Category Archives for Dallas Real Estate News

Task Checklist for Dallas Homeowners After Closing

When you close on a new Dallas, Texas home, it’s a time to celebrate, but it also means that there is some work to be done. Some preparations should be made to ensure that you remain happy in your new home for many years to come.

  • First, change the locks on your home. You never really know who had keys before you moved in, so changing out locks is a must to ensure that you and your family are safe. While you’re at it, upgrade to some new door handles with a nice finish to accentuate your guests’ first point of contact with your new home.
  • Plumbing is a serious hassle when something goes wrong, so make sure to double-check before you move all of your things in. Ideally, plumbing would have been checked over before closing, but small things are easy to miss and you don’t want to have to deal with a leaky pipe once you’re all moved in.
  • Clean your carpets before moving the furniture in. A steam cleaner can be rented for relatively cheap, and will get you off to a fresh start to living in your new home. You can hire a professional service to clean it for you if you prefer, but you’ll end up paying considerably more than doing it yourself.
  • If you see any signs of pests, make sure to get an assessment from a pest-control service before subjecting yourself and your family to any possible infestations. You can always go DIY for pest-control, but if there is a serious problem, the professionals are better suited to rid your home of any unwanted guests.

For more tips and a helping hand throughout the selling process in the Dallas area, as well as Plano, University Park and Highland Park, please contact us. We can lend a hand and answer any questions you have pertaining to mortgages and real estate in Dallas and its surrounding areas.

Dallas Home Prices and Mortgage Rates on the Rise

Dallas, Texas home prices are on the rise as the market transitions from a home buyer’s market into a home sHome Loan Rates Risingeller’s market.  With droves of new buyers and move up buyers looking for homes in the area, the market is showing serious signs of a lack of inventory.  All the while, home loan rates have moved up to their highest levels in over a year.  Is time running out to buy a home at record low home prices and interest rates?

Dallas home prices have risen just over 7% in the last year, according to the S&P Dow Jones Indices, and are projected to keep rising.  Some particular Dallas areas like Lakewood, Canyon Creek, Prestonwood, and University Park have seen close to double digit growth in the first quarter of 2013 alone.  Home prices aren’t the only thing on the rise though, since mid-April, home loan rates for an average 30-year mortgage have increased from around 3.3% to 4%, just in the last 45 days.  Although mortgage rates are driven by many factors and market conditions, mortgage rates are expected to continue going up with more positive economic data and more money flowing into Stocks.

The economy as a whole has had a rough past few years, but has recently been showing serious signs of growth and improvement.  This kind of positive economic outlook, combined with a growing real estate market, continue to paint a bright future of the U.S. economy and housing market, particularly in Dallas and surrounding markets.  Job growth from local companies as well as many large corporations relocating their company offices and headquarters, have continued to flow into the Dallas area.  The continued population and job growth in the area is ultimately causing housing prices to continue increasing as any new supply is taken away by the new buyers in the area.

With home loan rates and home prices on the rise, now may be the time you’ve been waiting for to sell your home and buy another.  For many other who are deciding to stay in their home, this may be their last chance to refinance before interest rates go back up to 5% or higher.  Regardless of the path for your real estate future, consider the Cost of Waiting to Buy.

If you would like to find out more information about homes in the Dallas, Texas area, as well as the surrounding suburbs like Richardson, Prestonwood, Lakewood, University Park and Highland Park, please don’t hesitate to call us directly at 972-499-0454.  We’ve helped thousands of Dallas-area homeowners and home buyers navigate their home purchase or refinance and we’d love to assist you.  Contact us today!

Amount of Late Mortgage Payments in Dallas Decreases

Homeowners who took on the responsibility of a mortgage after the housing bubble burst are doing a much better job of staying on top of their payments.  With rising interest rates and home prices becoming more of a reality each day, it seems the local economy and job markets have caused the number of delinquent mortgage payments to decrease.

