Tuesday, May 24, 2022

USA Flag Button Process


If you see me soon, ask for a free USA button! It’s useful for any patriotic holiday. I'm likely to have them all summer.



Here is a list of flag holidays. I almost always have flag holiday cards with me too.

Most of my illustrations start as photos. This is the view from my front door in Frisco. My primary goal was to get a wind-blown diagonal fold across the flag to give it some motion. The stars give the correct illusion.


To make a vector image from a raster photo, I open the starting photo in Adobe Illustrator and scale it to the size I want. Next, I use a pen tool to create a vector line drawing. If it's a super complex illustration, I'll cheat and use the pencil tool to work faster.


Then, I color the finished line drawing using selected shades from the original photo. I'll export the vector drawing into Adobe Photoshop to add some shading by burning down the shadows. 

The button template itself is made in Adobe InDesign and exported as PDFs.

I’ve Got Your Six!

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


#DFWmark #REALTOR #USflag #StarsAndStripes #button #illustration # photo #patriotic #holiday #USA #RedWhiteBlue

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Market Watch - 20 May 2022


Since last week, New Listings, AOC and Closed Properties increased while Pending Properties decreased. This is the first time the market sustained an aligned distribution for more than one week since 23 Oct. 2020.

An aligned market should have more houses listed than any other tracked category. Then, there should be more Pending and Closed properties followed by Active Option Contract because each of these functions has an intrinsic time allotment within a week’s window.

Pending Properties typically wait on conditions to be met to close the property. This process fills most of the time between the end of an Option Period to the Closing Date – about 23 days depending on a loan’s status, repairs, move out and any title issues resulting in a higher number each week. When this number is comparably low, it indicates more cash buyers are likely.

Closed Properties are a simple sum during a single week of 7 days. When this number is higher than other numbers, it indicates a depletion of the total market.

Active Option Contract are transactions with the option to terminate during a negotiated time – typically 3 to 7 days. Consequently, these properties can – and often do - enter and exit this status between our Market Watch collections on Friday mornings. When this number is low, it indicates shorter Option Periods were probably negotiated.


The lease market increased New Listings and Closed Properties while Pending decreased. The lease market inverted again after a reduction of Closed Properties last week. Pending properties are significantly lower than a typical lease market would tolerate.

This indicates that tenants aren’t able to secure a vacant property 60 days in advance. Instead, they must secure a lease for a currently occupied property or wait to pounce on an available property during the final 15-to-30-day window.

While many lease contracts require a 60-day notice to vacate, landlords don’t want a lease property to sit without a tenant – not even a day if possible. Current tenants often have the option to pay an additional month’s rent to avoid showings during their final 30 days in a property, but most tenants don’t pay for this option. Instead, they hope the property leases quickly to stop the showings.

As we head into the busy summer months, tenants and tenant agents should expect the lease market shortage to intensify and become more difficult to afford and meet qualifications. Increased lease prices are mainly a result of supply and demand. It’s also partially a result of increased property taxes and insurance increases. These expenses are indirectly passed on to the tenants through higher rents.

I’ve Got Your Six!

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


#DFWmark #REALTOR #MarketWatch #AlignedMarket #normalizing #BuyNow #SellNow #HighRent #ShortSupply #TimeWindows

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Tree Cheers for Lumber


Lumber begins as wood from trees. Lumber is used in house construction, furniture, toys, flatware, storage containers, shipping pallets and more. The USA grows billions of tons of timber with hundreds of millions of tons harvested annually.

During the pandemic, many people worked from home, had income and were motivated to do home improvements while sawmills reduced workforces and production. The imbalance of supply and demand led to historic price volatility.

Lumber prices before 2019 hovered around $400 per 1,000 board feet (explained below). Prices hit a record high of $1,500 in April of 2021. They plunged to $483 by July 2021, shot back up to $1,337 in February 2022, dropped again to $874 in April and is back up to $920 as of May 13, 2022. Lumber instability ultimately contributed to the current inflation.

