Archive | August, 2018

Reduce Refinancing Costs

28 Aug

There is much more than a lower rate and payment to determine whether to refinance a mortgage. Lenders try to make refinancing as attractive as possible by rolling the closing costs into the new mortgage so there isn’t any out of pocket cash required.

The closing costs associated with a new loan could add several thousand dollars to your mortgage balance. The following suggestions may help you to reduce the expense to refinance.

· Tell the lender up-front that you want to have the loan quoted with minimal closing costs.

· Check with your existing lender to see if the rate and closing costs might be cheaper.

· Shop around with other lenders and compare rate and closing costs.

· If you’re refinancing an FHA or VA loan, consider the streamline refinance.

· Credit unions may have lower closing costs because they are generally loaning deposits and their cost of funds is less.

· Reducing the loan-to-value so mortgage insurance is not required will reduce expenses and lower the payment.

· Ask if the lender can use an AVM, automated valuation model, instead of an appraisal.

· You may not need a new survey if no changes have been made.

· There may be a discount on the mortgagee’s title policy available on a refinance.

· Points on refinancing, unlike a purchase, are ratably deductible over the life of the loan ($3,000 in points on a 30-year loan would result in a $100 tax deduction each year.)

· Consider a 15-year loan. If you can afford the higher payments, you can expect a lower interest rate than a 30-year loan and obviously, it will build equity faster and pay off in half the time.

A lender must provide you a list of the fees involved with making the loan within 3 days of making a loan application in the form of a Loan Estimate and a Closing Disclosure Form. Every dollar counts, and they belong to you.

Moisture & Mold

21 Aug

Moisture is mold’s best friend and it thrives between 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit which is why it is commonly found in homes. Mold spores float in the air and can grow on virtually any substance with moisture including tile, wood, drywall, paper, carpet, and food.

Moisture control and eliminating water problems are key to preventing mold. Common sources of moisture can be roof leaks, indoor plumbing leaks, outdoor drainage problems, damp basements or crawl spaces, steam from bathrooms or kitchen, condensation on cool surfaces, humidifiers, wet clothes drying inside, or improper ventilation of heating and cooking appliances.

  • Control the moisture problem
  • Scrub mold off hard surfaces using soap and water or other cleanser; dry completely
  • Do not paint or caulk moldy surfaces
  • Discard porous materials with extensive mold growth
  • Avoid exposing yourself or others to mold
  • Periodically, inspect the area for signs of moisture and new mold growth

The EPA suggests that if the moldy area is less than ten square feet, you can probably handle the cleanup yourself. If the affected area is larger than that, find a contractor or professional service provider.

Increasing ventilation in a bathroom by running a fan for at least 30 minutes or opening a window can help remove moisture and control mold growth. After showering, squeegee the walls and doors. Wipe wet areas with dry towels. Cleaning more frequently will also prevent mold from recurring or keep it to a minimum.

A simple solution to clean most mold is a 1:8 bleach/water mixture. Since homes have thermostatically controlled temperatures and water is used all day long in the kitchen and bathrooms, the environment is conducive to mold.

See Ten things you should know about mold written by the EPA.


17 Aug

14735 Blakehill-1.jpg

114735 Blakehill Drive, Frisco

4 Bedrooms / 3.5 Bath / Study / Game / Media

Check out HD video here!

This gorgeous & impeccably maintained home in sought-after Turnbridge Manor boasts rich updating, a unique and rare floorplan and is nestled within walking distance of three of Frisco’s finest schools and outstanding community features!  Your guests will enjoy the warm curb appeal of this home with stone and brick landscaping borders, a relaxing covered front porch and upon entry will be greeted by extensive hardwood floors (up & down) and Plantation shutters throughout the home.  An elegant and spacious formal dining with upgraded millwork is perfect for entertaining and is flanked by an upgraded executive study with stain-grade coffered ceilings, custom built-ins, wainscoting & French doors.  The granite kitchen would delight any chef with its abundant and freshly painted custom cabinetry with dentil moldings and glass fronts, double ovens, island-style work area, walk-in pantry, sunny breakfast area, butler’s pantry & is open to an expansive family room with a custom-built in, cozy fireplace with a double mantle, cubby-style storage area and backyard view.

