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Your Guide to the Best Christmas Light Displays in DFW

by Christie Cannon

The DFW area literally lights up and twinkles as the holidays draw near.  Everywhere from Dallas to Frisco to the Ft. Worth Stockyards light up in spectacular displays.  With looks of excitement on children's faces, the sound of carolers singing familiar tunes, the taste of sweet holiday favorites and the smell of Christmas pine flooding the area, you can't help but get into the holiday spirit.  We have compiled a list of our favorite spots to view holiday lights in the DFW area.  Make the rounds and find your family's next holiday tradition!

  •         Frisco Square - Drawing over 750,000 visitors annually, Frisco Square offers North TX largest choreographed light display!  Boasting snow flurries every 15 minutes, ice skating, inner tubing snow slide, horse drawn carriage rides, light & music shows, trackless train rides & even a parachuting Santa - this place has it all!  Going on now through Dec 31st!
  •         Deerfield, Plano - Running from December 1st - 30th, this quintessential Plano neighborhood is jammed packed with gorgeous homes competing for the best, funniest & most traditional displays.  Check out their website for best routes & carriage ride info!
  •        Vitruvian Lights in Addison - Wander through Vitruvian Park’s 12 Acres and view over 550 illuminated trees wrapped in 1.5 million sparkling LED lights.  Enjoy free live music in the park, food trucks & free pictures with Santa!     
  •         Highland Park & Highland Park Village - What can I say?  Gorgeous architecture complemented by professional Christmas lighting.  Spanning about 20 blocks, this is the perfect time to splurge on a horse drawn carriage ride.
  •         Enchant Christmas - A world of Christmas wonder awaits you in Arlington at Globe Life Park! Surrounded by millions of dazzling lights, experience the world’s largest Christmas light maze, ice skating, Santa’s palace, live entertainment & a Christmas marketplace.
  •         12 Days of Christmas - The Dallas Arboretum plays host to this elaborate exhibition featuring 25ft Victorian style gazebos filled with costumed characters, whimsical animals & music made famous the beloved Christmas carol.
  •         Prairie Lights - Growing larger each year, this Grand Prairie display is located in Lynn Creek Park and has become a destination in its own right.  Offering a 2-mile path of lights, a snow maze, holiday lighted walk-through forest, holiday village, & more.  Be sure to check out their website as there are costs for this one!
  •        Interlochen in Arlington - This year marks the 42nd Anniversary of one of the largest drive-thru Christmas light displays in North TX.
  •        Tour of Lights in Farmers Branch - A drive thru animated display of over 500,000 twinkling lights. Located in the Farmers Branch Historical park with a variety of different scenes & themes.
  •        Texas Motor Speedway - Supporting Toys for Tots, this huge display boasts a drive-thru display & Santa's Village.  Be sure to check out the website for pricing!
  •        ICE & the Gaylord Texan Resort - Ice skating, gingerbread house building, sled riding, Santa photos, Holiday village, light displays, 2+ million pounds of ice, what do they not have?

Have some ideas & comments that will help our list?  We would love to hear from you! 

Thank you & we wish you a very Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday Season!

Every North TX Home Must Be Sold TWICE!

by Christie Cannon

Every Home must be Sold Twice!

Homeowners: Your House Must Be Sold TWICE | MyKCM

In today’s housing market, where supply has been low and demand high, home values have increased rapidly. Many experts are projecting that home values could appreciate by another 5%+ over the next twelve months. One major challenge in such a market is the bank appraisal.  This is a topic that you may have seen us discuss previously - Appraisals & Why Every Home Must be Sold Twice.

If prices are surging, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate, comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that recently closed) to defend the selling price when performing the appraisal for the bank.

Every month in their Home Price Perception Index (HPPI), Quicken Loans measures the disparity between what a homeowner who is seeking to refinance their home believes their house is worth, and an appraiser’s evaluation of that same home.

Bill Banfield, Executive VP of Capital Markets at Quicken Loans urges anyone looking to buy or sell in today’s market to remember the impact of this challenge:

“Based on the HPPI, it appears homeowners in the markets where prices are rising faster than the national average – like Denver, Seattle and San Francisco – are continuing to underestimate just how quickly home values are rising, so the average appraisal is higher than homeowner estimate.

