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

March 27, 2020

Overcoming Public School at Home Difficulties During Coronavirus Quarantine

Everyone is compelled to stay at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. With classes being suspended, we have realized that transitioning from the public school setting is not a walk in the park. It is even way different than homeschooling. And we, as parents are trying to figure this out.

Since children are accustomed to being in public school. Now coming home, the whole world has changed. And now, parents need to embrace this totally new concept.

Maintaining Emotional Stability

  • Know that your reactions are going to feed your child's reactions.  So if you're freaking out, they freak out too because they feel it.
  • Cut yourself a break from social media. It only shows picture perfect moments that make you doubt about yourself.
  • Find success in the day. Celebrate small wins with your spouse or kids and know that you are doing the best you can.
  • Give grace. Give yourself grace, give the teachers grace, give the kids grace.
  • Focus on the fact that this is an incredible time to spend with your family.
  • Give up control and let them lead. Change their perspective by being creative.
  • Establish a schedule or routine but do not engage with power struggle. Walk away until your kids are ready to move forward.
  • Use technology to your advantage to save your sanity.

Homeschooling Different Children

  • Children have varied learning styles. They can learn at different settings-- at home, at school or even while playing.
  • Do not put so much stress on yourself about trying to make sure that your kids learn everything they're supposed to learn and do everything they are supposed to do. They will learn just by being around you.
  • Come up with general school hours that would work for them.  If you're an early morning family, do early mornings. If you're if you're a night owl. Push it a little bit later.
  • Give the first hour and a half to one kid in the next hour and half to a different kid. Offer them a list to be done for the day and let them choose.
  • Allow them to choose their environment. Some kids need a desk and a quiet space, others learn better by moving.
  • You do not need to be the teacher always. You don't have to teach everything. There are lots of people who have great content online.

Challenges in Transitioning to Public School at Home Setting

  • Kids who thrive off a structured environment can be easily be bored when they get interrupted.
  • Some kids may feel like they need to sit at home on their computers. Have them lay in a chair with a tablet versus the desk or them eat whenever they want.
  • Parents say that the syllabus content is way too much to accomplish in a day, others say it is just enough.
  • Teaching kids in different age groups with different learning styles is different from teaching kids in the same age group at school. 
  • Technological challenges like:
  1. Internet connection issues
  2. Having trouble with logging into online classes
  3. Having several kids at home but they only have one computer or laptop to share with.
  • Screen time versus online learning. Screen time is for leisure. It is the eyes looking at a screen. However, virtual learning is just like learning in the classroom. They do their lesson, generalize then take a break.

Takeaways

  • The secret is figuring out what is best for you. 
  • There is a lot of answers, but you just have to pick one and roll with it.
  • Enjoy your time, make memories every day, start a little family journal.
  • Parents be patient and kind and courteous to our teachers. 
  • They are working around the clock to make sure that lessons run as easily and smoothly as possible.

Resources

Speakers:

  • Mindy Williams (Pro Mom & Realtor)
  • Brooke DeLuna MS, LPC (Professional Coumselor)
  • Amanda Hopper (Homeschool Mom)

Websites:

  • For counseling - https://brighterpossibilitiesfc.com/
  • Children books: Epic reading www.getepic.com
  • Scholastic (not usually free) - https://www.scholastic.com/home/
  • ABCmouse - https://www.ageoflearning.com/8a08850bc2=T1290355973.1585148191.6738
  • Khan Academy for math- www.khanacademy.org
  • Prodigy for math - play.prodigygame.com
  • Cool math games  - https://www.coolmathgames.com
  • Neok12 for math, reading, science, social studies - https://www.neok12.com/
  • Squiggle park for reading - www.squigglepark.com
  • Storyline for reading - https://www.storyline.net/
  • wordville for reading - https://wordville.com/readingcomp/
  • K12 reader for reading and writing - https://www.k12reader.com/grade-level/grades-k-12/
  • Mystery Doug for science - mysterydoug.com
  • National Geographic - kids.nationalgeographic.com
  • History for kids for social studies - www.historyforkids.net
  • Typing club for writing - www.typingclub.com
  • Mad libs for kids - https://www.squiglysplayhouse.com/writingcorner/storybuilder/
  • English worksheets land - https://www.englishworksheetsland.com/
  • E- learning for kids - https://en.e-learningforkids.org/
  • PBS learning media - https://klrn.pbslearningmedia.org
  • Highlights kids - https://www.highlightkids.com/activities
  • Fun brain - https://www.funbrain.com
  • Smithsonian online exhibits - https://www.si.edu/exhibitions/online
  • Smithsonian education - http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/students/index.html
  • Audible is doing free kids books - https://www.audible.com/
  • The Academy of active Learning Arts and Sciences - http://aalasinternational.org/rtol/
  • Achieve3000  -  https://achieve3000.com/community-resources/remote-learning-2020/
  • Adobe - https://helpx.adobe.com/enterprise/kb/covid-19-education-labs.html
  • Amazon - https://edhesive.com/amazon/free_access
  • American Museum of Natural History - https://www.amnh.org/explore
  • Babbel - https://welcome.babbel.com/en/student-discount/ offering 3 free months of language
  • High school SAT prep
  • Google Earth
  • Lunch doodles with Mo Willems - https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems?fbclid=IwAR2I2cft3pn3zaEPUhD1PtoNYeLKTiDoHya8zsIhgFSlexurriGLDNIJSlg 
March 24, 2020

1 Million Ideas on How to Make Money While at Home

Tangible and practical ways to make money at home. 

