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Understanding Appraisal Contingencies

by Sturges Group

Making an accepted offer and putting down a deposit on your dream home isn't always the end of the story. Unfortunately, if the house is appraised for less than your offer, the bank may not grant you a mortgage. When situations where this occurs, appraisal contingencies come into play.

 

The majority of real estate contracts include 3 contingencies that must be met before the contract becomes legally binding. When one of these conditions is not met by a certain time, the contract is null and you receive a refund of your deposit.

 

1. Appraisal Contingency

This condition states that the house has to be appraised at or higher than the listed sale price. A licensed appraiser is hired by your bank to determine the value of the home. A fair value is assessed to the home based on its condition, location, and comparable properties in the area. The bank will then loan you the amount the house is appraised for. If the seller accepts an offer higher than the appraised value and will not lower their price, the buyer is allowed to walk away and get their money back from the deposit.

 

2. Finance Contingency

The finance contingency can function in much the same way as the appraisal contingency. Again, it allows you to exit the contract if the bank refuses to approve your mortgage when a home is appraised for less than the offer. The finance contingency allows the buyer to make up the difference themselves when the bank agrees to the smaller loan.

 

3. Inspection Contingency

The most straightforward of the contingencies, this one means that the home must pass an inspection.

 

Just because your home is appraised lower than you expected, it does not mean that the deal must be walked away from. You can request a second appraisal

from the bank. When you do this, you will need to present evidence showing why the home is worth more. You will get a loan for the full amount if this additional

appraisal shows that the house is more valuable.

 

When the real estate market is hot, it might make sense to avoid contingencies. When sellers get competition amongst buyers, they gravitate towards the contracts with the least conditions. This can cause a whole other set of difficulties for you. You should always prepare for not getting the loan or having to prove you have the full cash amount to the seller.


Help know what home value you can afford by using our helpful Loan Analysis tools. find out. If you need help navigating the Buying process, give the Sturges Group a call today or visit our website at http://www.sturgesgroup.com/.  

Home Seller Mistakes that are Costly

by Sturges Group

Home Selling Mistakes

Are you considering listing your home this year?  It's an excellent time to do so as the real estate market is just exploding here in Dallas/Fort Worth.  But these home selling mistakes can cost you dearly!  

1. Going at it alone.  Many times homeowners feel they can do the job of selling their home better than anyone else.  Unless you are a licensed real estate agent, the pitfalls of 'For Sale by Owner' are massive.  This is the same as a homeowner who would hire a real estate agent based on friendship or commission rate.  Always partner with the best real estate team in the area.  Their expertise of the market, negotiation skills and knowledge of the process and players involved is PRICELESS!

2. Putting your home on the market before it is ready.  Yes, getting to the market early gets you a jump on all the competition, but can be a costly mistake if you and your home is not fully ready.  You only get one chance to make a great first impression; leading to top dollar and a fast home sale so don't ruin your chances by jumping the gun.  Always do a walk-thru of your home with your real estate agent and listen to their recommendations for easy updates and repairs that are necessary.

3. Viewing Unavailability.  This is very detrimental to the sale of your home.  Putting your home on the market when you have the most time to make your home available to potential buyers is very important.  Limited showing times will hinder your chance at selling your home for the best price and time.

4. Overpricing your home from the start!  We all want to be able to get top dollar for our homes, but not listening to your professional real estate agent on the pricing is a mistake.  Your agent knows the comparative market values for your home and the best price to get within your community.  Out pricing your home leads to poor showings and offers and usually results in having to do a price change.  This can make buyers hesitate.

5. Willingness to negotiate.  Real Estate is no different from any other sale and needs to have room for negotiations with potential buyers.  Talk this over with your agent ahead of time and prepare for what you are willing to give and what is an absolute no.

For more Home Selling Tips check out our website and follow-us on our Facebook page.

