Rent is Increasing! Why You Should Look Into Homeownership.

Recently, WFAA released an newcast stating that the rent rates in DFW are increasing month-to-month.  All across DFW, you will see development happening. The developments are for new businesses, new apartments, and/or new homes. There isn’t too many places where you don’t see that in DFW. Currently, Dallas is the land of opportunity.

The newly published April 2017 Dallas Rent Report shows prices across the city remain above the national media. On average, one-bedroom apartments were leasing for $1,260. Two-bedroom units were renting at $1,760.

There are thousands of people relocating here monthly (so yes, people are coming here and they need a place to live). As a Realtor, I have people coming from everywhere. It isn’t a specific place that people aren’t migrating from. They come from the East and West Coasts, other Southern states, and the Midwest.

My biggest motto from a financial standpoint is that if you are paying $1000+, you should consider purchasing a home. Why? The benefits of being a homeowner outweighs being a renter. Let’s take this example.

Let’s say your monthly rent is $1200/month. For a whole year, you’ve paid $14,400 in rent. However, if you had a home that was $1200/month for your mortgage, you could have tax benefits from property taxes, mortgage insurance, mortgage interest. The $14,400 you spent with a mortgage with a tax benefit of $3,600 means that you technically have paid $10,800 for a whole year. That’s basically $900/month. What’s even better? You are build equity while buying and equity = wealth. With an apartment, you are making the developer/builder wealthy.

Homeownership is an investment. Yes, you can invest in stocks and bonds but homeownership provides you a tangible asset. Homeowners in DFW have seen an increase in their asset of 8.5%. That’s extra money that you have made and all you did was live in a home. Can you say the same about your apartment? I live with the financial sense of wanting to make money while I sleep. That is EXACTLY what a home does. Check out the graph below on the status of DFW homes from 2014 to now.

The market has went from homes having a median sales price of $162,000 to $255,000 in June 2017. That’s a $93,000 increase in 3 years. Listen to me, that’s $93,000 increase in THREE years. Imagine what you could do with $93,000 if you had a home to sell. That’s 20% down for a move-up home and some left over to decorate and pay Navient (Sallie Mae’s wicked sister) a nice chunk of change.

Bottom Line: You could look into purchasing a home instead of renewing your lease. Homeownership can be a condo, townhome, or a house. The first two really depends on a person’s lifestyle and what they prefer. All three can be considered a home that you’ve purchased. I think condos/townhomes are great for turning into easy rental properties whether short term (Heard of Airbnb or Homeaway?) or in the long-term. You have to weigh your options and what works best for you. The easiest way to get to the McMansion is to purchase your first home and build yourself and your wealth from there.

For more detailed information for your personal situation, contact me at 972-813-9788 or atfowler@NewAvenueRealty.com.

 

 

Do You Need a Realtor to Buy a New Home?


I recently got this question and I wanted to share my thoughts on this. A buyer’s agent is free to the buyer even if the the buyer uses new construction. The only time a buyer may be forced to pay a commission is if they go the FSBO or For Sale By Owner route. 

As far as new construction, builders have set aside a budget for agents to supply a commission. Some people think that if they don’t have one, they will get more incentives. That is so UNTRUE. The incentives could be more if you used a Realtor. Realtors have relationships with builder reps and can negotiate everything from lot to upgrades. The contract is also used based on the builder too. Do you have someone working for you to help you combat any issues that mat arise from the contract or building issues?

It’s worth your weight to use a specialist when it comes to buying a new home. There are things that people don’t think of when building or negotiating when buying a new home. 

Just remember that it doesn’t hurt you to have someone represent you in their chosen field where they have the experience. Would you represent yourself in a lawsuit against a major corporation? It’s practically the same thing. 

5 Reasons Why Owning a Home Makes Financial Sense

Did you know June was National Homeownership Month? A recent report stated that buying is cheaper than renting in some metros. I know in DFW, one bedroom apartments are climbing to the $1000 price range. 

Why should you consider being a homeowner? The financial sense it makes. For me, the wealth building tool of homeownership beats renting all day. 

