Waiting Will Cost More

19 Jun

An economist responded when asked how interest rates would change: “They may fall some and then, rise and after that, they’ll fluctuate.”43276292-250.jpg

Just because interest rates have been low for ten years doesn’t mean they are supposed to be low. The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates twice this year and are expected to go up twice more plus three times next year. Mortgage rates have risen from 3.95% to 4.62% since the first of January.

Increased rates directly affect the payments on homes but so does the price. With inventory levels remaining low, the prices will continue to go up. When interest rates and prices rise at the same time, it costs buyers a lot more.

If the mortgage rates go up by one percent and prices increase by five percent in the next year, the payment on a $250,000 home could go up by $200 a month. In a seven-year period, the buyer would pay $18,000 more for the home.

People planning to buy a home, need to investigate the possibilities of accelerating their timetable to take advantage of lower rates and prices. Use the Cost of Waiting to Buy calculator to see how much more it could cost you to wait. Call (972) 978-6539 if you have questions about what can be done now.

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The Tax Difference in Second Homes

12 Jun

A principal residence and a second home have some similar benefits, but they have some key tax differences. A principal residence is the primary home where you live and a second home is used mainly for personal enjoyment while limiting possible rental activity to a maximum of 14 days per year.10213246-250.jpg

Under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Mortgage Interest Deduction allows a taxpayer to deduct the qualified interest on a principal residence and a second home. The interest is reduced from a maximum of $1,000,000 combined acquisition debt to a maximum of $750,000 combined acquisition debt for both the first and second homes.

Property taxes on first and second homes are deductible but limited to a combined maximum of $10,000 together with other state and local taxes paid.

The gain on a principal residence retained the exclusion of $250,000/$500,000 for single/married taxpayers meeting the requirements. Unchanged by the new tax law, the gains on second homes must be recognized when sold or disposed.

Tax-deferred exchanges are not allowed for property used for personal purposes such as second homes. Gain on second homes owned for more than 12 months is taxed at the lower long-term capital gains rate.

This article is intended for informational purposes. Advice from a tax professional for your specific situation should be obtained prior to making a decision that can have tax implications.


8 Jun

74377_10913 Columbia Dr, Frisco TX 75035-Caydee Jennings ONSITE pic vid 3D_06-06-2018.0041

10913 Columbia Drive, Frisco

3 Bedroom / 2 Bath / 2 Living Areas / Updated

Check out HD video here!

This beautiful one-story home in sought-after Plantation Resort boasts a stunning remodeled kitchen, excellent floorplan and outstanding location in the neighborhood.  Mature landscape graces the curb appeal of the home and then upon entry, elegant formals offer a second living area, or a study if needed.  The updated kitchen (2018) would delight any Chef with its rich granite & serving island, warm grey tones & trendy glass-block backsplash, updated sink & faucet, wood-like tile, abundant cabinetry, canned lighting and sunny breakfast area. The kitchen is also open to the family room with an updated fireplace surround & mantle, updated carpeting and a nice backyard view.

The split master retreat is a generous size, boasts two separate closets and a bath with two sinks, separate shower and garden tub with updated flooring. Other updates/features are a BOB fence in the spacious backyard, sprinkler system, two spacious bedrooms sharing a full bath with updated fans, entry tile updated & move-in ready.  This home is priced to sell and is in an excellent southern Frisco location with wonderful schools and quick access to the 121 Tollway, Stonebriar Mall area and the North Dallas Tollway.

Please contact Jeff Jacobs at 972-978-6539 for more information or click HERE.

For more information and other homes for sale in this area, check out www.myrealtytown.com 

When Neighbors Don’t Seem to Care

5 Jun

A home that isn’t being maintained like others in the neighborhood can negatively affect your visual sense of appeal and in some extreme cases, even affect property values. It might be an overgrown yard, a fence in need of repair, excessive noise, unruly pets, paint peeling on the home or even a car or boat parked in front of the home that hasn’t moved in weeks.2676519-250.jpg

Most people want to be good neighbors and may be willing to correct an issue once it is brought to their attention. A practical, but possibly confrontational, solution is to contact the responsible person and describe your perception of the issue. However, they may not always agree with the same urgency and it might be necessary to seek other remedies.

An owner-occupant may be more sympathetic to the neighbors and willing to correct the issue. If you think the home might be a rental property, check with the county tax records to identify the owner. They may be unaware of the situation and welcome the notification to protect their investment.

