Will Social Media Be the Death of Me?

April 13, 2011

I’m sitting in Agent Reboot in Dallas. Awesome stuff….too awesome. I am the type of person that will want to do it all. So I come to these great events motivated and excited, but usually leave overwhelmed and blurry eyed. Not this time, I’m going to take only three things and focus on getting them down perfectly! Second, I will hire a pro social media guru! My question is when is enough enough……we have all these gadgets and mobile devices that tend to overwhelm our daily schedule.

Developer Helps Veterans to get a New Start

September 20, 2010

Bluegreen Communities has partnered with NAPE Expo and Classic Custom Homes to provide five lots and homes at The Bridges at Preston Crossings through Operation Finally Home. The first two families to receive these homes are Sgt. 1st Class Alan Hornaday and his wife, Sheila, and Sgt. Levi Wilson Jr. and his wife, Katie. Both families will be attending the ground breaking cerebration, which will include food, horseback rides, kayaking and fishing. The celebration will be held at The Bridges Ranch House located at 17970 FM 121 in Gunter, Texas. The additional recipients of the remaining three homes will be announced in the spring.

The Bridges is a master planned community located only 50 min north of Dallas and offers a 18-hole golf course, equestrian center, 24 acre lake, and walking trails. For more information about the program or community please visit http://www.bridgestexas.com.

Let’s Go Visit Savannah…..Texas

June 7, 2010

If you have a TV, and it happens to be on during the weekend; the chance, that you have watched Hot On Homes, is about as high as some of the Folks that attended the Jimmy Buffet Concert that came through Frisco, Tx a few days ago. OK, Let’s go one further, If you have ever watched Hot On Homes then I know that you have seen the Savannah community. In the last 12 episodes of Hot on Homes, Savannah and its homes have featured 46 times, It’s crazy! But amidst the craziness of work, traffic, and stress; Savannah is Magic!
It was a Bumpy Segue, but work with me. So we headed east on 380, this would have been about 6 years ago when we were first looking for a home, and I’m looking at a lot of corn fields, while keeping an eye out for the “Welcome to Oklahoma” sign or anything else that would resemble civilization. And then we see the Palm trees on the horizon, It was almost like coming up to an oasis. These huge trees growing the closer we get to this place.
The first thing you see, once you arrive at the main entrance, after the palm trees, is the Ginormous Clubhouse.
It is this spectacular 20,000 Sq.Ft. Building that has this cabana-plantation kind of vibe going on. They even had this Wilford Brimley type gentleman who stood at the front door to open it for you and welcome you to Savannah. What’s that you say? Who is Wilford Brimley? He is the old dude from the Quacker Oats Commercial and from Liberty Mutual that did all those Diabetes commercials. You got the picture in your head now? Excellent!! Moving on then. Inside of the clubhouse you will find a great open area for hosting all types of events and small parties that would have your guests peering out of the west wall which is comprised completely of glass doors. Down the hall you will find a unbelievable kitchen for giving cooking classes, and whatnot, and a little farther you hit the sauna, jacuzzi, and first floor of the gym. Upstairs on the second floor is where they keep all the treadmills and elliptical machine to get your cardio on!! The walk up the stairs to view the machines is enough for me. The Third Floor is a wonderful space where dance classes are given to young and old. Just opposite of the club house were these 9 really great looking model homes, that showcased the best of what the three builders had to offer.

Now, six years ago we didn’t have kids, life was grand! There was no automatic alarm clock that would wake you up at 5:30am just because they were thirsty, or the inadvertent memorization of “The Little Mermaid” due to the 500+ viewings. We wanted fun and adventure and This place had it going on. Great gym, Covered Basketball court, Tennis Courts, Greenbelts and walking trails, and that was just the features from the community. When it came to activities, we could enjoy Vegas Night, Superbowl Watching Parties, Outdoor festivals, and Cook-outs. We were sold! We bought our home and became one of the first 25 families in Savannah, Tx.
OK, Let’s flash forward to present day, two kids, 15 more pounds, and a shift in the market later, and Savannah has grown just as much as we have. The drive to get groceries doesn’t feel like the monthly journey it once was. Big Thanks to the Walmart that is now a wonderful 4 miles away. In fact, everything is a lot closer than it used to be, yea progress!!!
When it comes to activities, there is just as much to do now as there was then, but we experience Savannah in a whole new way because of our kids. The water park is absolutely amazing! With it’s beach entrance and plenty of space for the little ones to pretend Dad is a ride able Shamoo, and those times when the kids are visiting Nana and Grandpa. We can still enjoy Savannah’s Adult only swimming area for 18 and older. The Room that is for Dad to watch the Superbowl on three projection screens pulls double duty as the meeting place for story time for my wife and daughter. The streets are clean and safe, and while I may not know my neighbor, i know that my neighborhood is friendly and filled with great people.

