7 Easy Ways to Increase Your Curb Appeal

If you’re preparing to sell your home, curb appeal should be a priority. When someone is walking by or coming to your open house, the outside of your home is the first thing they will see. If there is no curb appeal, potential buyers may never even set foot in your home. Instead of ignoring your home’s outdoor appearance, consider making some budget-friendly changes that can add appeal to your home without breaking the bank. 

1. Landscape Your Walkway

Create a smooth transition from the street to your front door. A clear path will allow a potential buyer’s eye to look straight to your home, rather than stopping to concentrate on unkept landscaping. Clean your walkway and create groupings of mid-size shrubby and florals close to the road and by your front door.

2. Hang a Wreath

Adding a wreath to your front door is a simple way to make your home look more welcoming. Consider a DIY wreath that is easy to create and cost-friendly.

3. Treat Your Lawn Better

Consistent upkeep is the best way to save money when it comes to your front lawn. You should apply a weed-and-feed treatment to your lawn as often as needed to supply the necessary nutrients while also killing off any weeds. Be sure to provide proper maintenance to your lawn mower and keep your mower blade sharp.

4. Add Porch Appeal

If you have a front porch, add an affordable outdoor furniture set. This can create an inviting space that will make potential buyers want to try it out!

5. Consider Color Accents

If your door or shutters need a fresh paint job, consider finding an accent color that will help your house pop. It doesn’t have to be extreme, just enough to catch the eye of a potential buyer. Be sure to test your paint color alongside your siding or brick before fully committing.

6. Restore Your Driveway

Your driveway can be a major eyesore if it isn’t taken care of. Fill any holes or cracks in your asphalt and apply a fresh sealer. A driveway that looks new is sure to help your curb appeal.

7. Power Wash Your Home

Sometimes, all your home needs is a good cleaning. If you don’t own power washer, rent one from your local home improvement store and take a weekend to power wash your entire exterior. Even if your home is relatively new, a deep cleaning can make it look like a new build. 

Protesting Your DFW Property Tax Assessment!

2019 Property Tax Assessments Are Out in the DFW Metroplex

Each year, respective counties send out new tax bills for the year to be paid by December. In Texas, one of the biggest expenses for homeowners are property taxes. We don’t have state income taxes therefore most local entities such as the county, school districts, county hospitals, cities, and sometimes county community colleges are paid through the property taxes.

The 2019 property tax assessments from various counties in the metroplex have been mailed out and guess what? Your property taxes have increased. What most people are seeing are a significant increase in their home value assessment (the property tax assessment value is getting really close to market values which we will talk more about later) by their counties. You have until May 15th to protest your assessment online or in person.


Did you know fewer than 20% of homeowners appeal their property taxes? This means they may pay more than their fair share. The best thing to do is to protest them. Why? You have a chance of lowering the amount you pay in property taxes by simply saying that this is too much. Let’s make a change in 2019 until the state government decides how they want to handle the property tax reform, shall we?

Here are tips to protesting your property tax assessment:

Make sure you have filed your homestead exemption.

You have until April 30th to file your homestead exemption on your personal property.

You have until April 30th to file your homestead exemption with your county to save money on property taxes. You only have to do this once but if you failed to do it the January – April AFTER you purchased your home, this is your chance to do it. A homestead exemption helps you save money on your property taxes. It also prevents your tax value from increasing more than 10% per year.

Check for mistake’s on the county’s description on your home.

Does the county have your 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, formal dining home at 1805 square foot as 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms at 1925 square feet? It happens all the time and no one corrects it. A lot of county information is incorrect but we let it ride as gospel. Check your county’s website to make sure the square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and lot size are accurate in their assessment.

Gather Your Comps

It is important to keep up with the values of homes in your neighborhood. Most time people don’t realize what other homes are selling for. To gather more accurate comps, connect with a local REALTOR to see what homes have sold for within the last 3 months or 90 days in your neighborhood.

You can enter your address below to determine what your home is worth.

Highlight Flaws in Your Home

Check high and low for the flaws.

We all love our homes and it is the best thing since slice bread. However, this is the time to really compare your home and get very judgmental about it. If you notice most of the homes that have sold nearby all have hardwood or some wood-like material, while you have carpet everywhere, take pictures of it. If you know your home is in need of a new roof or has foundation issues, take pictures and/or provide the quotes of those repairs that are needed.

Consider the negative influences near your nearby such as backing up to a busy street, water tower behind the home, or being on the main road to the neighborhood. Those are items that an appraiser would dock off your home’s market value when it is time for you to sell, use it to your benefit for your property taxes. P.S. I am not saying to trash your home or that you won’t ever be able to sell your home, this is to save money on your property taxes. I sold a home in Fort Worth last year and my clients ended up getting the property for less because the appraiser thought it was in a less desirable location than other homes comparable to it. It’s a gorgeous home and my clients love it. However, they got a win to buy it at a lesser price.

