Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Eastern Expansion of President George Bush Tollway is OPEN

It's OPEN, it's OPEN ... The Eastern Extension of The President George Bush Turnpike TOLL ROAD is OPEN!!! That's right, the $958 million dollar extension project that began in August 2008, will open on time!

This new 10 mile, 6 Enterance Ramp extension will allow people to drive from northwest Garland (hwy 78) to Interstate 30.  PGBT is now a 30.5-mile, six-lane, expressway that passes through or along the cities of Garland, Richardson, Plano, Dallas, Carrollton, Farmers Branch and Irving. 

Although the PGBT Extension is open today, you'll still see minor construction through the first part of 2012 as final touches are made to the corridor's infrastructure and actual access to the I-30 frontage road is expected to occur in February 2012.

The average toll for driving on the PGBT Eastern Extension is 15.3 cents per mile for vehicles with a TollTag. ZipCash rates are 50% more than TollTag rates. Additional information regarding toll rates and gantry locations is available on the NTTA website,

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lake Ray Hubbard Living ~ November Market Report

Been thinking about having a Home on or near a Lake?
Here's a snapshot of what's currently on the market for Lake Front & Lake View homes on Lake Ray Hubbard ... 
Garland & Rowlett

Rockwall & Heath

There's still great opportunity to purchase Your New Home in the amazing Lake Ray Hubbard community!!!
Do you need a Realtor that specializes in the Lake Ray Hubbard area? Call or Email me today! Whether selling or buying, today's complex real estate market requires a professional who can structure a transaction to benefit all parties involved and meet their needs. Let me know how I can serve you or your referrals to better understand the tax advantages, financing alternatives & investment aspects of home ownership ... because NOW really is a GREAT time to BUY!
Do You Need to Sell your home 1st before moving into the Lake Ray Hubbard area, send me an email for specific information about how YOUR subdivision is doing, please contact me ~ As your Lake Ray Hubbard Realtor, I'm here to help!  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Best Family Gift for 2012

HOME is a place of your own where you can raise your family, share with friends and feel safe and secure, not to mention a better physical & mental health.
With the LOW HOUSE PRICES and LOW INTEREST RATES, Home Affordability is at its Highest ... but Intrest Rates have started inching up in the past few weeks which will directly result in higher payments.

Credit, debt ratios and income are the limiting factors that could be keeping you from taking advantage of these opportunities. The benefits of talking with a qualified mortgage officer and pre-approval are without question.  It Saves time, money and most importantly, it removes the uncertainty of not knowing.  The direct benefits include:
  • Amount the buyer can borrow - as interest rates rise, the amount decreases
  • Looking at "Right" homes - price, size, amenities, location
  • Find the best loan - interest rate is tied to credit score; do you qualify for the best rate?
  • Uncover credit issues early - time to cure possible problems; 90% of credit reports have errors
  • Bargaining power - helps negotiate price, terms and timing
  • Close quicker - verifications have been made; takes less time to close
Call me for a recommendation and a list of what you need to share with a loan officer.  Isn't it time you found out where you stand to buy a home?  It may be the best gift you give your family.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pictures with SANTA, Bass Pro Shop, Garland & Grapevine TX

SANTA IS COMING TO TOWN ... errrr, that is, to the BASS PRO SHOP!!!

Now thru December 24th, the Bass Pro Shop in Garland & Grapevine, TX will once again have their Santa's Wonderland! We've made this 1 of our Family Traditions & look forward to it! 

The entire bottom floor is seriously transformed into Santa's Wonderland complete w a table to write Letters to Santa, Elves, & Reindeers! There's also FREE Games, Activities & Crafts AND a 4x6 Professional Picture with Santa! 


It goes without saying that the Lake Ray Hubbard area is a fabulously Family Centered community & just minutes from I-30 & the George Bush Tollway!    Are you looking to move into the amazing Lake Ray Hubbard area that is bordered by Garland, Rowlett, Rockwall, & Heath TX? Do you need a Realtor that specializes in the Lake Ray Hubbard area? Call or Email me today! 

Click HERE to search what's waiting for you!   Do You Need to Sell your home 1st before moving into the Lake Ray Hubbard area, Call or Email me today for specific information about how YOUR current subdivision is doing. ~ As your Lake Ray Hubbard Realtor, I'm here to help!  

