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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s Robin and I am here with Dave Smith from Caliber Home Loans and we’re going to ask Dave some questions about mortgages. I’m hearing a lot of things from agents, from a buyers and sellers that some loans are less desirable than others. Meaning that I don’t want an FHA, I don’t want to a VA, I want conventional, I want this. I don’t want that. So Dave, tell us what is really the difference in some of those.
What is the difference?
The difference between conventional loans and government loans is the appraisal. The appraisal comes with an inspection on the government loans. When a conventional loan they don’t; so that scares a lot of people off. If the property’s in decent condition they’re all the same across the board. I mean, government loans tend to have better rates, easier guidelines, and higher ratio capacity. I’ve closed several in the last couple of months. I had 55/56% back end ratios and conventional, you’re capped at a 45% back end unless you have over 700 scores.
Do you have to be a VA expert where that is all you do is VA loans?
A lot of people call themselves VA experts. We have a designation called the Caliber Military Veteran Lending Professional that we do a series of classes to get. I think it gives us an advantage because you have to know your guidelines. But per se, a VA loan is not any more difficult than any other kind of loan. If you do your homework up front and you get your documents, you do what you’re supposed to do, then there shouldn’t be any issues.
Nothing to be afraid of…
So there’s really nothing to be afraid of from a buyer perspective and agent perspective or even a seller perspective. The only problem is eventually if there’s stuff that isn’t working that needs to be fixed, they required to be fixed. And that is to have the buyer’s interest in mind.
If you have you have any questions about the mortgage for buying a house…What do I qualify for? Am I eligible to use my VA? Should I go FHA or VA? Dave is more than happy to answer any questions that you guys have and point you in the right direction. He can be reached at 214.202.22658 or RockMyMortgage.com
When it comes to buying and selling residential real estate in Texas, the Robin McCoy Group is your go to for information, resources, and support. Do not hesitate to reach out at 214.226.3770 or RobinMcCoy@kw.com
I’m Robin with Keller Williams and as a Realtor I get asked this question a lot and it is, well how long does it take to sell or buy a house? And of course my answer is it depends. It depends on a lot of things. If you’re on the selling side, it depends on your house, your location, your price point, all of those things. How long will it take us to find a buyer for your house? And if you’re on the buyer’s side, how long will it take you to find the house that you’re looking for that you want to purchase? So there’s a lot of things that come into that now on a very factual timeline, we’re looking at about 30 days. Once you go under contract. We call that “going under contract” when all parties have agreed to terms and we execute this contract.
What is the timeline from a contract?
This is when the clock starts ticking on a number of different things. Typically in the state of Texas, we close in 30 days. If a house goes under under contract on June 1st typically we’re closing it on or about June 30th. Now the contract says on or before June 30th; this is the deadline to close the transaction. So it could happen really anytime in between there. Secondly, once we go under contract, the buyer has what we call an option period or a termination period. This is going to be typically about five to 10 days depending on the contract and there will be a amount of money given to the seller that is called consideration that allows the buyer to do their inspections…if they want somebody to look at the roof, do a general inspection, climb under the house, climb on the house, do all the reasonable inspections in their due diligence before they decide to move forward with the contract.
At this point in time, a buyer does have the right to terminate the contract within that pre-determined time period and they will get their earnest money back. However, they will not get that option money back. Once we pass the option period, there’s about another 14 to 21 days where the buyer and their lender are doing their due diligence. They’re getting all of their paperwork into the lender per their request. That could be tax returns, that could be pay stubs, it could be any number of documentation that the lender needs to approve this buyer to buy that home and that during this time too, typically the appraisal is getting ordered if not completed during that time. After that, it is just the final paperwork signing, getting things cleared up, getting conditions cleared and things like that till we get to our closing date.
Closing the Transaction
Once the lender gives a clear to close and title gives clear title then everybody can come together and sign on the dotted line and one person has sold a home and another person has purchased it. So typically we look at about a 30 day time period in the state of Texas right now between going under contract and closing that sales contract. If you have any questions regarding the buying and selling of real estate here in North Texas, please don’t hesitate to call me. My name is Robin Mccoy with Keller Williams. My license number is 0582766 and my phone number (214) 226-3770 look forward to hearing from you. Have a great day.
