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Wendy Hulkowich, Lead Realtor, CLHMS, ABR, SRES
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Articles Tagged "First-time Buyers"

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August
23

Dallas-Fort Worth Only U.S. Market Where Home Sale Prices Dropped Last Month

The North Texas housing market is downshifting quickly, with Dallas-Fort Worth being the only U.S. market to see a decrease in home sale prices last month, according to a report released today.  DFW home prices are down 1.9% year over year in July, according to the latest Re/Max National Housing Report.

 

And what a difference a month makes.  Last month, DFW led the U.S. for home price increases, with June prices up 29.3% over the previous year.   In hard numbers, home sales prices in DFW fell to $413,900 in July from $422,000 in July 2021.   Homes in DFW spend an average of 23 days on the market before selling.

 

Higher interest rates and inflation, as well as record home prices, triggered a sharp drop in demand for housing, said Todd Luong, a realtor with Re/Max DFW Associates:  "Here at our Re/Max office in Dallas-Fort Worth, our listings are currently getting on average 2.7 showings per week," Luong said. "Last year, at this same time, our listings were earning on average 5.9 showings per week. That is a huge drop in buyer demand compared to the previous year. Record home prices and higher mortgage rates have forced many potential buyers out of the market, especially first-time homebuyers."

 

While the latest trends may disappoint some sellers, buyers now have more choices and better opportunities for good deals, Luong said.   Luong said that the DFW housing market has been challenged with low inventory for years and reached an all-time low earlier this year, with only a two-week supply. Now, however, inventory is increasing.  "Although buyers have more choices now, it is still not a balanced market as we only have about a two-month housing supply," Luong said. "In a normal market, you have about a five to six-month supply of housing."

 

A new report from Zillow also found falling home values, although the numbers didn't match Re/Max's precisely because of different study methods and different geographic definitions of DFW as a metro area, among other reasons.  According to Zillow's findings, the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area's typical home value is $396,904, down 1.1% since June, the first month of decline. Values are up 55.4% since July 2019.

 

Zillow also reported that the mortgage payment on a typical home in DFW is $2,633 a month, including taxes and insurance. That's up 77.4% compared to July 2019.

According to Zillow, inventory in DFW has risen 10.2% since June, and the share of listings with a price cut in July was 22%, compared to 15.6% in June.  Nationwide, after two years of unprecedented growth, home values fell for the first time since 2012 as competition for houses eased, according to Zillow's July market report.

 

The slowdown is being driven by decreased competition among buyers. Zillow's analysis says that affordability pressures have pushed many to the sidelines, and buyers are waiting in the wings to resume their search if and when prices relax a bit.  Skylar Olsen, Zillow's chief economist, called the flattening of home values "a badly needed rebalancing.  This slowdown is about discouraged buyers pulling back after the affordability shock from higher rates," Olsen said. "As prices soften, many will renew their interest, and we will continue our progress back to 'normal.'"

 

Luong said he sees positive signs in the market.  The interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage dropped below 5% after peaking in June. More than 290,000 new jobs were added in Dallas-Fort Worth last year, so North Texas has one of the strongest labor markets in the country.   "Reasonably priced homes that are in good condition and move-in ready are still selling very fast," he said. "However, the bidding wars have subsided considerably across the board."

  • Dallas Business Journal, August 19, 2022
July
5

Your Guide to Long-Distance House Hunting

House Hunting Tips

Finding the perfect home is a challenging endeavor under normal circumstances, but searching for a home in a different city or state might seem impossible. Coordinating the purchase of a lifetime from several hundred miles away can seem like a daunting task.

While long-distance house hunting can pose challenges, our real estate agents want you to know that it's not as difficult as it seems. In today's world, with easily accessible online listings and the ability to conduct virtual tours, it's actually never been easier. Here are some tips on how to make your long-distance home search a success:

  • Visit Your New Neighborhood
    When starting a long-distance home search, it always helps to visit the new town to get a sense of the neighborhood, community, and amenities. A basic familiarity with the area allows you to choose the right location, envision your new life, and plan ahead. Take a trip or two to your new hometown and drive around, visit local businesses, and explore the area. When clients travel into town to look at Dallas homes for sale, we always encourage them to spend a day or two exploring our great city.

  • Choose A Reputable Local Agent
    When long-distance house hunting, working with an agent you can trust is more important than ever. Your agent can provide valuable local information, find listings that meet your criteria and negotiate the terms of your home sale. They can also help coordinate virtual listing tours. Choosing an agent that knows the area and has a strong reputation can really help make long-distance house hunting a success.

  • Include Travel Expenses In Your Budget
    Chances are you're going to want to make a trip to your new hometown at some point, whether it's during the house-hunting process or after your new home is under contract. Travel expenses can quickly eat into your funds, so make sure to factor travel expenses such as airfare, rental cars, gas, and hotel into your home-shopping budget.

  • Determine What You're Looking For
    Because your ability to tour homes in person may be limited, your buying decision will be naturally influenced by logic rather than emotion. Therefore, start by clearly defining your price range, and then create a list of the top 5 things you can't live without. Whether it's a specific location, a home office, or two full baths -- determine your non-negotiables and use them to narrow down your choices.

  • Don't Waive Your Inspection Contingencies
    Making an offer on a home sight unseen can be nerve-wracking, to say the least. If you aren't able to see the home in person, you can at least rely on your inspection contingencies to uncover any red flags. Be sure to consider the standard home inspection, pest inspection, radon, and sewer. These inspections give you the ability to back out of the deal without any penalty if problems arise and you can't come to terms on how to resolve them. Make sure to talk to your agent about what to expect with inspections.

Buying a home in a new city comes with its challenges, but it's actually never been easier than it is today. Contact us today to check out some great home listings in the Dallas area.

February
26

Homes Sales Surge; Investors Pushing Out First-Time Homebuyers

U.S. home sales unexpectedly increased in January, but investors paying in cash are squeezing out first-time buyers from the housing market amid record low inventory and higher prices.  Existing home sales surged 6.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.50 million units last month. Sales rose in all four regions, with strong gains in the Midwest, the most affordable region. Sales jumped 9.3% in the densely populated South, which is experiencing an influx of residents from other regions as companies embrace remote work.

First-time buyers accounted for 27% of sales last month, compared to 33% a year ago. Rising mortgage rates could make home buying even less affordable for this group.  Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, bought 22% of homes, up from 15% a year ago. Investors are renovating, and either reselling or renting the homes to take advantage of the hot housing market. All-cash sales made up 27% of transactions compared to 19% last January.

