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

March 21, 2018

Property Condition Checklist

If you need to get your home in "market-ready" condition or you need to find everything wrong with your house to serve as evidence in a property tax protest, this checklist will be your best friend. 


 Scroll down or click here: Property Condition Checklist

March 21, 2018

Petition for Property Tax Reform

Our property tax system is broken. Taxes have gone up so high that some people can no longer afford their homes.

Current reform proposals don't adequately protect the rights of homeowners.

I am working with a state representative and powerful lobby group to amend Governer Abbot's proposal to include provisions that would reform our property tax code to protect homeowners.

Legislation won't gain the necessary support unless they know that this is something that the public demands. Sign this petition to join in supporting reform to protect the rights of homeowners.



Posted in Property Tax
March 15, 2018

Will I Pay Tax When I Sell My Home - Capital Gains Explained

The IRS changed the rules in 1997 that stated you had to sell your residence and buy another house within 2 years. This rule no longer applies. Now the IRS doesn’t care what you do with your money when you sell.

Under the newest changes, you must have lived in your previous home for at least 2 out of the last 5 years. If, however, you rented your house out during your ownership, the situation gets more complicated and you should consult a tax expert.

A single person may qualify to exclude up to $250,000 of that gain from your income, or up to $500,000 of that gain if you file a joint return with your spouse. Certain exceptions exist for uniformed personnel, owners that lived in a nursing home, experienced divorce, or death.

There are a few misconceptions and avenues you can tad advantage of that I'd like to clear up.

Q: What if it wasn't my primary residence... Can I still avoid capital gains?

A: Yes

You can avoid having to immediately pay capital gains tax selling an investment property through doing a 1031 exchange. To qualify you must purchase another investment property of equal or greater value than your current property. Use the gains from the previous property sale to purchase the new property. Also, the new property must be considered "like-kind", which basically just means it's used for a similar type of investment. For example, if you're selling a house, you must buy another house. If you're selling a retail commercial building, you must buy another retail commercial building. There are some timing factors and logistical measures you need to be aware of that aren't very complicated but you will find helpful to get some guidance on. For help or questions, just contact our office. We would be glad to walk you through a purchase involving a 1031 exchange.

Q: Can I claim a capital loss if I lose money on the sale of my home?

A: Unfortunately, no

You must report and pay tax on unexempt capital gains from the sale of your personal residence, but you can never claim a capital loss on the sale of a personal residence. For some reason, the government allows deductions on certain capital losses on investment property, but not on personal use property. The good news is that you're on the right website to help avoid losses. Our track record shows that we sell houses for considerably more than the average agent, and have many times set a new record price for highest sale in a subdivision.  

Q: Are moving expenses always deductible?

A: Yes sometimes, but not always

You can only deduct moving expenses that are work-related under certain strict conditions. If you are moving for purely personal reasons, they are never deductible. If your company is relocating you, then you should take a closer look to see if your moving expenses are deductible. A few things to consider - it really helps if your job move and house move are within 1 year of each other, and you're moving at least 50 miles away. If you are self-employed or have any kind of part-time or limited employment, the rules get a little sticky. You should consult a tax advisor to get more details under these circumstances.

Have more tax questions? Just give us a call or contact us any time. We would love the opportunity to serve you. 

March 13, 2018

Chandler Gives Update On Property Tax Protest

In case you don't already know, last year we helped over 3200 people protest their property tax value for free. This year our goal is to help 6000. I just wanted to give you an update on where we're at on that...

We're working hard to get things ready so that when we help with your property tax protest, everything runs smoothly without any trouble. The appraisal district needed to get further approval fro some technology we're using to help make the process streamlined for you. It shouldn't be too much longer, but we have until May 15th to turn everything in, so we're still in great shape.

Chandler and the team recorded a video just to provide an update (see below).


Also, Chandler will be speaking to several home owner's associations, community groups, possibly a chamber of commerce or two, and other types of groups to teach homeowners how to protest and provide some tips etc. If you know of any groups that might appreciate hearing from us on that, please let me know asap. Our calendar for speaking engagements is filling up pretty quick.

In the meantime, if you have any other real estate related questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. We're here to help any way we can.

Have a great day!



Feb. 12, 2018

Why real estate prices crashed in January. 1 BIG Tax Protest Change. Amazon & Pillow Talk

I put together a short video with our team that covers some current issues. 

Don't have 10 minutes? Jump to the section that interests you most or scroll below the video to see abbreviated notes.



Real estate prices are down, which was expected. December was a record month and we expect to see significant price gains in February. Pricing is a result of the relationship between supply and demand so in the video I show you exactly where demand and supply levels are at and discuss what this means for you. 

Amazon recently announced that they are moving their headquarters. Dallas Fort Worth is one of 20 areas under consideration. This would bring 50,000 new jobs over a 10 year period of time. Watch the video to learn which key factors play a role in their decision process. 

