Dallas Fort Worth real estate news, local home price trends, statistics, and profitable insights written by Chandler Crouch Realtors.

Nov. 17, 2021

Secret Tarrant Appraisal District Election 2021

Right now, the Tarrant County Appraisal District (TAD) is holding an election to decide who oversees the organization. TAD is the same entity that sets your property tax value and sends out the blue value notice every April. If you care about how TAD conducts its business, then you need to pay attention to this election.

This election is virtually secret and it has a pretty colorful history. 

In the past five years since I volunteered to protest for thousands of people, I have discovered this secret election filled with a conflict of interest and loopholes that allowed a few to influence the election.

I have testified in Austin again and again and worked with lawmakers (Rep. Matt Krause and others) to help change the law (law 1, law 2).  

Now, what's still missing is education, accountability, and transparency. 

That's why I'm taking action! 

I offered for each of TAD candidates to record an interview with me so that I could share it with you. All the interviews are posted below. 

Here's what you can do:

  1. Scroll down and watch the candidate interviews
  2. Pick the candidate you like
  3. Search to find contact information (click here) for your locally elected representatives
  4. Send an email like this: Dear Councilmember, Please vote for <insert candidate name> in the TAD board of directors election. Thank you for serving our community. 

(in order according to who was first to agree to an interview request)

Gary Losada

 

Rich DeOtte

Rockie Gilley

Wes Bullock

 

James Austin



These TAD BOD candidates have either declined or were unavailable to interview:

Tony Pompa, Kathryn Wilemon, Jungus Jordan, Jim Griffin

 

More information can be found here about the TAD Board of Directors.

The board is appointed by the taxing units to two-year terms. It consists of five directors and the county assessor-collector, who is not a voting member of the board.

Posted in Property Tax
Aug. 17, 2021

27 Tips to Cut Your Electric Bill in Half

Your monthly electricity bill is often the second-largest expense after your mortgage. Making some simple changes around your home could add up to big savings. 

Here are 27 tips to cut energy costs 

 

1. Shop for better electricity rates

I saved a TON of money with Real Simple Energy, so I welcomed the company as a sponsor. Average savings is $558/year. Take 2 minutes to see how much they can save you. When you sign up, the company contributes to our mission to fight the property tax system. I feel the love. It’s beautiful. Take 2 minutes to get a free quote-click here

2. Cut Out Phantom Energy

Your TV, computer, Internet router, and kitchen appliances are making your electric bill higher. This is because they are continually working even while off.  Use power strips and turn them off when electronics are not in use.

3. Use Dimmer Switches

Dimmer switches restart every 120 seconds, and the restart isn’t noticeable to the human eye. This essentially modulates how much energy is needed, saving energy and money!

4. Line Dry Laundry

Dryers are energy hogs, and cutting them out of your home routine can save you quite a bit of money.

5. Keep Your Fridge and Freezer Full

The food and drinks act as insulation, keeping your refrigerator from working so hard to cool things off. Energy saved!

6. Keep Refrigerator Coils Clean

Dirty coils make your fridge work harder. Check them every three months and keep them clean to save electricity and lengthen the life of your refrigerator.

7. Use Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans help circulate air throughout your home and ease the job of your air conditioner.

8. Get an Attic Ceiling Fan

You may notice how hot it gets in the attic or on the top floor of your home in the summer. Having an attic ceiling fan can reduce hot air and allow your home to be cooled faster.

9. Keep the Sun Out

Direct sunlight can quickly crank up the energy consumption of your air conditioner. Close blinds and curtains on the sunny side of your home.

10. Get Annual HVAC Maintenance

To ensure your HVAC is operating efficiently, get annual maintenance done on it. The inspection can identify any wear and tear that could be causing your HVAC system to be working harder than needed.

11. Clean HVAC Filters

Cleaning your HVAC filter also promotes efficiency. Cleaning or changing your HVAC filter every 30 days can help you cut electricity costs. The added bonus is that your home will also have cleaner air flowing through it. This is a definite bonus during allergy season!

12. Turn Off Your Stove

This is an easy tip to implement to help cut electricity costs. When you use your electric stovetop or oven, turn it off a few minutes before your food is done. The heat built up can continue to cook your food while you cook off a few dollars a year from your electric bill.

13. Use LED Lighting

LED lights can reduce your lighting energy consumption by 90 percent. This can save you quite a bit of money long term!

14. Wash and Dry Dishes by Hand

Limiting any appliance use in the kitchen, including your dishwasher, will ultimately save you money.

15. Turn Off Dishwasher Heat Dry

If you can’t ditch the dishwasher, or if washing dishes by hand is not as cost-effective as your dishwasher,  turn off the heat dry selection on your dishwasher.