Another alternative might be to notify the homeowner’s association, if there is one. One of the benefits of a HOA is to enforce community appearance standards as set in the covenants or bylaws that specify how properties must be maintained. This could be a less personal method of reaching a beneficial outcome.

If the source of the problem is a code or housing violation, the city may be the ultimate authority. Most cities have a separate code and neighborhood services division and some cities have 311 for non-emergency assistance.

Flag Protocol

29 May

The American flag is obviously a symbol of our country but it has come to remind us of every man and woman who has fought for the freedom that we enjoy. The emotions that are stirred by images of our flag can run from happiness to sadness to trust and everything in between.flag2.png

Most of us learned American flag etiquette or the Flag Code when we were young but occasionally, it is a good idea to review the guidelines so that the flag is treated with the respect it deserves.

  • The U.S. flag should not be flown at night unless a light is shown on it.
  • The U.S. flag should not be flown upside down except as a distress signal.
  • The flag should never touch the ground.
  • A U.S. flag should be displayed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff in mourning.
  • When displaying multiple flags of a state, community or society on the same flagpole, the U.S. flag must always be on top.
  • When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor – to its own right. No flag should be higher or larger than the U.S. flag. The U.S. flag is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.
  • When the U.S. flag is flown with those of other countries, each flag should be the same size and must be on separate poles of the same height. Ideally, the flags should be raised and lowered simultaneously.

More information on flag etiquette can be found at the Veterans of Foreign Wars website.

Second Guessing Price

22 May

Imagine a homeowner consulting with their agent about the price to place on their home. The agent suggests that the market data indicates that $200,000 to 210,000 would produce a quick sale by pricing it properly. The owner puts a $210,000 price on the home.76605908-250.jpg

The first person who looks at the home offers $205,000. When the seller receives the offer, he comments that he thinks he priced the home too low and counters for full price. The counter-offer is rejected, the home stays on the market and at the end of the first month when based on market conditions, the home should be sold, no other offers have been made.

It may be human nature that when an offer is received so quickly, the first thought to come to mind is that it was priced too low. A more appropriate thought might be that it was priced correctly. In some cases, when a home comes on the market, there is increased competition (real or perceived) among the buyers waiting for the “right” home to come on the market. The home can sell for a higher price than if it sits on the market for several months.

There may be stories of sellers who turned down the first offer and ended up receiving a better offer that would net more money. However, real estate professionals say the first scenario occurs frequently.

The wisdom of experience advises owners to find a real estate professional that they trust and have confidence. Allow that professional to become familiar with your home and compare it to similar homes in the market that have sold recently and ones currently on the market. Determine the demand for homes in the area compared to the inventory. Decide on a price that will allow the home to sell within a relatively short period of time. And lastly, be satisfied if your home sells quickly near the price you put on it.

A Home for Tomorrow

15 May

As people near or enter retirement, one of the decisions that typically comes up is whether to sell their “big” home and buy a smaller one. If you know anyone who has been faced with that situation, selling one home and buying a smaller one may not save enough money to make it worthwhile.79996505-250.jpg

There are sales expenses on the property being sold and acquisition costs on the replacement home. Generally speaking, homeowners may not mind a home with less square footage, but they usually don’t want to give up amenities or locations that they’ve become accustomed.

After a little number crunching, the move may not make enough difference in savings and they end up staying in their current home even if it doesn’t fit their needs anymore.

What if while this couple were still in their peak earning years, they acquired a home in an area where they would consider retiring and rent it during the interim. They could put it on a 15-year mortgage and possibly, even accelerate the principal payments to have it paid off by their anticipated move.

In the meantime, they could continue living in the “big” home until it is time to make the transition. Sell the “big” home that may be paid for by then and avoid up to $500,000 of capital gain. Take part of the proceeds and remodel the rental/transitional home and invest the proceeds for retirement income.

Ideally, the former rental would be mortgage free by this point, so the retirees would not have a house payment. Even if at this point, they changed their mind about retiring to this particular home, they still have a property that acted as a hedge against rising prices and have sufficient equity to purchase something else without using the proceeds from the “big” home.

It is difficult to know what the situation will be years from now when a person retires. It is clearly advantageous to have a plan that allows for options and choices. To find out more about purchasing your retirement home today, give me a call at (972) 978-6539.


