course. Rabbits are abundant and we even see coyotes several times a year. Ridgeview Ranch is a master planned golf course development of about 885 homes located in the heart of north Plano. The community consists of four distinct communities – The Villages at Ridgeview Ranch, The Estates of Ridgeview Ranch, The Manors at Ridgeview Ranch, and Ridgeview Ranch West. Community amenities include two pools, a fitness center, playgrounds, parks, and the Ridgeview Ranch Golf Course. See all (3 comments)
Lake Homes in North Texas - 05/12/11 12:04 AM
I don’t know what it is about lake-front properties in Texas. Perhaps it’s because it can be hot and dry in the summer or maybe we simply like the idea of seeing water and the trees that usually call the area around our lakes home. Water-front homes run from $30k for a small one bedroom cabin on a remote lake to several million dollars for a mansion on a large body of water close to one of the major cities. There is truly something for everyone. See all water-front homes in the Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex. See all lake homes (5 comments)
The Collin County Association of REALTORS® will host "Summer Fest" on July 15th from 5 PM to 8 PM in the association ballroom located at 6821 Coit Road, Plano, TX. Tickets are on sale for $25 and the total amount will be donated to the Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee in your name. The theme for the evening is "Beers from Around the World." Each ticket includes a specially engraved beer mug, food, beer, drawings for fabulous prixes, a silent auction, and lots of fun! We're still looking for advertisers. To purchase a ticket or become an advertiser, contact Diane (5 comments)
Service Provider Spotlight - Carrillo’s Lawn Service - 05/10/11 04:41 PM
I was out chatting with Jose Carrillo the other evening while his crew was working on my lawn and landscaping. I realized that he has been handling the care of my lawn and yard for 14 years! It’s hard to believe some times. Jose is a rarity in today’s world of service providers. He provides first-rate service and always over-delivers on the work completed. Need a great lawn care company? Call Jose Carrillo at 214-566-8597!
Allen Wranglers Indoor Football League - 05/08/11 12:27 AM
Gina and I had the pleasure of watching the Allen Wranglers beat Nebraska from a suite in the Allen Events Center. Many thanks to Joe Boggs with Integrity First Home Loans for the invitation and hospitaility! The Allen Events Center is located in the southeast corner of Stacey Road and US 75. It seats 6200 people and is home to the Allen Wranglers Football Team and the Allen Americans Ice Hockey Team. The venue has also hosted rodeos and concerts.
Gina and I were driving back from an appointment up north the other evening. We were tired and didn’t feel like cooking. Rather than the same old places, Gina suggested we try Whiskey Cake. Located in Plano, Texas on the west side of the North Dallas Tollway, Whiskey Cake is named after their signature dessert. The have a full-service bar and a wonderful patio area complete with fireplaces and swings.
Their claim to local fame is that almost everything is made from scratch. They even grow their own herbs on-site! Gina had the Mesquite Grill Redfish and I tried (6 comments)
4 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 2-Car Garage | 2140 SF/Tax Little Elm TX Home For Sale - Lender approved short sale at list price. Former model home with extensive front landscaping and large covered porches. Hardwood floors in entry, study, and formal dining. Island kitchen features granite counters and stainless appliances. Kitchen opens to living area with stone corner fire place. Master has dual vanities, garden tub, and walk-in closet. Designer touches include chair rails, crown molding, French doors, and upgraded lighting. Little Elm Texas Home For Sale for Current Pricing, Details, Photos, and Virtual Tour. See all Little (0 comments)
4 Bedrooms | 4 Baths | 3 Car Garage | 3687 SF/Appraiser Plano TX Home For Sale - Lots of natural light welcomes you into this beautiful home. The stunning entry features a dramatic staircase and both formals. Oversized island kitchen opens to family room with soaring ceilings. A special feature is the additional fireplace to enjoy on chilly nights in the second living room. Spacious master retreat has sitting area and master bath has travertine in the separate shower and exquisite Italian marble floors. Fabulous floor plan! Plano Texas Home For Sale for Current Pricing, Details, Photos, and Virtual (0 comments)
CB JENI Homes Offers Presale Incentives in Chase Oaks Village - 05/05/11 09:08 AM
CB JENI Homes is offering presale incentives on their new development in Chase Oaks Village. The new development is located in Plano close to US75 and Spring Creek Parkway. Townhome buyers who execute a contract by June 30th can receive $10,000 in free upgrades and $2,000 in closing cost assistance! The builder is offering three floor plans between 1400 and 1804 square feet in size. The Bridgeport is 1400 square foot, 2 bedroom, 2.1 bathroom townhome with a base price of $148,990. The Callaway is a 1629 square foot 2 bedroom, 2.1 bathroom, loft and game room townhome with a base (0 comments)
Most people see Texas as a desert with cactus and tumbleweeds, like something out of the old west. While there are some areas of the state that fit the stereotype, the state has a variety of terrains and landscapes. Texas has mountains, deserts, piney woods, high plains, and miles of seashores. Dallas is on the edge of the piney woods of east Texas and the high plains of west Texas. Spring in Texas is wonderful. The early spring rains give way to lush green fields of Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrushes, and Buttercups. I was out shooting photos of a new (21 comments)
A Walk On The Wild Side - 05/04/11 08:02 AM
Spring in Texas is wonderful. The early spring rains give way to fields of Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrushes, and Buttercups. I was out shooting photos of a new listing in Wylie, Texas the other afternoon. It's a pretty home located on a huge creek lot and the back of the lot was alive with spring color. I wanted to frame in the home with the wild flowers, so I worked my way down towards the creek.