A big part of the decreasing number of late payments on mortgages is the recent job growth the country—and Dallas, Texas in particular—has seen in the past few months.  Also, homeowners that have been able to take advantage of low interest rates by refinancing their Dallas home are enjoying their lower interest and monthly payment afforded by their favorable rate, making the monthly payment less of a burden.  Until this point, the current rate of delinquency and late payments on mortgages was similar to those rates that were seen in December 2008, when many new home buyers with less-than-favorable credit were taking out mortgages with adjustable rates and were in the process of being reset at higher rates.

With lending guidelines having been tightened and historically low fixed interest rates, buyers and homeowners are paying their mortgages on time and as promised.  While adjustable rate mortgages and flexible credit guidelines are still available, the majority of mortgages are being made to people that have proven their ability to repay, a noticeable shift from just 5 years ago.

According to Tim Martin, group vice president of U.S. Housing for TransUnion, loans taken out for homes in 2008 make up 60% of all home mortgages currently being paid, and also account for 90% of the national mortgages that are over two months late.  Martin says, not a lot of new homeowners are late on their mortgages—it’s mostly people who have been delinquent on payments for quite a while.  However, the economic and job growth in the Dallas area have offered some relief, helping drive mortgage delinquencies to some of the lowest levels in the country.

If you have any questions or comments regarding mortgage trends in the Dallas area, please feel free to contact us.  We’d be happy to assist in answering all questions you have pertaining to mortgages and real estate in Dallas and its surrounding areas.

Dallas Mortgage Rates and Home Prices Continue to Tick Higher

Should I stay or should I go now?  For the second straight month, mortgage rates have increased nationwide.  The rise in rates is due in part to reports of economic growth and job creation.  When there are more jobs being created and more spending coming into the economy, long-term interest rates on mortgages tend to go up.  While the average home loan rate declined throughout the month of April, May has brought a climbing stock market and climbing interest rates.  Many prospective buyers are sitting on the fence deciding if now is the time to move or stay.

But not only the interest rates are moving higher in Dallas.  Home prices in the area continue to climb at a record pace with inventory levels still extremely low compared to the amount of buyers in the market.  The low supply and inventory is only driving prices higher as we move into the busy summer months ahead.

As mortgage planners and loan officers, there’s no way to control the market and the direction that rates are heading in the future, but we can prepare you for what may be coming. To see a visual comparison of how rising rates can impact your home purchase price and/or payment, check out the Cost of Waiting Analysis so you can be familiar with the impact of rising interest rates.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have regarding mortgage rates and advice on how to best prepare for fluctuation in interest rates—we follow mortgage rates throughout each and every to do help you get the best rate on your mortgage.

If you have any questions or comments regarding mortgage rates in the Dallas, Texas area, as well as Plano, University Park and Highland Park, please do not hesitate to contact us at your convenience.  We’d be happy to talk about how we can create a tailor-made mortgage based on your unique situation.

Dallas Office Market Sees Growth

The office market in the Dallas area continues to grow, indicating the housing market’s drastic improvement throughout the last several years. The first quarter of the Dallas area real estate market this year saw a large number of real estate transactions taking place. Dallas-based partner and national real estate practice leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, R. Byron Carlock Jr., attributes the steady growth of Dallas’s office market to continued job growth and company relocations, according to bizjournals.com.

“Companies are looking to exit high-cost states and Texas has one of the most efficient, low-cost places in the country,” Carlock said. Additionally, Carlock stated that Dallas, Houston, Austin and Denver are considered to be high-demand areas for companies looking to relocate.

According to a quarterly report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, it is projected that the New York, New Jersey, and Long Island area is the number one metro area for job growth. The total number of estimated jobs in the area is approximately 141,300 projected jobs. The Dallas area was found to have the second highest rate for job growth with the addition of 66,400 jobs this year alone.

