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Common Fears Of First Time Home-Buyers… And How To Overcome Them

by Scott and Tammy Watson

Buying your first home can be one of the most exciting experiences of your life, but it can also be one of the scariest. Buying real estate is a complicated process. When you've never purchased a home before, the fear of all those unknown variables can make the experience stressful, frustrating, and downright terrifying. If you're thinking about purchasing a home but are dealing with the fear that comes along with it, don't worry! You're not alone. Most first time home-buyers deal with a certain level of fear as they get ready to buy their first home, but that fear doesn't have to hold you back. Here are three of the most common fears of first time home-buyers (and how you can overcome them).

"I can't afford to buy a home."

via GIPHY

The number one fear most first time home-buyers struggle with is the fear they can't afford to buy a home.  While there are certainly people who aren't in the financial position to purchase a home, becoming a homeowner isn't as expensive as you might think — and sometimes all it takes to be able to buy a home is a little budgeting. If you're worried about being able to afford a home, it's time to take a good, hard look at your finances. Make a list of all of your monthly expenses and all of your debt. How much are you spending per month on living expenses? How does that compare to how much you'd be spending per month on living expenses if you were to purchase a home? How much are you saving each month? Are there any opportunities to cut back on spending and pad your savings a little more each month? How much debt do you carry and what's your plan to pay it down? Getting a firm understanding of your financial situation will a) give you a better idea of how much you can afford to comfortably spend on a house, and b) help you come up with a plan to get there.

"My credit isn't perfect. How am I ever going to get a loan?"

via GIPHY

If you have less-than-perfect credit, a major fear you might be dealing with is how you're going to get a mortgage. Many first time home-buyers fear that their credit report might hold them back from securing a loan. While getting a mortgage with not-so-hot credit can be a challenge, it's certainly not impossible. First things first: if you're thinking about purchasing a home, you need to get a copy of your credit report. According to an FTC report, 1 in 5 Americans have a mistake on their credit report — those mistakes can end up costing you in the long run. The lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate will be, so it's important to make sure there's nothing inaccurate on your report that's dragging down your score. Once you've reviewed your credit report, you'll want to do everything you can to bring up your score before you apply for a loan, like pay down any high credit card balances, which will bring down your credit ratio and bump your score. You'll also want to make sure to pay all of your bills (including your rent and utility bills) on time, which will help show lenders that you're responsible with your debts. If you do all of these things and still get stuck with a high-interest mortgage, it's not the end of the world! You can always continue to work on increasing your credit score and refinance in the future.

"I have no idea what I'm doing. How am I supposed to successfully buy a home?"

via GIPHY

As mentioned, buying a home is a complicated process. From getting to know the market to finding the right kinds of properties to negotiating with sellers, there's a lot to handle. If you've never purchased a home, it can feel overwhelming. The sense of "I have no idea what I'm doing!" can be pretty terrifying, but luckily, you don't have to know what you're doing when it comes to buying a home… as long as you work with someone who does. Working with a real estate agent who understands your market is an invaluable resource, especially to first time home-buyers. Your real estate agent will not only walk you through the entire process, but they also handle the hard stuff — like finding that perfect property and negotiating with tough sellers — so you don't have to. You might be afraid that the fact you've never purchased a house before will hinder the process, but when you work with the right real estate agent, there's nothing to be afraid of.   Purchasing your first home can be a scary process, but now that you know the most common fears — and how to overcome them — it's time to transform that fear into excitement, get out there, and find the home of your dreams!

A GroupWatson Buyer Specialist is ready to meet with you and determine the best plan of action for you

when it comes to buying your first home.

Contact a GroupWatson Agent for Valuable Insight and Wise Direction when making those big decisions!

 ~Experience the GroupWatson Difference~

Call or Email Today!

972.370.1775  |  BuyOrSell@GroupWatson.com

*GROUPWATSON'S FEATURED LISTING OF THE WEEK*

4201 Ireland Drive ~ The Colony, TX  75056

Some Of The Scariest Haunted Houses in America

by Scott and Tammy Watson

Halloween is now upon us and our thoughts turn to the supernatural, the undead and the downright creepy. But, really, regardless of the season, is there anything scarier than a haunted house? From coast to coast, homes that boast a little paranormal activity abound, attracting curious ghost-hunters who hope to catch a glimpse of someone or something from the great beyond.  Let's take a look at some of the most legendary haunted houses you may want to check out this season. Read on if you dare.

Amityville Horror House

What took place inside this Long Island estate is so chilling, it inspired a book and multiple films. In 1974, six members of the DeFeo family were found shot to death inside this stately home. Ronald DeFeo Jr., 23 at the time of the brutal killings, was later convicted of murdering his parents and four siblings. Though the home sold a year after the grisly killings, the new owners quickly moved out citing unusual odors, sudden, unexplainable cold drafts and a ghost that took appeared to be half-demon-half pig.  Despite all that bloody history, the five-bedroom waterfront home has had numerous owners since. It was back on the market in 2016, listed at $850,000 but sold in February of 2017 for $605,000.

Myrtles Plantation

This otherwise-attractive plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana is considered to be "one of the most haunted houses in America." Since it was built in 1797, the sprawling southern estate has been home to multiple owners as well as countless deaths and murders. Today, visitors have an opportunity to take a day or evening tour, or even stay over at the bed and breakfast for a chance to sample a side of the occult with their coffee and pastries. Legend has it that in addition to ghost sightings, a grand piano has been known to play sans musician, and furniture has rearranged itself. Definitely intriguing.

