Just turn left at the Tater Junction restaurant in Aurora (Texas)…

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Just turn left at the Tater Junction restaurant in Aurora (Texas)...

One thing that I love about the real estate biz is that it’s NEVER dull! It’s refreshing to get out of the city from time to time, and I was overdue for a road trip to the country. So, last Friday I traveled to a town that I’d never heard of before to preview a home for some out-of-state buyers. The home is located outside of Aurora, TX which is a “suburb” of Boyd (northwest of Fort Worth).

To get to the home that I was previewing, my GPS “lady” should have said, “turn left at the Tater Junction restaurant”, because that’s exactly what I did. 🙂

I sure enjoyed my brief visit to the countryside, and the buyers were very appreciative of the photos and video of the property that I uploaded for their review.

NEXT TIME, I’m going to stop-in and actually have a bite to eat at the Junction!

What are your favorite tiny towns (even if they’re NOT in Texas?  😉

http://www.johnbrooks-realtor.com

Why in the world would anyone want to live in Dallas?

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Why in the world would anyone want to live in Dallas?

The amazing weather in Dallas yesterday prompted me to head out on an evening run with our Spaniels (Lucy and Swayze), from South Side to West End. We stopped to nab this pic along the way, thoroughly enjoying the near 70 degree January day!

I began thinking of the varied cultures, art, architecture, and of course, things to do here in Big D. For example, have you been to Klyde Warren Park yet? It’s an open-air urban park built over the top of Woodall Rogers Freeway, and it officially opened just a few weeks ago. On a super-nice day like today, you’ll find superb people-watching, art, green space, food trucks, an outdoor library, and even a small dog park! I highly recommend it.

So, why in the world would anyone want to live in Dallas? See above. 😉 Great people, weather, and, yes, lots of cool stuff to do!

What is your favorite attraction in Big D?

www.johnbrooks-realtor.com

Where do you think the real estate market is going in 2013?

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Where do you think the real estate market is going in 2013?

Hello, everyone!  Well, according to the National Association of Realtors, 2012 was a super excellent year for home affordability in the U.S. They’re predicting that 2013 will be almost as good. If you didn’t make the leap to home ownership last year, maybe it’s time to do it. Mortgage interest rates are still hovering near all-time lows, and in many areas home prices are beginning to rise. Anyway, here’s a link to the NAR press release:
Housing Affordability Index to Set Annual Record for 2012

Food for thought, huh?  I’m here to answer your questions…

http://www.johnbrooks-realtor.com

Twelve tips to sell your home quicker and for more moolah!

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Twelve tips to sell your home quicker and for more moolah!

Well, it’s a new year, and if you’ve been thinking of selling your home (to move-up or even to downsize), there are a bunch of factors to consider. Check out this excellent list of tips from TexasRealEstate.com:
http://www.texasrealestate.com/web/1/12/122/archive/twelvetips.cfm

My favorite of the twelve tips? Number 11 says, “Clean and de-clutter—neat, organized houses sell faster than those that look too lived-in.” Guess what? EVERY time I show a client possible homes for them to buy or lease, they ALWAYS choose the cleanest, most tidy one! It never fails.

Looking for advice about how to sell your home for the most amount of money, in the shortest time, with the least amount of hassle? Give me a shout – it’s what I ENJOY doing every single day!

Have an awesome weekend!

http://www.johnbrooks-realtor.com

How long will these very attractive mortgage interest rates last?

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How long will these very attractive mortgage interest rates last?

Well, I started this blog almost exactly one year ago when the average FHA 30-year mortgage rate was about 4.05% (1st quarter of 2012). Over the course of 2012, the rate continued to drop all year to arrive at 3.56% by end of November.

This insightful graph covers a 20-year period from 1992 to 2012 for average FHA 30-year fixed mortagage interest rates. The rate in ’92 was more than DOUBLE today’s mortgage interest rate! As you may know, the interest payment is a significant component of your monthly mortgage loan payment, so a drop of even 1% in the rate can have significant impact to your payment.

This graph was furnished by Bob Paulus of PrimeLending, who has provided excellent service to my clients. He’s knowledgeable, personable, and trustworthy. I highly recommend him and his services.

I hope that you’ll get out there and seize some opportunity today!

http://www.johnbrooks-realtor.com

Home sweet home – what does that mean to you?

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Home sweet home - what does that mean to you?

My wife and I moved and downsized a couple of months ago, and I now have a new-found appreciation for what my clients endure when they buy or sell their home and make a move. It’s both EXCITING and STRESSFUL!  😀

Anyway, although we love our new place, I realized that it just didn’t feel 100% like ‘home sweet home’ to me yet. The reason?  I hadn’t unpacked our vintage vinyl LP collection and player.  Here’s a photo of the final result – it’s playing an album by Bread right now, and NOW this place truly feels like home!

The equipment?  A Technics SL-3200 Direct Drive Turntable (from approx 1980 – I bought it a couple of years ago on eBay), and a Kenwood KR-3090 Stereo Receiver (from approx 1979 – my wife’s had it since high school). Great vintage sound!

What are some of the things that make YOUR home feel like it’s truly home to you? I’d enjoy hearing from you…

http://www.johnbrooks-realtor.com

To HOA or not to HOA? An important question for home buyers

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To HOA or not to HOA? An important question for home buyers

Most modern-era subdivisions in the N. Texas area are overseen by Homeowner Associations (HOA’s). They are typically focused on maintaining any amenities and common areas of the subdivision, along with ensuring that the bylaws are followed by residents. Commonly-seen HOA rules include things like prohibition of recreational vehicles (boats, RV’s) parked in driveways or streets, and rules regarding proper appearance of yards and landscaping.

Many buyers with whom I’ve worked initially say that they don’t want to live in a subdivision which has HOA (often because of the cost of dues), but they often change their perspective once they understand the HOA’s role in promoting an attractive and safe neighborhood (which hopefully results in enhanced property values down the road).

Here’s a great article if you’d like to read a bit more about the topic:
http://texasrealestate.com/web/2/21/more/010713.cfm

What are some pros and cons of HOA’s from your perspective?

www.johnbrooks-realtor.com