Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

May 20, 2019

Redfin vs Real Estate Agent

Redfin vs Real Estate Agent

 

So we've all see the billboards and commercials. Redfin offers to list your home at a measly 1% of the sales price of your home compared to a real estate agent who usually charges a 3% fee. Seems like a no brainer right? So what's the catch.

 

First off let me start off by saying that I do the exact same job everyday- negotiating, writing contracts, providing knowledge and insight for my clients best interest and I make the same (negotiable 3%) salary on every job why would I settle for ⅓ of the salary I usually make? What gives.

 

Here is a real review from a Redfin agent on the website Glassdoor “The pay per transaction is sickening. You could sell a million dollar home and only get paid $2,400 which in this case Redfin is taking in $15,000. I’ve had worse pay scenarios. You’re also paid based on the clients satisfaction whether or not you closed with them. As a listing agent this is extremely unfair. And if you get just a few bad reviews that means every bonus you get goes down from there. The salary is so small it couldn’t pay a car payment per month so it is very important to get a good bonus. They add different goals to hit an award tear every few months to make it impossible for you to hit a tear in order to actually make decent money. I feel like you work harder to get paid less here. It’s a terrible concept and extremely unfair. They try to make it okay by providing this Redfin culture which I have since stopped my involvement. I do not understand how any agent is okay getting paid like this and it makes me wonder if it is this way for everyone.”

 

Here's another one.

 

“Agents expect you to work whatever hours it takes to get the job done. Including over 25 hours of overtime during the busy season. No other option”

 

So if you were working 25 hours of overtime a week to make ends meet do you think you would be giving every transaction you had your all? Your full focused attention? Negotiating in your buyers best interest and ensuring they got the home for the best possible price? Doubtful.

 

Agents working for redfin get a stream of high volume leads and are expected to work them all. They are paid low pay per closed transaction, very low pay and they are compromised on ability to deliver quality customer service due to the volume of business. Lets not forget that you are passed around a support team when that agent is not available. No consistent right of contact. Property views are also a whole different story. Viewings are an automated touring agent who you have never met and knows no specifics on the property.  



Also with such a low listing fee do you think they are marketing your home to the fullest. Or are they taking photos and slapping it on the MLS. Agents (good ones) meanwhile are conducting 3D tours of your home for out of state buyers, sending “just listed” postcards to neighboring homes- a large percentage of home buyers that purchase a home, live in the neighborhood or have friends or family looking in the area. Not to mention holding your home open to prospective clients who don't have an agent. Paying for staging of your home if its needed. Boosting your home on social media pages- Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. Lets not forget about there huge client base themselves. We just listed a home and it ended up being our own buyer buying from the seller. Two birds with one stone.

 

Let's crunch the numbers.

 

Our average list price to sales price is 100.95% in 30 days.

 

 

Theirs is 99.18% in 25 days.

 

That is nearly a 2% difference in sales price. What does that mean? It means based on experienced realtors who are properly marketing and listing your home value correctly- it costs the same to use Redfin or your local real estate agent.



So yes, Redfin can list your home for 1% vs the negotiable 3% of an agent. But is it worth it. Would you be willing to pay the extra 2% to ensure a smooth stress free process with someone who knows exactly how to sell your home or gamble on Redfin for a couple bucks?



Buyers Side: I could go on and on why not to use Redfin on the buyers side however I am just going to drop a link to this article. Keep in mind buyers don’t pay an agent fees, sellers pay this. Use an established realtor, use a friends recommendation, I heard your second cousin is into real estate- anyone but Redfin.  https://mustardseedmoney.com/redfin-vs-traditional-agent/

 

Not sure on what to do? Let us help you make your decision! Have a home to sell? Let us give you a free competitive market value on what it's worth. 817-366-8940

 

Ever wondered how much your home is worth now? In several areas in Tarrant county we have seen a nearly 20% appreciation value per year! Try out our INSTANT home value tool.

 

 

Posted in Costs
April 30, 2019

Fort Worth and Tarrant County Rental Market

Fort Worth and Tarrant County Rental Market in 2019

As you may know the real estate market in Dallas-Fort Worth is booming! And with a demand in real estate comes the demand in rental properties. The growing economy and decrease in unemployment has skyrocketed the rental home demand. Typically, the first thought of a home owner when they are relocating towns or even states is to sell their home. But the best decision to yield the best returns is to rent the property out. Or maybe you just want to gain your first investment property and bring in some extra cash flow to your income. Whatever the case may be- rentals are the way to go!

