Here is a great article about why to invest in Real Estate.
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
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
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.
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
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
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:
- The home becomes more valuable than other comparable properties in that price range.
- The home gets moved up in price and becomes the lowest priced in the next higher price bracket or category.*
Three things to remember:
- You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
- 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.
- Most buyers make decisions about the property they see within the first 15 seconds of entering the home.
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
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!!!
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: