How Earnest Are You?

by plano 13. April 2016 17:34
"If I tell you it's going to rain, you can put the buckets on the porch." If you grew up in the south, you made have heard this expression when a person is testifying to the veracity of his word. If you know a person and/or their reputation, you know whether you can trust their word or not.

However, with a stranger such as a buyer, the seller doesn't know whether they'll live up to the terms of the contract or not. Buyers submit earnest money along with a contract to demonstrate their commitment to the terms of the offer.

The more earnest money that the buyer deposits indicates to the seller a higher level of commitment to the contract. Except for stated contingencies in the sales contract, if the buyer fails to close on the sale, the earnest money may be forfeited. Significant earnest money makes the seller feels more secure that the contract will close.

There certainly are a lot of things that can dictate how much earnest money is appropriate. Local customs, price of the home and type of mortgage can all help to determine the proper amount. In some areas, it may be common for it to be 1-5 percent of the purchase price. In other areas, it might be a specific amount like $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the sales price. It really comes down to whatever the buyer and seller agree is the proper amount.

Another strategy is to put up an adequate amount initially until you get through the inspections or contingency period and then, to put up an additional amount when the contingencies have been removed.

The earnest money demonstrates the buyers' sincerity in making the offer and proceeding according to the agreement so the seller can take their home off the market and start making plans to move and give possession of their home. Ultimately, both parties want to close as anticipated according to the contract and the earnest money helps facilitate that.

Wendy Huang, MBA,SRS, GRI, CRS, IRES, e-pro, ASP, ALHS, SFR, RFC, RE/MAX Premier Group, RE/MAX Hall of Fame,
RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement ; Over 20 years' experience!
Helping Over 1000 Families Meet Their Real Estate Needs !!!
Direct: 972-365-7888
Has your home value gone up in the past 6 months? Contact Wendy for a Free INSTANT Report ! '
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Components of a Credit Score

by plano 4. April 2016 08:39

Credit scores are used by lenders to measure the credit worthiness of borrowers. While there are several different companies that offer scores, the FICO, Fair Isaacson Corporation, is the model that is used most often.

There are five key components that determine the overall score or rating. The most emphasis, 35% of the overall score, is placed on payment history which reflects whether the borrower paid on time and as agreed by the terms of the credit. Being late, missing payments or going into default would have adverse effects on this part of the score.

The second largest component, 30%, is credit utilization or the amount owed in relation to amount available. A person might have a $4,000 outstanding balance on available credit of $20,000. This would be a 20% ratio and would be considered acceptable. Owing $15,000 on $20,000 of available credit would be a 75% ratio and would negatively affect this part of the credit score. FICO says people with the best scores average around 7% credit utilization.

The length of time each account has been open and the account’s activity determines 15% of the total credit score. By having a longer credit history, the credit provider has a better indication of the borrower’s long-term financial behavior. Having an open account without activity doesn’t offer a provider much information.

New credit and types of credit each account for 10% of the total score. New credit can adversely affect a score because it is a new obligation without history of how it will affect the borrower’s ability to repay all of their liabilities. Types of credit include both revolving and installment debt. A good mixture of each can indicate less risk for lenders.

The combination of all five areas make up the total score which lenders use to determine credit worthiness. Another confusing issue is that all credit scores are not mortgage credit scores. This particular score determines not only whether the lender will make a mortgage but at what interest rate.

The best place to get your credit score if you’re planning on purchasing a home is from a trusted mortgage professional. This person will be able to suggest things to improve your score if necessary. Buying a home is one of the largest investments in most people’s lives; it is really not a do-it-yourself activity.

Wendy Huang, MBA,SRS, GRI, CRS, IRES, e-pro, ASP, ALHS, SFR, RFC, RE/MAX Premier Group,
RE/MAX Hall of Fame, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement
Over 20 years' experience!
Helping Over 1000 Families Meet Their Real Estate Needs !!!

Has your home value gone up in the past 6 months? Contact Wendy for a Free INSTANT Report ! '
tel: 972-365-7888
wendy@txfamily.com

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More Money in Your Paycheck

by plano 28. March 2016 08:02
Texas Real Estate: More Money in Your Paycheck: A homeowner’s tax savings benefit is generally realized when they file their federal income tax return after the money has been spent for th...

