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July
5

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:

Click Here to Read More...

February
26

U.S. home sales unexpectedly increased in January, but investors paying in cash are squeezing out first-time buyers from the housing market amid record low inventory and higher prices.  Existing home sales surged 6.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.50 million units last month. Sales rose in all four regions, with strong gains in the Midwest, the most affordable region. Sales jumped 9.3% in the densely populated South, which is experiencing an influx of residents from other regions as companies embrace remote work.

First-time buyers accounted for 27% of sales last month, compared to 33% a year ago. Rising mortgage rates could make home buying even less affordable for this group.  Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, bought 22% of homes, up from 15% a year ago. Investors are renovating, and either reselling or renting the homes to take advantage of the hot housing market. All-cash sales made up 27% of transactions compared to 19% last January.

  • Reuters News, February 18, 2022
December
1

31% of Closings in Exurb Counties

Forget Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton Counties.  The move is on to the exurbs.   This month, November 2021, 31% of all RMDFW home closings were NOT in the main four metro counties.   The closings were in Kaufman, Rockwall, Ellis, Grayson, Hood and Johnson counties – the new exurb counties of the Metroplex.  Affordable, new housing is sprouting up 25, 35, 45 miles away from Dallas – and young millennial families are snatching them up.  One year ago, 15% of all November RMDFW closings were new homes sales.  This November it is about 42% - a huge increase.  Since there is a lack of inventory for new homebuyers, they are moving further out to the exurbs.   Kaufman County (Heartland, Forney, Crandall) leads the way, then Rockwall County (Royce City, Fate), then Grayson (Van Alstyne, Melissa).

November
8

Real Estate Myths

Today's real estate market remains hot, hot, hot, with sellers enjoying high prices, while buyers are facing a highly competitive market that has made it difficult for some to land the home they're longing for. This is especially true for those selling homes in Dallas/Fort Worth or shopping for Dallas homes for sale and Fort Worth homes for sale

It's easy to get distracted during the buying or selling process by certain widespread real estate myths. Our real estate agents help many families in the area find their dream home and advise them to not fall for misconceptions they might hear from well-meaning friends and family members.

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January
4

Plano Cost of Living

Wouldn't it be nice to live in a city where you can have it all, without breaking the bank? While so many of the most popular cities to call home come with a cost of living that's significantly higher than average, that isn't the case when you live in Plano, TX. Plano offers all of the benefits of the best cities, with an affordable cost of living that makes it easy to enjoy all the city has to offer. Our real estate agents have all the details on the affordable cost of living in Plano and why it's such a great place to call home.

Click Here to Read More...

August
31

Credit Score - First-Time Homebuyers – RE/MAX DFW Associates

Our real estate agents here at RE/MAX DFW Associates know that sellers have been bouncing back in our area for weeks now. It's about time for buyers to join the excitement and check out all of the great Dallas homes for sale that are hitting the market!

And that market is right for first-time home buyers.

Many people put off the decision to buy a home because they aren't sure about their finances or worry about their credit. With historic low interest rates, however, now's the time to test the waters. If you're interested in buying a home, you can begin working on your credit and make a big difference.

Click Here to Read More...

February
17

Buy a Home - Beat the Odds - RE/MAX DFW Associates

Buying a home for the first time can feel like an overwhelming experience. The walkthroughs, loan applications, and negotiations are only made more difficult when your offer is denied by a seller who chooses another buyer. Our real estate agents are also discouraged when a great offer goes unaccepted. Although a normal part of this process is to feel like the odds are stacked against you, remember that it's only a matter of time until you're handed the keys to your dream home.

Why First Time Homeowners are Faced with Unfavorable Odds

As each generation gets older, many men and women hope to purchase their first home early in adulthood. Unfortunately, there are a variety of factors that could prevent potential homebuyers from the home of their dreams. Some of the common hurdles first-time buyers struggle to overcome include:

Click Here to Read More...

January
20

Real Estate Agent Help - RE/MAX DFW Associates

Our real estate agents are always working hard to connect our clients with the best Dallas homes for sale. Many clients, especially first-time buyers, are surprised by all we can do for them. A real estate agent is your guide through the whole home-buying process. If there's a question we don't know the answer to, we know where to find it! We strive to be our clients' top resource.

