11 Reasons to List During the Holidays

October 27th, 2015
11 Reasons to List During the Holidays
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1. People who look for a home during the Holidays are more serious buyers!

2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays and less competition means more money for you!

3. Since the supply of listings will dramatically increase in January, there will be less demand for your particular home! Less demand means less money for you!

4. Houses show better when decorated for the Holidays!

5. Buyers are more emotional during the Holidays, so they are more likely to pay your price!

6. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the Holidays than they do during a working week!

7. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons!

8. January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs.  Since transferees cannot wait until Spring to buy, you must be on the market now to capture that market!

9. You can still be on the market, but you have the option to restrict showings during the six or seven days during the Holidays!

10. You can sell now for more money and we will provide for a delayed closing or extended occupancy until early next year!

11. By selling now, you may have an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the Spring, when many more houses are on the market for less money! This will allow you to sell high and buy low!

For FREE ON-LINE Valuation, Visit WestFriscoHomeValue.com

 

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Buyers are Camping Out for North Texas Prime Lots

October 7th, 2015
Buyers are Camping Out for North Texas Prime Lots

KXAS-TV/NBC5 Prospective buyers lined up Tuesday to buy lots after camping overnight outside the business center at First Texas Homes’ Prestwyck development in McKinney.

Buyers are Camping Out for North Texas Prime Lots!!!

NBC news reported Tuesday that more than two dozen people slept in tents or their cars Monday night in order to snag first dibs at one of dozens of home sites being offered for sale in McKinney.

“Because we’re crazy, that’s why,” said Mike Russek, who is moving his family from St. Louis for his job with Southwest Airlines, when asked about what others might think of his efforts. “No. We’re doing it because we want the premium lots here. And it’s first come, first serve.”

According to Dallas News, the supply of finished new houses in the area is near a record low with only about 2,700 available for immediate move-in. The buyers who staked out the new McKinney neighborhood will have to wait months for their houses to be built. Builders are running behind this year because of the rainy spring. The shortage of both new and pre owned homes are causing residential property costs to soar in North Texas. Dallas-area home prices were up 8.7 percent in July from 2014 levels, according to a new Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller Home Price Index.

 

Make the most out of your Plano Balloon Festival visit

September 30th, 2015

Plano Balloon Festival

This year marks 36 years of ballooning in Plano, Texas. Join in the celebration at the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival, a spectacular three-day event beginning at 4:00pm Friday, September 18th at Oak Point Park, 2801 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano, TX 75074.
This weekend event offers something for everyone; entertainment on the FOX 4 community stage and KLUV main stage, Saturday evening spectacular fireworks show, special kids activities, sky divers, an enormous variety of food to tempt your taste buds, merchandise and handmade products showcased, and of course the incredible hot air balloons.
The balloons will launch Friday at 6:00pm, Saturday at 7:00am and 6:00pm, and Sunday at 7:00am and 6:00pm (weather permitting). Interested in staying one night or the entire weekend at one of our local hotels? Many are offering weekend packages that include tickets to the Festival. Check out the Accommodations page for phone numbers and addresses for many local hotels.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RPW7voZUkM

Plano Balloon Festival

TICKETSGENERAL ADMISSION ENTRANCE FEE
$5 1-time Entry
$1 Off Seniors 65 and Older
Free for Kids 36 inches and under Presale Tickets will be available online and at local InTouch Credit Union locations beginning September 1st.
General Admission Tickets are always available for purchase onsite.
The festival grounds allow plenty of room for everyone so tickets are sold onsite during event operating hours.
For more information, visit their website at http://www.planoballoonfest.org/SiteMap.aspx.

Pumpkin Day at Preston Trail Farms

September 17th, 2015

Pumpkin Day at Preston Trail Farms

 Looking for a great place to take your family to enjoy some farm activities this fall? Here’s a great way to give children a hands-on farming experience at Preston Trail FarmsYou’ll find animals on both sides and you’ll also find plenty of pumpkins off the vine. You could also experience to be up-close to a longhorn steer, and a chance to pet and feed the sheep, as well as goats and penned cattle. You can also do a hay ride and maze. Also,  the farm had a large variety of pumpkins and gourds to choose from so don’t forget to pick up few pumpkins to take home.

