Tag Archives: Lantana. Texas

How To Create A Household Budget!

How To Create A Household Budget!

Step 1: Write down your total take-home monthly income.
This is the easy part! Jot down what you earn. Because many expenses are billed monthly, figuring out how much you have to spend each month is easiest for your plan.

Step 2: Write down your essential expenses. Start with fixed bills like rent, mortgage, car payment, credit card debt and insurance, then factor in other monthly costs that are always the same. These are your essential fixed expenses.

Step 3: List your essential variable expenses.
You know you’ll have these bills, but the amounts vary. Examples are your phones, utilities, food, household expenses, gasoline, medication, public transportation, shoes and clothing. You can assign an estimated amount to each based on past experience, rounding to the closest $10.

Step 4: List reasonable amounts for nonessential expenses.
This includes entertainment, eating out, hobbies and other ways you spend money on a regular basis.

Step 5: Find the extras.
Go to your current method of tracking your spending (your checkbook register, credit card statements, Quicken reports) to see what expenses you’ve left out. You’ll likely see items for car maintenance and repair, gifts, vacations, Christmas and holidays. For items that do not recur monthly, determine the annual cost, then divide by 12 to see how much you should set aside each month to anticipate that irregular expense.

Step 6: Figure out your totals.
Add up your expenses, then subtract that amount from your income. With luck you’ll come out in the black, with at least a little money left over. But if your expenses exceed your income, you’ll see a negative sum. Don’t panic—this is just the start of an ongoing process.

Step 7: See where you can cut .
If you came up short, go back to your projected monthly expenses and see what you can get rid of. Look first to your nonessential expenses. Which items can you remove altogether for a while (eating out seems like a fine target; perhaps hobby expenses too, for a season)? Keep going through the list, making adjustments until your total expenses are less than your income.

Step 8: Follow your spending plan as closely as possible.
Track your spending every day by posting it on a sheet of paper. Take notes and research ways you’ll be able to do even better next month. At month’s end, add up your actual spending and compare it with what you planned. Use this information to create the next month’s spending plan.

Congratulations—you’ve just elevated yourself from being clueless to financially savvy. You should feel very good about this! As difficult as it might be to see in black and white that your income and expenses are not quite in sync, just knowing where you are is going to make all the difference.

Even if you find yourself in a particularly tight financial position right now, take heart. As you pay off debts and find more ways to cut expenses, you’ll begin to sense a significant loosening of financial pressure. Soon you’ll be ready to add new categories to your spending plan for things like saving for a new car, home improvements or going back to college.

The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be on your way to reaching financial freedom.

Source: Woman’s Day Magazineimages


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Rent Prices Continue to Rise Faster than Asking Prices

Rent prices are climbing faster than asking prices and are rising in metros where asking prices are falling, according to a report from Trulia.

Year-over-year, nationwide rent prices were up 5.1 percent in October, while asking prices were up 2.9 percent during the same period when including foreclosures.
Out of the top 25 rental markets in the United States, Houston led with a 16.5 percent yearly increase. Miami and Oakland took the next two spots with a 10 percent gain in rent prices, Trulia reported.
Denver was ranked number 4 with a 9.4 percent increase and Seattle fifth for its 8.8 percent improvement.
Chicago, which saw a 5.3 percent yearly dip in asking prices in October, still experienced a 7.7 percent gain in rent prices during the same one-year period.
Asking prices also fell in Albuquerque, dropping 2.2 percent, but rent prices moved up by 3.1 percent.
The trend was reversed in Las Vegas, where asking prices were up 10.9 percent from October 2011, while rent prices moved downward by 1.8 percent. In Memphis, rent prices were also down, falling 0.6 percent, yet asking prices increased 7.1 percent over a one-year period.
Overall, most metros saw rent prices and asking prices increase. Out of the 100 largest metros, 69 took part in the yearly gain in asking prices.
“In markets like Denver, San Francisco, and Oakland, where prices and rents are both rising, higher prices mean higher down payments, but rising rents make it harder to save enough,” said Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, in a release.
When tracking asking price increases among metros, Phoenix led with a reported 24.9 percent yearly gain. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida ranked second with a 15.7 percent increase, followed by San Jose (12.7 percent); Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Michigan (11.8 percent); and West Palm Beach, Florida (11.3 percent).
“Home prices are climbing in most local markets and in eight of the eleven swing states,” Kolko added. “Rising prices have taken pressure off the presidential candidates from having to come up with detailed plans to help the housing market, and that’s a big reason why they haven’t focused on housing in the 2012 campaign.”
Trulia’s findings are based on the for-sale homes and rentals listed by the company.