  • Reuters News, February 18, 2022
December
1

RMDFW Setting New Record in the Exurbs

31% of Closings in Exurb Counties

Forget Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton Counties.  The move is on to the exurbs.   This month, November 2021, 31% of all RMDFW home closings were NOT in the main four metro counties.   The closings were in Kaufman, Rockwall, Ellis, Grayson, Hood and Johnson counties – the new exurb counties of the Metroplex.  Affordable, new housing is sprouting up 25, 35, 45 miles away from Dallas – and young millennial families are snatching them up.  One year ago, 15% of all November RMDFW closings were new homes sales.  This November it is about 42% - a huge increase.  Since there is a lack of inventory for new homebuyers, they are moving further out to the exurbs.   Kaufman County (Heartland, Forney, Crandall) leads the way, then Rockwall County (Royce City, Fate), then Grayson (Van Alstyne, Melissa).

November
8

Don't Fall for These Real Estate Myths

Real Estate Myths

Today's real estate market remains hot, hot, hot, with sellers enjoying high prices, while buyers are facing a highly competitive market that has made it difficult for some to land the home they're longing for. This is especially true for those selling homes in Dallas/Fort Worth or shopping for Dallas homes for sale and Fort Worth homes for sale

It's easy to get distracted during the buying or selling process by certain widespread real estate myths. Our real estate agents help many families in the area find their dream home and advise them to not fall for misconceptions they might hear from well-meaning friends and family members.

Read on about some common real estate myths you should not fall for.

  • Myth 1: You don't need to do any prep work
    Many home shoppers think the process starts by rushing out and touring houses either in person or online before you've gotten yourself organized. The best course of action to ensure a smooth transaction is to plan your financing. Get either a preapproval letter or perhaps even a prequalification letter, from the lender you choose. This will help you be prepared when it's time to make an offer, but you'll also be able to focus on searching within the price range you're qualified for -- rather than wasting time looking at homes that are out of reach.

  • Myth 2: You can do it alone
    You'll be missing the expertise an agent brings to the process, including knowledge of market conditions, and above all, the ability to negotiate the best deal. A good agent will also help you get your paperwork ready. Organized, complete paperwork can make the process flow much more smoothly than when papers and forms are shoddily prepared and incomplete.

  • Myth 3: You can rely solely on online sources
    These resources can tell you a lot, such as an estimate of what your home is worth, or a calculation of your monthly mortgage payment. What's missing is a visit to a property by an agent, who can determine if the data is all correct.

  • Myth 4: You won't need to worry about repairs
    Modern builders are tending to build quickly at minimal expense. That means you need to exercise caution regarding lower-quality construction. Hire a home inspector who is well versed in new home construction to suss out potential problems. Talk to your real estate agent about what to look for in new home construction  -- or older homes if you're looking at an older model.

  • Myth 5: You should always offer less than the asking price for a home
    Low-balling the seller can be annoying to the point they may move on to a potential buyer who's easier to work with. Do you really want the home? Is the price reasonable? Then offer the list price or a price that's close to it. In really hot markets, you may need to offer over the list price to make sure you're in the competition. Your real estate agent should be able to help you strategize the best approach.

Need more help navigating today's real estate market? Contact us today.

January
4

This Is a Great Reason to Move to Plano, TX

Plano Cost of Living

Wouldn't it be nice to live in a city where you can have it all, without breaking the bank? While so many of the most popular cities to call home come with a cost of living that's significantly higher than average, that isn't the case when you live in Plano, TX. Plano offers all of the benefits of the best cities, with an affordable cost of living that makes it easy to enjoy all the city has to offer. Our real estate agents have all the details on the affordable cost of living in Plano and why it's such a great place to call home.

  • Plano Is an Affordable City with so Much to Offer
    According to REALTOR® Magazine, Plano has the 15th lowest cost of living of any city in the country. The rankings are calculated based on the combination of utilities, food, essential services, and the monthly cost of living. Add it all up, and Plano costs about $1,750 per month to live, which puts it on par with cities like Virginia Beach, VA, and Tulsa, OK. That is less than half the cost of some of the most expensive cities in the country, like San Francisco ($4,315 per month), New York City ($4,178 per month), and Boston ($3,426 per month).

  • Why Choose a City with a Low Cost of Living?
    When you shop for Plano homes for sale, you can be confident that you will make the most of your income in your new city. A lower cost of living impacts life in so many positive ways and may even influence your home search. When you know you will have lower monthly costs, you may be able to buy "more home for your money" and dedicate more of your budget to your home. Even after you close the deal on your home, a low cost of living leaves more money to customize your property and keep up with maintenance needs without tapping into emergency funds.

  • Plano Offers an Affordable Cost of Living Combined with Excellent Income
    When you analyze many of the cities with the lowest cost of living, you will find that those cities also have a comparatively low-income rate compared to more expensive cities. That is not the case in Plano, where you will find an affordable lifestyle combined with income numbers that actually beat many more expensive cities. The average household income for Plano residents is actually more than $88,000, which checks in more than $30,000 above the average city in the United States. 

  • How Will You Make the Most of Your Money in Plano?
    Ultimately, the benefits of strong income numbers and an affordable cost of living depend on the individual. Do you dream of buying a home that you can customize to your heart's content? Would you like to boost your savings for a rainy day or put away money to send your kids to a great college? What about making the most of your downtime, with extra money for entertainment, travel, and exploring the city? When you live in Plano, you can truly have the best of both worlds.

Are you searching for a vibrant, affordable city where you can make the most of your money? Our team is here to help you find the perfect home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Plano, TX area.

August
31

Don't Let Your Credit Score Hold You Back from Your First Home

Credit Score - First-Time Homebuyers – RE/MAX DFW Associates

Our real estate agents here at RE/MAX DFW Associates know that sellers have been bouncing back in our area for weeks now. It's about time for buyers to join the excitement and check out all of the great Dallas homes for sale that are hitting the market!

And that market is right for first-time home buyers.

Many people put off the decision to buy a home because they aren't sure about their finances or worry about their credit. With historic low interest rates, however, now's the time to test the waters. If you're interested in buying a home, you can begin working on your credit and make a big difference.

Your credit score is a numerical rating that helps lenders understand your financial habits. A higher credit score represents someone who is more likely to pay debts on time, making them a safer bet. 

Although your credit score is important, it doesn't have to be perfect!

By starting the right habits today, you can make a significant difference in your credit even if you only have a few weeks or months before you apply for a mortgage loan. Current "creditworthy" behavior is often weighed more heavily by lenders than any credit problems you had in the past.

Here's how you can get off to the right start by building your credit:

  1. Check Your Credit Report for Mistakes
    Your credit score is derived from information in your credit report, which can be hundreds of pages long. It lists all your current debts and obligations as well as your payment history. You can access your report for free online once a year – contest any mistakes you find and you could gain a few credit points.