Recent changes in the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) contract could cost you thousands if you don't know about them and take action now, well ahead of your plans to sell your home. Now all repairs must be completed by a licensed professional. This means after you get under contract, you can't fix anything in the house without calling a licensed professional. What may have cost you just $5 to do on your own will now cost as much as $75 when considering that most professionals will charge you a trip fee just to show up. 

The main tax protest deadline this year is going to be May 15 instead of May 31. There is no need to act on this information now. They plan to send value notices out around April 1st. As soon as they do, we'll be on top of it to help. We are making preparations to help a record number of people. If you know someone that would reliably show up on time, do great work, treat it like a high paying job, but would be interested in volunteering to help, please send them my way. 

Dec. 28, 2017

My Pillow, New Year's & Last 2017 Market Update

This video is different than any other we have ever released.

I have been reflecting on 2017 and thinking about what 2018 will bring. I had a little fun with it and just thought I would share my thoughts. 

You'll hear what I got for Christmas, how to make a successful New Year's resolution, a thank you message for 2017, and your real estate market report for Tarrant County Texas as well as a hint on what the real estate market is expected to do in 2018. Enjoy!

Video Content Time Stamps: https://youtu.be/2pNJkksLJtU

0:16 What I got for Christmas - "My Pillow" and the answer revealed... Is it the most comfortable pillow I've ever owned.

1:43 My 1 tip on how to make a successful New Year's resolution

2:19 Walking on water and Aux'ing

Link to song by Thirty Seconds to Mars https://youtu.be/44NYFvhXmW8

5:14 What happened in 2017 - I must say Thank You!

7:00 Real estate market update - The Bottom Line

7:35 2018 Real estate market forecast



Nov. 29, 2017

Property Tax Bill in Tarrant County

Click here to view your property tax bill online.

  • Watch the video below to discover...
    • How to reduce your monthly payment
    • How to eliminate your tax burden completely



If you haven't received your property tax bill in the mail yet, you need to find out why.

Taxes are due by Jan 31 whether you received your bill or not. 

  1. Call your mortgage company and see if they received your bill.
  2. Go online search and contact the tax assessor's office

If your taxes are higher than you were expecting, it's likely because the appraisal district proposed a value significantly higher than last year. We may have protested to lower the value from what they proposed, but your taxes may still have gone up if the amount we reduced it to is still more than last year's tax value.

Options if your tax burden is too high

  1. If your monthly payment went up, you likely have an escrow shortage. The mortgage company's default payment plan is 12 months. Call and ask if you can pay it out over a 2-3 year period of time. This is usually an easy 15-minute phone conversation.
  2. Prepare for your protest for next year. Take photos of issues. Get quotes. Save quotes / unpaid invoices to use as evidence in your protest. File them away to save them for your protest next May.
  3. We can help you eliminate your entire tax bill for good... By helping you sell your house. If you can't afford to live there, we want you to call us. Our goal will be to help you find a way to stay in your house, but if you have no other option and you've determined that you must move, we will help in 2 ways.

2 Ways We Can Help if You Must Move

  1. We will help you determine how much you can expect to sell it for. Often times it's more than you think.
  2. We will review 14 options that our team put together for you.

 Call one of our team members today or contact our office directly at 817-381-3800 or hello@chandlercrouch.com

Oct. 13, 2017

Real Estate Market Update for October 2017

Click the market update you would like to see:

Discover the answers to these questions...

  • Is it a bad idea to sell in fall and winter?
  • Are we in a bubble?
  • How does the market look?


0:30 Tax protest update

1:20 market report

1:32 median price trend

2:25 if you have your house on the market now

2:45 how the news affects you

3:08 effect of seasons on pricing

3:20 cause of new demands on housing

3:30 spring and summer vs fall and winter

3:50 how we can help you personally for free

4:20 contact info



Sept. 27, 2017

Featured as Realtor of the Month on New Homes Directory

We are honored to be recognized as the Realtor of the month for NewHomesDirectory.com

Kelley Watkins is a terrific writer and kind soul. I am flattered by this and humbled by such an incredible team that has done so much to help so many people. If I didn't work with the best people on earth this recognition wouldn't be possible.

If you have a minute click here to check out the article she wrote featuring us as New Homes Directory Realtor of the Month



Posted in CCR in the News
Aug. 30, 2017

6 Questions First-Time Home Buyers Never Ask Themselves (but Really, Really Should)

Realtor.com Published Our Advice in One of Their Recent Articles



There's a certain point in the lifecycle of renting where you say to yourself: I just can't do this anymore. Maybe it's the upstairs neighbors, who relentlessly stomp across their apartment into the wee hours of the morning. Maybe it's the numbingly dull white walls you've stared at year after year. Or perhaps it's that bitter pill of knowledge that your hard-earned money is circling down the drain—en route to paying someone else's mortgage.

No matter the reason, most of us eventually hit a breaking point with renting, and vow to become homeowners once and for all.