More Money in Your Paycheck.htm (1.61 kb)

A homeowner’s tax savings benefit is generally realized when they file their federal income tax return after the money has been spent for the interest and property taxes. Some people look forward to the refund as a means of forced savings but some people need to realize the savings during the year.

It is possible to adjust the deductions being withheld from the homeowner’s salary so they realize the benefit of the savings prior to filing their tax returns in the form of more money in their pay checks. Employees can talk to their employers about increasing their deductions stated on their W-4 form.

By increasing the exemptions or deductions, less is taken out of the check and the employee will receive more each pay period. If a person over-estimates their exemptions and therefore, underpays their income tax, they might incur interest and would have additional tax to pay when they filed their tax return.

Buyers considering this strategy should seek tax advice and discuss it with their human relations department at work. Additional information is available on the Internal Revenue Service website about Completing Form w-4 and Worksheets.

Wendy Huang, MBA,SRS, GRI, CRS, IRES, e-pro, ASP, ALHS, SFR, RFC, RE/MAX Premier Group,
RE/MAX Hall of Fame, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement ; Over 20 years' experience!
Helping Over 1000 Families Meet Their Real Estate Needs !!!
Direct: 972-365-7888 Has your home value gone up in the past 6 months? Contact Wendy for a Free INSTANT Report ! '
Plano real estate, Frisco real estate, Allen real estate, DFW real estate, Dallas real estate, McKinney real estate, Coppell real estate, Highland park real estate, TX real estate, Addison Real Estate, Allen Real Estate, Anna Real Estate, Carrollton Real Estate, Collin County Real Estate, Coppell Real Estate, Dallas Real Estate, Denton County Real Estate, Distressed Properties, Flower Mound Real Estate, Frisco Real Estate, Irving Real Estate, Lewisville Real Estate, McKinney Real Estate, Murphy Real Estate, North Dallas Real Estate, Parker Real Estate, Plano Real Estate, Prosper Real Estate, Richardson Real Estate, The Colony Real Estate, Wylie Real Estate

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Worth The Effort

by plano 14. March 2016 08:27

17bb126a-2c04-481b-881d-b2db590aabb3 (1).html (2.14 kb)



“Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible...” While Judge Learned Hand was talking about federal income taxes, it can be applied to property taxes as well.

States have a process of assessing the value of a property based on a number of things that can include size, amenities, location and what the owner paid for the property. Most states make adjustments to that value annually. Once it has been published to the owner, there is a process available for those who disagree with the value.
1.Learn the assessment process and what the filing deadlines are to apply. Since different states have different requirements, it is important to know the process in your area.
2.Obtain your assessment records – they may be available online and you can find out how your value was determined. Check for mistakes in square footage, bedrooms, amount of land, etc. Then, verify if the comparable sales in the neighborhood support their position or not. Your real estate agent can be valuable in this area.
3.Proceed to make your case from the lowest to the highest level necessary. It isn’t necessary to hire someone to represent you. Sometimes, just talking to employees at the tax assessor’s office may be enough. If not, there is a process for a hearing where you present your evidence and so does a representative from the assessor’s office. If this still doesn’t give you the remedy you want, you may need to proceed to the courts.

Challenging your assessment really isn’t an adversarial position. Their job is to assess a fair value and your job is to pay the least amount of taxes. Whether it be an employed assessor or a voluntary board, they have a job and they appreciate being treated professionally and courteously.

Keep this last thing in mind: the people you’re presenting your case to have the ability to lower your taxes.

