A Great Investment.

Here is a great article about why to invest in Real Estate.

The IDEAL Investment

by Pat ZabyFebruary 20, 2012 9:43 AM

Rental homes can be the IDEAL investment in today’s market because they offer a much higher rate of return than alternatives without the volatility of ups and downs in the stock market.

IDEAL serves as an acronym to identify the advantages of rental properties:

 

  • Income from the monthly rent contributes to paying the expenses and a return on the investment
  • Depreciation is a non-cash deduction that contributes tax shelter
  • Equity grows monthly as the mortgage amortizes due to some of each payment being applied to principal
  • Appreciation is achieved as the value of the property goes up
  • Leverage can increase the return on investment by using borrowed funds to control a larger asset
The combination of these characteristics working together makes rental real estate a very good investment for today’s economy and years to come.  Increased rents, high rental demand, good values and low non-owner-occupied mortgage rates contribute to positive cash flows and very favorable rates of return.
Contact me for more information about actual opportunities in our local market.
Tommy Thompson CRS, GRI
214-707-0142
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Want to Know a Little about our Zip Code 75023

 

There is a great function on my website “findingahomeinplano.com” to find out information about our area.  It is provided by a company that I subscribe to.  Really helps newcomers to the area.

Here is the link:

Find out about zip code 75023

Hope this is helpful

 

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The Value of a Tree in Your Yard

The Value of a Tree in Your Yard

Your next home improvement project may be as simple as planting a tree. What’s the best return on investment for home improvements that increase your home’s value? What are some of the common characteristics of old, wealthy neighborhoods? Think about it. Most of them have big, old trees! Plant a tree in your yard. The value of a tree in your yard will increase as it grows.

If you will be in your home for a few years, plant a tree in your yard in the eight to 10 foot range. The cost of a tree this size should be in the $100 to $150 range, depending on species. If you are planting something more sought after, like Japanese maples, expect to pay more, but the value of these trees also increases more as they mature. The Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers states that ôa mature tree can often have an appraised value of $1,000 and $10,000.ö Planting a tree just may yield the best return on investment. And a home improvement project this easy can’t be beat. Dig a hole, twice the diameter of the tree’s root ball, plant your tree, keep it watered until established, and watch as the value of the tree in your yard grows along with the value of your home.

Dallas has such a low water table it is hard for us to grow these massive trees.  We plant fast growing trees like Bradford Pears that live about 12 years and die in a wind storm.  Oak Trees are the most solid.

Buyers come from other parts of the United States where trees are in abundance-Atlanta, Chicago, California.  They always want trees-so plant them.

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Growing Green: Landscaping Ideas to Sell Your Plano Area Home

Landscaping Ideas to Sell Your Home in Winter

Experienced landscape architects and garden designers know that one of the first seasons to design for is winter. This is when your home’s garden is at its most stark and dreary. If your home is on the market in winter and you haven’t planned for this, there are landscaping ideas to sell your home even as the days grow shorter. When it comes to home staging, real estate agents will tell you that staging your home in winter is extremely important.

Keep snow and ice at bay. The top tip from home staging services and real estate agents: If the potential home buyer can’t get in easily, the house won’t sell. As stated above, this means keeping walkways and driveways free of ice and snow.

Take advantage of natural light. As much as possible, show your home during the high-daylight hours. If you show your home after work in the winter, you’ll be completely in the dark and potential home buyers won’t be able to see how your landscaping adds to the curb appeal of your home. If you must show your home at night in the winter months, turn on all the lights so your home glows and invites potential home buyers from the street.

To see more winter, home selling tips, check out my article on FindAHomeInPlano.com

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Recap of 2011Dallas Area Real Estate Market Statistics

Wow- what a 2011 recap for real estate. While the national news is confusing the heck out of us, the Dallas area is fairing well in the market. If you look at these pages you will notice that the higher end homes are coming back on the market and selling better than they have for the last 4 years. Take a look.

Dallas Area Market Stats for Real Estate 2011

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To Stage or Not To Stage; That is the Question

Buyers look at several properties in a short amount of time.  After a while the properties begin to run together.  The first impression can be the difference in how long they stay in your home, how well they recall your home, and what impression stuck with them about your home.  Your home must stand out above others in your price bracket.