The split and spacious master retreat enjoys rich hardwoods, a backyard view and a luxurious master bath with an over-sized shower, garden tub, framed mirrors, linen closet and a large master closet with a shoe rack and built-in clothing storage. The second floor also enjoys hardwoods and has a Texas-sized game room for entertaining with an adjacent media room wired for sound and ready for movie nights with an Optoma projection system, Onkyo speakers and Movietime screen.

A rare guest suite is also upstairs with a walk-in closet and a full bath. Downstairs are two separate bedrooms that enjoy a full bath &  a convenient study area with a built-in desk and cabinetry. The backyard is perfect for entertaining with an extended flagstone patio, nice trees and an 8’ board-on-board fence. Also featured is an oversized utility room with storage cubby, utility sink & cabinetry.  Other outstanding features and upgrades are….plantation shutters (2017), hardwoods up and down (2017 & 2013), both water heaters (2016), 30-year roof (2014), radiant barrier (2012), warm & neutral tones, updated fixtures, excellent storage, storage niche in garage and more. 

Turnbridge Manor is an outstanding community with a private lake, playground, Taychas Trail, a scenic pool area and is just minutes from the best Frisco has to offer.  This home is move-in ready & 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 

What to Avoid Before Closing Your New Home

14 Aug

It’s understandable; you’re excited; you’ve found the right home, negotiated a contract, made a loan application and inspections. Closing is not that far away, and you are making plans to move and put personal touches on your new home.

Even if you have an initial approval on your mortgage, little things can derail the process which isn’t over until the papers are signed at settlement and funds distributed to the seller. The verifications are usually done again just prior to the closing to determine if there have been any material changes to the borrower’s credit or income that might disqualify them.

Most lending and real estate professionals recommend NOT to:

  • Make any new major purchases that could affect your debt-to-income ratio
  • Buy things for your new home until after you close
  • Apply, co-sign or add any new credit
  • Close or consolidate credit card accounts without advice from your lender
  • Quit your job or change jobs
  • Change banks
  • Talk to the seller without your agent

The lender and I are working together to get you into your new home. It’s understandable to be excited and feel you need to be getting ready for the move.

Planning is fine but don’t do anything that would affect your credit or income while you’re waiting to sign the final papers at settlement.


14 Aug

11244 Seguin ext-1

11244 Seguin Drive, Frisco

4 Bedroom / 3.5 Bath / 2 Car / Greenbelt
3960 sq ft / Built 2004 / Frisco ISD

Check out HD video here!

AMAZING Legacy/Monterrey home on beautiful, private wooded lot with oversized backyard ready for a pool!! THIS IS A MUST SEE HOME with an inviting floorplan within walking distance to Frisco ISD schools, neighborhood park and pool. 4 Beds 3.5 Baths, game room, media, private office and huge open concept kitchen with TWO pantries!   Roof installed 2017, freshly painted 2018, carpet just installed, tons of upgrades! This is a must see!

Please contact Elyse Guthrie at 512.217.1412 for more information or click HERE.

For more information and other homes for sale in this area, check out 


14 Aug


1213 Shenandoah Drive, McKinney

4 Bedrooms / 3.5 Bath / Study / Game


Check out HD video here!

This gorgeous Highland home nestled on a cul-de-sac in sought-after Ridgecrest has it all with extensive updating, the floorplan every buyer wants and beautiful backyard area with an extended patio and arbor. The flagstone elevation and landscaping borders
enhance the curb appeal of this home and upon entry, your guests will be greeted by an elegant formal dining with soaring 13’ ceilings, rich hardwoods, upgraded chandelier and just adjacent is an open study with hardwoods. The gourmet kitchen would delight any chef  with its upgraded granite and serving island, abundant & painted  42”
cabinetry with hardware, stainless appliances, Whirlpool dishwasher, excellent work areas & sunny breakfast area with window seat.  The kitchen does have a breakfast bar, is open to an expansive family room with an impressive floor to ceiling stone fireplace with gas logs and a hearth, crown molding and enjoys a patio view.

The split and spacious master retreat boasts rich hardwoods, a backyard view and a luxurious master bath with a jetted tub, separate shower, upgraded cabinet hardware, framed mirrors and a large walk-in closet.  The iron spindles on the stairs lead to a large game room perfect for play or get-togethers and flows to a media room that is wired for sound & has sconces on dimmers that makes for great sports and movie watching.  The 3 bedrooms upstairs are all a generous size, have walk-in closets with two sharing a jack & jill bath and the third enjoying a full bath as a guest suite. Other outstanding features and upgrades are a spacious backyard with extended patio with a custom arbor covering, an upgraded utility room with wainscoted cabinets & a storage cubbie, warm and neutral tones throughout, upgraded carpeting upstairs (8-18) & just minutes from the 380 corridor & the very best McKinney has to offer.  Move-in ready and exceptional value at this price!

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 

Rising Rates Affect the Cost Too

7 Aug

Mortgage rates have risen 0.5% in 2018 on 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages and experts expect them to continue to increase. Buyers paying attention to the market understand the relationship that inventory has on pricing; when the supply is low, the price usually goes up. Rising interest rates can affect the cost of homes also.

When interest rates go up, fewer people can afford homes. Lower numbers of buyers can affect the demand, which could cause prices of homes to come down. The question is how much do the interest rates have to go up to affect demand?

As the rates gradually go up, the affect may not be noticeable at all except for the fact that the payments for the buyer have increased.

A ½% change in interest is approximately equal to a 5% change in price. A $300,000 mortgage at 4.5% for a 30-year term will have a $1,520.06 principal and interest payment. If the mortgage rate goes up 0.5%, it would affect the payment the same as if the price had gone up 5%. The difference in payments for the full term of the loan would be $32,547.

There are some things beyond buyers’ control, but indecision isn’t one of them. If they haven’t found the “right” home yet, it is understandable. However, when that home does present itself, the buyer needs to be ready to make a decision. If they are preapproved and have done their due diligence in the market, they should be able to contract before significant changes occur in the mortgage rates.

Gorgeous & Upgraded One-Story Has It All!

2 Aug


936 Lake Meadow Lane, Little Elm

2 Bedroom / 2 Bath / 2 Car / Study / Updated

Check out HD video here!

This stunning one-story home in sought-after Paloma Creek Lakeview has it all with extensive & rich updating, a versatile floorplan and impeccable location in the neighborhood within walking distance to Lake Lewisville. An upgraded stone elevation and “speak-easy” style knotty alder door enhance the curb appeal of this home and upon entry, your guests will be greeting by a 24 x 24 tile with glass deco & crown molding.

The gourmet kitchen would delight any chef with its upgraded & abundant 48”
knotty alder cabinetry with crown molding, a tumbled stone backsplash with copper deco, GE gas range, GE stainless appliances, large granite island with excellent storage, pendant lighting, sunny breakfast area and is open to a beautiful & expansive family room with an upgraded coffered ceiling, cast-stone gas fireplace, plush Frieze carpeting & excellent patio view.

The split & spacious master retreat has a nice backyard view for a future pool &
boasts a luxurious bath with a jetted tub, separate shower, granite vanities & knotty alder cabinets, bronze fixtures, framed mirrors and large walk-in closet with a shoe rack. The other two bedrooms are a generous size, both have walk-in closets, share an upgraded bath with a granite vanity, framed mirror & alder cabinetry. Other outstanding features & upgrades include….covered patio with gas stub & wonderful backyard, rubbed-oil bronze fixtures throughout, alder cabinetry in utility room, oversized 20×26 garage, vinyl windows, full guttering, holiday light package in the soffits, Rinnai tankless water system, a study with French doors that could also be a formal dining, bull-nosed sheetrock corners, radiant barrier, upgraded security system and wonderful Paloma Creek neighborhood amenities. Move-in ready & 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 

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