Luxury Lake-Front Homes

Texas Luxury Lake-Front Homes are in a class all their own.  Featured below are some of the most luxurious homes on the market with that sought-after water-view.

Prices and availability are apt to change without notice.  Check with your Realtor for the latest availability.

For Sale in Willow Bend Place in Plano for $6.9M

(Click on Photo for More interior Pictures and Additional Information)


From it’s graceful, yet modest Colonial-style exterior, you would not expect such exquisite finishes from the moment you walk into this renovated beauty.  Listed by James Duggan of Duggan Realty Advisors, this 7-bedroom, 9.3 bath home has some pretty impressive features!




Graceful beams on vaulted ceilings, and a lovely fireplace grace the library which has panoramic views of the gorgeous pond in Willowbend.  Although not actually a “lake-front” home, the view is to be admired.


As you see, the master has extensive crown molding with elegant detail and lots of charm.


A unique feature of this home?  ALL bath – areas are “master-sized”!



Custom closet design for all of your favorite fashions and accessories.

View all Homes in Willow Bend Place in Plano


For Sale for $995,000 in Emerald Sound at Lake Lewisville

(Click the Photo Below for More Information on this Home)


Listed by Lisa Richardson of Keller Williams Realty…how enticing is this for a view?!


This one-of-a-kind contemporary lake-front estates sits on 1.7 Acres and has 3 bedrooms and 2.2 baths.   The multi-level design perched on a hilltop of Lake Lewisville makes for amazing 180-degree views.



If you’re looking for a home that simply makes you feel you’re away on vacation…how’s this for a master-suite view?

View More Of this Home Here


View all Lake-Front Luxury Homes in North Texas Here

Need help searching for your next home or need information on selling a home?

Contact me:  Amy S. Arey, Realtor | Halo Group Realty, LLC | 214.901.1341-Cell |

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Great Buys on Waterfront Homes in Rockwall County


Ahhh…the peaceful feeling of walking out to the patio and basking in the sun as you watch the waves hit the shore of your lake-front home.  While some of the lake-front homes along Lake Ray Hubbard exceed the millions, today our feature is on more of the moderately priced homes…those under the $500,000 range…including some great buys on lake-front condos and townhomes in Rockwall and Heath.  Getting the atmosphere you want doesn’t have to break the bank!

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This gorgeous mediterranean-style home in Lakeside Village in Rockwall is priced at just $479,000 with lots of flair!  Soaring ceilings, panoramic lake views and even a courtyard are all within your reach.

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More Homes for Sale in Lakeside Village



Listed by Rod Holland of Keller Williams, this great buy is sure to please any investor or home-owner looking for a fabulous buy on a lake-front lot.  At only $169k and on 3 acres zoned for horses, this home makes for a great find!  (The home does need some foundation work, so conventional loans or cash only, please).   Click the photo above for additional information or to request a viewing appointment.

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Search more lake-front property on Lake Ray Hubbard

Not looking for acreage or even the upkeep of even a yard but still wish to enjoy the lake-front views?  Rockwall county has some amazing lake-front condos that offer all of the latest interior trends, with easy access to night-life and I-30.

Click the Photo Below for Additional Images

Welcome to Waters Edge at Lake Ray Hubbard.  Walk to night-life from this gated community yet still have your little “get-away” on the water.  Listed at $289,900, these condos are a great buy if seeking a water view!  Click the photo below for all current listings of Waters Edge on Lake Ray Hubbard!

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Ready to feel like you’re on vacation?  How about this Stucco home with an Italian-Villa feel?  How about these views:

View more of this home here

Haven’t yet found what you’re looking for?  Sometimes finding the perfect home is simply “not missing it”.  Feel free to contact me and I’ll keep you posted on new listings as they hit the market so you’re sure to not miss out on your “perfect” next home.

Amy S. Arey, Realtor, CNE | Halo Group Realty, LLC | 214.901.1341-Cell |

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Waterfront Spanish Revival Home in Heath | Reduced to $799k!

1 Chilton Point | Rockwall (Heath), Texas

(View Virtual Tour Here)

1 Chilton Point _ 03 - Web|You drive down the long, private, winding road surrounded by hovering trees and lush foliage…you see the family enjoying a game of tennis on your own private court, and notice your friends laughing and enjoying themselves at the entertaining area near-by.

Chilton.StreetTENNIS ANYONE??

You see your pool and the sun hitting the water just behind it, casting and elegant glow as you think to yourself how you can’t wait to crawl into your favorite chair there soak it all in.  1 Chilton Point _ 25 - Web

You enter the long, circular drive of this quaint, Mediterranean-style home with its amazing panoramic, lake-front views.  You are SO glad 1 Chilton Point is not only a place you come to relax…a place you feel at ease with and possibly even…on vacation, but it’s also…your home.

You drive up to the entrance on the circular drive of your quaint but unique Texas-Style Mediterranean Lake-House.  You think to yourself that this could, indeed be the best lake-front lot on all of Lake Ray Hubbard.  Comfortable enough to live in now…but some day…this lot will be the home of your dream-home-the one you have wanted your entire life.

Chilton.LivingArea  The beamed ceilings and serene, neutral color palette make for true relaxation as you gaze out of one of your many windows and listen to the sound of the waves hitting the shore.  The fires cracks in one of your three fireplaces as the temperatures drop.  Truly a home to enjoy in all seasons!  1 Chilton Point _ 07 - Web

The multiple french-doors and patio areas provide easy access to any of the outdoor entertaining areas.  The many sitting and living areas provide unlimited possibilities of furniture-arrangement and your favorite art pieces and wall-decor.

1 Chilton Point _ 28 - WebNever before have you had a view like this from your living area…

1 Chilton Point _ 10 - Web  Sip your coffee in the morning and watch the sun rise over the lake…

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Create your dream-kitchen with this spacious, french-country design.

Chilton.View.2  Indeed…the best “back yard” you have ever owned…

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The cozy 2nd breakfast nook / optional sitting area is great place to enjoy your favorite glass of wine.  Perhaps create a custom wine-cellar in the space just under the stairwell.

1 Chilton Point _ 18 - WebThe upstairs master-suite features a cozy fireplace as well….along with french doors that lead out to your patio on the 2nd floor which extends the length of the home and showcases a wonderful lake view.

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Your visiting family relaxes comfortable in the private guest-quarters behind the home, complete with rustic-vintage beamed ceilings.


Been dreaming of a 2nd residence, a Texas Lakehouse or simply the ideal location to retire to?  

Set your private-showing appointment here.

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12 Ways to Instantly Boost Your Homes Value

Boosting curb appeal is a great way to increase the overall value of your home.  Undo to popular belief, you DO NOT have to spend a fortune (quite the contrary!) on updating and upgrading to make your home more valuable or increase the sales price.  The “Value” of your home is determined by “what the general public would willingly pay for your home”.  If your home feels and looks more attractive…guess what–you’re well on your way to a higher sales price (or increasing your homes value for a future sale!).