Wendy Huang, MBA,SRS, GRI, CRS, IRES, e-pro, ASP, ALHS, SFR, RFC, RE/MAX Premier Group,
RE/MAX Hall of Fame, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement ; Over 20 years' experience!
Helping Over 1000 Families Meet Their Real Estate Needs !!!
Direct: 972-365-7888 Has your home value gone up in the past 6 months? Contact Wendy for a Free INSTANT Report ! '
Plano real estate, Frisco real estate, Allen real estate, DFW real estate, Dallas real estate, McKinney real estate, Coppell real estate, Highland park real estate, TX real estate, Addison Real Estate, Allen Real Estate, Anna Real Estate, Carrollton Real Estate, Collin County Real Estate, Coppell Real Estate, Dallas Real Estate, Denton County Real Estate, Distressed Properties, Flower Mound Real Estate, Frisco Real Estate, Irving Real Estate, Lewisville Real Estate, McKinney Real Estate, Murphy Real Estate, North Dallas Real Estate, Parker Real Estate, Plano Real Estate, Prosper Real Estate, Richardson Real Estate, The Colony Real Estate, Wylie Real Estate

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Digital Showings

by plano 1. March 2016 05:53
Ask any real estate professional if they have sold a house without the buyer having physically seen it and they’ll most likely tell you they have. While it may have been an unconventional sale, it is more prevalent today than it was twenty or even ten years ago.

The digital world of the Internet has changed the process of buying a home. It is evolving as people have become more comfortable with the reliability of the information available.

Getting in a car and driving around all day looking at homes that may or may not fit your needs or wants is not productive for buyers or the agents.

The quality and the quantity of pictures has dramatically improved in the last twenty years. Buyers and agents alike can view a property online and get a fairly accurate idea of the condition and layout of home and whether it warrants a physical visit. Videos can “walk” you through the house to be able to assess if the floorplan will work for you.

The 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reports 89% of all buyers cited an online website as an information source with real estate agents being a close second at 87%. 42% of all buyers looked online for properties for sale as the first step taken during the home buying process.

Interestingly, 87% of buyers in 2015 purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker compared to only 68% in 2001. The agent services deemed most valuable to buyers were help finding the right home to purchase (53%) and help to negotiate the terms of sale (12%) and the price (11%).

A challenge for sellers is to understand that the digital showings are a critical part of today’s process. They save time and money for both buyers and are convenient because they can be done at any time of day and from anywhere. The difficulty is the seller’s feelings of inactivity when they believe their home is being shown frequently.

Agents can share statistics that show a variety of digital activity like number of unique visitors, length of time spent on the listing site as well as the other features that were accessed. 65% of all buyers walked through the home they purchased after they viewed it online.


Wendy Huang, MBA,SRS, GRI, CRS, IRES, e-pro, ASP, ALHS, SFR, RFC, RE/MAX Premier Group,

RE/MAX Hall of Fame, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement ; Over 20 years' experience!
Helping Over 1000 Families Meet Their Real Estate Needs !!!
Direct: 972-365-7888
Has your home value gone up in the past 6 months? Contact Wendy 972-365-7888 for a Free INSTANT Report ! '
Plano real estate, Frisco real estate, Allen real estate, DFW real estate, Dallas real estate, McKinney real estate, Coppell real estate, Highland park real estate, TX real estate, Addison Real Estate, Allen Real Estate, Anna Real Estate, Carrollton Real Estate, Collin County Real Estate, Coppell Real Estate, Dallas Real Estate, Denton County Real Estate, Distressed Properties, Flower Mound Real Estate, Frisco Real Estate, Irving Real Estate, Lewisville Real Estate, McKinney Real Estate, Murphy Real Estate, North Dallas Real Estate, Parker Real Estate, Plano Real Estate, Prosper Real Estate, Richardson Real Estate, The Colony Real Estate, Wylie Real Estate

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Pay Yourself First

by plano 22. February 2016 12:06
The principle to pay yourself first has been referred to as the Golden Rule of Personal Finance.

The concept is that one of the first checks you write each month is for your own savings. The rationale is that if there is no money left after a person pays their bills, there is nothing to contribute to savings or investments that month. pay yourself first -

By establishing a priority to save, a person realizes that the balance of their monthly income must cover living expenses and other discretionary spending. This is a much different strategy than saving what is left over from monthly expenses and other spending.

Many financial experts have likened an amortizing mortgage to a forced savings account because a portion of each payment is applied to the reduction of the principal amount owed. Some homeowners have taken that concept further with a shorter term mortgage to build equity faster.

In the example below, a $250,000 mortgage at 4% interest is compared with two different terms. The 30 year mortgage would have payments of $1,193.54 each month with the first payment having $360.20 being applied to the principal. Each payment would have an increasingly larger amount applied to the principal.