Carlock said that based on several job growth estimates, there will be twice as many non-office jobs created this year compared with office jobs. Though there may be less office jobs created in the Dallas area, the Texas office market will continue to steadily grow with the help of more small businesses and large companies looking to expand their current businesses.

Interested in discussing the Dallas loan options that could be available to you? Please contact us, as we’d be more than happy to talk about your best Dallas area mortgage options.

FHA Changes Benefit Dallas Home Owners

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) helped many home owners when the housing market was in decline, and recent reforms have made the FHA more stable as the housing market rebounds, according to a report from realtor.org.

Along with private mortgage insurance, FHA home loans allow flexible mortgage guidelines, making the dream of home ownership a reality for many Dallas area residents.  Recently, FHA has made reforms involving better risk management, including hiring a financial risk officer.  FHA also improved oversight measures and established credit score minimums.  These changes benefit home owners by making the administration more financially stable and will allow FHA home loans to be offered for years to come.

Leading up to these reforms, the FHA has taken a financial loss in most recent years after having allowed many people to buy homes at historic low rates and home values.  This also prevented home values from dropping too low. In fact, studies show that home equity could have dropped 25% lower than it did without the FHA’s assistance. The FHA had a big hand in expediting the housing recovery, which is continuing to strengthen. The U.S economy continues to improve as well, which in turn has helped the FHA.

In addition to the FHA, private capital is becoming more prominent again in housing market financing. However, the FHA will continue to play a major role in mortgage financing, and further reforms may make it even more stable and secure from losses.

There are many great reasons to consider and FHA loan in Dallas. Please contact us to learn more about the mortgage options that are available to you.

Refinance Your Dallas Mortgage as Home Equity Rises

Mortgage rates are lower than ever, and rising home equity is allowing more Dallas home owners to take advantage of these low rates.  In the first quarter alone, home values increased 7%, creating instant equity for home owners in the Dallas area.

An article from money.cnn.com reports on the ways home owners can refinance.  Reports show that home equity rose 18% from the third quarter of 2011 to the third quarter of 2012.  Higher equity means that Dallas home owners are able to refinance their mortgages at record low rates when they otherwise may not have been able to.

Those home owners who don’t have the 20% equity required to refinance may consider an FHA loan or private mortgage insurance (PMI).  PMI qualifying guidelines have eased, and the rates have gone down in the last several years, particularly when compared to FHA.

Trying to avoid monthly PMI?  No problem, there are many options available.  Home owners can finance up to 95% of their home’s value and still avoid monthly MI.

The rise in home equity is also making it easier for home owners to access their equity for things like their children’s education and debt consolidation.  With mortgage rates so amazingly low in comparison to credit cards, student loan rates, etc.  These lower rates make accessing your home equity a much more affordable option than the alternatives.

Rising home values also allows more people to start home renovation projects, such as sprucing up old kitchens or bathrooms.  According economist Stephen Melman, “People aren’t looking for anything really sexy, just how to live better in the house.” More home equity gives Dallas home owners a chance to update their house, and these renovations then help boost the home’s value.

Rising home equity makes now a great time to explore Dallas mortgages.  To learn more about Dallas loan programs, feel free to complete our brief home loan questionnaire, or feel free to call us directly to speak with a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist at 972-499-0454.

Home Buying Increases in Dallas and Across the Nation

A recent survey conducted by analysts at Credit Suisse found that pricing and home buying figures increased substantially across the nation, according to businessinsider.com. The monthly survey takes into account the responses from real estates agents scattered throughout 40 different markets across the United States. The goal of Credit Suisse’s survey is to gain a monthly perspective of the current housing market.

Credit Suisse analyst, Daniel Oppenheim, is quoted as saying that “the breadth of strength in both pricing and traffic at the start of spring selling season” is “unprecedented in [the] survey’s history (dating back to ’05)” and says real estate agents are “widely citing increased buyer urgency due to the combination of persistent inventory shortages (driving prices higher) and signs of mortgage rates moving higher.”