As I knelt in the grass, I noted tiny grasshoppers, honey bees, and a praying mantis busy working in the flowers. I stopped what I was (12 comments)
4 Bedrooms | 2.1 Baths | 2-Car Garage | 2354 SF/Tax Sold in Anna TX - Clean and well-maintained Ryland home is ready for move-in. Large kitchen with breakfast bar overlooks the living room. Master retreat down has garden tub, separate shower, and walk-in closet. Second living area up can be game room. Grassy back yard with open patio backs to greenbelt. Updates include fixtures, laminate flooring, Frieze carpet, and wood blinds. Enjoy the numerous community amenities - pool, playground, and jogging path. Have a home to sell? Contact us and we can set up a time for a (1 comments)
Hamilton Hills East, Montgomery Farm, Allen, TX - 05/03/11 08:41 AM
We've noticed the sign located on a heavily wooded area in west Allen several times. We recently stopped by and took a few photos of the Cisterna, a working windmill constructed by internationally recognized artist Brad Goldberg. According to the Montgomery Farm website: Bordering Montgomery Farm on the west is the prestigious Hamilton Hills community, featuring exclusive estate lots, majestic trees and homes by carefully selected luxury custom builders. The neighborhood also offers contemporary semi-custom homes on lots defined by heritage trees, dynamic vistas and quiet, interior courtyards. East Hamilton Hills is being developed as a very exclusive, high-end community on (0 comments)
CB JENI Homes has begun to install LP TechShield Radiant Barrier and GreenFiber Insulation in their new construction townhomes at The Enclaves at Willowcrest. LP TechShield Radiant Barrier is the number 1 radiant barrier brand in the country and prevents 97 percent of the sun’s heat from entering in the attic. This reduces attic temperatures by up to 30 degrees in the summer. In winter, it reflects the heat from the house back into the attic. Tests show it can result in a 17 percent savings on energy costs. GreenFiber insulation provider a high R-value per inch. The insulation fills (1 comments)
Plano TX Townhome For Sale 8631 Naomi - 05/01/11 11:37 AM
2 Bedrooms | 2.1 Baths | 1806 SF/Building Plan Plano TX Townhome For Sale - Contract NOW for July move-in! Master and 2nd bdrm are up on this gorgeous 2-bdrm + Loft townhome. Beautiful brick-stone exterior with hand-laid brick porch, and 8ft Knotty Alder front door with speakeasy welcomes you. Kitchen with SS appliances, gas cooktop, Convection Oven, Granite, Maple cabs. Formal dining + breakfast nook. Gas on private patio. 16 SEER HVAC, Radiant Barrier, cocoon insulation, dual-pane, low-E windows. Plano Texas Townhome For Sale for Current Pricing, Details, Photos, and Virtual Tour. See all Plano TX Townhomes For Sale. Visit (0 comments)
It's important to keep an open mind as you read, hear, or otherwise experience ideas that can help you. Try not to judge them or cast them aside too quickly because they don't sound good, they're not part of your personality or make-up, or because you may have heard them before. Instead, consider these courses of action: - If you've heard an idea before, say to yourself, "Yes, I've heard that before, but am I using it? If not, why not?" - If you are currently using the idea, ask yourself, "How effective am I at using it? How can I (11 comments)
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