Archive | November, 2018

Gift of Equity

27 Nov

There is a little-known mortgage program that could provide the vehicle for the right person to get into a home. If a person sells their home to another for less than the fair market value, the difference in the appraised value and the sales price is considered a gift of equity for the buyer.

FHA requires that borrowers receive gifts of equity only from family members transferring title to the borrower.

An appraisal is required to determine the value of the home. The sales price is subtracted from the appraised value to determine the equity to be gifted. If a home appraises for $300,000 when the owner will sell it for $250,000, the gift is $50,000.

The gift is applied to the down payment. In this example, the borrower would have to qualify for a $250,000 mortgage which would require private mortgage insurance because a 20% down payment on a $300,000 home would be $60,000. If the buyer had an additional $10,000 in cash to put down, the PMI would not be required, and the monthly payments would be lower.

The seller would need to provide a gift letter stating the amount of the gift, the date the gift, and that no repayment is expected or required. It also needs to have the donor’s name, address, phone, email and relationship to the buyer. In addition, the settlement statement will need to show the gift being credited from the seller to the buyer. The lender may require additional documentation.

Beginning in 2018, the annual gift tax exemption is increased to $15,000 per person per year and lifetime exemption to $5.6 million. The fact that the $50,000 exceeds the individual amount doesn’t mean there will necessarily be any gift tax due now. The seller should consult their tax professional.


23 Nov

433 La Salle-29 rev

433 La Salle Drive, Richardson

3 Bedrooms / 2 bath / 2 Car / Updated

Check out HD video here!

This beautifully updated home in sought-after Richardson Terrace has it all with a gorgeous remodeled kitchen, a spacious floorplan on a 71’ wide lot and is conveniently located just minutes from I-75 and a short walk to Richardson Terrace Elementary School. The large front yard is excellent for play and upon entry, a spacious family room with updated flooring (2018) will greet your guests & leads to a Cape Cod style kitchen (updated 2015) that would delight any chef with its rich granite counters, upgraded shaker style cabinetry & pulls, stainless appliances to include a Samsung refrigerator, wainscoted backsplash & sunny breakfast area.  The master retreat boasts
3 closets, has updated carpeting (2018), a private bath and also a ceiling fan. The other two bedrooms are generous in size and also have updated carpeting in 2018. 

A Texas-sized backyard is hard to find these days, but this home has it with a nice tree, open patio, relaxing deck and extended fence (2018) for play and entertaining. Other outstanding features and upgrades include…. reconstructed driveway (2015), upgraded sliding door to the patio, neutral paint tones throughout (2015), gas & sewer lines (2014), window blinds (2015), garage opener (2015), 2-car garage, knock-out roses for the front flower bed, breaker box relocated outside & outlets grounded (9 total in 2014), foundation work completed in 2014 with warranty & much more. 

This home is move-in ready, has exceptional 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 


23 Nov

8404 Brooksby MLS-2

8404 Brooksby Drive, Plano

4 Bedrooms / 3.5 Bath / 2 Car / Study / Pool

Check out HD video here!

This stunning Highland home in the heart of Plano in sought-after Stonehaven Place truly has it all with beautiful updating, an expansive floorplan and a sparkling pool and spa! Mature trees grace the elevation of this home and upon entry, your guests will be greeted by a leaded-glass front door,  20-foot ceilings & double crown moldings, rich hardwoods and Plantation shutters.  The formal areas are elegant & inviting with crown moldings, an upgraded chandelier & soaring ceilings and just adjacent is a private study with French doors & plantation shutters.

The upgraded kitchen (2010) would delight any chef with its abundant 48” cabinetry, upgraded granite with tumbled stone backsplash and serving island, stainless appliances to include a convection oven and Bosch dishwasher, breakfast bar, gas stub for gas cooktop if needed, undermount sink and bronze faucet & sunny breakfast area. The kitchen is open to a delightful family room that has a toasty fireplace with gas logs and double mantle, extensive custom built-ins, surround sound, vaulted ceilings and gorgeous pool view.

The spacious and split master retreat boasts a luxurious & remodeled bath (2012) with a frameless glass shower with decorative tile, split granite vanities, jetted tub, bronze fixtures & faucets, frameless mirrors and a large walk-in closet with built-in shelving and a shoe rack. Upstairs has a spacious gameroom for play and entertaining and 3 large bedrooms, two of which have walk-in closets and two full bathrooms for convenience.  Outdoors is a perfect oasis for relaxing and entertaining with a large aggregate deck and privacy fence surrounding a sparkling pool with flagstone coping, a tranquil waterfall and relaxing spa all controlled by a Compool system located in side the home. Other outstanding features and upgrades are….an elegant & upgraded powder bath with marble vanity, under stair storage and convenient 5 x 13 storage in the garage, rubbed-oil bronze door hardware throughout, oversized utility room with extensive cabinetry, AC units replaced in 2014 & 2017, roof replaced in 2014, upgraded doorbell, solar screens, holiday lighting outlets in the eaves of the exterior, outdoor floodlights for the elevation and much more!  This wonderful home is an outstanding value and 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 


23 Nov

387 Spring Meadow-50

387 Spring Meadow Drive, Fairview

4 Bedrooms / 2 Car / Study / Cul-De-Sac Lot

Check out HD video here!

