Category Archives: Home Improvments

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How your Texas REALTOR® can keep you from making rookie homebuyer mistakes

Coldwell Banker Sold Sign - Copy

Picture a home with a shady backyard overflowing with blooming flowers, chirping birds, and a spacious deck to enjoy it all. That was the scene my husband and I stepped into during our first property tour with our Texas REALTOR®. We were smitten first-time buyers – until our Texas REALTOR® pointed out just how much water this meticulously landscaped backyard would need … during a drought.

“Do you like gardening?” she asked. Dozens of plants that had wilted on my watch came to mind as she estimated the (expensive) investment the homeowners had made in their gorgeous garden.

The benefit of having an expert on our side

Home tours with our Texas REALTOR® were a stark contrast to our solo open-house visits just a weekend before. That landscaped charmer would’ve stayed on our favorites list because no one was asking us the tough questions. Or at least in this instance, the logical one.

This is just one of the many ways our Texas REALTOR® keeps us first-time homebuyers focused as we look at potential properties. We felt totally clueless when it was just the two of us visiting open houses. Now that we’re working with an experienced Texas REALTOR®, we’re much more at ease with the process. And we like it when she makes us think hard about what we’re looking for.

Don’t waste your time on a solo home search

I like to think I’m pretty good at research, and maybe you are, too. But when it comes to being a first-time homebuyer, the best resource you can have is a Texas REALTOR®. She can point out aspects of homeownership that you won’t find online. And in my case, a gentle reminder that a black thumb can be very expensive.

Source:

Summer Mandell | Consumer columnist

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How to Know if a Neighborhood is Right for You

How to Know if a Neighborhood is Right for You.

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Great news if you’re thinking of selling your home: Almost every area in Texas is a seller’s market right now.

That’s certainly the case on my street, where a house recently attracted six offers within 24 hours of the For Sale sign going up. (Four of the offers were above asking price.)

Another house on my street that hit the market last week took all of three days to garner a successful offer.

If you’re lucky enough to live in a similar selling environment, finding a buyer may not be too difficult. Does that mean you should try to sell your home on your own? I wouldn’t. Here are three reasons why:

Setting the right price is crucial. Do you know how much to ask for your home? Making a pricing mistake can cost you a lot of money. But a Texas REALTOR® knows what’s going in your market. He or she can help you analyze the latest data and the specifics of your house to arrive at a price that maximizes your profit.

There’s more to consider than money. How should you handle the termination option? Is the buyer’s earnest money enough? What if the buyer wants to make buying your home contingent on selling her existing home? And if you do get multiple offers, how do you respond to make sure you obtain the highest price possible and the most attractive overall deal?

Getting a buyer is not the same as selling your house. Accepting an offer is only the beginning. Real estate transactions can fall apart for a variety of reasons: financing difficulty, problems discovered during inspections, missed deadlines, contentious follow-up negotiations … even hurt feelings or cold feet. A Texas REALTOR® has experience dealing with potential pitfalls, though, and knows how to minimize problems on the way to a successful closing.

Source:

Marty Kramer | Consumer columnist http://www.texasrealestate.com

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Must See Bartonville, Texas Home For Sale!


Acreage, Basement, Pond & More for this Bartonville, Texas Home For Sale!


Overview
Maps
Photos
Description

$339,900
Single Family Home
Main Features
4 Bedrooms
4 Bathrooms
1 Unit
Interior: 3,522 sqft
Lot: 2.13 acre(s)
Location
690 Porter Road
Bartonville, TX 76226
USA
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Jim Striegel

Jim Striegel

(972) 899.0634
JStriegel@Realtor.com
http://www.JimStriegel.com

   

Listed by: JIm Striegel Team, Real Estate Connections

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Amazing Toll Brothers Home For Sale In Flower Mound, Texas!


Amazing Toll Brothers Home For Sale In Flower Mound, Texas!


Overview
Maps
Photos
Description
Neighborhood
Market Stats

$474,000
Single Family Home
Main Features
3 Bedrooms
4 Bathrooms
1 Unit
Interior: 4,304 sqft
Lot: 0.49 acre(s)
Location
5317 Townsend Drive
Flower Mound, TX 75028
USA
To get updates on open home dates and other property events, please click the “Like” button below:


Jim Striegel

Jim Striegel

(972) 899.0634
JStriegel@Realtor.com
http://www.JimStriegel.com

   

Listed by: Jim Striegel Team, Real Estate Connections

Our recent listings

Subscribe to our listing feed

Nearby properties for sale

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Water Heating Savings!

solar-hot-water-01

Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home.
It typically accounts for about 16% of your utility bill. There are four ways to cut your water heating bills: use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, insulate your water heater, or buy a new, more efficient water heater.

A family of four, each showering for 5 minutes a day, uses 700 gallons of water a week; this is enough for a 3-year supply of drinking water for one person. You can cut that amount in half simply by using low flow aerating shower heads and faucets.

Water Heating Tips

* Install aerating, low-flow faucets and shower heads.

* Repair leaky faucets promptly; a leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period of time.

* Lower the thermostat on your water heater; water heaters sometimes come from the factory with high temperature settings, but a setting of 120°F provides comfortable hot water for most uses. And, today’s Texas Standards of Practice states that water heated over 120°F is a SAFETY HAZARD

* Take more showers than baths. Bathing uses the most hot water in the average household. You use 15-25 gallons of hot water for a bath, but less than 10 gallons during a 5-minute shower.

* Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank, but be careful not to cover the thermostat. Follow themanufacturer’s recommendations.

* Insulate your natural gas or oil hot water storage tank, but be careful not to cover the water heater’s top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations; when in doubt, get professional help.

* Insulate the first 6 feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater.

* If you are in the market for a new dishwasher or clothes washer, consider buying an efficient, water-saving model to reduce hot water use. (Or air dry or hand dry dishes)

* Install heat traps on the hot and cold pipes at the water heater to prevent heat loss. Some new water heaters have built-in heat traps.

* Drain a quart of water from your water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater. The type of water tank you have determines the steps to take, so follow the manufacturer’s advice.

Long-Term Savings Tips

* Buy a new energy-efficient water heater. While it may cost more initially than a standard water heater, the energy savings will continue during the lifetime of the appliance. If your current water heater is electric, consider switching to a natural gas water heater if gas is available.

* Consider installing a drain water waste heat recovery system. A recent DOE study showed energy savings of 25% to about 30% for water heating using such a system.

* Consider demand or tankless water heaters. Researchers have found savings can be as much as 34% compared with a standard electric storage tank water heater.

If you heat water with electricity, have high electric rates, and have an unshaded, south-facing location (such as a roof) on your property, consider installing a solar water heater. The solar units are environmentally friendly and can now be installed on your roof to blend with the architecture of your house. More than 1.5 million homes and businesses in the United States have invested in solar water heating systems, and surveys indicate over 94% of these customers consider the systems a good investment. Solar water heating systems are also good for the environment. Solar water heaters avoid the harmful greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity production. During a 20- year period, one solar water heater can avoid over 50 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. When shopping for a solar water heater, look for systems certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation.

Source: ShelmanHomeInspection.com

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