Tag Archives: interest rates

Lakewood: Over 1.5 Acres in Dallas with Historic Estate built by Hal Thomson

Over 1.5 Acres in Dallas with Beautiful Historic Home from Becky Frey on Vimeo.

For the connoisseur of life, an ideal home is in perfect harmony with its surroundings.

Nestled in the heart of the personality-rich community of Lakewood, this home has access to highly-ranked schools, easy access to Downtown, and incredible hike and bike trails making this location ideal for buyers seeking a strong community and endless options to enjoy life outdoors. This architecturally significant home tells a wonderful story within its walls.

See the official listing on SothebysRealty.com

Built in 1929 by renowned architect Hal Thomson, this beautiful estate features a blend of handcrafted original and tasteful, updated designs. The home has had many significant owners/guests including Stanley Marcus. In fact, the original owners of the home deeded the home to the Episcopal Diocese.

As you set foot inside this estate, you encounter rich chocolate hardwood floors leading to every living area in the home. Immediately to your right is the sitting room featuring a charming wood-burning fireplace, plantation shutters and built-in book cases. Continue on to the formal dining room featuring original tile flooring and original bar inlets.

The gracious formal living room provides a perfect place for family holiday gatherings with vaulted ceilings, plantation shutters, built-in bookcases, wood burning fireplace and French doors leading to the sunroom. With walls of glass bringing the outdoors inside, the sunroom will be the perfect nook for you to curl up with a good book, watch your favorite movie or just take a nap while it rains. Sliding patio doors lead you to the outdoor oasis.

The impressive chef’s kitchen offers the best of the best making your every culinary experience enjoyable. Featuring a Miele coffee bar, stainless steel 6-burner gas cooktop, double ovens, built-in refrigerator, beautiful tile flooring, marble countertops and a wet-bar offering a built-in microwave, crushed ice machine, sink and mini refrigerator. Tucked off of the kitchen is a charming breakfast room, which used to be the carport in the original home, with built-ins with glass displays to store your china and a marble buffet making meal service a breeze. Beyond the breakfast room is the utility room and a lovely powder bath.

The spacious master suite is the perfect place for you to relax and unwind after a long day offering multiple storage closets, sitting area and beautiful views of the backyard. The master bath offers separate shower, makeup vanity and a large dressing room attached.

In addition to the beautiful hardwood floors, each bedroom features architectural design detail from the arched doorways to the vaulted ceilings – the charm and character of the home is evident throughout.

The backyard is like a set from a movie – with a large grassy yard, pool, pool house featuring a pool bath and kitchenette, outdoor kitchen, and a firepit – you truly have every outdoor dream at your fingertips.

The large, detached two car garage offers a guest quarters above with full bath and closet and a basement/cellar below with a covered walkway to the main house.

Call Becky 214-536-4727 or Shelle 214-450-8782 to discuss a private showing.

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Filed under About my business, architecture, Interior Design, Lakewood / Forest Hills, Marketing, Press & News, Remodel, Schools, Video

Why Are Mortgage Interest Rates Rising? Video by Wall Street Journal

The cost of buying a home is going up. What’s behind the rise in interest rates? Is now still a good time to buy? WSJ’s Jason Bellini has “The Short Answer.”

MortgageRatesVideo

Click to watch on WSJ.com

Video posted by The Wall Street Journal, U.S.News 6/20/2013 10:00:00 AM

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Filed under About my business, Press & News

5 Reasons You Should Use a Real Estate Professional

by The KCM Crew on November 9, 2010

Should you spend the money on a real estate commission or save that money by selling your home by yourself? That is a question many home sellers ask themselves. Today, we want to discuss why it is crucial to have a true professional guiding you through the minefield of challenges that exist in the current real estate market.

The housing market today is more challenging than it has ever been and seems to be becoming more difficult each day. What impact will foreclosures have on prices? Which loan products that were available just last month are no longer available? How do you convince perspective purchasers to pull the trigger on an offer when everyone is telling them that they should see another 100 houses before they make a decision? These are tough questions for a trained, experienced professional. The lay person would find it almost impossible to keep abreast of this rapidly evolving industry.

Here are five important reasons to use a real estate professional:

1. Pricing Is Difficult

Just a few years ago, you didn’t have to worry about overpricing your home. If it was too high, all you needed to do was wait as historic appreciation was taking place. The situation is quite different today. With experts calling for another drop in home values, overpricing your property will cost you time. In this market, time costs you money. A professional real estate agent will discuss how increasing inventory could dramatically impact the value of your property in the months to come. They will help you set the right price in today’s market.

2. Negotiating Ability Is Crucial

Buyers today have an almost unlimited supply of homes from which to choose. They realize that puts them in a great negotiating position. Most buyers are now being represented by an agent. Sellers need to also be represented by a professional expert trained to negotiate real estate contracts.