Below are 12 ways to add pizzazz to your home without breaking the bank:

1) Make sure sure the grass is nicely cut, bushes are trimmed and the lawn is green and appears well-taken care of.

2) MULCH! Fresh mulch and just pop of color at the entrance can do wonders to create an overall “improved impression” of your home!

3) Put a fresh coat of paint on your door–it’s the first impression that people see of your home.

4) Clean windows inside and out.

5) Have a clean, inviting entrance, foyer area (make sure it’s not stacked with shoes, other items!).  Put FRESH flowers out in a vase.

6) Make sure the home has had an overall cleaning, scrubbing–enlist in the aid of a cleaning service if needed for a deep-down clean!

7) Make sure the home “smells” clean and fresh and isn’t simply “masked” by plug ins.

8) Neutralize, neutralize, neutralize!  Faux is out. Neutralize those walls with something that is appealing to a large, overall audience.  If you can do a great job and cut in without making it look like a “do-it-yourself” job-go for it (otherwise, you can budget on spending approximately $200.00 a room on average).  Sometimes, you can also get a bargain if you paint the majority of the room yourself, then hire a painting company to come in and get the areas you can not reach or that you don’t want to “cut in” on so it still has the look of a “professional” paint-job.

9) Invest in new bedding.  You don’t have to spend a fortune and buyers won’t care that you don’t have designer bedding (it’s not coming with the home after-all!), but they WILL care if it looks nice and will create a different overall “feel” of the room and the home.  Bed-Bath and Beyond has great bargains for bedding, and your neighborhood Marshall’s carries deals on “bed-in-a-bag” as low as $50.00 sometimes.  Take a look below at the difference in what bedding can make:


“After”Before  After  Raymond NH

10) Lighting-See the difference even in the “before” and “after” photos above from Hosking Interiors?  Lighting not only adds the element of “light” but helps to set the mood.  If a room is dark, buyers don’t see just as a “dark room”, they see it as “dreary” (and no one wants a dreary house!).  If you have a room that doesn’t get much natural light, add floor-lamps. Add accent lighting to night-stands, bathroom counters, and even the kitchen bar to add more “mood” to your room.  “Spotlights” hidden behind floor lamps add a nice touch and create a big difference, too.

11) Frame your windows.  You don’t have to spend a fortune on designer-drapes.  Pinterest has some great tips on making “no-sew” Roman blinds.This dining room by Lizette Marie Interior Design really sparkles with the bronze version of the popular Bling chandelier
You can also go to home-depot, buy a few drop-cloths (yes, I said drop-cloths), buy a few packs of curtain-hanging hooks, and wha-la:DROP CLOTH CURTAINS - no sew with rings and bamboo blind Google Image Result for http3bpblogspotcom_lEili6mwXWoS-rsg2nHr1IAAAAAAAAAZEiijVaVDrCW8s400Drop-Cloth-Drapes_ExaminerjpgYou can also make a custom shower-curtain from these if you’d like to get really crafty:Inspiration to create your own DIY custom curtain or shower curtain with a drop cloth as the base  Wallet-friendly

12) Accents:  Get out your good china, set the table as if a really important dinner-guest was coming (complete with dining ware, silverware, wine and water goblets, and yes–another vase of fresh flowers OR a really interesting art piece for your centerpiece).A modern yet casual look is created by pairing autumn gold with a neutral such as gray Concentrating most of the color to the table cloth gives the scene a cohesive feel with little need for ornamentation
Pillows!  Accent-pillows are great for adding a touch of color (and remember the rule of 3’s:  three colors, three different ways, three different times).  Use colors you are already working with in your living room or “pull” colors from your rug and use those same accent-colors for your pillows:

Need more suggestions on selling your home?  Adding Value to your Home? Contact me any time; I’d love to help!

 Amy S. Arey, Realtor | Halo Group Realty, LLC | 214.901.1341-Cell | 214.901.1341-Cell


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How to Buy a Home, The Cliff Notes


                                                How to Buy a Home…The “Cliff Notes”

Many home-buyers get wrapped up in the overwhelming details of buying a home and get frustrated.  That being said, below, you will find the clear, easy, precise way to home-ownership.  Obviously, there are details along the way in which your lender, title company and Realtor must coordinate, but it’s best to leave those in the hands of the professionals, while still knowing what’s going on “with” your transaction.

1. Get pre-approved by a lender you trust and are comfortable with.  Can I skip to #2 before I find a lender?  No.   A lender will tell you which plans are best for your financial goals, how much home you are approved for, as well as if there are any inaccuracies on your credit you should take care of prior to purchasing, that would prevent you from otherwise doing so.   I don’t know any loan officers personally.  How do I find one?  Should I just google one?   No.  a home is likely the largest investment you could possibly make in your life.  Do you really want to “just google one”?  Ask friends, family and your Realtor (if you already have one) whom they recommend or whom they have had good experiences with.  Make sure you feel comfortable with this person–you will have to communicate with them a LOT over the next month or so.
If inaccuracies or “credit delays” prevent you from owning now, ask your Realtor for a trusted Credit Repair Company.  Many times, depending upon what is ON your credit, you may be able to buy in 1-6 months.  It does NOT have to be expensive OR painful.

2.  Determine How Soon You Would Like to Move.

Only you know what is best for your move-time.  If within 3 months or so, go to step # 3.  Otherwise, there are multiple sites for you to browse online to determine what is available in the neighborhoods you are interested in (don’t know which neighborhoods you are even interested in yet?  Your Realtor can help you with this.

3.  Find a RealtorFirst and foremost, make sure this person has your best interests at heart and is willing to fight for you (notice I didn’t say “with you”) every step of the way.

Again, ask friends, family, coworkers who they have used.  Most people are quick to pass on a referral who has done a good job for them and know they would take care of you as well.  This person will listen to your needs and wants and will help create a plan to meet your goals.  Happy Searching!

4.  Submitting an Offer

Once you have found the place you’d like to call “home”, your Realtor will run comps to determine a fair offer.  The general rule is to submit an offer which is fair (and not insulting) but that you will likely get a counter back on.  Your Realtor will suggest the best negotiation tips.  (Can’t give away all of our secrets in an open forum 😉  From here, your Realtor will “write up a contract”  filling in the blanks of the many items and blanks to negotiate within a contract.  Send over that pre-approval letter to submit with your offer.  Most listing agents will not even present to their sellers without one.  No one wants their time wasted by an unqualified buyer.  (Oh, you thought price was the only obstacle?).  Once all terms are agreed to, you will move on to step 5.

5.  Executing a Contract

This simply means all parties have agreed to all of the negotiated terms.  You will now write two checks–one for the option fee (made payable to the seller) …generally $100.00 and one for the earnest money (made payable to the agreed-to title company).   Your Realtor will deliver (or email) the executed contract, and deliver earnest money to the title company.  Sometimes a title representative will pick this up from you and deliver to the title company.

