Let’s Talk DFW Real Estate!

Move from renter to homeowner.

The time is here and you want to buy a home. There are so many people who are excited from moving from renter to homeowner throughout every year. However, with the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex growing each and everyday, how do you decide on where to live?

For some people, the close proximity to work is important. For others, the close proximity to things outside of work is more important. I’ve actually had clients that had to live near Target. As a Target fanatic myself, I couldn’t blame them. After searching any and everywhere, they gave up the dream to buy a home near a Target. However, guess what? We found them a home in their price range ACROSS from a Target. LOOK AT GOD!

Now let’s talk a little more in depth on where to go. Many times we love where we rent or we hate it. Do you know the cost of homes where you live? Here is the chance to see where you can buy. One rule of thumb I tend to tell people is that you can either afford 2 times your monthly salary or four times your monthly salary. Why so? Well, when you purchase a home, a lender qualifies you based on your debt to income ratio.

Debt to Income Ratio

debt-to-income, or DTI, ratio is derived by dividing your monthlydebt payments by your monthly gross income. The ratio is expressed as a percentage, and lenders use it to determine how well you manage monthly debts — and if you can afford to repay a loan.

Here’s a simple two-step formula for calculating your DTI ratio.

  1. Add up all of your monthly debts. These payments may include:
    • Monthly mortgage or rent payment
    • Minimum credit card payments
    • Auto, student or personal loan payments
    • Monthly alimony or child support payments
    • Any other debt payments that show on your credit report
  2. Divide the sum of your monthly debts by your monthly gross income (your take-home pay before taxes and other monthly deductions).
  3. Convert the figure into a percentage and that is your DTI ratio.

Keep in mind that other monthly bills and financial obligations — utilities, groceries, insurance premiums, healthcare expenses, daycare, etc. — are not part of this calculation. Your lender isn’t going to factor these budget items into their decision on how much money to lend you. Keep in mind that just because you qualify for a $300,000 mortgage, that doesn’t mean you can actually afford the monthly payment that comes with it when considering your entire budget. – Excerpted from Bankrate.com

Your debt to income ratio (DTI) will determine which loan program makes sense for you as well. If you have a higher DTI, you may work best with a FHA loan as they have higher DTI qualifications up to 56.9%. If you are at 50% or below, you may qualify to do a conventional loan. If your DTI, exceeds any of these numbers, you may be asked to pay off some things to get where you need to be to get qualified.

Mortgages are NOT like rental qualifications. Rental qualifications are based on your monthly gross income being 3 times the monthly rent. A mortgage lender looks at ALL of your debt reported on your credit report. Let’s use an example for DTI qualifications.

EXAMPLE:

Gross Income – $48,000 salary = $4000 per month

Debt: Car Note – $350; Student Loans – $200, Credit Card 1 – $55; Credit Card 2 – $75; Personal Loan – $100. These are all based on monhtly payments NOT the overall payment. The total debt in this situation is $780/month. Now let’s say that the mortgage payment on said home would be $1800. That would bring your total monthly debt up to $2580. Would the lender qualify you for that home? Well, let’s see. Divide $2580/4000. That equals 65% of debt to income. Now, the lender may not qualify you for a home that would cost $1800/month. However, you may can get qualified for a home that cost $1450/month. Want to spend a little more? Your next option would be to eliminate some of the debt. In this example, to get the home that cost $1800, you’d need to eliminate $350 of debt. Where would that be from?

I tell clients that the way they could afford more house would be to either eliminate some debt, increase income, put down more money on the home, or all of the above.

Cost of Homes in DFW

As you can see, the average price of homes in DFW have increased 2.9% from May 2018 to May 2019 to $330,766. This isn’t to say that all homes in DFW are $330,766 but on average the home sales are.

How do you find which areas fit more of your budget? Consider the average sales prices of area. Let’s break it down within counties.