On the inverse of that, homeowners in areas where the values aren’t rising as fast may think they are rising faster than they are, leading to the appraisal lagging the estimate.”

The chart below illustrates the changes in home price estimates over the last 12 months.

Homeowners: Your House Must Be Sold TWICE | MyKCM

Every house on the market must be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first. If you are planning on entering the housing market this year, let’s get together to discuss this and any other obstacles that may arise.

Mortgages Getting Easy Again? North Dallas Real Estate

by Christie Cannon

Too Easy to Get a Mortgage?  Is This the Start of a New Bubble?

Bubble Alert! Is it Getting Too Easy to Get a Mortgage? | MyKCM

There is little doubt that it is easier to get a home mortgage today than it was last year. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), published by the Mortgage Bankers Association, shows that mortgage credit has become more available in each of the last several years. In fact, in just the last year:

  • More buyers are putting less than 20% down to purchase a home
  • The average credit score on closed mortgages is lower
  • More low-down-payment programs have been introduced

This has some people worrying that we are returning to the lax lending standards which led to the boom and bust that real estate experienced ten years ago. Let’s alleviate some of that concern.

The graph below shows the MCAI going back to the boom years of 2004-2005. The higher the graph line, the easier it was to get a mortgage.

Bubble Alert! Is it Getting Too Easy to Get a Mortgage? | MyKCM

As you can see, lending standards were much more lenient from 2004 to 2007. Though it has gradually become easier to get a mortgage since 2011, we are nowhere near the lenient standards during the boom.

The Urban Institute also publishes a Home Credit Availability Index (HCAI). According to the Institute, the HCAI:

“Measures the percentage of home purchase loans that are likely to default—that is, go unpaid for more than 90 days past their due date. A lower HCAI indicates that lenders are unwilling to tolerate defaults and are imposing tighter lending standards, making it harder to get a loan. A higher HCAI indicates … it is easier to get a loan.”

Here is a graph showing their findings:

Bubble Alert! Is it Getting Too Easy to Get a Mortgage? | MyKCM

Again, today’s lending standards are nowhere near the levels of the boom years. As a matter of fact, they are more stringent than they were even before the boom.

Bottom Line

It is getting easier to gain financing for a home purchase. However, we are not seeing the irresponsible lending that caused the housing crisis.

1468 Echols Dr Frisco TX | Just Reduced!

by Christie Cannon

Exceptional custom-built Toll Brothers dream home in sought after Phillips Creek Ranch! Luxurious upgrades throughout! Rich handscraped hardwoods, elegant lighting, dramatic architecture & grand entry designed to impress. Formal dining & executive study. Chef’s Dream massive island kitchen boasts professional grade appliances, stone counters, double ovens & wine fridge. Family great room with surround sound & towering windows. Private master suite & stunning spa bath. 2nd floor enjoys game room & huge media with 7.1 surround sound. 5th bedroom with ensuite bath or second master. Relax on the pergola covered patio overlooking the oversized backyard-perfect for future pool, pets & play! Amazing location & neighborhood amenities! Nestled on a gorgeous oversized lot in the award winning community of Phillips Creek Ranch, featuring more than 100 acres of green space, lakes, an extensive creek system, trails, parks and premier amenities, you will find this stunning 5-bedroom home. Enjoy relaxing evenings on the pergola covered patio overlooking the oversized backyard-perfect for future pool, pets & play! Located in highly desired West Frisco, with easy access to award winning schools, shopping, dining & entertainment.

Considering Selling your North Texas Home this Holiday Season?

by Christie Cannon
7 Reasons to List Your Home This Holiday Season | MyKCM

Every year at this time, many homeowners decide to wait until after the holidays to put their homes on the market for the first time, while others who already have their homes on the market decide to take them off until after the holidays.