Hey everybody. It’s Robin McCoy with Keller Williams and I am here with Ken Duggan, the owner of Pillar to Post Inspection Services here in the DFW area. He is a residential home inspector, and he’s going to tell us a little bit about the home inspection and what you can expect and why you need one, Ken.
Ken Duggan, Inspector with Pillar to Post Inspections
All right, well thank you Robin. As a home inspector in Texas you have to be licensed and pass a background check. We go through an extensive training program that educates you on how to inspect the home and do practice inspections. That way you’ll be knowledgeable and very good at what you do.
Awesome. So you’re hired by a buyer essentially.; tell me what you do during an inspection. What can you do and what can you not do?
Right. So when you get a home inspection, we go and inspect all the major components of the house, check the roof, the foundation, the plumbing, the electrical, the windows, doors, all the major requirements for the home. And we do it and put it in a nice report and give it to you so you have a visual.
So it is a full on report that they do. You really put the house through it’s paces. The client get photographs, they tell you what is good to go and what might be considered deficient. It’s also important to know that just because something is deficient doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy the house. Right? Because there’s codes and easy fixes and things like that. Correct.
Yes. We inspect everything from large extra large houses all the way down to little condos. We do new construction.
Well, let me ask you, you said new construction. So why should a buyer get an inspection on a house that nobody’s even lived in yet? It’s brand new, right?
Yeah. Well, we do about 15% of our inspections on a new home. And the reason you’d want to do that is because they build these homes so fast and they might not have the proper people to do it. There’s a lot of things that you can find that they not doing correctly. So if you get a home inspection by a non biased person, you can come back to the builder with these issues and tell them, that these need to be fixed and you get a lot better response.
I think a lot of people would. I know I get as a realtor, I get a lot of questions like it’s a new house, should I get an inspection? Absolutely. Okay. Well let me ask you one final question. How can you benefit a seller? I’m on the seller side; is there a reason to hire you as an inspector in that case?
Absolutely. We do a pre-listing inspections. The advantage of that is really to find out what issues are with your home ahead of time. That way you can address these issues and know up front without the surprise of an inspection when the buyer wants come back at you and try to negotiate these fixes, you already have it, and adds value to the home.
Well, I’ve seen cases where a buyer, if you’ve done an inspection and they have the paperwork and you as a seller, you’ve shown what you fixed already, oftentimes they’ll take that inspection and go with it. So they may not even right hire their own inspectors. It can get you out in front of a lot of things. Well again, Robin McCoy with Keller Williams, Ken Duggan with Pillar to Post. We appreciate your time today. And if you have any questions about the real estate market or an inspection, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’ll have the contact information here for you.
Hi everybody it’s Robin McCoy with Keller Williams. I want to chat a little bit today about property taxes… hot topic right now in the state of Texas and in Dallas County. I attended an MLS meeting this morning. It is where Realtors® come together with their affiliates (the people that make up our extended team… home warranty people… insurance people…loan people…essentially everybody that helps make a Realtor® strong). They are the ones that we go to for the answers that we don’t have. We all get together once or twice once or twice a month and we learn something. It’s how we get smart. Today at the East Dallas MLS meeting it was someone from the Dallas Central Appraisal District or “DCAD” as we like to call it.
What is DCAD looking at?
The presenter was there to talk a little bit about property taxes and a little bit about where they get this information. I thought I’d share the high points of what I gleaned from her presentation. This is in no way a complete explanation of them. I am not an expert. However, I do have resources to go to. that help me stay smarter. When we think of an appraisal, we think of in the sense of the sales process meaning you’re buying or selling a home and an appraiser comes out and determines the value of this particular property. They go in the house they look at the house they look at condition, upgrades, etc. It is more about the house in the neighborhood.
What with the appraisal district does, which is really almost an assessment district, they look at neighborhoods. Not just your house. It’s the neighborhood and what your particular house or property would sell for in that neighborhood. That is how they assess its value. They do call this a mass appraisal or they are mass appraisers versus a field appraiser who goes in during the transaction process.
DCAD is required by law to assess or appraise or value a property at 100% of what it would sell for on January 1st of that year that they’re doing the assessment or the appraisal. At any point in time that they are plus or minus 5% then they must go in and reassess that neighborhood.
How do they divide up the county?