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Black Friday for Home Shopping

What?!? Black Friday for home shopping?!? Yup, you read right & that's why I had to share this great post from Bryan Robertson in Los Altos, CA.  Though he's writing for his local area I can say the same is true for us in the Dallas/Ft Worth area! 
If you are a buyer looking for Homes for Sale in the Dallas Ft Worth Metroplex or Lake Ray Hubbard area, then this coming weekend is a great time to get out and check out all the deals.  There are some awesome DOORBUSTERS out there right now!
If you want to search for houses that are currently on the market in your desired areas, you can search directly on my SamIAmHouses website (top right) that feeds directly from the Multiple Listing Service & gives you the most up to date information.  If you would like some help, have any questions or would like to set up a private appointment to see a home this weekend just give me a call (214-422-0729) or send me an email - I'd be ever so happy to help!
Via Bryan Robertson, Los Altos REALTOR Los Altos Real Estate - Homes For Sale (Sereno Group - Los Altos):
I've done the "Black Friday" thing - getting up at 2AM to stand in line, freezing my butt off, waiting for a "deal" that I never ended up getting.  How about Black Friday for home buying?  Are buyers willing to head out on Friday morning shopping for awesome real estate deals?  I certainly hope so!
For the savvy home buyer, this is a great time of year to snap up a great deal on a home.  While inventory levels are low all over Silicon Valley and especially in Los Altos, there are still some very nice homes that qualify as doorbusters.  If you see a home you like, make an offer.  Unlike Best Buy or Kohls, home buyers can negotiate a sweet deal on a home and, depending on how they're financing, be moved in by Christmas. 
I've done open houses on the weekend following Thanksgiving.  For REALTORS, its' a great time to be out meeting prospective buyers.  Rain or shine, they come out to look because they're dedicated, serious shoppers looking for that awesome deal that can only be found at this time of year.  Sellers are just waiting to see that offer wrapped up and under the tree so they can start the New Year with a "SOLD" sign out front. 
My advice for home buyers in any town around Silicon Valley is...get out and get yourself a great home at a great price.  Now is the time!  Carpe Domus!  Seize that great Black Friday home deal you've been looking for all year.  For real estate agents, don't slow down!  Engage your buyers and help them find that ideal home to start 2012 with.

Should You Buy a House in Dallas/Ft Worth Now or Wait?

The housing market has been in a downward trend for 4 years. There is some speculation that inventories will not reduce any time soon, which will be necessary for prices to rise.

However, there are other factors that can increase the cost of housing, specifically mortgages. FHA accounts for a large percentage of the current housing loans and is expected to be even more prominent when the Qualified Residential Mortgage Guidelines go into effect next year.
  1. Rising rates are almost certain, due to looming inflation fueled by higher gas and food prices and the enormous amount of deficit spending
  2. FHA loan limits have been reduced – they are lower than conventional limits in most markets and FHA has suggested that they might be reduced further.
  3. FHA might increase the down payment to 5% or higher in an effort to have a more secure loan that will have less likelihood of going to foreclosure.
  4. FHA might decrease the amount of seller contributions in a similar move to require the buyer to have a larger investment in the home and therefore be a more “qualified” borrower.
  5. Congress may decide to increase the up-front MIP to build up the FHA reserves. The annual MIP has been adjusted twice since October 2010 when the Up-Front MIP was actually reduced.
  6. Due to tougher conventional requirements, demand for FHA loans could exceed maximum annual insurable limits. If Congress is having a hard time raising the limit on national debt, they might not even consider raising the limits for FHA.
In an effort to solidify the lending industry, qualifying is becoming harder for the buyer and more expensive at the same time. Many of the rules changes could go into effect next year. In addition, market factors could easily play a role in increasing buyer’s costs. Waiting will very probably require a larger up-front investment for buyers in the future.

To find out what's best financially for you, I'd be happy to refer you to a Mortgage Lender who can walk you through the different options you have.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Renting vs Owning - The Big Debate, Dallas/Ft Worth TX

Here is a great Non-Biased view of the both the Pro's & Con's of Renting and Owning a house from one of my most favorite Mortgage Lenders to work with, John Cannata, TexasLoanGuy. When it comes to deciding which is best for you Renting or Owning, th bottom line is what suits your financial and lifestyle needs.

In the Dallas/Ft Worth area, we are definately seeing more Renters than in previous years so be aware that the Rent will be higher. If you have some money squireled away, it might make sense to Buy a house and benefit from the low house prices as well as the crazy low mortgage rates.

Which ever you decide, I'm here to help and will work with you to find the perfect HOME for you and your family!

Via John Cannata - Supreme Lending Texas Home Loan Originator (214-728-0449

Renting vs Owning - The Big Debate

There comes a time in everyone’s life where they have to make the ultimate decision and decide whether to buy and own their own home or continue to rent. It’s a huge decision as both have notable benefits and disadvantages and it is not one to be taken lightly. So lets have a look at these advantages and disadvantages to see which option is really the best option for you.

Owning your own home is the traditional dream that practically everyone has, especially when it comes to starting a family. It gives you a feeling that you have accomplished one of your goals and that you are both financially and emotionally secure as well as giving you a great sense of community. But is it the right decision for you? Lets have a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages of buying and owning your own home.


