Pothole SM

Taxes are paid so that government can pool monies that enable it to embark on projects that enrich society as a whole. When government is underfunded, education and infrastructure suffer. Anyone who jumped for joy at their measly property tax reduction this year also abdicated their right to complain about DISD, potholes, or Fair Park.  The 37 cents a day I saved was invisible to me and certainly wouldn’t pay for much municipally on its own.  But when joined with the savings of every other household in Texas, it equates to $3.8 billion statewide in 2015-2016.

Without taxes, there would be no public libraries, police, fire, ambulance, public schools, roadways, etc. Without taxes, every single road would be a nightmare of privately-owned thoroughfares, collecting tolls with each change in ownership.  We’ve all read stories in recent years about homes that were allowed to burn because the homeowner hadn’t paid their subscription fee for fire protection.  It’s estimated there are 1,200 such subscription-based municipalities in the USA.

The Texas Transportation Commission acknowledges an annual underfunding of $5 billion in transportation infrastructure improvements.  In the 16-county area covered by the North Central Texas Council of Governments, this equates to roughly $2 billion a year in underspending.

Tie those two numbers together.  The entire state gave back barely enough money to properly fund Metroplex roads.  Still feeling good about that piddly tax reduction?

Now before you get all uproarious in the comments, I’m not a fan of Texas’ high property taxes.

I hear you saying, “First he says government is underfunded, then he says taxes, which fund government are too high.”  That appears contradictory, doesn’t it? Not really.

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North Texas communities were ravaged by EF-4 and EF-3 tornadoes on Saturday, Dec. 26.(Photo: GJ McCarthy)

North Texas hit by EF-4 and EF-3 tornadoes on Saturday, Dec. 26. (Photo: GJ McCarthy)

American Airlines gave $100,000 to the American Red Cross for the victims of last Saturday’s tornados, and now watch out: Texas Realtors are kicking in.

As the needs of those impacted by the tornados on December 26 are evolving, MetroTex is responding in a variety of ways to help. Here’s what we’ve done so far and how you can help further:

Online, MetroTex has created a resource page with information about where to donate, volunteer, find relief and precautions to take. We are updating the site as more information becomes available.

A formal request has been sent to TAR to help activate the Realtors Relief Fund for any Realtors or members affected by the killer storm — we know of at least two.

  • President Russell Berry has appointed a Tornado Relief Task Force. This task force will be meeting to organize efforts and a plan of action to assist members who may have been affected by the devastating storms.
  • MetroTex has sent a formal request to the Texas Association of REALTORS, requesting that they activate the Texas REALTORS Relief Fund. Information on how to obtain assistance will be forthcoming and posted at the MetroTex Cares Page.

But MetroTex needs your help. Please provide them with the name, address and contact information for any MetroTex REALTOR and Affiliate members you know who have been impacted by the tornados in Dallas, Collin, Rockwall or Ellis counties.

If you can help, please consider donating cash or gift cards rather than material goods. Find out where to donate. The exception is the bottled water drive organized by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) North Texas Chapter, Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) Dallas Fort Worth Chapter, Dallas Association of Realtists (DAR). You can contact them at 214-876-4567 or go to the NAHREP Facebook page for more information.

MetroTex Charitable and Educational Trust is a 501(c)(3) foundation that can be utilized to help support relief efforts for MetroTex members. Should you wish to make a cash donation for the benefit of MetroTex members please follow the directions below:

Checks should be made payable to “MetroTex Charitable and Educational Trust” and kindly write “Tornado Damage Assistance” on the check stub or on the memo line of the check. Checks can be mailed to: 8201 N. Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75247, Attn: Cecilia Beerer.

If you prefer to make a credit card payment, please contact Cecilia Beerer at 214-540-2707 and she can assist with processing the payment over the phone.

Donations to the MetroTex Charitable and Educational Trust are fully tax deductible, and we will mail receipts to all donors during the next few weeks.

Tommie Hawkins is a registered sex offender.

Tommie Hawkins is a registered sex offender.

Heads up, Realtors. MetroTex Association of Realtors has issued a security alert for agents about a registered sex offender named Tommie Hawkins (pictured) posing as a buyer. If you’ve been in touch with this man, call the police ASAP. Stay safe out there, folks!

We have received multiple reports of activity related to a male requesting to see properties in the Colleyville, Grapevine, and Flower Mound area between $1 and $2 Million. He is able to provide proof of funds and claims to have buyer rep agreements with several agents.

He is a registered sex offender: Click Here for more information. This person has reportedly used various names as shown on the sex offender website.  Additionally, a police report has been filed with the Colleyville Police Department: Case# ISCP043332.

Please exercise caution. Contact with this person has led to conversation which deteriorates to an extremely inappropriate sexual nature.  While no one at this point has been physically harmed, there is reason to believe that could happen.

If you have had any contact with this person please contact law enforcement in the city of the occurrence.

Old Lake Highlands MidcenturyHome sales in North Texas broke a record last month, with more than 10,500 sold in June, shattering the previous record by 1,000 houses. East Dallas is faring particularly well, with sales up 10 percent from last year, according to the latest sales figures from the MetroTex Association of Realtors.

Today’s Tuesday Two Hundred takes us to a property East of White Rock Lake that helps us understand why homes in the area are selling in 22 days on average. (I’ll bet this one goes under contract even faster than that.)Old Lake Highlands MidcenturyThe Old Lake Highlands midcentury at 703 Kirkwood Dr. is newly listed and sits on a heavily treed corner lot, walking distance from White Rock Lake. It’s a 3-2 with 1,632 square feet, built in 1955 and listed by Jan Chavoya at Ebby Halliday Realtors Frisco for $299,700. (The owners recently updated the electrical panel and security system, too.)

