Category Archives: Selling

DFW Market Analysis: May 2018 vs May 2017

Rising housing market concept with multi-floor buildings.

According to the North Texas Real Estate Information System Summary MLS Report for: May 2018 compared to May 2017, the DFW Metroplex real estate market is escalating at impressive rates. The Median price of a Single Family Residential (SFR) home in the DFW Metroplex is 5% more in May 2018 than it was in May 2017. The SFR in the Metroplex averaged 39 Days on the Market (DOM) for homes that closed in May 2018. That is 3% slower than last year, and there are about 13% more homes on the market this year versus last year.

Condos are holding their value as well. The average price for a condo in the metroplex stayed the same from 2017 to 2018 ($286,196), but the average time on the market is 48 days- up 9% from last year. There are 17% more condos on the market in May 2018 than there were in May 2017.

Some notable changes in the market are in multifamily properties. Multifamily properties were on the market 15 days that reflects a 53% faster time compared to last year with prices up 25% on average compared to last year.

Rentals are also a great story, and congratulations if you purchased a rental property in January of 2016. The median price for rent in January 2016 was $1588 in the NTREIS compared to $1791 in May 2018. In January 2016, it took about 42 days to lease a home as a landlord (42 DOM) compared to about 36 days (36 DOM) in May 2018.

If you are renting, it is still a good time to buy. Yes you could have purchased cheaper if you had not waited, but I believe that the market will continue to pick at its current rate if not pick up at a higher pace. If you own a home that you are wanting to change, now is a good time to do it. I have worked with many people to make this happen. It is tricky, and it requires experienced real estate agent, the right lender, timing and a little luck. And, if you are considering purchasing investment property, just look at the numbers. I am very familiar with investors, the terminology and closing deals that sometimes close quickly and sometimes can take a year or longer.

If you are looking for a good and honest agent, reach out to me. I can help you with your real estate needs here in the Metroplex and am also very familiar with the Austin market as well as the Corpus Christi-Rockport-Copano Bay areas. I live on referrals, so please give my information to your friends who may need an agent in this crazy competitive market.

How Federal Interest Rates Affect You

With interest rates at a crazy low, it is a great time to look at purchasing, refinancing or moving up-downsizing.  30 year fixed rates are 3.79% from what I read today at Noon ( There is something significant happening today that may affect these ridiculous interest rates.

The Federal Reserve controls the open market operations, the discount rate, and reserve requirements. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is responsible for the discount rate and reserve requirements, and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is responsible for open market operations. Using these three, the Federal Reserve influences the demand for, and supply of, balances that depository institutions hold at Federal Reserve Banks and in this way alters the federal funds rate. The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions lend balances at the Federal Reserve to other depository institutions overnight.

Changes in the federal funds rate trigger a chain of events that affect other short-term interest rates, foreign exchange rates, long-term interest rates, the amount of money and credit, and, ultimately, a range of economic variables, including employment, output, and prices of goods and services.

The FOMC meets eight times per year, one of which is happening today. All indications are that interest rates will increase because of the current meeting. That makes it a valuable time to get approved, find a home, lock in, and enjoy low interest rates for the next 30 years, or until you decide to sell at 12% market increase annually, if numbers continue at the current rate (MetroTex).

Call me soon to discuss the current market, strategies and just to say hi. I look forward to working with you and helping you find your next home or investment.  


DFW Area home sales and prices hit records!

Home prices in the DFW area are at another record-setting high in April 2017. Median sales prices are up 12% from a year ago, according to MetroTex Association of Realtors (MetroTex), North Texas Real Estate Information Systems (NTREIS)! 12% higher across the metroplex is what was documented in the record books, but were even higher in some neighborhoods according to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the NTREIS. Not only are the prices soaring, which is not projected to plateau off in most studies out there, real estate agents closed on 5% more homes in April 2017 than they did a year ago in April, 2016.

More than 30,000 North Texas properties changed ownership in the first quarter of this year (MetroTex). There is a tight supply with homes selling in hours sometimes, especially in those under $400,000 (NTREIS). On average, it took less than 40 days to sell a house in the area, slightly less time on the market than last April, and even less in markets under $200,000 and in certain locations. The current market supply consists of a 2.5-month supply of houses listed for sale with real estate agents, which is less than half of a normal market (NTREIS). I have sold two listings this year that were in contract within 24 hours of going onto the market.

So, do you wait for the market to ‘calm down’? That is a question I get a lot. It is never a bad time to buy in my opinion. If you have property, then you have profits/ proceeds out of that at a high market while taking it and applying it to what you want. If you do not currently own, there are some excellent programs out there in attempts to convert lessors into home owners. Those are most likely short lived in my opinion, so, now is an appropriate time to jump in there. With some down payment assistance programs, it is cheaper to buy than to rent.

Further, interest rates continue to remain consistently low and even have dropped when projected they were to rise. Interest rates are so low that it makes sense to finance property now. So, with that in mind, call me or text me with any questions. I will help you get started, introduce you to some great lenders in the area, and we can find your next home or investment.

Should I remodel?

Image result for remodeling projects image

“Should I remodel before selling my home?” …or “What is the biggest bang for the buck if I remodel my home?” I get these questions a lot…These are good questions. I recently read what Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) had to say, and as usual as they are a great organization, they are spot on, in my opinion. Click below to read a great guideline and breakdown of remodel jobs valuations and returns that are analyzed and compared regionally. Hopefully, this will help on your decisions to remodel or not…





Does Home Loan Lingo Have You Confused? 

Are you thinking of purchasing property for your personal property, investment property or for your college kid(s), but feeling overwhelmed by the loan lingo and acronyms that seem like another language?  Whether you are a real estate warrior buying and selling for decades or whether this is your first -time real estate experience, or more commonly, been several years since home ownership, it is rarely easy to determine which loan program(s) are best for you, i.e.,  conventional loan, an FHA loan or any of the other loan types available.

Mortgage lending officers will be your main resource for this, so it is ultimately important to find someone you trust and who is experienced in your market. They will be familiar with the ebbs and flows of the different types of mortgage programs available, and they will also be able to provide an informed and educated perspective on your current financial situation helping to match you to the best mortgage loan options available.

I am not a lender. I am a Realtor and I cannot give counsel on loans in particular, nor do I have anything to do with originating or getting them approved. I work with a handful of excellent lenders, and I love them all. I can, however, provide some basic information that anyone can gather from diligent research, and I can put it together hopefully in a meaningful and useful series of words for your benefit.

Government agencies such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA), U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can insure or guarantee loans.  The FHA is a part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and insures residential mortgage loans made by private lenders.  The FmHA provides financing to farmers and other qualified borrowers who may have trouble getting loans.  VA loans are for veterans or members of the military and can have a lower down payment.

The most common government insured loan I see is through the FHA. I hear a lot of people think that these are for first-time homebuyers and I hear a lot of untrue conjecture from both professional and from lay people regarding ever-changing FHA rules.  A  Basic Home Mortgage Loan 203(b) is designed to provide mortgage insurance for a person to purchase or refinance a principal residence. The mortgage loan is funded by a lending institution, such as a mortgage company, bank, savings and loan association and the mortgage is insured by HUD.

The eligibility requirements are much different than what most people quote or even cite in written materials. The following are the eligibility requirements as published by FHA on their website:

  • The borrower must meet standard FHA credit qualifications.
  • The borrower is eligible for approximately 96.5% financing. The borrower is able to finance the upfront mortgage insurance premium into the mortgage. The borrower will also be responsible for paying an annual premium.
  • Eligible properties are one-to-four unit structures.

Now, each property must be approved and meet certain criteria for the FHA to insure them, meaning that the FHA requires a certain type of inspection/ appraisal. This disqualifies a lot of homes and particularly those being sold ‘as-is’ from FHA buyers. That meant a few years ago that FHA buyers were not eligible to even bid on certain properties. That has changed somewhat through the streamlining of an FHA program that is designed to help buyers rehab certain properties while being insured by the FHA.

The FHA Section 203(k) program is insurance that enables homebuyers to finance both the purchase of a house and the cost of its rehabilitation through a single mortgage. Section 203(k) fills a unique and important need for homebuyers. When buying a house that needs repair or modernization, homebuyers usually have to follow a complicated and costly process. The traditional interim acquisition and improvement loans often have relatively high interest rates, short repayment terms and a balloon payment. However, FHA Section 203(k) offers a solution that helps both borrowers and lenders, insuring a single, long term, fixed or adjustable rate loan that covers both the purchase and rehab of a property. Section 203(k) insured loans save borrowers time and money. They also protect the lender by allowing them to have the loan insured even before the condition and value of the property may offer adequate security according to government guidelines.

Section 203(k) insures mortgages covering the purchase or refinancing and rehabilitation of a home that is at least a year old. A portion of the loan proceeds is used to pay the seller to pay off the existing mortgage, and the remaining funds are placed in an escrow account and released as rehabilitation is completed. The cost of the rehabilitation must be at least $5,000, but the total value of the property must still fall within the FHA mortgage limit for the area. The value of the property is determined by either (1) the value of the property before rehabilitation plus the cost of rehabilitation, or (2) 110 percent of the appraised value of the property after rehabilitation, whichever is less.

The extent of the rehabilitation covered by Section 203(k) insurance may range from relatively minor (though exceeding $5000 in cost) to virtual reconstruction: a home that has been demolished or will be razed as part of rehabilitation is eligible, for example, provided that the existing foundation system remains in place. Section 203(k) insured loans can finance the rehabilitation of the residential portion of a property that also has non-residential uses. The types of improvements that borrowers may make using Section 203(k) financing include:

  • structural alterations and reconstruction
  • modernization and improvements to the home’s function
  • elimination of health and safety hazards
  • changes that improve appearance and eliminate obsolescence
  • reconditioning or replacing plumbing; installing a well and/or septic system
  • adding or replacing roofing, gutters, and downspouts
  • adding or replacing floors and/or floor treatments
  • major landscape work and site improvements
  • enhancing accessibility for a disabled person
  • making energy conservation improvements

These are not easy deals to put together and I highly recommend utilizing an experience and informed team. If you have the money to put down, you may want to consider a conventional loan. At one point in the United States, conventional loans were the only mortgage loans available and they were all issued by local lenders such as banks, savings and loans, and credit unions. These private lenders kept and serviced these loans in their own portfolio until they were either paid in full or foreclosed on – kind of like the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. A conventional mortgage is a loan that is not guaranteed or insured by any government agency.  It is typically fixed in its terms and rate.

An advantage to selecting an FHA over Conventional is that easier credit standards can be met to obtain financing. Typically, FHA requires a low down payment amount, lower credit scores are allowed, less elapsed time is needed for major credit problems (foreclosures and bankruptcies) and, if needed, you can use a non-occupant co-borrower (who is a relative) to help qualify for the loan using blended ratios. Blended ratios are debt-to-income ratios that equally blend the borrower’s and non-occupant co-borrower’s income and monthly payments to qualify for the loan. I am writing next week about Kiddie Condo Loans through the FHA. 

Conventional mortgages are typically a 30-year fixed rate loan.  That means the loan has a fixed interest rate for the 30 year term of the mortgage.  Conventional mortgages also typically require at least a 20% down payment.  For example, if a house costs $200,000, the lender will loan up to 80% of the appraised value.  So, $160,000 is financed, and the borrower pays $40,000 cash.

The major advantages to conventional loans is that you have more autonomy toward the property you want to purchase and your payments will be lower if you put more down. The most obvious advantage is that the Private Mortgage Insurance charged to conventional loans over 80% of the appraised value will be dropped from your payment as soon as your principal is paid down to 78% or less of the appraised value of the loan. FHA Mortgage Insurance is consistent and does not ever adjust from your payment.

There are too many conventional loan programs to go into here, but call me to help you shop and find the right mortgage lender or ask around to your friends and family and find the person/ institution you trust. Please give me a call to talk a little about what I know about these programs, your choices in lenders, and in properties available that fall into each of these categories. Remember that I am your friend and expert in real estate, and I love referrals too! Feel free to share my newsletter with your friends and family.  Call me any time – 512-507-1498 or email me at–df

Hottest Housing Markets for Early 2016

The overall national housing market in January mimicked the traditional seasonal trend of fewer homes on the market and slower sales, however the market is projected to increase into a possible record-breaking Spring season. According to, initial results from January documents positive growth at statistically significant higher numbers than January 2015. This should result in the positive growth in the residential real estate market in 2016, which is the prediction by almost all experts in the field. noted in their report that the median days in inventory is now 100 days, which calculates to 6% longer to sell in January than in December, 4% faster than January 2015.

Here are the 20 hottest housing markets in January 2016, according to

  1. San Francisco, California
  2. San Jose, California
  3. Dallas, Texas
  4. Vallejo, California
  5. San Diego, California
  6. Sacramento, California
  7. Nashville, Tennessee
  8. Stockton, California
  9. Denver, Colorado
  10. Los Angeles, California
  11. Santa Rosa, California
  12. Oxnard, California
  13. Palm Bay, Florida
  14. Yuba City, California
  15. Modesto, California
  16. Detroit, Michigan
  17. Midland, Texas
  18. Santa Cruz, California
  19. Tampa, Florida
  20. Fort Wayne, Indiana

And here’s Zillow’s top 10 of the hottest housing markets in 2016.

  1. Denver, Colorado
  2. Seattle, Washington
  3. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  4. Richmond, Virginia
  5. Boise, Idaho
  6. Ogden, Utah
  7. Salt Lake City, Utah
  8. Omaha, Nebraska
  9. Sacramento, California
  10. Portland, Oregon


Austin vs DFW

I work in two great real estate markets. I get asked all the time what are the differences. They are apples and oranges in my opinion. Here is the best breakdown I can give you. I did some of my Misti calculations according to the MLS numbers I have access to, and the following is what I see for sellers and buyers. I started with what a regular person who is approved for an FHA no down payment bond programs of about $130,000. Now, let’s go find a house.

There are 4722 properties available in the DFW market on the MLS at 1:30 this afternoon under $130,000. Here is what I can sell you in Arlington for $130,000 in the DFW market. Or take a look at my listing in Plano.

5611 Sarasota Drive, Arlington , TX 76017

SqFt: -1564



$83.12/ sq ft.


DFW home

Now, if you are a buyer in Austin, we have 226 properties available in the ATX market on the MLS at 1:30 this afternoon under $130,000. In areas surrounding Austin, this is what you can get. There is nothing in the city that is in this price range. There was one home that would go FHA in Georgetown, so I just selected the best one I see on the market.

6002 Turnstone CT

SqFt: 880

Beds:  3

Bath:  1

$136.6 0/ sq ft.

ABSOLUTELY NO CLOSING BEFORE AUGUST 1, 2015 – Amazing opportunity-fixer upper sold “AS-IS “with all faults” – NO DEDUCTIONS OR REPAIRS! — 3/1 w/converted garage. Price reflects the need for a complete makeover. Great margin for the investor, rehabber, flipper, owner occupant willing to take on a project. This will not qualify for FHA financing.

ATX Home

The following numbers are my research findings from the Austin Board of Realtors MLS and from the Metrotex Board of Realtors MLS at about 1:30 this afternoon (7/10/15).