16. Insulate Electrical Outlets

Install electrical outlet sealers behind outlets and switches to stop hot and cold air leaks. Want to go the extra mile? Place child-safety plugs into outlets after insulation is installed.

17. Install Storm Doors

Storm doors can save you a little bit on your electric bill. Installing them also makes you eligible for a $500 tax credit. The average storm door costs around $200, but if you only need two or three of them, the tax credit alone makes it worth it.

18. Do Energy Saving Landscaping

Planting trees to shade your home and your air conditioning unit can help naturally insulate your home, thus saving energy on heating and cooling. Decreasing the amount of rock and cement is also another great way to combine landscaping with energy efficiency.

19. Use Cold Water for Laundry

Do you do your laundry using hot water? This is not uncommon, but it is also a cause for higher electric bills. Your washer’s energy consumption can be 90 percent less if you use cold water instead of hot. This is due to the decreased cost in heating the water. A cost saving method to definitely consider!

20. Go Low-Flow During Showers

Less water flow during showers means less water to heat. This makes installing low-flow shower heads an easy way to start cutting your electric bill in half.

21. Buy Some Dryer Balls

It’s no surprise that running your dryer less will help you cut electricity costs. Dryer balls are great for cutting drying times. In fact, dryer balls can cut drying time by 25 percent. If line drying your clothes is not possible, dryer balls are a great energy saving alternative.

22. Install Motion Sensors

Lighting can drain energy fast, and it can be annoying to keep turning lights on and off as you move around your home. Installing light motion sensors can help. 

23. Stop Preheating Your Oven

Contrary to many recipes, food that requires a lengthy cook time doesn’t actually need or benefit from a preheated oven. 

24. Get More Use Out of Your Microwave

Microwaves use less electricity than your oven. And they also do not heat up your home, which is good if you are trying to reduce cooling costs in the summer.

25. Turn Your Lights Off

This is a must if you want to cut electricity costs. Turning off your lights will reduce energy consumption related to lighting, as well as energy consumption used to cool your home. This is because most light bulbs produce heat, even CFL bulbs.

26. Maintain Ducts and Vents

Yearly checks on your ducts and vents will help you identify any leaks and fix them. This can help you save big on your electric bill.

27. Turn Off Your Refrigerator Ice Maker

Did you know that you could decrease your refrigerator’s energy consumption by turning off its ice maker? That’s right. By eliminating the ice maker you can decrease your fridge’s energy use by as much as 20 percent.

 

Thanks to Discover HomeSelfe and Real Simple Energy for many of these great tips 

 

June 3, 2021

Crime Rate Map Fort Worth TX

 

Click Here for Crime Rate Map Fort Worth Tx

Example of crime map

Crime Rate Map Fort Worth Texas Chandler Crouch

 

Buying a house can be stressful, especially if you don't know the area well. Before investing a ton of money in a house, it is smart to do a little research about the neighborhood you are planning to live in. Feeling safe in your home is a foundational requirement for anyone looking to find a place to live. One of the things that you want to look at is the crime rate of the area.  

You also need to understand whether a specific crime is known in the area or just a one-time mere coincidence.

Here is a video guide Chandler has prepared to help you know if a neighborhood you are interested in is the kind of home you want to live in. You can navigate, filter, and get the exact information that you need to search the area you are interested in.

 

Posted in Home Search
May 10, 2021

Testimony on HB 2311

Posted in CCR in the News
May 10, 2021

Testimony on HB 2403

Posted in CCR in the News
May 10, 2021

Which State Pays Lowest Taxes

 

 

https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-highest-lowest-tax-burden/20494

Posted in Property Tax
April 6, 2021

HUGE Announcement & Your New Property Tax Deadlines


I fear that tax values are going to skyrocket this year.

I recorded this video to share what you need to know:

 


 

I bookmarked the video here:

  1. HUGE Announcement 0:45
  2. Real estate market update 3:55
  3. Property tax disaster exemption application 9:00
  4. New tax protest deadlines - 10:04

Next Steps:

  1. Business Leaders, Sign up here
  2. Personally support Chandler Crouch 
  3. How to support 3 bills to permanently improve property taxes

 

I am just ONE person. But TOGETHER we make up an army. A coalition. A force for good!

Please help spread the word

April 5, 2021

How you can help permanently improve property taxes

 

Scroll down to see a video overview of this info 

Step 1

Send an email and call Morgan Meyer, the chairperson for the Ways and Means Committee (contact info below).

Say this: Please schedule a hearing on House Bill 2403 and House Bill 2311. 