Source: Esther Cho DSNEWS

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Affordable Home Located In Lantana Golf Course Community!

Wonderful home in Magnolia located in Lantana, Texas!


Single Family Home
Main Features
3 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
1 Unit
Interior: 2,070 sqft
Lot: 0.10 acre(s)
8718 Tyler Drive
Lantana, TX 76226
To get updates on open home dates and other property events, please click the “Like” button below:

Jim Striegel

Jim Striegel

(972) 899.0634


Listed by: Jim Striegel Team Real Estate Solutions, Coldwell Banker

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What’s Driving The Market?


The advent of spring has unleashed a new lease on life for
the housing market. Sales are up.
Inventory is down. Prices —
which have been hovering at the
bottom for a while — are now
slowly rising. So are bank-issued
It is a spring awakening, and
it’s happening nationwide.
“It’s the strongest first quarter
since 2007,” says Ken Fears, a
senior economist with the National
Association of Realtors
(NAR). “It’s a very strong and
very atypical market.”
Major banks such as JPMorgan
Chase and Wells Fargo reported
strong quarterly earnings,
indicating that buyers are again
jumping into the market. JPMorgan
issued 6 percent more mortgages
than a year ago and received
33 percent more applications,
according to the Associated Press.
Wells Fargo issued 54 percent
more mortgages compared to last
The NAR’s most recent quarterly
numbers show that prices of
existing single-family homes rose
in 74 out of 146 metropolitan
areas compared to the same period
a year ago. In the fourth quarter of
2011, only 29 areas showed gains
from a year earlier, according to
the NAR.
The association also reports
encouraging sales numbers. Sales
of existing single-family homes
and condominiums rose 4.7 percent
to a seasonally adjusted
annual rate of 4.57 million in the
first quarter. That’s 5.3 percent
above the 4.34 million mark
during the first quarter of 2011
when sales spiked.
Fears, the NAR economist,
says a confluence of events is
responsible for the good showing.
Strong employment gains, low
interest rates (hovering around 4
percent), a relatively warm winter
and a stable stock market boosted
consumer confidence. Throughout
the fall, consumers have been
eyeing the lucrative interest rates,

but uncertainty in Europe and at
home and the morbid employment
numbers, forced many to sit on the
fence, Fears says. Spring came with
better news.
“All of the sudden, people
realized it’s a good time to get in,”
he says.
Markets are rebounding across
regions. States such as California,
Texas and Arizona, which were
hardest hit by the bust, are now
gaining momentum as investors
are lapping up properties with
unbeatable prices. In cities such as
Seattle and Palo Alto, Calif.,
agents and sellers are witnessing
bidding wars on homes, which
shows that the market is slowly
turning around.
In the Northeast, existing
home sales jumped 8.6 percent in
the first quarter of 2012 and are 6.6
percent above the first quarter of
2011. In the Midwest, sales rose 5.5
percent in the first quarter and are
11.7 percent higher than a year
ago. In the West, sales rose 5.9
percent in the first quarter and are
1.4 percent higher than a year ago.
Meanwhile, sales in the South
increased 2.1 percent in the first
quarter and are 4.1 percent above
the first quarter in 2011.
Fears says areas such as the
Midwest, where prices weren’t
affected as much by the downturn,
are faring well now.
In the Indianapolis area, the
resurgence is pretty telling.

“What I did last year in sales, I
already did in the first three
months of this year,” says Beenu
Sikand, a Realtor with Prudential
Indiana Realty Group. “I believe
the economy is finally picking up.”
Sikand says the Super Bowl,
which Indianapolis hosted in
February, helped revive the city’s
real estate market. Investors are
coming in and buying distressed
properties with cash. Prices are not
rising, but sellers are not experiencing
huge losses either, she says.
It’s still a buyers’ market, but
homes priced right are selling fast.
In Colorado, too, inventory is
on the decline.
“In this business it’s all about
supply and demand,” says Sally
Grenier, broker/owner of Metro
Brokers/Grenier Real Estate,
outside of Denver. The state is
experiencing higher sales volume
because of shortage in inventory,
Grenier says.
Fears expects the ripple effects
of the market’s resurgence to carry
on through the summer.
“This is the bottoming year for
prices, and we see price gains
already, even though the gains are
not evenly distributed throughout
the country,” Fears says.
He expects prices to be flat or
show a slight uptick this year. But
sales, he says, will be up 8 to 10
percent compared to last year.
Madhusmita Bora/CTW Features

Source:  Dallas Morning News

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Simplify The Home Closing Process!