Families and friends make it a tradition to visit a pumpkin patch. This isn’t about finding the best pumpkin, but the memories and experience that you make while you are doing the activities. Come on and let’s explore together the famous Big Orange Pumpkin Farm Preston Trail Farms Store Hours of Operation 6am – 8pm Monday-Friday 7am – 8pm Saturday-Sunday Big Orange Pumpkin Farm Hours of Operation 8am-8pm Monday-Sunday Big Orange Pumpkin Farm Admission Price: $8 MONDAY-FRIDAY Admission Includes:

  • one pie pumpkin
  • feed for petting barn
  • hayride
  • roping pen
  • hay maze

SATURDAY/SUNDAY Admission Includes:

  • feed for petting barn
  • hayride
  • roping pen
  • hay maze

Check out their new location in Gunter Texas at the below. 15102 State Highway 289  (Preston Road),  Gunter, Texas 75058

Terrible Real Estate Photos

September 6th, 2015

We never get tired of terrible real estate photos. This is another compilation of really nice shots! With broken windows, overgrown gardens and bedrooms that could easily double as prison cells, theses shocking properties would prove a hard sell for the most gifted of estate agents. We hope you enjoy this compilation of terrible real estate photos!

Even silver-tongued salesmen would struggle to sell these homes with what must be some of the world’s most terrible real estate photos.

The images were compiled from around the world by Andy Donaldson of Terrible Estate Agent Photos and are due to appear in a new book.

Animal magic: If there's one thing that is likely to entice first-time buyers to look at a property, it's taxidermy. In this estate agent picture the stuffed heads of a number of large animals take pride of place on the sofa and arm chair

 

Tasteful décor? We've all heard of adding a splash of paint, but the owners of this home may have got a little carried away. The fridge, walls, wooden floor and surfaces are all victims of a bad paint-job

Bathroom located on ground floor: With the toilet, shower and sink right next to the backdoor, at least there's no chance of missing the delivery man when the doorbell rings in this house

 Tempting: With a dog pictured using this back garden as an outdoor toilet, it's hard to see many potential buyers being enticed into viewing this outhouse property

 With a dog using this back garden as an outdoor toilet, it’s hard to see many potential buyers being enticed into viewing this outhouse property

Creepy:  House hunters might be put off by the fact that an entire wall in this property has been covered in eerie-looking masks - but on the flip side there is a microwave oven

In need of a touch-up: An electric heater has been placed in front of the fireplace, an arm chair is ripped open with its contents on the floor and rubbish is strewn across this ramshackle room

In need of a touch-up?

Welcoming: Guests might normally expect a simple 'bless this home' message - not an ominous warning daubed in red predicting 'you will die'

Guests might normally expect a simple ‘bless this home’ message – not an ominous warning daubed in red predicting ‘you will die’

 

Exercise facilities: Buyers can brush up on their pole dancing if they chose to snap up this property with a metal bar fixed in the centre of the sitting room

Buyers can brush up on their pole dancing if they chose to snap up this property with a metal bar fixed in the centre of the sitting room

Home comes with garden accessories: A patio area is almost completely filled with ornaments including bird boxes, white metal work, statues and what appears to be a child's tea set on a table

Home comes with garden accessories: A patio area is almost completely filled with ornaments including bird boxes, white metal work, statues and what appears to be a child’s tea set on a table

Soft furnishings: On this occasion, an elaborately-decorated bedroom has been used to coax in house hunters with flowers, numerous cushions, lacy curtains and a gold candle all in the picture

Soft furnishings: On this occasion, an elaborately-decorated bedroom has been used to coax in house hunters with flowers, numerous cushions, lacy curtains and a gold candle all in the picture

Why waste time using the shower and toilet separately when you could use them at the same time? A number of terrible estate agent pictures are now set to appear in a new book

Why waste time using the shower and toilet separately when you could use them at the same time? A number of terrible estate agent pictures are now set to appear in a new book

Pet friendly: This room has been decked out with a tiled floor and armchair - along with a stuffed animal and life-sized leaping fish on the wall and - to complete the look - a bear wearing sunglasses and a cap

Pet friendly.

