collin county homes for sale: 952 Lockhart Dr, Plano TX 75023 - 08/17/07 06:09 AM

3 Bedrooms, 2 Full Baths, 2 Car Garage, 2 Living Areas, 2 Dining Areas, and POOL all for under $150k!!CLICK HERE for the Visual Tour.
Great House in Great Area of Plano. POOL with perimeter fence & privacy with 8' Board on Board Fence. Oversized Cov Patio for Entertaining. Many updates: fresh paint, newer carpet, newer tile floors in wet areas, newer dishwasher, new lighting fixtures & fans, new hardware, & much more. Low maintanence pool with a cartridge filter & newer motor. Versatile floorplan with 2nd liv area and formal dining. Floor to ceiling brick fireplace. Must See!!  

collin county homes for sale: Dallas Real Estate - Take Care of Your Foundation - 08/23/06 12:05 PM
In North Texas, we're built on red, clay soil.  The soil expands and contracts as it dries up or gets wet.  As the soils move, it moves the slab.  Small, hairline cracks in the brick and mortar are not much cause to be alarmed.  When the cracks become larger is when you have an issue.  You'll also notice squiggly cracks at the corners of windows and doors.  A big tell is when doors stop to latch when you close them.
Right now, we're on water restrictions.  Most cities can only water on their trash days.  I'm lucky, as my city has two … (2 comments)

collin county homes for sale: Dallas Real Estate - Archive Search - 08/23/06 11:20 AM
Whenever I go on a listing appointment, I pull up an Archive search to see the listing history of the property.  Whenever a buyer wants to write an offer on a property, I again pull up an archive search on the property.  Many times, agents think that if they just relist a house, the listing will refresh itself and gain a lot more activity.
This is true, to an extent.  It'll get more lookers, but when they pull up the history, you better be prepared for questions as to why the house hasn't sold yet.  Last year, I finally cancelled a listing … (0 comments)

collin county homes for sale: Dallas Real Estate- Home Appreciation up 3.2% - 08/15/06 12:20 PM
Dalllas appreciation was up 3.2%.  But, appreciation across the country was 3.7%.  Very close!  I can't believe appreciation has come that much to a halt across the country.  WOW!!  Can you believe that the Dallas home appreciation is actually in line with the rest of the Nation?  When I first started reading the news, I was like, Our Appreciation is on it's way up, yippie!!  For Dallas to be in line with the country, I think this is a first.
Also, Dallas had the lowest appreciation across the state of Texas.  Maybe it's time we rethink the move to Austin again...
Here's more … (0 comments)

collin county homes for sale: Dallas Real Estate - Name Change is Hard to Recognize - 08/13/06 02:50 PM
I got married this past October and ended up hyphenating my name in the MLS so other agents would know who I was when they saw a listing.  I slowly changed the name on my signs to only Harris.  Before I got married, I sold my house so my husband and I could buy a house together.  Two weeks ago, I listed the house of my old neighbor across the street.  The sign says Donna Harris.
Tonight, I get a call from my old neighbor to the right leaving a message like, "Hi, this is Adrian and I think you were my old … (5 comments)

collin county homes for sale: Dallas Real Estate - Appraiser on the Watch List - 08/12/06 01:48 PM
It seems as though I'm not "allowed" to have a smooth transaction.  I posted a few days ago about a situation where the buyer wants to meet the seller for a final walk through before closing.  Boy did this almost blow up this week.
So, the lender had 4 appraisers take a look at the house, and we let the listing agent and her sellers pick the final appaiser.  Even the highest appraisal was $10k below our sales price.  After 3 days of bickering on both sides, the sales price was lowered to the appraised amount and closing costs were reduced.
We put … (5 comments)