Here are seven great reasons not to wait:

  1. Relocation buyers are out there. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays and need their employees in their new positions as soon as possible.
  2. Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now.
  3. You can restrict the showings on your home to the times you want it shown. You will remain in control.
  4. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays.
  5. There is less competition for you as a seller right now. Let’s take a look at listing inventory as compared to the same time last year:

7 Reasons to List Your Home This Holiday Season | MyKCM

  1. The desire to own a home doesn’t stop when the holidays come. Buyers who were unable to find their dream home during the busy spring and summer months are still searching!
  2. The supply of listings increases substantially after the holidays. Also, in many parts of the country, new construction will continue to surge reaching new heights in 2018, which will lessen the demand for your house.

Waiting until after the holidays to sell your home probably doesn’t make sense.

Hail Storm while Buying a Home - What to do?

by Christie Cannon

What should you as a Buyer under contract be aware of after the hail storm here in North Texas?



Christie Cannon | REALTOR
Keller Williams Frisco | The Christie Cannon Team
http://www.christiecannon.com/
469-951-9588
972-215-7747

4783 Preston Road #300, Frisco, TX 75034
469-951-9588

The award winning Real Estate Agents of The Christie Cannon Team with Keller Williams Frisco are here to serve your real estate needs.

Hi, I am Christie Cannon of the Christie Cannon Team at Keller Williams Realty.
I hope that this morning finds you safe & sound after the storms that hit North Texas yesterday evening! Given the chaotic weather events, damaging winds, & potential for large hail over the last 24 hours, I want to speak to about the next steps in the process. 
As a Buyer under-contract & moving towards closing, you may have questions about what effect last night’s storm may have on your closing process & your due diligence prior to purchase. I wanted to take a few minutes to let you know some actionable items & some concerns that you should be aware of as you prepare for your new home.
While a seller has a duty to disclose known defects, it is recommended that you don’t rely on this duty as your primary means of diligence. As such, we at the Christie Cannon Team recommend that you immediately have a conversation with your insurance company and look to have the roof on the home you are purchasing inspected by a reputable roofer, as a minimum level of due diligence.
The goal is to ensure that the roof you are purchasing is functioning properly & is insurable by your insurance carrier. In most cases, your insurance carrier will not be inspecting the roof until well after your purchase! That would not be the time to find deficiencies!
It is also possible, should you be financing the property, that your lender may require a “reassessment” from the appraiser. While this may be a necessary step for the mortgage process, an appraiser is not likely qualified to ensure the roof is properly insurable & functioning. 
While both steps have the potential to delay your closing; the steps are critical to ensuring that you are properly prepared for your purchase. Issues of insurability & weather claims are much more easily resolved & handled prior to closing. We always recommend that buyer not close until you are confident in your purchase.
Should you have questions or need assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us here at the Christie Cannon Team.

Hail Storms & High Winds while Selling - Oh No!

by Christie Cannon

As a Seller here in North TX, the hail last night can certainly create some large concerns. In this video, I discuss some key things to keep in mind!


Christie Cannon | REALTOR
Keller Williams Frisco | The Christie Cannon Team
http://www.christiecannon.com/
469-951-9588
972-215-7747

4783 Preston Road #300, Frisco, TX 75034

The award winning Real Estate Agents of The Christie Cannon Team with Keller Williams Frisco are here to serve your real estate needs.

