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Expert Moving Tips To Make Your Winter Move Fast and Easy

by Scott and Tammy Watson

Winter is a great time to buy a home — there's less competition, so that often means you can get a better home for a cheaper price. Talk about a happy holiday!  There are definitely challenges that go along with packing up everything you own and moving it to a new location in the dead of winter — especially if you live in an area with extreme winter weather, but it's not impossible! Here are several expert moving tips to make your winter move fast and easy (and have you settled into your new place with a nice, hot cup of cocoa before you know it).

Keep an eye on the forecast

This one should go without saying, but if you're planning on moving during the winter months, it's extremely important that you keep an eye on the forecast. Winter weather can be unpredictable and snowstorms can hit with little warning. Check the forecast once a week in the month leading up to your move. The week of your move, check every day. If there's a significant amount of snow forecasted - the kind of snow that could close roads or make driving unsafe - consider postponing your move date until after the snow passes. The last thing you want is to get stuck on the side of the road with all of your belongings in the back of a truck.

Confirm with your movers (and then confirm again)

One of the best things about moving during the winter is that it's a slow time for moving companies — which means a better deal for you on your moving services. If you do hire movers (or rent a moving truck), it's super important to make sure you confirm all the details (like the day, time, and location) of your move. You should plan to confirm the appointment a week before and then check in the day before your move to make sure there's no winter weather that will keep things from going as planned. You don't want to get stuck in a house with no heat or electricity, waiting hours for movers who have the wrong time. Make sure you reconfirm.

Hire a babysitter and/or petsitter

Moving in winter is tough, but you know what makes it tougher? Having a bunch of children and/or pets running around. If you're a parent (or a pet parent) do yourself a favor and hire a babysitter and/or pet sitter for the day. This will save you a ton of time and stress. Instead of trying to keep track of your children or four-legged friends as you lug boxes through the snow, you can focus on the task at hand, which will get you through the move (and into your warm home) faster.

Start your move as early as possible

Not only do the days get colder in the winter — they also get shorter. Because there's fewer hours of daylight during the winter, you'll want to get your move started as early as possible. That way, if you run into any speed bumps along the way, you still have daylight hours to figure things out. Even if you're not a morning person, get started early. A winter move can be tough, but a winter move in the dark is even tougher.

Protect your floors

If there's snow on the ground, that means when you move, you're going to get snow on your shoes. And, eventually, that will mean snow (and water) all over your nice, new floors. You don't want damaging your floor to be the first thing you do when you move into your new home. If you move on a snowy day (or the ground is wet from a previous storm), lay down plastic tarps to protect the flooring before you start moving things in.

Make sure the heat is turned on in your new place

Before you move, make sure you've switched your utilities and the heat is turned on in your new place. The last thing you want to do is arrive and find you have to spend the first night in your new home bundled up because you have no heat! Moving in the winter can be a challenge, but with these tips you'll be moved and snuggled up by the fire in your new home in no time! 

With the holidays right around the corner, GroupWatson knows that this time of year is STILL a great time to consider purchasing a home and making a move.

Call 972-370-1775 or email buyorsell@groupwatson.com to speak with a GroupWatson Specialist today to find out how we can help you as you move towards your goal of home ownership!

*GROUPWATSON'S FEATURED LISTING OF THE WEEK*

3913 Harbor Drive ~ The Colony, TX 75056

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?"

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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?"

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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

When Is the Best Time To Drop Your Listing Price?

by Scott and Tammy Watson

If Your Home Hasn’t Sold Yet…Check The Price!

If Your Home Hasn’t Sold Yet… Definitely Check the Price!

The residential housing market has been HOT! Home sales have bounced back solidly and are now at their fourth highest pace over the past year. Demand has remained strong ­throughout spring, summer and now moving into fall as many real estate professionals are reporting bidding wars with many homes selling above listing price. What about your house?

If your house hasn’t sold, it could be the price.

If your home is on the market and you are not receiving any offers, look at your price. Pricing your home just 10% above market value dramatically cuts the number of prosp­­ective buyers that will even see your house. See chart below.

If Your Home Hasn’t Sold Yet… Definitely Check the Price! | Keeping Current Matters 

Bottom Line

If you are not seeing the results you want, sit down with your agent and revisit the pricing conversation.