The 15 year mortgage would have payments of $1,849.22 each month with the first payment having $1,015.89 being applied to the principal. The $665.68 difference in payments goes toward reducing the loan amount and acts like a forced savings.

A homeowner might opt for the longer term and intend to put the difference in the two payments in a bank savings account each month or make an additional principal contribution to pay the mortgage down. However, as any person responsible for paying household bills knows, there will always be something that comes up that could hijack your intentions.

By committing to the shorter term mortgage, a borrower is committing to make the higher payment each month and the benefit is that it will reduce your principal balance faster.


Wendy Huang, MBA,SRS, GRI, CRS, IRES, e-pro, ASP, ALHS, SFR, RFC, RE/MAX Premier Group,

RE/MAX Hall of Fame, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement ; Over 20 years' experience!
Helping Over 1000 Families Meet Their Real Estate Needs !!!
Direct: 972-365-7888
Has your home value gone up in the past 6 months? Contact Wendy 972-365-7888 for a Free INSTANT Report ! '
Plano real estate, Frisco real estate, Allen real estate, DFW real estate, Dallas real estate, McKinney real estate, Coppell real estate, Highland park real estate, TX real estate, Addison Real Estate, Allen Real Estate, Anna Real Estate, Carrollton Real Estate, Collin County Real Estate, Coppell Real Estate, Dallas Real Estate, Denton County Real Estate, Distressed Properties, Flower Mound Real Estate, Frisco Real Estate, Irving Real Estate, Lewisville Real Estate, McKinney Real Estate, Murphy Real Estate, North Dallas Real Estate, Parker Real Estate, Plano Real Estate, Prosper Real Estate, Richardson Real Estate, The Colony Real Estate, Wylie Real Estate

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Pay Yourself First

by plano 22. February 2016 12:04

Pay Yourself First.htm (2.50 kb)
Wendy Huang, MBA,SRS, GRI, CRS, IRES, e-pro, ASP, ALHS, SFR, RFC, RE/MAX Premier Group,

RE/MAX Hall of Fame, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement ; Over 20 years' experience!
Helping Over 1000 Families Meet Their Real Estate Needs !!!
Direct: 972-365-7888
Has your home value gone up in the past 6 months? Contact Wendy 972-365-7888 for a Free INSTANT Report ! '
Plano real estate, Frisco real estate, Allen real estate, DFW real estate, Dallas real estate, McKinney real estate, Coppell real estate, Highland park real estate, TX real estate, Addison Real Estate, Allen Real Estate, Anna Real Estate, Carrollton Real Estate, Collin County Real Estate, Coppell Real Estate, Dallas Real Estate, Denton County Real Estate, Distressed Properties, Flower Mound Real Estate, Frisco Real Estate, Irving Real Estate, Lewisville Real Estate, McKinney Real Estate, Murphy Real Estate, North Dallas Real Estate, Parker Real Estate, Plano Real Estate, Prosper Real Estate, Richardson Real Estate, The Colony Real Estate, Wylie Real Estate

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Remember to get your annual credit report!

by plano 1. February 2016 04:51
You are probably aware that Federal law entitles you to a free copy of your credit report annually by each of the three credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. By regularly looking at each of these reports, you can determine if there are any errors on them and be aware of your credit worthiness.
Instead of ordering all three at the same time, experts recommend that you stagger them throughout the year. This will let you look at your credit at three different times during the year instead of only once a year.32619499_s-300.jpg
An easy way make this happens on a timely basis is to set a recurring appointment on your digital calendar whether it is on your phone, your email program or a contact manager. Make the appointment to order a free credit report from www.AnnualCreditReport.com a recurring event to take place every four months. You’ll order one report from each of three companies once a year.
You can record that date and the bureau you ordered the last report in the appointment’s note section so that you’ll have a history and won’t try to order the same report twice in one year.
This isn’t just for people who are trying to clean-up their credit. This procedure allows you to monitor your credit to be sure that your report is accurate. You might even discover that someone is illegally using your good credit.
Recurring Appt.png
Wendy Huang, MBA,SRS, GRI, CRS, IRES, e-pro, ASP, ALHS, SFR, RFC, RE/MAX Premier Group, RE/MAX Hall of Fame,
RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement ; Over 20 years' experience!
Helping Over 1000 Families Meet Their Real Estate Needs !!!
Direct: 972-365-7888 
Plano real estate, Frisco real estate, Allen real estate, DFW real estate, Dallas real estate, McKinney real estate, Coppell real estate, Highland park real estate, TX real estate

