Photo courtesy Flickr/Woodleywonderworks

From staff reports

How much do you need to make per year to afford a home in Dallas? According to one report, less than $60,000.

But is that true? According to CNBC Make It, they’ve identified 15 cities where the qualifying income to purchase a home with 10 percent or 20 percent down is an annual salary of $60,000 or less. 

They’ve based this determination on data from the National Association of Realtors’ Metropolitan Median Area Prices and Affordability index. It also assumes a 4.1 percent interest rate, and a monthly principal and interest payment that is 25 percent of a homebuyer’s income, or less.

According to CNBC’s number crunchers, Dallas made the list. And it’s not too surprising, after all, another study from Zillow found that someone with a high school diploma and no college hours at all could afford (in theory) to buy a home in Dallas.  (more…)

unemploymentThe unemployment rate for Dallas-Fort Worth held relatively steady in July, Dallas ISD seeks volunteers for 2020 bond subcommittees, and we find out what county in Texas is shrinking the fastest, all in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

Dallas-Fort Worth Unemployment Rate Holds Relatively Steady in July

The unemployment rate in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA rose only slightly from 3.3 in June to 3.4 in July, the Texas Workforce Commission reported last week. However, 3.4 is still an improvement year-over-year, when the rate was 3.7 in July 2018. (more…)

property taxAlmost a year after voters approved a 13-cent property tax hike in a Tax Ratification Election, the Dallas ISD board of trustees will discuss reducing the rate this Thursday.

In November, voters approved raising the rate from $1.04 to $1.17, the first increase since 2008. The agenda for Thursday’s regular meeting includes discussion of reducing the rate to about $1.06 per $100 valuation. 

Specifically, the measure would set the maintenance and operation tax rate at $1.068350, and the debt service tax rate at 242035 cents, which winds up being about $1.31 per $100 valuation, a 3.26 percent decrease in the total tax rate.

“We appreciate the tax payers helping us out when we needed you and the state leg. for finance reform,” said trustee Miguel Solis on Twitter. “Proud to lower those taxes.”

In May, the Texas legislature passed sweeping education funding reform, which was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott with much pomp and circumstance. All 139 House members and all 30 state senators voted to approve House Bill 3, which included $6.5 billion in public education funding and teacher pay increases, and $5.1 billion to lower school district taxes. (more…)

champions

From staff reports

Just a year after naming its first vice president in company history, Champions School of Real Estate named its second at a statewide company retreat in Austin. 

Champions CEO and founder Rita Santamaria and president Kimberly Dydalewicz announced human resources director Debi Bliazis would be promoted to vice president, effective immediately, at the company’s awards dinner.

Bliazis had been previously named as the company’s Employee of the Year in 2016 and has been with the company for almost 10 years, overseeing all human resources responsibilities with new and current employees from her offices at Champions’ Houston North campus.  (more…)

VRM

Bright Realty announced that the latest addition to the Castle Hills planned community in Lewisville, Crown Centre, had broken ground.

Carrollton-based VRM Mortgage Services earned an industry accolade, Bright Realty announced dirt had been turned on its latest phase of the Castle Hills planned community, and TREC announces changes to brokerage branch office licensure, all in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

VRM Mortgage Services Receives Industry Accolade

Carrollton-based VRM Mortgage Services was named one of the Top 25 Best Places to Work for Women and Minorities by the National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America, the company announced last week.

The company was founded in 2006 by Keith D. Murray, and provides various real estate and mortgage services including asset management, servicing coordination, property preservation, and default management. The recognition from NAMMBA is awarded to companies who consistently show a commitment to diversity through best-practices and company culture and programs. (more…)

homebuyersSo you are mulling over putting your home on the market, but you know it could use some updating. What do you spend your money on, and what can you hold off on? Turns out, some things that homebuyers find turn them off can cost you thousands, so making good choices can make the difference in how much you end up getting for your home.

It’s also important to know what is trending style-wise, too. For instance, furniture maker Joybird found that when it comes to interior design, the top three searches in Texas were vintage, industrial, and rustic.

Joybird

What else do homebuyers want? Laundry rooms, energy-saving features, and more green home certifications, according to the National Association of Home Builder’s “What Home Buyers Really Want” survey. Homebuyers also wanted more storage, hardwood flooring, patios, and exterior lighting.

In Dallas, Opendoor crunched the numbers and found exactly what is turning area homebuyers off — call it a road map of sorts on pre-gaming that decision to list. 

(more…)

TexasHomeLight’s newest acquisition will allow it to lend in Texas, we have second-quarter housing reports from Texas Realtors, and pending home sales are up for the second month, all in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

HomeLight Acquisition Spurs Lending Expansion Into Texas

With its purchase of digital mortgage lender Eave, agent-referral site HomeLight can now offer loans to home buyers in six states, including Texas, Inman reported.

HomeLight takes buyer or seller preferences and compares them with agents, basing their matches on benchmarks like the time it takes an agent to sell a home, the average difference between list price and sales price (as well as how often they do price reductions), and more. They also factor in an agent’s past responsiveness to HomeLight referrals, as well as reviews. (more…)

NeaveShe’s made a name for being an effective legislator since beginning her career in the Texas legislature after winning against Kenneth Sheets in 2016, but State Rep. Victoria Neave is getting some attention now for something entirely different — her delinquent property taxes.

Neave represents District 107, which includes parts of East Dallas and Mesquite.

We reported earlier this year that Neave owed Dallas County for back taxes on her Abrams Road property, and Richardson ISD later filed documentation that Neave owed that entity almost $24,000, bringing her total delinquent tab to more than $50,000. 

Now it seems the property, located at 8580 Abrams Road, may be sold on the Dallas County courthouse steps in October, according to the notice of trustees sale. (more…)