Archive | February, 2019

Depends If You Can Afford It

26 Feb

Affordability, stability and flexibility are the three reasons homebuyers overwhelmingly choose a 30-year term. The payments are lower, easier to qualify for the mortgage and they can always make additional principal contributions.

However, for those who can afford a higher payment and commit to the 15-year term, there are three additional reasons: lower mortgage interest rate, build equity faster and retire the debt sooner.

The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage is the loan of choice for first-time buyers who are more likely to use a minimum down payment and are concerned with affordable payments. For a more experienced buyer who doesn’t mind and can qualify making larger payments, there are some advantages.

Consider a $200,000 mortgage at 30 year and 15-year terms with recent mortgage rates at 4.2% and 3.31% respectively. The payment is $433.15 less on the 30-year term but the interest being charged is higher. The total interest paid by the borrower if each of the loans was retired would be almost three times more for the 30-year term.

Let’s look at a $300,000 mortgage with 4.41% being quoted on the 30-year and 3.84% on the 15-year. The property taxes and insurance would be the same on either loan. The interest rate is a little over a half a percent lower on the 15-year loan, but it also has a $691.03 higher principal and interest payment due to the shorter term.

The principal contribution on the first payment of the 30-year loan is $401.56 and it is $1,235.09 on the 15-year loan. The mortgage is being reduced by $833.53 more which exceeds the increased payment on the 15-year by $142.50. Interestingly, over three times more is being paid toward the principal.

Some people might suggest getting a 30-year loan and then, making the payments as if they were on a 15-year loan. That would certainly accelerate amortization and save interest. The real challenge is the discipline to make the payments on a consistent basis if you don’t have to. Many experts cite that one of the benefits of homeownership is a forced savings that occurs due to the amortization that is not necessarily done by renters.

Use this 30-year vs. 15-year financial app to compare mortgages in your price range. A 15-year mortgage will be approximately half a percent cheaper in rate. You can also check current rates at


26 Feb

947 Running Bay MLS-4

947 Running Bay, Frisco

5 Bedroom / 5.5 Bath / 3 Car / Media / Game
5494 sq ft / Built 2015 / Frisco ISD



Gorgeous Toll Brothers Mediterranean Estate in Frisco’s prestigious Phillips Creek Ranch Windrose. Unique 5 bedroom, 5.5 bath home features TWO master suites, & too many upgrades to include all! Vaulted groin ceiling entry leads to amazing chef’s kitchen w
double ovens, 6 burner cooktop & farmhouse sink. Spacious cathedral ceiling extends into family room! Lg secondary bedrooms, each featuring walk in closet & en suite bath. Enjoy 2 office spaces that could convert to exercise room. Luxury lighting throughout
w Plantation shutters & Hunter Douglas pirouette shades. High ceilings throughout lead upstairs to both media & game room. This is a MUST SEE HOUSE! Family walking trails, parks, pavilion & pools nearby!

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 


26 Feb

1705 Landon edit-31

1705 Landon Lane, McKiunney

4 Bedroom / 3.5 Bath / 3 Car / Game / Media
2846 sqft / Built 2009 / Greenbelt Lot



This gorgeous home truly has it all with rich updating, an immaculate floorplan and is nestled on a cul de sac lot backing to a greenbelt in sought-after Wren Creek.  Upon entry, your guests will be greeted by hand-scraped hardwoods, rubbed-oil bronze fixtures, neutral tones, two-inch wood blinds and an elegant formal dining with crown molding.  The kitchen would delight any chef with its rich 42” knotty alder cabinetry, granite counters, abundant work areas and large serving island, updated GE dishwasher (2-19) and microwave (12-18), gas cooktop, walk-in pantry, sunny breakfast area and is open to an expansive family room with a toasty cast-stone fireplace with gas logs.