But agents don't just answer questions: They're also there to solve problems. No matter what comes up, a good agent will equip you with the knowledge and options to make a sound decision. Sometimes, the process of buying a house is smooth and easy. Most of the time, though, there are tricky choices to be made at one point or another. Your agent simplifies the issues.

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October
18

Paige Shipp, regional director with housing analyst MetroStudy Inc. fears home sales might slow next year in the ramp up to presidential and congressional elections.  "We typically have much slower selling seasons right before an election," she said. "After that happens, the flood gates open and people come out. It's not a matter of who wins."   Worries about a recession may also impact the home market.  "We spent the better part of the last decade still looking over our shoulder," said George Ratiu, senior economist with Realtor.com.  "The last recession was so bad that we are still carrying some of the scars from that."   However, Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University states that Texas economy is still expanding.  "And we are extremely unlikely to be in a recession by the end of this calendar year," he said. "We are probably pretty safe through the first six months of next year."

  • Dallas Morning News, October 14, 2019

 

October
17

The number of homes listed for sale with North Texas real estate agents has risen by about 15% this year. But they aren't in the price range most buyers want.  "The inventory is increasing at the upper end — $750,000 and above," Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University said. "If you have a well-located $300,000 house, you can sell it tomorrow. We are seeing evidence of price fatigue in the market."  D-FW home prices are up only about 3% so far in 2019 — nothing like the double-digit percentage home price gains of a couple of years ago.  "The recent spike in mortgage rates did expose how price sensitive the market is," said Paige Shipp, regional director with housing analyst MetroStudy Inc. "Things are not quite as rosy as they seem in terms of what people can afford."  Many home sellers haven't gotten the message, she said. "They want to list their house for more than their neighbors sold for and sell it overnight."  D-FW has an undersupply of homes priced below $250.000.

  • Dallas Morning News, October 14, 2019
August
26

Credit Score Improvement for First-Time Buyers - RE/MAX DFW Associates

Our real estate agents are always glad to support your search for the best Dallas homes for sale. First-time buyers, in particular, find the process easier when they connect with the right real estate agent—someone with plenty of experience in their situation. Many of the big questions first-time buyers have usually deal with obtaining a mortgage loan.

They often worry about the effect of credit score on their hopes for a favorable mortgage. Most people don't have perfect credit, so they wonder if their credit will stop them from getting the home they want. Luckily, the answer to this is almost always "no." A few credit blemishes here or there will not usually disqualify you from getting a home loan. Even if you've had credit problems in the past, many lenders are willing to look at your current income and credit behavior to determine how much you can borrow.

That said, your credit score is still relevant. A good credit score can improve your loan terms. Raising your score just a few points can make a worthwhile difference, so don't feel you need perfection. Even if you have only a few months before you begin your home search, there are steps you can take to raise your credit score. This may translate to better loan rates and substantial savings over time. Let's look at some ways you can raise your credit score faster.

Click Here to Read More...

July
29

HOA Neighborhood in Dallas - RE/MAX DFW Associates

If you're looking into purchasing a home in Dallas, then one of the big questions you'll have to ask yourself is whether or not to buy in a neighborhood with a homeowners association. Our real estate agents are familiar with HOAs and have put together this handy guide on choosing a Dallas neighborhood with one—and the pros and cons that go along with it.

HOA Pros

By design, pretty much any HOA worth its mettle focuses on making life in a neighborhood easier, simpler, and more uniform for its homeowners. In most situations, the pros of joining an HOA or buying in an HOA-run neighborhood usually far outweigh the cons. Here's why you want to join an HOA:

  • Less Maintenance
    Most HOAs will maintain landscaping around your home, which means you don't have to worry about doing it yourself. In addition to basic yard work, you can expect your HOA to handle most of the aesthetics for your home.

    Click Here to Read More...