Room comes furnished: One estate agent's shot shows how car seats, complete with their head rests, are being used to supplement the more traditional sofa and dining room chair seating options

Cat not included: This pet seems keen to help showcase its owner's kitchen but hopping up on to a table and photobombing the estate agent's picture 

This elderly, bearded man didn't even have time to get out of his bedroom as snaps were being taken

This elderly, bearded man didn’t even have time to get out of his bedroom as snaps were being taken

Chilling: In what could easily be a scene from a horror film, this bathroom almost appears ghostly, pictured in a strange blurry, blue light

The 11 Worst Real Estate Ads EVER

September 6th, 2015

From blood-stained carpets to geese in the rafters, we bring you a collection of real estate agent photos from agents who clearly hate their jobs… or just aren’t very good at them.

We’ve all heard stories of overexaggerated creative photo angles that make bedrooms seem twice their actual size or “forget” to include the giant hole in the back wall… but these snaps take creative to a whole new level.

Terrible real estate photographs is a collection of “inexplicably bad property photographs”. Here’s our pick of the best… or the worst… or the best of the worst. Enjoy!

1) Lovely apartment, but unfortunately a recent temporary restraining order prevents the agent being seen within 500m of the building…

TRO’s can be fun….said no one ever.

2) Where did they go? And are they still in the house?

Great Marketing DON’T

3) The agency does not take responsibility for any potentially missing or broken pieces…

For sale as-is…where is…well mostly

4) ‘No, it’s fine. Stay there and it won’t look like the most preposterous photo ever taken.’ 

Do my shoes match the drapes?

5) It was a mistake to leave the furniture and appliances alone without locking the wine cellar..

Bonus Freebies! SCORE!

6) Ah, the parties we used to have… Do you remember the one when we murdered everybody?

What a killer party!

7) In the Midwest it’s not unusual for real estate agents to conduct viewings on horseback.

I have that horse. Thank you Costco.

8) Something about this picture suggests a certain lack of confidence in that stove…

Looks safe to me!

9) Agent gives up sales in favour of documenting an accident involving some brown sludge.

Make ready in progress!

10) Wishing you a half-hearted Christmas and a faintly disappointing New Year…

I feel jolly already. #nope

And, last but not least…

11) There’s an old proverb about having a dead goose in the rafters of your house…

Oh look its the goose that laid the golden egg…wait a sec…never mind.

OK, no there isn’t.

Dont let pets go missing!

June 30th, 2015
Hi, I’m Wheels. I am a Boston terrier and a special contributor

Hi, I’m Wheels. I am a Boston terrier and a special contributor

 

Dont let your pet go missing during Fourth of July celebrations! Summer is here and I want to give you some reminders about taking care of your furry, four-legged friends. Did you know that more pets go missing over the Fourth of July holiday than any other time of the year? Why is that? Independence Day is the iconic American holiday — picnics, parades, fireworks displays and family fun. However, My Pet Newsletter reports that the Fourth of July is to pets like Halloween is to humans. Scary! The beautiful burst of color from Sky rockets and Roman Candles are frightening, thunderous explosions to animals. Animals become terrified and if they can, may try to get away, ending up lost from its home. Don’t leave your pets outside in the yard to deal with fireworks alone.

Lost pet services like Home Again report that more animals end up lost over the July 4 holiday than any other time of the year. If your pet does become lost, the best chance of being reunited with him is to make sure that he or she is micro-chipped. This is a simple procedure done by your veterinarian. I’ve had it done. And, I did get out of my yard one afternoon. My owner was driving around the neighborhood frantically looking for me when she got a phone call from the pet finding service where I am registered with the message: “Wheels is safe and can be picked up at the Vickery Place Veterinarian Hospital.” Also, make sure that your contact information is always correct and updated with the pet finding service. Call the toll free number of the service that your animal is registered with and check it out. It only takes a couple of minutes. If you have forgotten who your micro-chip service provider is, all you need to do is stop by your vet with your pet and they can scan him and give you the information so you can make sure it is correct in the system.

Summertime in Dallas also brings hot Texas weather. Spring has been cool, but now temperatures are heating up. Remember when your pet is outdoors to make sure that he has plenty of shade and fresh cool water. Dogs can become overheated just like humans, and dogs with flat faces like mine are even more susceptible to extreme weather conditions than dogs with long noses. Another reminder — if you take us for a ride in the car this summer, make sure that we are welcome wherever you go. We can’t be left alone in a parked car, even for “just a minute” while you run in. The metal of a car is a conductor of heat, absorbing it and keeping it hot. Cracking the windows does little good. With an outside temperature of 90 degrees, the temperature inside a car can rise to 110 degrees in 10 minutes and 120 degrees in 20 minutes.

