Change is Coming!

I never thought I would say these words but…. WE ARE MOVING TO CONNECTICUT! Oh my. So many emotions!

My Husband was offered a position that we couldn’t pass up, and so we’re moving 1600 miles across the country. The last 2 months have whizzed by in a blur. We sold our home in Plano in 3 days… crazy Dallas market. Our things are packed up and are now being stored in Connecticut. The transition has been trying at times. I stayed behind in Dallas to finish up with some clients, and just flew back to Connecticut to help with our new home search about a week and a half ago. Now that I’m here, I’m quickly falling in love with the area and the people! We’re buying in a little area called Newtown (more about our new house later). We close on the new house in about 3 weeks. And in true “Christine” fashion… there will of course be some renovation. Haha! I can’t wait to get started.

BUT… before I delve into the renovation process on our new Connecticut house, I promised I would post professional pictures of the Plano House! SO, here they are:

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As Always ~ Happy Renovating!


Staging Your Entryway

Making An Impression

The front entryway is the first thing you see when you enter a home. This space makes the largest impact on guests. There are many beautiful ways to set up your entry space. I’ve seen some really beautiful photo collages, and built in benches, but our space is too small for either of those. In our home, there are beautiful stairs right when you open the door. I love the dark stair treads against the white risers, I love the dark railing and iron balusters. But, it still felt a little plain when you entered the front door. I just knew it was missing something.

Finding The Perfect Piece

So, this weekend I finally found the time to set the space up as I had envisioned it. I searched high and low and FINALLY found the perfect console table. It seriously took me 4 months to find this table. I knew I wanted a mirrored table, but I couldn’t find the style I wanted -glitzy and a little glamorous without being over the top. This beauty came from Home Goods. I anchored the space with a picture that fits the size of the table perfectly. The catchy geometric pattern on the lampshade draws the eye, and it’s accented with the plant and shiny chrome pineapple! I’m looking for some old books to put on the other side of the table. But in the meantime I love the way it turned out! What do you think?! What does your entry look like?

Happy Decorating!

Buying a Home in a Hot Seller’s Market

** Please note I am not a real estate attorney and I don’t practice real-estate law. This advice is not meant to be a one-size fits all approach. Please consult your real estate attorney if you have questions**

Home Buying Guide

You may have noticed that I took a brief hiatus from blogging the past month. It’s not that I didn’t have anything to write about… to be honest, I just couldn’t find the time! Here in Dallas, spring came early this year. The real-estate market didn’t really slow down this fall. Instead, I found myself ramping up showings and offers as I had buyers entering the home buying process in November and December in an effort to avoid the HOT buyer competition of the spring and summer months. It seems that everyone else in the city had the same idea, so instead of the slight slow down I normally enjoy around the holidays, I was busier than ever!

As I was gathering my thoughts this afternoon after sending off contracts and talking to buyers and sellers, I thought it would be beneficial to put together a survival guide, so to speak, for buying in this market.

Buying a house can be stressful in the most favorable of markets. But when you’re faced with buying a home during a seller’s market, it can be down-right daunting. How can you stand out from the crowd? How long will it take to buy? What can you do to finally find a home? These are all questions that I answer everyday as an agent. Being prepared can eliminate a lot of the stress from the home-buying process. So what can you do to get ready? If you’re thinking of buying, start here:

Buying Tips to Make the Process Easier:

  1. Talk to a Lender. Get Pre-Approved First.

    There is a difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval. Finding a lender that you trust and who can get you pre-approved is a crucial first step in the buying process. Pre-qualification means that you have spoken to a lender and they think they can get you approved. Pre-approved means that you have given them documentation to back up your conversation and that based on those documents they can approve you. A pre-approval is stronger and tells a seller that you are serious about buying. Make sure you take the time to complete this step first.

  2. Find a Real-Estate Agent You Can Count On.

    In a faced paced market, a good real-estate agent can make or break a deal. If a house pops up on MLS in the morning, and you can’t get ahold of your agent until noon – you may have potentially just lost out on the house. Make sure that you and your agent have a conversation about how quickly you plan on buying, exactly what you’re looking for in a property and what price you’re willing to go up to. You need an agent that is responsive and that you can get in touch with easily.

  3. Make Your Offer Early

    The old adage is sometimes true: The early bird gets the worm. Sometimes, being the first through the door with an offer will get you the house. Don’t wait to make your offer if you want the house. Time is a luxury we don’t have in a competitive market.

  4. Make Your Best Offer

    Don’t expect the seller’s to counter your offer. If there are 10 offers on the first day (which is happening constantly in this market), you will not get another shot to make an offer. Go in with your highest and best offer initially. At the top of your budget? There are additional ways to sweeten the deal and make your offer more attractive to the seller. Consider these:

    1. Shorten your option period. If you have an inspector lined up who can get the inspection done in 3 days, consider asking for a 5 or 7 day option.
    2. Increase the option money – offering more than $100 or so can make your offer more attractive.
    3. Increase your earnest money – instead of the standard 1% offer 2% or more if you’re comfortable.
    4. Drop the contingencies – don’t ask for cash back towards closing costs, seller repairs or other contingencies unless you have to.
  5. Be Prepared to Lose the House

    If you’ve done everything you can to make your offer attractive, you still need to be prepared to lose out. When it comes to bidding wars, there are no guarantees. You can make an offer $20000 above asking price and still not be the highest offer.

  6. Be Patient

    The right house for you will come along. Sometimes buying can take months, and sometimes you get lucky on your first offer. It all comes down to timing. Be patient and it will all work out!

Live in D-FW and want information about buying or selling? Email me at Let me help you navigate this crazy market!

**I am a licensed REALTOR in the State of Texas number 0641852. Broker info: Better Homes & Gardens – David Winans & Associates. For more information go to BHG DFW**