Kristi Kintz
CLHMS, CHMS, CNE

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July
5

Your Guide to Long-Distance House Hunting

House Hunting Tips

Finding the perfect home is a challenging endeavor under normal circumstances, but searching for a home in a different city or state might seem impossible. Coordinating the purchase of a lifetime from several hundred miles away can seem like a daunting task.

While long-distance house hunting can pose challenges, our real estate agents want you to know that it's not as difficult as it seems. In today's world, with easily accessible online listings and the ability to conduct virtual tours, it's actually never been easier. Here are some tips on how to make your long-distance home search a success:

Visit Your New Neighborhood
When starting a long-distance home search, it always helps to visit the new town to get a sense of the neighborhood, community, and amenities. A basic familiarity with the area allows you to choose the right location, envision your new life, and plan ahead. Take a trip or two to your new hometown and drive around, visit local businesses, and explore the area. When clients travel into town to look at Dallas homes for sale, we always encourage them to spend a day or two exploring our great city.

Choose A Reputable Local Agent
When long-distance house hunting, working with an agent you can trust is more important than ever. Your agent can provide valuable local information, find listings that meet your criteria and negotiate the terms of your home sale. They can also help coordinate virtual listing tours. Choosing an agent that knows the area and has a strong reputation can really help make long-distance house hunting a success.

Include Travel Expenses In Your Budget
Chances are you're going to want to make a trip to your new hometown at some point, whether it's during the house-hunting process or after your new home is under contract. Travel expenses can quickly eat into your funds, so make sure to factor travel expenses such as airfare, rental cars, gas, and hotel into your home-shopping budget.

Determine What You're Looking For
Because your ability to tour homes in person may be limited, your buying decision will be naturally influenced by logic rather than emotion. Therefore, start by clearly defining your price range, and then create a list of the top 5 things you can't live without. Whether it's a specific location, a home office, or two full baths -- determine your non-negotiables and use them to narrow down your choices.

Don't Waive Your Inspection Contingencies
Making an offer on a home sight unseen can be nerve-wracking, to say the least. If you aren't able to see the home in person, you can at least rely on your inspection contingencies to uncover any red flags. Be sure to consider the standard home inspection, pest inspection, radon, and sewer. These inspections give you the ability to back out of the deal without any penalty if problems arise and you can't come to terms on how to resolve them. Make sure to talk to your agent about what to expect with inspections.

Buying a home in a new city comes with its challenges, but it's actually never been easier than it is today. Contact us today to check out some great home listings in the Dallas area.

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June
20

Add These Gadgets to Your Kitchen

Kitchen tips

A beautiful, functional kitchen is one of the home's greatest assets. If you love cooking or wining and dining company on the weekends, investing in the kitchen is a great way to wow your guests.

Cooking just happens to be one of our favorite hobbies, and our real estate agents are always investing in the latest and greatest kitchen gadgets. But what kitchen gadgets will you actually utilize, and which ones will just collect dust? If you're looking to enhance your cooking skills or just make things more convenient, here are some of the best gadgets to add to your kitchen:

An Air Fryer
Love the taste of crispy, deep-fried cuisine, but don't love the calories? An air fryer might be a great option for you. You can air-fry almost any type of food, and the entire process is quick and easy. This gadget makes cooking a delicious dinner a breeze.
  An Immersion Blender
If you're looking for a quick and easy way to blend smoothies, soups, and stews, invest in a good immersion blender. Traditional blenders can take up a ton of counter space, but immersion blenders are small and easy to store. 

A Waffle Maker
Waffles are the staple of any brunch, and a nice waffle iron makes them super easy. Use it to serve up some fresh, tasty waffles to your friends on the weekends. Waffle irons can take up some storage space, so if your cabinets are too small, it might be time to upgrade to one of these Dallas homes for sale.

A Manual Food Chopper
Looking to break up ground beef in the frying pan? Lose the spatula and invest in a manual food chopper instead. These gadgets make it simple to separate meat, and the best part is -- they don't damage your cookware. 

A Spiralizer
Spiralizers have traditionally been used to thinly cut pasta, but now they're the go-to item for creating your own zucchini noodles, sweet potato noodles, or even creating thinly sliced potatoes. This gadget makes it super easy to prepare healthy meals.