The Joshua Ward House

The Joshua Ward House at 148 Washington Street is a Federal style brick home that sits upon the land once belonging to Sheriff George "The Strangler" Corwin. Corwin was the High Sheriff of Essex County, Massachusetts, during the Salem Witch Trials. He was known to strangle the accused by an old English method of "tying neck and heels" in which the victims' bodies were forced into hoops, necks roped to feet until blood gushed out of their nose and mouth. Well hated, Corwin carried out the arrests of the accused and the executions at the gallows of those condemned during the trials. Corwin also pressed to death with rocks Giles Corey, an 80-year-old farmer, who refused to stand trial for witchcraft. Corey's last words were "Damn you Sheriff I curse you and Salem!" Four years later, at age 30, Corwin had a fatal heart attack and died. His family, fearing his body would be dismembered by an unruly crowd, interned his body in the cellar. They also did so because Phillip English, a wealthy merchant who was arrested by Corwin in 1692 tried to put a lien on his corpse until he was reimbursed for the damages suffered at the hands of Corwin during his imprisonment. Today, the house is a recently opened Bed and Breakfast called "The Merchant" and notably one of the most haunted houses in New England with many claims of ghostly encounters. #joshuawardhouse #salemma #hauntedhappenings #salemmassachusetts #ghosts #history

A post shared by Thehauntedjournal (@thehauntedjournal) on Feb 25, 2017 at 4:13pm PST

Located in Salem, Massachusetts, one of the most haunted locales in the United States, the Joshua Ward House has earned a reputation for inhabiting the spirit of none other than George Corwin, the High Sheriff during the Salem Witch Trials. Corwin, aka "the Strangler," is said to be responsible for the gruesome killings of more than a dozen men and women he suspected of practicing witchcraft. Legend has it, Corwin's body was buried in the basement of the three-story Federal style brick house. Visitors say Corwin and the ghost of one of the warlocks he killed at this location haunt this home.

The LaLaurie House

The most notorious house in the Quarter #lalauriehouse #hauntedneworleans

A post shared by Olivia Cohen (@oliviadeneige) on Jul 21, 2017 at 11:15am PDT

New Orleans' French Quarter is home to the LaLaurie Mansion, where a socially prominent couple, Dr. Louis and Delphine LaLaurie, lived with their daughters during the 1830s. It was inside this three-story Creole mansion that Delphine reportedly tortured slaves, causing one to jump to her death. The house, which was owned by actor Nicolas Cage from 2007 to 2009, is said to be haunted by screams of terror emanating from the ghosts of Delphine's slaves. If this tale sounds familiar it may be because it was popularized in the TV show "American Horror Story: Coven."

The Lemp Mansion

My best friend and I did a paranormal investigation last night at the infamous Lemp Mansion! #vsco #lempmansion #paranormal

A post shared by alyssa_inwonderland (@alyssa_inwonderland) on Aug 11, 2017 at 8:57am PDT

Life magazine named the St. Louis-based Lemp Mansion one of the America's most haunted houses in 1980. Built in the 1860s, it was the home of brewing magnates who had a history of suicide in the family. In fact, three are said to have died inside the home, which currently houses a restaurant where murder mystery dinner theater takes place. Paranormal tours are offered as well.

Franklin Castle

I finally got to see it in person. The most haunted house in #Ohio the #franklincastle 🙌🏻❤️ It is so beautiful.

A post shared by Elyssa Sue ♑🌙8️⃣✨ (@rustbeltgems) on Feb 14, 2016 at 9:28am PST

This Queen Anne-style Victorian is known as the most haunted home in Ohio. While he lived there, Hans Tiedermann, a German immigrant, lost multiple children under mysterious circumstances. Despite the charm of the exterior, the Cleveland-based home is said to be filled with spirits.

The Lizzie Borden House

Located in Falls River, Massachusetts, the Lizzie Borden house is where, in 1892, Borden was believed to have murdered her father and step-mother with an axe in their home. Though she was acquitted, Borden was never able to shake her reputation as a cold-blooded killer. Those who are brave enough can visit this home, now a bed and breakfast, and stay in the room where the couple slept or the room where Borden's step-mother was found after the grisly murder.

The Kreischer Mansion

This Staten Island, New York home has been the site of multiple deaths, including a suicide and a murder. The otherwise-charming Victorian is said to be haunted by the spirits of those who died within its confines. Despite its history, the home, set on five acres, was listed at $9.5 million in 2016. Ghosts included.

The Logan Inn

Rumor has it...the Logan Inn in #NewHope is home to 4 individual ghosts. Have you ever had a spooky encounter in #BucksCounty?

A post shared by Visit Bucks County (@visitbuckspa) on Jul 14, 2013 at 10:20am PDT

This Bucks County, Pennsylvania inn reportedly receives frequent visits from its most famous ghost, Emily, the daughter of a previous owner, who lived in room 6 and died in that very room as well. Capitalizing on its haunted history, the inn hosts monthly dinners featuring a medium who delivers messages from beyond. Intrepid guests can spend the weekend and even sleep in room 6 where visitors have noted the scent of smoke, which could be attributed to the military men who once stayed there during the 1700s, and flowers, a favorite decoration of Emily's.

Winchester Mystery House

Filled with dark passages and spider web windows, this home in San Jose, California has had millions of visitors pass through its spooky hallways. Guests can take part in a Friday the 13th flashlight tour or a Halloween candlelight tour and see if they discover any of the phenomenons that have made the house infamous with mystery lovers and fans of unique architecture alike.

The Octagon Museum

Built in 1799, The Octagon House is also known as the Colonel John Tayloe III House, for whom it was built. Tayloe lived there with his 15 children and wife Ann Ogle Tayloe who had offered the house to the French consulate in the hopes of sparing the it from destruction at the hands of the British during the invasion of Washington in August 1814. After the burning of the White House at their hands, President James Madison and his wife, Dolley moved into the Octagon and paid the Tayloes rent for their six month stay. During that time Madison himself and his wife both agreed the house was already very haunted even though it was just over a decade old. Of course, Dolley is said to haunt here (along with everywhere else in Washington) holding her famous ghostly receptions which she was so fond of in life. She is also supposedly most often seen in the front hall and drawing room, and the smell of lilacs is noticeable whenever her ghost is present.

A post shared by Dani October (@danioctober31) on Jul 4, 2017 at 3:51pm PDT

Known for its innovative architecture and beautiful but haunted spiral staircase, the Octagon Museum in Washington D.C. is said to be haunted by at least two ghosts. One is believed to be Dolly Madison, while the other is the daughter of a colonel who fought with her father about her love for a British soldier and fell to her death in that famous staircase.