  2. Pay Debts in Full If You Can
    If you have a few credit cards you can pay off quickly, go for it! Reducing the amount of total credit you use (while still having access to it) raises your score. For larger debts, it's best to start with the card that has the highest APR, then go on to the next highest, and so on in order.

  3. Put Other Plans on Pause for Now
    When you're looking for a new home, pump the brakes on a new auto loan or any other major debts. If you get approved for other financing, it can throw off your debt-to-income ratio, which makes it harder to get the best mortgage interest rates. A better rate could save you thousands of dollars!

  4. Mop Up Older Debts
    When it comes to debt, it's always best to communicate, agree on a payment plan, or make partial payment. If any debts fall into collections, always deal with those first. If you pay off a debt that has been around for a while, be sure you get written proof showing that it is paid in full.

  5. Revisit Your Budget
    Opportunities to spend less can help you improve your credit when the money you save goes to your debts. It's always a wise idea to take a close look at your budget and see if anything could be changed. That can give you a head start on writing a household budget and finding a great, affordable home.

  6. Use Programs for First-Time Buyers
    The federal government has created many different programs for first-time buyers. These allow buyers with lower credit scores to access funding with low or no down payment, and are often insured by the government, helping lenders and borrowers alike.

Getting a great mortgage starts with finding the right home – and there's no better ally than RE/MAX DFW Associates. Contact us to learn more.

February
17

Improve Your Odds as a First-Time Homebuyer

Buy a Home - Beat the Odds - RE/MAX DFW Associates

Buying a home for the first time can feel like an overwhelming experience. The walkthroughs, loan applications, and negotiations are only made more difficult when your offer is denied by a seller who chooses another buyer. Our real estate agents are also discouraged when a great offer goes unaccepted. Although a normal part of this process is to feel like the odds are stacked against you, remember that it's only a matter of time until you're handed the keys to your dream home.

Why First Time Homeowners are Faced with Unfavorable Odds

As each generation gets older, many men and women hope to purchase their first home early in adulthood. Unfortunately, there are a variety of factors that could prevent potential homebuyers from the home of their dreams. Some of the common hurdles first-time buyers struggle to overcome include:

  • Saving for a Down Payment
    A 20 percent down payment is a significant amount to save, especially for younger homebuyers. A single individual may find it difficult to reach this amount alone within a few years. Studies report that an individual may need up to 11 years to save for a down payment. Others may be struggling with student loan debt or are earning a salary that does not enable them to afford the homes in their area.

  • Increases in Housing Prices
    Even if an individual or couple are not struggling with debt and are earning salaries that meet the national average, these hopeful homebuyers can still encounter obstacles in the form of rising property values. Home prices are rising significantly in larger cities throughout the country where younger adults are relocating to, particularly new homes.

  • Limited Homes Available in an Area
    Even when young adults choose to relocate to larger real estate markets, they're still discovering that there are limited homes available — especially entry-level homes. Older adults are choosing to age in their current city, downsizing to smaller and more affordable homes.

  • Difficulties Qualifying for a Loan
    Although they may have an adequate down payment, some younger adults do not have the credit score or history necessary to secure a loan.

  • Increased Competition
    Young adults are facing two challenges simply because of their age. Not only are they competing for homes with other Millennial homebuyers, but they are also competing against another sizeable population — Baby Boomers who are downsizing. With the two largest generations competing for limited homes, it's increasingly difficult to secure a home.

How to Improve Your Odds as a First-Time Homebuyer

These obstacles may seem difficult to overcome, but don't lose hope! There are ways in which you can improve your odds of securing the home of your dreams even in a competitive market. We suggest that first-time homebuyers consider these tips:

  • Monitor and resolve any issues with your credit score. If you have a limited credit history, take responsible steps to improve it.

  • Save for more than the minimum down payment amount. Putting a few thousand extra aside will help cover closing costs or any bidding wars you might get into.

  • Limit your demands and try to find amicable ways to compromise during negotiations.

  • Submit an offer that's slightly above the asking price. A well-priced home could encourage more offers and your elevated offer will immediately stand out.

  • Get pre-approved for your mortgage loan before you begin your search. You should always calculate how much home you can afford before you begin searching. Securing pre-approval for a loan will show the seller that you are serious and able to afford the home.

Contact us today for the support and guidance first-time homebuyers need when buying Dallas homes for sale.

January
20

Real Estate Rescue: Yes, Your Agent Can Help with That

Real Estate Agent Help - RE/MAX DFW Associates

Our real estate agents are always working hard to connect our clients with the best Dallas homes for sale. Many clients, especially first-time buyers, are surprised by all we can do for them. A real estate agent is your guide through the whole home-buying process. If there's a question we don't know the answer to, we know where to find it! We strive to be our clients' top resource.

But agents don't just answer questions: They're also there to solve problems. No matter what comes up, a good agent will equip you with the knowledge and options to make a sound decision. Sometimes, the process of buying a house is smooth and easy. Most of the time, though, there are tricky choices to be made at one point or another. Your agent simplifies the issues.

Let's look at some of the unexpected ways agents can "rescue" their clients:

  1. Help You With Loan Preapproval
    Loan preapproval is the last step before a formal package, which you only get once you choose a home to bid on. Your agent can connect you with a lender who offers loan programs suited to your needs. You can also get advice on strategies around closing costs and other money issues.

  2. Help You Select a Home Inspector
    A trusted local agent has deep industry connections at all levels of the buying process. That makes it easy for them to orchestrate administrative tasks, such as finding a home inspector. An inspection is essential for ensuring no major repair bills are lurking around the corner!

  3. Help You Purchase a FSBO Home
    A "for sale by owner" (FSBO) home is one that has been placed on the market without the help of an agent on the seller side. As a buyer, though, your agent can bridge the gap and assist you during the purchase. An experienced agent will make it seamless.

  4. Help You Negotiate a Purchase
    Not everyone is a born negotiator. Even if you've never haggled before in your life, an agent brings the right skills to the table. Agents can stand in on your behalf and use their insights on the local market to argue for your interests when a home is overpriced.

  5. Help You Organize Your Big Move
    After closing comes moving, and that can be hectic. Not everyone has the opportunity to get a head start by moving things into a storage unit. Even if you find yourself with a whole home to pack up in days, your agent can recommend area movers who can do the job.

  6. Help You Find the Right DFW Home
    It might seem obvious that an agent helps you find a home, but most people don't know how far it goes. The better you know your wants and needs, the more your agent can do. Instead of focusing on one "dream home," you can have great new property listings to review every week.

  7. Help You Manage a Rental Property
    Buying a property for investment purposes? Most new Dallas-Fort Worth landlords soon decide they could use help running the business side of things. An agent can step in to screen renters, collect rent, and oversee maintenance issues. It's all done for you for a modest percentage of rent.