  • Set your own rules 
  • Sense of security 
  • A home is a great investment (long term, not for a quick turnaround, especially in todays market) 
  • Get various sort of tax rebates and deductions 
  • Repayment is usually the same or even lower than it would cost to rent - see example of my rent vs own comparison
  • You build equiry over time 
  • Improve your credit score if you need a loan in the future


You are liable for any accidents and injuries on your property

  • You are liable for any damage to your neighbors house if stemmed from your property - for example a tree branch falling over the fence and damaging something in your neighbors yard. 
  • Responsible for any maintenance in, on, or around your home 
  • No longer can you just pack up your things and leave when you want. You'll need to list and sell your home
  • Large loan responsibility even if you are having financial hardship 
  • Required to have homeowners insurance to cover damages to the property 
  • Responsible for property taxes 
  • Requires an upfront down payment (VA and USDA are 100% financing products, if you qualify) 

Renting is something most of us start out doing and many people are comfortable doing it all their lives. There are many advantages to renting a home but there are also a few disadvantages. Let’s have a look at them.

  • You can up and leave as soon as your lease it up 
  • If you run into a financial hardship, you can move again 
  • Little or no responsibility for maintenance 
  • Sometimes utilities are included in the rent cost 
  • Sometimes you have free use of amenities such as laundry, pool, and other sorts of actualities 


  • Limited or no freedom to what you can do with the place (paint, design, build, etc) 
  • Rent MAY increase 
  • No tax deductions 
  • At risk of being evicted 
  • The house could be sold and you can be asked to leave 
  • Could have restrictions on certain things like noise and pets 
  • Could have restrictions on the number of members living in the house/apartment 
  • Rent is not going into a productive investment for you 

As you can see clearly there are many advantages and disadvantages to owning your own home and renting. Some have advantages and disadvantages the other doesn’t have, but both can be a comfortable way to live. When it really comes down to it you have to choose the one that suits you’re financial, emotional and lifestyle needs at this time. You have to take your future into account as well, will you want to be tied down and take responsibility for a huge investment or will you prefer the freeness of being able to move whenever you please? It can be quite a hard decision to make and it is one that needs a lot of time and thought before you proceed to take any further steps.

When you call me, I take the time to evaluate your current financial status and together we can compare the pros and cons to owning a home. In addition, I take the time to complete a Total Cost Analysis. Together, we will find the program that works best for you and your family.

Are you looking to purchase a Texas home?  Perhaps you love your Texas home but would be interested in refinancing your Texas mortgage to a lower interest rate?  
I'll help you get pre-approved for your Texas home loan and even suggest some very knowledgeable and professional Real Estate Agents in your area of choice.  If you are available to talk, I am available to listen.  Give me a call or visit my website for more details.
Do you want to know all of your mortgage options? Call me today and let's discuss them further.
Always available for your Texas Mortgage and Home Loan needs!
John R Cannata    P#214.728.0449
NMLS # 322646

The views expressed on this site are mine alone and do not reflect the views of my employer.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Lake Ray Hubbard's Real Estate has been Full of Treats, 2011 October Market Report

'Tis the day for all the Gobblins & Witches or now-a-days Spider Mans & Princesses to come out and say Trick or Treat! With the end of October on us, here's a peek on the Real Estate Market for the Lake Ray Hubbard area (Garland, Rowlett, Rockwall & Heath) and if it's as Spooky as it is in most parts of the US.   

Garland ... definetly had a month full of Treats!
  • 49 Houses SOLD-  Minimum being: $57,000 for a 2bd/1bth with 833sqft. Maximum being: $287,000 for an 5bd/4bthwith 3,650sqft. and the Average being: $119,700 for a 2bd/3bth with 1,838sqft.
  • 50 Houses with PENDING CONTRACTS!!!
Rowlett ... definetly had a month full of Treats!
  • 25 Houses SOLD-  Minimum being: $81,000 for a 3bd/2bth with 1,346sqft. Maximum being: $280,000 for an 5bd/4bth with 4,017sqft. and the Average being: $150,500 for a 4bd/2.5bth with 2,424sqft.
  • 24 Houses with PENDING CONTRACTS!!!
Rockwall & Heath ... definetly had a month full of Treats!
  • 37 Houses SOLD-  Minimum being: $129,900 for a 3bd/2bth with 1,404sqft. Maximum being: $1,700,000 for an 8bd/7.5bth with 10,600sqft. and the Average being: $270,000 for a 4bd/3bth with 2,968sqft.
  • 23 Houses with PENDING CONTRACTS!!!

There's still great opportunity to purchase Your New Home in the amazing Lake Ray Hubbard communities whether it's in Garland, Rowlett, Rockwall or Heath, they all have Year Round Family Fun Activities, Excellent Schools, Golf Courses, Playgrounds, & offer Lakeside Living!!!
  • Garland has 596 Houses on the Market
  • Rowlett has 257 Houses on the Market
  • Rockwall & Heath have 392 Houses on the Market 
Do you need a Realtor that specializes in the Lake Ray Hubbard area? Call or Email me today! 

