Richardson, TX Real Estate News

By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
The main North and South Highway through North Dallas, Central Expressway (Highway 75), finally opened the well anticipated HOV lanes (High Occupancy Vehicles).  The lanes go for 14 miles from Highway 635 north through Allen and into McKinney.You would think the HOV lanes would be a good thing.  On the surface, they're fabulous.  However, Donna not happy!!  When Donna not happy, everyone will hear about it!!  Plus, no one in Richardson should be happy because we got the short end of the HOV stick!Here is part of what I wrote to my HOA president:"I was wondering if you knew who we would contact at the city of Richardson about the new HOV lanes on 75.  This is ridiculous that there is no place in Richardson where it allows us, their own residents, to get in and/or out of the HOV lanes.  S...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
The Richardson TX Police Station has added a 4-legged addition of an 80 pound, 3 year old, German Shepherd, named Macho.  The name Macho actually came from his native home in Germany.Macho has traveled more than I have!  He started his training in Germany, like I did (not training, but I was born there), and then he journeyed to Indiana.  From Indiana, he trained in Allen TX for a while and now is on the Richardson TX Police Force.Macho is even bilingual.  He is spoken to in English, but his commands are given in German.Let's here it for our newest Police Officer!
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
As part of the 2006 Bond money that was voted on May 13, 2006, Firestation #2 is getting a face lift.  Actually, an actual facelift cost more than tearing down the old building and rebuilding something new, so that's what is going to happen. The demolition is going to start this month and the rebuilding will being in March.  It is supposed to be complete by January 2009.  Many changes are taking place.  It will become a co-ed facility as it currently does not have seperate sections for men and women.  It will also become a Green facility which is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).  The landscaping will be not take much water to maintain and they'll also store up rain water.The old facility was a 1 story building with only 5000 sqft.  The new facility will be 2 stories...
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By Nick Good, www.TheGoodHomeTeam.com
(The Good Home Team with eXp Realty)
Richardson is a suburb of Dallas county and parts of the city are in Collin county.  Ub 2006 Money magazine ranked Richardson, Texas 15th as one of the best cities to live in*   The Richardson Heights area is located west of Central expressway around the Belt line/Arapaho area.  The typical home in this area is the 50s style pier and beam home with hardwood floors.  Prices can range anywhere from $77,000 up to $600,000 for creek lot properties.  Homes in this area are very desirable because of the quick access to the highway and its proximity to Dallas.   I grew up in the Plano area and while I was growing up I never even thought about moving out of Plano when I got older... that is until I started working for a real estate company in Richardson, Texas called Robbins Real Estate Group. ...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
Richardson TX, once again, won the top spot for the National Night Out Competition for the national city with a population of 50,000-99,999.  Texas tied with Minnesota at the top for the State winner.Each area who enters the competition submits whatever they want to show how they participated.  The video that Richardson submitted was mostly my neighborhood, The Woods of SpringCreek!  Since I'm on the Social Committee for the event, this was a great honor to be recognized for all the hard work we put into everything!National Night Out will be the first Tuesday in August again for 2008, HOWEVER, they have heard the pleas from everyone and the 2009 NNO event will actually be held in September in the hopes that most areas of the country are cooler by putting it off by 5 weeks.2008 also mark...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
I got a frantic email from one of my past clients yesterday.  My initial thought is, "YEAH!  Another Listing!!"But, then I had to pull out the "human" card and talked with them about their situation.  They want to sell because they're having hard times with their payments.  I'll set the scene...Thanksgiving 2004, these Buyers closed on their first house, and it was a brand new house.  We went to the design center several times to pick out just the right colors for things within their house.  It was very personalized.  Their car even broke down on the way to closing and I had to go pick them up from the side of the street in order to get them to sign the documents.While going over their loan details, I reminded them SEVERAL times that their first year's payments would be based on unimpro...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
The Bi-Annual Cottonwood Art Festival is this weekend on Saturday and Sunday from 9am - 6pm.This is the Festival's 39th year here in Richardson.  There is always a great turn out.  There is not just the traditional booths with art, but there is also live music, great entertainment, and lots of food!  Great fun for the old and young alike.Parking can be a pain, so I recommend getting there early.  While you're over there, take a look at my listing at 1001 N Cottonwood which is a 3/2/2 with many updates and ready for a new owner.
