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5 Things You Should Never Do When Applying for a Mortgage

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

You’ve found the perfect Flower Mound home, your offer has been accepted, and now it’s time to breeze through the mortgage process – right?! Anyone who’s been through it knows it’s not a walk in the park, but don’t make it harder than it needs to be! Avoid the added stress – and risk to your loan – by avoiding these 5 things when applying for a loan:

 

Major Purchases

You know you can swing the new car payment, so why not get a new car while you’re getting a new Flower Mound home? It sounds good to some, but new purchases affect your financial situation, especially if you’re financing the new car. New financing affects your debt to income ratio, in turn, increasing the risk. Instead, talk to your loan officer before making a purchase and postpone the new car a month or two until after the closing.

 

Co-Signing a Loan

Co-signing on someone’s loan – even if you never intend to have any financial obligation to pay – by default means you do have financial obligation should something happen. The loan will impact your debt to income ratio, so proceed with caution.

Moving Money

When applying for a mortgage, mortgage companies want all your financial history – and they also want to be able to trace every dollar. When they can’t, that’s when things get sticky. Avoid depositing any cash into one of you accounts, opening new accounts, or moving money within your accounts without consulting a loan officer on the best way to do that.

 

Closing Accounts

It’s a common misconception that open credit accounts are bad and should be closed. In fact, It’s the opposite. Open accounts mean “available credit” to FICO, which is a good thing. Not to mention, FICO scores put a lot of emphasis on “length of account,” so by closing accounts, you are shortening the length of time on your account and hurting the overall credit score.

 

Job Change

A new job – particularly one that involves owning your own business or receiving the majority of your income from commissions – will be a detriment to your overall loan viability. Instead, wait to switch jobs, or if you must make a move, ask your loan officer about the best way to handle the job change.

 

Have more mortgage questions? Call the Flower Mound real estate experts, The Jeff Brand Team! We work closely with the area’s best loan officers to get you into your new home with as little work as possible.

5 Things that Must Stay When You Sell Your Home

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

Have you become attached to those drapes? Did you pay big money to have a playset installed in your backyard? If you want to keep them, you better disclose them!

 

While you may think that because you paid to install something it can be taken with you, in fact, there are many things that are considered a part of the house that are not yours to take unless you fully disclose those exclusions in the contract. Here is a list of 5 things that must stay when selling your home:

 

  1. Curtains, Drapes, Window Coverings

 

A good rule of thumb is that if it’s bolted to the wall as a “fixture,” then it’s a part of the home. This includes drapes, shades, curtain rods, blinds, and plantation shutters. If they are something you absolutely want to take with you, it’s a good idea to take them down before listing your home.

 

  1. Backyard Amenities

 

Not sure if you can take your firepit or child’s playset? Here’s the question you must ask: is it bolted down? If it is bolted down, then it’s a part of the home. If it’s not, then you may take it with you. This could also apply to trampolines, storage sheds, basketball goals, and barbeque grills – to name a few.

 

  1. Light Fixtures

 

Any light fixture in the home – that the buyer saw when viewing the home – is a part of the house. Because exclusions can become unnecessary hassles in the contract and can ruin a sale, make a plan to replace a light fixture you want to keep before the buyer sees the home, or just learn to live without it.

  1. Plants & Trees

 

By law, all shrubs, greenery, and trees are to remain with the home, so don’t think you’ll dig up your favorite plants before leaving. For ornamental flowers or plants, you can often take a cutting off of your favorite plant to replant in your new yard.

 

  1. TV Mounting Fixtures

 

Many people assume that because the wall mounting fixture was used for their TV – and they are taking their TV with them – then the fixture is theirs to take too. Because it’s considered a fixture that is bolted to the studs, it is in fact a part of the home.

 

Have more questions about what stays when you sell your home? Call The Jeff Brand Team in Flower Mound, Texas today! We are the best realtor in Flower Mound, Highland Village, Lantana, Lewisville, Grapevine, and we’d love to help you sell your home with ease – and for top dollar.

Home Buying 101: Watch Out for these 4 Red Flags Before Buying in a Neighborhood

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

You’ve found your dream home – but is the neighborhood everything you hope it will be?

 

Real estate experts will tell you that location is everything; you can change your home, but you can’t move it.

 

Instead of hoping for the best, enlist a top real estate agent to help spot these 4 red flags in a neighborhood before you buy:

 

  1. Lots of Homes for Sale

 

Especially in the hot selling season of late Spring, you’re going to find quite a few homes on the market. And you’re fine if there are a few sprinkled into your neighborhood – or even onto your street. But if there seems to be a disproportionate amount of homes for sale, then ask yourself, why? This can be a sign that something bigger is going on and there is a reason everyone is selling.