All of us here at GroupWatson wish you a Happy & Safe Halloween! 

 ~Experience the GroupWatson Difference~

Call or Email Today!
972.370.1775  |  BuyOrSell@GroupWatson.com

*GROUPWATSON'S FEATURED LISTING OF THE WEEK*

4811 Holly Tree Drive ~ Dallas TX  75287

Fixer Upper vs. Move-In Ready: Which One Is Right For You?

by Scott and Tammy Watson

When it comes to buying real estate, you want to make sure the property you purchase is the right fit for your needs. For some buyers, purchasing a home that needs some work is the ideal situation. For others, getting a turnkey home that's move-in ready is the only option they'll consider. For others, both seem like reasonable options. The question is: what is best is for you? There are pros and cons to both fixer uppers and move-in ready homes. The important thing is to recognize which is the best fit for your budget, and what you want out of a home. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of fixer uppers and move-in ready homes to help you determine which is the better fit for you:

Fixer uppers

Fixer uppers are, as the name implies, homes that need a bit of TLC – or fixing up – upon move in.

Pros

Discounted price The major draw of fixer uppers is the price. Since they need work, you can typically get a fixer upper at a fraction of the cost of a move-in ready home of a similar size or in a similar location, so if you're on the hunt for a bargain or you have a tight budget, a fixer upper is definitely going to be the least expensive home-buying option.

You can make the house your own
 since a fixer upper will need work and renovations, it does offer the opportunity to put your own stamp on the design and layout and really make the house your own. With a move-in ready home, the work has already been done and the home already designed. With a fixer upper, you get the opportunity to build your home from the ground up with everything from flooring and cabinetry to landscaping and windows.

It's a project
 for people who are interested in home renovation, there's nothing better than a fixer upper. Taking on the challenge of completely transforming a home is a really exciting prospect for a lot of people, and if you're in that camp, a fixer upper is a great opportunity to take on a worthwhile project.

Cons

It can get expensive. Even though the purchase price of a fixer upper is typically low, if there is a significant amount of problems with the property or changes that need to be made, it can definitely get expensive. Things like repairing electric, adding a new roof, tearing up and installing new flooring, and redoing a kitchen can get pricey, and if you're not careful, you can find yourself way over budget, swimming in contractor bills with no end to your renovations in sight.

It takes time.
Even if you're a person who loves renovating homes, there's no escaping the fact that it takes time. If you need to move into your home quickly, a fixer upper isn't going to be the right fit.

Move-in ready

Move-in ready homes are recently built, updated, or remodeled homes that need next to nothing in terms of renovations or improvements. You can comfortably move in without making a single change.

Pros

It's convenient In terms of convenience, you can't beat a move-in ready home. Moving can be a stressful process, and for many new homeowners, the last thing they want to do upon moving into their new home is start managing a bunch of renovations. With a move-in ready home, once you move in, you're done. While you may want to make some cosmetic changes down the road (like painting the walls or changing the flooring), there's nothing that needs to get done after you move.

Better energy efficiency.
Newer, move-in ready homes tend to be more energy efficient, which is not only better for the environment, but also better for your utility costs. Energy efficient homes require less energy to heat the home during the winter and cool the home during the summer, which can end up saving you a significant amount of money in the long run.

Cons

Home prices are higher. When you buy a move-in ready home, you're paying for the convenience. Move-in ready homes will always be significantly more expensive than fixer uppers in the same neighborhood and of the same size. If you have a tight budget, you might have to make some sacrifices to purchases a move-in ready home, like buying a smaller house or buying in a less popular neighborhood.

The "cookie cutter" effect. 
When you buy a move-in ready home, everything has already been done for you. Which is certainly convenient, but it can lack originality, charm, and the architectural and decor details you might want in a home. Newer homes sometimes feel more generic and "cookie cutter" than their older counterparts, so if charm and individuality are important for you, a move-in ready home might not feel like the best fit. Fixer uppers and move-in ready homes both have unique benefits and challenges. Ultimately, you have to go with the choice that best aligns with your budget, your needs, and your long-term goals for your home.

A GroupWatson Buyer Specialist is ready to meet with you and determine the pros and cons,

when it comes to making a "move-in ready" purchase or buying a home that needs a little TLC.

Contact a GroupWatson Agent for Valuable Insight and Wise Direction when deciding what will work best for you!

 ~Experience the GroupWatson Difference~

Call or Email Today!
972.370.1775  |  BuyOrSell@GroupWatson.com

*GROUPWATSON'S FEATURED LISTING OF THE WEEK*

5044 Shannon Drive ~ The Colony, TX  75056

Should You Buy A Home In Your 20's?

by Scott and Tammy Watson

Should you buy a home in your 20's? Good question!! There's no single, sure-fire answer to it. Okay, there is...if you consider "it depends" to be a solid answer. You can search the Internet and find as many reasons to buy a house in your 20's, as you can find to not buy a house in your 20s.  You have to consider the source of every article. (As I'm sure you do.) What's the author's motivation? Is all you're really doing is confusing yourself, or convincing yourself what you already want to believe. So, the better question is... Do you want to buy a house?

Before you answer...

Maybe ask yourself a couple of other questions.

  1. Do you feel too young to buy a house?
  2. Do you feel old enough to buy a house?

They sound like the same question, just turned inside out. But they aren't really. Not if you really stop and think about them and how they relate to you. These are deeper questions not everyone in their 20's cares to ponder.  That in and of itself is probably a pretty good answer to the question. If you can't, won't or don't want to think it through on a deeper level, then you probably aren't ready — whether you want to or not, you probably shouldn't. So, if you're the type that cares to ponder those questions, please do. We can move on when you're done. The words below will still be here in a few minutes.