RE/MAX DFW Associates is the largest RE/MAX company throughout the entire southwestern United States. We got there by supporting our clients with the very best in real estate knowledge and customer service. Contact us to find out more about real estate opportunities in our area.

October
18

Forecasters – What to Expect Over Next 12 Months

Paige Shipp, regional director with housing analyst MetroStudy Inc. fears home sales might slow next year in the ramp up to presidential and congressional elections.  "We typically have much slower selling seasons right before an election," she said. "After that happens, the flood gates open and people come out. It's not a matter of who wins."   Worries about a recession may also impact the home market.  "We spent the better part of the last decade still looking over our shoulder," said George Ratiu, senior economist with Realtor.com.  "The last recession was so bad that we are still carrying some of the scars from that."   However, Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University states that Texas economy is still expanding.  "And we are extremely unlikely to be in a recession by the end of this calendar year," he said. "We are probably pretty safe through the first six months of next year."

  • Dallas Morning News, October 14, 2019

 

October
17

Too Few Moderate Homes; Too Many Upper-End Homes

The number of homes listed for sale with North Texas real estate agents has risen by about 15% this year. But they aren't in the price range most buyers want.  "The inventory is increasing at the upper end — $750,000 and above," Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University said. "If you have a well-located $300,000 house, you can sell it tomorrow. We are seeing evidence of price fatigue in the market."  D-FW home prices are up only about 3% so far in 2019 — nothing like the double-digit percentage home price gains of a couple of years ago.  "The recent spike in mortgage rates did expose how price sensitive the market is," said Paige Shipp, regional director with housing analyst MetroStudy Inc. "Things are not quite as rosy as they seem in terms of what people can afford."  Many home sellers haven't gotten the message, she said. "They want to list their house for more than their neighbors sold for and sell it overnight."  D-FW has an undersupply of homes priced below $250.000.

  • Dallas Morning News, October 14, 2019
August
26

First-Time Buyers: How to Spur Credit Score Improvement

Credit Score Improvement for First-Time Buyers - RE/MAX DFW Associates

Our real estate agents are always glad to support your search for the best Dallas homes for sale. First-time buyers, in particular, find the process easier when they connect with the right real estate agent—someone with plenty of experience in their situation. Many of the big questions first-time buyers have usually deal with obtaining a mortgage loan.

They often worry about the effect of credit score on their hopes for a favorable mortgage. Most people don't have perfect credit, so they wonder if their credit will stop them from getting the home they want. Luckily, the answer to this is almost always "no." A few credit blemishes here or there will not usually disqualify you from getting a home loan. Even if you've had credit problems in the past, many lenders are willing to look at your current income and credit behavior to determine how much you can borrow.

That said, your credit score is still relevant. A good credit score can improve your loan terms. Raising your score just a few points can make a worthwhile difference, so don't feel you need perfection. Even if you have only a few months before you begin your home search, there are steps you can take to raise your credit score. This may translate to better loan rates and substantial savings over time. Let's look at some ways you can raise your credit score faster.

  1. Pay Off Any Credit Debts You Can
    As a general rule, paying credit card debts with a higher APR (annual percentage rate) will help you reduce your total debt load while paying less in interest. Look at the APR of each of your credit debts and pay off any that combine a low balance with a high APR.

  2. Don't Close Any Unused Credit Accounts
    Closing an unused credit account may seem like a good idea, but it's actually self-sabotaging. This is because the total amount of credit you have influences your score. Simply pay off each credit card and leave it. You can use cards occasionally for small purchases to keep them active.

  3. Don't Take on New Loan Obligations
    When planning to buy a home, it's best to make it your sole financial focus if you can. Lenders will tend to be suspicious of buyers who take on a new car loan or other major debt before a home search. In the early stages of getting a loan, this may endanger your plans.

  4. Choose a First-Time Buyer Loan Program
    This won't affect your credit score directly, but it may help you boost it in the long run. First-time homebuyers can benefit from many state and federal programs that make it easier to access a mortgage loan. Most of them put less emphasis on credit score or may not consider it at all.

  5. Examine Your Credit Report for Errors
    Credit data is collected from a number of sources and compiled by several different companies. When mistakes are made, they can negatively impact your credit score. Use the official site to get your free annual credit report and follow up with creditors on any errors you catch.

  6. Consider a Side Gig
    If you can raise your income even a hundred dollars a month, you'll be able to pay off your debts that much faster. There are many legitimate opportunities to make more money out there on the web, but be careful you don't end up working around the clock!

Contact us to find out more about your options as a first-time home buyer here in the Dallas area. The team at RE/MAX DFW Associates looks forward to helping you.

July
29

Choosing a Dallas Neighborhood: HOA Pros and Cons

HOA Neighborhood in Dallas - RE/MAX DFW Associates

If you're looking into purchasing a home in Dallas, then one of the big questions you'll have to ask yourself is whether or not to buy in a neighborhood with a homeowners association. Our real estate agents are familiar with HOAs and have put together this handy guide on choosing a Dallas neighborhood with one—and the pros and cons that go along with it.

HOA Pros

By design, pretty much any HOA worth its mettle focuses on making life in a neighborhood easier, simpler, and more uniform for its homeowners. In most situations, the pros of joining an HOA or buying in an HOA-run neighborhood usually far outweigh the cons. Here's why you want to join an HOA:

  • Less Maintenance
    Most HOAs will maintain landscaping around your home, which means you don't have to worry about doing it yourself. In addition to basic yard work, you can expect your HOA to handle most of the aesthetics for your home.

  • Utilities May Be Included
    Depending on the HOA, some, or maybe all, of your utilities may be included as part of your HOA membership dues. If you prefer to live with all of your expenses covered in one payment each month, then this is certainly the way to go! Make sure you hammer out the details with the HOA on exactly what they cover before you sign any contract.

  • HOAs Have Rules
    To some, rules are a bad thing, but to many homeowners, they're a godsend. HOAs explicitly outline the rules and regulations for the neighborhood, which means there are no gray areas for noisy neighbors, barking dogs, or any other common homeowner issues. Additionally, the HOA will be the ones to issue any "citations" for breaking the rules, which means you won't have to!

HOA Cons

While HOAs have many positives, there can be some negatives. Some things you should be aware of before committing to a neighborhood with an HOA:

  • They Can Be Expensive
    For everything you get in return, HOAs can be notoriously expensive and can quickly put an unsuspecting buyer out of their housing budget in no time. For all of the nice amenities you desire such as landscaping, maintenance, and the like, you may also be on the hook for amenities you don't care about, such as community pool access or golf course.

  • Personalization is Out
    If your HOA is big on maintaining a consistent aesthetic from home to home, then you may very well have to adhere to those standards. What this means is that you likely won't have much leniency for personal touches to the exterior or landscaping of your home. If you're the type that wants to "make a house a home," then you may want to be very careful what HOA you choose.

