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Flower Mound #1 Most Prosperous Town for Its Size

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

Per a new study released by the Economic Innovation Group, Flower Mound has been ranked #1 in prosperity for towns of similar size (small to mid-sized towns). The study – the 2017 Distressed Communities Index – evaluates cities nationwide and determines where they rank on a scale of distressed, all the way up to prosperous. Flower Mound came in at most prosperous with a distress score of just 0.1%. Just another sign Flower Mound is one of the best places to live in Texas.

More Good News for Texas: Economy is Strong

Not only did Flower Mound rank well in the study, but other Texas towns performed well also. Four other Texas communities ranked in the top 10 for small to mid-size towns, including #2 Allen, #4 Frisco, #9 League City, and #10 Cedar Park. Plano also made the cut for large cities, ranking #2 nationally as the second most prosperous community of that size. The strong showing from Texas – and North Texas – communities shows that our economy is strong.

About the 2017 Distressed Communities Index

The study uses a variety of economic factors to determine whether a community is prospering, comfortable, mid-tier, at risk, or distressed. Those economic factors include unemployment rates, rate at which people move jobs, median household income, housing availability, levels of education, and the overall rate of businesses opening and closing in the area. The Economic Innovation Group is committed to locating distressed or at risk communities and then determining ways to help bolster the communities to thrive on their own. The good news from this year’s study: 27% of the nation lives within a prospering area, the largest amount of any of the groups ranked. Learn more about the study here.

This is yet another great sign that it’s time to buy a home in Flower Mound, Texas! It truly is one of the best places to live in Texas. Give us a call at Jeff Brand & Associates and let us show you new construction and pre-existing homes on the market today. We’re the best realtor in Flower Mound for a reason!

How to Protect your Credit After the Equifax Breach

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

The latest reports are saying that approx. 145.5 million people were affected by the recent Equifax breach. Chances are, you could be one of them. (Go here to check.)

Because of the nature of information reportedly stolen – Social Security numbers, drivers license numbers, credit card numbers, etc. – the ripple effects of this Equifax breach are likely to be felt for years to come. If you are concerned your personal information may have been compromised, it is critical that you do your due diligence to monitor your credit so that future purchases – such as buying a home – are not affected. Here are a few tips from Jeff Brand & Associates on what to do to protect your credit after the Equifax breach:

  1. Sign-Up for a Credit Freeze

While this step may seem like a pain – because it is! – it is a valuable shield against hackers. A credit freeze stops anyone from opening an account under your name, including yourself. This means that anytime you want to open a new line of credit – home, auto, new credit card, etc. – you will need to call the credit reporting agencies and remove the hold. Equifax is offering a free credit freeze; TransUnion and Experian offer a credit freeze for a small fee.

 

  1. Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Report

In order to place a fraud alert on your account, simply contact one of the major credit reporting agencies, Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax, and sign-up for a fraud alert on your account. This does not freeze your credit, but it does alert anyone who is pulling your credit that there could be suspicious activity and they need to do due diligence to verify the person’s identify before proceeding. This service is generally free.

 

  1. Monitor all Accounts

Make it a point to monitor all of your accounts on a regular basis, going through statements to make sure no charges seem amiss. Even a suspicious small charge may be a hacker trying to test the waters before making larger purchases.

 

If you are looking for homes for sale in Flower Mound, Texas and plan to make a purchase in the next year, give us a call at Jeff Brand & Associates today. Our team can answer any questions you have about protecting your credit after the Equifax breach, buying and selling homes in Flower Mound, and so much more.

Best Fall Home Maintenance Projects to Tackle this October!

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

Friday, September 22, was officially the first day of Fall, and whether it feels like it or not, Fall is here!

October – and Fall in general – is a great time to tackle some home maintenance projects you’ve been putting off because the weather is cooler and everyone is settling back into a routine. So what do we recommend? Here are a few of the best Fall home maintenance projects to tackle this October:

Inspect the Roof

If you haven’t already, have a licensed roofer out to inspect your roof and determine whether or not you need a new roof as a result of the storms this past Spring. Most in Highland Village, Lantana, and the surrounding area have replaced their roof, so chances are, you need a new roof too! Not only will it give you peace of mind, but buyers like knowing your roof is new.

Give your Trees & Shrubs a Little TLC

If your property has trees on it, take the time this Fall to call an arborist out to inspect the trees, prune back the dead wood, and administer deep root fertilizer to give the trees a boost to stay healthy through the winter months. Trees are slower growing and dormant in the Fall/Winter, so it’s a great time to identify problem areas that need to be addressed before you lose a precious asset to your curb appeal.

Conduct an Energy Audit

The last thing you want is to have heat seeping out of your home through cracks and crevices around the windows, doors, etc. Caulking windows is one of the most inexpensive things you can do to upgrade the efficiency of your home. We also recommend adding extra insulation in your attic and looking into Energy Star appliances. Not sure where to start? Jeff Brand & Associates can recommend a professional to do an audit of your home.

Reverse the Ceiling Fans

This is an easy one! Reversing the fans in your home will redistribute the warm air near the ceiling, giving your heater a boost of efficiency.

As always, if you ever have questions about Fall home maintenance projects or what maintenance projects are necessary to sell your home or improve the ROI, give Jeff Brand & Associates a call. Our team is happy to help with all of your Flower Mound, Argyle, Lewisville, and Highland Village real estate needs.

The Truth about “Sale Pending” Homes: What You Need to Know.

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

So you’re browsing MLS, and you come across a home that appears to be your dream home. Unfortunately, MLS shows that there is an active contract on the house and lists it as “sale pending.” What do you do?

Do you keep scrolling?

Or do you call your Flower Mound realtor to take a look anyway?

Don’t Fear the Home that is Under Contract

As long as the seller’s agent gives you the green light to tour the home under contract, then take this opportunity to explore your options. While some might be hesitant to get their hopes up by looking at a home marked as “sale pending,” we recommend you jump on the opportunity if it might be the right fit for you – and here’s why:

  • Deals Fall Through All the Time: It might be that the buyer couldn’t get financing or that they got cold feet and backed out. No matter the reason, deals fall through all the time, so you can’t assume because a home is under contract that the home is history.

 

  • First Opportunity to Jump: Should a deal fall through, you have a much higher chance of getting the home if you’ve already put a back up offer in on it. Say the home doesn’t appraise for asking and the deal turns south, but you love the house and are able to put in a backup full-cash offer with no appraisal. A seller is very likely to jump at your offer with no competition!

 

  • Chance to Snag a Deal: If a potential sale falls through and the house is back on the market, it opens the home up for competition again. If you are poised and ready to get the home with an offer in before the sale falls through, a seller is much more likely to go with your offer vs. opening the home back up to more buyers.

Looking for the best realtor in Flower Mound to help you find the home of your dreams? Call Jeff Brand & Associates today! We’ve got the experience you need to snag that house, whether it’s already under contract or not.

Now Pre-Selling: Trailwood of Flower Mound,Texas

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

As we’ve said over and over, the real estate in west Flower Mound is going gangbusters, so if you’re relocating to DFW and are looking for a place to buy a new home, west Flower Mound homes are a great option!

Canyon Falls has quickly become the anchor on the far western side of town, but at Jeff Brand & Associates, we’re excited to see more neighborhoods and retail crop up around this master-planned community. Once such neighborhood: Trailwood of Flower Mound, Texas.

Why Trailwood?

The concept for Trailwood is unique to the area, and one that we are really excited about for our clients! Each lot within the community of Trailwood of Flower Mound will have extra deep lots, giving you a large backyard to enjoy with your family and friends. In addition to that, each home will back up to green space and be designed with a wrought-iron fence, giving you spectacular views of the nature around you and lending itself to an open-concept neighborhood. Trailwood will also boast a resort style neighborhood pool, parks, trails, and more. The neighborhood is being billed as a premier open space community, and we couldn’t agree more.

Stellar Builders

There are 157 lots proposed in Phase 1 (152 in Phase 2) of Trailwood, and three builders will be building on those lots: Drees Homes, K Hovnanian Homes, and Plantation Homes. Three great builders with craftsmanship you can trust! Of course, you can also expect drool-worthy new amenities including gourmet kitchens, luxury bathroom fixtures, energy efficient upgrades, and so much more.

If you are at all interested in a new construction Flower Mound home in Trailwood, give Jeff Brand & Associates a call today! Our team can’t wait to give you more information and show you around. Model homes should be open this month, with homes going up throughout the Fall. Homes start in the lower $400s.

Canyon Falls Amenities – Flower Mound, Texas: Check Out What’s New!

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

Canyon Falls – the master-planned community on the far west side of Flower Mound, Texas – has been experiencing major growth this year as more homes are built out, schools open, and amenities begin to take shape. So what’s new for Canyon Falls amenities?! Let Jeff Brand & Associates fill you in!

Resort-style Pool

Who doesn’t love to spend their summers basking by a resort-style pool? Within close proximity to the Canyon Falls clubhouse, the main pool opened this summer and is centrally located and close to everything. Plenty of loungers abound and beach entry is perfect for little ones.

Graham Branch Creek

Experience North Texas by meandering through the 10 miles of trails along Graham Branch Creek. Along the way, you’ll feel like you’re out in the country, away from suburbia as you experience bluffs, wetlands, and more. It’s truly one of the beautiful and unique things about Canyon Falls amenities!

Westbridge Park

Westbridge Park just opened recently and offers yet another destination for pools and water fun! It’s complete with a pool, playground, changing areas, a large lawn, scenic views, and even a pond with waterfalls! Hike out past the pond and you’ll be connected to the neighborhood trail system.

Hay Barn & Pooch Park

Expected to open this Fall, everyone is excited about the Hay Barn! It will be a community gathering place adjacent to the Pooch Park – a place for your dogs to run and play. The Hay Barn is actually a historic building at Canyon Falls that the builders will be renovating.

Homes in Canyon Falls, Texas start in the high $200s and go up to the $700s. If you’re interested in a home in Canyon Falls, give Jeff Brand & Associates a call today and we’ll show you around the Canyon Falls amenities! Even when buying a new construction home, having an agent on hand to negotiate the deal is key.

3 Common Mistakes Buyers Make at Closing

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

Closing day can be an exciting day for many homebuyers, but what if you did something that day that caused a delay in closing? Or worse yet – caused you to lose the house all together?

Jeff Brand & Associates is the real estate expert in Flower Mound, Texas and we want to offer some advice on what not to do when closing on your new home. Avoid these 3 common mistakes buyers make and you’ll be on your way to home ownership!

Mistake #1: Quitting Your Job Days before Closing

Mortgage decisions are based on income and stability, and if you no longer have a steady job, well, things may not go well for you. A mortgage underwriter will verify all facts about your mortgage – including employment status – a few days before closing and make sure everything is the same as when you were pre-approved. Don’t surprise them by quitting at the last minute because it could cause you to lose the home.

Mistake #2: Making Large Purchases on Credit

Not only will the mortgage lender verify your employment status, but they will also double-check your credit score in the days leading up to your closing. For this reason, it is best to avoid other large purchases days before your home closing. Why? Because large purchases on credit – say new furniture loans, large credit card purchases at Ikea for the new home, or even a new car – can affect your credit. And if there is a big enough swing in your credit score, your mortgage rates may change.

Mistake #3: Asking for Last Minute Concessions from the Seller

Unless you saw some major issues during your final walkthrough, closing day is not the day to ask the seller for new concessions such as fixing something in the home or replacing the fence. These are all things that should have been settled during the negotiations – not when closing on your Flower Mound home.

Looking for the best realtor in Flower Mound to assist you in buying the home of your dreams? Give Jeff Brand & Associates a call today! We are the real estate experts in Flower Mound, Grapevine, Lantana, Highland Village, Argyle, Lewisville, Castle Hills, and the surrounding areas and want to help you avoid these common mistakes buyers make.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Downsizing Your Home

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

If the kids have moved out and your lifestyle is changing, it might make sense to downsize your home and start reaping the benefits today. Start the process by thinking through these questions and what downsizing would look like for you:

 

What Does My Lifestyle Look Like Now – and in the Future?

The first thing to consider is the lifestyle you want to lead down the road. Now that you are entering a new phase in your life, are you done with home maintenance and looking for something maintenance free? Does a city or country lifestyle appeal to you? Would you want a second vacation home? Will you spend more time traveling than at your home?

Answering these questions helps give you a better understanding of what type of house you should buy. Many clients who downsize find that they are able to take the proceeds on their home and put it toward down payments on two homes: a smaller home in North Texas and a vacation home to enjoy with family and friends.

 

Am I Financially Ready for Retirement?

If you feel your retirement savings is a little lower than you’d like, downsizing now may help make up for lost time. Financial expert Dave Ramsey makes the point that if you cut your mortgage payment by $500 a month and decided to put that $500 in the bank each month, you’d be looking at an additional $1-1.6 million dollars in 30 years time!

How Do I Know How Much Equity I Have in my Home?

When determining what you want to do with the extra money from downsizing, the first question is generally, “how much equity do I have in my house, anyway?” Jeff Brand & Associates can help! Visit our website and fill out the simple Home Evaluation Tool. Someone at our office we get back to quickly with the fair market value of your home, giving you the knowledge you need to make the best decision possible!

If you’re considering downsizing your Flower Mound home, give Jeff Brand & Associates a call today and let us help you through the process!

Lumber Prices are Soaring: What It Means to Home Prices

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

As you well know, the housing market in Dallas-Fort Worth – and even most parts of the United States – is booming. Homes are selling fast, and the prices are rising every year. We’ve seen a steady increase in home prices with little end in sight.

And here’s yet another factor to consider: lumber prices.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports that the new home market has been very strong, with builders having a hard time keeping up with demand in hot markets like Flower Mound, Plano, Allen, Frisco, and other Dallas suburbs.

But just recently, we’re not only seeing a shortage in new homes available because demand can’t keep up, but we’re also seeing a shortage in lumber.

And with a shortage in lumber, comes higher home prices.

Economists predict that these rising lumber prices will be passed on to the homebuyer, causing further price increases to an already elevated market. Nearly half the builders in a May NAHB survey reported issues getting enough lumber for their current home building projects. These shortages are comparable to what was seen during the building boom of ’06-’08.

Another reason for the increase in lumber prices? A proposed 24% tariff on lumber from Canada by the Trump administration. While not yet in place, a tariff of this magnitude could further raise prices here in the United States as supply weakens even more. Builders are reporting the possibility of a tariff is already affecting prices and compounding the issue.

Jeff Brand & Associates is your real estate expert in Flower Mound, Lewisville, Highland Village, and Lantana. We have a pulse on what’s going on here, in the surrounding communities, and nationwide. If you’re ready to buy or sell a home, trust Jeff Brand for knowledge and experience that will get you the house of your dreams!

Will Lochlan of Argyle be the Next Neighborhood in Argyle, Texas?

posted by: Jeff Brand in Blog

The Town of Argyle has announced that there will be a meeting on Wednesday, July 19, to discuss the possibility of yet another new construction neighborhood in Argyle: Lochlan of Argyle.

The meeting, set to start at 6pm in the community room of Argyle Town Hall, will be an opportunity for the real estate delveloper propsing the plan to answer any questions about the proposal and hear the concerns of town residents about the project.

From what we know so far, Lochlan of Argyle will be at the northeast corner of FM 407 and Highway 35W and is proposed as a mixed use development comprised of the following:

 

  • 700 Residential Homes: A vast majority of the plan calls for homes, ranging in size from patio homes to larger homesites. Overall though, expect these homes to be low density on smaller lots, while traditional Argyle homes with acreage surround the development and create balance.
  • Retail and Dining: Commercial development is being slated for the far western side of the property closest to 35W. Properties will vary in size from 1,800 square feet to over 50,000 square feet.
  • Parks & Trails: The property will harness the natural beauty of Argyle by incorporating parks, trails, and walking paths throughout the 333-acre development. The goal is to create an atmosphere where residents can enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings, all while being within walking distance to great restaurants and retail.
  • Amenity Center: Expect the amenity center to encompass a pool, clubhouse, community gathering spaces, a fitness center, and more.

Lochlan of Argyle: Proposed Site Plan Posted to Town of Argyle website this week.

The property is being proposed by Terra Manna, the same developer that brought you Waterbrook of Argyle (currently in progress and approved by the Town of Argyle last year) and Canyon Falls in Flower Mound.

Ready to find a new home for sale in Argyle, Texas? Want to learn more about Lochlan of Argyle? Jeff Brand & Associates can help! Give us a call today to being your home search with the best realtors in Argyle!