There are several investment strategies when you’re working with single-family properties or multi-family investment properties. Of course there is the well known "flipping" strategy. You scoop up a fixer upper home that needs some work. With this strategy, you’ll buy a home at a great price, and then do the work that’s required to make it more desirable on the sales market. You’ll have renovations and remodels at a cost, but you’ll be able to sell it for a lot more than you bought it. With the market beings so strong, this is one of the best ways to go- however properties have been much harder to find with everyone jumping on the house flipping bandwagon. 

There’s a different trend that’s taking hold now among investors, however. Where many investors once flipped the homes they purchased, investors are now moving to a buy and hold strategy. They are focusing this strategy on single-family homes, more so than multifamily homes and apartment buildings.

Of course, more units does equal a higher cash flow income per month so duplexes, townhomes and fourplexes stay in high demand. It is common to see a property get snapped up within days of hitting the MLS. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development- the vacancy rate for rentals is less than 5%. Back in 2016, the total demand for rental units for the Fort-Worth/Arlington metro area was around 29,000 units with a supply of merely 15,900 units. That number has since grown but with demand still nearly double the supply. 

The rental market has grown and become an excellent place for investors to earn short term cash flow as well as long term investment returns. With an influx of highly-paid, well-qualified tenants, landlords and rental property owners in Fort Worth and the surrounding areas are in a great position to choose quality tenants from a large pool of potential renters. Investors know that with a well-maintained and appealing home that’s priced correctly, it’s easy to earn an impressive return off their rental property. Therefore, there’s no need to flip those homes. It makes more financial sense to rent them out.

The economy in Fort Worth is also a factor. It’s stable and growing, with low unemployment and a high level of consumer confidence. This also contributes to a stable rental environment for investors and landlords. With a solid real estate market, rental market, and economy, there’s no need for investors to buy and sell quickly. It’s an ideal time to let the asset grow in value while renting it out to tenants who can help pay down the mortgage and maintain the home.

The good news is we have tons of experiences helping first time, out-of-town and seasoned investors purchase properties here in Tarrant County. We have connections with wholesalers and off-market home sellers to help you find the best investment property for your budget and ideal cash flow! We have the knowledge of investing in all types of properties and are here for all your investor related questions.

 

Give us a call at 817-366-8940 we can help you find that maximum cap-rate and cash flow you are seeking!

Posted in Investing
April 17, 2019

Investing in North Texas Real Estate

Investing in North Texas Real Estate

 

The Dallas/Fort Worth job market is steadily growing and is not slowing down anytime soon. According to Forbes.com, since 2010, the population grew by 3.5 million, a million more than either Florida or California. That translates into one and a half million new homes. Lets not forget that Texas is one of the most affordable states when it comes to cost of living. The rate of job growth in Texas this past year was close to 4%. That is twice the national average. 

So you're considering investing in the real estate market. To know exactly what to expect when it comes investing in the North Texas real estate market, you need to know the market. Luckily for you, we are the experts and can inform you on exactly how our market is performing. Check out the GFWAR March Market update below. 

 

As a real estate investor, you should always aim rental properties with as high a cap rate as possible. This simply means that your new rental property will generate you more profit because of the selling price and the rental income. 

Cap Rate? Gross Income? Taxes? We can answer all your investor questions! Give us a call 817-366-8940

Posted in Investing
March 19, 2019

March 2019 Market Update for Tarrant County

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 6, 2019

How To Lower Your Property Taxes In Texas

How To Lower Your Property Taxes In Texas

 

One thing you can do to reduce the property taxes you have to pay is to challenge the assessed value of your home. (The property taxes are primarily based on your home’s assessed value.)

In Texas, two factors determine your tax bill: the taxable value of your home, and the tax rate (that is, the percentage of the taxable value that the local tax authorities use to compute your property tax).

 

Challenge your assessment. There are two parts to your tax bill: The assessed value of your home/property and the actual tax rates applied. While you can't do anything about the tax rates of local services such as schools, towns and fire departments, you can contest your assessed value.

Your home's assessed value isn't necessarily what it's worth on the open market. For that, you'll need a real estate appraiser or agent who does market estimates. This is where we can help you. 