Here are 5 reasons why it makes financial sense:

  • Mortgage payments can be fixed while rents go up
  • Equity in your home can be a financial resource later
  • You can build wealth without paying capital gains
  • A mortgage can act as a forced savings account
  • Overall, homeowners can enjoy greater wealth growth than renters. 

So before you sign that lease again, contact New Avenue Realty to better understand your options. 

Est. 2016 – Funky Town Living with Tracey

Tracey’s Gorgeous Home in Fort Worth

When I met Tracey, it was a phone call I received while in New Orleans for the Keller Williams annual Family Reunion conference. I remember sitting in my room I received an email and her number. I was nervous it was a spam email (I cannot tell you how many I get in one day). I was like why not call and make sure. I gave her a call and it was a real person and number. LOL

She told me she saw me in the Missy Lynn videos and was looking for a Realtor to help her purchase a home in Dallas. I told her that as soon as I made it back to Dallas in a few days, we could meet up to talk. I always seem to have some type of connection with clients. Lately, it has been a Louisiana connection. Tracey is from New Orleans and relocated to Dallas after Hurricane Katrina. She had no desires to make Dallas a permanent home but 10+ years later, she decided to do just that.

So we searched. It all started in Denton County. Until finally, I suggested a hidden gem area of Tarrant County.  Read her story and more below.

1. What type of home were you considering? 
At least a 3-bedroom, 2-bath home. Something practical, well-kept and comfortable.
2. What city did you purchase your home in? 
Fort Worth
3. Was it your first choice location? If not, what areas did you consider?
Not my first choice at all! I was convinced I would buy a home in Lewisville, Carrollton, Flower Mound or The Colony. 
4. Now that you have lived in your city for a year, what is it that you like about your city?
The area I’m in is less congested than some other parts of the Metroplex and if I wanted to avoid the interstate, I could go back and forth to Irving (where I work) on the ground.
5. What attracted you to your neighborhood?
The house itself, the price and the fact that there wouldn’t be much traffic in and around the subdivision because there aren’t that many places of business nearby.
6. What is something that you like about your neighborhood now that you have lived there for a year?
I LOVE how the subdivision is surrounded by farms, the Trinity river and a small lake.  The drive into my subdivision is really nice and peaceful, particularly at night.
7. What advice would you give a first time homebuyer?
Definitely put in the time to physically go and view the properties –  even if you think it’s something you don’t want. You’d be surprised at how differently a house feels when you walk inside as opposed to just looking at the pictures. Stay within your means. Go a little bit under if possible because it gives you more money to furnish it exactly how you want and to do projects around the house.
I enjoyed working with Tracey. The Mid-Cities areas were on her list too. However, the homes needed some work based on the price range she wanted to stay in. I suggested that if we go a mile or two from the area, we would find something a little newer/updated. We definitely did just that. When I say this home was a hidden charm, it was. The neighborhood is off chilling (it isn’t far from the highway) but you wouldn’t necessarily stroll up on it. This is one of my favorite homes bought by past clients.

One Year Update: Prosper Living with Lauren

Today is the actual home anniversary of one of my dear friends. A little background story of how I connected with Lauren before she was a client. We both attended Louisiana State University. We started in Summer 2006 and were both as we say it in Louisiana “318” girls. That just means we are from North and Central Louisiana.

Lauren moved to DFW from Houston in 2015. She quickly told me she’d rent for a few months and purchase a home. She had purchased two in Houston and she didn’t plan to be in anyone’s apartment. As she says this, I quickly mention that the Dallas market is different from Houston and a little more expensive as well. After 6 months of renting a townhome, Lauren was over it and was ready to find her home. Our journey began. Read below for her chat on buying her first home in DFW.

June 8, 2016 – #CrownedAHomeowner

1. What type of home were you considering?

I previously came from a 4 bedroom home so I was looking for a similar size home that would accommodate all my furniture.
2. What city did you purchase your home in?

Prosper
3. Was it your first choice location? If not, what areas did you consider?