collin county homes for sale: Buyers and Sellers go Full Circle - 08/12/06 01:42 PM
I represented these Sellers.  We get to closing 6 days late because the buyer's loan all of a sudden was not in a clear to close mode like we were all told.  That was actually ok, because my sellers were buying a new home and we hadn't received the CO yet, which actually came through around 5 pm on Wednesday.  We kept pushing and pushing for the buyers mortgage people to do their job, but were also pushing for the city to do their job simultaneously...
So, finally on Thursday morning, it's 8:15 and the title company opens early for us so … (0 comments)

collin county homes for sale: Dallas Real Estate - Rain Finally Arrived! - 08/12/06 01:31 PM
The Country had the second hottest July on record, behind 1936.  I think Dallas having one of it's hottest summers ever, but definitely doesn't beat 1980 or 1998.  We've had about 20 days over 100 degrees, and even though people think Dallas is hot, that's actually unusual.
But then, this morning, I woke up to rain!  I hadn't seen rain since the 4th of July weekend!!  It was weird because I wanted it to rain, but then I was telling the rain to go away because I had an appointment in an hour and I didn't want to take the magnets off my … (0 comments)

collin county homes for sale: Dallas Real Estate - Change your Locks after Closing - 08/10/06 10:37 AM
After you close on a house, you need to change your locks.  You don't actually have to change the actual lock as rekeying a lock is much cheaper, but you never know who has copies of the keys.  If the previous owners didn't change their locks, you could have people from years earlier that still have keys.  That's so dangerous!
There have been many times when I've gone to pick up keys for the buyers and the sellers are like, there are only 3 keys there, but I know I had 4 so I'll get that to you when I find it.  … (2 comments)

collin county homes for sale: Dallas Real Estate- High Rises Missing a Floor - 08/10/06 09:45 AM
This is hilarious... did you know that some developers omit the 13th floor of a high rise building??  I had never heard of this before.  There's a new condo conversation going on in Dallas and instead of having a 13th floor for residences, they are putting the pool and workout equipment there to top off the building.
Many builders are afraid that people on the 13th floor would never have the resale value of people on other floors and it would hinder sales completely. What's weird is I know many people where 13 is their lucky number.  My brother's birthday is on … (7 comments)

collin county homes for sale: Dallas Real Estate - Mixed-Use Community - 08/10/06 09:35 AM
It seems as though mixed-use communities are sprouting up all over the place.  The developers have this plan to make suburban areas more like urban areas so people who move to the suburbs reluctantly can still have the city feel.  It's happening all over Dallas and now they're sprouting one in Ft. Worth called Montera.
They're going to start with apartments and build houses and retail from there.  I always get frustrated when I hear they're going to build apartments as part of communities like these.  The communities should be mixed like this for the convenience of home owners who are going … (0 comments)

collin county homes for sale: Dallas Real Estate- July had 10% Drop - 08/09/06 03:53 AM
My seller's are constantly wondering why the showings have slowed down or why there aren't any showings period.  In July, there was a 10% drop in home sales which followed a 5% drop in June. 
We currently have 47,391 listings on the market which is about 8% higher than last year!!  WOW!  My view of that is that our market is basically still holding steady.  At the beginning of the year, there were about 46,000 which is not that large of a change.  I recently heard that the Phoenix market went from about 3400 listings in Jan '05 to about 46,000 … (0 comments)

collin county homes for sale: Dallas Real Estate- Staging - 08/09/06 03:09 AM
I had my first attempt at really helping a seller stage their home this week. Below are some of the before and after pictures. I was unable to utilize the garage for storage, so there is still more furniture in the rooms that I would like, but at least the spaces are shown much better now. What do you think?

