Saturday, January 15, 2022

Welcome to the DFWmark Blog!


Welcome to the DFWmark Blog! This is a collection of content by Mark M. Hancock, a REALTOR with CENTURY 21 Fine Homes & Estates - Judge Fite based in Frisco, Texas (in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex).

To browse the most useful content or when you have a specific question, please visit the blog index (also linked at the top of the sidebar and as "I've Got Your Six!" in most posts). It organizes information by categories.

If you want to search for a new or preowned home anywhere in the United States, please visit my website: DFWmark.com. Unlike some apps, my site is tied directly to the multiple listing service (MLS). You have no-cost access to the most accurate, safe and up-to-date information available.

For your real estate needs, you can call, text or email DFWmark.

I've Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
markhancock@judgefite.com
DFWmark.com

Texas Homestead Exemptions 2022

Homestead Exemptions remove part of your home’s value from taxation, protect against some creditors and more. In short, they lower your tax payment. Here’s what you need to know to claim your exemption:

• There is no fee to file through your county’s tax appraisal office. Don’t pay a company to do this for you.
• The home must be your principal residence.
• You must have a valid copy of a Texas driver’s license or identification card that matches the homestead address.
• Homestead exemption applications are due by April 30.
• Application for homestead exemption is available at the county appraisal district (CAD).
• Most counties accept online applications.
• You can now file for the exemption immediately after purchasing the home and obtaining Texas identification with that address to get a prorated exemption.
• Homestead owner must be an individual (not a corporation or business entity).
• If the individual lives in a dwelling, a homestead can be a separate structure, condominium or mobile home located on owned or leased land.
• You only need to file once unless you move or get a notice from the chief appraiser.

Additional information from Designated Title
Starting January 2022, Texas homeowners who qualify for a homestead exemption will become immediately eligible to receive a property tax reduction when they purchase their property. Those buyers will receive the exemption allocated proportionally from the time they purchase the property. For example, if the buyer purchases the property in February, they will receive the homestead exemption on that year’s tax bill for February through the end of the year.

Texas homestead exemptions from counties, schools, cities, and special districts reduce the property taxes for the homeowner. The amounts vary from county to county. All Texas homesteads receive a $25,000 exemption on their home's value from school property taxes. Other local entities, like cities and counties, offer a separate residence homestead exemption. A homestead exemption can typically save a homeowner 10% to 20% on their property taxes.

Take Advantage of Homestead Exemptions from the Texas Comptroller

One of the easiest ways a homeowner can lower his or her property tax bill is to file a homestead exemption. A homestead is generally the house and land used as the owner’s principal residence on Jan. 1 of the tax year.

Homestead exemptions reduce the appraised value of your home and, as a result, lower your property taxes. To apply for an exemption on your residence homestead, contact the (NAME) Appraisal District.

Available homestead exemptions include:
• School taxes: All homeowners may receive a $40,000 homestead exemption for school taxes.

• County taxes: If a county collects a special tax for farm-to-market roads or flood control, a homeowner may receive a $3,000 homestead exemption for this tax.

• Age and disability exemptions: Individuals 65 or older or disabled as defined by law may qualify for a $10,000 homestead exemption for school taxes, in addition to the $40,000 exemption available to all homeowners. Also, any taxing unit may offer a local optional exemption of at least $3,000 for taxpayers age 65 or older and/or disabled. Older or disabled homeowners do not need to own their homes on Jan. 1 to qualify for the $10,000 homestead exemption. They qualify as soon as they turn age 65 or become disabled.

• Taxing units may offer a local option exemption based on a percentage of a home's appraised value. Any taxing unit can exempt up to 20 percent of the value of each qualified homestead. No matter what percentage of value the taxing unit adopts, the dollar value of the exemption must be at least $5,000.

• Partial exemption for disabled veterans: Texas law provides partial exemptions for any property owned by disabled veterans, surviving spouses and surviving children of deceased disabled veterans. This includes homesteads donated to disabled veterans by charitable organizations at no cost or not more than 50 percent of the good faith estimate of the homestead’s market value to the disabled veterans and their surviving spouses. The percentage of service-connected disability determines the exemption amount.

• 100 Percent Residence Homestead Exemption for Disabled Veterans: A disabled veteran awarded 100 percent disability compensation due to a service-connected disability and a rating of 100 percent disabled or of individual unemployability from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs is entitled to an exemption from taxation of the total appraised value of the veteran's residence homestead. Surviving spouses of veterans who qualified for this exemption or who would have qualified for this exemption if it had been in effect at the time of the veteran’s death are also eligible with certain restrictions. The residence homestead application must be filed if this exemption is claimed.

• Surviving Spouses of Members of the U.S. Armed Services Killed in the Line of Duty: The surviving spouse of a member of the U.S. armed services who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty is allowed a 100 percent property tax exemption on his or her residence homestead if the surviving spouse has not remarried since the death of the armed services member.

• Surviving Spouses of First Responders Killed in the Line of Duty: The eligible surviving spouse of a first responder killed in the line of duty is allowed a 100 percent property tax exemption on his or her residence homestead if the surviving spouse has not remarried since the death of the first responder.

For more details on homestead exemptions, contact the Central Appraisal District (CAD) at the links below. The homestead exemption application is available online at:
comptroller.texas.gov/forms/50-114.pdf

 
You may file an exemption with your appraisal district for the homestead exemption up to two years after the taxes on the homestead are due. Once you receive the exemption, you do not need to reapply unless the chief appraiser sends you a new application. In that case, you must file the new application. If you should move or your qualification ends, you must inform the appraisal district in writing before the next May 1st. A list of appraisal district addresses and phone numbers is available online.

These are the Comptroller links to DFW counties:

Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Rockwall and Tarrant

* Most counties allow the exemption to be filed via email.

I've Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
markhancock@judgefite.com
DFWmark.com

Market Watch - 14 Jan. 2022


New Listings, Properties Under Contract and Pending have increased while Sold properties decreased as a lagging indicator from the holidays. A rebound of Sold properties is expected.

While there has been an increase in the number of new listings this year, nothing indicates that there will be a sharp increase resulting from pandemic forbearance foreclosures.


New Lease Listings and Pending have increased while Leased Properties decreased as expected after the initial new year surge. 

While inventory increased in the lease market, landlords are still rewarded with prices increases, few days on market and some offers exceeding the asking price.

I've Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
markhancock@judgefite.com
DFWmark.com


#DFWmark #REALTOR #MarketWatch #ResidentialMarket #LeaseMarket #RealEstate #Rebound #BuyNow #SellNow #HousePrices

Friday, January 7, 2022

Market Watch - 7 Jan 2022


New Listings and Properties Under Contract have increased while Pending and Sold properties decreased largely due to the holidays.

All Lease indicators increased with the beginning of the month and year.

I've Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
markhancock@judgefite.com
DFWmark.com


#DFWmark #REALTOR #MarketWatch #ResidentialMarket #LeaseMarket #RealEstate #Sold #NewListings #Pending #Leased

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Volume of Price Decreases

This post is part of the continuing Market Watch review. Please visit the first Market Review post to access other information.

Let’s start our market analysis with the Price Decrease trend. It’s the easiest chart to understand. It’s an indicator of certainty. Sellers must be certain that the asking price of their house will result in a sale.

If a seller is certain the house will sell at the listed price, there’s no need to reduce the price. If there is uncertainty about the price or buyer’s ability to purchase the house at the listed price, a remedy is a price “correction” (reduction). Price always wins.

The highest price certainty appears to be in the winter when there are traditionally the fewest houses for sale. Supply is low, so demand is high. The “buying season” typically starts at spring break and kicks into high gear after school lets out for the year. Buyers accelerate until just before school starts and then hit the brakes. Since school starts in September, houses need to be under contract in August or July for peak volume prices.

When nothing else interferes, home prices tend to follow the same cyclical pattern. Listing prices increase as demand increases. As prices increase, certainty decreases. As availability decreases, certainty increases.

I’m getting ahead of myself, but the Price Decrease chart shows the balance between increased prices and uncertainty about those prices in this market. Most price decreases hit the market as the school enrollment window starts to close. As folks settle for the school year, 1) fewer houses are listed and 2) supply decreases while prices remain stable in this market. These two factors create certainty for sellers. There’s not much price flexibility when sellers are certain to sell the house.