I focused my search on a particular area of town and not so much the city. I was open to all areas along the 380 corridor.
4. Now that you have lived in your city for a year, what is it that you like about your city?

I love that Prosper is a growing town. I get the small town feel all while being close to the city.
5. What attracted you to your neighborhood?

The builder, neighbors, and amenities.
6. What is something that you like about your neighborhood now that you have lived there for a year?

I love the sense of community in my neighborhood. If I ever leave something at the grocery store, I just ask my neighbors and they have it!
7. What advice would you give a first time homebuyer?

Be willing to compromise. It’s rare that you will get everything on your wish list. Understand that all the lovely features you want will cost so understand what can be upgraded at a later time to add value to your property in the future.

Love her decoration of her fireplace as a focal point in the living room

 

One of Lauren’s dogs ACTING precious. I know the real truth.

 

Lauren’s home was actually one that looked small without furniture in it. When I stopped by after she moved in, I was like WOW….I can’t believe your home is this big. This is to say, you’d be surprised on how much space the rooms actually have.

When to Get Excited About the Housing Market

Real estate professionals get that consumers, by and large, ignore housing statistics and the market until they become involved in the purchase or sale of a home. It’s only natural then that what impacts the market is a bit of a mystery to many. What determines a buyers’ or sellers’ market? What factors influence home prices?

Of course the answers to these questions and more may be multi-faceted, but it’s important to pay attention to them if you hope to keep more of your money when it’s time to buy or sell real estate.

Believe it or not, even in what seems like the gloomiest of real estate markets, there will be a glimmer of light for some.

Pay Attention to Interest Rates

It certainly is no secret that obtaining a lower interest rate for a mortgage typically allows for a lower payment. Naturally then, low interest rates make home-buying an attractive venture—and, even whispers of a rate hike can spur folks to get out into the market.

For instance, by the end of 2015, the U.S. saw 5.26 million home sales, which was the most robust housing market since 2006. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), attributed the robust market, in part, to the mere “prospect of higher mortgage rates in coming months.”

And, rise they did, throughout the following year. In fact, late in 2016, mortgage interest rates rose eight times in nine weeks, according to bankrate.com. Sounds rather gloomy until one recognizes that, post-hike, rates were still at historic lows.

The bottom line is that if you’re in the market for a home and interest rates decrease or remain attractively low, it’s time to get excited about the housing market.

The Economy

The current economy is a key factor affecting the real estate market. “Broadly speaking, when the economy is sluggish, so is real estate,” claims Joseph Nguyen at Investopedia. Rather than look at the glass half-full, however, we choose to take the opposite tack—when the economy is humming along, the housing market is at its most attractive.

When job growth is robust, consumer confidence rises and we’re more apt to spend money on high-ticket items, such as cars, appliances, vacations and, yes, homes.

Exciting Markets for Sellers

There’s an old saying in the real estate industry that counsels homeowners that the best time to sell a home is when you need to sell your home. Yes, we understand that isn’t very helpful. If you’re one of the fortunate who has no compelling reason to sell (such as a job offer in a different town or divorce), you have the luxury of choosing when to put the home on the market.

Get excited if real estate professionals mention the words “sellers’ market.” This is a period in which there are few homes for sale but buyer demand is high. During sellers’ markets prices typically increase rapidly and homes sell at or above list price.

One of the biggest mistakes we see in sellers’ markets is the homeowner who feels that the market itself will bring top dollar for the home, regardless of condition. Be aware that it’s the homes in good condition that sell the quickest and for the most amount of money. Regardless if market conditions favor sellers, if your home isn’t in move-in condition, it may be passed over by home buyers.

Buying a Home This Year?

A buyers’ market—when there is a large selection of homes for sale and few other buyers in the market—is a great time to purchase a home. Unlike a sellers’ market, prices aren’t rapidly escalating and you won’t be competing against a slew of other buyers. These markets are more relaxed so homebuyers can take their time deciding.

