Buyers Can Kill a Deal

In this market we always hear how sellers are difficult. How they are greedy and won’t make any repairs or do anything to help the buyer because they don’t need to. They will just go get another buyer!

However, there are story upon story where the buyer was the one to wreck the deal. It can be that they didn’t really have…or could not get…the financing needed to purchase the home. Or maybe they were too nit-picky on inconsequential repairs that make the seller refuse so the buyer walks away.

In one story I heard from an agent friend the buyer wanted to purchase a house with a tenant in resident. Under Texas Property Code the tenant’s lease will prevail in the sale of a property. This means the lease terms are honored and the buyer becomes a landlord until the lease term ends.

In this particular instance the buyer would have to take occupancy of the property after 90 days and the lease wasn’t up for about 10 months. The buyer and seller agreed to stay under contract until there was just 90 days left on the lease they would then close and the new owners could move in after the tenant’s lease was complete.

Everything was going smoothly until just a few weeks before closing. The buyer took out a $10,000 business line of credit. This one action caused them to no longer qualify for their loan and they were unable to purchase the home. The home they had waited 10 MONTHS to purchase!

When you are in a real estate transaction EVERYTHING matters. Every dime you spend, if you quit your job, change jobs, get promoted in your job. Everything.

When they could no longer qualify they could no longer purchase. They lost their Earnest Money, Option Money, Inspection Fee, and Appraisal Fee. Then…they had to go look for another house they could qualify for. Also, the seller had to go back on the market to find another buyer while he no longer had a tenant paying his costs.

When you are in a real estate transaction ask your Realtor if you should “do” whatever it is that you want to do. Find out the repercussions; because there likely will be some. How harmful will depend on the action.

Robin McCoy | 214.226.3770 |

Should I Sell My House in 2021?

Should I Sell My House

If one of the questions you’re asking yourself is, “Should I sell my house this year?” consumer sentiment about selling today should boost your confidence in the right direction. Even with the current health crisis that continues to challenge our nation, Americans still feel good about selling a house. Here’s why.

According to the latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index from Fannie Mae, 57% of consumer respondents to their survey indicate now is a good time to buy a home, while 59% feel it’s a good time to sell one:

“The percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to sell a home remained the same at 59%, while the percentage who say it’s a bad time to sell decreased from 35% to 33%. As a result, the net share of those who say it is a good time to sell increased 2 percentage points month over month.”

As you can see, many still believe that, despite everything going on in the world, it is still a good time to sell a house.

Why is now a good time to sell?

There simply are not enough homes available to meet today’s buyer demand, and they’re selling just as quickly as they’re coming to the market. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), unsold inventory available today sits at a 2.3-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from a 2.5-month supply from the previous month. This record-low inventory is not even half of what we need for a normal or neutral housing market, which should have a 6.0-month supply of unsold inventory to balance out.

With so few homes available for buyers to choose from, we’re in a true sellers’ market. Homeowners ready to make a move right now have the opportunity to negotiate the best possible contracts with buyers who are feeling the pull of intense competition when it comes to finding their dream home. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for NAR, notes how quickly homes are selling right now, further confirming the benefits to sellers this season:

“The market is incredibly swift this winter with the listed homes going under contract on average at less than a month due to a backlog of buyers wanting to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates.”

However, this sweet spot for sellers won’t last forever. As more homes are listed this year, this tip toward sellers may start to wane. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at, more choices for buyers are on the not-too-distant horizon:

“The bright spot for buyers is that more homes are likely to become available in the last six months of 2021. That should give folks more options to choose from and take away some of their urgency. With a larger selection, buyers may not be forced to make a decision in mere hours and will have more time to make up their minds.”

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to make a move, you can feel good about the current sentiment in the market and the advantageous conditions for today’s sellers. Let’s connect today to determine the best next step when it comes to selling your house this year.

Path to Home Ownership

If you’re thinking of buying a home the Path to Home Ownership can be intimidating. You’re not alone. There are a lot of questions and everyone seems to have a different answer. Remember that every situation is different. What your friend’s experience was will not be the same for you.

