A townhome? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

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A townhome?  What are the advantages and disadvantages?

I have a couple of clients who are currently shopping for townhomes in the Metroplex, so I thought I’d do a quick blog post about the advantages and disadvantages of this type of property.

First, the down-side:
Townhomes can sometimes be first to dip when the real estate market makes a downturn. You have common walls with neighbors, and sometimes parking space can be a challenge (especially for guests, but most units have a 1 or 2 car garage included), and what about those HOA dues which are in addition to your mortgage payment? You just need to be sure that the amount you’re paying monthly is providing you with sufficient value in return.

The BIG advantage to owning a townhome? It’s typically a very low-maintenance, “lock and leave” lifestyle. Exterior maintenance, landscaping, and etc. are typically handled by the HOA / property management. You have the benefit of home ownership without the usual maintenance issues. Many townhome developments offer amenities such as pools and clubhouses, but they don’t have that “apartment feel”.

One of my favorite townhome communities is Home Town in North Richland Hills, TX. It’s very picturesque there (see photo with this post), and the central location is great for people who need to commute to Fort Worth or even to points East for work. Prices there average about $100 per square foot, so a 1,400 sq ft unit costs about $145K as of this writing.

Thinking of taking the plunge into home ownership, but don’t want the maintenance responsibilities? A townhome might be JUST the ticket for you! Let me know if you have questions – I’m happy to help!

http://www.johnbrooks-realtor.com

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Good DFW housing news and a sweet poochie!

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Good DFW housing news and a sweet poochie!

A Dallas Morning News article caught my eye while we were walking the Spaniels yesterday morning. So, we had Lucy pose for a pic by the news rack (did you even know that they still sell actual newsPAPERs)? Anyway, the headline: “Housing unusually hot for January”. The article says that D-FW sales jumped almost 25% from a year earlier with prices also on the rise.

Sounds like classic supply and demand to me. 🙂 Looks like we are in for a hoppin’ Spring season in the DFW housing market, huh?

Have a great week!

http://www.johnbrooks-realtor.com

P.S.  Here’s a link to the news article:  http://www.dallasnews.com/business/residential-real-estate/20130208-dallas-fort-worth-home-sales-hit-highest-mark-for-a-january-in-six-years.ece

What’s driving the rising demand for rental housing?

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What's driving the rising demand for rental housing?

According to recent information published by the Bipartisan Policy Center, the rental housing market is expected to remain strong for the next two decades. This is good news for real estate investors and homeowners alike. The four key groups driving the rising demand are outlined in the graphic above. They are Baby Boomers, Echo Boomers, Former Homeowners, and Recent Immigrants. For details about their study, click here.

If you’ve been considering jumping into the real estate investing world (or converting an existing home of yours into a rental), let me know. There are some amazing books and resources out there to give you a jump start. Contact me any time – I like to help!

http://www.johnbrooks-realtor.com

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

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