Richardson, TX Real Estate News

By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
Richardson Regional Medical Center opened a satelite campus back in 2004 (this is where my OB is as it's about 1/2 mile from my house).  To go along with the 5 story, 100,000 sqft building, the city has just broken ground for two new additions.The first will be a 50,000 sqft Comprehensive Cancer Center.  The second will be a 47,000 sqft Outpatient Hospital.  Construction is expected to be compeltely by the Fall of 2008.I think this will be great, not just for the area, but also for my business.  Can you imagine how many doctors will be relocating to the general or immediate area?!  Currently, according to recent numbers, there are about 200,000 people that live within a 5 mile radius of this area. People will no longer have to travel upwards of 5 hours to Houston for excellent Cancer ca...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
For many years, the start of the school year would creep sooner and sooner into the beginning of August.  When I first moved to Richardson back in 1984, I thought it was weird that school started in August right before Labor Day, but it was ok because we would go to school for a couple of days, because school never started on a Monday or Tuesday, and then we would have a long weekend to adjust to our new teacher and new classmates, and then we would come back in September.Those days have long past.  As I got into Junior High and High School, school would start towards the end of August and not that last week.  Then it would go into mid-August.  As school was starting earlier and earlier, we still never had a "Fall Break" in October that the kids have today, though we did have one Monday...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
For years, Richardson has been known as The Telecom Corridor.  As you might have guessed, this is because so many telecom companies made their home in Richardson.  Not just anywhere in Richardson, but right off Highway 75, Central Expressway which is the main north/south highway from Downtown Dallas through Richardson, through Plano and Allen, and going even further north an hour into Oklahoma.  Since most people drove through this area often, it's considered a corridor, hence, the Telecom Corridor name sprung.Since the Telecom bust a few years ago, Richardson has become a little sleepy with several empty businesses.  We still have SBC/AT&T, Samsung, Nortel and Ericcson, however, many others left long ago.  Over the past couple of years, Richardson has tried to rid the term "Telecom" in...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
The Richardson Wildflower music festival is here, May 18-20.  This year they have some HUGE acts.  Bo Diddley will be performing on May 18.  Tracy Byrd will perform on May 19.  And Jo Dee Messina will close everything out on Sunday, May 20.The Wildflower Festival always has a lot of neat things to do.  There are several music stages, craft booths, lots of food and much more.Something new is allowing people to buy a 3-day pass in advance for only $20.  Otherwise, regular tickets are $15 per day and kids 5-12 are $3.Richardson residents, you can get your tickets for ONLY $5, up to six!!!I'll be out of town this weekend, but I'm very bummed out that I'm missing it with all the top name artists this year compared to other years.
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
Once a year, it's a good idea to give your home a checkup. Finding problems or potential problems in their early stages usually gives you the best chance to make repairs more easily and less expensively than if problems are allowed to worsen over time. The kinds of things you'll want to monitor in your home include:* Gutters and downspouts: Inspect for leaf and debris buildup that can cause overflow problems.* Paint: Make sure painted surfaces aren't peeling or cracked, exposing wood to weather damage.* Windows: Check the weatherproofing and caulking and replace cracked panes.* Roof: Inspect tiles or shingles and flashing to prevent leaks; clean off any moss.* Appliances: Check and replace frayed electrical cords, damaged plugs, and cracked or leaking hoses. Proper care and maintenance ...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
The Richardson City Council approved a new ordinance in February 2007 that is going to change many things about home improvement in the city, and for the better.  With this new ordinance, when a home owner spends over $20k to better their home, they get back 10 times the tax difference in one lump sum amount.The amount is based off what the appraised value for the property was verse what it is after the improvements. This amount of money is paid during the tax year one year after the first April it was completed.  For example, the Richardson Today paper says: "Assume that a home improvement project is competely in June 2007.  Further assume that the 2008 property taxes increased $300 above the 2007 property taxes as a result of the increase in the taxable value of the improvements.  The...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
Tax appraisal assessments will be going out the first week of May.  If you do not have your papers from the County Central Appraisal District by May 8, you need to call and check your values.In Dallas County, you will only receive a notice if your assessment has changed from the previous year.  Do not assume that not receiving one means your assessment wasn't changed because it could have gotten lost in the mail. CALL!All Collin County residents will receive their assessment whether there was a change or not.Dallas Central Appraisal District: www.dcad.orgCollin County Appraisal District: www.collincad.org 