Here’s a map with 10 simple steps to follow in the homebuying process. Lets take each one and see if we can untangle some of the uncertainty and fear in the quest of purchasing your home.

The Path to Homeownership doesn’t have to be scary. You just need a team around you for guidance and support.

Save for your down payment. Create a budget and do your research. There are lots of low down payment options available

Save For Your Down Payment

This is probably the most daunting part of the process. I hear it all the time… “I don’t have 20% to put down on a house!” Well, guess what! You don’t need 20%!!! Create a budget and do your research. There are a variety of loan products out there that require much less from you at the purchase.

Christian Johnson of Caliber Home Loans agrees,

“I still think the #1 misnomer in my business is the amount required for a down payment. Many still believe that the minimum down payment is 20%, when this is simply not the case!  On all loan amounts, we offer a minimum of 3% down (Unless a VA loan, which is 0% Down) for our qualified buyers. Time spent with a great loan advisor is certainly well spent.  Get some advice from a seasoned professional who works for a company that only does mortgages – you’ll be glad you did.”

Government loans such as FHA, VA, and USDA offer the lowest down payment options and are viable options for those that qualify. Mortgage Officer, Dave Smith, explains how some of these government loans work and how they can be beneficial.

Of course, the more you can save the less your loan will cost you over time. When a buyer puts more down toward the loan this can get them a lower interest rate or other fees associated with their mortgage.

Where can you find that 3% – 10% down payment? Let’s look…

  • Plan a savings budget – How much do you actually need to save? There is the down payment + closing costs + other associated fees such as inspections and appraisals.
  • Increase your income – Easier said than done sometimes however if you think hard and get creative there are ways to increase your savings. Side hustles, working overtime, selling unused items, taking on a part-time job, or negotiating a raise at your current position are all ways to build that home account.
  • Cut unnecessary spending – Sometimes we don’t realize just how much we are spending day to day. Consider eating out less, skip the beach vacation this year, get a roommate, or make your coffee at home rather than hitting that drive-thru 5 days a week. Although small cuts in your spending may not seem dramatic, a series of small cuts can lead to big savings
  • Pay off your debt – High interest loans and credit cards will eat into your ability to buy your new home and can wreak havoc on your finances. The smart move here is to pay off those high interest debts first.
  • Research First-Time Home Buyer Programs – The availability of these changes over the course of the year depending on current market conditions. These programs are designed to help you achieve your goal of buying a home by helping out with a down payment or offering a low down payment option. Some popular ones are TSAHC (Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation) and SETH (Southeast Texas Housing Finance Corporation). Your lender will have access to these.

Know your credit score. Learn your score and clean up outstanding debts like student loans and credit cards.

Know Your Credit Score

Learn your score and clean up outstanding debts like student loans and credit cards. Your credit score and your debt to income (DTI) ratios will have the greatest impact on getting qualified for a loan. This will determine your “risk factor” and will affect your interest rate.

Low credit scores are the biggest hurdle first-time buyers encounter along their path to home ownership. Our past can catch up to us and we don’t know how to correct it even when we are not in a good job making excellent income. If you are struggling in getting your credit score up here are a few things you can do:

  • Pay credit card balances strategically
  • Pay bills on time
  • Dispute credit report errors
  • Deal with collections accounts

If you need assistance in getting everything taken care of there are credit repair companies that can help. Do your research and make sure you are working with a legitimate and reputable company.

Find a Real Estate Agent. Contact a local professional to guide you through the process.

Find a Real Estate Agent

It seems everyone knows a real estate agent however remember they are not all the same. During this process you are in each other’s back pocket. You will be sharing personal information with your Realtor such as finances, how you like to live, and what you like to do for fun and work. Contrary to popular belief Realtors are humans and you want to make sure your personalities mesh. Realtors are a fiduciary and must conduct themselves as such.

