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.

 

 

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.

Buying this Spring? Be Prepared for Bidding Wars

Traditionally, spring is the busiest season for real estate. Buyers come out in force and homeowners list their houses for sale hoping to capitalize on buyer activity. This year will be no different!

Buyers have already been out in force looking for their dream homes and more are on their way, but the challenge is that the inventory of homes for sale has not kept up with demand, which has lead to A LOT of competition for the homes that are available.

A recent Bloomberg article touched on the current market conditions:

“It’s the 2017 U.S. spring home-selling season, and listings are scarcer than they’ve ever been. Bidding wars common in perennially hot markets like the San Francisco Bay area, Denver and Boston are now also prevalent in the once slow-and-steady heartland, sending prices higher and sparking desperation among buyers across the country.”

Sam Khater, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic went on to explain why buyers are flocking to the market in big numbers:

“In today’s market, many buyers think the trough in [interest] rates is over. If you don’t get in now, it’s just going to be worse later. Rates will be higher, prices will be higher, and maybe inventory selection will be lower.”

In Dallas, homes are staying on the market for almost 16 days with the homes selling at 98.4% of the listing price.  Homes under $200,000 sell in 6 days and sell for 100% of list price in North Texas.

Bottom Line

In today’s competitive atmosphere, you need a professional on your side who knows your exact market conditions and can help you take the steps you need to be able to secure your new home! Schedule a buyer’s consultation with New Avenue Realty at atfowlerrealtor.appointy.com.

CLOSING DAY! The Kellys

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It’s a new homeowner’s favorite day. It has been a pleasure to work with the Kellys. I remember our first day meeting each other. They came as a referral from a past client and friend. I tend to have small connections with clients besides the referral person.

The Kellys are both from Louisiana and just so happen to go to college in my hometown or shall I say parish. For them, as with most clients, location was important. My suggestion after considering their work locations and their daily life, I suggested the East Dallas suburbs. The homework was to visit communities and we’ll regroup after my conference.

To my surprise, they loved the East Dallas suburbs so much, they called while I was at the conference to say they found the community and are ready to go. That day we were working it out for them to move into a neighborhood. Goodbye McKinney! Hello Heartland!

I gave them other areas like Fate, Royse City, Rowlett, and Rockwall to check out but the fell in love with one of the builders we went to go see when considering areas such as Sachse and Wylie. They found a master planned community that fit what they were looking for a little outside of those areas with perfect access for family coming in from Louisiana.

I can honestly say that it is the relationships that are built through the transaction that I love the most especially during the building process. I come along as a trusted confidant and helped throughout selections of the interior and exterior.

I must say that I cannot wait to see how they turn this house into a home. Congratulations to the Kellys!

Is Now the Time to Buy A Home?

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Is now the time to buy a home? I won’t be Andrea if I am not completely honest with you about this question.  The answer to this is subjective. As a millenial myself, we get a lot of flack of not buying homes or buying homes BUT you don’t know what other people’s coinage look like. Every millenial is NOT in debt up to their neck nor do they need to go live with their parents to save for a down payment.

I will say the best answer is to do what’s best for you. Homeownership is not for everyone. In fact, even as a Realtor, I’ve told a few buyers that it may be best that they rent a little longer. This is normally the case when people’s expectations are higher than their budget especially after seeing what’s available in their budget.

For myself, I think of homeownership as a wealth builder. It’s an easy way to build your wealth and not think too hard about it. For instance, your home makes money as you sleep. It just happens to be the place that you raise your family, entertain family and friends, and sleep. It isn’t a liquid asset but an investment nonetheless. No matter the market, people will forever need somewhere to lay their heads. You can even use it to build your retirement plan as well with rentals. I met a guy last year who funded his whole retirement through rental properties. He decided to sell them all last year. The townhome he was selling was $170,000. Mind you he had 17 properties. Let’s do math here: If he had 17 properties and let’s just say all of them sold for $170,000, that’s 2.89 million dollars in gross profits.  Now think about the rent he collected throughout the years. Did I mention he still worked a 9-5 as well? Trust me….you don’t get to make true wealth by just working a 9-5. I am not a financial planner but I am sure they will tell you that you need your eggs in more than one basket.

