dallas homes: Dallas Area Property Valuations Going out - 04/07/08 07:02 AM
Please keep an eye out for your new Property Tax valuations in the mail.  They'll be going out the week of May 5.  It's very important to look at this document and make sure there are no problems.  I am currently working with some home owners who just found out that they've been assessed with a pool, and they don't have a pool.  They've been in the house for 30 years, and who knows when the pool was added to the documents, but even if it's $10k high because of this error, that's a lot over 30 years.
Dallas County will only … (0 comments)

dallas homes: Why You Shouldn't OverPrice to Sell - 07/19/07 07:54 AM
Many sellers like to test the market. When doing this, they overprice their properties in the hopes that an unsuspecting buyer won't look at the neighborhood history and just offer the full asking price. Here is an example:There is a property in Rowlett, TX. I interviewed for the listing back in March 2006. At the appointment, we discussed many updates to the house that would need to be done in order to warrant top dollar. I told them that if they updated the kitchen, removed the wall paper, a few other things, along with allowing me to stage the property, a … (31 comments)

dallas homes: Another Staging Success - 06/26/07 04:52 AM
Here are some wonderful before and after pictures for a new listing in Garland, TX.
In the Dining area, there is a sitting window, however, you cannot even see it.  Many people love sitting windows because you can put a padded top on it and use it for reading or as part of your kitchen table.  So, I had the sellers remove 2 of the chairs to open up the space more, and now you can see the sitting area when you walk in.  They were also using the Dining area as a holding place for toys, and those were put … (9 comments)

dallas homes: 225 W Amberway Ln, Garland TX 75040 - 06/25/07 10:03 AM

What a FABULOUS house! 4 Beds, 2 Full Baths, 2 Car Garage, and a Diving POOL!!  All for ONLY $143,000!!
Ready to Dive into your new POOL!? The Pool was just resurfaced and new tile installed. Being an Interior Corner lot, it still leaves room for a HUGE yard for entertainment (kids and/or pets) and pavestone patio. Many updates throughout the house include: Frieze carpet, fresh paint, windows, front door, water heater, laminate wood, tile in baths, some fixtures, kitchen appliances, and much more. The 4th bedroom would make a great study. The oversized Family Room has a brick, wood burning fireplace. Sprinklers, gutters, … (5 comments)

dallas homes: House Didn't Appraise - 06/13/07 08:16 AM
I've been laughing for a few days about this, so I thought I would blog about it... Granted, the Dallas market does not follow the norm of the "Nationwide" market that the news is always talking about. We never had a bubble and prices have been fairly steady for the past few years, and almost flat the last couple of years.
With that said, one of my husband's co-workers bought a house last year for $184k.  Just over a year later, he decides he wants to buy a house with his new Realtor girlfriend so they list his house for sale.  His … (31 comments)

dallas homes: Mesquite Home Now Staged and Ready! - 05/21/07 09:22 AM
Here are some before and after pictures of my new listing in Mesquite, TX.  With Five kids, it took a couple of extra days to get everything ready, but I'm so glad we waited until today to list it so that extra time was used.
Look what a little decluttering can do.  We removed all personal items, and opened up a lot of wall space to show the room sizes better.  And even cleaning off the fridge can make a huge difference!!
All this can be yours for ONLY $159,900!!  Are you packed yet??!!

dallas homes: 807 Via Sonoma Mesquite, TX 75150 - 05/21/07 09:05 AM
Great house and versatile floorplan. 4 bedrooms plus a study and two and a half baths.  2 Dining areas. 1 or 2 Living areas, depending on how you do the floorplan.  The Current Formal Dining can be 2nd Living area & the Study can be the Formal Dining, right off the Kitchen. The 4th bedroom is downstairs and would make a great hobby or workout room. Many updates including: frieze carpet, pergo floors, interior decor paint, front door, some windows, Kitchen cabinets & appliances, light fixtures, master bath, sprinklers, gutters, & new cable wiring. The backyard is great with an oversized aggregate patio. The house … (2 comments)

dallas homes: Dallas and Collin County Tax Appraisals are Out - 05/07/07 09:45 AM
Ok, I hope you've checked your mail!  Tax Assessments for 2007 have gone out.  You have until May 31, 2007 to dispute your values.  I have already received several emails from people asking about their values.
Also, if you do go to the Appraisal Review Board and you don't like their answer, you can file binding arbitration at the state's website.  I am a certified arbitrator for property values for the state of Texas, and I'm looking forward to helping more people get the right value for their properties.
Please don't hesitate to email or call me if I can help you with … (0 comments)

dallas homes: Smart Yearly Home Maintenance - 04/23/07 07:05 AM
Once a year, it's a good idea to give your home a checkup. Finding problems or potential problems in their early stages usually gives you the best chance to make repairs more easily and less expensively than if problems are allowed to worsen over time.
The kinds of things you'll want to monitor in your home include:
* Gutters and downspouts: Inspect for leaf and debris buildup that can cause overflow problems.* Paint: Make sure painted surfaces aren't peeling or cracked, exposing wood to weather damage.* Windows: Check the weatherproofing and caulking and replace cracked panes.* Roof: Inspect tiles or shingles and … (2 comments)

dallas homes: Preparing your House for Sale - 04/23/07 07:03 AM
To prepare your home for sale, you may need to perform some maintenance to get it into top shape. Here is a list of things you can do before your home goes on the market that will really make a difference:
* Replace cracked windows and torn screens.* Fix or replace broken stairs or handrails.* Fix plumbing fixtures, leaking faucets, and so on.* Replace exterior lock sets and garage door openers if damaged.* Repair worn or damaged flooring.* Replace broken or leaking gutters and downspouts.* Remove any soil or landscape mulch from contact with wood.* Clean, repair, or replace the roof.* Repair … (2 comments)

dallas homes: Various Listings in and Around Dallas - 03/21/07 01:12 PM

This is a great new feature that I have and I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss the marketing of your home in further detail.  Remember, I work all of North Dallas County and Collin County including Richardson, Plano, Allen, Frisco, Carrollton, Garland, Rowlett, McKinney, etc... my car will take us anywhere you need to go!! 

dallas homes: 10554 Cox Ln, Dallas TX 75229 - 03/19/07 06:05 AM
What a fabulous house!!  This house is in sound mechanical & structual condition, but you'll need to bring your decorating & updating ideas with you to make it your home. We'll even give you $5k to start with! There are 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 2 car garage, and backs to Creek for privacy!  The master and one bedroom are downstairs.
Features include: newer appliances & corian counters, elevated nook with bay window and view of Mature Trees and Creek, Sautillo & tile floors, wood paneling in the Living room with a floor to ceiling brick WBFP, Balcony off the GameRoom with … (7 comments)

dallas homes: What's Hot and What's Not - 03/01/07 06:43 AM
I got my new REALTOR® Magazine today, and I've just started thumbing through it.  I landed on a chart of "What's Hot" and "What's Not" for current trends.  On the list, there were some no-brainers like the fact that people are liking Earth tones instead of the cold, modern look.  Multiple photos within the listing are hot instead of just one picture, DUH!
Here a few that surprised me.  I've read several places that Bamboo flooring was just a phase and that they don't hold up as well as once thought, but the research is saying they're hot. 
Another thing on the list is … (10 comments)

dallas homes: Dallas Real Estate- Price is Key - 02/19/07 11:53 PM
According to a recent report, nearly 82% of potential buyers use the Internet to refine their home search. Broker Web sites let buyers browse by house size, style, area, and price.Because many buyers look only at those homes within their price range, it's important to accurately price your home for the market. The higher a home's price above market, the fewer the number of interested buyers, and the longer it will take to sell.The key to selling your home quickly at the greatest return is to price it at market value right from the start. A fairly priced home will capitalize … (0 comments)

dallas homes: Dallas Texas- Changes to the MLS Rules - 02/12/07 06:00 AM
As of November 2006, many changes were made to the NTREIS (North Texas Real Estate Information System).  I'm only mentioning this now because the changes don't actually go into effect for another couple of weeks, March 1, 2007.  Some of the changes were good ones, while others weren't.  Here are a couple of examples:
One of the good changes is that when the status of a listing changes, the agents now have only 3 days to update the MLS. The previous rule was 5 days.  You would think 5 days was enough time to change the status, but there are so many … (21 comments)

dallas homes: Dallas - Lowest Average Credit Score - 08/24/06 01:35 AM
The Dallas market, on average, has the LOWEST credit score across the country at 650.  Houston is second with 652.  The average across the country is 678.  The average for Dallas used to be 635 a few years ago so we've definetly improved since then... but maybe it's because of all the relocation coming into the area with their good credit.
Minneapolis and Boston are #1 and 2 with 705 and 704 respectfully.  Then, DC takes the #3 spot with a sizable jump down to 691.
I think being ranked the lowest is an important factor in our appreciation levels, or lack there … (1 comments)

dallas homes: Dallas Real Estate- New, Elite Neighborhood Starts at $4M - 08/22/06 04:37 AM
The property at the corner of very busy Royal and Inwood was finally settled.  It will be turned into a very Elite Neighborhood called the Creeks of Preston Hollow.  Perot's company, Hillwood Residential will be working the deal.
They are anticipating building 17 properties within this 22 acre area.  Some will be spec homes and others will be custom.  Lot prices alone will range from $1.5- 3.5M and the homes themselves will range from $4-12M.
So, if you're going to spend anywhere near $4M, wouldn't you want the entire house to be custom?  I can't believe they would build a spec in this … (1 comments)

dallas homes: Not "Allowing" a Buyer to Buy - 08/21/06 11:59 AM
I met with my old neighbors today as they are relocating to North Carolina and they saw my sign across the street which made them remember to call me!  I actually met with the husband last week to go over everything and he was to translate to his wife since she couldn't make our appt and there wasn't a good time last week for her.
Well, I was at my listing across the street switching out the lockbox since we got new infrared lockboxes.  I noticed both cars and a handy man's truck were all across the street.  I decide to go … (1 comments)

dallas homes: Dallas Real Estate - HouseValues' Agent of the Month - 08/17/06 08:01 AM
WOW, what a surprise.  I was nominated as the HouseValues' agent of the month for the second time.  Last year, July 2005, I was called with a warning about the announcement.  Today, I found out as I was checking my emails and going to the HV forum and saw a post congratulating me.  I'm like, what?  No way!
I can't believe no one let the cat out of the bag.  I even spoke with someone at HV for over 45 minutes yesterday, and not a peep out of him.  I guess I know who can keep a secret!
Last year, getting the HV … (4 comments)

dallas homes: 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)

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

Donna Harris

Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Austin, TX

More about me…

Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com

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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