Your Realtor is going to be a large part of your transaction. Here are some steps to finding the right agent for you:

  • Get a referral from someone you trust
  • Ask the right questions
  • Clarify your motivation to purchase
  • Explain your communication preferences
  • Clarify your timeframe for purchasing

When you decide on an agent make sure you sign a contract with them. In the state of Texas, and probably most others, unless a Buyer Representation Agreement is signed by all parties the agent works for the seller not the buyer. This agreement is very important between you and your agent.

Get Pre-Approved. Differentiate yourself as a serious buyer and have a better sense of what you can afford.

Get Pre-Approved

Getting pre-approved by a reputable and respected mortgage lender will differentiate you as a serious buyer and you will have a better idea of what you can afford. This is one of those times you want to listen to your agent’s recommendations. Your agent will have several loan officers they have history with. They know how they operate and that they will get the job done for you. When you “go rogue” and choose someone your agent is unfamiliar with a piece of control is lost.

A pre-approval means a lender has looked at your financial background and determined how much home you can afford. This saves valuable time so you can target your home search to your comfort level. Getting pre-approved helps because you know the amount of your mortgage ahead of time, you are able to get all of your documents in order, and you have time to address possible credit errors and issues.

Find a Home. Work with your agent to find a home in your budget that meets your needs.

Find Your Home

This is what is the most fun of the process. You will work with your agent to find a home in your budget that meets your needs and your budget. All the criteria discussed when you were hiring your agent will come into play here. This is what he or she will be searching for on your behalf.

It is important that you are honest and clear with your Realtor as to what your needs and wants are as well as your “deal-breakers”. Does the house have to have a 3-car garage? Will you buy a house with a pool? All of these things are vital in the search for your new home. Your agent should have a great respect for your time and showing you properties that do not match with what you want is not a good use of anyone’s time.

Make an Offer. Determine your price and negotiate the contract

Make An Offer

This is what all the looking comes to; finding the house that you can see yourself living in, that meets your budget, and makes you smile. An offer is simply extending your hand to the seller and an invitation to talk about purchasing the property.

There are many things to consider when preparing your offer. This is where having your own agent, not the one listing the property, is so very important. Your agent will look at the current market, learn as much as possible about the seller, and guide you through these things. Here are some additional things to consider

  • Leave some “wiggle room” in our offer amount. The seller may counter or you made need to make some price adjustments later on in the transaction. Don’t throw all your money in the pot to start. Also, if interest rates go up and you are at your max loan amount you may no longer qualify for the loan.
  • Learn what you can about the seller. This is where your agent can speak with the listing agent to see what is important to the seller. It isn’t always about price! Maybe they need to close quickly…or have a longer closing period. These things can make you a better fit for the seller than other offers.
  • Make a respectful offer. Lowballing in a seller’s market will get you no where. Think about how much you are willing to pay for THAT particular house. Listen to your agent and their opinion on where the asking price is and if there are other offers being made.
  • Keep your emotions in check. This is difficult sometimes because you have spent days…or even weeks or months…looking for THIS house. And yet you want to keep your head about you when it comes to negotiation. Again, seek counsel from your agent.

Have a Home Inspection. Address any hidden issues in the home with the seller

Have a Home Inspection

This is so very important! A general inspection performed by a licensed inspector will give you a “State of the House” report before you purchase it. A good inspector will run the house through its paces making so you know what you are buying.

Most houses are “used” meaning they aren’t new. They have been lived in by one or more families over the years. Your inspector will check everything big (HVAC, roof, foundation, plumbing) to everything small (temperature of the oven, if the doorbell dings & dongs) and provide a report to you and your agent.

Ken Duggan of Pillar to Post is a licensed Texas inspector is knowledgeable and shares what is inspected and what you, as a buyer, should know including on new construction homes!

In some market conditions you may be tempted to forego the inspection process. Before you commit to this consider all potential outcomes as it can lead to some hefty expenses later on.

