Don’t forget end of the year gifts for your child’s Teacher!

summer photo

Parents the school year is almost over in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area.  Don’t forget to give your child’s teacher a nice gift for all the work they did for your child this school term.  A little appreciation for the person who cares for your child all day goes a long way!!

And, of course I have teacher gift ideas for you.

1.  A thank you card written/drawn by your child.

2.  Gift cards to their favorite restaurant/store  <<<Remember, no amount is too small.  A $5 gift card to Subway is lunch!

3.  Flowers

4.  Personalized cup/coffee mug

5.  Their favorite thing… (Ask your child, you’ll be surprised the things they know about their teacher!)

6.  Personal school supplies for next year. Ex. sticky notes, pens, sharpies, etc.

7.  A craft made by your child or you if you’re crafty.

8.  Or something your child personally picks out for them.  (My son picked out a cowboys rubber ducky, cowboys necklace and a dancing solar light plant. He was so proud to give her the gift and she loved it!)

 

It doesn’t have to be extravagant.  Just something that let’s them know they are appreciated.  I know it gets tricky in the higher grades when they have multiple teachers.  I would go with thank you cards for each signed by my child.  And, maybe a gift for their fav if they want.

Just little ole’ me and all of my ideas!!

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Fun summer ideas for the kids!

Well school is almost out for most of the kids in the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area soon.  If you are anything like me, you haven’t really made any big plans besides summer camp, family vacation…. okay that’s as far as I have gotten.  So, I decided to come up with fun summer activities for the kids and I thought I would share.

 

1.  Local recreational parks with pools.   I know in the Arlington area they have cool water parks that cost a lot less than the big water parks, so you can take them more often.

2.  Then of course there is the Zoo.  My kids received free tickets to the  Dallas zoo through their school.  So, we will definitely be checking out the new Anteater.  I would put it in the not to pricey category if you can make it out without stopping in the gift shop.<<< Good luck with that!

3.  Playgrounds.  Though this may not seem fun to us.  Face it, kids will stay out there for hours if we let them.  Just take your bug spray and a good book and let them have at it.  Plus, it’s FREE and a bunch of different ones all around!!

4.  Skating.  Yes, skating rinks do still exist.  They have some really good ones out there too.   It’s a great indoor activity when you need a break from the heat.  I even join in on the fun to get my exercise in.  Not to pricey.

5.  Morning Movie.  A lot of the movie theaters do an early movie for half the price of a regular ticket, which puts it in the not so pricey category.  If you are going at the regular times, I move this up to the pricey category.  I put it in the go broke category if you hit the concession stand!

6.  Library.  The local libraries have summer programs for children to encourage them to read throughout the summer.  It’s a freebie!

7.  Dallas Aquarium.  We went with the school on a field trip and I must say we really enjoyed it.  It’s not one of those one time visit aquariums.  It’s a little pricey though.

8.  Perot Museum of Nature and Science.  Love, love this place!  A little advice in terms of pricing.  I have a family of 4 so we opted to purchase the membership for the year.  It pretty much pays for itself after the first visit.  And, you likely won’t get everything in on the first visit unless you have patient children.  Another member benefit are their member hours.  It allows you in the museum an hour or two before it opens to the public. ( A real advantage!)  We purchased this last summer and have definitely gotten our monies worth.  My son played hookie from school on his birthday and chose the Perot Museum as his birthday outing.  Without the membership I would put it in the pricey category, but well worth the price for a great fun educational experience.

9.  Backyard camping!  This is a fun way to brave the outdoors!  I make a whole day of it, by allowing them to plan their menu, entertainment, where they will pitch the tent and so on.  They really get into it and love it.

10.  Neighborhood exploring.  We have moved around the country quite a bit, so we have always been into learning  about  where we live.  You would be amazed at some of the historical facts about your very own neighborhood.  Example, when we lived in Dandridge, TN we were able to see where they brought in the slaves and where they were kept under (what is now a cafe) ground until they were sold.  And, this was not a tourist attraction or on their recommended sites to see list.  We learned this over milk shakes at one of the states oldest Diners, just talking to people in the community who were glad to share their knowledge.  It was a very educational and humbling experience.   Oh and this is FREE!!

 

These are few easy ideas for daily activities to get them out of the house and active.  If you have any others, be sure to list them in the comments and add price category.  I list more ideas as they pop into my brain!

Happy summer fun!!

Take some time to laugh! Funny Real Estate Signs!!

re signs 1

re signs 7

re signs 2

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Rent Chris Bosh’s Mansion for only $45,000 a month! Check out the inside!

Chris Bosh is renting out his Palisades, CA mansion and it is gorgeous!