3. Mortgaging Is Key to the Deal

The biggest impact of the housing market collapse is that lending standards are much stricter today than they were a few short years ago. Rules are constantly changing. Even FHA has gone through a guidelines overhaul in the last several months. You need a real estate expert who has teamed up with a knowledgeable mortgage professional to make sure that the buyer in the deal is in fact capable of obtaining a mortgage. Losing time with an unqualified buyer costs you money in a market where prices are falling.

4. Your Family’s Safety

We have always found it puzzling that the same person that will lock every door and window and set the alarm today will then allow total strangers into their house tomorrow. The real estate industry trains its practitioners to take steps to protect themselves and their clients. Take advantage of putting a person between you and the person calling on an ad or yard sign.

5. You Probably Have More Important Things to Do

Selling a home could turn into a full time job. Learning the necessary disclosures, coordinating the dates of your closings, dealing with a challenge regarding your appraisal and re-negotiating the offer after an engineer’s report are just a few of the concerns you may face. You would probably be better of spending that time with the items important to you and your family and leaving the challenges to your agent.
Bottom Line

To make sure the sale of your home is handled professionally – hire a trained professional. In the long run, you will wind-up with more money in your pocket and have less challenges with the move.

Thank you, KCM Blog!
– Becky

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Filed under About my business, Financing, Press & News

Download 2010 Market Reports – Free Information from Real Estate Center

Do you need to know what the population breakdown was last year in Fort Worth? How about the cost-per-acre of development land in Corpus Christi? Curious about how the number of residential building permits in Dallas last year compared with those in previous years?

You’re in luck.

The Real Estate Center’s 2010 Market Reports, now available on the Center’s website, contain this information and so much more.

A report is available for each of Texas’ 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas. I have downloaded the Dallas-FortWorth-Arlington report and I’m studying it now.

Texas Market Reports

Click here to download market reports

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Filed under About my business, Bluffview / Devonshire, Downtown / Uptown, Greenway Parks / West Highland Park, Highland Park / University Park, Lakewood / Forest Hills, Oak Cliff, Press & News, Preston Hollow area, Schools, Suburbs

In order to get good rates on loans, everyone should read these guidelines carefully: How Common Credit Mistakes Affect Scores

“With the strict financial guidelines for residential loans it is more important than ever to keep your credit score as high as possible. A good credit score will give you a better rate on your loan.” – Becky

Here is a great article.

From Yahoo! Finance by Jeremy M. Simon
Sunday, November 29, 2009

Disclosed for the 1st time, ‘damage points’ taken off for late payments

Borrowers already knew that late payments hurt their credit scores, but for the first time, they now know the extent of that damage.

Did you max out your credit card? Expect a credit score drop of 10 to 45 points. Declare bankruptcy? Your score will plummet by up to 240 points, and your odds of getting credit will nosedive with it.

The “damage points” data, unveiled recently by FICO, are part of the most revealing glimpse into the firm’s once-secret — and still mysterious — credit scoring model. The new information discloses how many points borrowers’ scores will drop when they make the most-common mistakes.

‘Help People Understand’ Scores

“I hope this information will help people to better understand FICO scores and the value for them of avoiding credit missteps. It illustrates key points such as the higher your score, the farther it can fall if you stumble,” says FICO spokesman Craig Watts. “Getting and maintaining a good score isn’t complicated. We all just need to pay our bills on time, keep credit card balances low and take on new debt sparingly. ”

The greater transparency about FICO scores is important because American consumers’ ability to get credit rises and falls with the number. FICO, the company that pioneered credit scoring, assigns consumers a three-digit number from 300 to 850, depending on how well they handle credit. Other companies also offer scores, but FICO’s version is the most widely used by lenders in determining whether a consumer can borrow, and at what rate.

FICO’s credit score has been around for decades, but only within the past decade have consumers gradually gained access to theirs. Though the raw numbers can be purchased, how they’re figured remains a FICO secret, as closely guarded as the formula for Coca-Cola. Until Thursday, FICO revealed only broad categories of factors influencing the score, but not the number of points at stake for consumers who fail to pay as agreed. The “damage points” information, revealed in a report by personal finance writer Liz Pulliam Weston, will be made available through its myFICO.com Web site starting this weekend.

FICO’s information shows that bankruptcy does the most serious damage to a credit score (up to 240 points), followed by foreclosure (up to 160 points) while maxing out a credit card has the least numerical impact (as few as 10 points).

Those with good or excellent credit — so-called prime borrowers — put more points at risk with each mistake. For example, someone with an average credit score of 680 who pays a bill 30 days late will see a drop of 60 to 80 points. But for someone with an excellent credit score — 780 — that same delinquency can send a FICO score tumbling by 90 to 100 points.

