Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Checklist for Preparing the Home for Inspection

Here is a simple list for Sellers whose homes are on the market.  Get ready for the inspection early.  If you want, you can have pre-listing inspection done so that you know what to expect.  Talk to you real estate professional to see what they suggest.  Check us out at for more tips and information.
• Be prepared with any documentation or repair records for additions and improvements.
• All exterior doors should be accessible.
• All door locks should be operable.
• Remove debris from gutters & downspouts.
• Trim shrubs away from the foundation
• Clean your windows!  Any window that is dirty can be considered "Fogged" and could be called out as a problem.

• All interior areas should be accessible
• Crawl space & attic access should be clear
• Remove as many belongings from rooms & closets as possible.
• Have fixtures in working order and all repairs made.
• Utilities need to be on.  Agents and inspectors will not turn them on for you.

• The electrical panel needs to be accessible to the inspector.
• Be sure all light bulbs are working so that switches can be accurately tested.
• Be sure everything is up to code. If you have any questions, have a qualified professional check it out.   
• To prevent any water damage, fix or let the inspector know about any leaks prior to inspection.
• Fix those leaks asap!
Heating & Air Conditioning
• Install a clean air filter & vacuum all vents and returns.
• Consider having the unit cleaned and serviced, especially if it has been awhile since the unit was last serviced.
• Maintain all repair invoices
Fireplace & Chimney
• Consider having the fireplace and chimney cleaned by a chimney-sweep before the inspection, especially if it has been awhile since it was last cleaned.
• If your house has gas logs, you will need a damper block installed which is low cost item.
• It is best to remove pets from the home during inspection both for the sake of the inspector and the protection of the pet. Doors and gates can often be left open which could lead to a lost pet, especially with strangers in the home. Garages & backyards are not good alternatives.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

New listing in Carrollton Texas - Corner Lot 3/2/2 priced at $170,000

Check out this great new listing for Texas Pride Realty

 2223 Trinity Springs , Carrollton, TX 75007
Your best advocate when buying or selling your home

Heres a home with enough rooms and yard to please everyone. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. The dining room fits your largest table. Kitchen has double ovens and radiant cooktop. 33 foot covered patio lets you enjoy summers under the shade. BBQ for backyard party and have plenty of room. Lots of possibilities and space to use. Backyard also has shed for storage. Located near shopping & schools. Easy access to 190, 35 and the Dallas North Tollway.
  • Beds 3
  • Baths 2
  • Square Feet 1769 per tax
  • Price $170,000
  • Lot Size Less Than .5 Acre (not Zero)
  • Year Built 1980
  • Schools SHEFFIELD
  • Status Active
  • Patio Covered
  • Cable TV Available
  • High Speed Internet Available
  • Paneling
  • WasherDryer Included
Contact Info:
  • Contact Bob 972-754-0582

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Electrical Usage - Year End Results

As some of you may know I help clients retrofit existing homes to be green.  I teach a course on Green Practices and in 2010 I was an NAR EverGreen Award winner
I wanted to update my annual energy usage chart.  My log-term goal is to have solar or wind energy generation on my property.  But to make it cost effective, I need to reduce my usage.  So I track my electrical usage every month and put together my annual figures.

Over the years we have reduced our electrical usage by 41%.  To do this we installed
* 16 Seer HVAC units,
* R50 Insulation with radiant barrier
* Triple-pane windows
* Solar water heating
* Solar clothes drying
* Two-speed pool pump
* LED lighting throughout.
There have been set backs but much progress.  Right now, however, it seems right now I may have reached a plateau.  During the last 12 months I did have a roommate who used the dryer extensively which ran up the usage.  We also had an excessively hot summer.  So my goal is to take conservation to the next level.  I'm not quiet sure what that will be but as soon as I figure it out I'll let you know.
Follow my GREEN BLOG at

My previous Green ActiveRain blogs can be found below
Collin County Association of Realtors Goes Green
CFL Bulbs. Ours lasted 7 years
SolaTube Installation at Texas Pride Realty
Installing R50 Insulation & Radiat Barrier in our attic

Sunday, February 16, 2014

You really have to watch your mail...

After you purchase your new home your mail box will fill up with ads and letters from all sorts of vendors.  Many of them will try to make you think that your Realtor, Lender, Inspector, Title person, Mother, Father and Great Uncle wanted you to use their service.  Everything from flooring, window coverings, loan insurance, home insurance, cable tv, home security, and more -- Each of them want you to use them and try to use our names to show they are a reliable source. 

Texas is a Non-Disclosure state.  The official deed shows that for "Ten Dollars and other consideration" you purchased the property at 123 Main Street.  The other consideration is $150,000 other dollars but no one records that in the Deed.  Now, the Note the creates the lien against the property does show the amount of the lien and sometimes you can play the percentages and guess what the sales price was.  But it's only a guess.

Here are some samples that my client sent me recently.  You'll notice they have the correct name of the lender but little else is accurate.  And they show in the little highlighted box that they are not from the lender at all.   I've tried to remove any personal information.  You'll see that it appears to be from the Lender or the Title Company.

This last one wants the buyer to pay over $80 for a copy of their deed.  The Title Company should send you this after closing for free but certainly you should never pay $80 for a document you can get for less than $5.

If you ever have questions, the best bet is to contact your real estate professional directly to find out what is real and what is fake.

-- Bob McCranie
Texas Pride Realty

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Arbor Vista, Plano Texas

This blog post is dedicated to the neighborhood of Arbor Vista in Plano Texas. Arbor Vista homes are built in the 1990's and are between 2500 to 4500 square feet. Homes pictured are this album are for example only and are not necessarily for sale.