6.  Get a Home Inspection

Remember your $100.00?  This paid for an option period.  This gives you an “out” if anything wacky comes back on your inspection that the owner does not want to repair or credit.  Your Realtor will help you negotiate these items via an “Amendment for Repairs”.   This must be done during the option period.  In fact, you must pay close attention to all of the dates in the contract and in returning paperwork as everything will be time-sensitive.

7.  Your Financing Contingency

If you are not among the lucrative few who are paying cash for your home, you probably signed a “Third Party Financing Addendum”.  This addendum covers you for a particular amount of time for particular terms.  Your lender will be working very hard on “their” side of the transaction with your financing to meet this important deadline.  Your lender will also then order a survey, and HOA docs will be requested.

8.  Get a Home Warranty

Your title company will be contacting you to determine who you want for your Home Warranty Company.  Your Realtor will recommend a few if you need help.  The warranty is like an insurance policy.  Your Realtor should have negotiated the seller paying for this for the first year ($500 or so).  Like an insurance policy, you can get more or less coverage, depending upon what you want.

9.  Your Title Policy

Your title policy ensures a free and clear title.  With Encumbrances,  or for instance…child-support liens or tax liens, title can not pass to you until the liens are paid (hopefully by the seller!).  This step is especially important with foreclosures since most are sold “as-is”.

10.  Your HUD Statement

This document goes over credit and expenses to both parties.  The Escrow Agent will go over this very closely with you before you sign the rest of your paperwork.  This is emailed a day or so before closing.

11.  Closing Day

It’s finally here…the anticipated day you have been waiting for–to finally hold the keys to your new home and walk through the doorway and know it’s YOURS.   The actual closing itself should take roughly 30 minutes.  Make sure to bring your ID and have your certified funds (cashier’s check or money order) ready.  Your lender will have told you the amount you need to bring.  Time to celebrate the beginning of earning equity and many new memories in your new home!

As always, I am always here to answer any questions that you might have.  I’m never too busy for your referrals! 😉

 *Amy S. Arey, Realtor * Halo Group Realty, LLC * 214.901.1341 *
                                                        Visit my Website or Search for Listings


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How to KNOW if a Potential Real-Estate Investment is Good or Bad

Oftentimes, people begin investing in Real Estate because it is less volatile than say…investing in the stock market, a “safe” investment, if you will.  Before jumping on the “safe-investment boat”, know that there is some leg-work to do.  I’ve seen many new investors come across a run-down home and when looking at it, suddenly have the look of the wide-eyed blond on the 2015 Cast of the Bachelor (if you missed the premier of the Bachelor, this likely isn’t funny, but I’m sure you get the idea).  They know it looks really “bad” and it could look really “good” but aren’t really certain how to put the numbers to work to make sure this potential real-estate investment (whether flipping, or holding to lease out) will reap them the financial nets one desires.  (Translate:  a cheap house does not always = a good investment).

There are many benefits to investing in real-estate…cash flow, depreciation (or a write-off on your taxes), and principal reduction (read: EQUITY!).  “Appreciation” as they say….is “icing on the cake”.  An experienced Realtor should be able to navigate you through the process if you are new to investing and even help you manage the curve-balls if you are an experienced investor, and let’s face it-there are always curve-balls).  There are formulas and figures you must know and numbers you must crunch to make sure you end up on the winning-end of the deal.

Let’s start with home-flipping.

Hard money lenders are expensive, but a great asset if you can not afford to pay cash just yet (or while you are saving the proceeds from your first few flips TO pay cash). Hard money lenders function “like” cash in that they can generally close in a few days. They do want to protect their money just as you would yours and always lend with the mentality that this person “could” buy the home, then move to an island far away and never be heard from again.  That being said, they will want to see good ARV (“After Renovation Value”) numbers.  If there’s home you feel is a good deal for 100k but the renovated comps in the area are only selling for 140k, this home is NOT a good fit.  Why?  Hard money lenders (on average) will loan 65-70% of ARV (meaning on this example, they would lend 98k).  You’re only 2k away, right?  WRONG.  There are closing costs, lender-points on the front AND the back-end…and you haven’t yet accounted for the actual renovation costs, which could be 25-30k.  (You’ll want to have 10-15k of your own cash saved to (as they say) have some skin in the game.  Don’t worry…you’ll make this back, and then some 🙂

As you may guess, the higher-priced properties yield higher rewards, but generally require more investment, which means higher risk:  1650 sf cost much less to renovate than say, 3,000 SF.  (Afraid yet?  Don’t worry…there is a rhyme to the reason). Focus on areas such as Richardson Heights in Richardson which has homes that have been renovated and have sold for much more (than they were pre-renovation).  Otherwise, you can load a 135k home up with amazingly beautiful upgrades and want to sell it for 245k and may actually have someone fall in love with it and be willing to PAY that much…but it could fail to appraise for $245k because there aren’t enough comps to compare it to within a specified area that “have” been renovated.  Guess what happens then?  You lower your head and have to reduce the sales price because (unless they are paying cash or willing to pay over the loan value out of pocket), no lender will lend on a home that does not appraise.

Keep in mind that most of these “great deals” are sold “AS-IS” and without warranty.  A 30k renovation could be night and day difference if the rehab is only cosmetic.  Look at the big-ticket items when looking at a home for investment. How does the roof, water heater, HVAC system, furnace, plumbing, electrical panel and foundation all look?  Although I “always” recommend a home-inspection for any hidden defects…many investors have learned what to look for and bypass this stage as you typically find the same issues over and over again and tend to have the pricing memorized.  Even if sold as-is, some of these things may be items your Realtor could still negotiate for you.

It takes a little bit of guess-work to put together your “renovation budget” which you will break down and submit to your hard money lender of choice for them to approve.  They will pay your contractors in draws (make sure to budget for this cost as well; they do charge a fee for each draw 😉  With a little experience, know-how and contractor contacts, you will find this step much easier to handle.  As you may guess, all renovation budgets will vary on each condition and potential ARV of a property, so a lot of calculations and though must go in to this critical step.  Do know that in North Texas, it is still very much a sellers market and if looking under the $200k purchase-range, there may not be a property readily available that fits your needs–it may take months to find the right fit.  Don’t make the mistake of getting in a rush to buy and make a terrible decision on the property itself.  You want a property that is in an area that moves quickly and in one that will appraise, such as the Richardson Heights area of Richardson, where there has been a lot of renovation.  Follow these guidelines and you can have a $150k property that you can rehab for 25-30k and resale for $230k (in the right neighborhood).  With this scenario, you would net about $36k post Realtor fees (calculated on a 6% listing.  I always give my investors discounts if they have also purchased the property through me).  Not a bad profit in 3 months (1.5 month to renovate, 1.5 months to close), right?  Although much more difficult to find than rental property, they provide a quick return when done correctly.

Contact me for more information on property flipping or if you simply have questions by clicking this link. 

Let’s talk about rental property.

