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.

The Crown is Yours.

Real estate is a complex nature. WHO you work with really does matter. New Avenue Realty has worked with hundreds of homeowners (future and current) to buy or sell real estate in North Texas with over $15 million sold. The proof is in the numbers. Your experience will be royal.

Want to BUY or SELL a home? Chat with us at 972-813-9788 or atfowler@newavenuerealty.com.

NOW OPEN: Legacy Hall in Plano

Yesterday was the grand opening for this long awaited cafeteria hall projectory in Plano. As if Legacy West wasn’t already amazing, it opened up a food galore called Legacy Hall. It features just about all you can think of when it comes to food. No longer will you and your friends bicker about what to eat anymore. Everyone can find something they enjoy ans meet back at the table to enjoy each other’s company.

I took a brief tour today since I was nearby checking out the Villas at Legacy West by Britton Homes. All I can say is the brunch lines will be LONG on the weekends. I fell in love with this place as soon as I entered it. However I hate crowds and know the weekend will be the time I would not want to be near. 😂

It has great seating with eclectic decor around. Take a view with my photos. You can learn more about the restaurants located inside the food hall here: Legacy Hall Restaurants. How are you living in your neighborhood?

Buying a Home? Do Your Research

One thing that I do with all new and potential clients is to schedule a consultation. The consultation helps each party set expectations but most importantly, it helps to properly educate a buyer or seller.

I never want to sell my clients just anything or any service. I want to be the one who helps you make the best educated decision in life’s biggest financial transaction. I value the relationship I have with my clients so I treat everyone as if they are a dear friend that I want the best for.

However, with so many things available at our fingertips, it is hard to not have knowledge on some things.

The market in Ohio may be a totally different market in Texas. The market in Dallas is a totally different market than Houston. You cannot take what person A in New Mexico said compared to where you are buying in let’s say Georgia. Markets differ. One market may have an abundance of foreclosures and another one not so much.

For consultations, I like to break down all myths and help a client know what’s happening in Dallas/Fort Worth. An example would be the southern suburbs and the northern suburbs of Dallas. The same home in Lancaster may cost $100K less than the same home in Little Elm. Dallas has one of the hottest real estate markets in the country and foreclosures are rare at the moment. What may have been available in 2009 may not be available in 2017. I get it. I miss the cheap housing of DFW too. Imagine the days where you can get a home in The Colony, Little Elm, or even McKinney for $150K? I was helping people find them in 2014. That’s the last time I’ve seen homes in those prices in the northern suburbs.

So you’re interested in buying a home and want to know where to start?  I like some tips on the best way to start researching your market below. 

Here’s the best way to start your research in the market.

  • A. Find areas that you like (Do 3-5 areas).
  • B. Look up homes in those areas. What do they cost? What do you like about them? We all have areas we desire but in today’s time that area may not fit our budgets. If you barely find a home available under $200K or even under $150K in these areas, the market is higher. If that may not be your budget, find other areas that fit your price range.
  • C. Know your OWN coin. Look at your gross or net income for the month. Subtract the expenses you have from bills (excluding rent). What is left over? That may be the amount you have realistically to pay for a home. Rule of thumb is to spend no more than 30% on mortgage/rent. Lenders generally include this as well. This is called debt to income ratio. They include housing expenses (mortgage) and debt expenses to help you know what you can afford. This also may be the time to find what you can eliminate to afford a home that you want.
  • D. Get Pre-Approved. It’s one thing to dream of the lovely $450K home but it is more responsible on knowing if you can afford it or not.
  • E. After getting pre-approved, go back to A and see if you are able to realistically do A. This becomes a one-on-one conversation with yourself to realize what you can and cannot do. Look at other areas that have more availability in your price range. Venture out to visit the areas and see if it is something that you can do. People are generally surprised what other areas offer.
  • F. Get a Realtor. Online research can only go so far. Find a knowledgeable Realtor that you can connect with.

The key to homeownership is to start. Your first home is not your forever home. YOUR FIRST HOME IS NOT YOUR FOREVER HOME. It is your first home. You second home may be that dream home you’ve always wanted. It may be your third or fourth. If you ever want to sit down and have a discussion with me about the DFW housing market, contact me today via phone or email at 972-183-9788 or atfowler@NewAvenueRealty.com. Book an Appointment here to schedule a consultation.

SELL MY HOUSE: 5 Easy Ways to Attract Buyers

It’s time to sell your home and you’re stumped on what to do. What are the first steps? How do you prepare for the sale? All you know is that you are going to sell it to a buyer but how do you attract them? Hit play to discover the answer.

Reach out to New Avenue Realty for a complimentary consultation for selling your home: atfowler@newavenuerealty.com.

Not sure what to list your home for? Check here for neighborhood information: My Home is Worth What?

Unlock Your Opportunity | #NewAveRealty 2016

Can you believe that we are near the end of 2016? This year is really over in a less than 48 hours. I am one who is excited about 2017. 2016 was a great year, ready to rock 2017! Thanks to all who were apart of 2016!

 

 

Visit our Website: Unlock Your Opportunity in 2017