Now neighborhoods are divided up in a number of different ways. All houses are put in a “class” so a class 2 house may be wood siding or an older home whereas a class 21 may be a newer home with stone and brick. They also use the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) as a third party resource so they aren’t doing this all themselves. UTD serves as a disinterested third party that is also working on these mass assessments and appraisals. By law they are required to go in and reevaluate a neighborhood a minimum of one time every three years. Now in a market such as ours right now where it is moving up and moving down and is fluctuating quite a bit they’re going in and doing it every year.
Now let’s talk a little bit about exemptions. In the state of Texas every homeowner is allowed one homestead exemption. And if you’re over 65 you have an exemption. If you’re disabled you have an exemption. If you’re in an agricultural area you can have an exemption. These are exemptions on your property taxes for your property.
You’re only allowed one homestead so if you have a lake house and a primary residence you can only claim a homestead on one of the two. You must own the property on January 1st of the tax year to file for the Homestead Exemption.
If you are buying a house between now and December 31st you will want to file your Homestead Exemption in January of 2020. Assuming that you don’t close on your house until January 2nd you have to wait until the following January of 2021 to file that exemption. If you bought a house in the last few years and you never did file an exemption for whatever reason you’re allowed to go back two years. Example, if you bought a house in 2014 and for whatever reason you did not file a Homestead Exemption you can only collect two years back. It’s very easy to file this homestead exemption and it is free to do so. You only have to do it one time for the length of time that you own the property.
Where do they get their data?
The presenter was a little elusive on where they get their information. As far as sold data, Texas is a nondisclosure state. One of the Realtors® asked, “Where do you get your sales data. It’s a nondisclosure state.” The presenter said they get it from various places they have friends that give them the information. I don’t know where they’re getting it and she was not forthcoming with that. That is something that’s out there that we don’t really have a tangible answer for.I get asked that a lot and I still don’t have the answer.
How does it work?
Talking about exemptions I can send you this. If you’re in Dallas County and you file a homestead exemption on your property you will benefit on the county taxes. That’s going to include Parkland Hospital and the community college district. For those county services you’re will get a 20% reduction in the value of the property. If you are valued at $100,000 you are going to now be valued at $80,000.
If you would like this document to help understand, or at
least get a better handle on what your taxes are and where that number came
from, please reach out.
Let me know how I can help you with any of your North Texas real estate needs. My name is Robin McCoy. License number 0582766 with Keller Williams and I hope you guys have a fabulous day.
Hi, it’s Robin McCoy with Keller Williams and I thought we would talk today about repairs on a house. Whether you’re on the buyer’s side or the seller’s side, there is often repairs to be made on a home. One of the things that we want to talk about is, “what do we do about that”?
If you’re on the buyer’s side and you have a general inspection done as you should do, regardless of the age of the house, and it comes back and there are some things that are just not up to par. Some common things are the AC needs to be serviced or there may be a small leak under the sink. Sometimes things are more dramatic. Maybe they need a new roof or maybe the foundation needs to be looked at. Maybe there’s some electrical issues, any number of things can come up and all of those are not the end of the world.
The House is not falling apart. Nothing like that. Those are things that your agent and you will decide what are the most important and you will negotiate that with the with the seller and negotiate what the seller is willing to fix or what they’re not willing to fix. Then you get to make a decision based on that information.
What Can a Seller Do?
Now from the seller side…there are a couple of things to look at here too. Before your house goes on the market I always recommend going through and repar the things that you know are broken or that need to be fixed.
Get those obstacles out of your way. When you are selling your house, you want to present the best product possible. If you know the dishwasher makes a funny noise, let’s get that serviced. If you know your oven to be at 400 and it always heats up to 425 so you adjust accordingly. A new buyer is not going to know that. So let’s go ahead and get that calibrated.
There are any number of different things that can be taken care of before you hit the market. In fact, you could get a pre inspection by a general inspector so that you can fix all of the things that you know are going to come up in the buyer’s inspection. Your agent will help you with that.
Make sure you discuss these things with your agent so that everybody knows what to expect when that buyer comes in and that first offer is made. If you have any questions about the general inspection, what repairs may or may not be necessary or required, and which ones you might want to do prior to even listing your house. Please let me know. Robin Mccoy with Keller Williams, license number 0582766, we are here to help you with all of your Texas real estate needs.