Do You Need to Sell your home 1st before moving into the Lake Ray Hubbard area, send me an email for specific information about how YOUR subdivision is doing, please contact me ~ As your Lake Ray Hubbard Realtor, I'm here to help! 

Whether SELLING or BUYING, today's complex Real Estate Market requires a professional who can structure a transaction to benefit all parties involved and meet their needs. Let me know how I can serve you or your referrals to better understand the Tax Advantages, Financing Alternatives & Investment Aspects of Home Ownership ... because NOW really is a GREAT time to BUY!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

1st Step to Buying a House in the Market

It takes money to buy a home: do you plan on using YOURS or THEIRS. If you're not going to pay cash for a home, you need to find out exactly what you can borrow and what it will cost before you start looking at homes.

The mortgage process is not as clear cut a path as it was a few years ago. It is certainly more complex, takes longer and assumes that you're credit worthy. If you have less than stellar credit, a trusted mortgage professional can advise you how to improve your individual situation.

You are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus each year. Go to to get a copy of each from TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Read the reports to determine if they're accurate. Surprisingly, about 90% of all reports have errors.
You can try to correct them directly with the credit bureau, but a trusted mortgage professional can help you with this process too. They have tools that are not available to individuals. Some errors may not be serious but others will keep a person from qualifying.

Housing affordability is at a near record height due to the incredibly low interest rates and low home prices. Some areas are experiencing absorption of the inventories which could impact price. If you're going to use "their" money to buy a home, the 1st step is to talk to a trusted mortgage professional. Call me for the name of a trusted mortgage professional.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rockin' On the Docks Live Music Festival, Rockwall TX

WOW ... it's already time for the 4th annual ROCKIN' ON THE DOCKS Live Music Festival at the Rockwall Harbor!!! This lil' Realtor loves & I mean LOVES LIVE MUSIC!

Come out this Saturday, Oct 22nd for a full day of Live Music (country & rock), Shopping/Vendors, a  Play Area for the Kiddos, Food Vendors and some Boating & Water events. Event starts at 11am and goes until 9pm.

Talk about a full day of Live Music, check out this years' awesome line up ... 
  • 11:30-1p ... Chris Rivers Band - the Official Band of Gilley's, Dallas
  • 1:30-3p ... Mistral - cover band that Rock'd the Docks last year 
  • 3:30-5p ... Stars Grow Dim - Pop/Rock band from Tulsa OK who's opened up for Switchfoot & Chris Daughtry
  • 5:30-7p ... Sleeper Star - Rock'd the Docks last year, opened up for John Mayer last year in Houston!, & had 1 of their songs on the new hit show Vampire Diaries!!!
  • 7:30-9p ... Collin Raye - Country Music star with many hit songs, including 1 of my favorites, "That's My Story" 

*Discounted Tickets can be purchased for $4 at any Kroger Grocery Store or at the Gate for $5 before 7pm and $15 if you show up after 7pm. (Children 5 & under are Free)

*Not sure how to get to the Harbor ... Here's a link to a map to the Rockwall Harbor to help ya.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

2011 TEXAS STATE FAIR, Family Fun Spotlight~Dallas

Who Wants some Fried Butter or perhaps some Fried Coke? Well there's only 2 more weeks left of the 2011 TEXAS STATE FAIR that's in full swing, so you better get a move on it!


Did you know that the TEXAS STATE FAIR has been a family tradition since 1886??!!!?? That's right, 125 years of Fried Food, Fun, & Livestock!

The State Fair of Texas kicked off this year on Friday Sept 30th and will be open everyday until Oct 23rd with the Fair Grounds opening as early as 7am everyday (buildings open at 10a) and closing at 9pm on Tues-Thurs & 10pm Fri-Monday.

Tickets at the door are $16 for adults and $12 for seniors & children 3yrs to 48". BUT do yourself a favor and buy your ticket on the State Fair of Texas website for a discounted price (adults $13.95/child $10) OR ... stop in to a McDonald's to pick up for a $4 off coupon or Krogers for a $14.95 ticket. You can also bring an empty Dr Pepper can on Tuesdays to get in for $4, 3 Can Goods on Wednesdays to get in for $2, or an empty Dr Pepper can on Thursdays after 5pm to get in for $5, or a Cinemark Theater ticket stub to get in for FREE on Thursdays! *Seniors are FREE on Thursdays!!! Oh & don't forget to bring $15 for Parking.

Did you know that the TEXAS STATE FAIR is the largest State Fair in the country??!!!??