GroupWatson understands the local market and will formulate a Marketing and Pricing Strategy to maximize a home's exposure to consumers, minimize the number of days on the market, and yield the most return on what is most people's largest investment, their home. 

Contact a GroupWatson Agent TODAY for Professional Advice & Expert Direction. 

 ~Experience the GroupWatson Difference~

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

*GROUPWATSON'S FEATURED LISTING OF THE WEEK*

3913 Harbor 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

Mistakes First-Time Home Sellers Make & How to Avoid Them

by Scott and Tammy Watson

Plenty of home sellers consider their places to be coveted properties that others would be lucky to own, but, that hubris can often lead to trouble when it comes to actually landing an offer and closing a sale. First-time sellers in particular exhibit some self-sabotaging behaviors that can trip them up on the way getting the deal done. The following are the most common mistakes they make and how to avoid them.

Thinking they can go it alone

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Selling a home is not for the faint of heart, nor is it an easy DIY project. First-time home sellers quickly realize marketing and showing their property is a full-time job. Unless they're experts in real estate contracts, appraisals, inspections and other documentation, they can end up make costly errors. Fortunately, this is an easy one to fix: Hire a licensed Group Watson agent!

Wanting to price it too high

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Homeowners may think they're living in the perfect home, but pricing it too high will render it a white elephant. It's great to be optimistic that you'll make a nice profit, but it's important to be realistic and price a home accurately. Remember, time is money. Seeking top dollar can cost you if your home remains on the market far longer than you'd planned as well as be problematic when the appraisal comes around.

Being unwilling to negotiate

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Just because an offer comes in lower than a seller might have hoped, that's no reason to take it personally and refuse to negotiate. Think of an offer as a starting point that leads to a compromise that works for both parties.

Not doing a thorough cleaning

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From the moment sellers decide to put their home on the market, they should begin cleaning and decluttering to make the home look as attractive and well-kept as possible. Staging is important, but experts agree, nothing makes a home shine quite like a thorough cleaning.

Making it difficult for agents to show the home

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Sure, last-minute showings can be inconvenient, but if sellers really want to make a deal, they have to be willing to let an agent and prospective buyers inside. Thinking a two-hour open house once a week is going to be enough is some serious wishful thinking.

Refusing to take the agent's advice

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Homeowners often think they know their properties better than anyone, so why should they take any advice — even from a professional? Well, you'll benefit from the wisdom and experience of a professional. If your agent suggests that you stash your garden gnome collection in the shed or fix that rickety staircase, just do it!

Being unwilling to make changes

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Things like kitchen and bathroom updates can make a home look more attractive and move more quickly as it means less work a buyer will need to tackle after moving in. Still, some sellers dig in their heels and decide to adopt a "take it or leave it" attitude. Sadly, many buyers will choose to leave it.

Not considering the next move

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Homes can sell more quickly -- or more slowly -- than anyone, including even a Realtor®, can anticipate. So it's important to have a back-up plan either way.

When it's time to make important decisions about listing your home for sale, take a wise "first step";
contact a GroupWatson Listing Specialist for Sound Advice and a proven Strategic Plan. 

 ~Experience the GroupWatson Difference~

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

*GROUPWATSON'S FEATURED LISTING OF THE WEEK*

2632 Leisure Lane ~ Little Elm, TX  75068


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

Must Have Elements for the Perfect Guest Room

by Scott and Tammy Watson

When you travel, no matter where you stay, it's always nice to enjoy the comforts of home plus a few little luxuries as well. If you're expecting guests this fall, why not spoil them by creating a guest room worthy of a five-star hotel? Plus, the better prepared you are, the less they'll be inclined to track you down for towels and toiletries. Even if no one is stopping by, putting together a stunning guest space will add to the overall charm of your home. If you're considering selling, staging it perfectly allows would-be buyers to see themselves as the consummate hosts. Let's take a look at some of the amenities you can add to make guests feel right at home, but be warned: They may never want to leave!