Get a Home Appraisal. Ensure the property is worth the price you are prepared to pay

Get An Appraisal

An appraisal is an unbiased and independent opinion of a home’s value and is used whenever a mortgage is involved in buying, refinancing, or selling that property. A qualified appraiser creates a report based on an in-person inspection, using recent sales of similar properties, current market trends, and aspects of the home (for example, amenities, floor plan, square footage) to determine the property’s appraisal value.

An appraisal will be ordered by the lender. The fee is usually several hundred dollars and is paid by the borrower prior to closing. The buyer will pay their lender directly for the appraisal. This is required and the only way to purchase a home without an appraisal is to pay cash.

The appraisal is an important part of the transaction and the results, if lower than the contracted price, can delay the transaction or cause it to terminate completely. This is where your agent is vital to your transaction. They can advise how you can handle any appraisal discrepancies at the time you are writing your offer with the use of appraisal waivers and other contract addenda.

Close the Sale. Schedule a closing date once the loan is approved so you can sign the final paperwork.

Close the Sale

Closing! Can you believe all of the above steps happened in about 30 days? Closing is the term used when the transaction to transfer the property from one entity to another is completed. In Texas, real property transactions are facilitated by tile companies. The title company in Texas is usually responsible for two different roles – providing the title insurance, and acting as the escrow officer. Sometimes, different title companies can handle these two roles, but it’s almost always the same title company.

In Texas the parties are not required at the same time. The buyer and seller will sign their own documents at their own appointment. Once all interested parties have signed and the money has changed hands (facilitated by the title company) then the transactions is closed and funded.

Move In! Congrats! You're a Homeowner

Move In!

After everything has funded you get your keys! The home is yours and you can move your family in! You are now a HOMEOWNER!

Robin McCoy | |214.226.3770 |

Rent vs. Buy: How to Decide What’s Best for You

Rent vs. Buy is the question many are asking right now.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median rent continues to rise. With today’s low mortgage rates, there’s great opportunity for current renters to make a move into their own home and pay the same or less then what they pay in rent each month.

While the best timeline to buy a home is different for everyone, the question remains: Should I continue renting or is it time for me to buy? The answer depends on your current situation and your future plans, so here are some thoughts to help you decide if you’re ready to own a home of your own.

1. Rent Will Continue to Increase

Rent vs. Buy: How to Decide What’s Best for You

This is one of the top reasons why renters decide to move because in most cases, rent will continue increasing each year. As noted above, the U.S. Census Bureau recently released its quarterly homeownership report, and as the graph shows, median rent is climbing year after year. When you own a home, you’ll lock in your monthly payment for the life of your loan, creating consistency and predictability in your payments.

2. Freedom to Customize

This is a big decision-making point for many people who want to be able to paint, renovate, and make home upgrades. In many cases, landlords determine all of these selections and prefer you do not alter them as a renter. As a homeowner, you have the freedom to decorate and personalize your home to truly make it your own.

3. Privacy

When renting, your landlord has access to your space in case of an emergency. If you own your home, however, you’re the one to decide who can come inside. Given today’s health concerns around the pandemic, this may be a growing priority for you.

4. Flexibility for Relocation

If you’re renting, it may be easier to move quickly should you have a job transfer or simply decide it’s time for a change. When you’re a homeowner and need to sell your house, this might take a little more time. Today, however, with the housing market’s low inventory, this may no longer be the case. Homes are selling at a record-breaking pace, so you may have more flexibility than you think.

5. Building Equity

When you pay your rent, your landlord earns the equity the property gains. If you own your home, the benefits of your investment go directly toward your net worth. This is savings you’ll be able to use in the future for things like sending children to college, starting a new business, buying a bigger home, or simply downsizing to save for retirement.

6. Tax Advantages

When you own your home, there are additional advantages that work in your favor as well. You can deduct things like your property taxes and mortgage interest (Always make sure you check with your accountant to see which tax-deductible benefits apply to your situation). When you rent, however, the tax benefits are directed to your landlord.

Bottom Line

It’s up to you to decide if you’d prefer to rent or buy, and it’s different for every person. If you’d like to learn more about the pros and cons of each, as well as resources to help you along the way, let’s connect to discuss your options. This way, you can make a confident and informed decision with a trusted expert on your side.