Other misconceptions I commonly here is “such and such” ended up retiring in their 30s because they didn’t buy a home. That is so great. I want to retire by 45 myself but homeownership is included in my portfolio to do so. What those type of stories don’t tell you is that “such and such” probably had no student loan debt and a six-figure job.

Figure out what your financial picture and plan is. We are not our parents or grandparents generation. No one typically lives in their home for the whole 30 year mortgage life cycle. The average homeowner lives in their home for 4-7 years. My best advice to give is to buy a home that can easily be resold. In DFW, I would say a home that is at least 1500 square foot, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a 2 car garage. Don’t live for your now when buying. Think about your life for the next 5 years and the person who buys your home. Think about how long you plan on staying in the home as well. If you plan to leave your area in the next year or two, then homebuying may not be for you right now.

It’s okay but the biggest answer is it will be your choice and what you can afford. In my honest opinion, the best answer is to weigh your options and not what anyone else has to say to you. Is it cheaper to own than rent? In some areas yes. In DFW, the rent is just as high as the mortgage. The only difference is that you get tax breaks from the mortgage and the rent is just gone.

 

 

Christmas in July! Kennedy One-Year Follow Up

This is one story I’ve been waiting to share.  If I ever have to give it to a client who really stayed patient and kept fighting throughout a transaction, it would be Zakeia. Seriously, in previous transactions, some clients would give up after they lost house #2 in a multiple offer situation. Some clients would nick and pick a perfectly good home away. Not Zakeia. She knew her top 5 and that is what we consistently looked for. We had to be more open to areas and there was one that I knew would be a winner but it would take time before we made our way there.

Last summer is very similar to this summer with multiple offers galore especially with homes under $200K. Zakeia put in offer after offer. Still, she was determined to find her home. There was this one home that I kept passing through on the MLS. I’m like it is perfect for her. As soon as she met me to see it, she said the same as well. We sat in the home for almost an hour crafting the perfect offer to seal the deal. Did I mention that we sealed the deal? Enough of me. Check out Zakeia’s story.

1. What type of home were you considering? 

I wanted a single family home with at least 3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms. 

2. What city did you purchase your home in? 

Aubrey

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

No it was not my first choice. I wanted a home in the Carrollton/Lewisville area but I ended up broadening my search and looking in other towns.

4. Now that you have lived in your city for a year, what is it that you like about your city?

I love how quiet and peaceful my neighborhood is. They are building new restaurants, stores, neighborhoods, and apartments all around here.

5. What attracted you to your neighborhood?

The cute white fences and the clean quiet neighborhoods. 

6. What is something that you like about your neighborhood now that you have lived there for a year? 

I like the quietness. Even with there being children who live next door, everyone is very respectful and friendly .

7. What advice would you give a first time homebuyer? 

My advice to any first time home buyer is this is a process. It might not be an easy process but you must have patience and know what is for you will be for you. The long term benefits are well worth the wait. Do not settle but keep an open mind. Last but not least make sure you have a great realtor who will keep you encouraged and informed during the process.

Zakeia Kennedy
A great moment for me was decorating and having friends and family over for the holidays.

If you want to talk about how you can become the King or Queen of your castle, we can speak by phone, video-call, or in-person by clicking here to contact me: http://NewAvenueRealty.com.

Find Your Castle. Live Like Royalty.

Find your castle. Live like royalty.

That’s the mantra of #CrowningHomeowners. I learned early on in my career as a Realtor that clients wanted to feel special. It didn’t matter what size their new home was it was their domain. It was their sanctuary. Lastly, it was the one place where they ruled the throne.

That’s the feeling I love for my clients to have. It is never about me but about how they feel. To this day, it still amazes me when their face lights up at “the one” The one home that they will call their royal place in their life. It may be the first one or it may be the fifth one but it is a special place for them during this moment of their life.