Housing Market Update for Dallas/Fort Worth Communities

by Sturges Group

2017 was a great year for real estate in the Dallas/Fort Worth area! The market ended strong in December. Every community in the area saw an additional 40+ homes sold during the last month of the year. The year to date sales for December 2017 were more than the same month in 2016 in 3 of the cities. Sellers enjoyed higher average prices in 2017 than they did in 2016, reflecting an increase in home values throughout the area. Home prices remained consistant between November and December of this year. Finally, homes continued to move quickly (in two months or less!) off the market. As Dallas/Fort Worth continues to be one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country, we look forward to seeing what happens in the housing market during this new year!



Area Housing Activity Report for North Texas Real Estate

Statistics for the Month of December 2017

Area

Sales

% Change Year Ago

Average Price

% Change Year Ago

Days On Market (DOM)

% Change Year Ago

Bedford

604

3%

$249,971

5%

22

5%

Euless

667

4%

$286,969

9%

38

-5%

Hurst

655

-9%

$233,979

11%

20

-13%

Colleyville

472

0%

$613,341

3%

64

10%

Grapevine

592

1%

$370,763

6%

30

7%

Southlake

596

6%

$799,105

6%

54

-14%

Keller

907

-1%

$451,845

7%

44

7%


Dallas/Fort Worth buyers and sellers should work with the area’s Top Realtor to help navigate the current housing market and make your dreams a reality. If you are looking to Buy in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, find the perfect home for you and your family using our MLS Search. There are great resources for those looking to Sell as well. Find out your Home's Worth today. Our team is here to help you every step of the way! Give us a call today or visit our website at http://www.sturgesgroup.com/.

Top School Districts Found in Dallas/Fort Worth Area!

by Sturges Group

Having an excellent school district in your community is an asset for any home buyer. It ensures that your children are receiving the best possible education AND has been shown to increase home values! Are you looking for a home near an excellent school district? There are so many in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area for you to choose from!

Educational review and ranking website Niche recently released the 2018 Best School Districts in America! To find the rankings, the website looked at several key metrics including teacher quality, test scores, student diversity, student to teacher ratio, extracurricular offerings, and more. These factors were gathered from statistics from the U.S. Department of Education as well as reviews from millions of Niche users. Of the tens of thousands of school districts examined around the country, 2 local school districts were ranked within the top 25 in the entire United States! Find out more about the school districts that ranked at the top of the class for Dallas/Fort Worth!

#21 Carroll Independent School District | PK-12

2400 North Carroll Avenue, Southlake


Carroll ISD has 12 schools, educating 7,884 students in Southlake. This elite public school district has a student-teacher ratio of 14 to 1. 98% of students are proficient in math and 97% are proficient in reading, according to state test scores. Niche ranked Coppell ISD as the 4th best school district in Texas for 2018.



 


#25 Coppell Independent School District | PK-12

200 South Denton Tap Road, Coppell


Coppell ISD has 17 schools, educating 11,570 students in Coppell. This elite public school district has a student-teacher ratio of 15 to 1. 91% of students are proficient in math and 92% are proficient in reading, according to state test scores. Niche ranked Coppell ISD as the 5th best school district in Texas for 2018.




 

Check out all the listings for homes within these top school districts. Search our Current Homes for Sale in Carroll ISD and Current Homes for Sale in Coppell ISD today! If you are interested in Buying a home within one of these great school districts, the Sturges Group is here to help! Give us a call today or visit our website at http://www.sturgesgroup.com/.

 

Happy New Year from the Sturges Group!

by Sturges Group

 

THANK YOU TO OUR CLIENTS...As 2017 reaches its final days and we look to the new possibilities ahead in 2018, we feel incredibly blessed and fortunate for the clients that we helped over the past year. We thank you for entrusting us with your real estate needs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and allowing us the great opportunity to get to know each and every of you. We are honored to work with so many extraordinary individuals and families who have called this region home forever or are new to the area. We are very grateful to all of our clients who have taken the time out of their own busy lives to provide reviews on Trulia, Zillow, and other sites regarding their experience working with us.


We remain fully focused on our clients and fulfilling all of their needs. We love the Dallas-Worth area and look forward to helping you in anyway we can. If you have a question about our communities or need real estate assistance, never hesitate to call us. Since our very first days in real estate, our core philosophy of dedication to our clients has remained. We are always here for you throughout your real estate journey!



From all of us here at the Sturges Group, we wish you the very BEST that 2018 has to offer and a Happy New Year!

What's your favorite Christmas Cookie?

by Sturges Group

It's almost Christmas and time to share the joy of the season with family and friends.  There's no better way to show your holiday spirit than with a great Christmas treat.  Decorated sugar cookies once again take the spotlight this season and are great to share at your holiday gathering or to give as a gift.  

Here's our best Sugar Cookie Recipe:

Ingredients:

Cookies

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup  granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg1
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract 
  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Easy Icing

  • 1 and 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup2
  • 2 - 2.5 Tablespoons room temperature water
  • pinch salt3

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy and smooth - about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat on high until fully combine, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Turn the mixer down to low and add about half of the flour mixture, beating until just barely combined. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until just combined. If the dough still seems too soft, you can add 1 Tablespoon more flour until it is a better consistency for rolling.
  3. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment to about 1/4″ thickness. Stack the pieces (with paper) onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Chilling is mandatory.
  4. After chilling, preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. The amount of batches will depend on how large/small you cut your cookies. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a cookie cutter, cut in shapes. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.
  5. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until very lightly colored on top and around the edges. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing. No need to cover the cookies as the cookies cool.
  6. For the icing, whisk the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons of water in a medium bowl. It should be quite thick.  If desired, add food coloring.  If you’re choosing to decorate with multiple colors, put small portions of frosting in different bowls and color accordingly.
  7. Now it’s time to decorate!  Have fun and use sugars, jimmy’s and edible glitter to add more sparkle and shine.

Do you have a favorite cookie recipe?  Share on our Facebook page with a photo.

Prevent holiday decorating fires with these tips!

by Sturges Group

The holidays are always a great time for adding warmth, color and fun to your home decorating.  The Christmas Tree, Garlands, lights and more are all part of our great traditions, but ensuring your home remains safe during this time is always a concern.  

Here are some excellent tips for preventing holiday decorating home fires:

1. Choose a fresh tree with green needles that won't fall off when touched.

2. Always trim the base of the tree 2" before putting in the tree stand.  This allows for water to be easily absorbed, keeping the tree fresh.

3. Never place the tree by any heat source;  radiators, fireplaces, heat vents, candles or an exit.

4. Add water to the tree stand when you place your tree and add daily.

5. Make sure your lights are approved by an independent testing lab and you utilize them in the manner in which they were made.  Interior or exterior lights.

6. Never put up a strand of lights that is broken or worn as this can start a fire.

7. Lit candles should never be used in decorating a tree.

8. Make sure Christmas tree lights are always turned off before leaving the house or going to bed.

9. Always get rid of your tree right after Christmas.  Dried-out trees are a big source of all holiday home fires. 

For more homeowner tips for the holidays visit our Facebook Page.

 

Housing Market Update for Dallas/Fort Worth Communities

by Sturges Group

With the holiday season approaching, homes quickly moved off the market during November in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Home sellers enjoyed low days on the market as well as high average prices for their homes. In fact, all 7 communities saw higher average prices in November 2017 than at this time last year. A healthy amount of homes were sold during the month. This stat also reflected an increase compared to last year in all communities, except for Hurst. With the year coming to an end, we expect to see the housing market for Dallas/Fort Worth to end on a high note.


Area Housing Activity Report for North Texas Real Estate

Statistics for the Month of November 2017

Area

Sales

% Change Year Ago

Average Price

% Change Year Ago

Days On Market (DOM)

% Change Year Ago

Bedford

559

3%

$249,856

6%

21

0%

Euless

618

7%

$286,346

9%

37

-3%

Hurst

614

-8%

$231,502

10%

20

-9%

Colleyville

438

2%

$610,148

3%

62

15%

Grapevine

547

0%

$372,483

7%

29

7%

Southlake

554

5%

$803,655

8%

53

-15%

Keller

853

0%

$450,450

7%

44

7%


Dallas/Fort Worth buyers and sellers should work with the area’s Top Realtor to help navigate the current housing market and make your dreams a reality. If you are looking to Buy in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, find the perfect home for you and your family using our MLS Search. There are great resources for those looking to Sell as well. Find out your Home's Worth today. Our team is here to help you every step of the way! Give us a call today or visit our website at http://www.sturgesgroup.com/.