HB 2403 What it does: Eliminates loophole used to rig elections for the appraisal district board of directors election

HB 2311 What it does: Creates a better homestead exemption so values can only be increased by 5%

 

Morgan Meyer

morgan.meyer@house.texas.gov

 

morgan@morganmeyerfortexas.com

Ph 1: (512) 463-0367

Ph 1: 469-554-0428

3131 McKinney Avenue #649, Dallas, TX 75204

 

Step 2

Send an email and call Harold Dutton, the chairperson for the Education Committee (contact info below).

Say this: Please schedule a hearing on House Bill 2944

HB 2944 What it does: Curtails State pressure on appraisal districts to artificially inflate values

 

Harold Dutton Jr

harold.dutton@house.texas.gov

Ph 1: (512) 463-0510

Ph 2: (713) 692-9192

8799 N. Loop East, Suite 200, Houston, TX 77029

 

Posted in How-to, Property Tax
Feb. 23, 2021

Will my property value increase by installing emergency preparedness items such as a generator, solar panels with Tesla battery bank, private water well, storm cellar?

How emergency preparedness features in your house affect your property value.

After last week's crazy-snow-apocalypse without water and electricity for days on end, we’re all asking ourselves what can we do differently to prepare so we can avoid or mitigate against those kinds of situations in the future? The price tags for some of these features are really really high. So the question is “If we can spend money on these emergency preparedness items, will it increase the property value? For how much?”

 

3 Factors That Influence Your Property Value:

 

1 - How people make purchase decisions

  • First I want to explain a dynamic which most everybody can understand. It's a dynamic of how a swimming pool adds value to your property.
  • Ex. You have spent $80k to install a really awesome swimming pool. However, most everybody understands that the entire $80k is not going to be recouped whenever you go resell the house. You might only get $20k out of the value of the swimming pool - the cost of installing the swimming pool exceeds the amount of value that's added to the property by adding the swimming pool.
  • On the same level, that same dynamic exists for a lot of these emergency preparedness items such as a storm cellar, solar panels with batteries, private water wells, or a whole house generator, or the same kind of item will apply to those.
  • You probably won't have as much bank for your buck for these emergency preparedness items as you would in a swimming pool and it all comes down to how people make decisions whenever they buy a house.
  • People, in general, make decisions emotionally, and then they justify logically.
  • Most everybody will begin the home purchase process by setting some parameters in just a simple form. 
  • Ex. They may say they are looking for a house between $350k-$400k, then see all the homes that fit inside the price range. This is the logical process. After that, they will start scrolling through looking at nice photos and when you see a pretty house you say “Oh my gosh, I want that one! Let’s go set up a viewing!”
  • It's the 13 different shower heads, the really nice upgraded countertops, the awesome hardwood floors, and the thing that makes you (from the emotional level) say ooh that is an awesome house! - then you go through and justify it logically.
  • Unfortunately, people are not going to stop and go crazy about solar panels, energy-efficient features. We wanted to work that way but it just doesn't

2 - How real estate is valued in general.

  • Real Estate is valued on a Sales Comparison approach.
  • Appraisers will look at homes and compare what a house sold for vs another house sold for that is similar in some basic features, geographic location, lot area, etc. 
  • Appraisers will then start considering other small details like solar panels, storm cellars, etc. these items will make a difference with the price value and may go up and down within that set of homes.
  • Appraisers are not going to look at the total cost and features installed in a home but will look at the sales prices of the home.
  • If there’s a lot of demand for a house for a certain set of features then the price of that house will be driven up.
  • The demand comes from the people's buying decisions and that doesn't come from solar panels, storm cellars, and that sort of thing.  It comes from nice and pretty, and is an attractive home.

You will get a little more out of your home. It will increase the property value but just wouldn't be as much as what you spend on your home. This is just something to justify the decision-making process like preparing for the next emergency. 

"This is not the only factor you should consider. Family safety has to come above profit."

3 - Time

  • The demand for houses right now is off the charts. It is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Whenever we went through the 2008 financial crisis - the housing bubble issue, we won't hit that hard except for certain little pockets here in DFW metro where builders build way too much and get stuck with inventory and become trigger shot and quit building so many houses.
  • That is the reason why the real estate market is going insane because there’s a lack of inventory and demand is increasing like crazy.
  • Interest rates are super low and so people can afford more houses than ever. And so they are just gobbling up the inventory and that's causing prices to shoot to the roof even if your homes are not fixed up to the 9’s or even if you don't have the features that make people want to buy.
  • The mere fact of the timing of how the market is going to increase property values more than anything ever could.  And so, that is going to weigh much heavier than any of these things that we’re talking about

 

 

Q&A with Chandler Crouch

  • How about being on the hospital part of the power grid?