 

  1. Empty Retail & Commercial Buildings

 

Drive around your neighborhood and assess the local retail and commercial areas. Do they appear to be thriving – or are there quite a few “for lease” signs? Again, a few is fine, but if there are many, then this is a sign that the neighborhood is on the downturn. And if residents of the local neighborhoods can’t afford to support these businesses, then they likely can’t support keeping up their home either.

 

  1. Industrial or Unsavory Businesses Nearby

 

Again, the businesses nearby matter. In addition to looking for empty storefronts, look for other businesses that might be unappealing to have nearby. Gas stations, industrial parks, and bars are all businesses that reduce resale value.

 

  1. Parking Issues

 

Don’t only look at the homes in the neighborhood, take a look at the street. Are there a ton of cars parked on the street? This can equate to congestion, noise, and added stress in your neighborhood vs. another neighborhood without as much traffic. Definitely something to consider when looking at Flower Mound area homes.

 

Need help finding the perfect Flower Mound neighborhood? The Jeff Brand Team is the best realtor in Flower Mound, and we can absolutely guide you to the best homes in the best neighborhoods! Call us today!

How Do I Know How Much My Home is Worth?

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

This is probably the #1 question plaguing homeowners, as we all want to know how our investment is doing. And if you’re in the market to sell your Flower Mound area home, then knowing how much your home is worth is vital to determining what your next move is.

 

Here are a few tips on how to figure out what your home is worth:

 

Start Online

 

There are many websites out there that will give you an instant home valuation, based on square footage, zip code, lot size, other homes nearby, etc. One of the most popular is here. While these sites give you a good starting point, 1) they don’t know your market as well as a local Flower Mound realtor and 2) they don’t account for any improvements or renovations you may have done to the interior of your home. Nonetheless, this is a good starting point for determining value.

 

Get Comps from a Local Flower Mound Realtor

 

The most accurate way to know how much your home is worth is to talk with a local real estate specialist. Realtors use a comparative market analysis – aka “comps” – to determine how much your home is worth. Comps delve a little deeper into the market analysis than an online site, with a knowledgeable realtor able to determine which ones are most consistent with yours in terms of size, proximity, lot size, beds/baths, etc. A realtor will know if there are homes in your neighborhood – maybe in a different phase than yours – that are nearby, but not necessarily consistent with your home in determining value. A computer can’t do that.

Schedule a Walkthrough

 

After comps are pulled, you will have a good idea of what range your Flower Mound home value is in. Now it’s time to have a realtor walk the home. A realtor will take into account high end finishes – such as stone countertops or brand new custom cabinets – and note any damage that might be inside the home. The condition of your home will then determine where your home fits within the predetermined range.

 

The Jeff Brand Team Offers a Free Home Valuation!

 

Ready to get an accurate picture of what your home is worth? Simply visit us here and fill out the pertinent information to get started. A top Flower Mound realtor from The Jeff Brand Team will reach out to you to follow-up with your free home valuation and answer any questions you have about your home’s value.

 

What are you waiting for?! Get started today!

How to Make a Small Flower Mound Home Feel Bigger

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

You’re ready to sell but a little nervous buyers will find your small Flower Mound home cramped?

 

Don’t be.

 

First off, some buyers are looking for something with less upkeep. Many first time buyers or empty nesters actually prefer a smaller footprint. Secondly, The Jeff Brand Team can help you make that small home feel so much bigger with a few simple Flower Mound home staging hacks!

 

Raise the Roof

 

Higher ceilings instantly make homes feel bigger. In order to give the illusion of the highest ceiling possible and to make the room feel bigger, hang all drapes, shower curtains, etc. as high as possible.

 

Extend the Line of Sight

 

A home that feels more “open” naturally feels bigger. Extend the line of sight in each room by removing large, dark pieces of furniture, adding mirrors that reflect light, and even taking down bulky drapery that can cover the natural light and cut off the room. You also want to take things out of the corners of each room. It sounds strange, but by opening up the corners, it extends the size of the room.

Opt for Neutrals

 

Anything busy or bright will overwhelm a small space. Instead, paint the whole house one color that adds cohesion and makes it feel bigger. Then, remove any bedding, couches, etc. that are bright and distracting to the buyer.

 

Increase the Light

 

Brighter spaces feel bigger. Add lamps throughout dark parts of the home, and if you really want to increase the lighting, replace all light bulbs with the highest wattage LED bulbs the fixture can handle. You’ll be amazed at how much bigger a bright space will feel during Flower Mound home staging!