April
27

Hispanic Population Growth By 2060Latinos are finding their economic legs under the Trump administration, leading the surge in home ownership and income growth and record low poverty rates, according to two comprehensive new surveys.  While they remain far behind whites in income, they have seen their third consecutive year of income growth and have a higher workplace participation rate, according to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and the Hispanic Wealth Project. 

 

In two studies just released, the groups also provided revealing details about Latinos and their growth in America. For example, by 2060, nearly one of every three in the U.S. will identify as Latino.  The reports detailed Hispanic housing and economic trends and found most signs rapidly improving.  What's more, the group's goal of nudging overall Hispanic income up is showing signs of success. The group said that within the next five years, Hispanic median income will triple.Hispanic Homeownership rate

 

The group listed the positive trends in its income report:

  • For the fourth consecutive year, Hispanics increased their rate of home ownership, reaching a rate of 47.1%. In 2018, Latinos added 362,000 homeowners which is the highest number of owner households added for Latinos since 2005.
  • In 2017, Hispanics saw the third consecutive year of income growth and the highest of any demographic.
  • Between 2016 and 2017, Hispanics increased their real median income by 3.7%. Latino families making an annual income over $200,000 increased from 2.1% in 2011 to 3.8% in 2017, and the percentage of Latino millionaires more than doubled between 2013 and 2016.
  • Poverty rates reached a historic low for Latinos. Simultaneous to median income growth, Hispanics have lowered their poverty rate for three consecutive years. With a poverty rate of 18.3% in 2017, Hispanics reached their lowest level since poverty estimates for Hispanics were first published by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1972.

Hispanic Income Growth

  • Latinos have significantly higher labor force participation rates. Hispanics are employed at a rate of 66.1%, compared to 62.9% of the general population. The Hispanic unemployment rate was reduced by over 7 percentage points between 2009 and 2018, from 12.1% to 4.7%, respectively.
  • Latinos continue to drive small business growth. Between 2014 and 2016, the number of Latino-owned employer firms increased by 13.1%, accounting for 23.8% of the net growth of all employer firms during that period.
  • Participation in retirement accounts for Latinos is increasing. Between 2013 and 2016, Hispanics increased their rate of retirement account ownership from 25.1% to 29.7%, and the value of their retirement accounts increased by roughly 40.4%.
  • Washington Examiner, April 23, 2019
March
31

 

Should you buy or rent?

Dallas is one of the U.S. metro areas where rising home prices have hurt homeownership the most. Dallas, Denver and Houston were identified as the markets where there is the most downward pressure on homeownership, according to a new report by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University faculty. The study ranked areas where the markets have tilted in favor of renting over buying homes. Researchers traced housing conditions in 23 markets for the report. Dallas was the most unfavorable for homeownership among the cities surveyed. "Of the metros in our index, Dallas is the highest and exhibiting the greatest downward pressure on the demand for homeownership," said Ken Johnson, real estate economist in FAU's College of Business. "The extraordinary appreciation in the area is a major driver of this score."  Dallas' housing market has taken off since the Great Recession, with soaring prices.

  • Dallas Morning News, March 20, 2019
March
30

 

Meyers Millennial Desirability Index (MDI)

        SOURCE: Meyers Research

 

Dallas and Houston are the hottest spots in the country for millennial homebuyers. That's what analysts at California-based Meyers Research found in their annual "millennial desirability index" that rated the country's largest housing markets. Austin ranked third on the same list, which compared data on housing affordability, job growth, cost of living and other factors for major metro areas across the country. Meyers Research's director of research, Ali Wolf, said factors such as Texas' relatively low new home prices, strong economy and high quality of life push the state's major cities to the top of the list. Job opportunities, affordability and lifestyle were key factors millennials said they would consider in moving to a new city. Meyers' study is one of two recent studies that give North Texas high marks for first-time homebuyers.

  • Dallas Morning News, March 24, 2019
March
18

Spring Home Buying-RE/MAX DFW Associates

Spring is prime home buying season just about everywhere. Our real estate agents always see an increase in buyers this time of year. People are less busy than they are other times of the year, the weather is pleasant, and sellers know they'll have plenty of interest in their homes. Even with more competition, it's still the best time to get the home you've been dreaming of. Here's how you can set yourself up for home buying success.