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
Do you create an actual marketing plan for your listings that works?  Or do you do whatever it is that the sellers ask you to do even when you know it doesn't work?The way you answer this question will show if you're in control of your own business or if you do and say things to and for the sellers just to win the listing.When I go on a listing presentation, I lay out everything I do for their listing in front of them.  This includes, Just Listed cards to the nearest 200 homes, Virtual Tours,  Talking House, Property Water bottles, Property Candy, Reverse Prospecting through my database, and the majority of the rest is internet advertising... and you can't forget the staging of the property is included in my fees.When I'm done, I ask if there are any questions.Do you do open houses?  NO...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
Each year, the second Tuesday of August, the country celebrates National Nite Out.  NNO helps neighbors get together and get to know each other, and in turn, this is supposed to help promote safer neighborhoods as people start looking out for their neighbors and new friends.I was on the Social Committee in my neighborhood this year, and it was a blast!  We had 51% of our neighborhood present, which is huge!  We have Crime Watch signs up throughout the neighborhood and one of the criteria to keep those signs is that we must show at least a 40% attendence at the NNO each year.  As people arrive, they must sign in for their address in order for us to get credit for the attendence, even if that family can't stay and have fun.The other part of NNO is a canned food drive.  The City of Richard...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
The Richardson Independent School District in Richardson, TX (some residents in Dallas, TX) have achieved the "Recognized" status for its second straight year.  This is very hard to do.  Richardson is the largest urban district in the state of Texas to achieve this accomplishment!!Each year, the different campuses, Elementary, Junior, and High Schools, are all ranked based on the TAKS Test (Texas Assessment of KNowledge and Skills).  There are 24 rated categories throughout the tests and each category must be passed by each student group in order for the school to pass in order for the district to pass.In addition to this great achievment, Richardson ISD, on a whole, improved drastically over last year.  The "Exemplary" Rating was increased by 50%!!  That's amazing!  Overall, 81% of cam...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
Richardson is trying something new.  Instead of having to show up in person for your $6 accident report, you can now order the report online for the same price!  This is to help eleviate the inconvenience of people taking off work and rushing through traffic to hit the city's business hours.Any accident after July 1, 2007 can be found on this Website.  All you'll need is and two pieces of information of the three criteria:Date of AccidentThe name of any person involved in the accidentspecific location of the accidentThey do ask that you wait 24-48 hours after the accident to try to access the report.  Also, hit and run accidents will take longer to process.  You can always call the Richardson Police Department at 972-744-4836 if you have any questions or concerns. 
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
I am so sick of all the articles that are being published and posted and talked about on the National News stations when they are not true.  The final straw for this blog is an article I just read on http://www.dallasnews.com/ real estate section.  You can read the full article here.It says in this article that a buyer must have a minimum of 680 credit score, and that a 720 will help lower the interest rate offered.  WHAT??!!Buyers, please be aware that there are MANY lenders out there that are offering loan programs with much lower credit scores.  Can you get a decent rate if you have a 500 FICO score?  No, not really, though you might qualify for an FHA loan who doesn't care what the score is.  Can you get a decent rate at a 600 score?  Yes, probably.  As long as your recent past hist...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
The National Nite Out was a great success!!  The Woods of Spring Creek will keep our Crime Watch Signs throughout the neighborhood as we surpassed the 40% turnout that is required.  We actually had 51%.  We have a lot of Social groups that people signed up for, and the community is going to be stronger this next year.  We had the Richardson Police Department, the Richardson Fire Department, a Videographer from the City of Richardon, the McGruff Crime Dog, a live band, a couple of Bounce Houses, a Balloon Clown, LOTS of giveaways, and plenty of food for everyone.  Plus, I handed out bottled water with my picture, logo, and contact information on it.I can't wait to help plan next year!!  