If the fear of a bad tenant does not terrify you, and you have had good experience with other rental property and verify and screen your tenants well, rental property may be the investment for you.  (*Remember also that there is less risk with multi-family homes since they will never all be vacant at the same time).  For the examples below, to simplify the numbers, we will use single-family homes.  The question is…how do you know if a rental property is a good investment?

Buying property to lease out does not give you an immediate, large return.  However, it does give you cash-flow, principal-reduction (you basically have someone else paying the payment so that you can someday sell and make a profit), a discount on your taxes, and hopefully appreciation.  You’re sort of like a human-IRA in that you hold the investment until its ready to be sold 🙂  So, how do you know if it’s a “good deal”?  Most people want a 10% Cap Rate (“Capitalization Rate”) or your Gross Annual Income divided by your purchase-price.  Example:  If you purchase a home for 165,000 in Collin County and you can lease it for $1350 per month (1350 x 12= 16,200 / 165,000), you have a 9.8 Cap Rate.  That’s it!  (I’m just kidding; you didn’t think it would be THAT easy, did you?).  Remember, there are still taxes to consider, vacancy loss (assume 10% vacancy loss over a year for padding), HOA Fees, a management company if you pay one to take care of the details and “manage the property”, etc.

If you’ve ever looked at your company budget, you would find it looks similar to the budget you will have for your rental properties–THEY become your business and you must treat them as such:

Annual Rent – Vacancy = Gross Operating Income

Gross Operating Income – Operating Expenses = Net Operating Income

NOI – Debt Service for a year (Your Mortgage and Insurance) = Cash Flow Before Taxes

Annual Debt Service – Interest = Principal Reduction (EQUITY building!) 

Net Operating Income – Interest – Total Depreciation = Taxable Income x your tax bracket = Taxes Paid or Saved.  (If you get a negative number, that’s the amount you SAVED 🙂

and of course

The Return on Investment of your Rental Property is the Cash Flow Before Tax + Principal Reduction + Tax Saved divided by your Cash Invested (your total amount finance)

Considering Real Estate as an investment, alternate source of income or wanting to reduce your taxes?  Feel free to contact me; I would love to help…or answer any questions that you may have.

Amy S. Arey, Realtor | Halo Group Realty, LLC | 214.901.1341-Cell | |

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Serving North Texas since 2002!

Posted in Home-Buying, Home-Buying and Home-Selling Advice, Home-Buying, Home-Selling Advice, Home-Selling Advice, Investing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Win in a Multiple Offer Scenario On a Home

You’ve found the perfect home…the size, the location, the price; everything about this house screams “home”.  You have visually decorated the home and have already envisioned hosting holiday parties and family-get-togethers at your new pad…only to find out after placing your offer, that there a handful of others eyeing   your home as well.  Your heart skips a beat and you feel like you’ve just gotten off of the Texas Giant at Six Flags. You want this home; it already feels like YOURS.  You have already “emotionally moved in”. What do you do?

Chances are, if you’ve shopped homes for sale in North Texas lately, you may have recently found yourself in this situation.  With both inventory and interest rates being lower than they have been in YEARS, coupled with the rise of the toughest competition ever-the cash buyer-multiple offers are very common right now.  The key to winning is knowing how to give yourself the competitive edge to stand out.  Below are a few keys to winning in a multiple offer scenario: 

1)  Dot Your I’s and Cross Your T’s.  

Write a clean offer…make sure every blank (required) is filled in, in the contract.  Nothing says unprofessional / careless / inexperienced than a partially put-together offer.  If an agent fails to fill out the commission blank to watch out for their own money, do you think they are watching out for yours?

2)  Submit the Offer with your Preapproval Letter and Copy of Earnest Money and Option Money Checks. 

This sounds self-explanatory and (in my opinion) should really be a crucial step in submitting “any” offer…not just one in a multiple-offer scenario, but you’d be surprised how many offers (at least to me) are turned in without these key items.

3) Shorten Your Option Period 

Knowing the general option period is 10 days, submit a shorter option period (after confirming with your agent that you can have an inspector lined up ASAP).  If you and your agent are “on the ball” you can normally get your inspection and all repair negotiations complete within 5 or so days.  The contract / home goes to “Pending” after your option period, so the shorter your option period, the shorter time the seller has to wait on pins and needles wondering if you are going to back out. (Make sure your agent puts a “respond by” or “must agree by X date” on the amendments to shorten response time by the “other” party as well.  *I never recommend foregoing the option or inspection period completely*.  Even if you are a full-time investor with a renovation crew…there are always “unknowns” to be aware of.  After all, the offer you initially placed on the property was the price you were willing to pay “in it’s current known condition”.  If there are electrical hazards, plumbing problems and a roof that is about to fall down, those items may impact the value of the property.

4) Pay More of an Option Fee

With the standard option fee being $100.00 in this area for the general 10-day option period, sometimes, offering only $50.00-$100.00 more to the seller is enough to make yourself stand out from the other offers (obviously, coupled alone with some of the below and above suggestions as well).

5) Put More Earnest $ Down 

This shows the seller you are serious and want to move forward.  This amount goes towards your down-payment anyway and you get it back in the event the contract falls through (within guidelines).

6) Put Down More of a Down-Payment 

If you have it to spare, this eases the seller’s mind that once the home is tied up in a contract that there is probably less of a chance that “your” financing will fall through if you’re putting down $120,000 opposed to someone only putting down 3.5% on an FHA loan.  While we all may not have $120,000 to put down on the home that we want, the contract with the larger money “down” will always appear stronger.  (Example:  Last Friday, I listed a home in Plano.  On Saturday, we had 7 showings and two full-price offers, with a potential 3rd as a back-up.  By Saturday night, we had the home under contract with the buyer who only had an 80k note on the $208,500 list-price.

7) Waive as Many Contingencies as You Can 

“Contingent upon financing, contingent upon the sale of another home, etc, etc”.   Obviously, each of these situations is unique with each individual buyer, so make sure your Realtor is well-informed of your situation so that he or she can look out for your best interests.

8)  Agent Relationships 

This may seem like an unfair edge, but it does happen.  A Realtor who has been in the business a while and knows many other agents, is a good networker, or has had good working experiences with many other Realtors is the agent you want to represent you.  The listing agent just may pick your contract based upon the working knowledge with your Realtor and know them able to get the contract to the finish line, meanwhile making he or she look better to “their” client.

9) Cash is Still King 

If you CAN pay cash, do it.  The seller will know you can close faster and will have no financing hurdles.  In situations where this is not an option, pay more than list-price.  Obviously, do some research with your Realtor to know the going rate and average price-per sf and what it’s selling for in the area that you are buying your home in.  Sometimes, all it takes is an extra $100.00-$500.00 to put yourself in first place.

Many people have a problem paying not only full price, but over.  They could not fathom not getting “the best deal”.  However, if it’s within reason of what others are selling for, and it makes sense….sometimes the best “deal” is not just in price-it’s in getting the home you want.

10)  Write a Letter to the Seller(s) Telling Them Why You Want the Home.  