The Cost in Dollars

In order to show just how badly a drop in your FICO score can hurt your wallet, we spoke with members of the home mortgage, auto and credit card lending industries. We presented hypothetical scenarios of a consumer who decided to apply for a $200,000, 30-year mortgage; a $20,000, five-year auto loan and a credit card. While all the industry insiders stressed that a FICO score isn’t the only factor in determining who gets credit and at what cost (other factors they cited include the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio and whether they have already established a relationship with the lender), they were able to provide an idea of what a borrower who had the following credit scores could expect.

For a Consumer Who Started With a FICO Score of 780:

* Following a 30-day late payment, the consumer’s car loan rate would jump nearly 3 percent, costing the borrower $26 more each month.

* Following a debt settlement, the consumer would pay as much as $109 more each month on a home mortgage.

For a Consumer Who Started With a FICO Score of 680:

* Following a 30-day late payment, the consumer would pay $41 more each month for a car loan.

* Following a 30-day late payment, the consumer would pay as much as $95 more each month on a home mortgage.

* Following a debt settlement, the consumer would no longer qualify for a credit card.

Some Surprised By the Details

Consumer advocates say it’s important for borrowers to know what can damage their FICO scores. “If they know it in advance, they won’t go out and step in a pile of doo-doo. They won’t go out and do some of these things,” says Linda Sherry, director of national priorities with advocacy group Consumer Action. Even experts found some surprises in today’s news. “FICO imposes bigger hits than I would have thought for being maxed out or 30-days late just once, reinforcing my view that it is a cruder, blunter instrument than they like to claim. Nevertheless, it is a powerful, widely used crude blunt instrument,” says Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director for the U.S. PIRG consumer advocacy group.

Of course, knowing the impact on a FICO score and actually avoiding these mistakes are two separate things: Amid rising unemployment and other daily financial struggles, paying bills and staying on-track financially becomes a much bigger challenge for many borrowers.

“Some of these things are out of their control,” Sherry says of consumers.

Additionally, as Weston points out, consumers with identical FICO scores can have different credit histories. That means the same slip-up — such as maxing out a credit card — could have different impacts on consumers who have the same FICO score. In the examples they provided, FICO assumed each borrower had several active major credit cards, a mortgage, car loan and student loans.

Sherry acknowledges the benefit of putting a number to a financial blunder. “I don’t think we necessarily knew the numbers that a bankruptcy could apply to a credit score,” Sherry says.

Helping You Make Better Decisions

While knowing the numbers may not keep you filing for bankruptcy if given no other choice, the information may help you make the best decision when faced with a bad situation.

FICO scores — and the access to credit they provide — are a valuable asset to consumers and supply a safety net when incomes are stretched. It’s an asset that needs to be protected, Sherry says, even if job loss or catastrophic illness makes bill paying problematic.

“In that period of time, paying down debt is the last thing on your mind. Paying the minimum payment may also be the last thing on your mind, but you’ll be doing yourself a big favor if you do,” Sherry says.

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The real estate market looks good this fall; appraisals can cause hiccups.

It’s the end of summer and schools have started – It’s time to re-focus on the last quarter of the year. That is our usual plan in real estate and I was wondering if this year would be the same or different? Well the phones are ringing, buyers are out and sellers are preparing to get their houses on the market to take advantage of the end of year buying season. I have been in Colorado recently for an event at my listing in Crested Butte and they also report an increase in activity with buyers – thats good news! Interest rates have continued to stay low and, yes, there is money available as long as a buyer has cash to put down and good credit. Our only challenge is to get past the appraisal process in some areas – this has been a bit of a hiccup lately.

A bit about the latest appraisal process: The large banks are required to hire appraisers randomly. Realtors refer to this as “spinning the wheel” and wherever it lands is the appraiser that will be sent out to your property. If you live, or are buying, in a development that has all similar styles, sizes and prices then you are not as affected by the random appraisers because they are able to compare information easily. But the areas that I work in, such as the Park Cities, Uptown and Preston Hollow, have a mix of older homes, new homes, architecturally-unique homes with different special features – you get the picture. Well, when an appraiser comes to do an appraisal in an area that he/she is not familiar with, then it is very likely the property will not meet value. Some of the mortgage brokers have a smaller list of appraisers that they “spin the wheel” on and so the likelihood that you will get a local appraiser for your home are much greater.

Bottom line is that I feel very confident about our real estate market this fall and we need to keep in mind that it is important to make sure your agent has found good comps to justify your price and/or has gotten an previous appraisal on your home.

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Filed under About my business, Bluffview / Devonshire, Downtown / Uptown, Greenway Parks / West Highland Park, Highland Park / University Park, Lakewood / Forest Hills, Oak Cliff, Preston Hollow area, Suburbs

Candy Evans, D Magazine, has good taste

Thanks for blogging about my contemporary, newly constructed listing in Bluffview, Candy. I agree with you completely: this home and neighborhood are extraordinary.  Click here for more details about this home.

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