But just because you want to buy a home doesn't mean you should buy a home. Even if you've already evaluated your finances and told yourself, "I can swing a down payment," there are some additional key questions to ask to determine whether you're ready. Here, we unveil some oft-overlooked, soul-searching inquiries that you really should ask yourself before you make the biggest financial commitment of your life. Ready?

1. Have I recently experienced a loss?

If you’ve recently gone through a breakup, lost your job, or suffered any other kind of negative life event, you might feel like the answer is to start over. A reset can indeed do you a world of good, but taking on a mortgage probably won’t be the fresh new beginning you’re looking for.

“The most challenging time in someone's life to buy a home is during a time of loss—and that can be many kinds of loss,” says Tyler Whitman, real estate agent with TripleMint in New York. “If it's truly a high-stress moment, adding a move on top of that only makes things worse."

2. If I get a new job, will I have to move?

Even if you think you're in a good place, emotionally speaking, Whitman warns that stress might cause you to subconsciously make your housing decisions out of fear. It's better to wait until you’re past a situation and can know you’re making the best choice for you.

The job market has changed drastically since the days when your parents bought a home, and you should know how that will affect you before you buy.

“Previous generations planned to get one job, keep it forever, and retire. Buying into a house because they were looking for a permanent living situation made a lot more sense,” says Chandler Crouch, broker for Chandler Crouch Realtors in Fort Worth, TX. “Now, job-hopping is prevalent.”

Changing jobs won’t be a big deal if you can keep—or raise—your salary, and your new gig is in your current city. But if there aren’t a ton of jobs in your industry in your area, you may find yourself having to relocate a year after you bought your home.

“It honestly isn't a good idea to buy a house unless you plan on staying there for at least five years,” Crouch says. If you sell earlier, you may end up taking a loss on the deal.

3. Am I ready to write (a lot) of checks beyond the down payment?

Here's the good news: Mortgage requirements have been loosening since the credit crunch, and you may very well be able to buy with less than 20% down. But the bad news is that won’t be the end of your upfront costs. Hire a mortgage broker and you could pay a 1% to 2% fee on the amount of the loan. A home inspection will cost you a few hundred. Your closing costs could add up to 7% of the total cost of the home. And then there’s the Murphy’s Law of it all: If something can go wrong, it probably will.

“If the air conditioner breaks a month after you close, or the dishwasher gives out, that's now up to you,” Whitman says.

If you don’t have the funds to cover your closing costs and a separate emergency account for the inevitable “just moved in” headaches, it might be better to wait until you do.

And don't forget about the additional costs of things like homeowner insurance and taxes. (Although you'll likely be eligible for some pretty sweet tax deductions for being a homeowner, you'll still have to pay property taxes—and that can mean a bit of sticker shock for long-term renters.)

4. Am I OK with owing the bank lots of money for a long time?

One of the biggest benefits of homeownership, of course, is the equity. Instead of handing all your hard-earned cash over to a landlord, you're putting it back into your home—which you (hopefully) will sell for a profit down the line. But that equity doesn't happen immediately. In fact, for many buyers, it takes time. Sometimes a long time.

Unless you pay for your house in cash, you'll be on the hook for not only your monthly mortgage payment but the interest on the loan as well. Stretching out your payments over more years—as with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage—can help reduce (and stabilize) your interest charges. But it can be hard to pay down your principal when you're constantly trying to cover other costs.

It's part of being a homeowner, and you need to decide if you’re good with it.

“Anyone considering buying needs to look at an amortization schedule to see exactly how much out of their monthly payment will be going toward paying off the house,” Crouch says.

5. Is buying truly cheaper in the long run?

This one depends quite a bit on where you live.

So do the math. Understand that when you're buying, you'll be taking on a big down payment and all those additional costs. On the other hand, you'll want to take a look at your local rental market. If your rents are increasing steadily year over year, you might be shelling out more on temporary housing then you would on your own home each month. And you may find yourself with your savings too depleted to buy.

“On average landlords raise rent 7% per year," Crouch says. "This is a compounding increase in expense.”

That could mean that buying, while a punch to the wallet now, will be more affordable in the long run. But if you live in a more stable rental market, it could be better to sock away some cash and wait a few more years to purchase a home. You can use our handy Rent vs. Buy Calculator to crunch the numbers and decide what's right for you.

6. Am I secretly trying to talk myself into it?

Your co-workers don’t understand why you’re still renting. Your friends are all buying their first homes. You've been saving for years specifically so you can buy a house and become a key-carrying member of the Great American Dream. It may seem like you should just buy already, but try asking yourself: Do you really, truly want to?

Even if it might make sense on paper, Crouch still recommends asking yourself three questions before you finally decide:

  • Am I trying to sell myself on the idea of buying a home?
  • Am I trying too hard to justify it financially?
  • Do my reasons to buy outnumber my reasons not to buy?

After all, buying a home is arguably the biggest financial (and, sometimes, emotional) commitment you'll ever make. You need to be sure it's right for you—no matter what anybody else says.