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
The Woods of SpringCreek held their first Social Committee meeting for the year.  We have decided to concentrate on the National Nite Out for August 7.  We will be holding our next meeting on Monday, April 9 at 7pm.This event is very important to our neighborhood because we currently have the Crime Watch signs posted throughout the streets.  In order to keep the Crime Watch signage, we must have a particular amount of people in attendence to sign the roster at the event.  We had a great turn out last year, and we're looking forward to a larger turnout this year.During this event, we also have a canned food drive.  Each neighborhood in the city of Richardson is encouraged to have a canned food drive as part of attendence for the event, and each year, the city of Richardson collects thous...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
The Richardson, TX Trash Bash will take place on Saturday, April 7 from 9 am- 12 noon.  This is the 16th year Richardson has participated to celebrate "Keep America Beautiful" month.Trash bags and street assignments will be handed out on Thursday, April 5 at 7 pm at the Richardson Civic Center.  There will be prizes awarded at the end of the day when everyone meets back at the Civic Center.Texas started the "Don't Mess with Texas" campaign back in 1985.  Since then, it's reported that there has been a 75% decrease in litter along the roads.Across the country, there are supposed to be about 80,000 volunteers and this is considered the largest one-day clean-up in the nation.If you would like to participate, you can contact the Health Department at 972-744-4076.  If you're not in Richardso...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
Buyers are compromising on their homes?  Why can't I ever get a buyer like that?  I seem to always get the buyers who are looking for this and that and that over there, and they're never happy because they can't find everything they want in one house so they keep looking and looking, sometimes for months, sometimes for years.  Yes, I'm working with a handful of buyers who have been looking for a house for over two years.  Can you count how much money they're throwing away by continuing to rent all these months?2006 Profile of Texas Homebuyers and Sellers found that though 40% of Texas buyers said that they found the exact home they were looking for, there were 6 common compromises that the remaining 60% of buyers make when purchasing their homes.  This list includes:1. 17%- Size of home...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
NAR has their own number saying 79% of buyers use the internet when looking for a home.  However, Texas has done their own research.  The 2006 Profile of Texas Homebuyers and Sellers has some astonishing numbers.According to the profile, 94% of Buyers were using the internet to look for properties.  That's a huge difference from the National number!  25% of Buyers were using the internet to get information about a particular area.  This is where Localism will come in more handy in my market.  I'm still waiting for the grass to turn green before I enter more photos.Here's something interesting.  There are still agents that think all they need to do it enter a property in the MLS and it'll sell, as 10% of Sellers said that's all their agent did. On the flip side, 77% of Sellers said their...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
I got my new REALTOR® Magazine today, and I've just started thumbing through it.  I landed on a chart of "What's Hot" and "What's Not" for current trends.  On the list, there were some no-brainers like the fact that people are liking Earth tones instead of the cold, modern look.  Multiple photos within the listing are hot instead of just one picture, DUH!Here a few that surprised me.  I've read several places that Bamboo flooring was just a phase and that they don't hold up as well as once thought, but the research is saying they're hot.  Another thing on the list is that McMansions are out and "cozy, small homes on a big lot" are hot.  WHAT?  Where did they get that information?  All my buyers want as big as possible for the money.  Even empty nesters are buying bigger instead of down-...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
Are you thinking of remodeling your home? Consider the return on your investment before remodeling. Not all remodeling projects yield the same return in increasing your home's value.Updating your kitchen and baths is your best remodeling investment, returning a nearly dollar-for-dollar increase in home resale value. An updated kitchen and bathrooms make your home that much more attractive to potential buyers when you do decide to sell.By contrast, converting a basement into a family room (if you're are has basements) or adding outdoor recreation facilities, such as a swimming pool or sport court, yield the lowest return on your investment.Sometimes the cumulative effect of several smaller projects can yield a higher resale value than one or two larger ones. Smaller projects tend to be m...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