Adding cost-effective amenities and improving the general cleanliness and condition of the home is what we call “staging.”  Here are some very inexpensive ideas that can make the difference in a sale.

  • Remove or rearrange furniture to emphasize the size of your home.
  • Declutter your closets.  Again, emphasize the storage space your home offers.
  • Remove excess family photos.
  • Consider painting to freshen look of home.  Repair, patch, and clean walls, outlet covers, vents, and doors as needed.  Use a light neutral color paint.
  • Carpets cleaned.
  • Windows, Drapes, Blinds, and Window Sills cleaned.
  • Remove clutter.  Nothing on the refrigerator, hanging off cabinet fronts, and sitting on the counters.
  • Remove unnecessary items throughout the bathroom.  New set of towels can add a fresh look for minimal cost.  The bathrooms need to look and smell clean.
  • Clean and organize the Garage.  If its a 2 car garage they should be able to park 2 cars.
  • Get a storage unit, if necessary.  Or hold a Yard / Garage Sale.  It will make your move easier.

“Curb Appeal” ~ The outside is as important as the inside.

  • Walk around your home with fresh eyes looking for trash, weeds, overgrown plants, and anything that is out of place.  Haul it away.
  • Check paint, brick, gutters, and roof for any maintenance issues.
  • Remove extra items from the yard, patio, and pool area.
  • A well-maintained lawn and landscaping is very important.  It conveys a well-maintained home!
  • And last, but not least look at your front porch with the eyes of a guest.  Is the door clean, porch swept, “welcome” mat in place, no hoses or cords in sight?  During growing season place plants near entry to welcome and brighten your porch.

Once you feel you are ready here’s a test.  Grab your digital camera.  It does not need to be fancy; this is only a test.  Start at the front door and take pictures of every room.  A picture says a thousand words and you will be surprised at what you overlooked or impressed with your efforts and ready to go!

When a seller stages their home, one of two things happens:

  1. The home becomes more valuable than other comparable properties in that price range.
  2. The home gets moved up in price and becomes the lowest priced in the next higher price bracket or category.*

Three things to remember:

  1.  You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
  2. A review of over 2,800 properties in 8 cities found that staged homes, on average, sold in half the time that non-staged homes did.  
  3. Most buyers make decisions about the property they see within the first 15 seconds of entering the home.


HGTV Tips

Simple Staging Tips

NAR Updates That Increase Home Value

e Home Remodeling Tips and Ideas

*Based on the national best-seller

SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times

by Gary Keller

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Hunters Glen and Quail Creek Property Appraisals

Forth of July in Hunters Glen and Quail Creek located in Plano Texas

Home in Hunters Glen and Quail Creek

Hunters Glen and Quail Creek Tax Appraisal Information

The Calendar for Collin County.
The Collin County Appraisal District  will soon be sending us our property values. This will hopefully help you to a quicker guide for understanding your appraised value and being able to protest it if you would like. This will help you with the calendar of the appraisal & protest process. If you should want to Protest your appraisal then follow these steps.  If I can be of any further service to your or anyone you know, please feel free to contact me. Thank you, Tommy Thompson, CRS, GRI.

How Tommy can Help

As a resident of Hunters Glen and Quail Creek I wanted to bring this service to you when you are dealing with your property appraisal for this year. If you would either call me    214-707-0142 or email me at Tommy@TommyThompson.com, I would be happy to deliver to your home all the comparable sales for our neighborhood for the appraisal period. This is a free service to you.

For the current review session of 2016 I have pulled all the sales from the neighborhood from 4/1/15-4/1/16 and put them in a pdf format with the sales data hi-lited.  For your review.

The following is a copy of and email from one of our residents that tells of their experience with the review process:

“Finished my arbitration hearing with CAD and my appraisal is now lower by almost $10K. Thought I would pass along a few things as I have now done this a few times and made some observations. Maybe everyone knows this but, if not, this may be something for your newsletter.