I hope that this morning finds you safe & sound after the crazy storms that hit North Texas yesterday evening! We have had some rough weather, high winds, & for many of us saw large hail in the last 24 hours.
One of the most common questions I get asked, is how does this affect my disclosure as a seller or even my closing process. I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss our recommendations at The Christie Cannon Team. 
In Texas, sellers have a duty to disclose known defects of a property. Even in the instances where a seller has already provided a written seller’s disclosure to a buyer, it is required that a seller disclose any new information that makes an earlier presentation misleading or untrue. In simple terms, a seller should present any new information to the buyer, and we recommend doing so in writing. Updating your Seller’s Disclosure or providing a written report is a great way to do so.
For a seller under contract, there are several key things to understand after a large weather event.
It is very likely that a buyer’s lender will require the roof/home be “reassessed” by the appraiser to assess the extent of any potential damage. Please be aware, this is may be a requirement for the buyer to get their financing.
Buyers typically will, and should, conduct a final walk-thru to ensure the home is in the condition they contracted & find acceptable. It is very likely, that a buyer after such a weather event, will want to be certain the roof is functioning properly and insurable. As such they will likely seek a roofer to examine the roof & should the roof not be in the original contracted state &/or fail to meet the lender’s underwriter’s criteria for an insurable roof; the buyer will likely seek you repair or file an insurance claim. 
As a seller, this affords you a few options. You can disclose any damage which occurred and wait for a buyer to act – through request or reports from their own roofer or you can take more proactive approach, & have your own insurance adjuster &/or a reputable roofer inspect your property. Taking this approach, you can typically feel confident in the efficacy of the findings & be better prepared for any action required of the results. But do be aware, any findings – especially those that are deficient – must be disclosed to the buyer.
These actions do have the potential to delay closing; however, the inconvenience of a closing delay is much less that have a later issue arise due to undisclosed damage or potential insurability issues after closing. 
Should you have any specific questions about your sale, disclosure, or the next steps – please call or email & we are happy to assist.

Real Estate Market Update!

by Christie Cannon

Looking at buying or selling?  Please let the award winning Christie Cannnon Team of Keller Williams Frisco share with your the experience & service that made them #1 with Keller Williams Realty in the North TX - New Mexico Region.

Please feel free to call with any questions!

Thank you,

Please call or email with any questions!

Christie Cannon
The Christie Cannon Team
Keller Williams Frisco TX
469-951-9588 - Direct
http://www.christiecannon.com/

4783 Preston Road #300, Frisco, TX 75034

#1 Keller Williams Agent in the North TX - New Mexico Region in 2016
Voted as one of the BEST Realtors in D Magazine for 2010 – 2016
Voted as a Five Star Professional 2012 -2017 in Texas Monthly Magazine
Named among Best Real Estate Agents in American by Real Trends Magazine
Named as one of the Top 250 Real Estate Teams in America as seen in The Wall Street Journal
Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist & Member KW Luxury Homes Division
Global Property Specialist
#1 Keller Williams Frisco Agent 2011-2016
#1 Keller Williams Luxury Agent in North TX

The Best Time of Year to Purchase?

by Christie Cannon

When is the Best Time to Buy a Home?

Finance news website, The Nerd Wallet, recently published an article extolling the virtues of purchasing your home in January!  So how, how does January really stack up as the best month to buy a home in Dallas?  

Based on the latest REALTOR.com reporting, the Dallas, TX market while down 2 spots, remains number 4 in the nation’s Hottest Real Estate Markets. 

Rank
(January)

20 Hottest Markets

Rank
(December)

Rank Change

1

San Francisco, CA

1

0

2

San Jose, CA

4

2

3

Vallejo, CA

3

0

4

Dallas, TX

2

-2

5

San Diego, CA

5

0

6

Sacramento, CA

9

3

7

Yuba City, CA

11

4

8

Denver, CO

6

-2

9

Stockton, CA

7

-2

10

Fesno, CA

13

3

11

Oxnard, CA

15

4

12

Columbus, OH

8

-4

13

Colorado Springs, CO

14

1

14

Nashville, TN

18

4

15

Detroit, MI

10

-5

16

Modesto, CA

20

4

17

Los Angeles, CA

17

0

18

Tampa, FL

23

5

19

Santa Rosa, CA

12

-7

20

Fort Wayne, IN

16

-4

Based on REALTOR.com’s 2014 & 2015 combined data, buyer’s typically pay a premium in summer & enjoy a dip in prices in the winter.  Their data estimates up to a 2% historical premium.  In a recent article in the Dallas Business Journal, Ted Wilson of Residential Strategies, offered that the data suggests that while the “Best Time” may not be restricted to one month, a great deal of data does suggest the early spring is a great time to be looking.  So what are some of the reasons that support buyers star their hunting season sooner rather than later?

  • Competition may be lower – According to NerdWallet, over the last 2-years, while the inventory may be down 21%, buyer traffic is down over 40%
  • Prices are expected to rise, especially in new homes
  • Mortgage rates are expected to rise – as interest rates rise, buying power decreases
So while "the best time to buyer" may not strictly be in January, certainly early spring has many factors that may support an early start to your home buying process!