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

City vector created by freepik –

Robin McCoy | 214.226.3770 |

Two Important Impacts of Home Equity

Equity continues to rise, helping American homeowners secure a much more stable financial future. According to the most recent data from CoreLogic, the average homeowner gained $9,800 in equity over the past year. In addition, experts project 2020 home prices to continue rising. With prices going up, equity gains will also keep accelerating. Black Knight just reported:

“The annual percent change in the overall median existing single-family-home price has skyrocketed in the past several months, with recent numbers at three to five times higher than rates seen in the past several years.”

Knowing equity will help enable many homeowners to better survive the economic distress caused by the ongoing pandemic, it’s important to break down two key homeowner benefits of increasing equity.

1. Equity Increases a Homeowner’s Options to Buy a New Home

Aside from the financial damage of the last seven months, there has also been a tremendous emotional toll on many people. Shelter-in-place mandates, quarantine requirements, and virtual schooling have all made us re-evaluate the must-have requirements a home should deliver. Having equity in your current house gives you a better opportunity to move-up or build your perfect home from scratch.

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, recently explained:

“As homeowners gain equity in their homes, they are more likely to consider using that equity to purchase a larger or more attractive home – the wealth effect of rising equity.”

If you need to make a move, the equity in your current home can help make that possible – right now.

2. Equity Enables Homeowners to Help Future Generations

An increase in home equity grows overall wealth, which can transfer to future generations. The Federal Reserve, in an addendum to their recent Survey of Consumer Finances, explains:

“There are numerous ways families can transmit wealth and resources across generations. Families can directly transfer their wealth to the next generation in the form of a bequest. They can also provide the next generation with inter vivos transfers (gifts), for example, providing down payment support to enable a home purchase or a substantial wedding gift.”

The Federal Reserve also explains another way wealth (including the additional net worth generated by an increase in home equity) can benefit future generations:

“In addition to direct transfers or gifts, families can make investments in their children that indirectly increase their wealth. For example, families can invest in their children’s educational success by paying for college or private schools, which can in turn increase their children’s ability to accumulate wealth.”

Bottom Line

Equity can help a homeowner grow their confidence in a more stable financial future. It provides near-term move-up options and creates a positive impact for future generations. In many cases, the largest single investment a person has is their home. As that investment appreciates in value, financial options increase too.
« Selling Your House Is the Right Move, Right Now [INFOGRAPHIC]How Down Payment Assistance Opens the Door to Homeownership »

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

Source: Keeping Current Matters

Robin McCoy | 214.226.3770 |

Many are Eager to Buy a Home Right Now

Many are eager to buy a home right now while affordability continues to be a highlight of the current housing market. However, a recent survey by Sparks Research shows that 20% of first-time homebuyers cite a lack of financial education as a barrier to homeownership. This is definitely understandable. If you don’t feel comfortable with the financial process of buying a home, it’s hard to make a confident decision. In fact, four in five homebuyers say they need help to understand what they can even afford in the first place. This is why finding the right professionals to help you through the process is so important. On top of that, the same survey reports over two-thirds of prospective homebuyers believe they’ll need assistance to save enough for a down payment. What they may not realize is that there are a lot of down payment assistance programs at the state and regional levels, and many of them have funds available for potential buyers. Down Payment Resources recently released its Q3 2020 Homeownership Program Index, which explains:

“The number of total programs is 2,340, and over 81 percent (81.1%) of programs currently have funds available for eligible homebuyers.”

Down Payment Assistance Programs Are Not Only for First-Time Homebuyers

Keep in mind, these programs aren’t just for first-time homebuyers, so it’s worth exploring your options no matter where you are in your homeownership journey. For example, if you’re working from home now, you may be thinking of relocating to a more affordable area where you can stretch your dollar further and have more space, inside and out. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains:

“Rural areas have mortgages (USDA loans) that don’t require down payments; and some workers who can work from home may want to consider outer suburbs or small towns where USDA home loans are available and where homes are very affordable.”