In a sellers’ market, however, it’s more important than ever to have all your ducks in a row before making an offer on a property. Ensure you know exactly how much you can spend and that you’ve obtained a preapproval letter from your lender. Make your offer stand out from others by keeping it lean and mean, with the shortest time periods for contingencies as possible. Finally, come in with your highest and best offer. A sellers’ market moves too quickly to assume the homeowner will negotiate over price.

While the type of market may determine when to jump in, as mentioned earlier, interest rates can also cause excitement in the housing market. Low rates and relaxed lending guidelines, such as we saw in 2015 and 2016, presented a prime opportunity for many would-be buyers who previously couldn’t afford to purchase.

Lower mortgage rates mean a lower monthly payment, which means you have more purchasing power, and that additional power can “mean the difference between buying a 2-bedroom home versus a 3-bedroom one; between buying a home with large closets versus small closets; and, between buying an upgraded home versus a dated one,” according to Dan Green at The Mortgage Reports.

Regardless of the media’s perception of the housing market, there is always a mix of good and bad news, depending on whether you are in the market to buy or to sell. Arm yourself with a professional real estate agent who can supply you with current and local market information (too often what you read in the news is stale and based on nationwide statistics), follow his or her advice and buying or selling a home in any market will be an exciting process.

 

Ready to talk to a Dallas real estate professional? Book an appointment with me at atfowlerrealtor.appointy.com.

Sunday Funday – May Updates 

If you haven’t discovered yet, Sundays are my off days. It’s the one day of the week for myself. You would think I’d like to rest but instead I reserve it for my city or cities in that case. 

Dallas Farmers Market 

I went to the farmer’s market earlier this year and just fell in love. Dallas has “The Market” and “The Shed”. The market has all the restaurants that may used to have a food truck and converted to a restaurant. It’s basically open seating and you go find what you want to eat. 

I devoured some of the best Cajun food from Cajun Tailgators and an awesome snowcome from Cool Haus. Btw, why didn’t anyone tell me about condensed milk in snowcones? Why oh Why? 

Taste of Addison 

This used to be one of my favorites events in DFW until a few years ago and it went high end. It turned into an event for top chefs and tickets were outrageous. That lasted about 2 years and my beloved Taste of Addison is back. It was free admission and I love the words FREE. 

Tasha is my Sunday Funday Partner in Crime

IFratelli can never fail in my eyes

I love the words FREE.

The longest line at the festival. You could smell it a mile away.

The restaurant options this year were slim compared to previous years. I registered that as odd because Addison has tons of restaurants. I actually frequent the area to eat. There’s so many restaurants at the Village on the Parkway. 

Low and behold, Sundays in May have made the chill time for myself enjoyable. 

How to Sell & Buy a New Home Simultaneously Using Your Equity

 

How does one sell their current home and buy a new one? With the inventory being really low right now, some sellers are nervous about selling their home. If they sell quickly, where will they go?

The key here is to discover how much equity is currently in your home and is it enough to move-up to the next home. Can you do it simultaneously? The answer is yes you can. The timing for doing so requires being pre-approved for your next home, knowing how much you can get with the sale of the current home, and where you want to go.

There are resources for sellers such as a bridge loan to secure their next home without paying two mortgages or worse case scenario, being homeless.

My past client, Saron, sat down with me to talk about her selling experience for the first time and buying for the second time.

Watch below.

 

Want to discuss how we can market your home in the Dallas real estate market? You can contact us at 972-813-9788 or atfowler@NewAvenueRealty.com or Book An Appointment.

4 Tips to Effectively Make An Offer 


Soooooo you’ve been searching for that “perfect” place to call home and you finally found it. Next step is to make sure you make an offer hood enough to get the seller to accept yours. Here are 4 tips to make an effective offer. 

1. Understand How Much You Can Afford

While it’s not nearly as fun as house hunting, fully understanding your finances is critical in making an offer.”