The results of the monthly survey show that home prices increased in every real estate market surveyed with the price index increasing from 74.6 in January to 79.3, according to business insider.com. The rising home prices in the 40 real estate markets is unprecedented and has never occurred in any other survey conducted. Credit Suisse analysts found that home price increases were especially significant in Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Seattle, Florida, California, Austin and San Antonio.

It was found that home buying has increased substantially as well. Figures for properties that were sold in the last month increased from 59.0 to 65.1. Oppenheim is quoted as saying in that “only Charleston, Orlando, and Tucson failed to meet agents’ expectations, while notable improvement was seen in the formerly-lagging Chicago and New York markets along with Texas markets (Austin,  Dallas, and Houston each increased by at least 14 points).”

If you would like more information about Dallas loan programs, please contact us. It would be our pleasure to discuss with you the mortgage options that are at your disposal.

State Farm Makes Big Investment in Dallas and Richardson

One of the largest Dallas real estate transactions to take place recently involves Bloomington, IL based State Farm Insurance.  State Farm has rented over 1 million square feet of office space in the Dallas area in the past 6 months. This is in addition to the leasing of over 1.5 million square feet of offices in new buildings announced for construction in Richardson’s Telecom Corridor.
The 1.5 million square foot office complex in Richardson, TX can house as many as 5,000 State Farm employees if need be.  This transaction has the potential to generate great income for the Dallas real estate and job market.
“We are continuing to make decisions on the number of employees that will occupy this facility and do not have final numbers at this time,” a State Farm spokesman said when the company initially began renting office space last August.  “Exactly when this new facility will be open is yet to be determined.”In terms of employees, State Farm plans to shift hundreds of their workers from out-of-state into the new Richardson office space.  The Dallas office will become a regional office for State Farm, a company which already has about 70,000 employees in total.  State Farm’s large Dallas real estate transaction is part of the company’s plan to consolidate its operation.  The insurance company stated that it was making moves to “become more efficient and streamline operations.”State Farm also has regional offices in the Chicago area, in Tampa St. Petersburg and the Denver area.  Currently, the company houses their headquarters in 100 acres and millions of square feet of office space in Bloomington, IL.If you are interested in learning more about Dallas and Richardson real estate opportunities that may pop up as a result of the State Farm growth, contact us today.

Declining Foreclosure Rates for Dallas Area

With the real estate housing market looking better than ever before, many individuals have succeeded in overcoming housing struggles they faced in the past.
The public is looking into expanding its real estate investments, mortgage bills are being paid in a timely manner, and most importantly, foreclosure rates have declined significantly in the past couple of years.  Foreclosure rates have seen an especially significant decrease, most notably in the Dallas, Texas area.
Dallas area foreclosure rates have declined year over year in the month of December.  Additionally, foreclosure rates for the area of Dallas were much lower than the national foreclosure rate.  Currently, the national foreclosure rate was 2.96 percent as of the month of December.  The Dallas area’s foreclosure rate for the same period was 1.17 percent which decreased an additional 0.28 percent indicating that North Texas’ foreclosure rates continue to be lower than the national rates, year after year.
Vice President of RealtyTrac Daren Blomquist states that this is part of an ongoing trend of declining significant foreclosure rates in Texas.  “Things are looking better in Texas as a whole,” Blomquist said, according to the Dallas Business Journal.
January was the eighth consecutive month of declining foreclosure activity year-over-year.  This trend has been going on a while.  “In addition to a significant decrease in Dallas’ foreclosure rates, the Dallas area mortgage delinquency rate has also decreased notably in the month of December. Mortgage loans in the North Texas area that were labeled 90 days or more delinquent dropped to 4.28 percent, compared with 5.1 percent year over year.Foreclosures can be avoided in the first place with proper planning and realistic expectations from the very beginning.  If you are interested in learning more about how to choose a home loan that fits in your budget, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We would be happy to share with you a variety of home loan options that suit your needs.