11 May

72955_2047 Yukon Ct, Allen TX 75013-Caydee Jennings ONSITE pic vid 3D_02-05-2018.0181hdr-Edit

2047 Yukon Court, Allen

5 Bedrooms / 5 Bath / 4 Living Areas / Cul-de-Sac
4513 Sq Ft. / Built 2007 / Allen ISD

Check out the full motion HD-video here!

Meticulously maintained, 5 Bedroom, 4 Bath home with Media and Game Room on a CUL-DE-SAC lot.

Located in Waterford Trails which is a short distance to Trails, Parks, Playgrounds, Creeks and many other amenities available to all residents. 

The huge Kitchen features Granite, Stainless Steel Appliances, Island and Desk. You will love the spacious Master Suite which is split from secondary bedrooms.  Soaring Ceilings and Soft neutral tones throughout.  Downstairs Study is adjoined to a Full Bath and could be used as a 6th bedroom if needed. 

Private backyard and 3 car Garage. Prime location close to shopping, restaurants and highways.

Please contact Marchand Froschheuser at 972-943-7315for more information or click HERE.

For more information and other homes for sale in this area, check out www.myrealtytown.com 

Assumptions May be an Alternative

8 May

For the last 25 years, most buyers have gotten a new mortgage or paid cash when purchasing a home. For a practical reason, owner-occupant buyers have another alternative: assuming a lower interest rate existing FHA or VA mortgage.29377293-250.jpg

In the late 80’s, both FHA and VA began requiring buyers to qualify to assume their mortgages. Prior to that, good credit or even a job wasn’t required. The real reason there haven’t been significant numbers of assumptions in the past 25 years is that interest rates have been steadily going down. If a person had to qualify, they might as well do it on a new loan and get a lower interest rate.

Even though mortgage money is currently attractive and available, it is at a four-year high. When interest rates on new mortgages are higher than the rates of assumable FHA and VA mortgages originated in the recent past, it may be more advantageous to assume the existing mortgages. Conventional loans have due on sale clauses that prevent them from being assumed at the existing rate.

FHA loans that originated with lower than current interest rates have great advantages for buyers and sellers.

  1. Interest rate won’t change for qualified buyer
  2. Lower interest rate means lower payments
  3. Lower closing costs than originating a new mortgage
  4. Easier to qualify for an assumption than a new loan
  5. Lower interest rate loans amortize faster than higher ones
  6. Equity grows faster because loan is further along the amortization schedule
  7. Assumable mortgage could make the home more marketable

This financing alternative can save money for the buyer in closing costs and monthly payments. While the equity may be more than the down payment on a new mortgage, second mortgages are available to make up the difference. Call us at (972) 978-6539 to find out if this may be an option for you.


3 May

315 County Rd 4838-11

315 County Road 4838, Haslet

3 Bedroom / 2 Bath / 1 Acre Lot / Barn / Storage Shed

Check out more photos here!

Fantastic and updated ranch-style home all on a beautiful sprawling 1-acre lot and NO HOA!

This bright and cheerful home has so much to offer including laminate hardwood floors, 2-inch wood blinds, and an open floor plan. The Texas-sized central living area features a stone wood-burning fireplace, dining area & cozy kitchen with stainless steel appliances, attractive stained high quality cabinetry with updated oil-rubbed drawer pulls and a lovely updated hard surface counter top. The master bedroom is spacious and has a private bath, oversized shower with oil-rubbed bronze fixtures and a large walk-in closet. Guest bedrooms are separate from the master, and each feature spacious walk-in closets. Additionally, the surveillance system has a motion detector, 4 cameras outside (2 in front & 2 in back), TV/monitor mounted inside house, and a DVR to record automatically when triggered.

Great opportunity to enjoy country life while close to all the things you want. Plenty of space to park your RV and your boat! Enjoy keeping your horses and other livestock in the barn with 2 stalls and a tack room. All your equipment for mowing or garden work can be stored easily in the large shed. The lot can be divided into more than one pasture, or there’s ample space for a luscious garden where you can grow all of your favorite veggies. Plus, there’s more than enough space for a pool and the outdoor living center/kitchen of your dreams!

With easy access to Hwy 114 and 287, a quick drive to Alliance Airport, Texas Motor Speedway, Alliance Town Center, Rhome or Eagle Mountain Lake, this home offers tremendous value and is PRICED TO SELL!

Please contact Jeff Jacobs at 972-978-6539 for more information or click HERE.

For more information and other homes for sale in this area, check out www.myrealtytown.com 

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