If affordability is on your mind and you’re expecting to be working from home long-term, the right home may be in an area you haven’t considered yet. In addition, the assistance program you need might be within reach too. If you’re interested in learning more about down payment assistance programs, additional information is available through Down Payment Resource. Your real estate advisor can help you decide which option is best for you personally.

Bottom Line

Thanks to a range of down payment assistance programs, affordable options are out there for today’s hopeful homebuyers. It’s important to get the financial education you need to understand the homebuying process and accomplish your real estate goals. Let’s connect today to get you started on the path to your dream home.

Check out the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC) for more information on a specifc program for Texans.

** Source: Keeping Current Matters.

Robin McCoy | 214.226.3770 |

Our 5-Step Senior Transition Program

The Senior Transition can be difficult, challenging, and time-consuming. Our 5 Step Senior Transition Program works to make this process easier on the entire family. Be sure to check out our Trusted Vendor List as well for things you may want to do prior to starting the process

Step 1: Initial Consultation

Robin McCoy & Associates will meet with the Sellers (and any relevant family members) and provide a complimentary home evaluation. We will then review the Sellers’ timeframes and strategize the best plan of action.

Step 2: Getting Organized

Once the timeframes have been determined, we will schedule for our professional Home Decorator and Organizer to go through the home with the sellers and determine what items they would like to take with them to their new space as well as what items the family would like to keep.

Step 3: Taking Inventory

After we determine which items the sellers will be taking with them, our Estate Sale specialist will then work with the sellers on what they would like to sell vs. donate, including a free estate appraisal, and then schedule the Estate Sale, if desired.

Step 4: Preparing the Home for Sale

Now that all the personal items have been organized, Robin McCoy & Associates will work with any trade services to make any necessary repairs on the property to get the home in “showing” condition.

Step 5: Marketing & Selling the Property

Robin McCoy & Associates will market and sell the home for top dollar and ensure an easy and effortless transition for the Sellers. We will coordinate with the movers, the packers, and any other services the Seller may need.

DFW’s Best Haunted Houses

Time to Get Your Haunt On!

Scary Clown in white clothes and hat with yellow sharp teeth and an evil smile.

Haunted Houses….boy, do we love to get the bejezzus scared out of ourselves. We intentionally climb on roller coasters that go careening through the air. And every October we seek out places designed to instill enough fear to create nightmares for the next twelve months.

Here are DFW’s best haunts for this October.

Creekside Manor — Midlothian, TX

Creekside Manor will be open for 13 Days of Terror in 2019 by opening the last weekend in September on the 28th and 29th. Then the Manor will be open Fridays and Saturdays in October from dusk until midnight. They will also be open October 31, November 1 and November 2, 2019. Tickets are $15.00 for adults and $12.00 for children under 48″.

Creekside Manor is surrounded by ominous woods and threatening waters. The house awaits new guests. Will you dare walk through its gates, pass its cemetary and enter its narrow, winding halls? Are you ready to face fear itself? Then by all means, come in! Once inside you may never, ever leave.  The Manor is preparing something very special.  Plan now to come see our most terrifying attractions. We have dares and scares for the whole family.

This year Creekside Manor is working to support our community by partnering with Manna House of Midlothian, Texas. Manna House gives needy families a helping hand with food, financial and other assistance. A portion of ticket sales will benefit this cause. All “Fight the Real Frights” donations will directly benefit needy families in Ellis county. It’s that time of year again, time to step up and help Creekside Manor fight the frights of hunger and need.

Cutting Edge Haunted House — Ft. Worth, TX

Voted one of the Best Haunted Houses in America, Cutting Edge Haunted House opens at 8pm on Saturday, September 28th and then Oct 4-6, 11-13, 18-20, 24-27, 30-31 Nov 1-2. There are three ticket options to choose from 1. General Admission 2. Timed Ticket, and 3. Speedpass. You can check the website for times and ticket prices.

Image from Cutting Edge Haunted House. Evil reptilian eyes that glow and go dark.