I've Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
markhancock@judgefite.com
DFWmark.com

#DFWmark #REALTOR #RealEstate #MarketWatch #PriceCertainty #MarketCertainty#PriceDecreases #ResidentialMarket #HowWeGotHere #WhatsHappening

Market Review


Let’s look back at the North Texas (and northeast Louisiana) housing market. The distant past can’t predict the future of this market, but we’ve had more than a year of the pandemic. The last year is revealing. Rather than one giant post, I’ll make a few smaller posts and link them together on this post. This post is the basic starting point.

Please also see:
Volume of Price Decreases

I track several trends for my clients each week. I started tracking the residential market shortly after the pandemic started. I added Price Decreases immediately before “Snowvid 21.” I included the lease market last year when a wheel fell off, and the market got wobbly. I’ll add a monthly peek at the LUX (luxury) market this year. LUX homes are $750K or more.

We also face some unknowns. Namely, 1) will there be a “glut” of forbearance foreclosure homes in this area? 2) how much and how often will the interest rates rise this year? 3) how badly will the expected insurance increase on 1 Feb. 2022 affect house affordability (and debt to income ratio)?

A “market value” is the amount a seller is willing to accept AND a buyer is willing to pay. We don’t know this market value until it happens. This year has been unpredictable to all of us. The factors at play in market value are 1) location 2) condition 3) price.

For example, an overpriced house in poor condition but in the right location may still sell. A perfect house in the wrong location won’t sell until the price is right. In the end, price always wins.

At its core, the housing market is about supply and demand. Too few houses have been built since the subprime mortgage crisis in 2008. The housing collapse also reduced demand for trained construction workers and employment has remained stagnant while the age of those workers has increased and pushed some into retirement.

The pandemic put a strain on the supply of building materials. Primarily, mills and companies that produce building materials saw dramatic cost increases in labor, transportation and associated material prices. The pandemic also affected the health of many remaining construction workers.

Meanwhile, more office workers found ways to work from home. For some, crowded city life was not compatible with social distancing. Home became their sanctuary, their workplace and more. Often, they needed more space. Simultaneously, the government reduced the federal funds rate to near zero and bought billions of mortgage-backed securities to spur the economy. Mortgage rates hit historic lows in 2021.

The pandemic and historic low interest rates finally spurred an unprecedented demand. Consequently, housing supply will remain short for the foreseeable future as labor and materials remain low. Meanwhile demand may be tempered by availability and affordability.

I've Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
markhancock@judgefite.com
DFWmark.com

#DFWmark #REALTOR #RealEstate #MarketWatch #HowWeGotHere #WhatsHappening #ResidentialMarket #LeaseMarket #LuxMarket #PriceDecreases

Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year 2022!


Happy New Year! May y’all have love, health, prosperity, plenty to eat and a warm home.
🤠

I've Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
markhancock@judgefite.com
DFWmark.com

#DFWmark #REALTOR #HappyNewYear #NewYear #Love #Health #Prosperity #PlentyToEat #WarmHome #NYE2021

Market Watch - 31 Dec. 2021


All market indicators have decreased for a second straight week. This is seasonal and expected. Earlier in the week was the lowest number of New Listings since the “Snowvid” event last February. It recovered slightly to be barely above this same week last year, which is the second lowest point.

With the holidays and new year behind us, the market is set for a major bounce back. An unknown variable is the number of forbearance houses that will become foreclosures and enter the market this month. They aren’t expected immediately because they probably need major repairs after months of likely deferred maintenance. Since materials and repair labor are both in short supply, it will take a while to see the more damaged houses hit the market.


Even so, don’t expect a discount on foreclosure houses since the market is still blazing hot. The major difference will be additional premiums paid and battles for turnkey-quality houses in desirable locations.

The lease market was inverted this week, but the difference was minor and the volume was so low that it isn't a significant concern like it was for much of the year.

I've Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
markhancock@judgefite.com
DFWmark.com


#DFWmark #REALTOR #MarketWatch #ResidentialMarket #LeaseMarket #RealEstate #Sold #NewListings #Pending #Leased

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Testimonial - McKinney


Thank you for your trust! I was honored to help you, and extremely thankful for all your immediate referrals. 

Congratulations on your beautiful home! 