New Construction Woes

In most cases for newly built homes, there is a tricky line for homeowners. The previous year, your home was assessed based on land value. Now, it is based on the value of the home with a home on it. Check the price of the home that they county says your home is. Is it higher than what you paid for the home? Is it higher than what new homeowners can build the same exact home for? If your answer is yes to either one, that’s your protest. Texas is a non-disclosure state. In order to win the battle on the first one, you may have to show what you paid for your new home. The other option is to stop by the builder’s office (if they are still in the neighborhood) or pull it offline and see what your home is being sold for at base price. Is it lower than the county’s assessment? If so, your argument here is that your home has been lived in. No one is going to purchase your home for higher than what they can build their home for. Then take pictures of the things that you got standard (if you built) with the builder and haven’t updated.

Check Local Real Estate Trends

In addition to talking to your REALTOR for comps, ask them to pull the real estate trends. Homes have the potential to increase in value or appreciate. However, a property can decrease in value or depreciate. Is the price of homes sales decreasing in your zip code? A decrease in value can be caused in excess supply, lack of demand, deflation or other reasons that take away the property value. Home values fluctuate so don’t get nervous. It is just something for you to know and use in your protest. Homes appreciate normally 2-4% a year. Find out what is happening in your local area. It can be completely different from Aubrey to Crowley.

It can be that your area isn’t appreciating as much as the county THINKS it is appreciating.

Things to Remember

The county’s assessor’s don’t see the inside of your home. They can only see the outside of it. This is the time to show and prove what your home looks like. Use the knowledge that you have from the tips above to help lower your tax assessment value which in return lowers your property taxes. After you have your evidence, schedule an appointment with the county to present your case OR present the information online. It is important to protest annually to minimize your property taxes.

If you need any assistance in gathering information to present your case, contact me at via email at atfowler@newavenuerealty.com.

Life at Sandbrock Ranch

As a country girl from North Louisiana, I love being in areas that remind me of home…..for now anyways. However, Aubrey, gives me North Louisiana vibes. You have nature at its best. Quiet scenery with city amenities nearby. I call it the best of both worlds.

So when I discover a community that gives that vibe, I have to explore it. If you didn’t know, Aubrey is horse capital. It is still fairly rural but growing quickly. However, you’ll see that new communities are still harvesting what Aubrey is known for. The area will grow to be another suburban town but very well keep its horse capital, rural flair (at least I hope it does).

The developers at Sandbrock Ranch are keeping that mission alive. In this community, the neighborhood will certainly have its ranch moments. In fact, the neighborhood has it’s own cows considered to be “milk cows” that are stripped white in the middle and black on the rest of its body. Horses roam within the neighborhood too.

There are fences up to protect the animals but it brings such joy to my country heart. The winning piece of the community, The Carriage House. Sandbrock Ranch is a development created by the owners of Highland Homes. This piece of land is actually family land that they’ve decided to develop on. The family is still keeping pretty much a part of the land, ranch-style with a suburban twist. 😂

I know it seems funny but truly this is a one of a kind neighborhood that is amazing. I did a tour with the Lifestyle Directors and here is what you can expect “Living at Sandbrock Ranch.”

Welcome to Sandbrock Ranch.

This place is open for residents 7 days a week from 7am-10pm.

Kitchen area of the Carriage House.

Fire pit available 24/7.

Two lakes that connect to each other called Sadie and Gurthie!

Neighborhood Fitness center available from 4am-11pm.

Pocket park playground for the kids.

There are still even more things to come to this amenity center such as the rec space (sports fields), event amphitheater, and more. The neighborhood will also have a future Denton ISD elementary school in the community.

If this is a community you can see yourself living in, find your next home at move-updallas.com. Homes in the community start in the mid-200s. Builders in the neighborhood are David Weekley Homes, Highland Homes, and Perry Homes. Highland Homes has three products in the community (45 foot lot homes, 50 foot lot homes, and 60 foot lot homes).

Let New Avenue Realty Group help you find your home in Sandbrock Ranch. Connect with us through via phone or email at 972-813-9788 or atfowler@newavenuerealty.com.  We can start with your own private tour with a New Home Specialist concierge service with New Avenue Realty.

Complete the form below to start your visit with us.

How to Put Your Housing Cost to Work for You!

There has been a lot written about the benefits of homeownership. One benefit that continues to rise to the top is the added wealth homeowners gain simply by paying their mortgage while their home increases in value over time.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently broke down the equity gained from price appreciation and principal payments in their Economists Outlook Blog. Homeowners who purchased their homes five years ago have already gained almost $80,000 in equity over that time with 80% of the gains coming from price appreciation.