 

Box Up the Stuff

 

Even if you’ve decluttered and you feel like your home is pretty minimal, trust us, and box up more items in each room that you think are necessary. As a standard rule of thumb, box up anything smaller than a football. The less stuff in each room (and closet!), the bigger it will feel.

 

Need more tips? Call the #1 RE/MAX Agent in DFW – The Jeff Brand Team! We’re the best realtor in Flower Mound and we specialize in home staging your small Flower Mound home to get your home sold quickly, and for the most money.

The Jeff Brand Team Makes Moving Easier – And Here’s How:

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

No one can argue that moving is easy.

 

It’s work.

 

There is so much that goes into the buying and selling process that, in most cases, it can be mentally and physically overwhelming.

 

At the Jeff Brand Team, we know this. Not only do we offer the real estate know-how and expertise to make things run as smoothly as possible, we also provide a few other services that take the weight off:

 

Flower Mound Home Staging

 

Want to sell your home, but the idea of decluttering and staging the home to sell is utterly overwhelming? We get this, and that’s why The Jeff Brand Team offers complimentary Flower Mound home staging to our clients. Our real estate professionals will walk your home and make adjustments that will help your home sell for more – and sell more quickly. It takes the weight off of you and lets you focus on other parts of the buying and selling process with ease.

Hassle Free Moving

 

You’ve sold your home, and now it’s time to pack. How do I get all these things packed? Where do I find boxes? These are questions our clients frequently ask, but The Jeff Brand Team has any easy answer: we’ll help. When you sell or buy a home with The Jeff Brand Team, we provide you with free moving boxes, packing supplies, and a free packing service. Yes that’s right! We want to partner with you in helping you move to the home of your dreams, and we know that it’s the little things that make a huge impact on your sanity during a stressful time.

 

Ready to discuss selling your Flower Mound area home? Give The Jeff Brand Team a call today! We’re the #1 agent for the #1 real estate company in the world, and we’re here to help.

Townhome Living: New Options Around Flower Mound Opening in 2019

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

While Flower Mound, Highland Village, and Lewisville has historically been areas with only single family homes, options for townhomes with a smaller footprint are beginning to take shape. These options are great for those who are downsizing, would love to skip the maintenance of a large home and lot, but would also love to stay near their current Flower Mound home. They are also great for those interested in taking the plunge and purchasing their first home. If townhome living in the Flower Mound, Texas area interests you, then read on to learn about a few new construction options available for 2019:

 

Old Town Lewisville

 

At The Jeff Brand Team, we love seeing the revitalization that is happening in Old Town Lewisville! New restaurants and amenities continue to open in that area. In 2019, the City of Lewisville is working hard to expand walkability in the area, making it even easier to enjoy life in Old Town Lewisville. Walters Street Townhomes, Uptown Village, South Village, and Walters Street Brownstones are all excellent options if you are looking for a Lewisville townhome in a great up-and-coming area.

 

Flower Mound – Riverwalk District

 

Another project that we’ll see come into focus in 2019 in the Riverwalk at Central Park in Flower Mound, a beautiful development in the heart of Flower Mound with 6 upscale restaurants announced, nearly 50 acres of parks and green space, and roughly 1,000 residential units, most of those townhomes. If you want to be near it all with the best location in Flower Mound, consider one of the Flower Mound townhomes at the Riverwalk.

 

Flower Mound – Southern Corridor

 

If you’re looking for a south Flower Mound townhome, then The Villas at Southgate are the perfect option! The Villas at Southgate are beautiful new townhomes, nestled close to DFW Airport, Grapevine Mills Mall, and the shopping and restaurants in Lakeside.

Ready to find your Flower Mound townhome? The Jeff Brand Team is here to help! Call us today.

Clear the Clutter from your Home in 4 Easy Steps

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

Whether you are looking to sell your home in 2019 or just want to live in a more clutter-free space, The Jeff Brand Team in Flower Mound, Texas can help. Here are a few of our top recommendations on how to clear the clutter from your home:

 

Step 1: Make a Plan

 

When you begin to de-clutter your home, the task may seem stressful and overwhelming. Instead of jumping into everything all at once, have a strategic plan to break it down into pieces. Make a list of individual tasks – master bedroom closet, junk drawer in kitchen, guest bedroom, etc. – and then plan to tackle them one-by-one. Need help getting started? Check Pinterest for lists to help you divide it up and clear the clutter easily.

 

Step 2: Categorize Your Stuff

 

As you begin each task and try to decide what to keep, evaluate each item and put it in a category:

  • Keep: You love it and want to find a space for it.
  • Throw Away: This includes broken items, items with missing parts, or anything else you know hasn’t been used in years.
  • Donate: If there is anything that is useful and not broken in the throw out pile, move it over to the donate section for those less fortunate. This is a great category for gently used clothing and accessories.
  • Not Sure: Have some décor items you like, but not sure where to put them now? Put them in a box, store for a year, and if you haven’t touched these items in a year – plan to donate or sell them.