We will look at what similar homes are selling for -- particularly recent sales -- and estimate your home's market value. They aren't always accurate, so you need to look at their numbers.

You can challenge any local assessment by contacting your assessor. 

 

 See if you qualify for discounts. Most assessors give you a "homestead exemption" just for living in your home. Veterans or senior citizens also may get lower assessments.

Again, check with your county or local assessor to see what discounts apply. If your assessment record doesn't include them, then update your assessment.

 

 Appeal if your assessment is wrong. There can be a lot of debate on what constitutes "market value." Your home may have some significant structural or maintenance issues or be across from a factory.

There are myriad factors that reduce a home's value. So if you don't agree with your assessment, then you have a right to appeal on the country and state level.

If you do appeal, keep in mind that you need to compare your home to similar homes in your area. That means matching number of baths and bedrooms and other amenities. That will help you lower your assessed value, which is the first step in lowering your tax bill.

If you have questions about how you can lower your property taxes, give us a shout at 817-366-8940.

Posted in Costs
Dec. 19, 2018

How To Lower Your Property Taxes In Tarrant County

How To Lower Your Property Taxes In Tarrant County

 

Every year in the state of Texas, property taxes increase and most people believe that there is nothing they can do about it. What if you could pay less taxes by simply submitting some information from your computer at the comfort of your own home? The government assumes properties value throughout Texas leading to an increase every year, which is sometimes in fact true. However, that is not always the case.

 

Homeowners should receive a notice of appraised value by April 15th every year. If you think your taxes are too high or you are curious to see if you are fairly paying contact us and we can run comps in your area and see what other homes similar to yours are selling for. If the comps are lower than your appraised tax value, then you can file a tax protest. Or if your home needs repairs such as foundation, roof replacement, water heater or HVAC fixes then you can present estimates and photos in your protest that can lead to reduced taxes.

 

To file a protest online in Tarrant County, visit WWW.TAD.ORG You will need to create an account, if one has not previously been established. Begin the process by selecting Login, in the upper right corner of homepage. For instructions on how to submit a protest Click Here

 

Exemptions.

Just like you have tax breaks when filing your taxes every year, you can have tax breaks on your property taxes called exemptions. You must apply for exemptions and they are filed with appraisal districts. The general deadline for filing an exemption application is before May 1.

 

Homestead Exemption- If the home you are living in is your primary residence and you have owned the property since January 1st then you should be applying for the Residential Homestead Exemption. Did you know that if you have a homestead exemption, your homes appraised value cannot increase more than 10% in one year. The Texas A&M Real Estate Center says the average home in Fort-Worth-Arlington is valued at nearly 23 percent more now than it was three years ago. The average price of $201,135 has risen to $246,674.

 

Senior Exemption- If you are 65 years or older you may qualify for a 65 or older exemption. This one is pretty self explanatory however you cannot receive a disability exemption if you receive this exemption.

 

Disability Exemption- To qualify for this exemption, you must be under a disability for purposes of payment of disability benefits under federal Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Act or meet the definition of disabled in that act.

 

Fighting an appraisal increase- fight it online and in person and we can help. Take in photos, comps with it.

 

We can help! If you would like to protest your home appraisal increase or if you have any questions about the process, give us a call. 817-366-8940

 

Posted in Costs
Nov. 7, 2018

Costs Associated With Buying A Home

 

So you’ve decided to purchase a home. You have gotten pre-approved and are searching for the perfect house. Once you find your dream home, there will be several costs required to actually purchase it.

 

Option Money - After an offer has been written up and accepted by the seller, the buyer goes into option period. Option period is typically 7-10 days to inspect the home. The buyers make out a check to the sellers for a few hundred dollars. During this time the buyer can decide if he would like to move forward or back out of the contract if issues were found with the home. The option money is nonrefundable.  Total Cost- $100-$200

 

Earnest Money - This is money that will be required within 48 hours of executing the contract. It is typically at least 1% of the purchase price and goes towards the purchase of your home. Should the buyer back out of the contract during the option period, the earnest money will be refunded back to them. Total Cost- 1% of purchase price

 

Home Inspection - Although this is not required, it’s highly recommended you have the home inspected by a professional. The professional will catch many problems that could potentially be wrong with your new home including foundation, plumbing and electrical issues. Total Cost - $400-$500

Termite Inspection - This is not required unless you are utilizing a VA Loan. Cost $90- $150

Pool Inspection - Not required but highly recommended if you are purchasing a pool. Cost $100 - $250

 

Additional Expenses - to consider will depend on your financing, you may be required to pay for a year of home owners insurance up front as well as put 3-5 months of taxes into your escrow account. Other expenses to keep in mind, would be if the home you are wanting to purchase lies within a floodplain or has had previous claims on insurance. This could significantly increase your home owners insurance.

