There’s No Place Like Home

There’s No Place Like Home | Keeping Current Matters
Last week, I reported on the financial reasons purchasing a home in today’s market makes sense. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University performs a study every year surveying participants for the reasons that American’s feel are most important in regards to homeownership.
The top 4 reasons to own a home cited by respondents were not financial.

1. It means having a good place to raise children & provide them with a good education

From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchasing their home, may have this in the back of their mind as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase.

2. You have a physical structure where you & your family feel safe

It is no surprise that having a place to call home with all that means in comfort and security is the #2 reason.

3. It allows you to have more space for your family

Whether your family is expanding, or an older family member is moving in, having a home that fits your needs is a close third on the list.

4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space, like renovations and updates

Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Want to finally adopt that puppy or kitten you’ve seen online 100 times? Who’s to say that you can’t in your own home?
The 5th reason on the list, is the #1 financial reason to buy a home as seen by respondents:

5. Owning a home is a good way to build up wealth that can be passed along to my family

Either way you are paying a mortgage. Why not lock in your housing expense now with an investment that will build equity that you can borrow against in the future?

Bottom Line

Whether you are a first time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in their life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a home.
“There’s No Place Like Home.” Keeping Current Matters. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.

Searching for My Home: Where Do I Live? Part One

When new potential homebuyers or homeowners for the matter are searching for their home, it is sometimes a task to choose where to live in the metroplex. The metroplex (which would soon be just the megaplex in a few years) is so big with many areas to fit your lifestyle, budget, and career place.

One of the first questions that I ask during my buyer’s consultation is where do you want to live and why? Most people choose to live closer to their jobs. The way traffic is setup in the metroplex that may be a smart thing but not always the best case. Some people want to live closer to areas that are similar to their lifestyle. Examples could be a place that has nearby trails, parks, malls, restaurants, and etc. Some buyers have a desire to live in one area because they are currently renting in that area. What happens when your pre-approval doesn’t match what’s available in that market?

So the big question is what areas of the metroplex would you choose to live in? This blog is not to tell you why one area is the best but bring you to the forefront of what areas are in the metroplex. It will also scope out where the area lies. I usually have people say, “Andrea, I do not want to live here and here because of such and such.” My reply is every city has their good and bads. You are buying a home in a neighborhood. Let’s repeat that: You are buying a home in a neighborhood. If your home is in a great neighborhood, in your price range, and livable for your family, and meets your other requirements, would you not choose to live there?

So let’s take a look at some of the Dallas suburbs to the East and Northeast.

Mesquite is a city and an eastern suburb of Dallas, Texas. Most of the city is located in Dallas County with a smaller portion in the east overlapping into Kaufman County. 

 Homes in Mesquite
Mesquite Homes for Sale

Garland enjoys a rich history that has shaped it into the thriving metropolitan-area city that offers its residents and businesses a high quality of life, excellent educational and workforce development opportunities, and is enhanced by community leadership and partners. Garland is proud of its affordable and business-friendly climate. One area of Garland that I rave on for its beauty is the Firewheel area. It is home to the Firewheel Golf Course and the Firewheel Mall which is similar to any other “shops” in the metroplex. 

Garland Homes for Sale


Rockwall was founded in 1854 and is the County Seat of Rockwall County. Rockwall is approximately 22 miles east of downtown Dallas on Interstate 30 with a population of over 40,000. Did I mention that this town has an area for premier commercial, entertainment and recreation spot on the hillside of beautiful Lake Ray Hubbard?

Rockwall Homes for Sale

Rowlett is home to approximately 55,000 residents and is nestled on the shores of Lake Ray Hubbard in far east Dallas County and a portion of west Rockwall County. 

Rowlett has more than 30 miles of shoreline on the lake, making it one of the most beautiful places to live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. 

Rowlett Homes for Sale

The city of Sachse is located 20 miles northeast of Downtown Dallas with a population of approximately 20,000. 

Sachse Homes for Sale

In the 21st Century, Wylie has become one of the fastest-growing communities in Collin County, DFW Metroplex and the state of Texas. With this growth, the city has made a transition from “bedroom” community to a “balanced” community combining quality residential living with a healthy business climate. It is located near Lake Lavon and Lake Ray Hubbard. 

Wylie Homes for Sale

Murphy is a small, quality community with a history that goes back to the early 1900s. The city is located in southeastern Collin County, on the outer fringe of the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex. Situated midway between Plano and Wylie on FM 544, Murphy is 2 miles south of the famous South Fork Ranch. Additionally, it shares borders with the cities of Plano, Richardson, Wylie, Sachse, Garland, and Parker and is approximately 20 miles from downtown Dallas and about 30 miles from the Dallas / Fort Worth Airport.  Murphy is 6 miles east of Highway 75 in Plano and just under 5 miles north of the President George Bush Tollway in Richardson.

In late 2002 was about 6,500 and continued to grow to around 10,000 in 2006. With the recent announcement of the 2010 census numbers, Murphy shows to be at an approximate population of 17,000 with an estimated build out of approximately 20,000.

Murphy Homes for Sale

“Welcome to an Engaged Community.” Community. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

The Town of Sunnyvale is located about 15 miles east of downtown Dallas. A part of the thriving Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, this small, upscale community in eastern Dallas County retains a personality and flavor all its own.

Sunnyvale shares borders to the north and west with the larger suburbs of Mesquite and Garland, where shopping, fine dining and entertainment are only minutes away. At the same time, the town is also bordered by the peaceful waters of Lake Ray Hubbard and the sprawling, rural expanse of Kaufman County.

Sunnyvale is situated to truly benefit from the “best of both worlds.”

Sunnyvale Homes for Sale
“Welcome to an Engaged Community.” Town of Sunnyvale, TX. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

Forney is a rural town outside of Dallas that promotes another small town living that residents like to enjoy. Homes in this area could qualify for 100% financing with the USDA loan. 
Forney Homes for Sale
Parker’s population has increased to over 3,500 people. The town boasts about its spacious lots for home which is uncommon to its neighboring cities. This country feel of a town retains its beauty and atmosphere with close-by city conveniences such as malls and highly desired Plano and Allen schools. Parker is also home to the infamous Southfork Ranch which was made famous by the television series, Dallas. 
Richardson is one of the most conveniently located communities in the Metroplex, with access to points in all directions via both major roadways and the DART rail system. 

The north and southbound Central Expressway (US75), the main artery of the City of Dallas, transverses the City. Interstate 635, also called LBJ Freeway, is to its immediate south and the Bush Turnpike spans the northern border of the City, giving Richardson residents easy access to points east and west. Richardson hosts four DART light rail stations: at Spring Valley, Arapaho, Galatyn Park and Bush Turnpike. 

Though an inner ring suburb, Richardson continues to be a vibrant community, kept current by the Richardson City Council’s emphasis on economic development and neighborhood integrity. 
Richardson Homes for Sale
“Historical Setting of Richardson.” City of Richardson, TX : City History. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

Does Homeownership Make Sense Financially?

Does Homeownership Make Financial Sense? | Keeping Current Matters
Everyone knows the social advantages of home ownership. However, some question the financial benefits of owning a home. Three recent studies shed some light on the issue.
RealtyTrac recently released a report comparing home price appreciation to wage growth over the last two years. The study revealed that home price appreciation has outpaced wage growth in 76% of U.S. housing markets during that time period. By how much? Here is a graph showing their findings:
Home Prices vs. Wages | Keeping Current Matters
And we all know the importance of home appreciation in determining the net wealth of most American families. Merrill Lynch just issued a report covering the issue. Their findings are shown here:
Average Home Equity | Keeping Current Matters
It obviously makes financial sense to be a homeowner.

But, does it make sense to buy now?

The survey company Pulsenomics just issued their findings on the cost of owning versus the cost of renting. They compared historical averages to the cost you can expect to pay today.
Buying vs. Renting | Keeping Current Matters

The cost of buying is far below historical averages. Renting is another story.

“Does Homeownership Make Sense Financially?” Keeping Current Matters. N.p., 16 Apr. 2015. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.


In the latest addition to the CROWNED series, we have the Avalos family. They have been in the metroplex for a year and was ready to settle down to purchase their first home here. They were a pleasure and one thing that I will miss is viewing home with the most adorable 3 year old in the world, Mac.

Congratulations on your new home and the new baby set to come soon. I hope your family grows with love in your home in Keller.

#CrownedHomeowners in #KellerTX

Check out the recommendation:

Are you ready to be crowned the next queen/king of your castle? Start today by contacting me at or 972-813-9788.

Is Getting a Mortgage Getting Easier?

Is Getting a Mortgage Getting Easier? | Keeping Current Matters
There has been a lot of discussion about how difficult it is to get a home mortgage in this market. There is no doubt that the process is not as easy as it was eight to ten years ago and that’s probably good news. However, it does appear that availability to mortgage money is increasing with each passing day.
The Mortgage Bankers’ Association publishes the Mortgage Credit Availability Index(MCAI). According to their site the index is “a summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time”. As we can see from the graph below, mortgage availability has been increasing dramatically over the last six months.
Mortgage Availability | Keeping Current Matters
Accompanying the latest index was this comment from Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Chief Economist:
“A number of factors contributed to a loosening of credit in March: Freddie Mac’s introduction of their 97 LTV program (Fannie Mae’s was implemented in December) [and the] additional loosening of parameters on jumbo loan programs… Although credit remains tight by historical standards, this increase in availability, coupled with low rates and job market strength, should lead to stronger home purchase activity this spring.”

Bottom Line

If you have remained on the sidelines regarding homeownership because you were concerned about your ability to qualify for a mortgage, it may be time to get into the game.
“Is Getting a Mortgage Getting Easier?” Keeping Current Matters. N.p., 09 Apr. 2015. Web. 09 Apr. 2015.

Recap of Easter Weekend

This weekend the parentals came into town. I thought it would be cool to bring them to some places that I like in North Texas while checking out something new to all of us. I took them to one of my favorite BBQ spots (yep, you guessed it), Rudy’s BBQ. My stepdad was amazed and in love with his jumbo loaded brisket potato (I’m sure that isn’t how it is described on the menu but that’s how I order it). Meanwhile my mom kept it simple with ribs.

So before I venture out to our next journey during Easter weekend, I will first let you know about my parents. They are old-school Southern parents who stick to the norm. They don’t venture out of their comfort zone and it has been that way for 50+ years. Their off the wall daughter is tempting to change that before 60. So I knew I had to ask them to spend the day with me to get them to go to my next venture and I also had to pay.

So Rudy’s was the first stop. Then as we left I proceeded to tell them that I needed some flowers to brighten my living room space and I needed them fresh. So in the midst of that explanation, we drive up the highway to Pilot Point, Texas to Texas Tulips. They were amazed at the rows of tulips that we could hand pick to fill our homes. I want to thank Fox 4 News for the advertising the weekend event because I NEVER knew there was such a thing in North Texas.

I would say the first step of helping my parents try something new was a success at the tulip farm.

The next step was Easter Dinner. My parents know that I love to eat out (only because I don’t have time to clean the dishes). In their head it was because I am the millenial who doesn’t know how to cook and without a family why would I (their thoughts not mine)? So I decided to cook Easter dinner and try some healthier versions of soul food. I whipped up some dishes from my favorite cooking blogger, Divas Can Cook (because they most definitely can). I made vegetarian collard greens, Southern creamed corn, hot water corn bread, my infamous broccoli cheese casserole, and lemon hot salt chicken. They were amazed although they felt my greens were too spicy. My stepdad even mentioned that now he knows I am an adult. LOL 
Easter was fun and a great way to ease down the Texas highway to new ventures. I even drove them to the Oklahoma/Texas border just so they can say they have been to Oklahoma. The face my mother made when I told her to “Facebook it” was priceless. Her hands couldn’t type fast enough for her first Facebook post. All in all I cherished these moments with my parents. I was able to show them a new side of Texas and hopefully they will be up for the next journey as Drea Takes on Dallas. 
How was your Easter and what was memorable for you? 


Have you ever walked into a home and thought this is it? Of course every home buyer gets that feeling when purchasing a home. In most cases, you are hoping that when you get that feeling, that will be the home you purchase.

Well this home will have you have that feeling as soon as you enter the front door. As the second listing agent for this property, I definitely felt that as I entered the home. I fell in love instantly BUT the home is on the market for a new king/queen of the castle. Will this home be your crown jewel? Schedule your showing today.

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