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

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

Merrimackvalleymarealestate.com

Moneylend.net

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.

View More
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:

View More
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.

View More
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.

View More
Posted in Community
Dec. 19, 2019

The Best Elementary Schools in Fort Worth Texas

Elementary school guide Fort Worth TX

Education plays a vital role in any child’s development, especially the early years. Sending your children off to school can cause any parent a whirlwind of emotions. Knowing you are leaving them in the hands of caring and qualified teachers in an accepting environment will bring peace of mind to both parents and students. 

View More
Posted in Basics
Nov. 29, 2019

Living & Moving To Fort Worth, Texas: The Definitive Guide

Living in Fort Worth Texas

Considering a move to Fort Worth, Texas? This guide aims to assist those looking for information on the area, while highlighting all the reasons so many are choosing to call Fort Worth home. Whether your move is from another state, country or continent, Living in Fort Worth, Texas: The Definitive Guide aims to provide you with all you’ll need to know about life in Fort Worth!

Being the 5th largest city in Texas and the 13th largest city in the United States, Fort Worth has so much to offer. Beautiful neighborhoods, thriving economy, excellent education and an entertainment scene that offers something new every day of the year have people flocking to Fort Worth, Texas. 

View More
Posted in How-to