Most consumers are likely anxious to complete the home buying process, so the last thing they want is a last-minute surprise while they’re closing on the house. The closing process is the final hurdle buyers face after they have agreed to purchase the home, but it’s important to be prepared to avoid obstacles that may delay the sale.

There are several ways buyers can ensure the closing process goes smoothly.

Understand the closing procedure

Before entering into closing negotiations, it’s crucial to fully understand the process. By knowing what to expect, buyers can ask appropriate questions and clarify aspects that they may not understand. It’s also to ensure that all parties are kept in the loop. Human error is natural, but details that get lost in the cracks can lead to delayed or canceled home sales, according to MSN Real Estate. For this reason, it is important for buyers to get in touch with the professionals who are representing them to ask about what to expect. Another important step is identifying and gathering all documents that should be brought to closing negotiations.

Review documents

Missed details in loan documents can either lead to mistakes in the paperwork or leave buyers with a product or payment scenario they are unhappy with. Reading loan documents may seem time-consuming, but it’s the best way to resolve potential problems or misunderstandings before they occur. Lenders are required to provide buyers with their loan documents, by request, at least 24 hours before the closing, so individuals should re-read the contents to make sure they know what they’re signing.

In addition, buyers should make sure they have all that they need the morning of closing, including their check. The loan documents should spell out the amount that buyers are required to bring to the closing. In addition, buyers may need to certify the check in order for the lender to accept it. Some buyers may have the option to wire transfer the funds, but this can take longer and delay closing, thus having a check ready may be in the buyers best interest. In addition to the check, buyers will likely need a copy of their photo ID, homeowners insurance policy and good faith estimate, on top of their loan documents.

Source:  Coldwell Banker

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Lakeside DFW Destined To Be..

People should not be judged by mistakes made, but rather what they do to correct those mistakes.

The Stewart Family has owned the property now known as Lakeside DFW since 1973. Development of the property has been seriously considered since 1994. Zoning issues, the financial crisis, followed by the worst recession America has seen since 1929 drove Lakeside DFW Land Ltd.’s bank to not renew its loan and threatened to foreclose. Therefore Lakeside filed for bankruptcy protection in October 2010.

Bankruptcy law prevented Lakeside DFW Land Ltd. from paying any creditors until a final settlement with all the creditors was reached. Flower Mound was the only creditor that did not support the Plan to emerge from bankruptcy paying 100 cents on the dollar of all current debts. According to Lakeside DFW’s website, The Town of Flower Mound, which was owed $138,191.33 in January 2011, was repaid with interest in September 2011. The second of 13 payments was made on time in January 2012.

“We are proud to be the only property owners in the Lakeside Business District to have emerged from bankruptcy,” Mr. Stewart stated on the LakesideDFW.com website. “If we had failed, the property may well have been sold off in pieces to the highest bidders. That would have created a mess for the town and wasted a golden opportunity.”

“We stuck it out because we believe in Flower Mound and we want to see this property blossom into something very special.”

“Residents should know the people who are proposing to make such an important investment in Flower Mound,” Stewart insisted, “and we’re proud for them to take a long hard look at us.”

“They also should know,” he added, “that the Town’s mixed use ordinance will ensure quality development at Lakeside DFW, even if everyone at Realty Capital is hit by a truck.”

“From this point forward, Town officials should consider taking their cue from Flower Mound residents,” Stewart suggested. “Residents want Lakeside DFW to help improve their quality of life here in Flower Mound. They are growing impatient with delays.”

Realty Capital, which has done business with literally thousands of entities over its 25-year history, has proposed a stunning $1 billion development along the shores of Lake Grapevine in Flower Mound called Lakeside DFW.

Under the mixed use ordinance, their plan features public trails and parks with lake views, high quality dining and shopping experiences, high quality housing options not found elsewhere in Flower Mound, and office development. It is designed to serve as a magnet for all kinds of activities and for people from all over North Texas.

If that’s not a big enough show of faith, they announced late last month they intend to establish a non-profit organization to benefit the Lewisville Independent School District, the Town of Flower Mound and the Lakeside DFW neighborhood.