  • Management is Crucial
    There's always the chance that your HOA isn't run by homeowners and is actually managed by an outside company. In either case, management could be less-than-stellar, meaning all of your hard-earned money that goes toward HOA dues and membership may not live up to your expectations. This can cause problems when needs and expectations aren't met, so do your homework ahead of time.

To find the best Dallas homes for sale with the best HOAs, contact us and let one of our real estate agents guide you through the buying process.

April
27

Boom: Hispanics Lead Housing, Income Surge, Poverty at Record Low

Hispanic Population Growth By 2060Latinos are finding their economic legs under the Trump administration, leading the surge in home ownership and income growth and record low poverty rates, according to two comprehensive new surveys.  While they remain far behind whites in income, they have seen their third consecutive year of income growth and have a higher workplace participation rate, according to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and the Hispanic Wealth Project. 

 

In two studies just released, the groups also provided revealing details about Latinos and their growth in America. For example, by 2060, nearly one of every three in the U.S. will identify as Latino.  The reports detailed Hispanic housing and economic trends and found most signs rapidly improving.  What's more, the group's goal of nudging overall Hispanic income up is showing signs of success. The group said that within the next five years, Hispanic median income will triple.Hispanic Homeownership rate

 

The group listed the positive trends in its income report:

  • For the fourth consecutive year, Hispanics increased their rate of home ownership, reaching a rate of 47.1%. In 2018, Latinos added 362,000 homeowners which is the highest number of owner households added for Latinos since 2005.
  • In 2017, Hispanics saw the third consecutive year of income growth and the highest of any demographic.
  • Between 2016 and 2017, Hispanics increased their real median income by 3.7%. Latino families making an annual income over $200,000 increased from 2.1% in 2011 to 3.8% in 2017, and the percentage of Latino millionaires more than doubled between 2013 and 2016.
  • Poverty rates reached a historic low for Latinos. Simultaneous to median income growth, Hispanics have lowered their poverty rate for three consecutive years. With a poverty rate of 18.3% in 2017, Hispanics reached their lowest level since poverty estimates for Hispanics were first published by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1972.

Hispanic Income Growth

  • Latinos have significantly higher labor force participation rates. Hispanics are employed at a rate of 66.1%, compared to 62.9% of the general population. The Hispanic unemployment rate was reduced by over 7 percentage points between 2009 and 2018, from 12.1% to 4.7%, respectively.
  • Latinos continue to drive small business growth. Between 2014 and 2016, the number of Latino-owned employer firms increased by 13.1%, accounting for 23.8% of the net growth of all employer firms during that period.
  • Participation in retirement accounts for Latinos is increasing. Between 2013 and 2016, Hispanics increased their rate of retirement account ownership from 25.1% to 29.7%, and the value of their retirement accounts increased by roughly 40.4%.
  • Washington Examiner, April 23, 2019
March
31

Dallas Home Price Hikes Are Turning Buyers Into Renters

 

Should you buy or rent?

Dallas is one of the U.S. metro areas where rising home prices have hurt homeownership the most. Dallas, Denver and Houston were identified as the markets where there is the most downward pressure on homeownership, according to a new report by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University faculty. The study ranked areas where the markets have tilted in favor of renting over buying homes. Researchers traced housing conditions in 23 markets for the report. Dallas was the most unfavorable for homeownership among the cities surveyed. "Of the metros in our index, Dallas is the highest and exhibiting the greatest downward pressure on the demand for homeownership," said Ken Johnson, real estate economist in FAU's College of Business. "The extraordinary appreciation in the area is a major driver of this score."  Dallas' housing market has taken off since the Great Recession, with soaring prices.

  • Dallas Morning News, March 20, 2019
March
30

Dallas Ranks #1 For Millennials Nationwide

 

Meyers Millennial Desirability Index (MDI)

        SOURCE: Meyers Research

 

Dallas and Houston are the hottest spots in the country for millennial homebuyers. That's what analysts at California-based Meyers Research found in their annual "millennial desirability index" that rated the country's largest housing markets. Austin ranked third on the same list, which compared data on housing affordability, job growth, cost of living and other factors for major metro areas across the country. Meyers Research's director of research, Ali Wolf, said factors such as Texas' relatively low new home prices, strong economy and high quality of life push the state's major cities to the top of the list. Job opportunities, affordability and lifestyle were key factors millennials said they would consider in moving to a new city. Meyers' study is one of two recent studies that give North Texas high marks for first-time homebuyers.

  • Dallas Morning News, March 24, 2019
March
18

Be Ready for Spring's Home Buying Race

Spring Home Buying-RE/MAX DFW Associates

Spring is prime home buying season just about everywhere. Our real estate agents always see an increase in buyers this time of year. People are less busy than they are other times of the year, the weather is pleasant, and sellers know they'll have plenty of interest in their homes. Even with more competition, it's still the best time to get the home you've been dreaming of. Here's how you can set yourself up for home buying success.

  • Secure financing ahead of time
    This includes several steps like viewing your credit report and credit score, planning your budget, and meeting with a lender to get pre-approved. A little prep work here can go a long way to make your offer on a home more attractive. Pre-approval shows sellers you're serious, and there's less chance your financing will fall through. This also means you'll be able to move quickly and make an offer right away when you find the right home for you.

  • Pick the right agent
    Finding an agent that's a good fit for you and knows the area you're hoping to relocate to is important. Their insight can help you make the kind of offer that will get the seller's attention.

  • Make your first offer great
    If there's a lot of competition, you don't want to assume the buyer plans on negotiating. In that situation, they probably won't. Your agent may be able to get a feel for what the seller is looking for. If you can use that information to make a better offer than your competition, then do it. Offer shorter closing time, fewer contingencies, or anything that can make your offer look better than others.
      
  • Keep the big picture in mind
    Your goal is to get into a home that fits your needs. That's important to remember during the negotiating process. Keeping your expectations realistic is essential. In the long run, a few thousand dollars one way or the other won't make much difference, but losing out on a home because you wouldn't negotiate or got too hung up on the details, will.

  • Be prepared for a bidding war
    It's not the optimal situation for buyers, but it is more common during prime buying season. Have a plan for what you are prepared to do in this situation and understand you may end up having to make an offer on a different home. If there are multiple offers, the thought of a bidding war may scare off some buyers, which may work to your advantage. Knowing what you're willing or not willing to do ahead of time prevents emotional and impulsive decision making, and helps you formulate a strategy to improve your chances of winning the home you love. You can offer the seller something different than other buyers with shorter or longer closing times, a bigger down payment, or a cash offer. Your real estate agent can offer plenty of advice.  

Spring really is the best time to start looking for a home for sale in Dallas. Despite increased competition, your chances of finding the right home are excellent with the help of one of our agents. Contact us today to get started.