The 10,755 sq. ft. home features:

6 Bedrooms
8 Bathrooms
Billiard’s Room
Home Theater
Backyard tropical oasis
Panoramic views and so much more!

Chris Bosh front

 

Chris Bosh Mansion

 

chris bosh living room

 

chris bosh gameroom<< Billiards Room

 

chris bosh kitchen<< Kitchen

chris bosh master<< Master Bedroom

 

chris bosh oasis<< Backyard pools, spas, and panoramic views!

 

So what do you think?  Would you pay $45,000 a month to live here?

What happens when you take the kids house hunting!

URI Unicórnio Rosa Invisivel

URI Unicórnio Rosa Invisivel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was showing houses with my clients who brought their two small children along, a 4 year-old girl and a 8 month-old son.  They were concerned that the 4 year-old would get bored and derail the entire house hunting process.  But, much to their surprise she was extremely well behaved.  She followed closely behind in each house and pretty much did not make a pip.  Because they had small children, I only showed them their three top pick houses and headed back to the office to discuss possibly putting an offer on one they really liked.

When we got back to the office they let me smell on their cute little baby and he did not disappoint.  He smelled like a mixture of baby lotion, baby powder and an extra hint of that natural baby sweetness!  Oops, sorry back to the story.

So, the little girl is spinning around and around and around, in the office chair still in her own little world.   Her Mom asked her “Sweetie which house did you like best?”  The little girl waited for her chair to make a full stop in front of her Mother and replied excitedly  “The house with the Unicorn!”  The sweet smelling baby on my lap cooed on cue, like he totally agreed with her choice.  I looked at the Mom and Dad who both appeared utterly confused.  The Dad asked, “Honey which house was that, because Daddy didn’t see a unicorn in any of the houses.”  I thought maybe she had seen a toy unicorn in one of the kids room.  But, she was adamant there was an alive and breathing pink unicorn with glitter and sparkles in the backyard of the last house.  The house that just happened to be the one the parents loved.

I went with it.  If the kids wanted the house with the unicorn, the unicorn house they should have!

The poor Dad sat there trying to convince her the house had no unicorn in it.  Exhausted with the conversation the little girl finally let him in on something.  “Only kids can see unicorns, because Daddy’s are to big to ride on them!”

The Dad sat back in his chair with a smile… well I guess the unicorn house it is!

 

TRUE STORY!!

Is this a good time to sell your home?

So, I was out and about yesterday prospecting for new clients.  Doing what I love best, meeting new people and talking real estate.  So, I meet this nice couple who asked “Is this really a good time to sale?”  And I thought I would share my answer.

And that is:  “It Depends.”

I can’t say what is right for your situation.  Are we in a really good real estate market? Yes we are.  But, does that necessarily mean it’s good for you.  Let me give you a few scenarios.( This is where I start numbering!)

So, first determine your reason for selling.

1.  If you are looking to get money out of the house, contact your mortgage company to get your loan pay-off amount.  The second thing is to get a Professional Real Estate Agent/Realtor  to give you a market analysis of your home.  Or, how much your house is worth if you were to put it on the market today, based on homes that have sold in your neighborhood.  (Also, known as a CMA and this is FREE!!)  If the agent comes back with $150,000 as your listing price you will subtract your new listing price from your pay-off amount.

Recommended listing price              $150,000

Pay-off amount                                      –  80,000

Profit before fees/closing cost               70, 000

 

2.  Now if prices have not rebounded in your area this could be your scenario.  In this scenario, you would actually have to pay to get out of the house!

Recommended list price                    $100,000

Pay-off amount                                      -120,000

Loss before fees/closing cost                 -20,000

 

3.  Then there are those who just want to move on with their lives and not be tied to this God-forsaken money pit of a house!

Recommended List price                 $100,000

Pay-off/fees/closing cost                  $100,000

Break Even                                        $zero owed

 

You see it depends on your expectations that determines if this is a good time for you sell!!  Hope this helps!

Good Luck on your decision!

If you’re in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, CALL ME for your free home valuation (Listing price) or CMA (Comparative Market Analysis)!  <<Suggested list price!

Just call me we’ll figure it out!!  (972) 863-1944

House Hunting with Kids

hh with kids

 

As a Mother, I understand how difficult it can be trying to make important decisions like searching for a home, with your kids in tow.  I have a view ideas that hopefully make house hunting with your kids a little more painless.

1.  Look for a kid friendly real estate agent/Realtor.

2.Depending on their age get them involved in the house hunt.  Let them know why you are looking for a home and how it will benefit them when you find the right home. (Ex. they get their own room, a pool etc.).