First, our neighborhood, probably like most, is too nonchalant about appraisal increases. I should have been challenging them every year. The county uses a mass appraisal system. They do not give details as to how they do this but I figure they just take an area and apply an overall increase. Since most people don’t protest, they are OK with just taking care of the crackpots like me

My impression is that they don’t actually look at comps until you protest. My appraisal letter was for a little over $300K or $98.20/sq. ft. When I called and asked for the comps they used for my property, they sent me 4 addresses and an immediate lowering of my appraisal to $294K or $96.20/sq. ft.

Big Lesson: Always call and ask for comps if you do nothing else!!!!! Clearly, the comps they chose did not support the mass appraisal amount. Interestingly, they did not lower my neighbor’s appraisals. (Presumably, Hunter’s Glen 6 all has the same comps.)

 

They only consider comps from April to April so, in this year case, from April 1, 2014 to April 1, 2015. There seems to be some confusion about this as some people have told me that they only use the calendar year comps prior to January 1. In reality they try to optimally find comps in the three months prior and after January 1.

If they have comps within Hunter’s Glen 6, they will use these and not stray into Quail Creek or Hunter’s Glen 3. In my case, they chose 4 within a few blocks of my house that sold between 6/14 and 2/15. They sent me the detailed comparisons between my house and the comps and came up with equivalent prices for my home based on the sold properties. The prices ranged between $99.50/sq.ft. and $88.75/sq. ft. Averaging the 4 properties yielded $95.20/sq. ft. or $290,900 and taking the mean price yielded $94.15/sq. ft. or $287,700. (Keep in mind my 2014 appraisal was $284,500. It rose almost 10% last year.)

So I went to the hearing to understand why my appraisal was $294K. Turns out, of the four comps, they drop the high and low and average the remaining two!!!! I argued that this was ridiculous and statistically meaningless. They get to pick the comps, use only the four they want and then eliminate two? (It’s not like they used 10 and threw away a few outliers that were anomalous for some reason.) Anyway, the board saw it my way and gave me an assessment of $290,750. I thought this was fair and at least a logical use of the 4 comps they selected.

By the way, it appears that the board, composed of three citizens, can do just about whatever they want. I saw all kinds of people making all sorts of arguments and a lot that I thought were thin were accepted and others that I thought were good were rejected. Being prepared and making a good and firm presentation is key.

Additionally, a pool is worth $9761. You thought it might be as high as $12K but I did not see anyone able to change the amount they ascribe to different amenities.

Anyway, I’m sure you know all this but they do seem to want to keep this process pretty mysterious as the details aren’t spelled out clearly anywhere.”

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Hunters Glen & Quail Creek Deed Restrictions

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Hunter’s Glen and Quail Creek Events for the Neighborhood.

Hunter’s Glen and Quail Creek Neighborhood Garage Sale

Come be a part of the events in Hunters Glen and Quail Creek. We just finished the Neighborhood Garage Sale with a huge success. All 36 homes got great traffic, lots of money made and tons of clean closets.

First Annual Hunters Glen and Quail Creek Food Drive

Benefiting the Plano Food Pantry

Over 25% of the neighborhood contributed articles of food to the First Annual Food Drive benefiting the Plano Food Pantry.  That came out to over 1,000 food items.  THANK YOU Hunters Glen and Quail Creek!!!

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Neighborhood Crime Watch

Hunters Glen and Quail Creek Crime Watch

As Residence and Neighbors of Hunters Glen and Quail Creek we need to watch out for each other and our property.  Keep your eyes open to suspicious activity as your driving thru the neighborhood.  If you see a strange vehicle in the alley make sure you pay attention where it goes.  Citizens act as extra “eyes and ears” for the police department so that calls to the police will be made when criminal activity is suspected.  An alert and cooperative neighborhood is the greatest single defence against crime.  By getting to know your neighbors and their vehicles, you will most likely be alert to suspicious people, vehicles, and/or sounds that could indicate criminal activity.  Many time criminals will be deterred just by knowing that they have been seen.

There are 2 principles to a neighborhood crime watch program that make it successful:

1. Know your neighbors This includes the neighbor on either side of you, across the street and behind you.  Go say hello.

2.  Report suspicious activity   you see something out of the unusual or witness a crime in progress CALL 911 

There are several tips to make your home secure.  I have looked high and low and found this video to be the best I could get my hands on:

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