Nobody wants to believe this, but this is actually the easiest part of the whole process. Most people get stuck here though because fear and panic has already set in.

This does not mean you are incapable of coming up with good ideas. You absolutely are, but there is a fundamental principle that I have seen true in my life and there’s a good chance its pretty universal.

  • When fear sets in or I get filled with emotion, creativity evaporates and I become less resourceful. 
  • Being in a playful, non-serious mentality allows creativity to flourish which creates resourcefulness.
  • Pray, meditate, read the bible, watch some motivational videos, go outside, take a nap, reset.
  • Begin a brainstorming session. Consider all ideas, even bad ones. Let the ideas flow.

Realize that business only exists to solve problems. 

  • Let problems be your signposts. Another way to say this is, where is the demand?
  • Find problems and ask yourself if there is an opportunity to serve.
  • It is not a sin to look for opportunity in despair. Quite the contrary, imagine how many opportunities there are to share the gospel in a time like this. Look to solve problems and to serve. The question of how much to charge needs to be secondary.
  • Forget about money making, forget about practicality, forget about restrictions. 

Your full-time job now becomes trying to create income.

  • Start with the obvious ones like Amazon/Kroger/Costco, any kind of delivery service
  • Where do you see problems? Focus on how you can serve others. 
  • What are people already doing online/virtually/at home that you can do?
  • Now that everybody is at home, what new problems or opportunities to serve exist now?
  1. Do a singing telegram
  2. Scavenger hunt
  3. Organize parades
  4. Assist seniors with grocery buying etc.

Business exists because problems exist and people come up with solutions that have value. You have to focus on the problems. You can literally drive around and look for problems look for areas to serve. Look on Facebook and look at posts and realize the areas that people are complaining about and once in a while you will find a gold nugget. Think about all the things you used to could do And realize that people must now come up with creative ways to do the same things that we used to do. What areas are we limited in now then brainstorm on each one of those areas.

Find businesses that have been successful moving virtually.

Analyze how they do it and then go find businesses in the same sector that have not been successful and teach them how to do it.

Look for needs. What problems do we have and what creative solutions can you come up with?

  • Make a TV show or other entertainment thing
  • Don’t like being online, but know someone zany that lives it. Chances are the zany type is not organized and may not be technical. Maybe you could edit video that the person produces and keep the ship steered straight
  • Tutor online
  • Gardening, building things in people‘s backyards, fences
  • All of construction is opened for business
  • Bring people's trash cans up to their house
  • Chalk art on sidewalks. Ask for a donation - serve, if they donate, great!
  • Sanitizing services - what can you sanitize - cars, houses, offices, sanitize on a different level in a different way, sanitize things other people are not sanitizing
  • At night nobody is out
  • Ice cream truck
  • Making calls 
  1. Sales calls - for what industries
  2. Customer service calls - what companies can uniquely use this?
  3. Wellness checks 
  • Writing articles
  • Go to Fiverr and Upwork. See what services they are doing. Do not try to play the same game. Tweak it… Are they doing anything to the masses that you could offer locally and monopolize a niche market
  • Make crafts
  • What can you sew
  • Make surgical masks
  • Make food
  • Cut hair
  • Clean cars
  • What creative dishes can you construct out of the food people don’t usually want to eat in their pantry… find out what’s not selling at the grocery store and figure out how to make something out of it. A craft, a recipe
  • Entertainment - seen Neil Diamond’s new remake of “Sweet Caroline” What can you remake
  • Ask people that are working right now what they need. 
  • Offer counseling or companionship - no solutions, only a listening ear
  • What issues are rich people grappling with right now
  • Search indeed to see what jobs employers are looking to hire for.
  • Can you do any of these things except do them better by doing them locally
  • The businesses that are hiring are maxed out. Can you try to help be the connector that takes applications, screens, then offers up ready-to-go employees
  • Mow lawns
  • Disinfect trash cans

Knock, Seek

While we are in the midst of terror and trepidation, I feel that it is just apt to share these very timely Bible verses:

Do Not Worry (Matthew 6:25-34)

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

A Friend Comes at Midnight (Luke 11:5-8)