Don't decide against buying a house, just because your friends aren't buying them

It's true. Most 20-somethings don't buy houses. If you ask around, most 20-somethings will give totally legit sounding reasons why they can't, won't, or don't. But that doesn't mean they truly can't...or shouldn't. What it probably means is that they haven't given it all that much thought. They're probably just spitting out answers that they've assumed or overheard from their peers, or they're just unconsciously following the crowd. This is nothing new. This happens generation after generation. Trends happen. Right now, it just so happens that most people in their 20's follow a different path. Most first-time buyers don't buy until their early 30's. That's why you might want to give the whole buying-a-house-in-your-20's thing some serious thought...

At some point, most of your peers will want to buy their first house

At some point, people stop wanting to "play house", and actually buy a house instead of renting or living at home. It never gets easier. At any given moment in time, the interest rates matter. Housing prices matter. The job market matters. One's lifestyle matters. Everything always matters. But everything is always relative. Sure, all of that dictates what you can purchase. However, first homes are rarely ever as awesome as someone hopes for. They're called "starter homes" for a reason. It's rare that a first-time buyer is buying their dream home. Buying your starter home, condo, or multi-family home earlier on, gives you a leg up amongst your peers. You get a head start. You'll be a step ahead in getting to your dream home and maybe you'll even be able to keep the first home as a rental property.

If you want to buy a house...

Obviously, if you want to buy a house, you'll want to do your research. It's easier now than it ever has been to find information online, but as misleading as the information out there is on whether you should even buy a house in your 20's, so is the information on the best way to approach it. Lots of people make mistakes when they buy houses. Not just first-time buyers. The Internet has certainly made a lot of information available, but it has not necessarily made everyone who looks at the information an expert in the process, or analyzing the options. It has simply made it easier to avoid dealing with the experts.

Don't avoid dealing with the experts

Many people want to avoid dealing with real estate agents. There are good reasons for that; not all real estate agents are great. Some are pushy. Some will sell you on doing something. Some don't have any more clue than you do, but some are great and that should be your first, and most important step in buying a house.

Find a great real estate agent

A great real estate agent will essentially cost you the same to work with as one that's not so great. Whichever agent you hire won't cost you a dime, so you might as well choose the best one you can.

It's important to find a real estate agent you trust

Too many people don't make a deliberate decision on the real estate agent they hire. People tend to just stumble into working with a real estate agent they meet along the way who is "nice enough". I can't or won't say I am the best, or that I'm the right real estate agent for you, but I can say that I take pride in building trust with my clients and doing the best job possible.  I'd like a chance to show you that. I don't mean call me and let's run out and start looking at houses. I don't even mean give me your email address so I can spam the heck out of you forever. What I mean is this... Send me an email and I'll send you a short series of emails that'll help you decide if you should buy your first home, or not.  At the least, you'll get further along the way to buying your first house, and perhaps we will build a trusting relationship. I hope to help you decide if you should even buy in your 20's or not, and if you do, I want to help you make the best purchase possible.  If we don't, I won't be bugging you or pushing you to buy a house beyond this series of emails, so what's the harm? Send me an email with the subject line, "Please send me your first-time buyer tips" and I'll email you back right away.  You can find my email down below.  Hope to hear from you!

Well Millennials, its time to make some important decisions regarding your real estate future as a homeowner (or not).  Email a GroupWatson Buyer's Agent today to get the ball rolling and move one step closer to "adulting".

Call or Email a GroupWatson Specialist today!

Dial 972-370-1775 or email buyorsell@groupwatson.com for more details of how we can

help you with your next real estate transaction!

*GROUPWATSON'S FEATURED LISTING OF THE WEEK*

5037 Pemberton Lane ~ The Colony, TX 75056

Do You Believe In Any Of These Real Estate Superstitions?

by Scott and Tammy Watson

Tons of people think the number 13 is unlucky. Some don’t. But pretty much everyone has at least heard that the number 13 is unlucky. With Friday the 13th upon us, I thought it’d be fun and interesting to send along some superstitions we come across in the real estate industry, which you may have never heard about...

Lucky numbers

Real estate agents sometimes find themselves working with clients who have superstitions based upon lucky (and unlucky) numbers. This is often a cultural superstition. And the lucky or unlucky numbers are different from culture to culture. This can affect whether or not someone will buy a house, if the street address is an unlucky number, or even adds up to an unlucky number. It can also affect the specific dollar amount they will offer or accept for a house...

What direction a house faces

Does your house face East? If it does, that’s great... for some potential buyers. But others may not see it that way, and would never buy a house unless it faces South. Again, these superstitions are typically cultural, and no one direction is right for every culture. So, don’t worry what direction your house faces...there’s always someone who will be fine with whatever direction it is facing.

Mercury in retrograde

This is less cultural, and more a matter of whether someone is into astrology… It is believed that when the planet Mercury is in “retrograde” (backward), it is a bad time to enter a contract. So, if a client is sensitive to this, there is a good chance there isn’t a deal good enough to get them to buy or sell a house while Mercury is in retrograde.

Smudging

Ever hear of smudging? That’s when you burn a sacred plant (often sage), and walk around the house wafting the smoke, in order to get rid of negative energy in a house. Does that sound crazy? Sound like someone’s been smokin’ the smudge!? As a real estate agent, I wouldn’t call it crazy... While an agent may not believe in a client’s superstition, or even understand it...they won’t consider it crazy. It’s a real estate agent’s responsibility to represent their clients’ best interests. So I wouldn’t consider any of the above examples (or anything else you could throw at me) crazy…because if it is a concern for my client, it is a concern for me. Wishing you nothing but luck this Friday the 13th.  

GroupWatson knows that today just might be YOUR lucky day!  Contact us to find out how we can help you whether you are looking to buy or sell a home.  We are here for you rain or shine! 

Call or Email a GroupWatson Specialist today!

Dial 972-370-1775 today for more details of how we can help you with your next real estate transaction!

*GROUPWATSON'S FEATURED LISTING OF THE WEEK*

11028 Coventry Lane ~ Frisco, TX  75035

Why FALL Might Be The Best Time To Buy A Home

by Scott and Tammy Watson

A lot of people think the best time to buy a house is during the Spring market.