At a meeting last week with LISD Superintendent Dr. Stephen F. Waddell and his leadership team, Lakeside DFW officials discussed the possibility of creating the charitable organization, which will be named The Lakeside DFW Foundation.

“The purpose of The Lakeside DFW Foundation is to donate funds to the school district and other causes important to the residents of Flower Mound and Lakeside,” explained Richard Myers, a partner in the Lakeside DFW project and managing director of Realty Capital.

The foundation will collect a small transaction fee on all commercial property sales that occur in the Lakeside DFW project (one-half of one percent). If approved, the project at build-out should generate hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to be donated to worthwhile causes.

Myers, a down-to-earth guy who grew up in a small town in the Midwest, further suggests the foundation’s charter require that at least one-half of all this money be donated to the school district. Increases in property taxes in the district will not currently provide many new revenues to LISD’s maintenance and operations budget so the donations will prove beneficial to schools in the district regardless.

Realty Capital has implemented the same type foundation efforts in other towns and school districts they’ve worked with, such as Argyle and Argyle ISD.

Lakeside currently falls under the Master Plan’s strict “campus-commercial” restriction. “Campus- commercial” does not allow for lake-view restaurants, empty-nester or senior housing; or any kind of pedestrian-friendly retail neighborhoods to be built on the shores of Lake Grapevine.

Lakeside DFW has applied under the Mixed Use ordinance passed in 2008 to amend the Master Plan and zoning to build a mixed-use community. For construction to begin at Lakeside DFW, four out of five Town Council members must approve the zoning application. History has proven it’s extremely difficult to get four out of five votes in agreement on development projects in Flower Mound.

The Stewart family, Realty Capital and Richard Myers have shown great enthusiasm, financial commitment and interest in listening to the people of Flower Mound through a series of open discussion meetings at the Lakeside property. The last occurred April 5 where the topic Multi-Family was brought forward in detail.

Flower Mound residents sharing the same vision as Realty Capital and Lakeside DFW should express their support by contacting their Town Council at the email address below: mayor/towncouncil@flower-mound.com.

Let your Town Council members know you support the zoning change from “campus commercial” to “mixed-use” so the amenities that residents ask for can be built.

Lakeside DFW requires a super-majority approval from the Town Council and it only takes two “NO” votes to completely stop the development. One day a chicken, the next day feathers if only two council members disagree.

You can follow Lakeside DFW by visiting the web site at LakesideDFW.com or “Like” them on Facebook at: Facebook.com/LakesideDFW.

Most importantly, be sure you vote on May 12 for a town council that shares the same vision as you.


Shane Allen, The News Connection

Published 04/12/2012 – 2:28 p.m. CST

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Buying a Home? The COST Is More Important Than the PRICE…

We have often advised buyers to look at the COST of purchasing a house more than the PRICE of the home. Obviously, price is part of the cost equation. The other piece, assuming you are not an all cash buyer, is the mortgage rate. The mortgage rate to finance a purchase can have a dramatic impact on the overall cost. Recently, there are more people talking about the possibility that mortgage rates could begin to increase.

HSH.com studies trends in mortgage rates. They explain:

“A better economic climate almost always brings higher rates, and a lessening of the troubles in Europe from massive central bank assistance adds to the movement of money from safe havens to more risky assets, driving rates upward.”

Dan Green of The Daily Market Reports recently stated:

“The Fed sees growth coming faster than originally expected. There’s suddenly less chance that the Federal Reserve will intervene to help keep mortgage rates low. Absent Fed intervention, mortgage rates are apt to rise and Wall Street is now betting that the Fed has bowed out. With no stimulus, mortgage rates rise.”

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Assoc of Realtors, recently wrote:

“Mortgage rates will be starting to rise. From the 3.9 to 4.0 percent average rate in the past five months on a 30-year fixed mortgage, the new rates will soon be in the range of 4.3 to 4.6 percent.”

Yun explains his logic here.

We do not attempt to predict future interest rates. We leave that up to the experts in the field. However, we want our readers to understand the potential impact on the cost of purchasing a home if they do rise. Here is a simple table that shows, even if the PRICE of a home softens, the COST of a home could increase.

Bottom Line

Many purchasers think they should wait until they are sure that prices have hit bottom. Deciding whether or not to wait should be determined by where the COST of a home is headed.

Source:  KCG Crew

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