Types of wood
There are three types of wood: softwood, hardwood and engineered wood. There are many varieties of trees and each species has different qualities. Each tree creates multiple grades of wood depending on where and how the lumber is milled (cut).

The determination of “softwood” or “hardwood” comes from the tree’s seed rather than the wood itself. If the seed is exposed when it falls to the ground – like a pinecone – it is softwood. If the seed is covered – by a shell or fruit – it is hardwood.

© Mark M. Hancock / DFWmark.com

Softwoods
come from conifer trees that have seed cones and needle-like leaves. They are most often evergreen. Most softwood trees grow quickly, tall and straight and mature in about 25 to 40 years. These factors plus their ability to be densely grown leads to a lower-priced lumber.

Softwood trees include pine, cedar, redwood, fir and spruce. Spruce, pine and fir (SPF) are used for framing new construction. Many of these resist rot and insects and are well suited for exterior construction such as fences, decks or outdoor furniture.

Hardwoods come from deciduous trees that most often lose their broad leaves each autumn. Most hardwood trees grow slowly and mature in about 100 years. Hardwood trees are valued for their grain, color, cut smoothness, and hardness to resist minor damage. The time and space required to grow hardwood trees creates higher-priced lumber.

Hardwood trees include walnut, oak, maple, cherry, mahogany and more. Hardwoods are well suited for furniture, cabinet fronts, interior finishes, flatware, toys and more.

Bamboo is technically grass but is often classified as hardwood and most often included with engineered wood.

Engineered wood doesn’t occur naturally. It is often manufactured from the waste wood at sawmills. Engineered wood is often a composite that is processed with chemicals or heat to produce a product with qualities or in sizes that would be unlikely to occur in nature. It is most often sold in broad, flat sheets and is unlikely to warp or cup.

Engineered wood includes plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), fiber board, composite board and hard board, which is used for pegboards. Plywood is layered and glued in alternating directions for strength and warp reduction.

Most engineered wood is used in unseen construction locations to add strength. It is often painted, laminated or covered with a veneer to disguise its actual appearance. It’s often the least expensive option.

Wood veneers are often classified as engineered wood since pieces (mostly hardwoods) are cut and joined to other wood or wood composite products to achieve specific wood grain appearance or size requirements. Many modern “hardwood” floors are actually engineered wood with a hardwood veneer.

Measurements and More
Lumber is measured and wholesaled in 1,000 board feet. This is calculated as length X width X thickness ÷ 144 (a square foot). So, an 8’ by 4’ by .5” sheet of plywood would be 16 board feet. Wood is either domestic (grown locally) or “exotic” (grown elsewhere). Woods are considered for their color, grain, density, strength (failure point), stiffness (bend under a load) and ability to take stain or paint. Some woods are selected specifically for their heat, moisture or electrical current tolerance.

Others may be selected to make storage containers (casks or barrels), eating or serving utensils and will be judged on odor, taste and lack of allergens. Construction grade wood is often unseen behind walls and is likely to have knots and other imperfections. Low grades become pallets or engineered wood.

When purchasing lumber for home projects, look for dry, straight wood with few knots or other issues. Get KD (kiln dried) and HT (heat treated) wood to kill pests and remove moisture.

Future Prices
Lumber futures are likely to remain volatile for a while. Immediate issues affecting prices are shortages in labor, equipment and parts. Additionally, lumber is heavy and must move a lot. From forest to mill to wholesaler to end user requires several trucks, probably a train and possibly a ship. All of these require trained professionals, specialized equipment, and fuel. These are in short supply and affected by economic volatility.

Inflation and mortgage rate increases should drop lumber prices because high prices should reduce demand. However, we have a housing shortage, Canadian tariffs and a European war. Ultimately, housing drives lumber costs, and housing is still hot.

This information and all previous monthly Information Of Value (IOV) posts are assembled into a convenient, no-cost book. All future IOV updates will be added to the book. You can view, bookmark, download or share it with friends from my Google Drive: LINK.

I’ve Got Your Six!

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

#DFWmark #REALTOR #IOV #InformationOfValue #lumber #timber #hardwood #softwood #EngineeredWood #LumberFuture

Monday, May 16, 2022

McKinney Client Testimonial (Prosper ISD)


I’m honored to receive a new 5-Star client review on Google:

“Mark helped us to buy our first home. As a realtor he is experienced, knowledgeable and available round the clock. He is a great human being.
I appreciate his help and recommend him if anybody looking to hire a realtor then Mark is the one.”

- Subrat Dash, McKinney

I’ve Got Your Six!

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


#DFWmark #REALTOR #GoogleReview #McKinney #CollinCounty #review #testimonial #FirstTimeBuyer #ProsperISD

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Market Watch - 13 May 2022


Since last week, New Listings have increased while AOC, Pending and Closed properties decreased. The market wobbled again indicating that many buyers have tapped the brakes because four of the last six weeks have seen more houses enter the market rather than leave.

This week included college graduations, historic property tax increases with disputes, a continuing war in Ukraine. Fuel prices increase daily to break record highs in many places as well as the national average.



The lease market had a decrease in both New Listings and Closed Properties while Pending Properties increased. The lease market also saw more properties list rather than close after three straight weeks of being inverted.

I’ve Got Your Six!

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


#DFWmark #REALTOR #MarketWatch #AlignedMarket #MixedMarket #BuyNow #SellNow #HighRent #graduation #RecordFuelPrices

Under Contract in Oak Point



Congratulations to my amazing Oak Point seller clients!

Their house with a full acre of land in Emerald Sound at Lake Lewisville is under contract!

I've Got Your Six!

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


#DFWmark #REALTOR #UnderContract #Seller #OakPoint #EmeraldSound #DentonCounty #land #KellerWilliams #NorthCountry

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Visit me at Cinco de Mayo in Celina




Please visit me at Cinco de Mayo in Celina today! I’ll be at the Keller Williams North Country booth in the Downtown Historic Square from 5 to 7 p.m.

I’ll have these fun illustrations to color and some blank templates along with crayons and my button maker. Color or make original art, and I’ll make it something you can keep and enjoy for years.

Website: cincodemayocelina.com



I’ve Got Your Six!

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


#DFWmark #REALTOR #CincoDeMayo #Celina #food #music #art #festival #button #pinata

Friday, May 6, 2022

Market Watch - 6 May 2022


Since last week, New Listings, Pending Properties and Closed Properties have all increased while AOC decreased. The market inverted again after mostly wobbling in April.

Property taxes had a historic jump this year. If you’re a homeowner with a Homestead Exemption (HS), look at the county’s “Market Value” or “Appraised Value” rather than the bottom line “Assessed Value.”

The HS cap is set at 10%. The county got its maximum allowable amount this year, but they set up most taxpayers to hit the cap for the next 4 to 5 years although most houses didn’t appreciate at that same rate.


Unless your home has a senior, medical or disabled veteran lock, you should probably protest. Landlords can also protest tax assessments on investment properties although there is no Homestead Exemption. Learn How to Protest Your Tax Appraisal on this blog. 


The lease market had cyclical increases in New Listings and Closed properties while there were cyclical decreases in Pending Properties. It remains inverted.

I’ve Got Your Six!

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


#DFWmark #REALTOR #MarketWatch #InvertedMarket #TaxProtest #BuyNow #SellNow #RateHikes #HighRent #PropertyTaxes

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

LUX Market Watch for April 2022


All four categories increased in the luxury market this month. The Luxury Market remains inverted with more closed sales than new listings and is heating up as we go into the traditional real estate buying season. The highest listed price on the MLS is a $24.5 million house on 3.25 acres in Northwest Hills of Dallas.

There was a shift from all-cash buyers to partially financed purchases in the luxury market while interest rates were low. It wasn’t that high-end buyers needed help; they may have simply chosen to invest their cash elsewhere while rates were low. Expect more cash purchases to return to the upper end of this market as mortgage rates increase.

The National Association of REALTORS states, “Cash buyers continued to make up a higher market share, at 28% (25% in the prior month; 23% one year ago).” Mortgage rates are unimportant to all-cash buyers.

Everyone who has seen this year’s property taxes understands how much the market has appreciated in the last year. It has far outpaced inflation in North Texas. Luxury homes often compound that appreciation – especially when rare building materials are in extremely low supply. Consequently, luxury homes became a hedge against inflation.

Property ownership is traditionally how many people generate and protect wealth. Now, property is a place to park wealth.

Imagine an escalator going up. Place a tiny castle on it. It goes up with little work or notice. This is market appreciation – it historically goes up over time (assuming condition is maintained, and regional growth is sustained).

There are currently 33 Active luxury lease properties in North Texas with list prices of $10,000 or more per month. The highest is a penthouse in Uptown for $45,000 monthly.

To those who lease a home, the market gets away from them because rent is 100% interest. A tenant is literally defined as someone with a leasehold interest in another’s real property for a period of time. Tenants are on the ground floor watching the escalator castle get smaller as appreciation takes the castle farther away.

Meanwhile, the tiny castle owner can trade properties on any floor for a bigger, newer or better version depending on equity (principal plus appreciation). The castle protected wealth to the next level of growth. In short, those with income to buy a house, should. Those who have funds to buy a luxury house, should.

There’s still a historic shortage of houses. The short-term economic factors such as interest rates can temper price increases, but it doesn’t resolve the underlying supply and demand.

I’ve Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, Certified New Home Sales
214-862-7212 (call or text)
DFWmark@kw.com
DFWmark.com


#DFWmark #REALTOR #MarketWatch #luxury #Lux #InvertedMarket #HousingShortage #equity #cash #appreciation

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Market Watch - 29 April 2022


Since last week, New Listings have decreased while Active Option Contract, Pending and Closed properties have all decreased. 

This is the second week in a row and the third week of four that the market has seen more New Listings than Closed Properties. These changes occurred on the heels of the War in Ukraine, historic inflation, fuel prices increasing dramatically and the Fed raising the interest rate with a promise of more to come.

Closed Property volume was below New Listings from 20 November 2020 to 10 April 2022. This market period represented 58 of about 71 weeks of mostly inverted prices during historic housing shortages and price appreciation along with historically low interest rates. The trend could become mixed this summer.


The Lease market decreased New Listings and Closed Properties while Pending Properties increased leading to the cyclical end of the month.

The lease market has been mixed but mostly inverted this year after months of gains from October to December of 2021. Lease inventory is still desperately low as we move closer to the end of the school year and traditional summertime movement. 

Property taxes are certain to fix or increase lease prices as landlords don't have Homestead Exemptions to protect them from this year's unprecedented annual home appreciation.

I’ve Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, Certified New Home Sales
214-862-7212 (call or text)
DFWmark@kw.com
DFWmark.com


#DFWmark #REALTOR #MarketWatch #MarketCooling #changes #InvertedLeaseMarket #HousingShortage #HistoricTaxes #inflation #FuelPrices

Monday, May 2, 2022

Celina Cinco de Mayo


¡¡ Come Celebrate !!
2 – 10 p.m.
Saturday, May 7, 2022
Downtown Celina

From 5 – 7 p.m., I’ll be at the KW North Country booth with my button maker, blanks and crayons for folks with artistic flair!

Event features traditional dances, music, great food, shopping, games, a parade, dancing horses, a street dance and more. Learn more at cincodemayocelina.com

I’ve Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, Certified New Home Sales
214-862-7212 (call or text)
DFWmark@kw.com
DFWmark.com

#DFWmark #REALTOR #CincoDeMayo #fiesta #festival #Celina #CollinCounty #DentonCounty #MexicanHeritage #food #dance

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, Texa...