Homes in this area are so desirable that currently there are no active listings, but when one does come on the market, you can use this link to find them Arbor Vista Homes For Sale.

Buyers will love the quality of these great homes and sellers will enjoy a neighborhood where the market seems to be very tight.

Arbor Vista,Plano,Texas Pride Realty
Arbor Vista,Plano,Texas Pride Realty
Arbor Vista,Plano,Texas Pride Realty
Arbor Vista,Plano,Texas Pride Realty
Arbor Vista,Plano,Texas Pride Realty
Arbor Vista,Plano,Texas Pride Realty
Arbor Vista,Plano,Texas Pride Realty
Arbor Vista,Plano,Texas Pride Realty
Arbor Vista,Plano,Texas Pride Realty
Plano Homes For Sale,Arbor Vista,PLano Homes for Sale,Plano Real Estate,Arbor Vista Homes for Sale,Arbor Vista Real Estate

Time to Protect Your Texas Home

Did you buy a home in Texas in 2013?  It's time to file your Homestead Exemption with the county in which you reside.  Filing homestead protection is free, although you will probably receive several solicitations from people & companies offering to file it for a fee. Don't pay them.  All you have to do is go to the county website, enter your address and the form should be available there.

Part of filing homestead is that you lower your taxes, usually between 15% to 25%.  If you have other exemptions you can file those at the same time.  Often there are exemptions for Disabled Veterans, Disabled Citizens and people Over 65.

Also, pull out the HUD1 Closing statement for your transaction and take it to your accountant.  It's proof of your tax payments for the home which might be helpful.
Denton County, TX
Dallas County, TX
Collin County, TX
Tarrant County, TX

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Getting on TV for doing the right thing brings positive reaction

It's a rare day that I watch sports and even more rare that I get featured on TV.  But this was that day.

On Monday evening WFAA Channel 8 Sports anchor, Dale Hanson, aired his "Unplugged" opinion segment in support of Michael Sam, the future NFL player who just came out.  Dale correctly recognized the monumental step that this young man was taking and very succinctly put to task those who oppose his entrance into the "manly" world of sports.

Being a social media person I immediately took to WFAA's Facebook page to thank Dale and to discuss the story with the various people who logged comments.  I must say I was happily surprised to see 95% of the 1,562 comments were positive.  The story has been shared 566 times and 4,562 likes.

This morning when I woke up my Twitter, Facebook and phone texts were filled with congratulations.   My comments were read on the air live on WFAA's morning show.  I had friends contacting me from all over my sphere and it was a great way to start the day.  I feel passionately about inclusion and standing up for my community.  And for a man of Dale Hansen's position to take such a progressive stand deserved praise and applause.  Many would have simply reported the news and stayed quiet.  He stood up, called it like he saw it, and that is what makes a leader.

This blog originally appeared at

Check this house for a known FIRE HAZARD!

Check this house for a known FIRE HAZARD!

Do you own a home built in the 1970's and 1980's? It's very important that you find your breaker box and see if it's manufactured by FEDERAL PACIFIC. Sometimes the front label is painted over or missing so pop it open and look for the word "STAB-LOC" in the top center.  

These boxes will most likely burn when an electrical surge should trip a breaker. Inspectors will call these boxes out on their report when they find them, but many agents do not stress the importance of changing these boxes to their clients. If you find this type of box installed in your home, please call an electrician and get it replaced IMMEDIATELY. This company has gone out of business due to all the lawsuits over these defective boxes.  

Your family and your home are worth it. Please don't live with this fire hazard in your home.

This is a local home that burned. I don't know if it had this breaker box but I just have to wonder if they did.

This post originally appeared at

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New Construction at The Village at Prosper Trail

The Village of Prosper Trail Texas Pride Realty
I toured new homes this week at The Village of Prosper Trail.  New homes are being built by Metatel Homes and LionsGate Homes.  In the $300 to $400 price range.

The homes by LionsGate were decked out and dressed to impress.  They featured hardwood floors, granite, tumbled stone, and a wide variety of options.  Both home builders have great features but I was personally drawn more to LionsGate.

The Village of Prosper Trail Texas Pride Realty
I love the brick work combined with the stained wood garage doors.  Very nice construction features. Each of the homes have several elevations (fronts) to pick from.

The Village of Prosper Trail Texas Pride Realty

The Village of Prosper Trail Texas Pride Realty
Beautiful kitchen can be designed the top-of-the-line appliances and materials.
The Village of Prosper Trail Texas Pride Realty

The Village of Prosper Trail Texas Pride Realty
I wish the staging of this home was a little more spartan.  They filled the house and it steals some of the space from the room.

The Village of Prosper Trail Texas Pride Realty
The Village of Prosper Trail Texas Pride Realty
There are still some lots available.  Call me today to see what lot fits your dream home best.

These pictures show the model home built by Megatel Homes.  It's very nice and being undecorated the buyer can imprint their own needs upon the property.  They do have a nice green program for building.
 The Village of Prosper Trail Texas Pride Realty
The Village of Prosper Trail Texas Pride Realty
Like many builders in this price point they are mixing stone with brick.

The Village of Prosper Trail Texas Pride Realty
Beautiful kitchen with a great eat-at bar, stainless steel appliances, large cabinets and pantry.
This builder includes a pool in every home or it can be traded out for a three-car garage.

The Village of Prosper Trail Texas Pride Realty

The Village of Prosper Trail Texas Pride Realty
Beautiful mill work on the celing in the master bedroom

The Village of Prosper Trail Texas Pride Realty
Large family room with media room attached.  I love the curved walls in both the family room and the Master bedroom.

Here's a slideshow of all the pictures and plans available at both builders.

This blog originally appeared at