MetroTex reports that the average price now for an East Dallas house is $399,230 (a 19 percent increase over last year), so this is a find at under $300K. Let’s look at the updates and features that make this midcentury house a gem.

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FullSizeRender Here is Rogers Healy agent Grecia Garza outside of 21 Turtle Creek today. “I may or may have not tumbled,” she tells us.

No, she didn’t fall, she’s feeling the snow!

Carrie Hill and Thomas Zepeda Snow

And here are Realtors Carrie Rigdon Hill and Thomas Zepeda from Nathan Grace getting some “work” done during yesterday’s snow day.

Looks like a good gig to us! Wine + Snow + Real Estate = Plenty of fun!

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We’ve been talking about this trend for some time, but thanks to the business-friendly environment Great State of Texas and our fantastic job market, more people are moving to our state from areas where there are fewer jobs and houses cost a whole lot more.

And of course, when more people relocate to Texas, that means more real estate clients. A total of 138,057 new clients according to the statistics from the Texas Association of Realtors’ “Texas Relocation Report.”

The report, which uses data from 2013 American Community Survey, the 2008-2012 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as the U-Haul 2013 National Migration Trend Reports shows that Texas is outpacing Florida, California, Georgia, and North Carolina in the number of people moving from out of state.

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MetroTex Logo

It’s been only six months since Roxie Glenn took over professional development at MetroTex Association of Realtors, and her department has already pulled down a significant award for its work during the Texas Association of Realtors winter meetings in Austin. MetroTex was recognized alongside the San Antonio Board of Realtors and Houston Association of Realtors with the Education Program of the Year award.

“This event commemorates two years of record growth for the Texas housing market and honors the Texas Realtors and local Realtor organizations that have been true trailblazers for our association and our industry,” said Dan Hatfield, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors.

Roxie GlennGlenn is thrilled that TAR recognized MetroTex’s course that gives business-building tools to recent licensees during the Feb. 10 ceremony. “This is very exciting for our department,” Glenn said. “It shows Realtors that we have quality courses and education here at MetroTex.”

The course — “Building a Successful Real Estate Business” —  is a series of six four-hour classes that covers topics such as lead identification, pricing a property, and marketing tips. It’s a collaborative effort with independent educators who are experts in building successful real estate businesses. The program, which runs once a month, usually has 30 or more Realtors in the classroom, making it a popular choice.

“Basically, it teaches new Realtors how to set up their business,” Glenn said. “After Realtors get their license, they don’t know what or where to go, or what to do next. Something that Realtors aren’t always so good at is setting up a new business, and we teach them how to do that successfully.”

The program isn’t all lectures, either, Glenn added. “They get to role play and try things out on people.”

Of course, the award is a testament to the hard work Glenn and her fellow education department staff has put in to make sure that Dallas/Fort Worth-area Realtors have all the tools they need to be successful.

“It’s not just getting your [continuing education] credits,” Glenn said. “It’s real-world education that can also help you build your business.”

Find out more about the continuing education programs MetroTex offers, as well as the outstanding staff supporting the organization, on their website.

 

 

Burleson, Mary Frances, August 2010 (2)

The National Association of Realtors has good taste, that’s for sure, as the organization has selected Ebby Halliday Realtors president and CEO Mary Frances Burleson to receive the 2013 Distinguished Service Award — the highest award a Realtor can receive. Burleson was recognized by NAR chief Gary Thomas for her service at the Realtor Conference and Expo in San Francisco today, Nov. 11.

Burleson, who has been a Realtor for 47 years, started at Ebby Halliday Realtors as a Ebby’s own secretary in 1958. She has helped to grow the organization to where it is now — the largest independent real estate brokerage in Texas. Along the way, Burleson has touched the lives of thousands of Realtors and people across the North Texas community and beyond.

“I am honored and grateful to accept the Distinguished Service Award,” Burleson said in a press release. “I am also extremely fortunate to be part of a profession and organization that values service to others. Realtors have a common goal to help build strong communities and work toward improving people’s quality of life; this is something I strongly believe in and have strived for throughout my career in real estate.”

It’s true: Ebby Halliday Realtors works very hard to give back to the community. And Burleson is a perfect example of that philosophy.

“I am extremely honored to present this year’s Distinguished Service Award to Mary Frances Burleson,” said Thomas. “Over several decades, Mary Frances has demonstrated a tremendous amount of dedication and self-sacrifice to the Realtor community through her involvement in numerous volunteer positions at the local, state and national level. Mary Frances has proven herself to be a leader who believes in the principle of service above self.”

Burleson also holds the honor of being the third person from Ebby Halliday Realtors to receive the coveted DSA, an industry first.

Burleson has served as a member of the board of directors at NAR since 1991 and is currently a large firm representative on the board of directors, a position she has held since 1998. While active on a national level, Burleson has served as president of the MetroTex Association of Realtors, and was named Realtor of the Year by MetroTex  — an honor she also received from the Texas Association of Realtors.

Additionally, Burleson has served on the Texas Real Estate Commission, as chairman of the board for the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce, the Baptist Foundation of Texas, and as a member of the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Executive Committee. She has also been a member of the Fannie Mae National Advisory Council.

Please join us in congratulating Mary Frances Burleson on this amazing achievement!