An Electric Kettle
If you drink a lot of tea or enjoy pour-over coffee, an electric kettle will change your life. Just fill it up with water, plug it in, and press the button, and you have boiling water in just a couple of minutes.

An Electric Can Opener
Sometimes a manual can opener can be tricky to use and can occasionally get stuck. An electric can opener takes away the unpredictability of opening a can by making the process quick and easy.

The Traditional Toaster Oven
The basic toaster is limited in its functionality, so it might be time to upgrade to the toaster oven. These small, compact appliances fit nicely on the counter and can not only make toast but can also be great for heating up any leftovers.

The Instant Pot
You're sure to find Instant Pots in the kitchens of many of these Fort Worth homes for sale. So many people swear by The Instant Pot -- it makes cooking super easy. This revolutionary kitchen appliance is a pressure cooker, slow cooker, and food warmer all in one. You can put almost anything in The Instant Pot.

Cooking is fun and easy when your kitchen is equipped with the best gadgets and appliances. For more tips on how to make the most out of your kitchen, contact us today.

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June
15

Is This the End of Record Price Growth?

Home prices in Dallas-Fort Worth rose a record 30.7% year over year in March, according to the latest report from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index

Rapid Home price growth in North Texas and in cities nationwide continued to break records at the start of the year, but economists expect the market could change its tune in the months ahead.  Home prices in Dallas-Fort Worth rose a record 30.7% year over year in March while national prices grew 20.6%, according to the latest report from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index.   "Demand for homes has stubbornly kept ahead of supply this spring, even in the face of rapidly rising costs," said Dan Handy, an economic data analyst for Zillow. "This imbalance between supply and demand for homes this spring has been the key driver in home price growth that continues to set records month after month."  The index compares sales price changes of specific properties over time. Case-Shiller's price estimate is considered more accurate than MLS home sales data which can be influenced by the type of properties that are selling each month.  

Economists predict the rapid price growth could finally begin to slow in the coming months as buyer demand is softened by affordability challenges.  "Mortgage costs are more than 50% higher than they were a year ago, and prospective buyers will likely start to rethink what they can afford," Handy said. "Sellers may already be responding, with the rate of price cuts now on the rise, to meet buyers where they are. Price growth will likely begin to come back towards earth as many buyers are priced out and inventory rises."  Dallas-Fort Worth home showings were down 9% year over year in April and 11% since March, according to ShowingTime.

Dallas Morning News, May 31, 2022

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June
15

Home prices in Dallas-Fort Worth rose a record 30.7% year over year in March, according to the latest report from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index

Rapid Home price growth in North Texas and in cities nationwide continued to break records at the start of the year, but economists expect the market could change its tune in the months ahead.  Home prices in Dallas-Fort Worth rose a record 30.7% year over year in March while national prices grew 20.6%, according to the latest report from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index.   "Demand for homes has stubbornly kept ahead of supply this spring, even in the face of rapidly rising costs," said Dan Handy, an economic data analyst for Zillow. "This imbalance between supply and demand for homes this spring has been the key driver in home price growth that continues to set records month after month."  The index compares sales price changes of specific properties over time. Case-Shiller's price estimate is considered more accurate than MLS home sales data which can be influenced by the type of properties that are selling each month.  

Economists predict the rapid price growth could finally begin to slow in the coming months as buyer demand is softened by affordability challenges.  "Mortgage costs are more than 50% higher than they were a year ago, and prospective buyers will likely start to rethink what they can afford," Handy said. "Sellers may already be responding, with the rate of price cuts now on the rise, to meet buyers where they are. Price growth will likely begin to come back towards earth as many buyers are priced out and inventory rises."  Dallas-Fort Worth home showings were down 9% year over year in April and 11% since March, according to ShowingTime.

  • Dallas Morning News, May 31, 2022
June
14

Nearly one in five sellers dropped prices during the four week period ended May 22, Redfin Corp. said in a report Thursday. Other measures of how hot the market is, including a house's time on market and the percentage of homes selling above listing price, have also plateaued.  Consumers are contending with some of the highest mortgage rates in years, despite the dip in those figures in the past two weeks. Higher rates, coupled with economic uncertainty, are raising questions about whether the US housing boom has met its limit with signs emerging that the once-intense pace of the market could be decelerating.