  • There are approximately 29,000 listings in the DFW MLS residential market at the current time.
  • There are approximately 11,000 listings in the ATX MLS residential market at the current time.
  • 4,722 properties available in the DFW market on the MLS at 1:30 this afternoon under $130,000.
  • 226 properties available in the ATX market on the MLS at 1:30 this afternoon under $130,000.
  • There are 954 homes between $400,000 – $500,000 in ATX at the same time.
  • There are 2,397 homes between $400,000 -$500,000 in the DFW at the same time.
  • There are 1,591 homes between $500,000 and $1,000,000 in the DFW at the same time.
  • There are 3,777 homes between $500,000 and $1,000,000 in the ATX at the same time.
  • There are 1,461 homes between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000 in the DFW area at the same time.
  • There are 674 homes between $1,000,000 and $5,000,00 in the ATX area at the same time.
  • There is one home in the ATX MLS for more than $20,000,000.
  • There are four homes in the DFW MLS for more than $20,000,000.

ATX chart DFW chart



Dallas/Fort Worth’s Booming Market

It is hard to name the metroplex. We call it DFW or Dallas Fort Worth. However, there is a lot more to the metroplex. South like Arlington, Grand Prairie and now a booming Mansfield.  These areas are hot, but the real growth is north! Plano, Frisco and Allen are on fire! Homes last less than 24 hours in those areas with multiple full-price offers. That is actually the case all over this big ol town.

It is a sellers market for sure. It is hard to find a home, and when one is available that a buyer likes, then the competition really begins.  For listings, some cannot even get the signs in the yard before the offers start rolling in – sight unseen at many times. This makes the hussle hard for buyers but easy for sellers. The reason? 4,000 people are moving here each week. That’s crazy!  According to the Dallas Morning News, Dallas-Fort Worth added more new residents than almost anywhere else in the U.S. in the latest population estimates.

The following chart is from the Dallas Morning News (with permission) and depicts what is going on up here.

I have clients ask me if the market is going to correct. I can only say that I cannot see it going anywhere here in this boom economy. Businesses are moving to Texas for the amazing tax breaks. People are moving here to work for those businesses and also because Texas has no income tax. I had several clients who wanted to purchase property just before the end of the year for that purpose alone. I do not think that the prices or housing stock are going to correct any time soon, so if you want to buy, do NOT wait a few months for things to calm down. The stats show that will not happen. If you buy now, and things continue as they are, you will have equity in your home in just a few minutes, pardon me months!

I am experienced and know this area very well – all over it! I am back home here in DFW most of the time, though I still work in the Austin market, mostly lake properties and student housing. I love helping people, so call, text or email me. I can help make this process fun and reduce the stress…

Condos and Townhomes for sale in the ATX!

I am getting a lot of chatter about home sales, record prices, etc. The interesting thing is that many of the stats that are out there in most of the news rags are not specifically about the condo and townhome stock in this crazy hot market. The number of listings are up for condos/ townhomes, so there is stock. The median price is higher than every historically in the downtown market. I have heard some conjecture about overbuilding and price correction in this area. The numbers do NOT tell that story. They tell a story of a great opportunity to buy a chic downtown condo with the data showing historical median price increases that have shown an impressive growth curve for three years in a row. If you look at how many condos/ townhomes have sold, you will see that not even half way through this year, we are looking at numbers indicating selling more in this market than ever before. And look at the median prices.

Matrix – Click here to view this chart that indicates the median sales prices over the past several years indicating a dramatic increase.

Historic Sales x Price Range – Click here to look at the median sales prices and how many condos and townhomes were sold during each month of each year.

Austin-area home sales, prices hit monthly records in February 2015

Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) released real estate statistics for February 2015 – The following is the ABoR Press Released Report/ Statement: 

AUSTIN, Texas – March 20, 2015 – Austin-area single-family home sales and home prices hit an all-time high for the month of February according to the February 2015 Multiple Listing Service (MLS) report released by the Austin Board of REALTORS®.