The split and private master retreat boasts a generous backyard view, a boxed ceiling and leads to a luxurious master bath with a garden tub, separate shower, split Corian vanities with glass-block backsplash and Delta faucets, linen closet and a large master closet with built-in shelving.  Just up the stairs is an elegant powder bath for guests and a spacious gameroom for play with a large storage closet and leads to a media room wired for sound for movies and sports and the Panasonic projector, Sony speakers and viewing screen are included with the home. Also upstairs is a separate guest suite for privacy with a full bath and walk-in closet and then there are two additional spacious bedrooms also with walk-in closets that share a full bath.  The covered back patio makes sharing relaxing Texas evenings easy while enjoying the greenbelt area and the generously-sized yard can easily accommodate a nice pool and entertaining area.  Other outstanding features of this home include an oversized 3-car garage with built-in shelving, two-inch wood blinds, large utility room that can accommodate freezer and enjoy all the very best of Stonebridge Ranch to include the pools, beach club, trails and tennis courts.  This home is priced to sell and move-in ready!

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?

19 Feb

Fear of the unknown is common among all ages. Kids, at night, imagine monsters in their closets or under their beds and adults are unsure of what the future might bring.

It may be natural for first-time buyers to be unsure of the process 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 very predictable and generally follow the same pattern every time. 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 are 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 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, download this Buyers Guide and call us at (972) 978-6539; we’re happy to help. Informed buyers lead to satisfied homeowners and that is better for everyone involved.

When It’s Important…Find the Facts

12 Feb

Most parents don’t put a lot of credence in the statements “Everyone is doing it” and “No one does that anymore.” They’ll dig a little deeper and get the facts of the situation. Interestingly, when it comes to buying a home, similar common myths continue to prevail surrounding what it takes to buy a home.

One of the most common myths is that it takes 20% down payment to get into a home. Certainly, an 80% mortgage might have the most favorable interest rate. It won’t require mortgage insurance and qualifying requirements might be a little less but there are alternatives.

“88% of all buyers financed their homes last year and consistent with previous years, younger buyers were more likely to finance their home purchase. In 2018, the median down payment was 13% for all buyers, 7% for first-time buyers and 16% for repeat buyers.” Stated by the 2018 NAR Profile of Buyers and Sellers.

  • Qualified Veterans are eligible for zero down payment, 100% mortgage loans without mortgage insurance.
  • Conventional loans are available with as little as 3-5% down payments.
  • FHA mortgages have a 3.5% down payment.
  • USDA mortgages for rural housing have two major products: one does not require a down payment and the other has a 3% down payment. Maps, based on population numbers, are available to determine if the area you’re interested in purchasing in is eligible for a USDA mortgage.

We’ve come to believe that facts can be instantly verified by searching on the Internet. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things on the Internet that are questionable and certainly, that includes some information on mortgages. Specifically, some loans are not available in certain areas and to a particular persons based on their income and credit history.

The best approach, when it comes to buying a home, is to get the facts from a knowledgeable and trusted loan professional before you begin the home search process. Contact me at (972) 978-6539 for a recommendation.

A website may not provide relevant information for your individual situation. Purchasing a home is a large investment and taking the time to find out the facts is worth the effort.

Your Real Estate Resource

5 Feb

Being a better homeowner is a full-time job. It takes good information to make good decisions not only when you buy and sell but all the years you own a home.

Think of times when you need advice on financing, taxes, insurance, maintenance, finding reasonable and reliable contractors and lots of other things. Imagine how nice it would be to have a real estate information line you could call whenever you have a question.

Our objective is to move from a one-time sale to customers for life; a select group of friends and past customers who consider us their lifelong real estate professional. We believe that if we help you and your friends with all your real estate needs, we can earn the privilege to be your real estate professional.

Throughout the year, we’ll send reminders and suggestions by email and social media that enhance your homeowner experience. When we find good articles to help you be a better homeowner, we’ll pass them along. You’ll discover new ways to maintain your property, minimize expenses and manage debt and risk.

We want to be your “Go-To” person for everything to do with real estate. We’re here for you and your friends…now and in the future. Please let us know how we can help you.

%d bloggers like this: