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How to Find the Perfect School in the DFW Area!

by Sturges Group

From architectural design and size to amenities and outdoor living spaces, there are so many factors to consider when you search for a new home. If you have or are planning to have children, one of the factors at the top of your list should be local schools. Set your child(ren) up for success by moving into a home near a great school!

 

As a realtor, we can let you know about fantastic school districts. Luckily, there are so many top ranked districts within the Dallas-Fort Worth Area

 

Of course, all schools within these districts are not created equal. This is where your school work comes in! First, think about yours and your child(ren)s needs. What kind of structure does your student thrive in? Do you want to be actively involved in the school's community? After you know what you want in a school, you can begin to hone in on the best fit. Help narrow your search by finding unbiased rankings and data from websites such as GreatSchools.org, Niche.com, and U.S. News & World Report. Once you have done this, begin reaching out to individual schools. Find out about any awards and recognitions they have received. Ask to tour the facility and meet with the staff.


Know what local school you want your child to attend? Contact the experienced team at the Sturges Group to help you find your dream home within the school's boundaries. Give us a call today or visit our website at http://www.sturgesgroup.com/.


Housing Market Update for Dallas/Fort Worth Communities

by Sturges Group

The Dallas-Fort Worth housing market has started off to a varied start in 2018. Home sales are up in Euless, Hurst, Grapevine, and Southlake in January 2018 from January 2017. Sales are down from this time last year in Bedford, Colleyville, and Keller. Home buyers are enjoying lower prices in the area from the end of last year in all communities, except for Euless and Hurst. That means it is a great time to buy! Prices are relatively close to where they were at in January of last year. Homes are staying on the market longer than they did at the end of the year, though they are still moving off the market in two months or less. All of this data is to be expected since winter reflects a slower real estate market. Buyers should take advantage of the market as sellers are anxious to sell at the beginning of the new year.


Area Housing Activity Report for North Texas Real Estate

Statistics for the Month of January 2018

Area

Sales

% Change Year Ago

Average Price

% Change Year Ago

Days On Market (DOM)

% Change Year Ago

Bedford

26

-19%

$232,409

-2%

39

8%

Euless

37

3%

$289,948

3%

56

37%

Hurst

43

23%

$247,243

13%

28

22%

Colleyville

18

-10%

$533,559

-17%

71

4%

Grapevine

37

23%

$358,326

-5%

38

-7%

Southlake

29

12%

$721,560

-4%

64

-35%

Keller

29

-31%

$393,371

2%

51

-28%


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/.

Valentine's Day Date Ideas in Grapevine TX!

by Sturges Group

Celebrate your love this Valentine's Day in beautiful Grapevine! With fun, interactive cooking or art classes to romantic dinners and dancing, there is something for every couple to enjoy. Check out our recommendations for celebrating the holiday in Grapevine and experience a Valentine's Day date you and your sweetheart will never forget.


Valentine's Cruise on Lake Grapevine

Dates: Friday, February 9th - Saturday, February 17th | Closed Monday, February 12th

Times: Varies per Date

Location: Silver Lake Marina (2500 Fairway Drive)

Cost: $129 or $149 per couple. Purchase tickets HERE.

Enjoy a romantic 2 hour cruise on beautiful Lake Grapevine. The excursion includes a 3 course plated dinner, live music, and comedy performance.


Truffles & Bubbles

Dates: Friday, February 9th | Friday, February 16th

Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Location: Dr. Sue’s Chocolate (417 South Main Street)

Cost: $30 per person. Purchase tickets HERE.

Sip on champagne and bourbon while learning to make milk, white, and dark chocolate truffles.


Victorian Candy Making

Date: Saturday, February 10th

Time: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Location: Nash Farm (626 Ball Street)

Cost: $35 per person. Purchase tickets HERE.

Learn to make old fashioned candy with your Valentine during this interactive program.


Sweetheart Wine Trail

Dates: Saturday, February 10th & Sunday, February 11th

Times: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Location: Various Grapevine Wineries

Cost: $50 per person (in advance) | $55 per person (day of). Purchase tickets HERE.

Taste 3 delicious wines and enjoy some light bites at each participating Grapevine winery. Participating wineries include Cross Timbers Winery, Grapevine Springs Winery, Homestead Winery, Messina Hof Grapevine Winery, Sloan & Williams Winery, Umbra Winery, and Wine Fusion. You will always remember this romantic afternoon thanks to your souvenir glass.


"Hot Date Night!!!"

Dates: Saturday, February 10th | Tuesday, February 13th | Wednesday, February 14th

Time: 2:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Location: Vetro Glassblowing (701 South Main Street #103)

Cost: $165 per couple. Purchase tickets HERE.

Heat up this Valentine’s Day by making romantic glass keepsakes. Enjoy sweet treats and flaming cocktails during this fun, artistic date.


Valentine's Dinner & Dance

Date: Saturday, February 10th

Time: 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Location: Messina Hof Grapevine Winery (201 South Main Street)

Cost: $99 per person. Purchase tickets HERE.

Dine on a delectable 5 course meal, paired with the finest award-winning wines. Finish off with an evening of dancing with your love.


Valentine Couples Dinner

Date: Wednesday, February 14th

Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Location: Grape Vine Springs Winery (409 South Main Street)

Cost: $75 per person. Call (817) 329-1011 to reserve.

Enjoy a 4 course meal expertly paired with wine. Take home a bottle of wine to share with your Valentine.


Love Songs Dinner with Elvis Starring Kraig Parker

Date: Saturday, February 23rd

Time: 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Location: Lancaster Theatre (300 South Main Street)

Cost: $50 or $60 per person. Purchase tickets HERE.

Hear Elvis’s greatest love songs performed by internationally acclaimed tribute artist Kraig Parker while dining on a delicious meal.



The Sturges Group wishes everyone a very Happy Valentine’s Day!


Relocating to the DFW Area? Here is Some Helpful Advice!

by Sturges Group

The new year has brought about several new changes for you! You are starting a new job and looking to Buy a new home. Congrats! Trying to do both of these at the same time can be a challenge, but it is possible! If you are relocating to the Dallas/Fort Worth area for a job and are in the market for a new home, here is some advice to ensure smooth sailing ahead!

Approval for a mortgage is dependent on your ability to repay. Lenders want to see that you will have a steady income for at least the next 3 years in order to verify that you can afford the loan. It is possible that changing your job can affect these details. However, there are many factors to keep in mind. Be sure to provide your past income and work history to the lenders. Continually switching jobs or large gaps in employment could be red flags. If your new job is a promotion within the same company or is at a new company in a similar role but with improved pay or benefits, your loan approval should not be affected. These will be seen as positive moves by the lender. They will want to see the potential for longevity in this role. Long term contracts in a full time position will be your best bet. As long as you complete 30 days within this new role, your loan approval should go through. Be ready to provide your offer letter confirming your salary as well as your first pay stub. One thing to note, if your role is in any way commission based, these earnings will likely be omitted by the lender as they cannot be proven in the new position.


If you are relocating for a new job, you need to have your living arrangements set ahead of time. It might be best to rent in your new location at first in order to provide your lender with the necessary employment verification. It also provides you with the opportunity to get to know the city before making the plunge of buying a new home. If you are a current homeowner and are looking to sell and buy, be sure to consider whether or not you can afford two mortgages in the case that your current home does not sell as quickly as anticipated. Find out if your company offers any relocation packages. Some companies offer down payment assistance within a year of moving, closing costs, Guaranteed Buy Outs, or more. Be sure to find out all your options before you transition into your new position in order to reduce stress during the process.


If you are relocating to Dallas/Fort Worth for work and are in the market for a new home, Sturges Group is here to help! We are happy to answer any additional questions you might have and help you find your dream home! Give us a call today or visit our website at http://www.sturgesgroup.com/.

 

Keller: The Top Affordable, Family-Friendly Suburb in DFW!

by Sturges Group

You love the amenities and excitement of living in the big city but are ready to head to the suburbs now that you have started your family. Surburban living is great! In fact, you can enjoy all the benefits you enjoyed downtown while adding the incredible benefits afforded to you in the burbs. Not all suburbs are created equal though. Looking for the perfect place to call home that will be perfect for you and your children? The experts at Realtor.com released their list of Top 10 Affordable, Kid-Friendly Suburbs That City Parents Won't Hate....and KELLER, Texas made the cut!

Keller, TX

This list contains 10 suburbs outside of major metropolitan areas that are the most affordable and family friendly. The data team at Realtor.com looked at the 10 largest cities in the country and found the best burb in each area by examing a variety of factors. These factors included: Affordability, Child Care Availability, Percentage of Child Residents, School Rankings, Number per Capita of Restaurants & Museums, Low Crime Rates, Low Commute Times, and more.


The top burb in the Dallas-Fort Worth area was KELLER! Claiming the 4th spot on this list, this community was recognized for a variety of reasons. Keller offers some of the best schools around. In fact, 20 of the schools have been recognized by the Texas Education Agency for their excellence! Home prices in the 76244 zip code are also significantly affordable for the metropolitan area. The median home price in Keller is $282,525. Finally it is a short drive to some of the best entertainment and cultural amenities in the country. Whether you are an avid sports fan or love an afternoon at a museum, you can find it within a few miles of this family-friendly suburb! Just as Keller describes itself, it is "the premier community in which to live, work, play, and invest by balancing big-city comforts with small-town charm.”

 

 

Find your dream home in Keller! Give the Sturges Group a call today or visit our website at http://www.sturgesgroup.com/.

 


 

Reference: Realtor.com®

Image Credit: Keller, TX | facebook.com/cityofkellergovernment/

 

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!

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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