If you have more questions, please,PLEASE, find out from the people that deal with it daily, The Kinsey Group at 469-248-7653. You are also more than welcome to email your questions to TheRook@thekinseygroup.net.

For more information about how The Kinsey Group can help you or someone you know buy or sell a home, feel free to Search for and Follow “The Kinsey Group” Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or WordPress.

Remember What You should Never Forget.

May 31, 2010

To my Brothers and Sisters stationed here, stationed there,
in our chosen colors, across land, sea, and air.
I wanted to give thanks, give praise, and honor to you,
our Defenders of Freedom, the Strong, Brave, and few.
I remember you this day with a somewhat stinging Pride,
I remember those who continue the fight, and I mourn for those who died.

Always wanting to hear your stories, something more about your lives,
But I fear true courage and sacrifice seem dull amidst “Idols”, “Losers”, and “Housewives”.
Well, I shall not forget you, brothers, I keep you close to my heart
With echoes of cadence to motivate me, and “Taps” that tears me apart.
As I type this in my office, my wife and children lay fast asleep
Safe and Sound all thanks to you and that post you keep.
I sit in silence and shed my tears in awe of your dedication
Wishing you could join us in the family celebration.
I miss you, I salute you, I thank you
Spc. Esparza US ARMY 91’-95’

Land For Sale In Texas

April 18, 2010

We have heard about it, seen the signs and all the ads for this at one time or another, and even googled it, “Land For Sale in Texas“. What drives people to search for land? Is there a different type of mindset when comparing someone who wants to buy a home compared to someone who wants to build a home on a piece of land?

I have the luxury of having my office situated on an epic piece of land with a 24 acre lake in the backyard that is home to Canadian Geese, Deer, Wild Turkeys, Wild Pigs, Egrets, and various ducks and small furry creatures. Out the front window is a view of our Equestrian Center where boarded horses play under the Huge Texas Sky, it’s a very “Legends of the Fall” kind of scenery that we have here at The Bridges at Preston Crossing in Gunter, Tx. But there is soo much more! I can jump in my car, drive two minutes down the road, (I say drive because this place is huge, 1,600 acres of rolling hills, trees, Utter Greatness, and if I walked it would take forever…because I would die before I got there) and I hit our 18 Hole Fred Couples Signature Golf Course and Superb Clubhouse with a menu to die for. This is my job! I get to come to this place 40 hours a week!!
I believe the article I read on CNN.com said it best:

” Whether you’re looking to strike it rich or simply put space between yourself and your neighbors, the idea of owning land stirs the imagination. Walking the edges of a two-acre country lot may be today’s equivalent of heading west in a wagon 150 years ago.”

When it comes to buying the home-sites that we have here, I have the pleasure in talking to a great number of people, and because of this have noticed trends in the people who I have spoken with.

The One Thing

Jack’s Character in the movie “City Slickers” was right on the money when he said that the secret to life was just one thing. That’s what we have here at The Bridges. Whatever your one thing is, it can be found here. Want to get away from it all, and still have access to civilization? It’s here. Want to be able to play 18 Holes before relaxing on the patio? It’s here. Want to Ride your horse on wooded trails? It’s here. Want a home on a cul-de-sac with exemplary rated schools for the kids? That’s here too. The people that decide to come out here, after searching “Land for Sale in Texas” by whatever means, find that thing that they have looked for. But the knowing what that thing is, is the common trend I see between them all. Once you have discovered your one thing, you will discover that The Bridges is the place for you and your family.