“Mark Hancock was very professional & always on top of things. He was available to answer my questions quickly and always patient and calm. He shared all the information that helped me to make my decision. My family & I were more than pleased. It couldn’t be better than it was.”

I've Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
markhancock@judgefite.com
DFWmark.com

#DFWmark #REALTOR #testimonial #review #RealSatisfied #buy #McKinney #ProsperISD #CollinCounty #NewHomeowner

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Get a New Year Button


Look for me around town to ring in the New Year with a button or magnet. I have plenty and can make more.

I’ve Got Your Six!

Mark M Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
DFWmark.com


#DFWmark #REALTOR #NewYear #NewYearButton #2022Magnet #2022Button #AnnnualKickoff #Frisco #CollinCounty #DentonCounty

Friday, December 24, 2021

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas! We should have a record high temperature today (83 °F) rather than this snowy ornament scene. However, I hope you find time to be with your families and enjoy the holidays.

Merry Christmas!

Mark M Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
DFWmark.com


#DFWmark #REALTOR #Frisco #CollinCounty #MerryChristmas #Christmas #HolidayOrnament #wine #HappyHolidays #SeasonsGreetings 

Market Watch - 24 Dec. 2021


With Christmas approaching, all market activity decreased. This is an annual occurance.

I've Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
markhancock@judgefite.com
DFWmark.com

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Happy Holidays House


We will have our holiday lights and inflatables lit through Christmas night. Most of our street has similarly festive houses.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

Mark M Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
DFWmark.com


#DFWmark #REALTOR #Frisco #CollinCounty #HolidayLights #ChristmasLights #HappyHolidays #SeasonsGreetings #MerryChristmas #Christmas

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Our Gift to You: Mom's Cookbook


Before Mom passed in 1994, she made a cookbook of her favorite recipes from her travels and friends around the world. It still has some “vintage” recipes, but the layout and instructions have been updated. It’s a gift from our family to you. You’re welcome to share it with friends. It’s located on my Google Drive, but you can view or download from this link.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

What’s in the book?
The book is designed to be viewed on computers, as a PDF on a tablet computer in the kitchen or printed out. It can be bound and added to your kitchen collection. It has a horizontal layout to ensure easy viewing.

The recipe index is on Page 3. The recipes are listed alphabetically by food types. The broad categories are Beverages, Soups, Salads, Vegetables, Dips & Sauces, Casseroles, Cookies, Candies & Desserts, Breads & Pastries, Pies and Cakes. The dishes range in complexity from Caramel Sauce, which is literally peeling the label off a can and cooking the sealed can in a pot of water, to the PTA Layer Cake - a challenge for anyone.


About Mom
Mom had many interests and facets. Marjorie was born during the Great Depression. She loved the colors red and mauve. She joked that it was “mauv-elous.” She had sophisticated tastes and could tell unbelievable - yet true - funny stories from around the globe.

She grew up in the inner city of Chicago. Her mother died when Mom was very young. She was raised by her father. Although she had a lifelong love of food, she never learned to cook during her youth.

She got a degree in Special Education from Loyola University Chicago. She was also an artist like her mother. She could crochet, draw, paint, arrange flowers, sew, make elaborate paper dolls, and much more. She married my father, William “Tex” Hancock, who was a boot camp trainer at Great Lakes for the U.S. Navy. Together, they traveled the world and had four children who knew how to eat!

Dad initially taught Mom how to cook basic foods. Much of this book features the basic food that fed our large family and any friends who happened to be around the house. Much of it can be made quickly and in high volumes with over-the-counter items like canned chili or frozen pie crusts to fill gaps and save time.

Cultural influences from their friends and worldwide travels are scattered throughout the book. Dad eventually retired from the Navy and they settled down in Richardson, Texas. Many festive parties with happy friends occurred in our house and around the pool.

Later, the artistic side of cuisine appealed to Mom. She loved parties and enjoyed making special moments with snacks, finger foods and lots of wine. Between her travels and curiosity, she experimented with making more difficult dishes. However, she often said, “Every meal is five minutes away from dog food.”

Her last few years were spent living with my devoted sister, her husband and their daughter. She originally wrote this cookbook for family, friends and clients. The whole family contributed in one way or another to produce the first version of this book in 1992. This book is an edited and updated version.