For a homeowner who purchased their home 30 years ago, they have gained nearly $250,000 in equity with 70% coming from price increases. The full results can be seen in the chart below.

How to Put Your Housing Cost to Work for You | Keeping Current Matters

According to the Home Price Expectation Survey, a family who purchased a median priced home this January can expect to gain more than $42,000 over the next five years simply from price appreciation alone.

Bottom Line

Your home is one of the only investments you can live inside as you pay it off over time. If you are ready to use your housing costs to build wealth, contact New Avenue Realty Group to determine how to make your dream a reality.

📞 972.813.9788

📧 atfowler@newavenuerealty.com

📆 atfowlerrealtor.appointy.com

Do 46 Millenials Know They Are Mortgage Ready?

Many have written about the millennial generation and whether or not they, as a whole, believe in homeownership as part of attaining the American Dream.

Millennials have taken longer to obtain traditional milestones than the generations before them, such as getting married, having kids, and buying a home. However, that does not mean that they do not still aspire to achieve those things.

History shows that people tend to buy their first home around age 30. Nearly 5 million millennials will turn 30 in the next two years. This will continue to fuel demand for housing.

This is also one of the many reasons why the millennial homeownership rate has continued to grow over the past few years. 48.4% of Americans between the ages of 30-34 now own a home.

There are over 46 million millennials (33% of the generation) who are considered “Mortgage Ready”, meaning they meet the qualifications to be approved for a mortgage today!

  • a FICO Score ≥ 620
  • a Back-End Debt to Income Ratio ≤ 25%
  • no Foreclosures or Bankruptcies in the last 7 years
  • no severe delinquencies in 1 year

Rob Chrane, CEO of Down Payment Resource, commented on the findings of the report,

“We now know there are millions of buyers with the income & credit necessary to qualify to buy a home. The biggest question is:

Do they know it? …Unfortunately, many renters don’t investigate homeownership simply because they don’t believe it’s an option.”

The good news is that more and more millennials are realizing that they can afford a home now. Even so, more can be done to increase awareness of low down payment programs to attract even more of this generation.

New data from realtor.com shows that in December, millennials accounted for 42% of all new home loans originated in the month. This is more than any other generation.

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many millennials who may be “Mortgage Ready” but are unsure what your next steps should be, contact New Avenue Realty. We can help guide you on your path to homeownership.

📧 info@newavenuerealty.com

📞 972-813-9788

📆 atfowlerrealtor.appointy.com

Refresh Your Space for Spring!

When the seasons change or I’m feening for a new change in my home, I’m always looking for new pieces for my home. Today, I took my talents to Target. I love shopping with Target on Sundays because the new Cartwheel deals hit on that day. What is even special is that Target has spring deals online that can save me up to 40% on select deals.

Check out some of my new Target finds:

Target’s Project 62 has teamed up with Leanne Ford to bring new lighting for a limited time.

Target’s Project 62 has teamed up with Leanne Ford to bring new lighting for a limited time.

Pillows are my favorite way to update my space.

Plus, if you shop online, you can save up to 25% on home items + an extra 15% on rugs and lighting with code March. Valid 3/3-3/9. Click the link below to shop Target. Remember, orders $35+ have free shipping too.

SHOP TARGET WITH DREA

Disclaimer: The links contain affiliate links and will result in a commission for purchases.

As 380 Grows, Welcome Cinemark!

If you haven’t drove until the Dallas North Tollway ends going north, you may be missing out on one of the fastest growing areas of the metroplex. It’s been one year and four months since I’ve become a resident of the area. The change in that time space has been crazy. Now, we have our very own movie theater opening next Thursday (March 7th).

The theater, which is a new concept by the company called Cut! by Cinemark will be a dine-in theater with full kitchen and bar.
The new features will include:

10 screens;

Seat-side dining with call button service;

Full dining menu;

Craft cocktails from a full-service bar;

Outside patio with a fire pit and games;

Vintage-themed game room;

Banquet room for corporate events or parties up to 50 people;

A Cinemark XD, featuring the largest screen in the theatre and custom surround sound;

Cinemark’s Luxury Loungers—all-reserved electric-powered, plush, oversize recliners with cup holders and footrests in each general admission auditoriums.

So what movie are you anticipating to watch at CUT?

4 Proven Ways to Build Wealth in Real Estate

Recently, David Greene, co-host of the BiggerPockets podcast and a nationally renowned author and speaker, wrote an article in Forbes explaining how investing in real estate could help build wealth. Many of the points he made also apply to a family owning their own home. Here are a few:

1. Appreciation

“The rising of home prices over time, is how the majority of wealth is built in real estate. This is the ‘home run’ you hear of when people make a large windfall of money. While prices fluctuate, over the long run real estate values have always gone up, always, and there is no reason to think that is going to change.