And, it is...

...in the sense that more houses are listed for sale in the Spring. But, there's also a heck of a lot more buyers trying to buy those listings.

The thing is, some of the houses listed back in the Spring don't end up selling. (Usually just because they were overpriced.)

Now, it isn't like new listings don't happen in the Fall. There's always new listings coming on the market. But it's not like, just because it's Fall and not Spring, prices are necessarily going to fall. In other words, new listings aren't likely to list for a lot lower than you would have seen in the Spring.

However, the homeowners who did list back in the Spring are much more likely to be anxious (perhaps even desperate) to sell their home. They've created their own problem...they missed the boat by pricing too high.

Which is great news for you, if you're looking to buy a home:

  • Less competition. (Many buyers stop looking at this time of year...for no good reason.)
  • Motivated sellers. (They're sick of being on the market, and wondering why nobody bought their house.)

It isn't always easy to find those listings. They don't wave a white flag, or lower their price to some ridiculous amount everyone would notice. If only it were that easy...

Just because someone listed their home back in the Spring doesn't mean they'll be all that negotiable.

There are certain things a great real estate agent will know to look for.

We LOVE rolling up our sleeves and finding the ones we can most likely negotiate the best deals on.

So, got anything you want us to roll up our sleeves and look for? Real estate deals won't just fall in your lap, but we can certainly help you find one this Fall.

Bonus

Want another reason to buy a home in the Fall? You can take advantage of year-end sales to outfit your home!

Hardly anybody buys a home who doesn't want (or need) to make improvements, however small. So why not coordinate your purchase with sales on items you'll need? According to Consumer Reports, September is an ideal time for buying carpet and paint. In October lawn mowers go on sale, and the same goes for appliances and cookware in November.

We are ready and able to find you that pefect home at the perfect price, so contact us today and put Group Watson to work for you!

Call 972-370-1775 today for more details of how we can help you purchase your next home this fall!

*GROUPWATSON'S FEATURED LISTING OF THE WEEK*

11028 Coventry Lane

 

PROPERTY DETAILS
$550,000
LISTING INFORMATION
MLS: 13696654
Bedrooms: 5
Full Baths: 4
Partial Baths: 0
Sq ft: 4804
Lot Size: 0.27
Garage: 3
Heat Source: Central Air-Ele
Taxes: $0.00
PROPERTY DESCRIPTION

Classically Designed Sotherby Home on an Oversized Corner Lot! 5 Bdrms, 4 Baths, 3 Car Gar, Game Rm w'Wet Bar & Media Rm. Welcoming 2 Story Entry w'Iron Door, Hand Scraped Hardwood Floors Lead Past Study w'French Drs & the Frml Dining is Highlighted with Curved Walls & a Crystal Chandelier. Lge Living Rm has Vaulted Ceilings, Cast Stone Gas Log FP & Surround Sound. Island Kitchen w'Built in Desk Area, Granite, Elegant Lighting, SS Appl's, Gas Cooktop & Dble Ovens. Master Suite w'Plantation Shutters, Tray Ceiling, Crown Molding, Granite Counters, Oversized Shower & Jetted Tub. Guest Suite Down. Media Rm Speakers, Screen & Projector Stay. Private Backyard w'BOB Fence, Lge Flagstone Patio & Pergola w'Ceiling Fans.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Scott and Tammy Watson
GroupWatson, Keller Williams
4862 State Hwy 121, Ste. 210
Lewisville 75056

Phone: 214-682-7002
Fax: 214-522-5519
http://www.groupwatson.com/
ADDITIONAL IMAGES
 

The Hidden Costs of NOT Owning a Home

by Scott and Tammy Watson

There's no arguing there's costs associated with owning a home. But the adverse is also true; there are also definite costs associated with NOT owning a home. The benefits of buying vs. renting has always been a hotly debated topic, with most people believing that — at least in the short term — renting is more cost effective. But most people don't consider the hidden costs of not owning a home and sinking all of your money into your rental. Here are four sneaky ways that not owning a home will cost you:

1. Your pricing is never guaranteed

When you own a home, there are no surprises when it comes to your monthly housing costs. Once you lock in your mortgage, your payment will remain constant throughout the length of your loan (unless you decide to refinance in the future). The stability of having a mortgage gives you the peace of mind of knowing what to expect each month — and not having to worry about unpleasant surprises that completely throw off your budget. When you don't own a home, it's different. You're at the mercy of your landlord; they can (and often will) change the price of your rent often to keep up with market prices. So what does that mean for you? Well, it means the price you agreed to rent the house or apartment for is not necessarily the price if will rent for in the near future, which leaves you with two options: agree to a higher price or find a new place to live (which is an expensive endeavor itself).

2. Investing in home improvement is a lost cause

Everyone wants to feel comfortable in the place they call home — whether they own or rent. And that means different things to different people; maybe it's cosmetic changes (like painting walls or hanging art) or more practical changes (like installing insulated windows to moderate the temperature). When you own a home, making the improvements necessary to make your home feel comfortable makes sense. Whatever you do to improve your home will only increase the value, making it a sound investment choice. But when you don't own your home, making improvements to your home is like throwing money away. If you paint your walls or hang too much art on the walls, you'll likely have the cost of getting the property repainted deducted from your security deposit when you move out. You can spend the money to install the insulated windows, but they're not coming with you (and the only person that investment makes sense for is your landlord). Some landlords might not even allow you to make any improvements or changes at all. Everyone wants to improve the place they live. But if you don't own a home, making those improvements just isn't a sound investment.

3. You can't always get what you want

When you own a home, you get to choose the services and amenities you enjoy. You can choose between satellite and cable television. You can choose which service providers you want to work with. You can install solar panels if you want to save money on energy costs. When you don't own a home? Not so much. When you rent a home, you're locking into the services and amenities that are tied to that property. Your landlord gives you a list of approved vendors you have no choice but to work with - and often times, those vendors aren't the most cost-efficient. If you live in an apartment community, you'll also have to pay for the amenities of that apartment community, like a pool, gym, or resident's lounge - even if you don't want them or don't use them. And all of those costs can quickly add up. When you own a home, you make the choices on what you want to pay for, which can save you a lot of cash.