There's literally hunderds of things to do, but here's my Top 5 List of what you Don't Want to Miss ...
  • USMC Drum & Bugle Corps, leading off the RELIANT STARLIGHT PARADE at 7:15pm 
  • CIRQUE SHANGHAI, A 22 member Chinese acrobatic troupe that performs daily at multiple times 
  • CHILDREN'S MEDICAL CENTER BARNYARD, full of sheeps, lamas, goats, pigs, zebras & lots more for the kiddos to pet, feed, & see play 
  • GONE TO THE DOGS, jumpin' canine action that performs daily, ... and of course ... 
  • BIG TEX, the legendary 52-ft tall icon of the Texas State Fair 

Click here to plan out your day at the 2011 TEXAS STATE FAIR. Have FUN and don't forget your Sunscreen, Wallet, & to stay Hydrated!!!

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Five Things Your Clients Should Know about FHA Loans

Here's another fabulous post written by one of my favorite Mortgage Lenders, Stephanie Stringer. Stephanie has been assisting people accross Texas for over 15 Years with their Home Financing and is experienced with FHA, Conventional, Home Equity and VA Loans. *You can contact Stephanie directly at Direct: (214) 382-5632 or

Many Americans take advantage of FHA loans when purchasing a home.  FHA loans have been around since 1934.  FHA loans are mortgages issued by qualified lenders and insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).  With the ever changing mortgage industry, FHA loans are becoming more popular than ever.  Here are a few facts you should know about FHA.
FHA Loans Are Not Only for First Time Home Buyers.  FHA loans are for everyone and not just the first time home buyers.  You could be on your forth home and still get a FHA loan.
FHA Loans are NOT only for the Lower Income Borrowers.  FHA loans are available to all ranges of income.  There are no maximum income limits when doing a FHA.  Just like any mortgage loan all income documentation must be submitted for qualification purpose.  
FHA Loans Are Not just for the Smaller Purchases.   Depending on the area you are looking to buy, FHA loan amounts can go up to $800,000.  The loan amount all depends on the county in which the buyer is looking to buy.  For the loan amounts for your county you can visit the HUD website(click here) or contact your local lender for details. 
FHA Loans are Usually more Affordable than Conventional Loans.  Rates on FHA are typically lower than a conventional loan.  Especially on the minimum down payment of 3.500% loans.  If you compared the two types of loans with the lower down payment, FHA will always have the better rate between the two.  In today's market, rates are tiered based on loan product, down payment, and credit scores. 
FHA Loans Are Assumable.  FHA Loans are assumable and Conventional Loans are NOT!  What this means is when a seller with an FHA loan sells his or her property, the loan and it's RATE can be transferred to the new buyer.  Of course the potential buyer must meet the lenders credit criteria.  Having an Assumable rate when you go sell the property is BIG Selling Tool.  Your listing agent will promote in MLS that you have an Assumable loan which means that your property will be more valuable in time when rates rise.  Example, if your current FHA loan is at 4.000% and you go sell five years from now and the rate is 10.000% as long as the potential buyer meets lenders requirements the buyers get that rate.  This would for sure make your house more marketable than the one down the street.
As you can tell from the Five Items listed above, FHA Mortgages can be Attractive to ALL buyers. 

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Here's a simple and to the point blog written by one of my trusted Lenders, Stephanie Stringer, about Understanding a Texas Title Commitment when buying a home. Stephanie has been assisting people accross Texas for over 15 Years with their Home Financing and is experienced with FHA, Conventional, Home Equity and VA Loans. 

Via Stephanie Stringer-Mortgage Loan Officer for 15 Years. NMLS ID #246495 (Interlinc Mortgage Services LLC TX Mtg Banker NMLS ID 205696)
Now that the contract has been signed and the earnest money has been receipted, now it's time for the title company to start their research.  The title company will start examining the property in order to be able to issue title insurance.  Usually within a week or so, the commitment would be mailed to you.  Now what?  You got about 15 sheets of paper from the title company with lots of writing on it.  What does it mean to me as the potential buyer?                                                                                                                                  
Home Purchase Agreement

The title commitment is a commitment to issue title insurance.  The title commitment is broken down in schedules.  These schedules include A, B, C and D.

Here are the ABC's of TITLE....
Schedule A On this schedule it will listing the existing owners and the proposed buyers names, along with the legal description of the property.  The sales price and the name of the lender will be listed as well. 

 Schedule B This is the buyers notification area of any utility easements and building setbacks.  A utility easement is where the utility company has the right to come on your property and dig in that certain area to work on utilities.  Utility easements are very common.  Also, within this schedule is where you will find exceptions to the title policy.  If there are any noted in schedule B they will not be covered by the title insurance.

 Schedule C:  Lists of unpaid liens.  Items that must be cleared up so title company will cover the risk or refuse to issue a policy.  Common unpaid liens are the existing mortgage loans, unpaid taxes, unpaid HOA dues and martial status disputes that are held on title.  The title company will work hard to make sure these liens are satisfied so they can convey clear title.