November
27

5 Smart Reasons to Buy a Home at the Holidays

Buying a Home at the Holidays

The real estate market is booming in North Texas. You'll find Dallas homes for sale in a variety of neighborhoods to suit many potential homebuyers' needs. However, when is the best season to purchase a new home? Surprisingly, it's not always in the spring. The holiday season is an ideal time to buy a new house. While it may seem like another stressor with the holiday baking, shopping, and family commitments, our real estate agents have listed these five reasons for house hunting during the holiday season.

  1. Less Competition
    During the winter, there is around 25 percent fewer houses for homebuyers to consider; however, there are also fewer house hunters during the holiday season. Many take a month off to attend that holiday party, which means fewer open houses to walk through or less home-buying competition in a bidding war.

  2. Motivated and Desperate Sellers
    These sellers are likely motivated and more willing to negotiate to with serious buyers. Most sellers aren't any more enthusiastic to be selling their house during the holiday season than you are about house hunting during it. However, they've got a reason for it.

    Some homes listed in early fall are still not sold.  Therefore,  homeowners may be willing to negotiate to complete the sale year's end. Others may be relocating for a new job and need to sell quickly.

  3. Faster Closings
    Both parties are motivated to close on the house to complete everything before the holiday with a goal to move and unpack before Christmas. If the sellers are relocating, they'll have everything taken care of as well.   Nearly all professionals from the real estate agent to the mortgage broker want to report the home as closed before the end of the year.

  4. Tax Advantages
    Closing near the end of the year can also bring you more significant tax breaks. Recently, the House of Representatives passed a GOP bill that allows new homeowners to subtract the interest of their mortgage up to $500,000. Also, some states have a homeowner's tax exemption. Therefore, closing by the end of December can make a huge difference whether you receive those valuable tax savings.

  5. Envision the House in Winter
    Touring houses in the winter allows you to see both positive and negative issues.  While you can see the neighborhood trimmed in lights, you'll also notice how quickly the city plows so you know you won't be driving on a poorly maintained road.  Also, you can check that the heating system works correctly throughout the house or if the front door jams in freezing and icy conditions. These issues don't often appear on a warm spring day.

If you're interested in DFW real estate opportunities, contact us at RE/MAX DFW Associates today.

November
20

Why the Housing Market Is Slumping Despite a Booming Economy

Home prices are out of reach relative to incomes and mortgage rates. The big question for the economy is how the imbalance adjusts.

These should be happy times for the housing sector. The economy is booming, with more people working at higher pay, and with the sizable millennial generation reaching prime home buying age.  Instead, the housing market has gone soft, acting as a drag on the overall economy rather than as a force propelling it forward.

Sales of new single-family homes were down 22 percent in September from their recent high in November 2017, and existing home sales in September were down 10 percent. This tepid residential investment subtracted from G.D.P. growth in each of the first three quarters of 2018.

Home prices have not declined nationally, at least according to the most widely followed indexes. But their rate of increase has declined, and more and more home sellers are finding they must reduce asking prices to find a buyer.  Given how central housing is to the broader economy — it is the biggest driver of both wealth and indebtedness for most families, and its fluctuations have frequently been major factors in past booms and busts — this slump isn't something to be taken lightly for anyone hoping the good times will last.

So what's going on?

When you look closely at the data, it appears this paradox of a strong economy and a weak housing market is, at its core, an illustration of a fundamental rule in economics: If something can't go on forever, it won't.  Home prices in a given location are ultimately tethered to the incomes of the people who either live there or want to. But for much of the last six years, that relationship has come undone.  Nationally, personal income per capita has risen 25 percent since the end of 2011, while the S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index is up 48 percent (neither figure is adjusted for inflation).

The gap is even larger in the big coastal cities with high wages and booming job markets, but where legal and other barriers make it hard for builders to add to the supply of homes. In the San Francisco metro area, per capita personal income rose 40 percent from 2011 to 2017, while home prices rose 96 percent. Similar patterns are evident in Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, New York and Washington.  In less high-flying markets, there was still a disconnect. In the Minneapolis area, for example, incomes rose 22 percent while home prices rose 46 percent.

Those rising home prices got help from years of very low mortgage rates, which put more expensive homes within reach for people at a given income level. Activity was also probably boosted by some bounce-back effect after the housing market crash of 2007-09, a result of pent-up demand for homes that were not bought while the market was collapsing.

Rates bottomed out in late 2012 at 3.31 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. They have been moving upward in fits and starts since, including a full percentage point in the last year alone to nearly 5 percent — still low by historical standards, but high compared with the ultralow levels that had enabled these huge price gains.

There's no doubt that demographics are favorable for housing demand. The peak birth year for millennials was 1990; it's a group that is turning 28 this year and thus entering prime years for home buying. As it happens, 28 is exactly the median response in a Bankrate survey that asked adults for the ideal age to buy a home.

But that doesn't matter if prices are out of reach relative to incomes. Moreover, lending standards have remained more rigorous than they were during the last housing boom, so it has been harder for people to stretch to buy a home. The inability of people to buy homes they can't really afford is great news in terms of avoiding another crisis, but not so great for the near-term outlook for housing.

"Buyers can only stomach so many price increases until it gets unsustainable," said Daryl Fairweather, the chief economist at the online brokerage Redfin. "Prices reached a breaking point where buyers were fed up and started to consider other options," she said, including renting and moving away from the expensive coastal markets where prices are most out of whack with incomes. 

As Economics 101 teaches, price movements are the way that supply and demand match up with each other. But in the housing sector especially, that adjustment can take a while.  In contrast with the stock market, where relatively unemotional traders are buying and selling shares every day and the market stays liquid, home purchase and sales decisions can take months and are deeply emotional for the participants.

What seems to be happening is that sellers are trying to cling to the spring 2018 prices that their neighbors received, while there aren't enough buyers in late 2018 willing or able to pay those prices.  In a Fannie Mae survey of home purchase sentiment, the proportion of people who think it is a good time to buy a home has decreased significantly since the spring, to a net 21 percent from 29 percent. But so has the proportion who think it is a good time to sell, which has dropped to 35 percent from 45 percent.

You would expect, in a zero-sum transaction like a home sale, for those numbers to move in opposite directions. Instead, it seems that sellers are unhappily realizing that they aren't going to get what they thought their house was worth six months ago, and buyers still think homes are too expensive.  That helps explain why transaction volume, especially for new houses, has fallen substantially while prices haven't (at least yet). It's a standoff. And the outcome of the standoff will, in the aggregate, play a role in shaping the future of the economy.

There is precedent for this, and it isn't a happy one. In the last housing boom, new home sales peaked in July 2005, and home prices didn't start declining until May 2006. It didn't start to hurt the overall economy until December 2007, when the damage had spread through an overleveraged global financial system.