Inner Joy

I have yet to meet a rude person who wanted to buy a home site. The landscape here is pure serenity, and it has this wonderful effect on everyone who steps foot here. We are located about 20 miles north of Frisco, Tx on 289/Preston Rd. When people get here they have been in a car for some time depending on where they are traveling from, and despite this fact, they are completely rejuvenated When they step out of the car, take a deep breath, and survey the land. That seems to be a requirement that is written somewhere, although I have yet to find the sign. Step Out of The Car, Take a Deep Breath, and Take a Look Around. They all do it, and when they do, after the stretch, comes the smile. It’s a great thing to watch. The Home-sites here range from $50,000 – $160,000 and beyond depending on what they are looking for, and we always find the perfect piece of land to match their needs. This isn’t a quick process, but it is a fun process! These clients get great joy in imagining their home on a hill, in the woods, with a tree line on the back, with a great view of the 9th hole, you name it.
Worn Shoes

I’m not saying that these customers I see are in dire need to hit up a shoe store, but it’s a phrase I like to use to describe that individual that is using the road “less traveled by”. My customers are not coming here to buy land so that they can camp out under the stars every night, as cool as that might be, they are still going to build a home and live in it. What these “Worn Shoes” have in common is the desire to have a home-built on their terms, using a licensed builder, with the features they want and need to make the house a home. This goes way beyond the “Pick from “X” number of models, or “X” number of floor-plans, but to choose every detail of your home. That is an amazing thing to see. I have walked through some of these homes and it is a wonderful tour. The homeowners talk as though they, themselves, put up every piece of drywall, laid every piece of travertine, and planted every shrub. To know your home on such a level can only be accomplished by those who have the ability to know what they want and go for it.
So, the next time you search ‘Land for sale in Texas”, save your self the endless clicking and zooming in on the countless pictures of nothing. Come out the The Bridges and Preston Crossing, and see for yourself what I have talked about. This is something you need to see and feel. No virtual tour will ever to this place justice. Come see The Bridges, I’ll be waiting.

Plain English: Credit and How It Fits into The Home Buying Process

April 12, 2010

Let’s talk about credit or “Credick” as a friend of mine likes to call it in the Bayou. It goes hand in hand when you decide to buy a house, but how? When The Kinsey Group meets a new client we like to get the “credit talk” done first. Why? It helps the buyers and sellers (Yes, Sellers need the talk as well, but more on that later). Let’s get some basic questions out-of-the-way first. According to About.com:

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a number that lenders use to estimate risk. Experience has shown them that borrowers with higher credit scores are less likely to default on a loan.

How are credit scores calculated?

Credit scores are generated by plugging the data from your credit report into software that analyzes it and cranks out a number. The three major credit reporting agencies don’t necessarily use the same scoring software, so don’t be surprised if you discover that the credit scores they generate for you are different.

Why are credit scores sometimes called FICO scores?

The software used to calculate a great number of credit scores was created by Fair Isaac Corporation–FICO.

Which parts of a credit history are most important?

Use these percentages as a guide:

35% – Your Payment History
30% – Amounts You Owe
15% – Length of Your Credit History
10% – Types of Credit Used
10% – New Credit

Educating our clients is always the most important to us. The Buying and Selling of a home is a Stressful time as it is, and when you add a dash of uncertainty, it can be really, really, really stressful. We all have credit, need credit, use credit, want better credit, and so on and so on. But do we understand it? Ah ha! And there it is. This is nothing new, but this is how we like to make sure that when searching for a home for sale our clients know what to expect. Let’s attack this in two parts:
What do you need to qualify for a Loan and how do I get the Best rates?

You need a loan, unless you just plan on laying down a few hundred Gs, for your home. So let’s get some expert advice on the subject, shall we.

“Fannie Mae recently increased their minimum credit score requirement from 580 to 620. So if mortgage lenders want to sell their loans into the secondary mortgage market (through Fannie Mae), they’ll expect buyers to have a score of 620 or higher. Of course, that’s just what is needed to get approved. You’ll need a much higher score to get the best rates, probably north of 760.”

(Source: HomeBuyingInstitute.com, January 2010)

“Cecala says that borrowers will need a FICO score of at least 730 to get the best mortgage rates.”

(Source: USNews.com, December 2010)

“To qualify for a loan, first time home buyers need a credit score of at least 660 unless they try for an FHA loan.”

(Source: ThinkGllink.com, January 2009)

“About two years ago, you could have had a score of about 620 or so to get a lender’s best rate on something. Now, lenders are really looking at a rate of 760 at the least, said Kelli Grant with SmartMoney.com.”

(Source: komonews.com, January 2009)

“The top notch credit score needed for the best rate in today’s world is 740, Wickert said. It’s possible for borrowers with weaker scores to get the good rates, but they pay a risk premium that can be financed into the new loan. For instance, Wickert said, someone with a credit score between 680 and 699 could get the same rate as the person with a 740 score by paying 1.3% of the loan balance up front.”

(Source: JSonline.com, December 2008)

“Borrowers need a credit score of at least 750 to get the best deals. Keeping credit-card balances below 35 percent of their credit line is very important, but 20 percent is the maximum allowed for a top score.”