Schedule D:  In this last section you will see who will be collecting parts of the title premium and how much is being collected.

If you still have any additional questions regarding title commitments in Texas, you can contact Stephanie at 972-382-5638 or

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dallas TX Lake Front Homes , Lake Ray Hubbard TX, September 2011 Market Update

Are you looking to buy a LAKE FRONT home on LAKE RAY HUBBARD in Dallas County or Rockwall County?!? Well if you are, you couldn't have picked a better time to buy! Homes are holding strong in Lake Ray Hubbard area and with the current crazy low Mortgage Rates, YOU're bound to get a WIN-WIN!

LAKE RAY HUBBARD is bordered by 4 Cities, Garland TX, Rowlett TX, Rockwall TX & Heath TX. All cities are just minutes from major Highways/Tollways, making the commute to Dallas ~20-40mins, are close to Shopping, Restaurants, & are packed with Family Fun Activities! The cities that border Lake Ray Hubbard are divided into the Eastern Side of the Lake with Garland & Rowlett and the Western Side of the Lake being Rockwall & Heath.  

View Larger Map

To see a compiled a list of houses that are currently on the Market in the 4 cities that border the beautiful LAKE RAY HUBBARD and are actually ON THE LAKE, click on the links below. 

*GARLAND TX & ROWLETT TX (Dallas County) ~ Lake Front Homes on Lake Ray Hubbard
  • Garland, TX  ... There are 4 lake front homes that range in price from $219,900 for a 3bd/2bth 2625sqft house, to, $349,900 for a 4bd/2bth 2,935 sqft house.
  • Rowlett, TX  ... There are 11 lake front homes that range in price from $175,000 for a 4bd/2.1bth 2,578 sqft house, to, $1,700,000 for a 4bd/4.1bth 4,700sqft house.
*ROCKWALL TX & HEATH TX (Rockwall County) ~ Lake Front Homes On Lake Ray Hubbard
  • Rockwall, TX  ... There are 6 lake front homes that range in price from $359,000 for a 4bd/3.1bth 2,820sqft house, to, $1,995,000 for a 5bd/4.3bth 8,112sqft house.   
  •  Heath, TX  ... There are 12 lake front homes that range in price from $349,000 for a 3bd/2bth 2,064 sqft house, to, $3,770,000 7bd/5.2bth 10,000sqft house. 
Would you like more information on any of these homes? ... OR ... Do you need a Realtor that specializes in the LAKE RAY HUBBARD area?  Call or Email me today! 
For more information on LIFE in the the LAKE RAY HUBBARD area, visit the frequently updated Lake Ray Hubbard Life website & "like" it on FaceBook.

Whether selling or buying, today's complex real estate market requires a professional who can structure a transaction to benefit all parties involved and meet their needs. Let me know how I can serve you or your referrals ... because NOW really is a GREAT time to BUY!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How to Make Your House Stand Out, Dallas TX

IF you had a 3.5% mortgage on your current home and were buying another home, transferring your low interest rate mortgage WOULD be ideal. Unfortunately, lenders don't allow that.

BUT, here's a fabulous idea & another PLUS to buying a home today ...
IF you purchase a home with a FHA or VA loan, the present advantages are that these loans are priced competitively and are a little easier to qualify for than conventional loans, not to mention rates are crazy low right now!  The Future Advantage is that FHA and VA loans are ASSUMABLE at the original note rate for qualifying buyers.

There's more to sell than the home itself when you have an Assumable Loan. How so you ask???  For one, the mortgage payment for the potential buyer could lower their cost of housing significantly. Secondly, it could help grow the equity faster in the house for the potential buyer.

When Buying a Home Today, it would be smart to Think About Selling it in the Future. To have a good home with unique features makes it marketable. To have attractive financing that could be assumed would add to it's salability! Below is an example of how an Assumable Loan makes a difference. If you have more questions about how this works or are interested in Buying or Selling a home, please contact me ... I'm here to help, refer you to someone who can (lenders, ect), and would love to work with you or your referrals!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Get Ready Dallas,TAX FREE SHOPPING Weekend is Here, Aug 19-21, 2011