This stunning home in sought-after Village of Fairview has it all with rich updating, a spacious and expansive floorplan and is conveniently nestled on a cul-de-sac corner in the heart of Fairview just minutes from the best restaurants and retail.  Upon entry, your guests will be greeted by an upgraded leaded-glass front door,  beautiful nail-down hardwood floors  (2016), soaring ceilings with double crown moldings, a private light and bright study with French doors and an elegant dining area with contemporary styling and wainscoting.  The kitchen would delight any chef with its abundant 42”
cabinetry, upgraded granite, large serving island with storage, sleek black appliances and gas range, walk-in pantry, trendy chandelier in the sunny breakfast area with
window seating and expansive breakfast bar open to the family room.

The spacious family room boasts 21’ ceilings, has an abundance of windows to provide natural light, has beautiful hardwood floors and a toasty gas fireplace with gas logs and a large decorative mantle. The split and spacious master retreat enjoys double crown moldings, an art niche, window seating overlooking the backyard and has a luxury bath with a jetted tub, split vanities, separate shower and a large walk-in closet.  Iron spindles on the stairs lead to a Texas-sized 24 x 16 game room for play and entertaining and just adjacent is a media room wired for surround sound and a projector making it perfect for movie nights or the big game. There are 3 spacious bedrooms upstairs all with walk-in closets, a full bath and a very convenient walk-in attic storage area. 

Other wonderful upgrades and features are….a large utility room with storage niche and window, cedar overlay garage doors, a large pool-sized backyard with a 6 ft board-on-board fence, upgraded kitchen and utility tile (2016), neutral tones throughout,
included window treatments and more. This home offers exceptional value and all the best Fairview has to offer!

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 

Do You Know the Way?

20 Nov

It may be natural for first-time buyers to be unsure of the process of buying a home because they haven’t been through it before but even repeat buyers need to know changes that have taken place since the financial housing crisis.

The steps in the home buying process are predictable and generally follow the same pattern. It certainly makes the move stay on schedule when you know all the different things that must be done to get to the closing.

  • In the initial interview with your real estate professional, you share the things you want and need in a home, discuss available financing and learn how your agent can represent you in the transaction.
  • The pre-approval step is essential for anyone using a mortgage to purchase a home to assure that they’re looking at the right price of homes and so they’ll know what they can qualify for and what the interest will be.
  • Even with lower than normal inventory, it is difficult to stay up-to-date with the homes currently for sale and the new one just coming on the market. Technology has simplified this process, but the buyer needs to implement them.
  • Showings can be accommodated online through virtual tours, drive-bys and finally, a personal tour through the home. Your real estate professional can work with you to see all the homes in the market through REALTORS®, builders or for sale by owners.
  • When a home has been identified, an offer is written and negotiation over price, condition and terms takes place.
  • A contract is a fully negotiated, written agreement.
  • Escrow is opened to deposit the earnest money from the buyer as a sign they’re acting in good faith. The title search is also started so that clear title can be conveyed from the seller to the buyer and that the lender will have a valid lien on the property.
  • 88% of home sales involve a mortgage. The lender will require an appraisal to be sure that the home can serve as partial collateral for the loan. If the buyer has been pre-approved, the verifications will be updated to be certain that they’re still valid. The entire loan package when completed, is sent to underwriting for final approval.
  • When the contract is completed, at the same time the title search and mortgage approval is being worked on, the buyer will arrange for any inspections that were called for in the contract.
  • After all contingencies have been completed, the transaction goes to settlement where all of the necessary papers are signed, and the balance of the buyer’s money is paid. This is where title transfers from the seller to the buyer.
  • Possession occurs according to the sales contract.

One of the responsibilities of your real estate professional is to make sure that things are done in a timely manner so that the transaction will close according to the agreement on time and without unforeseen or unnecessary problems.

Even if you’re not ready to buy or start looking yet, you need to be assembling your team of professionals. Let us know and we’ll send you our recommendations, so you can read about them on their websites.

If you have any questions, call us at (972) 978-6539; we’re happy to help. Informed buyers lead to satisfied homeowners and that is better for everyone involved.

Roll the Repairs into the Mortgage

13 Nov

It’s been said that if you can find a home that has most of what you want, you should go ahead and purchase it. Many first-time buyers are using everything they have for a down payment and closing costs and would have to “live” with the less than perfect home until they can save the money to make the changes.