4. You're not building any wealth

Perhaps the biggest cost of not owning a home is the fact that you're not building any wealth. When you rent a home, you're giving your money to someone else; you're paying for the right to live there for a predetermined period of time. When that predetermined period of time is over, you walk away with nothing; all of that money is gone. When you own your home, every time you make a mortgage payment, you're paying down your loan and building equity in your home. This is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to build wealth — and is a significantly better investment than throwing your money away on rent every month. You already know that buying a home is a better investment. But when you factor in all the hidden costs of not owning a home, it might be the less expensive one as well.

GroupWatson is the number 1 Real Estate Group to go to when you are ready to
stop throwing your money away on Rent and Purchase a Home!

We have the expertise neccessary to make your transaction a smooth one, whether Buying or Selling so contact us TODAY!

Call 972-370-1775 today for more details of how we can help you sell or purchase your next home.

*GROUPWATSON'S FEATURED LISTING OF THE WEEK*

11028 Coventry Lane

 

PROPERTY DETAILS
$550,000
LISTING INFORMATION
MLS: 13696654
Bedrooms: 5
Full Baths: 4
Partial Baths: 0
Sq ft: 4804
Lot Size: 0.27
Garage: 3
Heat Source: Central Air-Ele
Taxes: $0.00
PROPERTY DESCRIPTION

Classically Designed Sotherby Home on an Oversized Corner Lot! 5 Bdrms, 4 Baths, 3 Car Gar, Game Rm w'Wet Bar & Media Rm. Welcoming 2 Story Entry w'Iron Door, Hand Scraped Hardwood Floors Lead Past Study w'French Drs & the Frml Dining is Highlighted with Curved Walls & a Crystal Chandelier. Lge Living Rm has Vaulted Ceilings, Cast Stone Gas Log FP & Surround Sound. Island Kitchen w'Built in Desk Area, Granite, Elegant Lighting, SS Appl's, Gas Cooktop & Dble Ovens. Master Suite w'Plantation Shutters, Tray Ceiling, Crown Molding, Granite Counters, Oversized Shower & Jetted Tub. Guest Suite Down. Media Rm Speakers, Screen & Projector Stay. Private Backyard w'BOB Fence, Lge Flagstone Patio & Pergola w'Ceiling Fans.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Scott and Tammy Watson
GroupWatson, Keller Williams
4862 State Hwy 121, Ste. 210
Lewisville 75056

Phone: 214-682-7002
Fax: 214-522-5519
http://www.groupwatson.com/
ADDITIONAL IMAGES

Several Things That Online Real Estate Apps Commonly Get Wrong

by Scott and Tammy Watson

Listing sites like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and Craigslist have become the go-to source for many buyers and sellers (particularly people attempting to buy or sell property on their own) to get information about the market, view properties and connect with property owners. But while most people believe these listing sites are a reliable source of information, there's actually quite a bit of misinformation that can throw a wrench in your home search or sale. Here are the three things real estate apps commonly get wrong (and how you can avoid them while selling or buying your home):

1. Not all postings are real

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One of the biggest problems on most real estate apps is that they don't require any verification from the people placing listings. So essentially, anyone with an internet connection can post any listing they'd like — including listings that are completely falsified. There are an immeasurable number of fake listings on these sites; posters either use the "bait and switch" method, posting photos of one property when they're really selling another, or create a completely fake listing in hopes of gathering people's personal information for marketing purposes or, in some extreme cases, identity theft. For these reasons you may waste a lot of time and energy looking through and engaging with fake listings, which can keep you from finding real listings — the kind that could end up being your dream home.

2. Not all postings are up-to-date

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Another big issue with these sites is that often times, listings aren't updated. So a listing you see for sale might have actually been sold the previous week or a listing that reads "sale pending" might actually be back on the market. This failure to update is a bad situation for both buyers and sellers. As a buyer, it means you might get excited about a home only to find out it's already been sold or you might pass on an amazing home, thinking it's already been sold... only to find out after the fact it actually was available. If your listing is out-of-date as a seller, it means you could miss out on potential buyers thanks to inaccurate information. Without up-to-date information, it's impossible to effectively manage either the search or the sale of your home. But unfortunately, when you work within these types of real estate listings sites, you're pretty much guaranteed out-of-date information.

3. Property information is often incorrect

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On top of fake listings and out-of-date listings, many listings on these sites are just flat out incorrect. And this can be a big problem for both buyers and sellers. As a buyer, you want to know what you're getting into when you look at a property. But if the information is incorrect — for example, the listing states the property is 4 bedrooms when it's really only three or that the home sits on 2 acres when it's really only 1 — you'll end up wasting a lot of time looking at properties that don't actually fit within your parameters. As a seller, not only will incorrect listing information waste time by connecting you with buyers who are looking for something different from what your property has to offer, but it can actually affect the price of your offers. Zillow, one of the top real estate apps, offers a popular feature called "Zestimate" which estimates how much a property is worth whether it's on or off the market. Anyone can access this information, including potential buyers. And buyers use Zestimates as a way to come up with offer prices. Unfortunately, Zestimates are often inaccurate. In fact, they're off by an average of 8% nationally, which is a pretty shocking disparity. Apps and listing sites readily admit their information might not be accurate; most all have a disclaimer page stating that information on their site may be inaccurate and encouraging potential buyers or sellers to verify all information independently. Moral of the story: when you deal with real estate apps, you're also going to be dealing with a lot of misinformation, which can derail your home sale or search.

What to do instead

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As you can see, real estate apps aren't your best bet when it comes to buying or selling a home. You'll end up wasting time and energy on fake or out-of-date listings or inaccurate information. That's why it's always best to work with a real estate agent. Agents have access to the most up-to-date, accurate information through the MLS, which will ensure that as a buyer, every home you see is exactly what you expect it to be, and as a seller, every potential buyer that comes to tour your home will know exactly what they're getting into.