It's here ... It's here ... TAX FREE SHOPPING WEEKEND!!!
That's right ... there is NO Sales Tax my fellow Texans on a good number of items this weekend, Aug 19th-21st! This "shopping holiday" comes just in time for most Dallas/Ft Worth families as a majority of area schools around the DFW Metroplex First Day of School is Monday 22nd.
In this economy, we've all learned to really stretch the dollar and Back to School Shopping is no exception! In addition to getting items without paying the 8.25% Sales Tax, many stores are offering Special Sales and Coupons. So channel your inner Extreame Couponing fabulous~ness and 
  • Plan out your School Supply/Clothes Shopping for the year, or as much as possible 
  • Partner Coupons & additional Store Sales to really get more bang for your buck all while Not Paying TAXES
  • Don't do all your shopping in 1 store ... buy the deals at the store then move on to another store and buy their deals. Yes, this means your going to have to do a little "recon" 
So just WHAT is on the TAX FREE SHOPPING LIST? More than you'd think! Baby & even Adult Diapers, School Supplies, Computers, Pajamas, & even Neck Ties! Unfortunetely, most sporting items like football cleats, volleyball knee pads, ect are NOT included in this Tax Free Shopping Holiday. Click here to see the what is and isn't included on the TAX FREE SHOPPING LIST

Oh, and 1 more thing, NO, you don't need to take your kid shopping with you or fill out any forms proving you have kiddos. However, just make sure you don't pay with a Company Credit Card or Company Check.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

BACK TO SCHOOL Dallas/Ft Worth

The First Day of School for many of the School Districts in the Dallas/Ft Worth area is Monday, August 22nd!

The Cheers of Parents are growing to a roar and 
The Boos and Tears of Children are escalating day by day.

Are you a Parent with a child in the Garland ISD? If so, here are a few informative articles about GISD that will help gear you up for the 1st Day of School.

Do you have children attending the Rockwall ISD? If so, here are a couple of info packed articles to make sure you're ready to rock the 1st Day of School!

Are you a Parent of a McKinney ISD student? If so, here are 3 great articles about the MISD that you'll be glad you read. They're packed with useful information from my fellow D+B Realtor, Friend, & McKinney ISD Mamma, Kim Daugherty.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What is Home Equity Dallas TX?!?

OK ... so really, What the heck is EQUITY and Why is it Important?!?

Equity is simply the difference in an owner's unpaid balance and the value of their home.  Amortization and appreciation contribute to the equity over time.  The equity is usually realized when the home is sold but it can also be accessed by a home equity loan or a cash out refinance.

Most people think that it takes years to significantly pay down a mortgage and they're partially correct.  A five percent interest rate on a mortgage takes approximately 20 years to pay down half of the original amount borrowed.

A mortgage is like a forced savings account because each payment is first applied to the interest due on the borrowed money but another part pays down the principal.  On a $188,175, 5%, 30 year mortgage, the first payment of $1,010.16 includes $226.10 principal reduction.  In the first year, the owner would have increased the equity in their home $2,776.24.


As an example, if the buyers paid $195,000 for a home that is estimated to appreciate only 1% per year for 7 years.  With a 3.5% down payment, the equity in the home at the end of 7 years would be $41,921.  55% of the equity would come from amortization; 29% would come from appreciation and 16% from the down payment.

If you'd like to get more information on Equity & how Owning a Home can be YOUR Savings Account, contact me to discuss further. I also have great Lenders who have a fabulous wealth of information to share on the subject.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Triple Digit Heat Wave Rocks Dallas ~ Lake Ray Hubbard to the Rescue

Triple Digit temperatures have rocked Dallas for 34 straight days with most of those days being over 105*! Woo Wee, Dallas is well on it's way to break it's record of 42 consecutive days at 100* or higher that was set in 1980! So how does Lake Ray Hubbard play into this???
With all this heat, it's only natural that more people are staying indoors and running their air conditioners for longer amounts of time. All of this extra energy usage is really packing it on the Power Grids ... so much so that yesterday, Dallas was put on Energy Emergency Alert Level 2, where companies are paid to temporarily shut off their power during the peak usage times. 
To help ease the stress on the Power Grids, power companies like Luminant, are pulling in all their facilities, even the 40 year old 921 mega-watt Lake Ray Hubbard Power Plant! Though Lake Ray Hubbard's Power Plant is dormat for most of the year, it has enough power to take care of 200,000 homes! A Luminant spokesperson, Scott Diermann, said it best in a WFAA News 8 Interview yesterday, "It's vital that that unit be there, it's the difference between meeting all the customer demands and having to interrupt customers." 

With help from Power Plants like our very own Lake Ray Hubbard Power Plant and voluntary reduction of electricity usage from residents and companies, Dallas should be able to avoid the Energy Emergency Alert Level 3 of the dreaded Rolling Blackouts!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Should I RENT or BUY in Dallas TX

Have you heard the saying "Whether you RENT or BUY, you pay for the house you occupy"? Well it's true, you must live somewhere and there's a price to pay for it. 

The real question you need to ask yourself is ... Is it's cheaper to Rent or to Buy?

Some people don't have any choice but to rent because they don't have the means to qualify for a loan. But for those who do have a down payment and good credit, the Cost of Owning a Home might be significantly LESS than Renting!