Grapevine: Christmas Capital Of Texas®!

by Sturges Group

Grapevine is the CHRISTMAS CAPITAL OF TEXAS®!! Kick off your holiday festivities with the PARADE OF LIGHTS this Thursday, December 7th, at 7:00 pm. Head to beautiful, historic downtown Grapevine for North Texas’s largest lighted Christmas parade. Find the perfect spot along the Route to see 100+ floats, marching bands, and…….Santa Claus!  


But, wait! The Parade of Lights isn’t the only way to celebrate Christmas with your family, friends, and neighbors in downtown Grapevine! There are incredible holiday events taking place everyday from now until the big day!

  • THE CHILLY DAWGS: GRAPEVINE’S VERY OWN SINGING SNOWMEN!

    • Location: Liberty Plaza (215 South Main Street)

    • Dates: November 22nd, 2017 - January 7th, 2018

    • Time: 9:00 am to 11:00 pm

    • Price: FREE!

  • LIGHT SHOW SPECTACULAR

    • Location: Town Square Gazebo (325 South Main Street)

    • Dates: November 22nd, 2017 - January 7th, 2018

    • Time: 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm

    • Price: FREE!

  • CHRISTMAS FARMERS MARKET

    • Location: Town Square Gazebo (325 South Main Street)

    • Dates: November 24th, 2017 - December 10th, 2017 & December 15th, 2017 - December 23rd, 2017

    • Time: 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm

    • Price: FREE!

  • CHRISTMAS ON MAIN

    • Location: Downtown Grapevine (Main Street)

    • Dates: November 24th, 2017 - December 23rd, 2017 (Fridays-Sundays)

    • Time: 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm (Fridays), 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm (Saturdays), & 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm (Sundays)

    • Price: FREE!


The holiday cheer extends past downtown Grapevine, too! Check out these unique, family fun attractions located at your favorite spots around town.

  • ICE! and Lone Star Christmas

    • Location: Gaylord Texan Resort (1501 Gaylord Trail)

    • Dates: November 10th, 2017 – January 1st, 2018

  • Main Street Santa

    • Location: Founders Building (705 South Main Street)

    • Dates: November 18th, 2017 - December 24th, 2017

  • North Pole Express®  

    • Location: Grapevine Vintage Railroad (705 South Main Street)

    • Dates: November 24th, 2017 - December 23rd, 2017

  • Snowland

    • Location: Great Wolf Lodge (100 Great Wolf Drive)

    • Dates: November 25th, 2017 - January 1st, 2018

  • Christmas Concerts & Classic Christmas Movies

    • Location: Palace Arts Center (300 South Main Street)

    • Dates: December 1st, 2017 - December 23rd, 2017



The Sturges Group wishes everyone a very merry time in Grapevine this holiday season!  

 

Image Credit: Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau

Selling during the holidays? Add great curb appeal!

by Sturges Group

Are you selling your home during the holiday season?  Take advantage of the festive season with great curb appeal!


Tips for curb appeal decorating:

1. Keep your decorations simple & elegant

2. Make sure decorations complement your homes exterior.

3. When using outdoor lights, opt for white or one color.

4. Utlize your front porch area to create a warm and welcoming environment.

5. Keep lawn ornaments to a miminum.  You want to accentuate your home, not detract from it.

For more home selling tips visit our website or call us for a personal consultation.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 85

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Contact Information

Photo of John and Mysti Sturges Real Estate
John and Mysti Sturges
Sturges Group of Keller Williams Realty
850 E State Hwy 114
Southlake TX 76092
John: 817-832-7473
Mysti: 817-913-4994
Fax: 1-866-481-0888