How Do I Make the Most of My Backyard?

Image of lavendar and purple flower with butterflies Make the most of my backyard

What should I build in my backyard?

When it comes to making the most of your backyard many things come to mind. Here are 7 that are sure to bring a lot of love to your outdoor space.

  • Build a deck or patio – this instantly gives your backyard overall appeal
  • Lay a rug down on the patio – just a rug on the patio or deck adds a touch of texture and color
  • Create shade with a pergola – create a quiet space using curtains and cushions under the shade created
  • Plant a butterfly garden – these can be any size from a window box to a section in the yard
  • Set up a trellis with flowering plants – adds a little charm and can be made from wood or metal
  • Invest in a fountain – this can be tucked in a corner or set on a side table
  • Create a raised garden for vegetables – this doesn’t take up a lot of space and you don’t have to dig in the dirt or bend over to weed!
Image of a small yard with a deck, lounge chairs and a fire pit
Make the most of my backyard

How do I make a small yard look bigger?

  • Use pavers and decks in the right direction – laying them on the diagonal gives the illusion of a larger space
  • Color at the entry – this draws the focus there making the rest of the yard appear larger
  • Levels – the added depth does amazing things to the eye
  • Divide the space – put a dining area in one place and a lounge area in another. Divide the two with large pots.
  • Hang mirrors – while not always an outdoor accessory, mirrors can reflect light and images making a space appear larger.

Inexpensive backyard privacy ideas

Often these days our neighbors are just a bit too close or maybe we just desire a little more privacy. Here are some inexpensive ideas to bring you that privacy.

  • Supersized planters – fill them with full and tall plants
  • Hang outdoor curtains around your patio – pull them around when you want privacy
  • Put up a simple lattice fence – and run flowering plants on it
  • Build a privacy screen – these are usually lightweight and easy to move around if necessary
  • Plant trees – this may be for a larger budget however works every time.
Image of a patio with a wooden screen separator. Purple flowers. Make the most of my backyard

Robin McCoy | RobinMcCoyRealty.com

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Are Government Loans Hard?

Why don’t people want to use them?

Reach out to Dave Smith with questions on Government loans

VA, FHA, USDA…What about government loans?

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.

Loan Type Comparison
FHA, VA, USDA, and Conventional Loans

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.

Cartoon man with arms spread wide with a house on each side. One labeled FHA Loans and the other VA Loans

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.

Screaming emoji face

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

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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


Robin McCoy | RobinMcCoyRealty.com

How Long Does it Take to Buy a House?

And Sell one too?

How Long Does it Take to Buy and Sell a House?

How Long DOES is take to buy or sell a house?

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.

See these and other homes for sale

Can a Buyer Get Out of 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.

Black & White silouette of a house and two hands; one giving keys to the other.

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.


RobinMcCoy@kw.com

214.226.3770


Interview With an Inspector

We interviewed Residential Home Inspector Ken Duggan with Pillar to Post Inspections here in Dallas/Ft. Worth.

Robin McCoy, Realtor® with Keller Williams Realty

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.

Robin

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?

Ken

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.

Robin

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.

Ken

Yes. We inspect everything from large extra large houses all the way down to little condos. We do new construction.

Robin

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?

Ken

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.

Robin

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?

Ken

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.

Robin

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.

RobinMcCoy@kw.com

214.226.3770


Buyer’s or Seller’s Side; There are often repairs to be made on a home.

Buyer or Seller? What should you do?

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.

Make sure you hire a general inspector so you understand what repairs are needed. Image of older home with a porch. Siding and curved driveway. House Inspects Logo and information

What Now?

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.

And Finally…

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.

RobinMcCoy@kw.com

214.226.3770