Selling a home, especially after living in one for a few years, having memories, children growing up (and sometimes out) of the home is a very emotional experience.  If you write a letter of the reason you love the home and what you see yourself doing in the home and why it’s important to you…they just may feel an emotional connection with you, and want to work with you (even if not the highest offer) opposed to the parties to the other offers.

I hope these tips come in handy if you’re reading this and embarking on your own home-buying  journey.  Don’t forget to “sign up for my blog updates” for other helpful home-buying and selling tips.  

Had your own multiple-offer situation in which you won?  Feel free to comment and share your story and how you won!  I would love to hear from you! 

Amy S. Arey, Realtor | Halo Group Realty, LLC | Watters Creek 

825 Market St, STE 230 | Allen, TX  75013 | 214.901.1341-Cell | 

Posted in Home-Buying, Home-Buying and Home-Selling Advice, Home-Selling Advice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Secrets to Getting a Home SOLD!

The Secrets to Sell a Home
by Amy Arey

Learn more about how to sell your home by reading this summary of the home-selling process.

Decide Whether You Want to Sell
Take some time to reflect upon whether you really want and need to sell your home. The selling process takes a lot of time, patience and energy—it would be a big mistake to start selling your home if you are not absolutely sure you want to do so!

Also, learn the costs associated with selling your home.  The home-selling process is stressful enough. Knowing that these expenses exist, and how much they’ll set you back, will make life a little more enjoyable throughout it!

State deed tax
Recording fees
Abstract or title search
Moving expenses
Choose a Real Estate Agent
Working with a skilled, communicative, scrupulous real estate agent will make the entire home-selling process much, much easier. Take your time in finding the right agent—one that you are confident will do a stellar job marketing your home and that will work hard to represent your best interests. Beware of agents that describe how they’ll market your home in generalities or that brush aside your questions—these are not the types of people you want to work with!

Pro tip: Don’t automatically choose to work with the first agent you find, or the agent that promises the highest listing price!

Sign a Listing Contract
Listing contracts are agreements between sellers and listing brokers that establish the terms and conditions of a listing. There is no standard listing contract that is used throughout the real estate industry; there are multiple types of listing contracts and their terms and conditions are negotiable.

Here are the three kinds of listing contracts:

Exclusive right to sell – The most common type of listing contract.
Open listing – For homeowners who want to sell their home by themselves but are also willing to work with a real estate agent.
One-time show – A contract that allows a specific agent to show a FSBO (for sale by owner) home to one of their clients. Per the terms of this contract, the seller pays a commission to the agent if their client agrees to buy the home.
Your listing contract should address these important questions:

What will the agent’s commission rate be?
Are there any situations where the agent’s commission rate will be adjusted? (For example, if a friend decides to buy your house without the agent being involved in their decision to do so.)
What will the length of the listing period be?
How will disagreements between you and the agent be resolved?
Will you and the agent use a lockbox to facilitate showings, or will you need to be present for them?
Will your home appear in MLS (multiple listing service) listings?
Prepare Your Home for Showings
Even well kept homes that don’t require repairs need at least some cleaning and staging before they are put on the market. Keep your house vacuumed and dusted, and put knick-knacks in storage. Rearrange the furniture so that room layouts are conducive to foot traffic. Make your home as well-lit as possible by keeping curtains and blinds open, washing windows, and replacing light bulbs that are out.

It’s also important to improve curb appeal by polishing up your home’s exterior.  This entails pulling weeds, mowing the lawn, and maintaining the landscaping throughout the period of time your home is on the market. If the house itself looks a little worn down, it may be wise to put on a fresh coat of paint, and powerwash the decks, patios and walkways. Remember: your yard gives buyers their first impression of your home, so keep it in good shape!

Make the following repairs, if they are necessary. These minor cosmetic fixes don’t cost much and will do a lot to reassure potential buyers that your home is in good condition.

Fix leaky faucets
Replace cracked windows
Replace jiggly doorknobs
Repair loose handrails
While it isn’t necessary to do so, making the following improvements will increase your home’s value and lead to a higher sale price.

Wondering what the best (small) home improvements are that reap big value?

Replace kitchen appliances
Install an alarm system
Paint walls
Price Your Home
A home seller’s best friend is their real estate agent—especially when it comes to pricing their home. Your agent’s knowledge of the local real estate market and the stats they’ll compile for comparative analysis will prove invaluable when determining the best listing price for your home.

Home pricing is largely based on what comparable homes in the area have recently sold for. “Comparables” typically have the following qualities:

Similar age, square footage, and bedroom count
Listed within the last six months
Located within the same local market
Looking for more information on how to price your home? Consider the following:

It’s not always imperative to have the lowest-priced home on your block!
Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. They won’t attach the same sentimental value to your home that you do, so they’ll likely balk at the price if you factor sentimental value into it.
Keep your focus on where your local housing market is going.
If a home is well-marketed and is located in an area with a competitive market, intentionally under-pricing the home can lead to bidding wars that bring its price up to a more desirable level.

Keep Your Home in Good Condition
You never know when a potential buyer may want to see your house, so it’s important to keep it in good condition for the entire time it’s on the market. Keep it ready for showings by doing the following:

Dust and vacuum often
Keep bathrooms spotless
Keep your sink free of dishes
Keep your dishwasher clean
Consider Deal Sweeteners
In a buyer’s market, sellers sometimes add deal sweeteners to make their home seem more attractive than the competition. Deal sweeteners provide financial or psychological assistance to buyers and can serve as powerful incentives for them to make an offer!

Common deal sweeteners include:

Buying down the homebuyer’s mortgage rate
Paying the closing costs
Offering a transferable home warranty
Decide What Offer to Take
From the many offers you receive, carefully choose which one you want to accept!

Pro tip:  Meet every offer you don’t want to accept—even insultingly-small lowball offers—with a counteroffer. You never know when a buyer may cave and agree to pay much more than it originally seemed like they would.

Sign the Purchase Agreement and Choose a Closing Date

After you accept an offer, you will sign the purchase agreement and agree on a closing date with the buyer. Depending upon the terms of the purchase agreement (e.g. if the seller agrees to make repairs before closing), the closing date can take place six or more weeks after the agreement is signed.

Have Your Home Appraised
Have your home appraised to determine its value. Admittedly, this is something the buyer and their mortgage lender will be more concerned about. The mortgage lender hires the appraiser, and the buyer pays for their services. However, if the buyer included an appraisal contingency in their offer, your relationship with the buyer could come to a swift end if their offer price far exceeds the appraised value of the house!