  • Secure financing ahead of time
    This includes several steps like viewing your credit report and credit score, planning your budget, and meeting with a lender to get pre-approved. A little prep work here can go a long way to make your offer on a home more attractive. Pre-approval shows sellers you're serious, and there's less chance your financing will fall through. This also means you'll be able to move quickly and make an offer right away when you find the right home for you.

  • Click Here to Read More...

November
27

Buying a Home at the Holidays

The real estate market is booming in North Texas. You'll find Dallas homes for sale in a variety of neighborhoods to suit many potential homebuyers' needs. However, when is the best season to purchase a new home? Surprisingly, it's not always in the spring. The holiday season is an ideal time to buy a new house. While it may seem like another stressor with the holiday baking, shopping, and family commitments, our real estate agents have listed these five reasons for house hunting during the holiday season.

  1. Less Competition
    During the winter, there is around 25 percent fewer houses for homebuyers to consider; however, there are also fewer house hunters during the holiday season. Many take a month off to attend that holiday party, which means fewer open houses to walk through or less home-buying competition in a bidding war.

  2. Click Here to Read More...

November
20

Home prices are out of reach relative to incomes and mortgage rates. The big question for the economy is how the imbalance adjusts.

These should be happy times for the housing sector. The economy is booming, with more people working at higher pay, and with the sizable millennial generation reaching prime home buying age.  Instead, the housing market has gone soft, acting as a drag on the overall economy rather than as a force propelling it forward.

Sales of new single-family homes were down 22 percent in September from their recent high in November 2017, and existing home sales in September were down 10 percent. This tepid residential investment subtracted from G.D.P. growth in each of the first three quarters of 2018.

Home prices have not declined nationally, at least according to the most widely followed indexes. But their rate of increase has declined, and more and more home sellers are finding they must reduce asking prices to find a buyer.  Given how central housing is to the broader economy — it is the biggest driver of both wealth and indebtedness for most families, and its fluctuations have frequently been major factors in past booms and busts — this slump isn't something to be taken lightly for anyone hoping the good times will last.

So what's going on?

When you look closely at the data, it appears this paradox of a strong economy and a weak housing market is, at its core, an illustration of a fundamental rule in economics: If something can't go on forever, it won't.  Home prices in a given location are ultimately tethered to the incomes of the people who either live there or want to. But for much of the last six years, that relationship has come undone.  Nationally, personal income per capita has risen 25 percent since the end of 2011, while the S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index is up 48 percent (neither figure is adjusted for inflation).

The gap is even larger in the big coastal cities with high wages and booming job markets, but where legal and other barriers make it hard for builders to add to the supply of homes. In the San Francisco metro area, per capita personal income rose 40 percent from 2011 to 2017, while home prices rose 96 percent. Similar patterns are evident in Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, New York and Washington.  In less high-flying markets, there was still a disconnect. In the Minneapolis area, for example, incomes rose 22 percent while home prices rose 46 percent.

Those rising home prices got help from years of very low mortgage rates, which put more expensive homes within reach for people at a given income level. Activity was also probably boosted by some bounce-back effect after the housing market crash of 2007-09, a result of pent-up demand for homes that were not bought while the market was collapsing.

Rates bottomed out in late 2012 at 3.31 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. They have been moving upward in fits and starts since, including a full percentage point in the last year alone to nearly 5 percent — still low by historical standards, but high compared with the ultralow levels that had enabled these huge price gains.

There's no doubt that demographics are favorable for housing demand. The peak birth year for millennials was 1990; it's a group that is turning 28 this year and thus entering prime years for home buying. As it happens, 28 is exactly the median response in a Bankrate survey that asked adults for the ideal age to buy a home.

But that doesn't matter if prices are out of reach relative to incomes. Moreover, lending standards have remained more rigorous than they were during the last housing boom, so it has been harder for people to stretch to buy a home. The inability of people to buy homes they can't really afford is great news in terms of avoiding another crisis, but not so great for the near-term outlook for housing.