Power is never going to be shut off if a property is near a hospital. House values near hospitals are going to increase tremendously this week because we are all driven emotionally from the pain of last week. People will do whatever they can to avoid that and if we can avoid that by making some simple decisions then we’re going to do that. And the emotion of that is really high. I just have a feeling that 3 or 4 weeks of 7-degree weather is not going to have the same emotional impact to drive that decision-making power that will increase your home value substantially. Buying a home near a hospital is a good decision for you and your family. Stay in the logical zone and make sure that you're making logical decisions in your next home purchase.

  • Why does Houston have a huge property tax discount?

It goes to the decisions that the City Municipalities are making. They got pretty good tax exemptions themselves. It's just what they voted in, what their city decided that they could survive off. That's going to depend really more on the budgets for the little areas that received that property tax revenue. If they can survive on less then they don't have to generate as much property tax revenue.

Feb. 22, 2021

Fact Check: Power Outage Misinformation and Unbiased Answers To Tough Electricity Customer Questions

Chandler found this article through our electricity partner and thought it was vital information to share.

 

There is a lot of misinformation out there about what happened during the recent Texas freeze with power outages and what is happening now.

 

Misinformation examples include:

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMeFPSod4/

(Don’t use automatic payments with your provider, she was on a wholesale pricing plan, those on fixed-pricing don’t need to worry)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7TpzX79dV4&feature=youtu.be

(ERCOT controlling power)

 

While we understand the frustration and confusion, Energy Ogre CEO Jesson Bradshaw who has been in the electricity industry for over 20 years can share his unbiased thoughts, what actually transpired and what consumers need to know.

 

Below are some answers he has directly addressed for Energy Ogre members and others asking for answers. He is available to your audience either live or online should you like to have a conversation. We have a blog post addressing many of these questions here.

 

Feel free to use clips from Jesson’s interview here as we have provided unedited footage for your use: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10XQX-Na0GnN8ONRid-71c6njaluAtegh/view?usp=sharing

 

 

  1. Can the fixed rate in my contract be changed by my provider, ERCOT, or the PUCT? Are my bills going to skyrocket because of the storm?
    • No, your fixed-rate energy charge cannot be changed during the term of your contract and you should not expect a drastic increase in your bill. The terms of service allow for minor administrative changes in TDSP fees but your energy charge is locked into a fixed price. Energy Ogre enrolls members in fixed-rate plans ONLY. You are not subject to wholesale market prices and your bill will only increase when your usage increases.
  2. Who or what is to blame for the electric grid failure in Texas?
    • Energy Ogre CEO Jesson Bradshaw explains that no one thing or entity, in particular, is to blame for the electric grid failure that left millions of Texans without electricity for hours and/or days. There were several problems, and he asks people consider them all—especially how rare this weather storm was. According to Jesson, the storm broke some records dating back to the 1800s. 
  3. What happens if my provider goes out of business? What is a POLR?
    • When a provider is forced to shut its doors, a regulated process enforced by the PUC transfers its customers to a POLR or Provider of Last Resort. Online disinformation has reported that while on a POLR you could pay extraordinarily high prices as high as $9.00/kWh. This is completely FALSE. In the past, POLR rates have been slightly higher but tended to stay around 18c to 20c/kWh. If you are transferred to a POLR you may incur slightly higher charges for a short amount of time, while Energy Ogre works to immediately transfer you to a new provider and put you in the lowest rate available in the market. If you are not an Energy Ogre member, we strongly recommend you look for a new and less expensive provider. 
  4. Should I take my card off of autopay before I get an outrageous bill?
    • If you are an Energy Ogre member and are on autopay, you can rest assured that you will not see drastic price increases in your bill since you are in a fixed-rate contract. If you are not an Energy Ogre member and are currently in a variable, index, or wholesale rate, you will want to call your provider to determine what options are available to you. Removing a payment method has the potential to leave someone without power, and unable to get power from a new provider if money is still owed to the former provider! Of course, Energy Ogre members can depend on us to figure this stuff out for them and do most of the work necessary to undo the switch hold. 
  5. My contract expires in March/April/May, how will the freeze affect my new contract rate?
    • Currently, rates for March/April/May don't seem materially impacted by this short-term and outlier weather event as the power grid has already returned to normal market operations. If you are an Energy Ogre member, we are confident we will be able to find new or renewal rates that are as market competitive as possible. It is the same adage that we cannot control market prices, but we surely can work to place folks in the lowest ones available. For now, the wholesale market looks to have stabilized, but there we can anticipate investigations/ bankruptcies/ potential rule changes ahead. 

 

About Our Relationship with Energy Ogre:

Energy Ogre uses an advanced algorithm to help people find the lowest electricity cost for only $10/mo. When you sign up through our this link, you get a free month. Chandler personal uses Energy Ogre to save hundreds on his electric bill. 

 

Posted in Community