This ‘tip’ or ‘step’ should really take place before you start your home search process. As we’ve mentioned in previous posts,  getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and will allow you to make your offer with the confidence of knowing that you have already been approved for a mortgage for that amount. You will also need to know if you are prepared to make any repairs that may need to be made to the house (ex: new roof, new furnace).
2. ACT FAST 

Even though there are fewer investors, the inventory of homes for sale is also low and competition for housing continues to heat up in many parts of the country.” In DFW, the lower priced homes ($100s) are being purchased left and right by cash investors. 

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report, the inventory of homes for sale is currently at a 3.7-month supply; this is well below the 6-month supply that is needed for a ‘normal’ market. Buyer demand has continued to outpace the supply of homes for sale, causing buyers to compete with each other for their dream homes. Make sure that as soon as you decide that you want to make an offer, you work with your agent to present it as soon as possible.
3. MAKE A SOLID OFFER 

Freddie Mac offers this advice to help make your offer the strongest it can be:

“Your strongest offer will be comparable with other sales and listings in the neighborhood. A licensed real estate agent active in the neighborhoods you are considering will be instrumental in helping you put in a solid offer based on their experience and other key considerations such as recent sales of similar homes, the condition of the house and what you can afford.”

Talk with your agent to find out if there are any ways that you can make your offer stand out in this competitive market!
4. BE PREPARED TO NEGOTIATE 

“It’s likely that you’ll get at least one counteroffer from the sellers so be prepared. The two things most likely to be negotiated are the selling price and closing date. Given that, you’ll be glad you did your homework first to understand how much you can afford. Your agent will also be key in the negotiation process, giving you guidance on the counteroffer and making sure that the agreed-to contract terms are met.”

If your offer is approved, Freddie Mac urges you to “always get an independent home inspection, so you know the true condition of the home.” If the inspector uncovers undisclosed problems or issues, you can discuss any repairs that may need to be made with the seller, or cancel the contract.
DREA’S TWO CENTS 

Whether you’re buying your first home or your fifth, having a Realtor on your side who is an expert in their market is your best bet in making sure the process goes smoothly. It’s important to do a consultation and be prepared for whatever may come along in the home buying process. 

Happy House Hunting!


P.S. Want a one-on-one conversation? Go to atfowlerrealtor.appointy.com to schedule an appointment with me. In the meantime, find your home at NewAvenueRealty.com. 

2017 the Year of the Move-Up?

Is 2017 the year of the move-up? We are all itching to advance from things such as our careers, cars, personal life, and living situations? Let’s discuss this more. You may live in a home that was perfect for you and/or your family a few years ago. As time expands and sometimes income, it may be perfect to move-up to a home that fits you at this stage in your life.

If you are considering moving up to your dream home, it may be better to do it earlier in the year than later. The two components of your monthly mortgage payment (home prices and interest rates) are both projected to increase as the year moves forward, and interest rates may increase rather dramatically. Here are some predictions on where rates will be by the end of the year:

Freddie Mac

While full employment and rising inflation are signs of a strong economy, they also have the potential to push mortgage rates and house prices up. The higher rates and higher prices create significant affordability concerns, which may continue to characterize the housing market for the rest of 2017.”

Lynn Fisher, Vice President of Research & Economics for the Mortgage Bankers Association

By the time we get to the fourth quarter of this year, we will still be under 5 percent – we are thinking 4.7 percent…Something north of 5 percent by the time we get to 2018, and by the time we get to 2019, we show fourth-quarter rates hitting 5.5 percent.”

Mark Fleming, First American’s Chief Economist

Despite some regional disparities, title agents and real estate professionals do not expect increasing mortgage rates to have a significant impact on the housing market this spring. Continued good economic news, increasing Millennial demand and confidence that buyers will remain in the market even if rates exceed 5 percent bode well for 2017 real estate.

Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist for Freddie Mac

We will probably see rates higher at the end of year, around 4.5%.”

Drea’s Two Cents

If you are feeling good about your family’s economic future and are considering making a move to your dream home, doing it sooner rather than later makes the most sense. Use the profit from your current home to put into your next home. Remember this: You are only taking funds from one investment and moving it to another.

Ready for the move-up? You can find your move-up home here: move-updallas.com.