Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Candy Dishes Out The Dirt On MetroTex

Sometimes real estate groups should stay out of things they don't know anything about before they wholeheartedly support a bogus group like the Taxpayers For A Fair Pension. This is particularly true in the Dallas Police & Firefighters Pension fray.  Those who support this group clearly do not understand this issue nor support active and retired Dallas police and firefighters.

You can read about it here and here.

And you can especially read about it in Candy's Dirt, another real estate blog. Just click on the picture below…

#PoundOfFlesh #savethepension #DallasRealEstate

Friday, February 10, 2017

What Do Young Buyers Want?

Dear Home Diva,
I want to sell my home. What attracts young buyers to a home?
--Wanda Tosell

Dear Wanda,

There are many things that can entice young buyers. Here are some factors to consider:

#1…Updated kitchen and bath. Kitchen and bathrooms tend to be the most expensive to update and young buyers just don't have the money to sink into an expensive remodel.

#2...Open floor plans and big kitchens. Young buyers want for people to flow through a home. Since kitchen has become the hangout room, it's important to transition from the kitchen to the family/tv room.

#3...Home office. More and more people are working from home or bringing work home, so it's important for them to have a dedicated work space. A home office can also be used as a flex space to meet a variety of needs.

#4…Location, location, location. We've all heard that before, but for young buyers location means closer proximity to work because of high gas prices and traffic. Walkability can also be an important factor.

#5...Low maintenance. Young buyers want homes that are relatively hassle-free and require little work.

#6...Technology. These buyers care about cell service and internet capabilities as well as smart home technology.

#7...Energy efficiency. Although not a top reason for a home purchase, young buyers still want homes that are energy efficient with good insulation, windows, etc.​

​--the Home Diva

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Play Up Your Hot Spots

One way to increase a buyer's interest in your home is to play up the "hot spots" in your house. These are spaces in your home that spark what researchers call "memorable moments." 

Features like fire places, high ceilings and built-ins increase a room's appeal.  In addition, the most popular areas of a home underscore these three elements: relaxation, socializing, and function. The more a room has of these elements, the better, according to the study. 

If you plan to do a bit of repainting before putting your house on the market, consider using a taupe color. Sherwin-Williams named its Poised Taupe as its 2017 Color of the Year.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Top 25 Best Places to Retire

And the winners are…

Forbes magazine recently announced its list of Top 25 Best Places to Retire, and the Lone Star state had three cities make the list: Grand Prairie, San Marcos and Abilene.

Grand Prairie made the list because of its booming economy, low crime, warm weather and a cost of living that is below the national average. You can read about the list here.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Finding Help Next Door

A week has passed since 12 tornadoes blew through North Texas the day after Christmas, killing 11 people and causing $1.2 billion in damages. 

The emotional toll, which cannot be calculated in dollars and cents, was visually staggering as news accounts and Facebook posts showed storm victims sifting through what remained of their lives.

In my community alone, there were 171 structures damaged or destroyed--an estimated loss of $20.4 million, according to Ellis County Emergency Management.

While my home was untouched, the tornado passed just five to six houses down from us heavily damaging several of my neighbors homes as it moved northward continuing its path of destruction. Police blockaded roads, a curfew was instituted and store-bought generators hummed for days until power was finally restored. Although not hit as hard as our northern neighbors, clean up in our southern county continues.

As a rural community, we do not have things in place for quick, efficient communication. Through that weekend, the city of Ovilla website contained no information. Other government websites provided sporadic information.

I, along with my neighbors, found more information and help through Next Door, a private social network community. I’ve never been a big fan of social networking. Sure I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, but my use tends to be sporadic at best.

But it was there, on Next Door that my neighbors and I discovered what neighborhoods were damaged. It was there we found out who had power and when power was getting restored. It was there we could vent and receive a sympathetic response. It was there we even found out about official stuff such as the curfew.

It was also there that we found out about whose pets had gone missing. And, it was there we all rejoiced online when Kip, a shorthaired English Pointer, was finally found three days later and reunited with his family. It was there someone volunteered to do laundry for displaced families, and it was there, others searched for personal items blown away.

But most importantly, it was there where human connections were made even through the anonymity of cyberspace, making this tragic event bearable.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

When Your Home Doesn't Sell

Dear Home Diva,
My house has been on the market along time. Why won't my house sell?
Sincerely, P.T. High

Dear P.T.,
There are a number things that factor in why a house doesn't sell. While some additional factors may come into play, the main reasons for a home not selling usually are price, condition and location.

While you can't move your house to improves its marketability, you certainly can work on price and condition. If buyers are not looking or making offers on your home, price could be the primary factor. No one wants to pay top dollar for a home that doesn't merit the price.

While I love their programing, HGTV has conditioned a lot of buyers to expect move-in ready, updated homes. If you're missing some of the bells & whistles buyers expect, then you need to make your price attractive to them.

In today's market in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area with inventory low, homes that are priced right sell fairly quickly, so you may need to look at a price adjustment.

I would also take a step back and objectively look at your house and how does it show? Is there too much clutter? Do you need better curb appeal? Does it need a good cleaning? All these can be factors in buyers passing over your home. --the Home Diva

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Keeping New Year's Resolutions

January soon will sputter to an end and with it most people's New Year’s resolutions.

According to people who keep track of those sorts of things, between 40 and 45 percent of us make New Year's resolutions. (Raise your hand if you’re like me and do that sort of thing.)

We begin our journey filled with hope, promise and commitment, but by the end of week two, only 71 percent of us trudge on. By six months end, the number drops to 46 percent. As time goes on, success plummets. It's all rather depressing.

Still, there is a bright spot in all of this. 

Researchers say that those people “who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.”

Ten times. Whew! That’s a lot–enough to make me re-think and re-start my personal, professional and organizational goals and resolutions.

It may be the end of January, but I'm resolved to start tackling my resolution list again.

And, what you might ask the Home Diva does any of all of this have to do with real estate? Why, I'm glad you asked. Whether you've always wanted to buy a home, or upsize or downsize, a firm New Year's commitment can get you on the path to achieving your dreams.

If you need to sell, now is the time to start organizing, cleaning and getting your home market ready. I've got tons of ideas on my Pinterest boards to help get you started.

If you want to buy a home, now is the time to examine your finances and start the pre-approval process. Do you need to save more? Repair your credit? Find a realtor? Again, check out my Pinterest boards for information.

Remember, if we resolve to do this, we are 10 times more likely to succeed!