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What's that smell?

by plano 1. February 2016 04:50
Homeowners may be totally unaware that their home has an unpleasant odor. It can be unrecognizable to them but immediately apparent to visitors on entering the home. smell - 300.jpg
Candles, aerosol spray or even chocolate chip cookies can’t get rid of the smell. To eliminate the odor, the source of the smell first has to be removed and then, the affected areas can be treated.

Cigarette smoke is particularly offensive to people.  It is very common for buyers to refuse to even consider looking at a home where smoking is allowed. This odor permeates the air in a home and soaks into carpets, furniture, drapes, clothing and even the building materials like drywall and cabinets.

Pets may be considered part of the family but it is still a problem when the animals are not adequately house-broken. Urine isn’t just absorbed by the carpet but also the padding and in some cases, the subflooring. Sometimes, walls and floors have to be treated and sealed before painting and new floor covering can be installed.

If a casual friend doesn’t want to hurt your feelings about the jeans you’re wearing, you can bet the ranch that they won’t tell you about the odors in your home. You’ll need to rely on your closest friends to tell you the truth or maybe your mother-in-law.

Wendy Huang, MBA,SRS, GRI, CRS, IRES, e-pro, ASP, ALHS, SFR, RFC, RE/MAX Premier Group, RE/MAX Hall of Fame,
RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement ; Over 20 years' experience!
Helping Over 1000 Families Meet Their Real Estate Needs !!!
Direct: 972-365-7888 
Has your home value gone up in the past 6 months? Click  here for a Free INSTANT Report ! '
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Is Understanding Costing You Money?

by plano 1. February 2016 04:44


People tend to fear what they don’t understand. Homeowners understand fixed rate mortgages and remember the horror stories of people who lost their homes because they could no longer afford them when their adjustable rate mortgages went up.
Interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages have be so low for enough years, that borrowers haven’t even given much consideration to an adjustable rate mortgage. Changes in the way adjustable rate mortgages are now made make them much safer for borrowers who understand not only how they work but know they’ll only be in the home for a limited period of time.
Adjustable rate mortgages can go up or down according to an index that the lender has no control. The amount that can be adjusted is limited by caps for each period and for the life of the loan. While there are different periods for ARMs, the most popular lock the first period for five to seven years and then, can adjust annually after that.
One quick and easy way to determine whether an adjustable may be a viable alternative to a fixed would be to determine the maximum payment adjustments possible to find out when the savings from the early years are exhausted which would be the breakeven point. If the borrower is certain they’ll move prior to that date, the ARM will definitely provide a lower cost of housing.
The breakeven point for a $250,000 mortgage would be 8 years 3 months comparing a 2.9% 5/1 adjustable-rate with 1 and 5 caps to a 3.8% fixed-rate mortgage. In the initial five-year period, the payments on the ARM would be $124.32 lower and the unpaid balance would be $3,522 less than the fixed-rate to make a total savings of $10,981.
Whether you’re buying or refinancing, get some good advice from a trusted lending professional about the adjustable-rate alternative. If you’re only going to be in the home a short time after the mortgage is made and your tolerance for risk allows you to feel comfortable, the ARM may be the best choice for you. Check out this ARM Comparison to use your own numbers.
Wendy Huang, MBA,SRS, GRI, CRS, IRES, e-pro, ASP, ALHS, SFR, RFC, RE/MAX Premier Group, RE/MAX Hall of Fame, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement ; Over 20 years' experience!
Helping Over 1000 Families Meet Their Real Estate Needs !!!
Direct: 972-365-7888
Has your home value gone up in the past 6 months? text 972-365-7888 for a Free INSTANT Report ! '

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