Take us in or leave us at home!

The rainy days and stormy nights we experienced in North Texas this spring may have subsided, but the fleas have not. They multiply during humid conditions. Some suggestions for controlling these pesky little parasites include having your house and yard treated by a professional exterminator, visiting your veterinarian and getting your pet on the flea preventative that is right for him, and keeping your pet and his bedding clean. My owner visited Hollywood Feed, the new pet store in Lakewood. They recommended several organic products that, along with my prescribed flea preventative, will help keep me flea-free.

One last word of caution — summertime is mosquito time. Everyone has been talking about the West Nile Virus for the last several years. Mosquitoes can also carry Heart Worm Disease. Heart worms are very serious to dogs and cats and can be fatal. An infected mosquito can bite an animal and pass on the disease. Talk to your veterinarian and make sure that your pet is on a heart worm preventative medication.

I hope that I have given you good information to help you keep your pet safe and happy this summer. As your best friend, we deserve it!

Wheels is a 7-year-old Boston terrier from Grant’s Pass, Oregon. He trained and worked hard with his owner to achieve his AKC championship in conformation. His registered name is Ch. Sunglo’s Cruisin’ in a Tuxedo.  Wheels is also a special contributor to bubblelife.com

Why do I need to re-plaster my pool?

June 30th, 2015

 

When is it time to Replaster the Pool?

by: Rob Cox

 This is a great article that my new friend Rob Cox wrote on re-plastering pools! He has many more great articles on pool care here: Rob Cox Pool Blog

The Benat Team

I’ve just returned from a board meeting for one of the local swimming pools I help with. A budget line item for “Pool Whitecoat”, (which is what the commercial pool guys call pool plaster in this area), caught my attention. Enough money was being set aside to replaster the pool every ten years. In a commercial environment, with picky health inspectors and kids complaining of “pool toe” – this may be a good time interval for replastering.

But how about residential pools? How often should they be re-plastered? And what factors should a pool owner consider when looking at replastering or resurfacing their swimming pool? Surely, Time cannot be the only factor to consider. When and Why should a pool owner replaster their pool?

There are really only two reasons for replastering your swimming pool

Aesthetic Reasons to Replaster the pool: The look and feel of your pool plaster. Acid washing can remove stains, but this can only be done so much. Pool plaster is a natural product, and preventing stains can almost be impossible. I have often been one to suggest a dose of tolerance with regard to pool stains, but some pool owners are very particular about the look of the pool – “…especially at night, with the lights on”, they say.

If your pool plaster stains are mineral in nature, from copper or iron for example – be mindful about the source of these stains. Pity to replaster the pool, only to have stains return, because a mineral problem in the water, or from a copper heat exchanger or piping has not been addressed.

Some stains on plaster are not actually stains at all, but arise from the mix and application of the whitecoat. Pool plaster is a mixture of white portland cement and marble dust – and variations in mix, temperature and speed and methods of appliation can affect the final appearance. “White Lightning” or “Ghosting” marks – which are slight variations in hue or shading, can result from a slightly different mix or troweling procedures.

The “feel” of the plaster is also an important consideration. Plaster is meant to be smooth and soft. Agressive water chemistry or frequent or overly strong acid washing can create pits and pocks in the plaster surface. Commonly called “etching”, plaster with pitting feels a bit rough to the skin, can snag swimsuits, and gives dirt a place to hide, and algae a nice surface to attach their roots. Etching can also be caused by poor plastering procedures, especially using too “hot” of a mix, or too much calcium used during cold weather. Rough Plaster can be sanded with rotary sanders to smooth etching, if localized, however if widespread etching occurs, replastering the pool is indicated.

Structural Reasons to Replaster the pool: Trick Title, because plaster is not “structural” – but it is the waterproof layer between the pool water and the shell of the pool. Most plastered pools are made of Gunite, or Shotcrete. Some older pools were made with poured concrete walls or even cinder blocks. All of these materials are porous and will “weep” water through them. Applying the plaster coating on top keeps the cement beneath, and any reinforcement steel (rebar) protected from the effects of water. Plaster is the waterproofing layer that is important to the integrity of an inground pool structure.