The dark attraction is filled with terrifying live characters, amazing special effects, and incredible monsters. How fast can you run? Actually it takes about 55 minutes to go through this haunt.

Dark Hour Haunted House — Plano, TX

The Dark Hour Haunted House is open select days and times beginning September 20th. Check their website for more specifc days, times and ticket prices.

Image from Dark Hour Haunted House. Zombie like creature with a crown and pointing

 The Dark Hour witches have found their most powerful Leader yet. Dark Hour is transformed by the Vampire Witch.The Vampire Witch Lilandra has taken over, and is taking the coven to a dark place. She is setting out to impose the will of the Coven over all the DFW metroplex.

 With the magical eclipse known as the Dark Hour spell eminent Lilandra has summoned every Vampire Kin and Clan to usher in the Eternal Darkness. Surely bloodsuckers at every turn paired with the fiercest minion every Coven member has to offer will be enough to achieve the DARK HOUR!  Can you survive making your way through the crumbling Transylvanian cemetery, The Manor turned Vampire roost, and The Crypt city of the thirsty dead? Or will you end up joining the legion of the damned?

Reindeer Manor Halloween Park — Red Oak, TX

Woman coming through a doorway. White face with evil on her mind.

Four haunted houses all in one place! What could be greater than that? Reindeer Manor Halloween Park . The Haunted House experiencs include Reindeer Manor, 13th Street Morgue, Dungeon of Doom, and Shadow House.

Reindeer Manor Halloween Park opens on September 28th also has additional attractions such as Thriller Dances, Escape Rooms, and Ax Throwing. Visit their website for specifc days, times, and ticket information.

What Are The Steps To Selling a House?

two hands palm up one holding keys and one holding a small house.

There are 8 basic steps to selling a house.

  • Select Your Realtor
  • Make Major and Minor Repairs
  • Declutter and Depersonalize
  • List and Show Your House
  • Receive Offer and Accept
  • Inspections and Appraisals
  • Move Out
  • Closing and Funding

Select Your Realtor

Selecting your Realtor first is very important. They will be able to guide you through all of the other steps and help set expectations for the entire process. Make sure whomever you choose understands your needs and your goals so everyone is working in the same direction.

Make Major and Minor Repairs

Go ahead and get all those “things” fixed. It will help bring a higher price to your property, it will decrease the repairs a buyer will ask of you, and it will make your product and overall more desirable purchase.

Take care of major repairs…get the roof and foundation assessed at by a reputable company, ensure all the electrical outlets work, and there are no plumbing issues. All of these items will show up later if not taken care of now.

Declutter and Depersonalize

We have all seen the “Bad MLS Photos” on social media. Don’t let your house be one of those. Clear out all the closets, cabinets, and garage. Clear the counters on in the kitchen and the bathrooms. Take down all the personal items and family photos. You want potential buyers to see themselves in the home; not wondering about the people that currently live there.

List and Show Your House

When your house is ready your Realtor will post your listing in MLS and start the marketing of it to the public and other agents. You want to be as flexible as possible in allowing showings on your property. Make sure everything is in a “show-ready” state, pets are secured, and your house make a perfect first impression. Remember, when a potential buyer is looking at your house they are looking at the others in the area so you want yours to stand out.

Review Offers and Accept

Offers may come in within hours or it may be days or weeks. There are many factors that contribute to this from price, current market, and property condition. However, whenever offers come in your Realtor is require to present each one to you. You and your Realtor will review any and all offers to determine which one is best for you and your situation. Price is not always a determining factor. Once all details and terms are agreed upon you accept the offer.

Image of Robin McCoy and circles with 8 steps to selling your home

Inspections and Appraisals

Next up are the buyer’s inspection and the lender’s appraisal of your property . See our interview with a general inspector for insight on what they are hired to do.

The general inspection is basically a “state of the property” at a particular day and time. The inspector will provide a detailed report to the buyer and as a seller you can expect to receive a list of requested repairs. All of these are negotiable between you and the buyer.