5 And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? 8 I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking (Luke 11:9-13)

9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for [e]bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

Essential Businesses

Below are the business that still operate in times of crisis:

  • Grocery stores
  • Stores that sell essential household goods
  • Convenience stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Pharmacies and drug stores
  • Day care facilities
  • Medical facilities
  • Non-profit service providers
  • Homeless and emergency shelters
  • Office buildings
  • Essential government buildings
  • Airports and transit buildings
  • Transportation systems
  • Residential buildings and hotels
  • Manufacturing and distribution facilities
  • Landscaping and lawn care businesses
  • Construction and renovation businesses
March 12, 2020

How to Prepare for Your Property Tax Protest, TAD Election Results, Real Estate Market Update

This past year, we protested on over 16,800 properties. We helped draft and pass a property tax reform bill with State Representative Matt Krause and we played an integral part in the Tarrant Apprisal District (TAD) Board of Directors Election - all for free. None of these accomplishments would have been possible if it weren't for the clients that chose our team of expert realtors to help them buy or sell their property.

We all owe these clients and all our incredible team a debt of gratitude.

In this video:

1:27 How to prepare for your tax protest

2:30 Update on TAD election results

6:42 Real Estate Market Update - Past

8:40 Real Estate Market Update - Present

9:37 Real Estate Market Update - Future

How to prepare for your tax protest

The first step to prepare is to wait until your property tax value notice is received which will happen sometime within the first 2 weeks of April.

If we are registered to protest for you this year, it will take us until mid-April to deliver your value notice because we need to digitize them and send them to you through email.

If you are not currently registered with us, you may sign up for free at freetaxprotest.com.

Update on TAD election results

A couple months ago TAD had their Board of Directors Elections and we saw a few issues with the election process. There was a big push to renominate and reelect the current board of directors. There would have been no change over the next two years if this happens.

We are thankful that we got involved and we asked for your help. The results were mind-blowing. With your help, 3 new members were elected: Kathryn Wilemon, Rich DeOtte and Gary Losada. We have been to every board meeting since they got elected and they are doing a great job asking tough questions, identifying the truth in every issue, and innovating ways on how to improve the system.

Real estate market update

If you are waiting for a good time to buy a house because you want real estate prices to fall, historically, we have not seen them fall, even through the worst of times.

Interest rates and our strong housing market are keeping our inventory levels low. Inventory levels could be heading even lower. The lower the number gets, the stronger the real estate market is.

 

Once again, our appreciation would never be enough to repay you for all your support. If you know anybody thinking of buying or selling a house, please send them our way. It is how we fund everything that we do. You can absolutely count on us, it will be an honor to serve you.

 

 

 

 

 

Feb. 25, 2020

Five Questions to Ask Your Mortgage Lender Before Refinancing Your Home

Five Questions to Ask Your Mortgage Lender Before Refinancing Your Home

Ask Your Mortgage Lender These Five Questions Before You Refinance

With mortgage rates at a relative low, more homeowners than ever are looking for a solution to save on their significantly higher home payments. For many, this means turning to home mortgage refinancing. However, refinancing isn’t for everyone, and may even wind up costing you more in the future if you fail to consider some crucial details. How can you find out if a refi makes financial sense for you?

Consult Your Mortgage Lender

The financial sense of a mortgage refi depends much more on your personal situation and your mortgage terms than on current mortgage rates. For that reason, it’s essential to discuss all aspects of a potential refi with your mortgage lender before making your decision. Here are some key questions to ask during the discussion:

1.Can I Qualify?

Can I quality for a mortgage

A mortgage refinancing application should be prefaced by what is potentially the most important part of any conversation with your mortgage lender — do you have what it takes to qualify? Walk into the discussion with a knowledge of your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and the loan-to-value ratio of the home. These three aspects of your financial health are the three most important parts of any application for a mortgage backed by agencies like Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.

If your credit isn’t stellar or you’ve accumulated a great deal of other debt since the purchase of your home, you’re not necessarily disqualified from refinancing. However, your refi rates may not be low enough to justify the process. Alternatively, you may wind up needing to refi for a longer term than you’d like to offset a lower rate.

Related: How to Get a Free Credit Report

2. Do I have the equity to refinance?

Do I have the equity to refinance

Equity is the difference between the current value of your home and the amount you owe on the mortgage. Mortgage lenders prefer to see that you’ve built up equity in your home to refinance it, and the more equity you’ve accumulated, the better. With home values in general on the rise, chances are you have at least some equity to work with.

 In order to qualify for a new mortgage refi loan and avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI), you’ll need to have at least 20% equity. If you don’t, the cost of PMI can negate any potential interest savings you’d see with a new refi loan. For those without enough equity to warrant a traditional refinance, a cash-in refi where you pay down your mortgage at closing and reduce your balance while capturing a lower rate may be an option.