Rentals are in high demand in many areas of Dallas/Ft Worth because of the growing number of Foreclosures & Distressed Sales and Rents are going up! 

After you look at whether the house payment is lower than what you'd have to pay in rent, Take a look at the other Benefits that Home Ownership has ... such as Principal Reduction, Appreciation and Tax Savings. 

If you're Renting right now, your decision really isn't whether to Rent or Buy but it's Do You Buy it for YOU or for your Land Lord? Because again, whether you RENT or BUY, you Pay for the House you Occupy!

Are you currently Renting but thinking about Buying, I'd love to work with you. Below is a sample comparison sheet that I can put together for you to see if right now really is the best time for you to buy. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

I Want a Bigger/Nicer Home but...Is a Good Time to Sell in Lake Ray Hubbard TX Area?!?

YES, it IS a great time for you to sell so you can buy that Bigger/Nicer home you want!
There are homeowners that would like to have a larger/nicer home but are patiently waiting for the market to improve. A frequently heard objection is that they can't Sell their Home for what it is Currently Worth.
Believe it or not, it's actually to your advantage to Buy up in a down market because while you might get less for the home you're selling, you're also getting the larger home for less. For instance, if you had to sell a $200,000 home for a 10% discount, you might feel that you left $20,000 on the table. However, buying a $300,000 for the same 10% discount would put you $10,000 ahead on the sale and purchase.
The other obvious matter is that when the mortgage rates increase while you're waiting for the market to improve, it dramatically increases your cost of housing with higher payments. The cost of housing is affected by price and mortgage rates. So though you might be "losing" money selling your current house at a lower price, you're actually saving money and getting a deal!
To accurately evaluate your current options, you need facts and assessment tools that will provide you the information to make an informed decision. Below is an example of one of the assessment tools that I use, that can give you Figures/Numbers to help you decide what's best for you. If you'd like to schedule a FREE consultation, simply send me an email or give me a call.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Buying a Home with FHA Gift Registry

Forget Macy's and Crate & Barrel. Set up your bridal registry at the BANK! That's right, at the Bank and use the funds received for the FHA Down Payment on a HOME. This could be perfect for people getting married who already have their household items and really need help getting into a home. This registry option is also available for other occasions where gifts are typically received by individuals like graduation from college or birthdays.

FHA has had this little known program that allows cash gifts since 1996. It's not difficult to set up and it's available with any FHA lender.
  1. Inform your mortgage professional early of your intention to obtain all or part of your down payment from gifts to the FHA homeowner bridal registry.
  2. Open a savings account at your bank named "bridal registry account" or "gift account"
  3. Friends and family are given account deposit information
Gift registries are commonplace and really benefit both the giver and recipient. Etiquette websites like Emily Post state that alternative registries are acceptable. Couples are now suggesting to friends and family that they want help with their honeymoon, education or furnishing a home.

Let me know if you would like to talk with a Mortgage Specialist to get started on your Gift Registry and/or to get Pre Approved, I'd be happy to recommend someone for you. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Looking for a WATER FRONT or WATER VIEW home in Rockwall or Heath TX?

Looking for a WATER FRONT or WATER VIEW home in Rockwall or Heath TX?  
· There are 11 homes in Rockwall available for sale in the price range up to $199,999;
·  20 homes in Rockwall available in the $200,000 to $299,999 price range;
·  15 homes in Rockwall & 2 homes in Heath available in the $300,000 to $399,999 price range and
·  12 homes in Rockwall & 26 homes in Heath available over $400,000.
Ø In addition, there are 289 homes for SALE in Rockwall & 101 homes for SALE in Heath that are not Water front property or have a Water view and in the price range of $100,000 up.

Rockwall Texas is known to be one the most progressive cities in the Metroplex & the “live music capital” of North Texas! Rockwall is just 22 miles east of Dallas on I-30 & is on the eastern shore of Lake Ray Hubbard. With a population of just over 32,000, residents can enjoy fishing, boating/sailing, 3 golf courses, 4 marinas, 3 public boat ramps, a yacht club famous for sailing regattas, an award winning Parks & Recreation Program & an Exemplary School District. 

Heath TX is the sister city to Rockwall TX and is a premier residential community located on the eastern shores of Lake Ray Hubbard. Heath is a growing community and has more than 7,400 residents. Like Rockwall, the residents of Heath enjoy fishing, boating/sailing, 2 municipal parks, Rush Creek Yacht Club (home to the Olympic Gold Medalist Sailors), the award winning Buffalo Creek Golf & Country Club & Exemplary Schools.

Do you need a Realtor that specializes in Rockwall, Heath or the Lake Ray Hubbard area? Call or Email me today! Whether selling or buying, today's complex real estate market requires a professional who can structure a transaction to benefit all parties involved and meet their needs. Let me know how I can serve you or your referrals ... because NOW really is a GREAT time to BUY!