GroupWatson has extensive experience in property valuations and are the go to professionals in our market area.

We have the expertise neccessary to make your transaction a smooth one, whether Buying or Selling!

Call 972-370-1775 today for more details of how we can help you sell or purchase your next home.

*GROUPWATSON'S FEATURED LISTING OF THE WEEK*

242 Hilltop Drive

 

PROPERTY DETAILS
$225,000
LISTING INFORMATION
MLS: 13687654
Bedrooms: 3
Full Baths: 2
Partial Baths: 1
Sq ft: 2349
Lot Size: 0.165
Taxes: $0.00
PROPERTY DESCRIPTION

Tasteful Touches are Everywhere in this Impeccably Maintained Home. 3 Bdrms, 2.5 Baths, 2 Car Gar, Frml Dining Rm + Game Rm. Updates Include Fresh Int Paint, New Light Fixtures, Extensive Crown Molding, New Carpet & Beautiful Wood Look Laminate Floors in the Living & Master Suite. The Floorplan Flows from the Bright 2 Story Entry to the Living Area that is Open to a Lge Eat-In Kitchen Featuring Recessed Lighting, Gleaming White Cabinets, SS Appliances, Corner Pantry & Views of the Covered Back Patio & Great Sized Yard. Master Suite is Down & Boasts Stylish Cabinetry, New Counters w'Integrated Double Sinks, Lge Walk In Closet, Sep Shower & Garden Tub. Upstairs You Will Find a Big Game Rm & 2 Additional Bdrms.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Scott and Tammy Watson
GroupWatson, Keller Williams
4862 State Hwy 121, Ste. 210
Lewisville 75056

Phone: 214-682-7002
Fax: 214-522-5519
http://www.groupwatson.com/
ADDITIONAL IMAGES

Tips For Buying A Home In A Hot Market

by Scott and Tammy Watson

When a market is hot, finding and buying a home can feel like an uphill battle. In a seller's market, homes go quickly. They can be on the market one day and gone the next. On top of the challenge of finding a home, most homes (especially the desirable ones) have multiple offers, making it harder to get into the home of your dreams. Buying a home in a hot market isn't impossible! You just have to approach it strategically and stack the deck in your favor to find - and successfully buy - the right home for you and your family. Here are four tips for buying a home in a hot market that will put you a step ahead of the home-buying competition:

Make Your Offer As Attractive As Possible

When faced with multiple offers, sellers are going to go with the offer that's the most attractive, both in offer amount and the actual terms of the offer. If you want to stand out from other potential homebuyers and make an impact on the sellers, you need to make your offer as attractive as possible. The first thing you can do to make your offer attractive is to put more money down towards the house. Cash offers are always the most attractive, but that's unrealistic for most people. So if you can offer a larger down payment than the standard 20%, that will immediately make your offer stand out. If you don't have extra cash, there are other ways to make your offer more attractive to sellers. You can offer a short inspection period and agree to take the property as is, which will sweeten the deal for sellers (just make sure you know what you're getting into; obviously, any large repairs discovered during inspection can add a significant cost to owning the property). Or, if the owners want to stay in the house longer (for example, to finish out the school year), you can offer to rent the home back to them after purchase and delay your move in. Anything you can do to make your offer more attractive to sellers will up your chances of landing a home in a hot market.

Be Willing To Be Flexible

In a hot market, the sellers are the ones holding the cards. And if you want to find a home, you need to be willing to be flexible. Chances are, when you find a property, there are going to be things about it that don't fit your image of your "perfect" home. But if you wait too long on a property or ask for too much from the sellers in terms of repairs or changes, you risk losing out to other people who are ready to make a move. Don't budge on your non-negotiables; you want to be happy with your home purchase and not feel like you moved too quickly out of fear you wouldn't find another property in such a competitive market. But don't let a great home slip through your fingers because you aren't willing to be flexible in your wants and needs in a home. Because in a hot market if you're not willing to be flexible, someone else will be.

Be Willing To Be Agressive

While you always want to get the best deal possible on your home purchase, a hot market isn't the time to go in with an ultra conservative offer. In sellers markets, houses routinely go for well above asking price. And while you don't necessarily have to make an offer that's above asking price, if you want to land a home in a hot market, you need to be aggressive. If you find a property you love, talk to your real estate agent to come up with a strategy to make your offer aggressive and competitive. Look at the recent sales in the neighborhood to get an idea of what homes are selling for and make sure your offer is in line with the recent comps. Make your offer competitive, but don't commit to more than you can comfortably pay.

Write A Personal Letter

It seems like a minor detail, but when you're looking to buy in a hot market, is a good idea to write a personal note to the sellers. When faced with similar offers, many sellers end up following their emotions and going with the potential buyer they most want to sell to. And by writing a personal, sincere letter that introduces yourself and your family and lets the sellers know why you want to purchase their home, you can differentiate yourself from other potential buyers, appeal to their emotional side, and land the home. Buying in a hot market isn't easy, but it's possible. And with these tips, you'll put yourself a step ahead of the competition and get yourself a few steps closer to buying your home.

GroupWatson is a full-service team working hard for each one of our Clients when Buying or Selling In a HOT Market.  
We have the experience and expertise to make your transaction a smooth one from Contract to Close!

Call 972-370-1775 today for more details of how we can help you sell or purchase your next home.