The lender will always require an appraisal to determine the value of the property. An appraiser, vetted but not chosen by the lender, will come to the house to see and evaluate the property. They use MLS data as well as other resources to determine the value of the property.

Move Out

Once all of the inspections, financing, and appraisals are complete it is time to move out. Typically you want to vacate the property the day before closing unless other arrangements, such as a lease back, have been arranged.

Closing and Funding

Closing is where the property is tranferred from the seller to the buyer. In Texas this is done via a Title Company and they serve as a third party ensuring all the required documents are complete.

Funding is the final step when all the documents have been approved and the lender funds the loan. At this point the property is fully transferred to the new buyer.

Robin McCoy |

How Do I Get The Down Payment for a House?

Often we want to buy a house however don’t think we have the funds required to make it happen. How do I get the down payment for a house?

a box made of money with a red bow ties around it. Get a gift for your downpayment for a house

Get a Gift

You can get a gift from a relative for the down payment and closing costs. They can even gift you the entire amount of the down payment, and many lenders will allow it, depending on your credit score and the lender’s loan underwriting guidelines. (Keep in mind, some lenders require documentation of gift money, such as a signed letter from the donor and verification of transfer of funds.

stack of money with an egg sitting on it will 401k written on the egg. Use your 401k for the downpayment for your house.

401(k) Loan

You can also borrow from employer-sponsored 401ks to fund your down payment. On 401k loans, borrowing limits are quite generous: You can borrow up to the lesser of $50,000 or half the value of the account. That’s enough to fund a 20% down payment on a $250,000 house, or a 10% down payment on a $500,000 house.

Rubber stand laying on its side with Loan Approved stamped over the words Life Insurance. Use Life Insurance for the downpayment for your house.

Life Insurance

If you have a whole life policy, you can either borrow or cash it in. Since most of these are purchased with after-tax dollars there may not be tax implications

Stack of money with a house sitting on it. Use Secured Loan for the downpayment for your house

Secured Loan

If you have an asset that is free and clear, such as a vehicle, you may be able to get a secured loan against the value of the asset. Other assets may include art, jewelry, and comic books. Really anything of value.

Hand holding a key and keyring with a house fob. Says Down Payment Assistance Programs. Use DPA Down Payment Assistance for the downpayment for your house

DPA (Down Payment Assistance)

Several government entities offer down payment assistance programs; and they aren’t all for first-time homebuyers. Check out the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC) for more information on how you may qualify for this program.

Outline of a house with household items pictured inside. Use the sale of personal property for the downpayment for your house.

Sale of Personal Property

With verification of value and a bill of sale, the funds from the sale of personal property can be used for the down payment. Have a motorcycle you never ride? How about Grandpa’s stamp collection? Have a garage sale and get rid of all the stuff you don’t want to move with you anyway.

Ten clay cubes stacked on each other with the outline of a person on each one. Use programs from Human Resources for the downpayment for you house.

Human Resources

Some employers offer down payment assistance as a benefit to employees. These awards are eligible for down payment through FHA financing. Even if you think your employer is too small, or you won’t qualify, it doesn’t hurt to ask – it’s one work perk that can really make a difference when you need it the most.

3 blocks of money stacked on top of each other with the words Tax Refund sitting on top. Use your tax refund for the downpayment for your house.

Tax Refund

You can use this year’s tax refund to become a homeowner. A copy of this year’s tax returns and a copy of the refund check or bank statement showing the refund amount is all that is required.

Image of a target with a green dart on the bull's eye that says Second Job. The word "earnings" across the bottom. Use earning from a second job for your downpayment for you house.

Second Job

Get yourself a side hustle! Even though you may not be able to use this income to qualify if you haven’t had the job for two years, the cash earned from this second job can be used for the down payment. Pay stubs and bank statements can provide a paper trail to source the funds.

Image of a piggy bank with a hand putting coins in the bank. Use Savings and Budgeting for the downpayment for your house.


Cutting back on extras (that daily coffee drive-thru or breakfast taco), along with any of the above ideas, would get you into a home faster.