3. What are the terms of my quote?

What are the terms of my quote

If you’ve qualified and have plenty of equity available for a new refi mortgage, it’s crucial to request a quote and study its terms. After all, a refi is a brand-new loan with a different rate than your previous mortgage, and it comes with new terms and amortization schedule in the process. As with any new loan, your interest rate and the term length of the loan work in conjunction to determine how much you’ll pay over its life.

 If your goal is to reduce your monthly payment, you’ll want to ensure you have the lowest rate possible spread out over a longer period — consider a 30-year loan to minimize your payment. However, the longer you pay on a loan, the more you’ll pay in interest, even if your rate is relatively low. If you’re interested in reducing your total costs over the term of your loan, look for a low interest rate over a shorter term; this practice results in higher monthly payments but avoids extra years of interest payments.

Related: Is a Bigger House Within Your Budget?

4. What does my quote include?

What does my quote include

Aside from interest rates and mortgage term, your mortgage lender's quote should include a breakdown of all other related costs. Typically, a more detailed quote will list the amount of your monthly payment that goes toward the principal, what's paid toward interest, and any monthly payment that's reserved for other expenses. Specifically, ask your lender if your quote includes taxes and insurance. 

5. What are my costs?

What are my costs

Refinancing a loan usually comes at a cost — on average, expect to pay two to three percent of the loan amount. When you’re working with a loan of $200,000, those percentages can add up to $4,000 to $6,000 depending on your home cost and your area. Closing costs often include bank fees, appraisals, attorney fees, and other expenses you may not have anticipated.

 Ask your lender what funds you need to bring to closing. If you’re looking to save money month to month and have the cash on hand, consider paying closing costs outright. However, if you’re not comfortable paying costs at closing, you can roll them into your loan. Unfortunately, this increases your principal and has the potential to raise your payments.

Refinancing is an attractive option for many homeowners looking to take advantage of currently low interest rates. However, it’s important to ask your mortgage lender the right questions to make sure it’s a smart financial move for you. If you follow the above list and add in questions unique to your financial situation, you’re off to a solid start.

 

Sources:

Forbes

Realtor.com

Bankrate.com

Investopedia.com

Destinpropertyexpert.com

Nichemarket.co.za

 

Feb. 7, 2020

Tarrant County Property Tax Rates

Here are the updated tax rates in Tarrant County for 2019-2020 as approved by the tax entities.

 

Feb. 7, 2020

Denton County Property Tax Rates

Here are the updated tax rates in Denton County for 2019-2020 as approved by the tax entities.

 

 

Jan. 27, 2020

How to Find the Best Real Estate Agent in Fort Worth

Best real estate agent Fort Worth tx

When you begin your search for a real estate agent in Fort Worth, Texas, you are on the hunt for the best. There are a number of qualities that make up a great realtor, from friendliness to professionalism.

Narrowing down your search with what feels like endless options can be daunting. However, putting in a bit of work now to ensure you find a Fort Worth agent that best suits you and your needs will pay off in the long run.

Buying or selling a property is arguably the largest transaction most people make, so you will want to make sure to find the best real estate agent in Fort Worth.

Here are a few things to look out for on your quest to find the best realtor in Fort Worth.

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Posted in How-to
Jan. 13, 2020

The Most Popular Amenities to Look for When Renting an Apartment

As a renter, you have many choices to make—from location to square footage and, of course, amenities. But, as generations of renters change, so do the most popular amenities in rental communities and apartments.

Depending on your lifestyle, you’ll have certain needs to prioritize, as well as a number of preferences that can make or break a potential apartment. Although these choices vary by individual, there are some amenities that tend to gain more popularity than others. As such, the industry adapts and offers amenities that cater to the demands of the highest number of renters. Here are some of the most popular amenities for renters:

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Posted in Community
Jan. 6, 2020

Best High Schools in Fort Worth Texas

Best high schools in Fort Worth Texas

High School education plays a crucial role in any student's life. Whether plans are to continue to post-secondary education, immediately enter the workforce and train through apprenticeships, a well rounded and positive high school experience can leave a lasting impact.

Fort Worth is full of well-rated High Schools that feature extensive lists of programs and extracurricular activities. Here are just some of the top schools in the area.

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Posted in Community
Dec. 23, 2019

The Best Neighborhoods in Fort Worth Texas

Neighborhood guide Fort Worth tx

Anyone who lives in Fort Worth, Texas or is familiar with the area knows the city is home to a large number of great neighborhoods. Whether you’re looking for family friendly locations or something close to the hustle and bustle of downtown, Fort Worth has neighborhoods that suit all walks of life. 

No matter what area of Fort Worth you choose to call home, there is quick and easy access to its thriving downtown core, diverse business center and historic cultural district. The city offers great amenities, resources, dining, entertainment and shopping which can be accessed with ease.

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Posted in Community