Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Plano, Allen, Frisco, McKinney home prices all up versus last year

Home prices in the Dallas and North Dallas suburbs of Plano, Allen, McKinney and Frisco all increased.  The average for the Dallas area was 3.47% as opposed to a national average of -1.5%.  Median prices in Plano increase 1% while Allen was up 2%.  McKinney was also up 1% with Frisco showing a3% increase in median price.  Sales in Allen were up 16% in the second quarter over last year.  Plano sales were up 2%, McKinney up 7% and Frisco up 6%.

To view the area map by territory click here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Watch your cell phone usage in Plano school zones

Plano schools begin Monday, August 23, 2010.  Plano Police Officers will be heavily enforcing school zones, crosswalks and speed limits to assure a safe commute to school.  Drivers caught using cell phones or other handheld devices in school zones may face up to a $200 fine.  For the children’s protection allow extra commute time, drive posted speeds, observe crossing guard and school zone signage directives.

Where do Plano home sales go from here

The data for the MLS area of Plano is mixed at best.  New home sales for the month of July were 250 units which was of by 26% from a year earlier.  Dollar volume was also off 25%.  Average price for homes was $267,795 which was up 1% from a year earlier.  And the median price was $240,000 which was 8% higher.

Year to date data is more encouraging but we need to be careful about a trend reversal.  Sales year to date were 1613 which was down only 4% and the dollar volume followed suit.  Average price was unchanged at $263,209 and the median price was up 2% at $220,000.

August and September numbers will tell us more but the market has a somewhat soft feel to it.  I do think we will see better numbers in September and through the rest of the year.

                                                   July                                            Year to Date
Sales                                          250                                                    1613
Pending Sales                              224                                                    1850
Average Price                        $260,242                                            $256,246
Average Days on Market             71                                                        77
Total Single Family inventory    1453

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tips on keeping homes in Plano, Frisco and Allen more Eco-Friendly

I saw this in Rismedia over the weekend


Easy Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

By Paige Tepping

RISMEDIA, August 14, 2010--Homeowners across the country are continually striving toward a more eco-friendly lifestyle. While homeowners may not know where to start, there are small steps that can be taken that can add up to make a big difference.

The experts at offer the following tips to help you lessen your eco footprint.

1. Use less water
Saving water is all about small steps. Here are a few simple ways that will help you conserve water while saving money.
-Shut off the water while you brush your teeth
-Take showers that are a minute or two shorter
-Only run full loads of laundry and dishes
-Buy from sustainable producers. These are farmers, ranchers and other producers that use techniques that pollute less and use less water. You can do some research online or ask at your local organic market to find these products.

2. Use less energy
If you don’t have the money to buy a hybrid car or convert your house to solar power, you can make a big difference with the following small changes.
-Buy energy efficient appliances. They may be more expensive, but make up for the increased cost in lower energy bills.
-Unplug chargers when you’re not using them. Cell phone and other chargers use up power even if there’s nothing attached to them.
-Put devices with remotes, like TVs, VCRs and stereos on a power strip and turn the power strip off when you’re not using the devices. These gadgets use a lot of power to run the remote receiver even when the device is off.
-Walk or ride your bicycle for short trips.
-Buy local products. It takes energy to transport food and other products across the country. Buying local not only supports your local economy, it helps them use less energy.
-When it comes to saving energy and water, it’s a great idea to get the kids involved—you can even make it a game. Have them track how much water and electricity everyone is using and compete to see who uses the least.

3. Reuse
Most of us know the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, but when we work on conserving, we often leave reuse out of the picture. While you can often find tips on how to reuse common products from other people, what you need most is creativity. With a little thought, there are many items around your home that can be reused—toilet paper holders can be used to sow seeds for the vegetable patch, old yogurt containers can be cut into strips to make plant labels and old food jars can be refilled with homemade foods or can make great impromptu vases.

4. Use environmentally friendly products
When you go to the grocery store, you probably see more and more ‘natural’ or ‘eco friendly’ products every time. There are generally two big problems with these products: Just because they’re more natural than regular products, doesn’t mean they’re entirely natural and they’re often expensive.

If you want inexpensive, natural, safe products, why not just make them yourself? Vinegar is a great way to clean and disinfect glass and other surfaces. Need to remove stubborn stains? Just add some baking soda to your vinegar cleaner. Some quick searching online will lead you to hundreds of other natural safe home-made cleaning products.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dallas Area home sales continue to show improvement

This was released by the Texas Association of Realtors today.

Sales volume of Texas homes up for third quarter in a row

According to the latest Texas Quarterly Housing Report, covering second quarter 2010, the volume of real estate sales in Texas increased for the third quarter in a row, possibly spurred by renewed job growth in the state and the expiration of federal homebuyer tax credits.
The Texas Quarterly Housing Report is issued four times a year by the Texas Association of REALTORS® with multiple listing service (MLS) data compiled and analyzed by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
For the period of April through June 2010, sales of existing single-family homes increased 14% to 66,079 compared to the same quarter of the prior year. Over the same time period, the median price of homes in Texas remained virtually unchanged at $149,200. The months of inventory of Texas homes – a statistic that indicates the balance between supply and demand for homes – increased slightly from 7.3 months in 2009-Q2 to 7.4 in 2010-Q2.
Bill Jones, chairman of the Texas Association of REALTORS®, commented on the positive results. ”We’re encouraged to see continued strength in Texas’ real estate market as 2010 marches forward,” says Jones. “We’re now focused on maintaining that strength and expanding access to affordable, sustainable homeownership in Texas.”
To do so, the Texas Association of REALTORS® launched, a searchable online database of homebuyer assistance programs. In addition, Texas REALTORS®are partnering with local lenders, housing counselors, and others throughout the state to host educational events for consumers about affordable housing.
Jim Gaines, Ph.D., an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, says the robust second-quarter numbers were “spurred by particularly heavy volume in April and May. However, the federal tax credits for homebuyers expired on April 30 and sales volume decreased between May and June. It’s possible the tax credit deadline inspired buyers to move up purchasing decisions, so we may have seen our usual ‘summer peak’ in sales volume a little early this year.”

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