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
FREE immunizations are available for all Richardson children and children part of the Richardson school district.This is a great service.  My mom probably wishes it was available when I was part of the Richardson school system.  With so many people unable to afford health care, this is an important thing to offer our children.  In order to receive this free service, you must have an appointment.  You cannot just show up out of the blue.  All children must show proper immunization records before the start of the new school year at the end of August.For information and to schedule your appt, contact 972-744-4076.820 W Arapaho Rd adjacent to the Richardson Senior Center.The clinic is open from 4:30-8:30 pm on Tuesdays and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
Richardson, TX is having a very interesting year thus far.  I was comparing numbers year to date to 2006 year to date, and the numbers astonish me.People keep trying to say that it's a buyers' market because houses are staying on the market for months and months, even years, and sellers will sell their homes for whatever you offer.  Most of this comes from the National news, and some comes from those late-night infomercials.  Many areas are in such a buyers' market that you can offer 20% of asking price and potentially meet in the middle or even more towards the buyers side after the homes have been on the market 6 months or even a year.Here are the numbers for Richardson:2006Original Asking Price: $191,242.17Reduced Asking Price: $187,328.88Sales Price: $183,079.59List Vs Sales Price: ...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
Here's the count down to finding out the sex of the baby!  17 days and counting.  I'm so excited.  I've had a mad rush from some people to get their guesses in so they count before the sex is found out.  If you're one of those people, don't forget to make your guess.  Also, if you're not guessing because it's still too soon to really guess a date, not a problem because those items can be edited by me whenever you want.SO, I am 18 weeks, and the baby is supposed to be about 5.5 inches long.  It can hear me talk.  It is sucking its thumb.  It is growing its babyfat.  Oh, and it is also FINALLY getting used to my Trader Joe's dried Granny Smith apples!  I love those things, but baby kept making me visit the porcelin god to get them out... I just got back from the West Coast where Trader Jo...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
I've been laughing for a few days about this, so I thought I would blog about it... Granted, the Dallas market does not follow the norm of the "Nationwide" market that the news is always talking about. We never had a bubble and prices have been fairly steady for the past few years, and almost flat the last couple of years.With that said, one of my husband's co-workers bought a house last year for $184k.  Just over a year later, he decides he wants to buy a house with his new Realtor girlfriend so they list his house for sale.  His girlfriend is a fairly new idiot, I mean Realtor, and according to the MLS has only closed 8 transactions in 3 years.  So, even though she wants to say she's been in the business for 3 years, to only have 8 transactions, she's very much still GREEN and has a l...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
We had record amounts of rain in May.  The last stat I heard was that it was the 15th wettest May on record.  However, we are still under Water Conservation Rules throughout most of the DFW area.Because of the conservation efforts, in just the first quarter alone, we have conserved 16.5% more water than in the first quarter of 2006.Many people ask why we are still under restrictions when we've had so much rain.  The main answer is because our lakes are not all at their main operating level as of yet.  Yes, we've had a lot of rain lately, but it hasn't made up for the past couple of years where it's been very dry.  The other thing is, if we've had so much rain, why do you even want to water your yard more?  It should be even easier to conserve water when nature has been taking care of it...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
All Property Tax bills that are not up to date by June 30 will be sent to the City's Deliquent Tax Attorney for collection.There are Options!!  However, if you wait until your account goes to the attorney, you are responsible for the additional fees incurred.  Since being late Feb 1, you have already been dinged an 18% late fee as the late fee continues each month you don't pay.  In addition to that 18%, you'll have to pay an additional 20% collection fee if your file is in the hands of the attorney.So, if you're having problems paying your taxes and you need help with the city to work out a payment plan, call them ASAP!  They don't want the extra work, and they don't want to foreclose on your house because you can't pay your taxes.  They'll work with you if you're willing to work with ...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
Starting JULY 1, the new ordinance for Recreational Vehicles will finally take effect.  This ordinance has tried to come into effect for a couple of years now, and people keep fighting it.  There are going to be no more fights, and you will start to be fined if you don't obey.Basically, the city of Richardson is tired of parked campers and RVs and boats on the streets and in front driveways.  This makes the streets look terrible, and when you're trying to sell a house and the neighbor's house looks like trash, it hinders the sale.The ordinance applies to all RV's, trailers, boats, jet skis, truck campers, and similar items.  You cannot park in the front of the house or in the front side yard.  You may park in the rear side yard or in the rear yard as long as they are screened off out of...
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