For most people, moving to a new residence is a stressful event. Here are some things you can do to minimize tension and worry when you sell your home:* Choose a real estate agent (REALTOR®) who communicates clearly and frequently, keeping you up to speed on every step of the process.* Price your home accurately for market conditions. Homes that sell quickly leave their sellers wondering if they set the price too low, while sellers whose homes sit on the market unsold wonder if they'll ever find a buyer.* Decide whether you want to move yourself or have professional movers handle the job. If you hire a moving company, make sure to book well in advance.* Think about cleaning services. After everything is packed and moved is a great time to have someone come in and clean.* Arrange at leas...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
Most buyers and sellers consider moving day a real hassle. Here are some things you can do to make it more manageable:* Cut back on your possessions as you pack. Make separate areas for items to be discarded, sold, or donated to charity.* Label all boxes and color-code them by room, whether you pack yourself or have help. Otherwise, you'll never remember what's in each box.* Have the outside door locks on your new home changed and the garage door opener reprogrammed.* Get referrals from your doctors, dentists, and veterinarians for new providers near your new home. Take your files with you instead of waiting for them to be sent.* Pack a "first night" box that contains everything you'll need for the first night in your new home. Include bedding, cookware, utensils, toiletries, and anythi...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
As you prepare your home for the market, one thing to keep in mind is that you have only one chance to make a first impression. It is absolutely vital that prospective buyers form a good impression of your home--beginning the moment they drive up. You can help create that good first impression by presenting potential buyers with a well-cared-for yard including a mowed lawn. Your front door and porch should be clean and neat, preferably freshly painted.These first, important encounters create a positive impression that carries through to the rest of your home. An inviting atmosphere implies that your house has been well maintained and taken care of. Homes that convey pride of ownership frequently receive the best offers.If your home appears disheveled or uncared for, prospective buyers m...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
Just a reminder that The Woods of SpringCreek is having their annual HOA meeting Tuesday, February 13 at 7:15pm.  It's at Canyon Creek off Renner and North Star.If you are unable to make it, you should fill out the proxy form and send it to Excel Management... or you can drop it off at a neighbor's and one of us would be happy to turn it in for you.I'm looking forward to meeting all the new neighbors from the past year, and catching up with others that I haven't seen since the National Night Out in August. 
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
This is great news!I'm not sure this happens in other states, but Texas has a TAX FREE weekend in August every year.  Each year, they modify what is on the list.  The original list was for clothes and school supplies to help parents save some money for the upcoming school year.  There was also a restriction that each item was only tax free up to the first $100.  That meant, no tax free on designer $150 jeans!Well, it was just reported yesterday that they're thinking about making more changes.  The most recent change that might effect this coming August '07, is appliances!!  How appliances really relate to going back to school, I don't know, but I guess some people could use the help to buy a big ticket item, save the tax, and then wash all the brand new clothes they just bought.  This w...
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
Recently, I was in Chicago for a video shoot for a company.  At the end of the interview, they allowed me to make a personal commercial.  I had to quickly think of something to say that didn't sound stupid or scripted.  It took me a couple of minutes, but then I remembered my Mission Statement that I have on my website and my Blog profile, and then it was easy.  I've been using the same statement for almost 7 years now, so I had it down pretty well.Watch my Personal Commerical here!!
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By Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
(Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com)
The petition to add a Beer and Wine vote to the November election was sucessful!  Richardson has been "dry" for way too long.  Dallas to the south is mostly full wet which means the majority of Dallas can sell Beer, Wine and Liquor.  Plano to the north is "moist" which means it can only sell Beer and Wine.For years, Richardson residents have always had to plan a drive in order to get Beer, Wine, and/or Liquor.  Hopefully, those times are coming to an end.The vote has the basic stuff like they can't sell within a certain distance of a school or residential neighborhood.  They're even putting on the ballot that Richardson could have drive-thru Beer places.Richardson is basically completely built out so there are no more high priced homes being built that would increase tax revenue.  Plus,...
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