 

Step 3: Find Everything a Home in your Home

 

Once you determine what to keep, make sure those items have a permanent place of residence in your home. When things have a place, they are more likely to get back to that place or be easily found when needed.

 

 

Step 4: One in; One Out

 

As you add new things to your home, think about removing others. For example – as your child gets new toys, determine which ones they don’t need and remove those. It prevents future clutter build up and clear the clutter.

 

Need help with home staging or de-cluttering to list your home this Spring? Call The Jeff Brand Team today and let us help! We offer professional home staging services to our clients. It’s just one reason we’re the #1 realtor in Flower Mound, Texas!

Continued Growth in North Texas: Amazon Names Alliance Airport a Regional Hub

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

The market in North Texas remains strong, with a strong economy and continued growth as new businesses move into the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

The latest to announce a move to North Texas: Amazon. 

Amazon to Take Up Residence at Fort Worth’s Alliance Airport

Earlier this month, Amazon named Fort Worth’s Alliance Airport as a regional hub for its shipping process. Amazon said they have already begun building at Alliance, adding infrastructure and buildings for more shipping, sorting, and daily flights. Alliance has been working to attract new business like Amazon, with a spokesperson saying they had recently added runway space, a project that cost $260 million and is expected to help large cargo planes fly in and out of the regional hub. Alliance already has other commercial clients, such as FexEx, that has up to 30 flights a day coming in and out of Alliance.

amazon alliance airport regional hub

Alliance Area Continues to Grow

The writing is on the wall for the area surrounding North Fort Worth and Alliance Airport. The latest move from Amazon is just part of a greater master plan by Alliance, called the AllianceTexas development. It’s a 26,000 acre project that will is estimated to bring many more businesses and jobs to the area. 

And with more jobs, comes the need for more homes. Neighborhoods like Harvest, Canyon Falls, and Trailwood in Argyle and Flower Mound are sure to see home sales continue to climb due to their proximity to the Alliance area. 

The Amazon announcement is just the latest is a string of announcements about growth along the northern I-35W corridor. If you are interested in buying a home in Argyle, North Fort Worth, Northlake, or west Flower Mound, let The Jeff Brand Team help you find the home of your dreams in an area that will continue to increase in value. Call us today to get a jump on what’s available before the market starts picking up again for the Spring season.

Best 2019 Paint Colors: Top Paint Companies Make their Predictions

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

2018 is coming to a close and many are already wondering what 2019 might bring. Of course, as homeowners we all want to know what the newest trends are going to be. The Jeff Brand Team is curious too, and we recently saw that the top paint companies have all made their predictions for the best 2019 paint colors. Ready to hear their thoughts? Read on –

Pantone: Living Coral 

Pantone chose Pantone 16-1546, AKA Living Coral, as its choice for the 2019 Color of the Year. The color is warm and vibrant, but probably best used in moderation when decorating your home. If you choose to use Living Coral in your home, make it pop in an accent wall or with lots of neutrals surrounding it. 

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Benjamin Moore: Metropolitan 

Benjamin Moore is staying on the gray train and predicts Metropolitan as its best 2019 paint color. If you like cooler greys – and many homeowners do – then this one has that going for it, plus it has the ability to shift colors between green, blue, and greige depending on the light. If you’re comfortable with a grey that adds dimension, this is a great choice.

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Sherwin Williams: Cavern Clay

Cavern Clay by Sherwin Williams is an interesting choice, as it’s similar to the Pantone Color Living Coral, yet more brown. Think adobe Southwest meets modern desert design. It’s a tricky color for home design and one we’d recommend using only if you enjoy modern contemporary design and are using a palette of whites, soft greys, and blacks to balance the strong color as an accent. 

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Behr: Blueprint

Behr’s prediction for best 2019 paint color is Blueprint, a soft navy or chambray color that pairs well with greys and warm woods. It can add depth and warmth to offices, bedrooms, and dining rooms. Steer clear of strong blue walls in the kitchen.

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Kelly-Moore: Peacock Blue

Also on the blue trend, Kelly-Moore chose a rich, dark blue called Peacock Blue. Lovely as an accent, it could replace blacks and dark greys throughout the home on accent walls and cabinets. 

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What do you think? Do you like the predictions for best 2019 paint colors? If you’re thinking of selling in 2019 and want some expert advice of Flower Mound home staging and painting, call us today at The Jeff Brand Team for a free in-home consultation.