2.  Give them a check list marking off what they like and dislike about each house.

3. Don’t view more than 5 houses in a day.  More than that is enough to wear on anyone’s nerves.

4.  If your kids are more active perhaps, you and your spouse can take turns viewing the home while the other stays outside with the children.

5.   Or, (This is where that kid friendly Realtor comes into play.)  your Realtor can wait outside with the children while you view the home without distraction.

6.  If you have infant to toddler aged children, make sure they are well rested and take lots of snacks!

Hopefully, this helps take some of the anxiety out of taking the kids along.  If you have other ideas, please add them in the comments section!

A funny day in real estate!

Being a real estate agent you encounter all kinds of people and can end up being the star of some pretty funny situations.  Here is one that makes me chuckle.

 

Generally when showing a property, we(the real estate agent) makes an appointment to view the property.  We take the client(s) to the property at the appointed time and show the property.  Sounds simple enough?

When I get to an occupied house or a house the owner is still living in until the house sells, I ring the doorbell to be on the safe side.

This particular day, I rang the doorbell waited a couple of seconds, no answer. So, I politely let myself in.  It was a two story house with all bedrooms upstairs.  We walked and talked loudly throughout the bottom floor and basement discussing the likes and dislikes of the house.  We get upstairs, still talking in full voice opening and closing doors, turning on and off lights the whole house viewing shebang.  We get to the master bedroom and the door is closed.  We open the door and there is a body in the bed.  We are stunned silent.  The person is not moving and in all of our silence we didn’t hear any snoring, deep sleep breathing, nothing.  My overexposure to crime T.V. shows led me to believe…

Yes, I called the police!

Hey, don’t judge me.  My clients thought the exact same thing, at the exact same moment we all realized we didn’t hear any breathing.  We hightailed it out of there tripping down the stairs.  I missed the last three steps twisting my ankle trying to run in heels.  We stood on the porch for a good ten minutes debating what to do next.  Client #1 wanted to go back into the house and check for a pulse, but didn’t want to be the person checking.  Client #2 (the sensible one) wanted to jump in our cars and pretend we were never there.  Problem.  The little blue box on the doorknob knew we were there.  So you see, we had no choice but to call the police.

Long story short.

There was no dead body in the bed.  The owner had worked a double shift and was in a dead sleep.  But, not dead to the world.

And no, my clients did not buy the house!

 

Okay, enough laughing at me.  Time to talk interest rates!

 

Tips: Things to do before listing your house!

First things first.

1.  Detach yourself emotionally from the house!  Putting an overpriced emotional price  on your house is the first way to set yourself up for a long haul trying to sell.

We understand you think your house is valued more than your neighbor down the street, because they never cut the yard.  Yes, you added granite counter tops, updated the bathrooms, and even threw in a pool.  Those upgrades help in selling your house faster, but may not necessarily translate into dollar signs.

2.  Allow a professional Real Estate Agent to perform a Comparable Market Analysis or CMA on your home to determine the current market price.  <<< NEVER EVER PAY A DIME FOR THIS!! 

* This part is very important!* >>>  Have the agent explain in detail how they came up with that price.  If they are a professional that should not be a problem and they should answer with no hesitation.  If they start hemming and hawing around the question.  Show them the door.

FYI-  Home values are based on houses sold in your surrounding area.  Hence, the reason home prices have been so low.  There has been a large market of foreclosures, which are sold well below market value.  So, although your home is worth more if your neighbor sells cheap it ultimately affects how much you can list your house for sale.    Luckily, the Texas real estate market is seeing a significant rise in home prices this year.

3.  Find out how much you owe on your house!  

You have to pay the loan back first and left overs go to you.  Which brings me to #4

4.  Determine how much you are trying to net after expenses.

It does cost money to sell your house, so keep this in mind.  Common charges would be:

A. Real estate agent commission

B.  Buyers closing cost (It is common for the sellers to help with closing cost. Though not required it helps close the deal.)  So, decide how much you are willing to contribute to their closing cost if anything.  FYI-  Closing cost can be approximately 4% of the price of the home on the buyer side.

C.  Taxes, title fees, repairs, insurance…

and a lot of other fees a real estate agent can run down for you.

Last but not least.

5.  How much time do you need to move out of your house?

The Dallas TX real estate market has picked up tremendously and we are moving into a possible sellers market(FYI- a sellers market means there are more buyers than there are sellers.  Which is why we are seeing a rise in home prices and homes being sold faster.)

So, you have to ask yourself if I listed my house today and had a buyer come in next week who wants to close in 30 days, can I make that happen.  If so, where are you going and how much time do you have to get there.

If not?  Figure it out before listing that house.   You could lose out if you are not prepared.

 

These are a few of tips I seen in my experience people don’t consider or do before selling their house.  Hope this helps!

Let me know what you think!