  • Bloomberg Business Week, May 26, 2022
June
10

Price drops are "becoming increasingly common" in some of the most popular housing markets across the United States.  According to a new Redfin data. More than 20% of home sellers dropped their price in May in some of the best markets in the nation.   "When mortgage rates were at or belw 3%, both local and out-of-town homebuyers were more than willing to tolerate high prices, but at more than 5%, many are now priced out," redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said in a statement.  "A home's price is driven by the balance of supply and demand, and when demand drops off and supply increases like it is now, rapid price increases evaporate quickly."  Areas that saw a huge surge in migration and sharp increases in home prices over the past two years are now seeing "an abrupt drop-off in demand," which is forcing sellers to "drop their prices with increasing frequency," Fairweather said.

  • Fox Business, May 31, 2022
June
5

 

  • The supply of homes for sale jumped 9% last week compared with the same week one year ago, according to Realtor.com.
  • Real estate brokerage Redfin also reported that new listings rose twice as fast in the four weeks ended May 15 as they did during the same period a year ago.
  • Pending home sales, still good, but dropping

Sharply higher mortgage rates have caused a sudden pullback in home sales, and now sellers are rushing to get in before the red-hot market cools off dramatically.   "Rising mortgage rates have caused the housing market to shift, and now home sellers are in a hurry to find a buyer before demand weakens further," said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather.

Sellers clearly see the market softening. Pending home sales were down just over 9% from April 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors. May 2022 will see a larger decrease. This index measures signed contracts on existing homes, not closings, so it is perhaps the most timely indicator of how buyers are reacting to higher mortgage rates. It marks the sixth straight month of sales declines and the slowest pace in nearly a decade.

  • CNBC, May 27, 2022
June
4

Local housing supply is beginning to loosen, Realtor.com indicates

Dallas-Fort Worth is seeing a dramatic increase in homes up for sale over the last few weeks as many sellers look to take advantage of the market while it's still red hot.   The number of active home listings last week spiked 41.6% from a year prior, the fifth consecutive week of gains, according to Realtor.com. Until April, the company posted supply declines in D-FW every week since March 2020.

The region saw the highest annual growth for any week on record since the company began tracking this figure in 2017.

New listings in D-FW rose 32.4% last week, signaling a huge influx of sellers putting homes on the market as summer approaches.  "Sellers have been hearing for about two years what an amazing time it is for them to sell ... and they've seen their equity just grow like crazy," said Mike Reddell, senior executive vice president and managing director for Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Dallas. "With the stock market being wobbly and mortgage rates rising, I think sellers that have been thinking about this for a while, more of them are pulling the trigger and putting the house up for sale."

Reddell said if he were in a position to sell his house, he would do it right now.

Redfin reported May 15 that new listings throughout the U.S. climbed nearly twice as quickly as they did at the same time last year.   "Rising mortgage rates have caused the housing market to shift, and now home sellers are in a hurry to find a buyer before demand weakens further," Daryl Fairweather, chief economist for Redfin, said in a statement.

Mark Wolfe, broker and owner of RE/MAX DFW Associates, said he has seen a significant spike in listings over the past few months. In his home city of Coppell, he said, there would have been only about five or six homes on the market at any one time a few months ago. In just five days last week, he said, 21 homes went up for sale.  "We've been a boom economy, and now with the economy showing signs of trouble, people want to still get the most for their dollar while they can if they think that the prices might go down," Wolfe said. "I don't know if that's going to happen. I doubt that's going to happen."

The market is nowhere near balanced between buyers and sellers. Dallas-Fort Worth had just under a month of home supply in April, according to the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University. A balanced market would have about six months' worth of inventory.   The competitive pressures have sustained high price growth over the past few months. The median home in April sold for $425,576, up 25% from a year earlier. The number of sales in April was down 7% from a year ago, but the dollar volume increased 13% to $4.2 billion.

Rising mortgage rates combined with record-high home prices have drastically increased the monthly cost of buying a home. Homebuilders have also noticed demand cool down through the past few months.  "We've been in an unrealistic market for two years, and we're probably headed back to a normal market," Wolfe said. "It might be nice to just have a healthy even market. I'm hopeful that's what we're going to go into."

  • Dallas Morning News, May 31, 2022

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