One thing to consider when it comes to real estate appreciation affecting your ROI is the fact that appreciation combined with leverage offers huge returns. If you buy a property for $200,000 and it appreciates to $220,000, your property had made you a 10% return. However, you likely didn’t pay cash for the property and instead used the bank’s money. If you consider that you may have put 10% down ($20,000), you actually have doubled your investment, a 100% return.”

2. Leverage

“By nature, real estate is one of the easiest assets to leverage I have ever come across—maybe the easiest. Not only is it easy to leverage the financing of it, but the terms are incredible compared to any other kind of loan. Interest rates are currently below 5%, down payments can be 20% or less, and loans are routinely amortized over 30-year periods.”

3. Paying Off the Debt

“One of the best parts of investing in real estate is the fact that … you’re slowly paying down your loan balance with each payment to the bank… After enough time passes, a good chunk of every payment comes off the loan balance, and wealth is created.”

4. Forced Equity

“Forced equity is a term used to refer to the wealth that is created when an investor does work to a property to make it worth more…

Example of this would be adding a third or fourth bedroom to a property with only two, adding a second bathroom to a property with only one, or adding more square footage to a property with less than the surrounding houses.”

Though Green was talking about investors, the same could be said about a family upgrading their own home.

Bottom Line

Green put it best by saying:

There are many ways to build wealth in America, but real estate might be the safest, steadiest and simplest way to do so.”

Source: Keeping Current Matters

The KonMari Method: Prepping to Sell Your Home

One of the biggest challenges sellers face when listing their house is decluttering. Cleaning out some of the more personal decorating choices allows buyers to imagine themselves living in the house.

Those planning to sell soon are in luck! Marie Kondo, the inventor of the KonMari Method of Tidying Up, has gained popularity with her new Netflix series. She gives some great tips for sorting through years of accumulated possessions that we all collect in our homes.

“The KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.”

When you subjectively look at all of your belongings, you can sort through the ones that mean the most to you. Not only will you increase space for more joy-bringing items in your new home, but you will also have a much easier time packing remaining belongings!

“Remember, tidying up isn’t about getting rid of stuff. It is about creating an environment that sparks joy and improves your quality of life.”

When selling your house, first impressions matter! Before you or your agent schedule a photographer to take photos for your listing, make sure to tour your home with fresh eyes. Look for any imperfections that a buyer might notice.

When you sort through your more sentimental items, consider packing them away to ensure that you know where they all are. That way, they are safe during open houses and showing appointments. This will also cut down on the amount of packing you need to do right before you move!

Bottom Line

Whether you are selling your house to move up to a larger one, downsizing, or moving in with family, only bring the items that truly spark joy for you. This will not only help cut down on the items you move, but also ensures that you’re off to a great start in your new home!

Is it time to list your home for sale? Schedule a seller consultation with me at atfowlerrealtor.appointy.com.

Saturday Night Lights (Patio Decor)

If you know me, you know that my love for Target is unbelievable. I can literally get my entire life at Target. It is where I go when I want to get a new spunk. It is where I go to grab a quick pair of jeans, cute flats when my feet hurt, and overall a place to change the look up of my home.

One of the least thought of places to really add some flair into a home is the patio. This neglected area can really be the place to add some charm. As a Louisiana girl from city/rural (is that even a thing? Yep. I’m claiming it), I love to live outdoors. It is what my childhood was made of. It was how you entertained friends. Get out of my house and enjoy outdoors with me.

My friends over at Target are having 25% off patio items starting January 27th. If you don’t know, let me let you in on my Target shopping. I know that on Sundays, new sales roll around. If you don’t like what you find available, wait until Sunday. New sales ad, new items on Cartwheel. Now in your favor, new patio items with 25% off.


I took some stuff and created a new patio look that I could see in the near future.
Links to items in the mood board ard below:



Conversation Set: http://bit.ly/mauiwicker

Rug: bit.ly/coffeerugtarget

Firepit: http://bit.ly/firepittarget

Candle Lantern: https://www.target.com/p/siena-16-led-candle-outdoor-lantern-antique-brown-smart-living/-/A-50942282

String Lights: https://www.target.com/p/10ct-outdoor-gold-hood-g40-string-lights-with-black-wire-opalhouse-153/-/A-53808091

Faux Plants: https://www.target.com/p/garden-accents-artificial-calathea-plant-green-30-national-tree-company-174/-/A-52207173

Succulent Plant: https://www.target.com/p/faux-succulent-in-speckled-white-pot-threshold-153/-/A-53481860