Mom died in 1994. The book is a toast to Mom.

I've Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
markhancock@judgefite.com
DFWmark.com

Friday, December 17, 2021

Market Watch - 17 Dec. 2021

 



New Listings decreased while Properties Under Contract, Pending and Sold all increased. The lease market had gains in Pending and Leased Properties while there were fewer New Listings. However, the New Lease Listings outpaced the Properties Leased to keep the market on track.

I've Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
markhancock@judgefite.com

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Mom's Cookbook


Before Mom passed in 1994, she made a cookbook of her favorite recipes from her travels and friends around the world. 

It still has some “vintage” recipes, but the layout and instructions have been updated. It’s a gift from our family to you. You’re welcome to share it with friends. Please view or download from my Google Drive at this link.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

Mark M Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
DFWmark.com

#DFWmark #REALTOR #MomsCookbook #cookbook #HappyHolidays #SeasonsGreetings #HomeCooking #recipes #Global #FromOurFamilyToYours

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Market Watch - 10 Dec. 2021


Since last week, New Listings and Properties Under Contract have increased while Pending and Sold properties have decreased. The market remains significantly inverted. There are more Sold properties than each of the other categories.

Under Contract and Sold should have the fewest properties of all categories because they are only in these categories a short time (if at all) and buyers can often terminate.


The Lease market had a surprise this week, both New Listings and Properties Pending increased while Leased Properties decreased. It’s the first time Leased properties diverged from New Listings for many months.

I’ve Got Your Six!

Mark M Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
DFWmark.com

#DFWmark #REALTOR #MarketWatch #InvertedMarket #SellNow #BuyNow #NewLeases #LeaseChoices #LeasesAvailable #RentPrices

Friday, December 10, 2021

Get Your Santa Button


If you see me around town, ask for a Santa button or magnet. It's my gift to you. I have plenty and can make more. You can wear the button for the season and hang it on your tree with an ornament hook later.

I’ve Got Your Six!

Mark M Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
DFWmark.com

#DFWmark #REALTOR #Santa #SantaButton #SantaMagnet #cartoon #HappyHolidays #Frisco #CollinCounty #DentonCounty

Thursday, December 9, 2021

FreddieMac Interest Rates Snapshot

Please look at the blue line for 30-year Fixed Rate Mortgages from FreddieMac. It started the year low and jumped after a vaccine was released and the “Buying Season” started. It is currently flat but noticeably higher than the start of last year. If you’re ready to buy or sell, take advantage of this information. Call, text or email me.

I’ve Got Your Six!

Mark M Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
DFWmark.com

#DFWmark #REALTOR #FreddyMac #mortgage #MortgageRates #FlatRates #SellNow #BuyNow #forbearance #foreclosure

Friday, December 3, 2021

Market Watch - 3 Dec. 2021


Since last week, New Listings, Pending and Sold have increased while Properties Under Contract have decreased. The market remains inverted. There are more Sold properties than Pending or New Listings.

The high number of Sold properties in proportion to Pending is noteworthy. It takes about two weeks to close a cash transaction. It takes about 30 to 45 days to close financed transactions. Consequently, there should be a significantly larger number of houses Pending than any other category.

New Listings increased, but the difference was almost doubled by homes Sold this week. Since more houses Sold than are Pending, there's a potential for a noticeable drop in Sold properties during December. This decrease is seasonal, but it would mean a possible pause in this unusual market. It's worth watching – especially since forbearance homes are expected to arrive in January.

Forbearance homes will probably need work due to deferred maintenance to become market ready. While there’s labor and material shortages, expect delays before these homes get to the market.


In the Lease market, both New Listings and Properties Leased increased while Pending Propertied decreased. All these movements indicate a “normal” market on the first of the month since most leases start around the beginning of each month. However, the number of properties Leased neared the number of New Listings. The market could invert again later this month.

I’ve Got Your Six!

Mark M Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212
DFWmark.com

#DFWmark #REALTOR #MarketWatch #SellNow #BuyNow #forbearance #foreclosure #VolatileRates #InvertedMarket #RentPrices

DFWmark Index

(Photo Mark M. Hancock / DFWmark.com ) This is the index to the DFWmark blog. It's the fastest way to locate the real estate content you...