Barb Cooper, 2015 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS®, explained, “The first two months of 2015 have broken monthly records for single-family home sales, yet nearly half of the homes sold in the Austin area in February 2015 were purchased outside of Austin’s city limits. This growing urban sprawl has put a strain on our region’s infrastructure. Long-term and sustainable solutions for statewide transportation funding in addition to policies that allow more affordable housing options inside Austin’s city limits will be critical to making Austin an affordable place to live for all residents.”

According to the report, 1,775 single-family homes were sold in the Austin area in February 2015, a year-over-year increase of five percent and the highest number of homes sold for the month of February. In February 2015, 69 percent of single-family homes sold in the Austin area were priced $200,000 or higher, outside of an affordable price range for many Austin homebuyers.

Home prices also set new records for the month of February. The median price for Austin-area homes in February increased eight percent year-over-year to $248,640 and the average price rose five percent to $307,928 during the same time period. While less than the double-digit price increases seen in previous months, the pace of home price appreciation in February 2015 remains higher than the historical norm of around four-and-a-half percent.

Austin-area monthly housing inventory ended February 2015 at 2.2 months, an increase of 0.2 months from the same time period last year but still only one-third of the 6.5 months inventory level the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University says equals a balanced housing market. Homes spent more time on the market in February 2015, increasing three days year-over-year to an average of 58 days.

Active listings in February 2015 rose nine percent year-over-year to 5,142 listings, while new listings increased three percent to 2,619 listings from the same time frame last year. Pending sales in the Austin area increased eight percent to 2,278 sales.

Cooper concluded, “The Austin area continues to see more homes on the market, rising housing inventory and homes spending more time on the market. While these trends would typically create more favorable market conditions for buyers, most all of the available housing stock within Austin proper continues to be unaffordable for the typical homebuyer. The Austin Board of REALTORS® urges statewide and city leaders to enact solutions now that will ensure the long-term sustainability of our region’s housing market and economy.”

February 2015 Statistics

  • 1,775 – Single-family homes sold, five percent more than February 2014.
  • $248,640 – Median price for single-family homes, eight percent more than February 2014.
  • $307,928 – Average price for single-family homes, five percent more than February 2014.
  • 58 – Average number of days single-family homes spent on the market, three days more than February 2014.
  • 2,619 – New single-family home listings on the market, three percent more than February 2014.
  • 5,142 – Active single-family home listings on the market, nine percent more than February 2014.
  • 2,278 – Pending sales for single-family homes, eight percent more than February 2014.
  • 2.2 – Months of inventory* of single-family homes, 0.2 months more than February 2014.
  • $546,572,200 – Total dollar volume of single-family properties sold, 10 percent more than February 2014.

The following sections describe trends in other sectors of the Austin real estate market.

Townhouses & Condominiums

The volume of townhouses and condominiums (condos) purchased in the Austin area in February 2015 was 201, a four percent decrease from February 2014. The median price for condos was $196,580, which is five percent less than the same month of the prior year. When compared to February 2014, these properties spent the same amount of time on the market, or an average of 50 days.


In February 2015, a total of 1,265 properties were leased in Austin, which is 10 percent more than February 2014. The median price for Austin-area home leases was $1,450, which is four percent more than the same month of the prior year.

The Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) builds connections through the use of technology, education and advocacy to strengthen the careers of its 11,000 members and improve the lives of Central Texas families. We empower Austin REALTORS® to connect their clients to the region’s most complete, accurate and up-to-date listings data. For more, contact the ABoR Marketing Department at or 512-454-7636. For the latest local housing market listings, visit

* The inventory of homes for a market can be measured in months, which is defined as the number of active listings divided by the average sales per month of the prior 12 months. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University cites that 6.5 months of inventory represents a market in which supply and demand for homes is balanced.