Prepare for Closing
Get ready to close on the sale of your home by doing the following:

Prepare disclosures. You must disclose every flaw and shortcoming of your home that could adversely affect the new owner’s enjoyment of it. Legal action can result if the buyer is not made aware of any problems, whether by design or by unintentional omission on the part of the seller.
Gather and prepare necessary paperwork. This includes documents like the certificate of title.
Keep your home in good condition. The deal can be jeopardized if you do not clean and maintain your home before closing.
Attend the Final Walkthrough
Sellers must attend the final walkthrough to answer any last-minute questions the buyer may have. Final walkthroughs take place between a few hours and a few days before closing and are meant to ensure that your home is in the agreed-upon condition. The buyer will confirm that repairs outlined in the purchase agreement have been made and that the home’s condition has remained the same since the purchase agreement was signed.

Attend the Closing
Sign a seemingly-endless stream of paperwork at the closing, and ownership of your former home will officially pass to the buyer. Every party with a claim on the money earned from the sale of the home will get paid simultaneously—your mortgage lender (if you still have an outstanding mortgage), your real estate agent, the appraiser, other third parties and, finally, you.

Congratulations, you’ve sold your home!

Request a CMA–Find Out What Homes in your Neighborhood are Selling for Here

Not sure if you want to sell your home yet? Just have questions? Feel free to call me any time!

Amy S. Arey, Realtor , Halo Group Realty, LLC

Watters Creek | Allen


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Ever Wonder What a Realtor Does After You Find Your Home?

Ever Wonder What a Realtor Does After Helping You Find Your Home?

What a Realtor does after you find your home seems to be confusing to many. After posting the question (pointed towards Realtors) asking if they showed property to those who did not yet have a preapproval letter ((though I knew what the answer would be 😉 I received a comment on the post stating that we work for a client for 2-3 weeks then we “make a commission”.   If involved in any facet of Real-Estate, you know this is not the case.

Let me be the first to say, I love my job.  Most days, it doesn’t “seem” like work.  I find the challenges exciting and love being able to meet different people as no two people, transactions, or homes are ever the same.  However, it’s not always FUN or a piece of cake…in fact, quite the opposite most of the time.  Sure, there is a lot of money to be made, but there’s also a lot of money to be lost. Any person who’s looked at a Realtor’s commission check seldom thinks about the taxes, marketing dollar and advertising (since we are self-employed and pay for this ourselves) that gets taken right off of the top (not to mention the office fees, MLS and board fees and dues).   Every sign and keybox that you see is a personal cost.  Even the keybox that lets you IN to the home is an annual cost.  Being a Realtor does have some challenges that if it’s truly NOT one’s passion…well, those are the ones who we see out of the business in a year or two.

After the “fun part” of looking at homes is over (with a buyer), there’s much work to be done.  Some might say that this is where our “work” really starts (though some would even state that it’s the marketing and advertising that was put together before we even met our valuable client).  Once the offer is submitted, a bit of psychology goes in to play and it’s time to negotiate for our buyer.  We also act as a “project manager” during this time, leading our clients through the transaction process to the closing date.

The typical closing is 30 days.  True, there are some instances where you have a cash buyer and the closing is a little sooner than 30 days…sometimes only a few days but if you’re like most of us, cash-transactions only happen a handful of times in a given period.  One might think that we’re kicking back, waiting patiently for the closing-date but that’s simply not the case.  From the point that the offer is accepted, we are once again, acting as a project manager and guiding our clients.  We are collecting (or coordinating) the deposits of earnest money and options fees, collecting receipts, scheduling inspections, negotiating repairs, coordinating information with the title company and your lender, making sure the home appraises and if not, going back once again and negotiating with the other party, making sure all of the blanks in the contract are negotiated and upheld by all (which if not, this is another story, another day), making sure the HOA (if there is one) allows what they want to do,  making sure they know what to do and bring to closing, and a large part of simply answering questions ((sometimes daily)), and responding to our clients needs, concerns up until the closing day. (Remember, we are doing this while working with multiple other clients (since we are self-employed, we typically do not just walk into our offices and clients readily walk through the door and want us to help them; this part actually does take quite a bit of effort for them to know we exist ((as well as to prove to them what sets US apart from the competition-this is a very competitive business)), marketing for new clients, advertising and marketing our listings, etc).  All in all, we are making sure our client is happy and protected and is getting the best deal possible for what they want.  (This does not mean we are “taking advantage” of the other party; we simply do not represent the other party–we represent “our” client).

If you’ve ever wondered what your Realtor does after the offer is accepted, I hope this blog post has shed some light on your questions.  There are good and bad people in every business and hopefully you’ve had a great experience with your own Realtor. What we do is not rocket-science…but if you don’t know what you (as a buyer or seller) are doing,  it could have great consequences for yourself as well as your Realtor.  (Again, this is your Realtor’s responsibility to guide you).  Not only legal ramifications (law-suites for things such as non-performance), forfeiture of money (who wants that??) and so many other things can happen if you don’t tread the transaction-path carefully.

ANYONE can buy or sell a home on their own–but do you really “want” to?


Amy S Arey, Realtor | Halo Group Realty | Watters Creek-Allen

214.901.1341-Cell | |

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10 Good Reasons to Sell Your Home During the Holidays

Selling a Home During the Holidays

Selling a home during the holiday season. WOW.  Can you believe it’s already that time of the year?!  If considering taking advantage of this wonderful sellers market to sell your home quicker, and for more money, you shouldn’t list during the holidays because it’s the “slow market”, right?!  WRONG!!  Below are ten reasons why you SHOULD consider listing a home during the holidays.

1.  Your home is generally decorated nicer, feels homier, and may have the pleasant aroma of vanilla, pumpkin, spice, etc.  All of this draws in the buyers’ senses and creates the emotional attraction to  your home.

2.  You’ll “generally” have less showings but more serious buyers.  A time when most people would rather stay at home next to their “own” cozy fire with a mug of hot chocolate, or out shopping for the holiday season, if people are looking during this time–they are serious (especially if they are looking in “not-so-great” weather conditions–snow, ice, or pouring rain).  Let them in 🙂 

3.  Lower Inventory.  Instead of having 10-12 homes to look at that fit their needs, lower inventory (though not quite as bad as it was in the summer, but still low!) means that the buyer(s) may only have a few homes to look at to make their choice from–make yours stand out!

4.  Taxes.   Some people need to move at the end of the year due to needing the tax write-off on the purchase of their new home.

5.  Schools Out!  If moving to a different school or school zone, most parents prefer to move while the children are out on break, or before starting the new semester at their new school.  (This means list in October, early November to capture those buyers who want to close during winter break).

6.  Schools In!  Some empty-nesters are now finding that, after their children left for college the previous Fall, that they no longer need the space or upkeep that they once did.  Realization normally sets in now, after their children have been away at college for a couple of months.  They may be looking for their new home to ring in the new year together (alone!) 🙂

7.  New Years Resolutions.  Yes, I have encountered some sellers whose home simply does not fit their needs or lifestyle anymore but for whatever reason, have put off selling their home.  Most of us start thinking of what we want our New Years Resolutions to be weeks to months ahead of time.  Sometimes, it’s decluttering the closets and getting your home “stage-ready”.  (Another source of buyers lurking around during the holidays!).