But that doesn't mean this episode has to end in tears. Home prices are not nearly as out of line with incomes as they were then; speculative activity hasn't been nearly as frothy; and consumer debt levels are considerably more measured.   "I think income growth will help us get out of this period," said Robert Dietz, the chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders. "We're probably looking at a period where existing home sales volume is flat to declining, and it now looks like 2017 was the peak year for transaction volume."

A strong (nonhousing) economy makes it more likely that this housing slump will end without a steep 2008-style downturn. So does the basic reality that young adults are forming families and need a place to house them.

But in the meantime, it could be a soft few months or even years of standoffs between buyers and sellers, with the big question of which comes first: sellers who settle for less after recognizing that the price they thought they would get is beyond the reach of buyers, or incomes that catch up with a housing market that got a little ahead of itself.

 

  • Neil Irwin, New York Times, November 15, 2018
November
6

Dallas is Top U.S. Homebuilder Market

Top U.S. Homebuilding Markets

No place builds more new houses than Dallas-Fort Worth.  As of the third quarter of this year, D-FW was the solid leader in U.S. homebuilding with almost 35,000 single-family annual home starts, according to a new report by housing market analysts at Metrostudy Inc.  Houston was second nationally with 29,370 home starts in the 12-month period ending in September. D-FW and Houston have topped the country in home construction for several years.  And the two Texas titan building markets show no sign of a slowdown. D-FW starts were up 8.7 percent and Houston starts were 6 percent higher than a year ago, Transwestern found.

 

While D-FW builders are still busy, what they are building has changed, according to Metrostudy's Paige Shipp. "Over the past 12 months, builders and developers have been addressing the need for affordable new homes by developing in previously overlooked submarkets and building smaller, less amenitized homes," said Shipp, regional director of Metrostudy's D-FW market. "As such, the median price has dropped since last year.The decrease in price is not devaluation, rather it's an indication that buyers are purchasing smaller, more affordable homes."

 

Shipp said that homebuyer traffic has slowed in North Texas in recent months. "While this cooling may worry some, it should be viewed as a positive stabilization of an overheated, frenzied market," she said. "Builders and developers should use this opportunity to catch their breaths and return to the fundamentals of homebuilding including land acquisition and selling." Shipp said the inventory of vacant new homes in the D-FW has increased to the highest level since 2012.

 

September
15

Texas Home Sales Are Slowing as Prices Are Rising

Texas Home Sales Update

Texas has been one of the fastest growing housing markets in the country in the last few years. The state has led the nation in homebuilding and Texas' major metros - Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin - have had big increases in the number of preowned home sales. But the latest snapshot of the Lone Star State's hot housing market is a mixed bag. While statewide home sales rose almost 3 percent in the second quarter from 2017 levels, sales in the D-FW area slowed for the first time in years.  And sales barely rose in the Austin area, according to the latest data from the Texas Association of Realtors.

"The demand for housing remains at an all-time high, but statewide we're seeing a slower rate of increase in sales compared to previous quarters due to the lack of inventory of properties for sale," Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University said. Rising prices and higher mortgage rates have also dampened buying in some neighborhoods. Even with the dip in sales, the D-FW led the state in second quarter home sales by real estate agents with 28,934 properties changing hands.

D-FW home sales were 0.8 percent lower than in second quarter 2017. Statewide median home sales prices rose by 4.4 percent in the period ending with June. D-FW had the biggest jump in the number of homes for sale in the second quarter of any major Texas metro area. The number of homes on the market in North Texas grew by 14 percent, according to the Realtors.

  • Dallas Morning News, September 13, 2018 (online)
June
20

Buyers Are Paying 19% More Than One Year Ago

Buyers Are Paying 19% More Than One Year Ago

Homebuyers are getting a double whammy. "Home prices are up and mortgage rates are up," said Frank Nothaft, chief economist with CoreLogic. Nationwide home prices are almost 7 percent higher than a year ago. And the average long-term mortgage cost has risen by seven tenths of a percentage point interest compared with this time in 2017, according to CoreLogic. "That translates into a 16 percent increase in the monthly principal and interest payments to buy the same house," Nothaft said. For the first-time homebuyer there is a 19 percent increase from one year ago. "Average wages around the country are up only 2.5 percent to 3 percent from a year ago. Each passing month as prices rise and mortgage rates rise, it's increasingly challenging for home buyers, especially entry-level homebuyers," he said. "The pinch it takes out of their monthly budget starts to affect more and more buyers across the country." Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the markets with record-high home costs. While overall median home prices in North Texas are up about 5 percent so far in 2018, prices for the most affordable houses — under $200,000 — are rising at almost twice that rate.  CoreLogic is forecasting further increases in home prices and interest rates in the year ahead.

  • Dallas Morning News, June 15, 2018
March
5

6 Secrets for Getting Your D-FW Home Offer Accepted

DFW Home Offer Accepted
If you follow local real estate news, you already know that North Texas has been identified as one of the country's hottest real estate markets. Home prices are rising and sellers are expecting to sell their homes at their asking price or better. Whether you're considering Dallas homes or Fort Worth homes, you're negotiating in a seller's market. You must bid conscientiously or risk missing out on a home you love. 

Our REALTORS® understand it can be difficult for your offer to get a seller's attention, especially when they realize that the next buyer might be willing to pay more. When you're ready to begin your home search, we'll be here to help with "Six Secrets for Getting Your Offer Accepted."

  1. Get Pre-approved
    You may have heard this before, but it's worth repeating. For sellers and realtors to take you seriously, you must get pre-approved. No one wants to waste time on home tours and bidding wars with unqualified buyers.

    During the approval process, your mortgage company reviews your financial data and decides whether or not they would finance you and for how much. The letter they issue isn't a guarantee, but it tells the buyer that the mortgage company considers you financially ready to buy.

  2. Don't procrastinate
    When you're serious about buying a home, you must put a lock on any indecisive tendencies. You won't have forever to make up your mind about a home you love. You have to decide quickly and get your offer on the record. With so many buyers out there, you're destined to lose your dream home if you spend too much time mulling it over.

  3. Go big or stay put
    If you find the right home at the right price, don't try and lowball an offer. When home prices are rising, sellers know they can sell. They won't be tempted by a half-hearted offer. It's important to make a good offer the first time around or you might not get another chance. Maintain a little wiggle room to negotiate if you must, but don't nickel and dime the seller.

  4. Be a person
    Sometimes money isn't enough to win a bidding war. Sellers are human so they respond to humanness. They want to know who's buying their home, so let them know when you bid. Send a personal note. Identify yourself. Talk about sipping coffee on the porch while your children play in the backyard. Your bid will be coming from a real person.