For more information on Dallas Business Journal’s take on this subject, please click HERE.

CHRISTIE CANNON  REALTOR

The Christie Cannon Team

Keller Williams Frisco

469-951-9588: Mobile

 

Voted as one of the BEST Realtors in D Magazine for 2010-2016

Voted as a Five Star Professional 2012-2016 Texas Monthly Magazine

Name among America's Best Real Estate Agents by Real Trends Magazine

Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

#1 Keller Williams Agent 2011-2016

Top 100 Agents in the Nation / KW

 

4783 Preston Rd #300, Frisco, TX 75034

 

 

How to File Your Homestead Exemption - It is FREE

by Christie Cannon

If you purchased a home this past year, now is the time to file your homestead exemption (if applicable).   Despite any mail you may receive from a service offering to do this for a fee, paying such a fee is not required.

So what does a Homestead exemption do? 

A homestead exemption removes part of your home’s value from taxation.  The Homestead Exemption also “caps” the taxable market value growth for your home!  It may also afford you certain legal protections from creditors & circumstances arising from the death of a spouse.

 

How does a homestead exemption work?

For most home owners, they seek an exemption for the possibility of lowering their taxable value.  Simply as an example, if a home were assessed by the county at $200,000, and the home owner received a $20,000 exemption – they would be taxed on $180,000 for their homestead.

 

Do all homes qualify for an exemption?

No, typically only your primary residence will qualify. The homeowner must be an individual (not a corporation or business entity) and have owned/occupied the home prior to January 1st of the tax year.  For an Over-65 or Disabled exemption,  the Jan 1st requirement is waived.

 

What homestead exemptions exist?

Any taxing unit, including a city, county, school, or special district, may offer an exemption of up to 20 percent of a home's value (but not less than $5,000). Additional Homestead Exemptions exist for “65 or older” &/or “Dis-abled”, Over-55 Surviving Spouse of a Person Who Received an over 65 Exemption, 100% Disabled Veteran, & Service Connected Disabled Veteran & Surviving Spouses.

 

What if my home has more than 1 owner?

You may still qualify if you are not the sole owner. For instance, if you own 50% of the property, & otherwise qualify, you may received 50% of the tax benefit.

 

When is the filing deadline?

BETWEEN JANUARY 1 & APRIL 30…..   and again, it is FREE!

 

OH NO!  I missed by deadline last year, did I miss my chance?

You may file up to one year from the date the taxes became delinquent!

 

What is the Homestead Cap?

Your homestead is protected from future appraisal tax-value increases in excess of 10% per year from the date of the last appraisal PLUS the value of any NEW improvements (like an addition, pool, etc).

 

How do I file?

Filing is done at your local county &/or county assessor’s office. 

Collin County click HERE

Denton County click HERE

Dallas County click HERE

 

Not sure you filed last year?

You can check in your local county’s tax rolls or simply give the county a call & they will be happy to confirm.

 

Want to know more?

Collin County & Denton County each have excellent FAQ’s on their websites!

 

Don’t see your county, check here!

https://www.comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/county-directory/

 

Have additional questions, please let us know!

 

Christie Cannon  REALTOR

The Christie Cannon Team

Keller Williams Frisco TX

469.951.9588: Mobile

972.215.7747: Office


Voted as one of the BEST Realtors in D Magazine for 2010-2016

Voted as a Five Star Professional 2012-2016 Texas Monthly Magazine

Named among America's Best Real Estate Agents by Real Trends Magazine

Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

Global Property Specialist

#1 Keller Williams Agent 2011-2016

Top 50 Agents in the Nation / KW

 

4783 Preston Rd #300 Frisco TX 75034

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Photo of Christie Cannon Real Estate
Christie Cannon
Keller Williams Realty
4783 Preston Road #300
Frisco TX 75034
972-215-7747
Fax: 214-853-4774
Keller Williams Frisco - The Christie Cannon Team - http://www.christiecannon.com

 

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