Some of the top places that my clients are moving to are the following: Aubrey, Forney/Heartland, Celina, and McKinney. Check out the prices of those areas below:

Buyer’s Market or Seller’s Market

The month’s of inventory determine whether we are in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market. If there is 6 months of more of inventory, we are in a buyer’s market. That means there is a home out there for at least two buyers. Homes aren’t scarce and the options are there. If we have less than 6 months of inventory, we are in a seller’s market. That means inventory is tight and you are more than likely to see multiple offers.

If we go back and compare those cities that we just looked at (Aubrey, Celina, McKinney, and Forney), you will see what type of market these areas are in. Each city will have different stats which is why it is best to get very specific on 3-4 areas.

If we look at DFW as a whole, you will see that the overall metroplex is still in a seller’s market with 3.4 months of inventory which is up 17.2% from May 2018.

This is just the basics of a buyer’s consultation with New Avenue Realty Group. We help clients get from curiosity to possibility. Let’s get you into your new avenue in the metroplex. Book an appointment with me at atfowlerrealtor.appointy.com.

Renting Vs Owning, What Is Better For You?

Do you choose to rent or own?

When asked anything in real estate, I always like to give a list of pros and cons. As a Realtor, my job is to help you find the home that best fits what your needs are in the basis of the financial means that you have. We analyze those things based on a one-on-one conversation that we have from the consultation.

In a real estate market where home prices are rising, many have begun to reexamine the idea of buying a home, choosing instead, to rent for a while. But often, there is a dilemma: should you keep paying rent, knowing that rent is rising too, or should you lock in your housing cost and buy a home?

Let’s look at both scenarios and analyze the pros and cons of each:

Renting

With the housing market crash in 2008, many homeowners lost their homes and became renters. According to Iproperty Management, “the number of households renting their home … rose from 31.2% of households in 2006 to 36.6% in 2016”.

Some choose to rent because it is more convenient for their lifestyle. Those whose job requires frequent moves need the flexibility that a 6-12 month lease agreement gives them so they can move to their next assignment!

Many renters believe that renting is cheaper because they do not have to pay for maintenance and repairs. (Not true! Landlords work those expenses into your rent and other fees). Another reason many rent is that they feel like they cannot afford the down payment and closing costs required to buy a house, due to their inability to save much after paying their monthly expenses.

That can be true! Nearly 1 in 4 renters spend at least half their household income on rent. In 2017 the “severely” burdened renters’ rate was 24.7% with 24.9% reporting they were “moderately” burdened.

¬Renting or Owning, What Is Better for You? | Keeping Current Matters

Renting also brings some financial disadvantages. Homeowners can take advantage of tax deductions that let them claim their property taxes and mortgage interest. Additionally, there is a big risk that your rent will go up every time you renew your lease, as we know the median asking rent has been increased steadily since 1988!

One of the major challenges with renting is that you don’t have a space to call your own. When you rent, you are paying your landlord’s mortgage, and therefore they are the beneficiaries of the equity gained from paying that mortgage.

Now let’s explore the other side: Homeownership

In the past, we have mentioned the many financial and non-financial benefits of becoming a homeowner. So, let’s just focus on the one big difference between renting and owning, the ability to lock in your housing cost!

Assuming you will have a fixed-rate mortgage, your costs are predictable! You will know exactly what your mortgage payment will be for the next 15-30 years. The homeownership rate in 2018 was 64.4%, and has been on the rise. Those households locked in their housing cost rather than wait for their landlord to raise their rent again!

What are the disadvantages of owning a home? Well, it is a long-term financial commitment! It is not easy to pack quickly and move. You will need time and good planning to do it in a short amount of time.

You need to save your money! Getting a mortgage requires a down paymentclosing costs, and moving expenses. Again, that will require some savings and planning!

Unless you have a homeowner’s association (HOA) (and you pay an HOA fee) or a home warranty, you will be responsible for maintenance and taking care of the home. This may range anywhere from regular landscaping to major repairs.

Bottom Line

Like everything in life, there are pros and cons. What is better for you depends on your situation! If you are interested in becoming a homeowner and want to discuss the pros and cons, contact me at 972-813-9788 or atfowler@NewAvenueRealty.com so that I can help you review your current situation!

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. 

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