 

You have made it through inspections, negotiated repairs and you're ready to close on your new home. Here are the costs you will be looking at upon closing.

 

Down Payment - This is the percent of your loan that you are expected to have at closing. This could be anywhere from 0% of your loan (VA Loans) to 3.5% (FHA Loans) or anything in between (3-20%+ for Conventional). For example, if you are doing an FHA loan for $100,000 at 3.5% you will be expected to have $3,500 at closing.

Loan Origination Fee - This is typically around 1% of your loan value. So if you are buying a $200,000 home, you can expect a loan origination fee of somewhere around $2,000. This can be rolled into your loan if you are willing to accept a higher interest rate.

Closing Fees - These are fees for the title company putting all the paperwork together. For the buyer this is typically between $400-$600.

Appraisal - Unless you are paying cash your lender will require an appraisal. This is to make sure they aren’t lending more than the house is worth in the case they would need to foreclose. The appraisal fee is typically between $400-$600 in Texas. This may vary depending on location.

 

Still have more home buying questions? Or thinking about buying a home? Give us a shout! 817-366-8940

Posted in Costs
Oct. 30, 2018

The question everyone wants to know- do I qualify for a home?

 

 

 

So you're thinking about buying a home. Will I qualify? What do I need? What does my credit score need to be? Are several questions we hear from potential buyers. If you're serious about buying a home, the first step to take would be getting pre-approved for a mortgage. But before you go through the pre-approval process, here is a checklist to ensure your approval.

 

Income Verification.To get pre-approved you must have the last two current months worth of pay stubs from your employer as well as the last two years of w-2's. If you just switched jobs, make sure you have been with the company at least 60 days before applying for a mortgage. You may also be asked to provide bank statements as well as any other income you may receive such as child support or alimony. If you are self-employed or are an independent contractor, you may be asked to provide bank statements for the past year to two years depending on the bank. If you have declared bankruptcy, you must wait a minimum of two years from the date you declared to be considered for a mortgage.

 

Assets. The lender may want to know what you own in terms of assets. An asset is something of value that is owned and one benefits from. This ranges from houses, land and cars to stocks and bonds. This can also include cash, bank accounts and 401k. Anything that you can liquidate into cash usually qualifies as an asset.

 

Credit Score. After working in real estate for several years and working with many different mortgage lenders, I’ve personally experienced that you're going to need a credit score of 620 or higher to get approved for a loan. For the best interest rates, you're going to need a 720 or higher. Falling below the 620 score is easy. Between credit cards, divorce, a broken lease, it is easy to find yourself with a dropping credit score and one of the biggest issues we face when we talk to people. Other than pay off debt, most people don’t know where to start when it comes to improving their credit score. We spoke with Andrew Rickert, who runs Best Texas Credit Pros, here in Fort Worth, Texas. There are several factors that can improve credit such as line of credit and the ideal amount of accounts open. He says that he sees a lot of people who are at that 580 mark. He has been able to get many people up over the 620 score in as little as 1-2 months. Overall, a small price to pay to get into that dream home you have always wanted.

 

If you are a first time buyer or still have questions about buying a home give us a shout at 817-366-8940.

Posted in Qualification
Oct. 25, 2018

3 Master Bedroom Home Sanger Texas

Holy cow! Take a look at this family home located at 108 Colonial Heights in Sanger, TX! If you're looking for a quiet town near Dallas and Fort Worth with a ton of space, this is the home for your family! Whether you have a multi generations in your family or are looking for a home to make memories this house is ready. 

From Sanger you're just an hour from Fort Worth and Dallas. You're also just a few miles from lake Ray Roberts if you enjoy fishing or a little water sport fun. 

Watch the walk through of the home

 

 

This home has a large diving pool for those summer cookouts!

Pool

 

This home also has a secret safe room in the main master! The second and third master are actually located above the garage. This was built as an addition in the past. The rooms are massive with built in shelves in the rooms. 

If you'd like to take a tour of this home, give us a call at 682-233-4416!

July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates