Thursday, January 23, 2020

Award-Winning Photos

photos, soundstripe, video by Mark M. Hancock / ©
photos by Mark M. Hancock / ©, The Beaumont Enterprise and/or The Dallas Morning News

This video features International, national, state and regional award-winning photos I created during my 25-year career as a professional photojournalist.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

McKinney Client Testimonial

I’m truly honored to have helped these amazing clients.

"We have tried other brokers but Mark stood out from the others. He worked hard to get us the property that we desired.
Mark walked us through the entire process. Made it much easier for us.
Mark always communicated with us immediately when we needed to know about a change or a property.
Mark made the process seamless"

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Free SLR Photography Lesson in Frisco

Photos by Mark M. Hancock / © The Beaumont Enterprise

MONDAY, Jan. 27, 2020
Starts at 7 p.m. (Q&A follows)
214-862-7212 (cell)

Take your photos to the next level. Get past capturing images inside a box. Tell stories with your images.

Mark M. Hancock is a former staff photojournalist at The Dallas Morning News and The Beaumont Enterprise as well as a book editor. He also freelanced for magazines and corporations. His images have won professional news and art competitions against the best shooters in the world.
He will show examples of his award-winning work for clarification and context. You’ll learn about composition, light, focus, skeletal structure, layers and more.

In his 25 years as a pro photojournalist, he’s witnessed life from the first breath to the last and all the drama and emotion in the middle. From state championship sports to hurricanes, he’s been there and shot that. Now, he’ll share how you can do some of the same.

After a short introduction, and quick lesson, ask your complex photo questions and get the answers you need.

Free, and please preregister at EventBrite or email Fruit trays will be served, DFWmark will provide cookies. Please register so we will have enough refreshments and handouts.

I've Got Your Six! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Free photo classes for groups of 10+

© Mark M. Hancock /

A basketball player expresses his frustration at missing a shot during a 3-on-3 tournament in Richardson in 1997.
Award-winner1st Place, Feature / Single, NPPA Region 8 monthly clip contest

My 2020 plan is to teach FREE photo classes to large groups of adults (10 or more people). If you are in an organization in Collin County or southeast Denton County that would like to learn more about SLR photography or iPhonography, please call 214-862-7212, text or email. My information is also located on

Since there was interest from folks without a specific group, I'll also host some sessions at my beautiful office off Frisco Square from time to time as I collect sets of 10+ folks who will attend.

Enough for now,

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Texas Residence Homestead Exemption

Frequently Asked Questions about the Homestead Exemption from the Texas Comptroller:

Do I, as a homeowner, get a tax break from property taxes?
You may apply for homestead exemptions on your principal residence. Homestead exemptions remove part of your home's value from taxation, so they lower your taxes.

For example, your home is appraised at $100,000, and you qualify for a $25,000 exemption (this is the amount mandated for school districts), you will pay school taxes on the home as if it was worth only $75,000. Taxing units have the option to offer a separate exemption of up to 20 percent of the total value.

Do all homes qualify for homestead exemptions?
No, only a homeowner's principal residence qualifies. To qualify, a home must meet the definition of a residence homestead: The home's owner must be an individual (for example: not a corporation or other business entity) and use the home as his or her principal residence on January 1 of the tax year. If you are age 65 or older, or disabled, the January 1 ownership and residency are not required for the age 65 or disabled homestead exemption.

What is a homestead?
A homestead can be a separate structure, condominium or a manufactured home located on owned or leased land, as long as the individual living in the home owns it. A homestead can include up to 20 acres, if the land is owned by the homeowner and used for a purpose related to the residential use of the homestead.

What homestead exemptions are available?
There are several types of exemptions you may receive.

* School taxes: All residence homestead owners are allowed a $25,000 homestead exemption from their home's value for school taxes.
* County taxes: If a county collects a special tax for farm-to-market roads or flood control, a residence homestead is allowed to receive a $3,000 exemption for this tax. If the county grants an optional exemption for homeowners age 65 or older or disabled, the owners will receive only the local-option exemption.
* Age 65 or older and disabled exemptions: Individuals age 65 or older or disabled residence homestead owners qualify for a $10,000 homestead exemption for school taxes, in addition to the $25,000 exemption for all homeowners. If the owner qualifies for both the $10,000 exemption for age 65 or older homeowners and the $10,000 exemption for disabled homeowners, the owner must choose one or the other for school taxes. The owner cannot receive both exemptions.
* Optional percentage exemptions: 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, no matter what the percentage is, the amount of an optional exemption cannot be less than $5,000. Each taxing unit decides if it will offer the exemption and at what percentage. This percentage exemption is added to any other home exemption for which an owner qualifies. The taxing unit must decide before July 1 of the tax year to offer this exemption.
* Optional age 65 or older or disabled exemptions: Any taxing unit may offer an additional exemption amount of at least $3,000 for taxpayers age 65 or older and/or disabled.

How do I get a general $25,000 homestead exemption?
You may file an Application for Residential Homestead Exemption (PDF) with your appraisal district for the $25,000 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 direct links to DFW counties:

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

What is the deadline for filing for a homestead exemption?
You may file for any homestead exemption up to two years after the delinquency date. The delinquency date is normally February 1st.

May I continue to receive the residence homestead exemption on my home if I move away temporarily?
If you temporarily move away from your home, you may continue to receive the exemption if you do not establish a principal residence elsewhere, you intend to return to the home, and you are away less than two years. You may continue to receive the exemption if you do not occupy the residence for more than two years only if you are in military service serving inside or outside of the United States or live in a facility providing services related to health, infirmity or aging.

If I own only 50 percent of the home I live in, do I qualify for the residence homestead exemption on the home?
Yes. However, if you qualify for a homestead exemption and are not the sole owner of the property to which the homestead exemption applies, the exemption you receive is based on the interest you own. For example, if you own a 50 percent interest in a homestead, you will receive only one-half, or $12,500, of a $25,000 homestead offered by a school district.

*** Applications must be postmarked by 30 April to be considered for the current year. 
*** Most counties allow the exemption to be filed via email.
*** Applicants will need to attach valid copies of their Texas driver's licenses - stating the address of the homestead exemption request - to document their eligibility.

I've Got Your Six!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

2020 Vision

I can see you buying, selling or leasing a home with me this year. I have 2020 vision!

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Little Elm Client Testimonial

I'm humbled to have such amazing Clients!

Text: "We can wait to have another transaction with Mark. The service that he was able to provide was years ahead of what I have been able to see from others. Mark treats his clients' like family. His compassion does not stop once the deal has been completed."


Welcome to the DFWmark Blog!

Welcome to the DFWmark Blog! This is a collection of content by Mark M. Hancock, a REALTOR with Keller Williams North County in Celina...