The FHA 203(k) mortgage allows a borrower to purchase a home and provides additional funds for improvements to be made. These types of renovations can include kitchen and bathroom remodels, flooring, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems, additions and other things.

The benefit to the buyer is that they have the opportunity to consider a home that needs repairs and might have been unacceptable without a program like this. Being a FHA loan, a minimal down payment is required, fair interest rates and generous qualifying requirements.

The 203(k) Streamline can be used for cosmetic improvements, appliances and minor remodeling up to $35,000 in cost.

As you can imagine, this is a specialized program and not all lenders choose to make 203(k) loans. They usually take longer to process and getting firm bids on the work to be done will be required. It is important to find out how much experience a lender has with this particular type of loan.

It will also be required that you work with a 203(k) consultant in addition to the mortgage officer.

For more information, go to FNMA has a similar conventional loan program called HomeStyle Mortgage. Your real estate professional will be able to help with recommendations. Call me at (972) 978-6539.

Getting the “Right” Home

6 Nov

Finding the right home is still the biggest challenge buyers are faced with in today’s market as is shown in the latest Confidence Index Survey. Assuming the buyers find the “right” home with determination, perseverance and the help of a real estate professional, 88% of all transactions last year required financing to get the buyer’s address on the home. 93% of first-time buyers needed financing.

Pre-approval is an essential step that needs to be handled before buyers begin searching for a home. The benefits to the buyer fall into the category of confidence.


  • Knowing the amount you can borrow
    the mortgage amount decreases as interest rates rise
  • Looking at the right priced homes
    price, size, amenities, location
  • Comparing and identifying the best loan
    rate, term, type
  • Uncover issues early that could affect the most favorable loan terms
    time to cure possible problems
  • Bargaining power to negotiate with the seller and possibly, competing buyers
    price, terms, & timing
  • Settlement can occur sooner after contact is accepted
    verifications have already been made

Items Needed for Pre-Approval

  • Photo ID
  • Two months current pay stubs
  • Last two year’s W2s
  • Complete copies of checking and savings statements for last three months
  • Copies of statements for IRAs, 401k, savings, CDs, money market funds, etc.
  • Employment history for last two years with addresses and contacts
  • Proof of commissioned or bonus income
  • Residency history for last two years with addresses and contacts
  • Assets for down payment, closing costs, and reserves; must provide paper trail
  • If self-employed, last two years tax returns, current profit and loss statement and balance sheet; copy of partnership/corporate tax returns for last two years if owning more than 25% of company
  • FHA requires driver’s license and social security card
  • VA requires original certificate of eligibility and DD214
  • Other things may be required such as previous bankruptcy, divorce decree

Contact us at (972) 978-6539 or jeff if you’d like a recommendation of a trusted mortgage professional.

Renovated 3 Bedroom/2 Bath Home In Stonebridge Ranch!

2 Nov

Feather Crest EXT 1a

5122 Feather Crest, McKinney

3 Bedroom / 2 Bath / 2 Car / Renovated
1931 sq ft / Built 1992 / McKinney ISD

Check out HD video here!

This beautiful 1-story home situated in sought-after Stonebridge Ranch has been renovated and is ready for a new owner. The property has a recent roof (2017) and fresh paint with easy maintenance landscape.

Kitchen boosts granite counters and stainless steel appliances while the remodeled master bathroom has a modern look. Quality materials enhance the professional work.

The brick elevation complements the front landscaping and provides  great curb appeal for this home. Upon entry, your guests will be greeted by gleaming hardwoods, soaring high ceilings, in a bright and open floorplan. The family room also enjoys a toasty, updated fireplace with gas logs.

The spacious master retreat has a  large  walk-in closet and is split away from the other bedrooms. Stonebridge Ranch is an outstanding McKinney community with neighborhood pools, community clubhouse, playgrounds and beach area.

Please contact Holly Floyd at 214.600.1402 for more information or click HERE.

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

3 Bedroom/2 Bath Home In Carter Ranch!

2 Nov


2831 Quarter Horse Lane, Celina

4 Bedroom / 2 Bath / 2 Car / Renovated
1800 sq ft / Built 2006/ Celina ISD

Check out HD video here!


This well maintained 3BR, 2 Bath home in sought after Carter Ranch is move in ready and perfect for first time buyers or down-sizers.

Many updates including roof replaced in 2017 along with
carpet, paint and all door hardware. Garage door replaced in 2018.

Open kitchen features granite counters and updated stainless steel appliances. Large backyard and quiet street.

Neighborhood amenities include community pool with cabana and pavilion, playgrounds, walking trails and fishing pond with pier. Great location with easy access to Preston and 380.

Please contact Shirl McKinney at 214.232.7174 for more information or click HERE.

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

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