"Buyers can only stomach so many price increases until it gets unsustainable," said Daryl Fairweather, the chief economist at the online brokerage Redfin. "Prices reached a breaking point where buyers were fed up and started to consider other options," she said, including renting and moving away from the expensive coastal markets where prices are most out of whack with incomes. 

As Economics 101 teaches, price movements are the way that supply and demand match up with each other. But in the housing sector especially, that adjustment can take a while.  In contrast with the stock market, where relatively unemotional traders are buying and selling shares every day and the market stays liquid, home purchase and sales decisions can take months and are deeply emotional for the participants.

What seems to be happening is that sellers are trying to cling to the spring 2018 prices that their neighbors received, while there aren't enough buyers in late 2018 willing or able to pay those prices.  In a Fannie Mae survey of home purchase sentiment, the proportion of people who think it is a good time to buy a home has decreased significantly since the spring, to a net 21 percent from 29 percent. But so has the proportion who think it is a good time to sell, which has dropped to 35 percent from 45 percent.

You would expect, in a zero-sum transaction like a home sale, for those numbers to move in opposite directions. Instead, it seems that sellers are unhappily realizing that they aren't going to get what they thought their house was worth six months ago, and buyers still think homes are too expensive.  That helps explain why transaction volume, especially for new houses, has fallen substantially while prices haven't (at least yet). It's a standoff. And the outcome of the standoff will, in the aggregate, play a role in shaping the future of the economy.

There is precedent for this, and it isn't a happy one. In the last housing boom, new home sales peaked in July 2005, and home prices didn't start declining until May 2006. It didn't start to hurt the overall economy until December 2007, when the damage had spread through an overleveraged global financial system.

But that doesn't mean this episode has to end in tears. Home prices are not nearly as out of line with incomes as they were then; speculative activity hasn't been nearly as frothy; and consumer debt levels are considerably more measured.   "I think income growth will help us get out of this period," said Robert Dietz, the chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders. "We're probably looking at a period where existing home sales volume is flat to declining, and it now looks like 2017 was the peak year for transaction volume."

A strong (nonhousing) economy makes it more likely that this housing slump will end without a steep 2008-style downturn. So does the basic reality that young adults are forming families and need a place to house them.

But in the meantime, it could be a soft few months or even years of standoffs between buyers and sellers, with the big question of which comes first: sellers who settle for less after recognizing that the price they thought they would get is beyond the reach of buyers, or incomes that catch up with a housing market that got a little ahead of itself.

 

  • Neil Irwin, New York Times, November 15, 2018
November
6

Top U.S. Homebuilding Markets

No place builds more new houses than Dallas-Fort Worth.  As of the third quarter of this year, D-FW was the solid leader in U.S. homebuilding with almost 35,000 single-family annual home starts, according to a new report by housing market analysts at Metrostudy Inc.  Houston was second nationally with 29,370 home starts in the 12-month period ending in September. D-FW and Houston have topped the country in home construction for several years.  And the two Texas titan building markets show no sign of a slowdown. D-FW starts were up 8.7 percent and Houston starts were 6 percent higher than a year ago, Transwestern found.

 

While D-FW builders are still busy, what they are building has changed, according to Metrostudy's Paige Shipp. "Over the past 12 months, builders and developers have been addressing the need for affordable new homes by developing in previously overlooked submarkets and building smaller, less amenitized homes," said Shipp, regional director of Metrostudy's D-FW market. "As such, the median price has dropped since last year.The decrease in price is not devaluation, rather it's an indication that buyers are purchasing smaller, more affordable homes."

 

Shipp said that homebuyer traffic has slowed in North Texas in recent months. "While this cooling may worry some, it should be viewed as a positive stabilization of an overheated, frenzied market," she said. "Builders and developers should use this opportunity to catch their breaths and return to the fundamentals of homebuilding including land acquisition and selling." Shipp said the inventory of vacant new homes in the D-FW has increased to the highest level since 2012.