(Source: RealtyTimes.com, November 2008)

“In the latest example, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance recently boosted the minimum credit score needed for someone to buy a house in a restricted market. In August, the minimum score was 680. As of October, the minimum score is 700.”

(Source: MoneyCentral.MSN.com, October 2008)

“To qualify for the best interest rates on a mortgage loan, you’ll need a credit score of at least 760; a score below 620 places you in subprime territory.”

(Source: Kiplinger.com, October 2008)

So getting the loan is half the puzzle, and the interest rate for that loan is the other half. And when it comes to interest rate, it’s more a matter of comfort than anything. It’s the monthly payment that is the focus, or at least, should be.

For our Buyers, Getting pre-qualified is crucial, before letting the excitement take root. Why? Well, since you asked I will tell you. You are able to jump out and be ahead of the buyers that go it alone, and look at a house they may not qualify for. Everything has changed, this has been emblazoned in the news and everywhere else we turn, and with that change, People who are looking to Sell their Home are not going to take you seriously or your offer unless it has been “blessed” by the bank/lender. Our clients get to go out before the weekend folks, and when they find that house, you know the one I’m talking about, right? The house of their dreams? They get to put in an offer right then and there. How is that for a piece of Fried Gold? What? The Fried Gold thing? We Fry everything else to make it better. why not gold?

For our Sellers, I told you we would get to you, they have the comfort in knowing that when we list their house, utilizing all of our Keller Williams, Social Media Goodness, they can freely look and also make offers on their next home. I wish there was more, but Sellers become buyers in the fraction of a second, seriously.

So, BAM, there you have it, a small view of how credit fits into the big picture of the home buying process. If you have more questions, please,PLEASE, find out from the people that deal with it daily, The Kinsey Group at 469-248-7653. You are also more than welcome to email your questions to TheRook@thekinseygroup.net.

For more information about how The Kinsey Group can help you or someone you know buy or sell a home, feel free to Search for and Follow “The Kinsey Group” Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or WordPress.

How Carpet Cleaning Can Help Sell Your Home

April 7, 2010

Let’s do a little word association, shall we? Ready? Ok! Cut Pile, Saxony, Frieze, (Anything yet?) Plush, Cut and Loop, Level Loop, Multi-level Loop, Squares, Area, Scatter, Runner, Berber. How did you do? Well, I’m sure you could have just looked at the title and seen what The Kinsey Group would be discussing today, Carpet! More importantly, clean carpet and how it can help sell your home. But how you ask? Whenever we are out and about helping our clients search for the home of their dreams, the first thing that is noticed, a lot of the times, is the cleanliness of the carpet. Darth Vader could be standing in the living room, and our Clients will say, “Are they going to rip out the carpet? Are they going to take the price down because of the carpet?” Something is said about the state of the carpet. So when we have clients that want to sell their home, one of things we really suggest, on top of the De-personalization, and possible home staging, is deep cleaning. You see, You want potential home buyers to notice the layout, the views, the kitchen, and spacious backyard. You don’t want them to write off your home within the first five feet. Is that possible? Yes! It normally goes something like this:

(Door Opens)
Agent: OK, so, next on our list is this home. We have got a nice entry that opens to…
Clients: (sniff) (sniff) Did they have dogs?
Agent: um..yes it looks like they have..
Clients: yea, can we just go ahead and head to the next one?

It happens that fast. What could have prevented this? Say it with me…a clean carpet.
But this seems more common sense than anything, so let’s get a bit more involved. Remember the word association that we started with. Those are all the different types of carpet that are available, and we didn’t even hit on natural or synthetic fibers. With all these different types, it seems crazy that some homeowners are content to head down to the local supermarket, rent a machine, pick up a bottle of cleaner, and think that is enough. This is the Big Game, it is time to pull out all the stops and let the pros handle it. They are going to come in, with the right tools for your type of carpet, and get the job done right.
When we are talking to our clients about selling their home, it’s important to keep things in perspective when it comes to money in money out. Spending money to have the carpet and/or the home professionally clean will only work in your favor during the showings of your home. Now, here is a treat for all of you out there wanting to hear from the people that actually do this kind of work. The Kinsey Group was lucky enough to have Jennifer Davis from Servpro stop in and talk to The Rook about Carpet Cleaning and how it can help sell your home.
How Servpro Can Help You Sell Your Home!
For more information about how The Kinsey Group can help you or someone you know buy or sell a home, feel free to Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or WordPress.