If you have bare spots where the gunite beneath is showing through, this is of concern. You can patch small areas with EZ Patch pool plaster repair, even underwater. Spots at the tile line or inside the skimmer can also be patched easily – to protect the concrete beneath the plaster. Plaster is fairly translucent in thin layers, so if you see dark areas in your plaster, this could be the gunite showing through, giving an indication that this area may need patching.

If you have many thin or bare spots in your plaster, replastering the entire pool is sure to produce a more uniform result. Plaster patching always looks like patched plaster – you will never match the original color. And, similar to filter grids, or car tires, if one is going bad, the rest are sure to follow.

How to Replaster the pool: Call three plastering companies in your area to give competing quotes. Be sure to ask about the start-up procedures. Don’t try this at home, kids – there really is an art and a science to plastering pools properly. Done improperly, and you risk bond failure, crazing, shading, etching – all sorts of things can go wrong with trying to plaster your own pool. A small fountain can be done, if you are an experienced concrete person, maybe even a small pool, but medium to large pools have to be plastered quickly. I have watched many plaster crews in action, and they always amaze me. Four hours, start to finish, on a 40,000 gallon pool (just the plastering part, not including the prep work). They run a full plastering rig (truck), and five experienced crew members.

The best time to replaster is when weather is somewhat cool and humid. If done during high temperature times of the year, this can causing premature drying – before the pool has a chance to fill fully.

Dallas Media Park-14203 Proton Rd

June 30th, 2015

 Dallas Media Park-14203 Proton Rd

Dallas Media Park is a 12100+or – SF newly renovated Office/Warehouse close to the N. Dallas Tollway (near the Dallas Galleria Mall). Features include 16’ Clear Height ceilings, two new 12×12 electrical rolling dock doors (with a secondary outside set of “barn doors” for sound dampening), all new concrete ramps service the two main dock doors, (a third dock door was converted to a massive frosted window), all new interior plumbing and bathrooms (plus a shower and private bathroom), all new electrical, 3 new AC Units, etc. Building can be sold with or without business. Business included in price is Dallas Media Park; a fast growing co-share facility of digital artists like photographers, video producers, freelancers, etc. Building features 4 large production stages, a conference room, a theater room with “stadium” floors, fiber high speed internet, and many other amenities.

The Benat Team

Dallas Media Park (DMP) Building Close Up

Commercial Space for Sale

DMP building Front

The Benat Team Listing

DMP Building Rear

Brad Benat Marissa Benat

DMP Lobby

Marissa Benat

DMP MUR

Brad Benat

DMP Office

BenatRealEstate.com

DMP Stage 1

Space for Rent

DMP Stage 2

Texas Realtors

DMP Stage 3

Commercial Building

DMP Stage 4

Brad Benat Marissa Benat

DMP Theater

Handy Check List to a Stress-Free Moving Experience # 5

May 7th, 2015

Handy Check List to a Stress-Free Moving Experience # 5Handy Check List to a Stress-Free Moving Experience # 5

Series # 5 : Moving Day-  Handy Check List to a Stress-Free Moving Experience

  • Plan on spending entire day at the house with the movers. Don’t leave until movers have gone.
  • Plan on something breaking. If its a priceless family treasure pack it in your car for safe keeping.
  • Make sure the utilites are connected at your new home
  • Stay with moving van driver to oversee inventory of goods.
  • Give moving van driver directions to new home and numbers where you can be reached prior to delivery.
  • Review carefully and sign bill of loading and inventory, and keep your copy in a safe place until all charges have been paid and all claims (if any) have been settled.
  • Make final walk-through of house, including attic, closets to make sure it’s empty.
  • Lock all windows and doors, and drop off keys with Realtor or bring a front door key to closing.
  • Leave home clean, tidy and remove ALL trash from the property. If trash day hasn’t happened yet take your trash to the dump. DO NOT leave it at the house.
  • Do not leave any unwanted items that you didn’t have time to move. The new homeowners dont always see these as nice freebies and could cause major headaches later.

 

LASTLY…..

The Benat Team

 

We hope you found these tips helpful! Let us know if there is anything you would like to see added! Hope you have a safe and wonderful move!