Don’t believe me. Just watch.

You can you live the dream. You can start by signing up for the #CrowningHomeowners workshop next Saturday in Lewisville. #CrowningHomeowners Workshop Registration 

The Alexanders: One Year Follow-Up

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In our latest section of the one year-follow up, we have my dear friends, Evan and Candisse Alexander. Their story is a whirlwind one with a lot of events happening in a short amount of time. As most people say, 2015 was definitely THEIR year.

Candisse is one of my sorority sisters from LSU so we have a long history together. Her and Evan were engaged in 2014 and were married February 2015. They wanted a home but was like we have to do one thing at a time. After the wedding and honeymoon, we are seriously buying a house. As Candisse often let me know, “this 600+ square foot apartment isn’t working and you have to get me out of here.”  LOL

So by May 2015, we were house searching with the newlyweds. Now it has been a seller’s market in DFW for the past few years and the summer is the most competitive time to search. We started a search immediately after the buyer’s consultation. We started in The Colony but Candisse and Evan were used to Tarrant County so the next day we ventured there and the rest was history on day 2 of the search. I was in awe too because it normally takes a few searches and offers before my buyers get under contract but not Evan and Candisse. Read their follow up interview below.

1. What type of home were you considering?

My husband and I were originally looking for a starter home.

2. What city did you purchase your home in?

Fort Worth, TX

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

No, south Arlington, Grand Prairie and Mansfield were our top picks.

4. Now that you have lived in your city for a year, what is it that you like about your city?

I love downtown Fort Worth, and being so close to restaurants and malls and movie theaters!

5. What attracted you to your neighborhood?
Our home!

6. What is something that you like about your neighborhood now that you have lived there for a year?

It is quiet and peaceful.

7. What advice would you give a first time homebuyer?

Trust your instincts. Taking the jump is hard, but once you know you are ready… Don’t be afraid to go for it!

Avalos – One Year Follow Up

This past Sunday marked the one year home anniversary of clients, Ray and Andrea Avalos. I enjoyed working with Ray and Andrea and the most adorable Mac. New Avenue Realty caught up with the Avalos to discuss how being a homeowner in the past year. The things that make me love what I do is to see the faces of my clients on closing day or when we know we have the right home. This best thing about their closing was the look on Mac’s face (he was three at that time)when he looked at me and said, “Andrea, we’re buying a house today!”  Little things like that makes me enjoy my job and reminds me everyday why I do this.  Enough of my feelings….let’s catch up with the Avalos.

 

Avalos Homeowners

Wow time sure does fly! To anyone reading this you are in good hands with Andrea! She is such a great Realtor and works extremely hard for you, she was very knowledgeable and patient with us since it was our first time buying a house. She took our wishlist and was able to narrow down houses and even found one under our original budget that fit us! She is OUR realtor and will continue to be for the next adventure. Highly recommended.

1. What type of home were you considering?
Single family home with a school district.

2. What city did you purchase your home in?
Keller

3. Was it your first choice location? If not, what areas did you consider?
Honestly it wasn’t on our radar. We were new to the area and not familiar with the outlaying towns. We were considering Lewisville, Little Elm, Euless, Hurst.

4. Now that you have lived in your city for a year, what is it that you like about your city?
Love Keller! Big city amenities small town feel. Low crime rate, honest and friendly people. Close to great dining and not to far from the city. Excellent school district.

5. What attracted you to your neighborhood?
Honestly the price was right, and the neighborhood looked clean.

6. What is something that you like about your neighborhood now that you have lived there for a year?
Our neighbors are great! My son chit chats with them all the time. Super friendly and trust worthy, they look out for each other.

7. What advice would you give a first time homebuyer?
Keep an open mind and trust your realtor, they know what they are doing. You may not be able to get every single thing on your wishlist but you will discover that you will find something you didn’t even know you wanted in your new house. Stick to the advice given and you will succeed. It can be very stressful but stick to the plan, home ownership is worth it!