How Do YOU Cope When The Weather Is Yucky Outdoors?

Image

How Do YOU Cope When The Weather Is Yucky Outdoors?

Well, we’ve had downright frigid and unpleasant weather several times this winter here in N. Texas (most recently the snow yesterday). How do YOU cope when it’s yucky outdoors? Hot cocoa, a fire, bunny slippers, and jammies? 😉
Read more here: http://goo.gl/4EqFyP

Keep warm, everyone! Keep in touch – give me a shout at any time. I look forward to hearing from YOU!

http://www.JBtheRealtor.com

My Biz Needed a Cookie-Partner

Image

My Biz Needed a Cookie-Partner

Since I love cookies (especially at this festive time of year), I wanted to send my clients and referral partners some sweet treats to sincerely thank them for their trust. In short, I needed a “cookie-partner” for my biz.

I’m so thankful to have connected with Mary Holmen of It’s a Mary Cake! My clients raved about not only how BEAUTIFUL the treats were, but how AWESOME they tasted, too!  Mission accomplished.  🙂

Wishing you all an amazing, prosperous new year!

http://www.JBtheRealtor.com

My next home MUST have…

Image

My next home MUST have...

Springtime is here, and I know from talking with many of you lately that your thoughts are turning to your next home. That’s awesome! Have you solidified your home’s criteria yet? Well, location and price are huge factors for most people. You want a neighborhood that’s close to work, family, entertainment, recreation, etc. As for price, none of us care to be “house-poor”. That can turn a home into more of a prison.

So, here are some other dream home criteria to consider:
1.) Type of property (single-family, town home, condo, duplex, etc.)
2.) Condition (is a fixer okay or does it need to be 100% updated?)
3.) Features / layout (you might want a 3-car garage to house your motorcycle collection or an open kitchen for entertaining)
4.) Amenities (game room, swimming pool, interior upgrades, outdoor entertaining space, etc.)

Just know that you can scale-back on some of the amenities if needed to keep you purchase within budget, but make sure you’re comfortable with the things that cannot easily be changed about the home. Location is the #1 thing that can’t be changed, so be sure to get that part right.

Have a great day, and happy home shopping to you all!

http://www.johnbrooks-realtor.com

Investors are coming out of the woodwork! Are you next?

Image

Investors are coming out of the woodwork!  Are you next?

I evaluated some investment properties in the Hurst/Euless/Bedford area this afternoon, as I have several clients who are jumping into the investment market right now. See photo of one of them, currently priced in the $70K’s and would likely rent for about $850 to $900 per month. That’s good cash flow for most investors. The home rental market is extremely strong these days in the Metroplex.

Most lenders require 20% to 25% down payment to buy an investment home, and interest rates are typically below about 5% at this time for that type of loan. Why not have a tenant pay down your indebtedness for you, as eventually you’ll have a paid-off asset in your portfolio. 🙂

You might be surprised to learn that there are 245 available properties in Tarrant county right now, priced between $50K and $100K, and with at least 3 BR and 2 BA and a garage! GREAT opportunity for first-time home buyers and investors alike!  I’d be happy to send you the list (or one for any county in N. Texas) – just let me know.

Give me a shout at any time – it’s my pleasure to be of help to you in any way that I can. Ready to begin your search? Click HERE.

www.johnbrooks-realtor.com

Can you still buy a home with $0 down? Yes, it happens every day.

Gallery

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Do you dream of elbow-room, country air, and a mortgage loan with a ZERO down payment?  Well, the USDA loan program is still alive and kickin’ and offers just that.  It’s specifically offered in outlying, less-populated areas.  The photos below … Continue reading

Metroplex traffic – how much extra time do you allow for urgent trips these days?

Image

As Traffic Jams Worsen, Commuters Allowing Extra Time for Urgent Trips

Howdy!  According to this article by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, there’s a concept called the Planning Time Index (PTI): “a measure of travel reliability, illustrates the amount of extra time needed to arrive on time for higher priority events, such as an airline departure, just-in-time shipments, medical appointments or especially important social commitments.”

Have you found yourself arriving at your destination 20 or 30 minutes ahead of schedule sometimes (because you planned ahead and allowed for major traffic delays which didn’t end up being as severe)? I sure have…

Interesting article – check it out and you’ll add new concepts and terminology to your conversations this week.  🙂  Drive safely out there! More people are moving to the Metroplex area every single day, so all of us are going to need just a little bit more patience and TIME to get where we are going!

Have a productive week!

http://www.johnbrooks-realtor.com

Are you a Quitter? Me? Yes, I sure am…

Image

Are you a Quitter? Me? Yes, I sure am...

A book that helped revolutionize my thinking back in about 2010 or 2011 is Quitter by Jon Acuff (he’s a speaker and author who’s on staff at Dave Ramsey’s organization). In this simple, practical, and profound book, Jon’s basic encouragement is to fall in “like” with a job you don’t love while you spend your spare time working on a plan to ultimately pursue your passion in life full-time.

How many of us postpone our dreams day after day for the “security” of a J.O.B. only to discover one day that we are downsized, rightsized, or at the very least, not actually following our calling?

If you’re interested in a resource that can help you hold-on to where you are and have a good attitude about it, while simultaneously encouraging you to come up with a workable plan to ultimately follow your passion, Quitter is awesome!

Have an awesome week being faithful where you currently are in life, but don’t be afraid to believe in a brighter future, too. Do enough dreaming followed by planning and action, and you could shortly be livin’ the dream!  Me?  I’m a professed quitter and proud of it.  🙂

http://www.johnbrooks-realtor.com

Good DFW housing news and a sweet poochie!

Image

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

Who ARE today’s home shoppers and buyers?

Image

Who ARE today's home shoppers and buyers (statistically speaking)?

I sat down this morning over a cup of coffee and reviewed the 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of REALTORS, and I found some of the stats pretty interesting.

For example, 36% of Texas home buyers looked online as a first step in the home buying process, and the typical home buyer in Texas searched for 8 weeks and saw 10 homes before buying (on average). Also, in order to find an Agent to help them, 36 percent of Texas buyers in 2012 used a referral from a friend or family member and 13 percent used an Agent that they had used previously.

Thirty-five percent of buyers in Texas in 2012 were first-time buyers, and 69 percent were married couples. Buyers cited the quality of the neighborhood, convenience to job, and overall affordability of home were the top three factors influencing neighborhood choice.

The bottom-line: although there are lots of online resources to assist buyers with learning more about the home inventory out there and about the home buying process in general, most buyers value the expertise and guidance of a licensed Agent to help them navigate the maze and protect their best interests. 🙂

If YOU have questions, I’m here to help. Have a great weekend!

http://www.johnbrooks-realtor.com

Do your homework before engaging a professional

Image

Do your homework before engaging a professional

Are you considering making a move this year? If so, reading online reviews about an Agent, Loan Officer, etc. can really be helpful in deciding if you’d like to engage their services or not.  The right “fit” is VERY important.

I recently became a Premier Agent on Zillow.com, and several past clients graciously took time to post reviews of my services on the site. They provided insight about their home search and purchase experience. I’m thankful for their sincere, kind comments – they’ll definitely help others to decide if working with me would be a good fit.

What are some creative ways that YOU determine if a professional is right for you?

http://www.johnbrooks-realtor.com