Wednesday, May 15, 2013

April 2013 Market Report

We are definitely in a Sellers Market as demonstrated by last month's statistics. Homes are moving and the sales price has increased. Some of the highlights include:
  • Percentage change in terms of number of sales compared to last year has increased by:
    • Allen 20% 
    • Frisco 28%
    • McKinney 22%
    • Plano 33%
  • Percentage change in sales price compared to last year has increased by:
    • Allen 15% 
    • Frisco 4%
    • McKinney 9%
    • Plano 8%
All the above areas have less than 2 months or less of inventory. This decrease in supply coupled with the high demand of Buyers due to low interest rates is making this a Sellers market.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The 10 Best Public High Schools In America

#5 The School for the Talented and Gifted Magnet High School in Dallas, Texas

Newsweek and The Daily Beast recently released their list of the best high schools in America. Though there are many ways to rank high schools, they focused on finding schools that best prepare their students for college. The great news is that two of our Dallas High Schools made the list! These are the school and how they ranked:

#4 School of Science/Engineering Magnet
#5 The School for the Talented and Gifted Magnet High School

They looked at over 2,500 public high schools around the country, and factored in graduation rates, participation in college-level classes via Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, and acceptance into a two- or four-year college program for the 2011-2012 school year.

They pulled out the top 10 schools from their list. Nearly all of these schools see 100% of their students graduate and then go on to college. 

Source: By Jennifer Polland | May 6, 2013, 6:07 PM 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time

Now that the real estate market is picking up again, many people are looking to sell their homes at last. But when you sell, you have to move somewhere -- which usually means buying another home. Buying and selling at the same time brings up a whole new set of challenges, but those who plan well in advance can make it happen smoothly. Here are five ways to successfully buy and sell a home at the same time.

1. Prepare to be stressed. Buying a home is stressful. Selling a home is stressful. When you do both at the same time, the experience is super stressful, not to mention emotional and difficult on many levels. You're potentially carrying two mortgages or trying to time the purchase with the sale. There will be a lot of sleepless nights, worrying over finances and pressure to make a decision. It's enough to ignite a family war.

Accepting upfront that this process will be extremely stressful will help in the long run. Know that most homeowners go through this, and there is success at the end of the long, dark tunnel. Plan everything as much as possible in advance. Do your homework. And take care of yourself. You're going to be busier than usual.

2. Meet with your agent early on. Owners often believe their home is worth less than what the current market will bear. That's why it's important to meet with your real estate agent early on, even months before you plan to buy or sell. Researching online valuation tools or doing basic research will help to guide you. But a local agent will help you understand your home's true current market value and marketability. A good agent is in the trenches daily and knows your neighborhood and market inside and out.

3. Learn the market where you want to purchase. After getting some hard numbers for your home's sale you need to do the same on the purchase side. What's on your wish list? What are your priorities? Determine your needs and understand what you will get for your money on the purchase side. You need to know this to factor in how financing will work with the buy/sell. Also, understand that market. Is it more or less competitive than where you live now? How long can you expect to search for a home? This will factor into your sale timing. If you're moving within the city or town where you live, your listing agent will likely serve as your buying agent. If you're moving just outside your area, you may need to ask your agent to refer you to an agent knowledgeable about that area.

4. Know your numbers. Once you understand the numbers on both the purchase and the sale, you need to know your financing options. Many people today don't have a strong-enough financial foundation to purchase another home before selling their own, so knowing this upfront can help you plan more appropriately.

Engage a local mortgage broker or lender and understand what kind of down payment you'll need to make a purchase, given the price point and type of home you seek to buy. How much equity do you have in your current home, and is the equity available? Do you have enough of a down payment liquid and would a lender allow you to make the purchase before selling the home? Find out by going through the loan pre-approval process. A good, local mortgage professional is as valuable as a good real estate agent.

5. Make a plan. Now that you know your numbers, it's time to come up with a plan and execute. The plan can vary greatly, depending upon any number of conditions. Some examples: Buying in a competitive market? Adding a contingency that your current home must sell before you buy probably won't work.

  • Selling in a competitive market? You may be able to negotiate with the buyer for a longer escrow or even a rent back. This would buy you time on the purchase side.
  • Selling in a slow market and buying in a competitive market? Need the sales proceeds in order to do the purchase? Unfortunately, you're in the worst-case scenario. Consider the option of selling your home first and moving into temporary housing. While not the most physically convenient, it could be less stressful.
  • Need temporary housing? Start researching those options now well in advance

Understanding the variables: There are so many variables that can come into play when buying or selling. Each one may affect your decision-making process. Identifying and planning for the variables as much as possible early on will help you avoid sleepless nights, stressful days, or fights with your spouse or partner.

