DFW

HomeCity's blog articles that are relevant to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

home improvements that add property value

When preparing to sell your home, or simply trying to give it a facelift, it’s common to wonder what updates will provide the most return on investment. Which improvements or additions will add to your home's property value and equity? After all, if you’re going to put in the money to improve your home, you will want to know that your efforts could provide a return in the long run.

It’s smart to be thinking about the future equity of your home, and these are questions our agents here at HomeCity get asked a lot. There is no one, go to upgrade that will work in every situation and with every budget. However, here are some of our top suggestions – straight from the experts themselves!

Upgrade the kitchen and bathrooms. Remodeling the kitchen and

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Written By: Katie Bassett

 homeowners association fees

Gated communities with sparkling swimming pools and band new gym equipment. Walking trails, playscapes, and community events. Amenities like these are desired by many and found in condominiums, townhomes or planned developments across the country. While services vary based on where you live, one thing will be forever present if you are looking for a community home – a homeowner association (HOA) fee. A monthly or annual payment in return for the upkeep of a property, the HOA fee might cover some of the finer things in life like an exotic landscaping, a clean pool or a new gym.

Conflicting opinions run rampant regarding HOA fees, but trends over the past decade indicate a steady incline, which is alarming to everyone

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advice from a real estate tax expert

It’s tax time again, which means that most people are gathering their documentation and counting their deductions. However, many people, homeowners, and investment property owners especially, don’t realize that they could be saving much more money than they are currently. Property owners are afforded all sorts of tax breaks and incentives that can sometimes be overlooked by those who are not 'in the know.' In many cases, employing the help of a CPA rather than doing your taxes yourself can garner a much larger tax return. We caught up with Brandon Hall from The Real Estate CPA to learn a little bit more about homeowner tax advantages, investor tax incentives, and why employing a CPA is a smart move. 

 

Now, you might be wondering, why are there

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2016 was a roller coaster of a year, and 2017 is likely to have some surprises in store as well. There are already changes being felt since Donald Trump won the presidential election, and while this change is unlikely to alter the fundamentals of real estate in the US, we expect there will be more. 

There has already been a slight jump in mortgage rates, although many predictions don’t see them rising above five percent. Even so, that increase in percentage points could mean the difference between being able to afford a home and not – especially for millennials and first-time home buyers. Supreme Lending’s John McClellan, in his 2017 Mortgage Forecast, showed how even a couple mortgage points could add hundreds to a monthly payment.

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It’s that time of year again! Time for new homeowners to file for their homestead exemption! If you bought a home in Texas in 2016, you have until April 30th to file for a residential homestead exemption. A homestead exemption refers to exemptions from property tax that homeowners can claim. Homestead exemptions remove part of your home’s value from taxation, so they lower your taxes. For example, if your home is appraised at $35,000, and you qualify for a $15,000 exemption, you will pay taxes on the home as if it was worth only $20,000.

As a homeowner, you may apply for a homestead exemption on your principal residence ONLY. This means the home's owner must live at the home as of January 1st of the tax year, and be an individual (not a corporation or

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dallas housing market stats december 2016

Most people who live in the DFW area know that the North Texas real estate market was hot in 2016. With home sales breaking records, up 13.5 percent from the year prior, this was not your typical November. What you might not know, however, is that several North Texas areas topped Realtor.com’s list of most searched zip codes this year. In fact, every single one of the top ten searched zip codes were in Texas! 

While the very top four searched were in the Waco area (blame the hit cable TV show Fixer Upper for that), the rest were in the DFW Area. Carrollton, Hurst, Bedford, Plano, Dallas, and Arlington rounded out the list, and we can’t say we’re surprised. North Texas Real Estate Information Systems (NTREIS) recently released their latest market

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New Years Eve in Dallas
Last year DFW was voted one of the worst places to spend New Year's Eve by WalletHub, but we are confident this year’s offerings will redeem us. There’s something for everyone with events ranging from black tie affairs to comic conventions and comedy shows to drink specials and dive bars. Whether you want to splurge on a fancy night out or simply drink and say sayonara to 2016, we’ve picked some of our favorite event offerings for New Year's Eve in Dallas.  


1. Lights All Night: For those of you that are into Electronic Dance Music, Lights All Night has a lineup that is sure to please. In its sixth year, promoters stacked the bill with favorites like Above&Beyond, Deadmau5, RL Grime, and Zedd. The two-night electronic festival attracts around 40,000

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Market conditions have remained predictable in 2016, with not a whole lot changing since the year began. Low unemployment levels, as well as low mortgage rates, have kept the market active despite a lack of homes on the market. However, lack of inventory has been one of the major factors inhibiting market growth. Due to the growing popularity of the DFW area, it doesn’t look like it will rise anytime soon. 

North Texas Real Estate Information Systems (NTREIS) recently released their latest market statistics (October stats released in November) that backed up this prediction. New listings were down 0.3 percent in the DFW area, sitting at 10,610. Inventory shrank 8.9 percent to 24,545 homes for sale. Closed sales were down 2.7 percent in October 2016

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Home prices continued to climb last quarter to levels not seen since late 2006. Throughout all of this, however, home sales are remaining level and affordability hasn’t suffered too much - thanks to lower mortgage rates. According to TheMortgageReports.com, “Last quarter, more than six in 10 U.S. homes were ‘affordable’ to households earning the national median income, assuming that household used a 30-year conventional mortgage to finance the home, made a modest down payment on the property, and carried good credit scores.”

However, some sources are warning that homes may become too expensive for many first time home buyers as time goes on. Due to unexpected election results, mortgage rates are rising to new 7-month highs, and economists fear they

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food trucks in dallas 2016

Autumn is here, and the weather is starting to chill. It’s finally cool enough to venture outside without melting in the double-digit heat as you desperately search for the nearest ice cream truck. Ok, that was a bit dramatic, but in all seriousness, it’s a great time to get outside and discover some of the parks and outdoor eateries the Dallas/Fort Worth area has to offer. 

While favorites like Cool Haus, Bobadiction, and Happy Camper are everyone’s go-to summer trucks, but there are several options that we think would be best enjoyed during a winter outing. During the fall and winter months, most people want warm, hearty, savory fare that feels homemade – but better. Below are some of our favorite spots to hit when we want comfort food served up

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