*GROUPWATSON'S FEATURED LISTING OF THE WEEK*

242 Hilltop Drive

 

PROPERTY DETAILS
$225,000
LISTING INFORMATION
MLS: 13687654
Bedrooms: 3
Full Baths: 2
Partial Baths: 1
Sq ft: 2349
Lot Size: 0.165
Taxes: $0.00
PROPERTY DESCRIPTION

Tasteful Touches are Everywhere in this Impeccably Maintained Home. 3 Bdrms, 2.5 Baths, 2 Car Gar, Frml Dining Rm + Game Rm. Updates Include Fresh Int Paint, New Light Fixtures, Extensive Crown Molding, New Carpet & Beautiful Wood Look Laminate Floors in the Living & Master Suite. The Floorplan Flows from the Bright 2 Story Entry to the Living Area that is Open to a Lge Eat-In Kitchen Featuring Recessed Lighting, Gleaming White Cabinets, SS Appliances, Corner Pantry & Views of the Covered Back Patio & Great Sized Yard. Master Suite is Down & Boasts Stylish Cabinetry, New Counters w'Integrated Double Sinks, Lge Walk In Closet, Sep Shower & Garden Tub. Upstairs You Will Find a Big Game Rm & 2 Additional Bdrms.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Scott and Tammy Watson
GroupWatson, Keller Williams
4862 State Hwy 121, Ste. 210
Lewisville 75056

Phone: 214-682-7002
Fax: 214-522-5519
http://www.groupwatson.com/
ADDITIONAL IMAGES

Open House Etiquette 101: A Guide For Buyers

by Scott and Tammy Watson

Open houses can be an interesting experience for first-time buyers and seasoned buyers alike — especially if the owners are still living in the home. It can be a bit awkward walking through someone's home, looking at their things, and judging whether their property is a place you can envision as a home for you and your family. But it doesn't have to be awkward! As long as you know what's appropriate in terms of etiquette, open houses can be a breeze. So, what are the rules for open houses? What's proper etiquette? And how should you as a buyer behave when attending an open house?

Treat the host with respect

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The first — and most important — rule of open house etiquette is to treat your host with respect. Whether you're dealing with a real estate agent, an owner, or both, it's important that you're polite and respectful. If you fall in love with the property but made a bad impression at the open house, the owner or agent will likely be less inclined to work with you. No need to go overboard, but make sure you say hello to the host and thank them for having you. Sign in and leave your contact information. Say goodbye when you leave. Treat the host the way you'd like to be treated if you had a bunch of strangers walking through your house.

Don't take a seat

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The last thing you want to do when touring an open house is make yourself comfortable and take a seat on a chair, couch, bed or any other piece of furniture. There are a few reasons for this. If the house is staged, the furniture might not even be real; professional stages are known to use fake furniture like cardboard couches to keep the budget down. And if you sit on one of these fake pieces of furniture, you'll likely to fall straight through and end up on the floor. If the house isn't staged and the owners are still living in the house, it's disrespectful to sit on their furniture without their invitation to do so. You don't need to know if the couch is comfortable in order to make a decision about the property, so keep off.

Ask before snapping photos

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If you like a property, you may want to take photos to share with your family or review after the open house. And while that's usually fine, it's important that you ask before you snap any photo or video. Remember, if the owners are still living in the property, that's their home. There might be things in their home they would rather not have photographed, so make sure to get permission before you get out your camera.

Be efficient

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When attending an open house, it's important that you're efficient and get in and out in a reasonable amount of time. While open houses typically run for a few hours at a time, there's no need to spend more than a few minutes walking through the house. Tour the entire property, take notes, ask any questions, then leave. By using your time efficiently, you're respecting the hosts and allowing them to show the property to other potential buyers.

Don't overstep your boundaries

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It's important when touring an open house that you don't overstep your boundaries. It's ok to look in the master closet to check for spaciousness; it's not ok to rummage through the drawers. It's ok to open the refrigerator to make sure it's working properly; it's not ok to grab a bottle of water out of it. It's ok to explore the property, but it's not ok to treat it as if it was your own. Use your best judgement.

Don't criticize the property while you're still in it

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Chances are, there are going to be a few open houses you attend where you absolutely hate the property. And that's ok! Seeing properties that aren't the right fit for you and your family is just part of the process of buying a home. However, it's important to remember that the open house you're attending is a house that belongs to someone. And badmouthing the home while you're still inside it is just bad form. Even if the owner isn't in the house, you never know who might overhear you, like the real estate agent or a neighbor. You wouldn't want someone you invited into your home to criticize it. So don't do the same at an open house. Wait until after you leave to share your criticisms with your partner, family, or agent. Attending an open house can be a great way to find your dream home. And now that you know the proper etiquette, it's time to get out there and start exploring some open houses!

GroupWatson is a full-service team working hard for all our Clients.  
Come show off your best Open House Etiquette at one of our Open Houses this Weekend!

Call 972-370-1775 today for more details of how we can help you sell or purchase your next home.

*GROUPWATSON'S FEATURED LISTING OF THE WEEK*

 

242 Hilltop Drive

 

PROPERTY DETAILS
$225,000
LISTING INFORMATION
MLS: 13687654
Bedrooms: 3
Full Baths: 2
Partial Baths: 1
Sq ft: 2349
Lot Size: 0.165
Taxes: $0.00
PROPERTY DESCRIPTION

Tasteful Touches are Everywhere in this Impeccably Maintained Home. 3 Bdrms, 2.5 Baths, 2 Car Gar, Frml Dining Rm + Game Rm. Updates Include Fresh Int Paint, New Light Fixtures, Extensive Crown Molding, New Carpet & Beautiful Wood Look Laminate Floors in the Living & Master Suite. The Floorplan Flows from the Bright 2 Story Entry to the Living Area that is Open to a Lge Eat-In Kitchen Featuring Recessed Lighting, Gleaming White Cabinets, SS Appliances, Corner Pantry & Views of the Covered Back Patio & Great Sized Yard. Master Suite is Down & Boasts Stylish Cabinetry, New Counters w'Integrated Double Sinks, Lge Walk In Closet, Sep Shower & Garden Tub. Upstairs You Will Find a Big Game Rm & 2 Additional Bdrms.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Scott and Tammy Watson
GroupWatson, Keller Williams
4862 State Hwy 121, Ste. 210
Lewisville 75056

Phone: 214-682-7002
Fax: 214-522-5519
http://www.groupwatson.com/
ADDITIONAL IMAGES

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Scott and Tammy Watson
GroupWatson, Keller Williams
4862 State Hwy 121, Ste. 210
Lewisville TX 75056
214-682-7002
972-370-1775
Fax: 214-522-5519