 

September
15

Texas Home Sales Update

Texas has been one of the fastest growing housing markets in the country in the last few years. The state has led the nation in homebuilding and Texas' major metros - Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin - have had big increases in the number of preowned home sales. But the latest snapshot of the Lone Star State's hot housing market is a mixed bag. While statewide home sales rose almost 3 percent in the second quarter from 2017 levels, sales in the D-FW area slowed for the first time in years.  And sales barely rose in the Austin area, according to the latest data from the Texas Association of Realtors.

"The demand for housing remains at an all-time high, but statewide we're seeing a slower rate of increase in sales compared to previous quarters due to the lack of inventory of properties for sale," Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University said. Rising prices and higher mortgage rates have also dampened buying in some neighborhoods. Even with the dip in sales, the D-FW led the state in second quarter home sales by real estate agents with 28,934 properties changing hands.

D-FW home sales were 0.8 percent lower than in second quarter 2017. Statewide median home sales prices rose by 4.4 percent in the period ending with June. D-FW had the biggest jump in the number of homes for sale in the second quarter of any major Texas metro area. The number of homes on the market in North Texas grew by 14 percent, according to the Realtors.

  • Dallas Morning News, September 13, 2018 (online)
June
20

Buyers Are Paying 19% More Than One Year Ago

Homebuyers are getting a double whammy. "Home prices are up and mortgage rates are up," said Frank Nothaft, chief economist with CoreLogic. Nationwide home prices are almost 7 percent higher than a year ago. And the average long-term mortgage cost has risen by seven tenths of a percentage point interest compared with this time in 2017, according to CoreLogic. "That translates into a 16 percent increase in the monthly principal and interest payments to buy the same house," Nothaft said. For the first-time homebuyer there is a 19 percent increase from one year ago. "Average wages around the country are up only 2.5 percent to 3 percent from a year ago. Each passing month as prices rise and mortgage rates rise, it's increasingly challenging for home buyers, especially entry-level homebuyers," he said. "The pinch it takes out of their monthly budget starts to affect more and more buyers across the country." Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the markets with record-high home costs. While overall median home prices in North Texas are up about 5 percent so far in 2018, prices for the most affordable houses — under $200,000 — are rising at almost twice that rate.  CoreLogic is forecasting further increases in home prices and interest rates in the year ahead.

  • Dallas Morning News, June 15, 2018
March
5

DFW Home Offer Accepted
If you follow local real estate news, you already know that North Texas has been identified as one of the country's hottest real estate markets. Home prices are rising and sellers are expecting to sell their homes at their asking price or better. Whether you're considering Dallas homes or Fort Worth homes, you're negotiating in a seller's market. You must bid conscientiously or risk missing out on a home you love. 

Our REALTORS® understand it can be difficult for your offer to get a seller's attention, especially when they realize that the next buyer might be willing to pay more. When you're ready to begin your home search, we'll be here to help with "Six Secrets for Getting Your Offer Accepted."

Click Here to Read More...

January
26

Tips for Millennials Entering the Dallas Market
Purchasing your first home has long been a part of the American dream.  While some cities across the country are considered Millennial Magnets, according to a report by ABODO Apartments, Dallas ranks near the bottom of the list of major US cities for this new wave of home buyer.

Dallas, Texas has experienced a boom in its employment market because of huge economic opportunities.  Consequently, the increase in the job market has also caused an increase in demand for housing making it difficult for Millennials to afford Dallas homes for sale.

But despite these challenges, some continue to push forward with buying their first home in the DFW.  Our REALTORS® know the local market well and offer these eight tips when you're ready to buy a home in Dallas.

Click Here to Read More...

January
3

More Millennials Consider Dogs in Their Home-Buying Decision

Home Buying Dogs

There are many people in the world who love dogs, but you can't always include landlords on that list. While a landlord may love their own dog, they're typically less enthusiastic about the four-legged friends of their tenants. Combine that with the fact that dog owners love giving their pets room to roam the outdoors, and you can see one of the hidden motivations that inspire many renters to purchase a house of their own. So in a way, home-buying really is going to the dogs, and that's not a bad thing!

Our REALTORS® have the details on this growing trend, along with other key reasons buyers choose to purchase a home for the first time. 

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