Comfortable bedding

If your guests are too warm, too cold or sleeping on an old saggy mattress adorned with lumpy pillows, chances are you're going to hear about it first thing the following morning -- if not sooner. Supplying comfortable bedding and piles of fluffy pillows makes all the difference when it comes to getting a good night's sleep. Remember this: Great rest equals happy guest.

Drawer space

A post shared by Restyle Design (@restyledesign) on Apr 26, 2017 at 5:25am PDT

Rather than keep their clothing crammed into a suitcase, let your temporary boarders spread out and look their best by clearing some drawer space. If you've got room in that closet, encourage them to hang up their ensembles, which could prevent you from having to drag out the old ironing board.

Good lighting

Wall sconces or side table lamps give your guests an opportunity to read in bed or move about the room in the middle of the night without fear of tripping in their unfamiliar surroundings.

Luggage rack

A luggage stand is a back-saving amenity that keeps the suitcase off the bed or floor yet in an easy-to-reach spot. If you don't have drawer or closet space, this is a great alternative.

Linens & a lil' extra

A post shared by Sasha White (@bluesatinsashas) on Aug 13, 2016 at 8:00am PDT

Fresh, fluffy towels transform your bath into a veritable spa. Compiling a basket of toiletries is not only thoughtful but helpful in the off chance that your guests have forgotten something. Magazines and other reading material provide a relaxing activity should they have a bit of down time.

Tech tips

A post shared by Sasha White (@bluesatinsashas) on Aug 13, 2016 at 8:02am PDT

Chances are your pals may need to get online at some point during their visit. Placing your Wifi password in an easy-to-see spot is a big help. Having an extra phone charger handy is another gesture they might appreciate. If you have an alarm on your home or a code to get in through the garage, make sure your guests have access to those as well. If your TV remotes are complicated, leave an index card with explicit instructions so they can tune in without troubling you.

Fresh flowers

No matter what season it is, you're sure to find something in bloom that will add the perfect pop of color and show your visitors that you want their stay to be extra special. It's these small touches that people remember.

Window treatments

If your guest room is a space you rarely use, you may have neglected the windows. But privacy is important and it'll make your lodgers more comfortable if they don't feel like they're in a fishbowl. Plus, unless you want to hear them padding around at dawn it's a good idea to keep the room darkened.

As the holidays are quickly approaching, many of us will be hosting friends & family from out of town.  Get those guest rooms up to snuff and if you are runing out of room to entertain then a GroupWatson agent can find  you the perfect to home that has room to spare.

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*

4811 Holly Tree Drive ~ Dallas, TX  75287


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

Some Interesting Real Estate Facts to Entertain Your Brain

by Scott and Tammy Watson

The world's largest treehouse has over 80 rooms, 10 floors and has taken the builder over 14 years to build.


From 1949 - 1952, the white house was completely gutted and rebuilt with concrete and steel beams in place of its original wooden joists.


Fans of the hit TV show "Breaking Bad" continue to drive by and throw pizzas onto the roof of building featured as Walter White's house.


In 2013, 300 teenagers broke into a home while the owner was away and caused $20,000 in damages. Some of the parents threatened to sue the owner for outing them on Twitter.


There's a company that specializes in building secret rooms and hidden passageways (one requires a chess board played in a certain combination to unlock)


There are hundreds of ancient stones along the coast of Japan's tsunami affected areas that says, "Do not build your homes below this point!"


There is a machine that transforms concrete rubble into Lego like building blocks. The blocks allow victims of war or natural disasters to construct their own new, earthquake resistant houses.

The Empire State Building makes more money from ticket sales for its observation decks than it does from renting office space.


Built in 1859, the Cooper Union Foundation Building included an elevator shaft in anticipation of elevators someday being invented.


There are castles for sale in France that cost less than a two bedroom apartment in Australia.


The location of Tony Stark's mansion in Iron Man is the same cliff from Planet of the Apes where the Statue of Liberty is sticking out from the sand.


Most traditional Chinese temples were designed with curved roofs to ward off evil spirits, which are thought to only move in straight lines.


GroupWatson understands the ins and outs of every real estate transaction no matter how unique.  They will tailor a property specific plan to get you the most for your home when listing and when buying, they approach each transaction on  a personal level and never treat you like you are just another number. 

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*

1081 Pike Road ~ Gunter, TX 75058

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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