  5. Pay cash if you can
    Cash is a wonderful option for sellers. Cash is simple. It speeds up the closing process and eliminates the mortgage company's complicated documents. When you make pay cash, the built-in benefits encourage a seller to accept a lower offer.

  6. Give the seller more than one option
    It's a known selling norm that people prefer to choose between something and something as opposed to choosing between something and nothing. Try making a two-part offer that forces the seller to think.

    - Bid a cash offer for one amount. (i.e. $200,000).
    - Supplement that with an offer that's higher (i.e. $220,000) because it requires financing.

    With two offers, the seller has options. They can accept the lower offer, take the cash, and avoid a lengthy mortgage approval process. Or they can take the bigger offer and wait.

The bidding process can be complicated, especially when there's a lot of buyer competition. Contact us when you're ready to begin your Texas home search.

January
26

8 Tips for Millennials Entering the Dallas Housing Market

Tips for Millennials Entering the Dallas Market
Purchasing your first home has long been a part of the American dream.  While some cities across the country are considered Millennial Magnets, according to a report by ABODO Apartments, Dallas ranks near the bottom of the list of major US cities for this new wave of home buyer.

Dallas, Texas has experienced a boom in its employment market because of huge economic opportunities.  Consequently, the increase in the job market has also caused an increase in demand for housing making it difficult for Millennials to afford Dallas homes for sale.

But despite these challenges, some continue to push forward with buying their first home in the DFW.  Our REALTORS® know the local market well and offer these eight tips when you're ready to buy a home in Dallas.

  1. Have Your Finances in Order
    With Millennials having higher student debt than previous generations, you will want to make sure that your finances are in order. Know your credit score and make sure to review your credit history and resolve any credit issues. A lower credit score and poor credit history will cost you with higher interest rates.

  2. Saving for a Down Payment
    The National Association of REALTORS® recommends saving approximately $34,000, which is 20 percent of a Dallas-area starter home priced at $168,300. If you are starting at zero savings, and can only afford to save $300 a month, it could take you up to 10 years to save that amount. There are low down payment programs available for first-time home buyers.

  3. Closing Costs
    In addition to a down payment, you will need to factor in closing costs that are included with most home purchases. Your REALTOR® can give you an estimation of how much these costs could be.

  4. Think of the Future
    When purchasing your first home, consider its future resale potential. Look for features that are appealing not just to you but will be appealing to potential buyers. This could be as simple as the house being on a quiet street or having a master suite on the main floor.

  5. Don't Go Overboard with Contingencies
    When you make an offer on a home, don't ask the seller to make minor repairs like replacing light bulbs or re-caulking the tubs. However, if there are obvious signs that major repairs are needed, like repairs to the roof, air conditioner or foundation, it's not unreasonable to ask for repairs. Your REALTOR® can create an amendment to your offer requesting these repairs be made.

  6. Make a Strong Offer
    In a seller's market, you need to make a strong offer for your purchase price to be taken seriously. Other buyers could be offering the asking price or higher. If you make a low offer, your offer may not initially be accepted.

  7. Don't Delay
    If you find a Dallas home that you really love and it's at the right price, don't delay in making your offer. The current market for real estate in Dallas is hot and taking time to "sleep on it" or ask your friends or family for their opinions could cause you to miss out.

  8. Choosing a REALTOR®
    It's a good idea to interview a few real estate agents before choosing one. It's important to ask about their familiarity with the Dallas area and its housing market. You should also get an idea of their negotiation style, the technology they have available to help you during your search and buying process and their track-record.

If you're getting ready to take your first steps to homeownership, there is no better time than now to start. Contact RE/MAX DFW Associates to speak with an experienced realtor that knows the Dallas market and understands the needs of first-time home buyers.

January
3

Is Home Buying Going to the Dogs?

More Millennials Consider Dogs in Their Home-Buying Decision

Home Buying Dogs

There are many people in the world who love dogs, but you can't always include landlords on that list. While a landlord may love their own dog, they're typically less enthusiastic about the four-legged friends of their tenants. Combine that with the fact that dog owners love giving their pets room to roam the outdoors, and you can see one of the hidden motivations that inspire many renters to purchase a house of their own. So in a way, home-buying really is going to the dogs, and that's not a bad thing!

Our REALTORS® have the details on this growing trend, along with other key reasons buyers choose to purchase a home for the first time. 

Motivations for Owning a Home

It's no surprise that house hunters consider their dog when shopping for Dallas homes for sale. In fact, a third of Americans from the Millennial generation has stated that a better space/yard for their dog was an important motivating factor in choosing to purchase a home for the first time. A great space for their four-legged friends is one of the motivators which influence young home buyers:

  • A Home with a Yard – Whether it provides space for your pet, a fun place for outdoor parties, or simply a beautiful view while you're eating dinner, owning a home with a yard comes with many perks. Many renters are motivated to buy in order to have an outdoor space of their own which they can customize to their heart's content. Want an outdoor barbecue area, a dog-run, or both? With a yard of your own, you can set up your outdoor space any way you please.

  • Tying the Knot – For many young homeowners, getting married was the moment when they decided to get serious about purchasing a home and saying goodbye to rental agreements. The idea of "settling down" means different things to different people, but there's no doubt that owning a home makes it easier to pursue long-term goals. With two people to save, budget, and shop, tying the knot can also make it easier to navigate the real estate market for the first time.

  • Starting a Family – While many newly married couples do choose to buy a home, there are also those who keep on renting... until they add a new member to the family. Having a child has always been a major motivator for owning a home, and for good reason. A home will often offer much more space than an apartment for a family, including outdoors. Owning a home also gives you the opportunity to get a head start on choosing a school district where your child can thrive.

  • Building Equity – For some young buyers, owning a home is one important step on the path to financial planning. A home allows you to build equity over time, maintain a great credit score, and invest in your future. Planning your purchase well – and considering the future of the neighborhood – can also allow you to recoup a great return on your investment if you ever do choose to sell. Starting young has many benefits, allowing you to get a head start on your financial future.

  • Room to Grow – Renting a property has its perks, but one of the main drawbacks is that it will never truly be yours. Owning a home is the opposite. Rather than seeking approval for every little thing, you can customize the home as you see fit. Whether you want to paint the walls or renovate the whole room, the choice is yours. Owning a home also provides you with plenty of room to grow, whether that means expanding the home or simply updating it until everything is just right. Home-buyers of all ages love the freedom that comes with owning the space that they call home.

Looking for the perfect DFW home for you, your family, and your favorite pets? We can help! Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Dallas, TX area.

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Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 11/29/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 11/29/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of NTREIS (last updated Tue 11/29/2022 4:50:04 PM EST) or Permian Basin MLS (last updated Mon 11/21/2022 7:45:23 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than RE/MAX DFW Associates may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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