collin county homes for sale: Dallas Real Estate- Specific Performance - 08/08/06 12:54 AM
Within an executed contract, the seller has agreed to sell their home, with no way out of the contract.  That's called Specific Performance, as they must perform their end.  However, the buyer has a way out almost every time as you can just claim something about financing.  Or if they default, the earnest money would revert to the seller.  Buyer can always back out, seller cannot.
I'm in a situation right now where we're having appraisal issues, and the seller is wanting to terminate the contract so an appraisal is not stuck on their house, so they can still turn around and … (2 comments)

collin county homes for sale: Dallas Real Estate- Work Picks up as I leave town - 08/06/06 08:27 AM
The big joke is to schedule plans to be out of town at least once a quarter because you'll notice your business will pick up right before you leave.  As I was driving out of town on Friday, I had about 15 minutes before I would lose cell reception, and the listing agent calls me to say all terms have been agreed to except the microwave.  Microwave?  Who cares about the microwave, and my buyer felt the exact same, so the buyer and the listing agent met on Saturday morning to execute the contract.
Another deal I have been working on for over a … (5 comments)

collin county homes for sale: Dallas Real Estate- Commuting to work - 08/04/06 01:24 AM
I just read about a contest going on in the North Texas area about trying to get people to car pool.  They estimated about 3 million people driving to and from work everyday and 9 out of 10 are driving alone.  The contest is at  "Only" 235,512 miles have been saved thus far.
My problem with this is though people care about the environment and people talk about trying to carpool, people don't and won't do this.  People in North Texas have pride in their cars and they want others seeing them driving their cars.  People can't see the prestige if … (0 comments)

collin county homes for sale: Dallas Real Estate- Seller's Closing Costs - 08/03/06 11:37 AM
It amazes me how many sellers think they can just get a contract on their house, show up to closing, and get the amount of the sales price at closing.  Many sellers don't understand that they have their own closing costs, just like a buyer.
Sellers don't just pay a commission to sell their house.  Sellers also have to credit the buyer the taxes on the property from Jan 1 through the day of closing.  When towards the beginning of the year, this number is small.  Towards the end of the year, this number gets bigger and bigger. Also, you will be buying a … (0 comments)

collin county homes for sale: Dallas Real Estate- ASP- Accredited Staging Professional - 08/02/06 12:05 PM
I got my ASP today!  I am now a certified ASP REALTOR®.  The ASP is an Accredited Staging Professional.
Staging is NOT decorating!  Staging is de-personalizing.  Staging is getting a house ready to sell faster and for higher dollar.  A staged home makes all the difference in the world.
For our final exam, we hit a house in Plano and we tore it apart and then put it back together.  It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun!  We had strict rules about not putting any furniture in the garage, so we were basically forced to use everything in the house, … (1 comments)

collin county homes for sale: Yesterday's National Night Out - 08/02/06 12:10 AM
National Night Out was fun in my neighborhood.  There was a live band, a jump house, and some other air blown slide thing for the kids.  I definitely think we had enough people to keep you Crime Watch signs up for another year.  You have to have something like 40% of the neighborhood show up and sign in for that recognition.
The police stopped by and talked with the kids.  Even the firemen stopped by with their firetruck so the kids could climb up and into the truck.
We collected  alot of canned goods as well.
The hit of the party was my "Donna … (0 comments)

collin county homes for sale: Big Dallas Business Cutting Jobs- EDS - 08/01/06 12:03 PM
Plano based EDS announced that they will be cutting anywhere from 3000-4000 jobs, globally, in the second half of the year.  IKES!!  Collin County is already seeing high foreclosure rates and this does not look good.  I imagine many of those people will have problems finding comparable jobs and then I get the calls from friends asking me to help their friends/ co-workers through a short sale...
I say, reduce the salary of many of the executives at most corportate companies, and layoffs would not be necesary in that type of abundance.  Execs typically make such gross numbers, it's disgusting.  Share the wealth!

Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - Rainmaker large

Donna Harris

Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Austin, TX

More about me…

Donna Homes, powered by JPAR -

Address: 5113 Southwest Pkwy #140, Austin, TX, 78735

Office: (512) 592-7127

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This blog is to help educate Buyers, Sellers and even other Realtors across the country.  Each market is different and the way Real Estate is done is different.  Austin Real Estate is completely different than Dallas, California and Florida and everywhere else in between.  Some times there will be other things besides real estate as I like to rant and rave as much as the next!!  Come back often! Tweets by @donnahomes




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