If you are thinking about selling your home and buying a new one give me a call. I have worked with many clients where we have developed a plan and executed on it so that the timing was perfectly coordinated and they could sell and move into a home.

Source: By Brendan Desimone, Zillow, Posted May 6th, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

March 2013 Market Report & Dollar Volume

The numbers prove it we are in a Sellers Market. There is only about two months of inventory which is  causing homes to sell quickly and at pretty close to asking price.

Source: Hexter Fair First American Title

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Experts Say Jump in Dallas Home Prices Likely to Continue

Dallas-area home prices are up by the largest percentage in more than a decade in the latest measure of nationwide home values. And more significant price hikes could be on the way this year.
Dallas prices rose 5.7 percent in November from a year ago in the monthly Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, released Tuesday.
It was the ninth month in a row that local prices were up from a year earlier in the closely watched comparison of home values.
The Dallas-area increase was slightly higher than the 5.5 percent average price rise in the 20 major cities that Case-Shiller tracks.
Local home inventory levels are at the lowest point since the early 2000s, and longtime industry analysts say that North Texas could be in for some even bigger price increases in 2013.
“If the inventory doesn’t improve, we are going to see remarkable price increases this year,” said Dr. James Gaines, an economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
“If you own a house and want to sell, it’s probably the best time in years.”
The last time Dallas-area prices rose at these rates was in 2001, according to the Case-Shiller index.
The number of pre-owned homes on the market in North Texas last year was down about 20 percent. And inventories of new homes are at the lowest point in more than a decade.
“Right now, we are showing Dallas with a three-month inventory [of listed pre-owned homes], which is virtually nothing,” Gaines said. “Any kind of house in good condition that is in an attractive neighborhood will get multiple offers and sell for more than asking price.”

Buyers emerge

With interest rates low and the economy gaining ground, the number of homebuyers in the market this spring is expected to climb significantly.
Gaines said that the Real Estate Center estimates that Dallas-area pre-owned home prices were up 7.6 percent in 2012 from 2011. It was the first year of median price increases since before the recession.
He said prices could possibly rise at double-digit rates this year if supplies of homes on the market stay tight.
The rebound in prices would have been unthinkable even a year ago as the country crawled out of the worst housing bust since the Great Depression.
While Texas was one of the least affected states in the housing crash, overall prices in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were down almost 15 percent at the bottom of the market. Prices have made up all but about 4 percentage points of that decline.
And values are coming back in other major markets, too.
Prices were up in all but New York City in the November Case-Shiller survey.
“Housing is clearly recovering,” S&P’s David Blitzer said in the report. “Prices are rising, as are both new and existing home sales.
“These figures confirm that housing is contributing to economic growth.”
The largest price increases were in Phoenix, up 22.8 percent, and San Francisco, up 12.7 percent from November 2011.
The Case-Shiller price gain for Dallas is in line with North Texas Realtor statistics, which show median pre-owned single-family home sales prices were up 8 percent in 2012 from 2011. That increase includes all houses sold through the real estate agents’ multiple listing service.
Case-Shiller’s index tracks over time the prices of specific single-family homes in each metropolitan area. The index survey does not include condominiums and townhouses. It covers only pre-owned properties — no new construction.
Nationwide prices are down about 30 percent in the Case-Shiller index from 2006.

No place to move

Real estate agents say that one reason many potential home sellers in North Texas haven’t made a move is they see little property on the market where they can move up.
Also, home construction is still depressed in Dallas-Fort Worth and is not expected to return to pre-recession levels for years.
Dallas real estate appraiser Chuck Dannis said he wouldn’t bet on North Texas home prices rising at double-digit rates in 2013, “but the laws of supply and demand suggest it could happen.”
“If it does, it will just shock people,” Dannis said. “When we had double-digit inflation in housing prices around here, it was always tied to inflation and not necessarily supply and demand.”
Dannis said that home appraisers will be reluctant to sign off on big price increases unless they can support the figures with data from closed home sales.
“That will be a throttle on the market for sure,” he said, since lenders are more conservative about appraisals.
Low mortgage rates, which are expected to increase only modestly this year, will cushion the impact of higher home prices, Dannis said.
“We have these historic low interest rates in place, which leads to price increases because you can more afford it,” he said

Source: Steve Brown, Dallas News. January 29, 2013