8.  Companies Moving Into the Area.  With our economy improving a lot faster than some of the other markets, a lot of companies are moving into the area, and with that move, comes a lot of new employees who will need a home.  The month of January is infamous for relocations (which means more buyers beginning their search in early October/November).

9.  Investment Housing.  Have an UGLY house?  No worries!  If I’ve learned one thing over the past 12 years of my career it’s that there is a house out there for everyone, and a buyer for every house and some will really surprise you!  If your home is in need of cosmetic changes, you don’t have to spend a fortune updating it, as long as you price it correctly (*discuss details with your Realtor as every situation like this is different, depending upon what you want or need to “net” on your home).  Some people start looking for homes that they can lease out at the end of the year because their goal is to invest in an asset for financial reasons and want something a little more stable than the stock market.

10.  Prices and rates are both on the upswing. By taking advantage of the sellers market now, you can list your home and possibly sell within a few days (*again, contingent upon your market and various factors–discuss with your Realtor), not have to deal with endless showings for months on end, make a nice profit and possibly have a smaller interest rate on your NEW home (if you haven’t recently refinanced).

Search for Homes

Have questions about listing or selling a home?  Wondering what homes are selling for in YOUR neighborhood?  Feel free to contact me below and I’ll get a no obligation Home Value Report to you right away!

Contact Me to Discuss What Homes in YOUR Neighborhood Are Selling For Here


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Wondering Why Your Home Hasn’t Sold?

Why Has My Home Not Sold?!

There you are…90 days after putting your home on the market…a few potential “new” homes picked out…and not only not a single offer in sight, but showings have come to a screeching HALT.  What has happened?  Why have other homes in the neighborhood moved faster than yours?  THREE THINGS influence the sale of a property:  1) Location 2) Aesthetic Quality and 3)Price.

Let’s explore:

1) Location:  I absolutely love to work the sale-side of a transaction, and firmly believe that there is a buyer for every home.  (Someone else’s trash your treasure? 😉  The golf-course lots that may be appealing to one buyer may not even be a thought in the mind of a homeowner who once lived on a golf-course lot and had one-too-many golf-balls hit his window.  The lake-view that some may find appealing may be disregarded by someone who feels they attract bothersome mosquitoes.  The overly-ornate house may be the perfect home for someone searching for that niche piece of property.  The key is to 1) know your competitor and what they offer and

2) Emphasize the positive, downplay the “negatives”.2) Aesthetic Quality:   This is not just about what your home “looks” like.  Think about touching all senses…what does your home 1) look, 2) feel,

3) Yes…smell like?  Don’t cover up an odor with heavy fragrances; remove it…then add a light fragrance throughout such as vanilla.  (Notice I said “light”….not over-powering).  Simmer-pots are great for this added touch.

4) Sound like?  (I will also add “taste” for open house situations).  Put on light jazz music to set the mood, turn all of the blinds 3/4 of the way up so that sun comes in, and the rooms appear more open, make sure there is a neutral pleasant scent.  (In helping one of my friends find a home a few years back, there was a home that stood out…the home in which she, her husband and their children live in today, in which we termed “the apple pie house”.  It stood out because of the wonderfully fragrant apple pie candle smell that filled the entire house (unlit, by the way).  It created a “homey” feel and left an impression.  I’m not a fan of candles because of the fire hazards, but vanilla glade plug-ins also work GREAT.  Again, if there IS a particular odor (pet smell, cigarette, etc….don’t just MASK it…it WILL be uncovered 🙂  Fix the problem first, then add the scent).

Exercise:  Park your car in the front of your home at the curb with a notepad in hand. Put yourself in a different mindset for a moment–that of the potential buyer.  Is your grass as green as it could be?  How would you grade the overall curb-appeal?  If you have a green thumb, great, otherwise, this is NOT the time to take up landscaping…leave it to the professionals (or ask us for references who can help) to ensure the best appearance possible.  Are there cobwebs above your door?  Is it in need of powerwashing?  Is the fence in need of staining?  (A small investment now could reap you rewards later).  Remember, a buyers first impression of your home is going to be the lasting one.  It could also mean the difference of a home the potential buyer may drive up to then decide to not even go in because something on the outside made them feel that the interior (or worse-structure) of the home was not taken care of. (Do you have scheduled appointments that are not “showing up”?  This could be the problem.  Once inside…look around-how does it feel?  Is it cluttered with personal belongings? (Make sure to take down all personal photos from your home before putting on the market-you want the potential buyer focused the features of your home….not what you did on family vacation 🙂 Clean everything from the kitchen counter so that the counterspace feels as spacious as possible.  Make sure toys, shoes, etc are in “stash boxes” which you can quickly throw things in and push under a bed or stack neatly in the garage for showings.  (That being said…do NOT cancel appointments unless absolutely necessary.  It’s a numbers game and if they can’t go in, they aren’t going to buy it…but they may buy your neighbors, of whom they got to see).  Make sure vanity areas, toilets, tubs, floors and windows are SPOTLESS.  These things are a reflection of the entire “upkeep” of your home.  Now is not the time to scare away an otherwise interested buyer. Even if you typically do not use one, it may help to have the assistance of a cleaning service while your home is on the market.

3) Price -Price can ALWAYS overcome the latter two issues.  Is your home priced competitively?  When listing your home, your Realtor should have ran comps to determine what homes are selling for and what yours should be listed at.  Some sellers feel that listing higher in the beginning gives buyers an opportunity to “make an offer” that they feel is fair.  Unfortunately, this is just NOT the case.  While listed “too high”, you may be losing out on the qualified buyers who WOULD have been interested in your home.  Something else also happens…when your home sits on the market, buyers and Realtors alike begin to wonder what’s “wrong with it” and may bypass it.  Is YOUR home priced competitively?  A great way to find out is to go look at OTHERS near you which are priced in the same range.  Are you in need of a decrease in price?  Just yesterday, I had a potential seller contact me who had purchased a home, loaded it with upgrades and listed it for top dollar.  He had it listed with a different which the listing expired.  He says to me…”I don’t know why the home hasn’t sold, I really think it’s worth $400k”.  My response?  “Market value is what the general public is willing to pay for a particular property.  YOU may feel it’s worth $400k and “I” may feel it’s worth $400k, but if your home has not sold, and the general public is not willing to pay $400k, then your home is not listed at market value, and is priced too high.

Obviously, the top 3 factors must be coupled by a creative, focused marketing plan by a Realtor who knows your goals, the market, and cares about your best interests.

                              -Amy S. Arey, Realtor * Halo Group Realty * 214.901.1341
                                  Want to know YOUR Home’s Value?click here

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The Truth Behind Why Realtors Ask for Preapproval Letters Before Showing You Property

Requesting a buyer to send over a preapproval letter prior to showing property (or even meeting) these days is not an uncommon practice.  It shouldn’t be taken as an insult to your integrity, credit worthiness or anything of the like.  We (as Realtors) are not only asking you to do this to protect ourselves, but you as well.  We aren’t being lazy or lacking customer-service.  We are making sure you are lined up for success in your home-buying experience.

First and foremost, let me begin by telling you that I’ve been a licensed Realtor since 2001.  In the beginning of my career, I would show property to any buyer without first making sure they were approved.  I was new in the business and simply did not know any better.  What I didn’t realize, is that there is, unfortunately, a LOT of fraud out there, with not only people pretending to be other people to online predators attempting to get “up close and personal” with female Realtors, but also people who simply like to “sight-see” and truly can’t afford a $300,000 home (much less the million-dollar home they are contacting us to see).  Sure, it’s fun to look at model homes and look at the decor and see high-end furnishings…but this is a business and that’s what pinterest is for.  I have also learned over the years…that people who “are” serious and are approved, generally have no problem when asked for a preapproval letter and don’t even question it, for that matter.  

Getting a preapproval letter establishes several things:

1) You are who you say you are.  

Again, this is not an insult to your character.  We may not know you from Adam…much less your payment history, credit worthiness and income level.  This is why loan officers “exist”.  There are catty people out there who get jealous or insecure for who knows what and pretend to be other people.  I’ve personally had an ex-boyfriend’s friend from WAY back contact me (because they had too much time on their hands and wanted to waste mine?) pretending to be someone else.  I take my business very seriously.  I don’t have time to deal with fictitious buyers.

Safety is also a huge concern.  Put yourselves in our (Realtors’) You’re meeting strangers in sometimes vacant houses whom you don’t know a thing about.  I need not remind you of the cases of Realtors being murdered.  A “facebook friend” is still a stranger.  (How much do you “really” know about the people who have been on your facebook friends list for 5 years?).  Think about how many potentially “fake” profiles you have questioned on your friends list.  They may be harmless, but I, for one, would rather not find out the hard way.  You may argue that a murderer can still have an exemplary credit score, but this is not what we are trying to establish in this case-(You are who you say you are and that you’re looking for a house to buy, not trying to meet us for deceitful reasons).

I’ve tried explaining this to someone before who sarcastically said “Well, what protects “me” from “you”?  My response?  “Good question.  My fingerprints are on file with the state of texas on the TREC website.  You can go get fingerprinted and I can check those, but I just need a preapproval letter”.

I’ve also had a situation with a fraudulent buyer from Trulia which I “never” hope to encounter again.  I spent a LOT of time on this buyer from another country who had a fictitious loan officer.  The first red flag I should have noticed was that the loan officer’s preapproval letter (when looking back) had no contact information on it.  This was a story in itself, but the buyers were very much smooth-talkers and I “try” to look for the best in people and believe them (not to mention, we have an ethical duty to represent and fight for our clients).  Luckily, the agent on the other end of the transaction was very experienced and had encountered a similar situation in her career and knew that “I” was not involved in any of the fraud.

Stating you are a “cash buyer” does not mean that removes you from proving you are qualified.  If this was the case, every “sight-see-er” would just state they were a “cash buyer” to remove themselves from the crucial qualification step (and some still try).  Just as a buyer with a home loan should have a pre-approval letter, you as a cash buyer should also have a “proof of funds” (this is generally a bank account showing that the balance of the sales price of the property you intend to purchase is in the account).  Most just white out their personal information, leaving their name to prove that it is, in fact, their account.

I had a buyer just yesterday contact me to show him property but seemed to be offended when I asked for a preapproval letter.  He declined, calling me “lazy and overly-zealous” then added that he was a “cash buyer” and that I “missed out”.  We make the same percentage on the sale of a home whether it is cash or financed.  Whether you can close next week or the end of the month via a financing method makes no difference to me.  What “does” matter is that we will have a good working relationship and name-calling does not necessarily lead me to believe that you are A) a professional or B) telling the truth.

2) Inaccuracies on Credit Reports

I’ve had many a buyer who had information on their credit report that has put a halt on their home-search for various reasons.  Perhaps they cosigned on an apartment for someone and that person left owing a balance and didn’t both telling the cosigner.  Perhaps the information reported was truly someone else with a similar name or social (it happens!).  Either way, these are items that can affect you buying a home and take some time to correct or remove.  The house you wanted to see and intended to buy is now something you can not move forward with until you correct these items.  I don’t need to remind anyone how hot of a sellers market that we are in, in North Texas or the shortage of inventory that we have experienced, forcing multiple full price and over-full price offers everywhere.  That being said, that home you wanted to see likely will not be there (especially if listed under $300k) in 30 days (the least amount of time it generally takes credit bureaus to report new or changes information).

I recently had a buyer who pressed on and on about seeing a property and was not yet approved.   She finally took the 15 minutes to submit an application to get approval to see the property.  When we got there,  the seller complained for about 20 minutes about why her house sale had fallen through and it wasted time, put them in a bad situation since they were relocating because the original buyer’s financing had fallen through.  They had already moved out, forcing them to put the home back on the market again.  The seller made the comment “What is going on with today’s Real Estate Agents…are they not making sure their clients are approved before taking them out to show them property”?   If YOU were a seller and had to get your family out of the house on a Sunday afternoon and put up the dogs for a buyer who you later found out did not have financing in place….how would that make “you” feel?

3) Changing Home-Loan Guidelines

If you haven’t purchased a home in 10-20 years (even if you did have “7 homes in your lifetime with no problem before), I don’t need to tell you that home-loan guidelines on qualification have changed…and are still changing.  If I question a situation on a particular scenario, I always ask feedback from the loan officer since they would know of any changing loan qualifications in their field (likely before we would) just to “make sure”.   Just because you “own three businesses” doesn’t mean you are qualified.  Self-employment guidelines have drastically changed over the past couple of years and you may not be able to qualify for what you think you would have.

A “Newbie” Realtor may make the same initial mistakes that I did at the beginning of my career and show any Tom, Dick, or Harry to hope to get that “next sale”.   However, any of us who have seen the ins and outs of the various scenarios I have just mentioned will tell you that it’s always better to do your due-diligence and make sure you have your ducks in a row to purchase your home.  It’s okay if you are not currently qualified-we can help you get there and do so with clients every day.  If you state you “won’t have any problem getting approved” but refuse to get preapproved, this signifies a red flag to us.  If you are, indeed qualified, why take offense of us asking you to prove it to us?

4) The Obvious

I. like most Realtors, can be very competitive when it comes to fighting for our clients and getting them the home they want.  That being said, we want to line you up for success.  We want “our client” to be the one who comes out on top on a multiple offer scenario.  When we begin looking at homes and you find one you fall in love with, you may think you have time to go home, log online, or call up your favorite banker, credit union or mortgage professional to have them send over a new preapproval letter.  However, times have changed.  Even if they can get to you “that same day” it may be too late.  Most listing agents will not present an offer to their sellers without a preapproval letter.  They are protecting their client (the seller) and making sure the deal would not fall through over financing should they decide to move forward on the transaction with a particular buyer.  You may say “Well, then it wasn’t meant to be” but how many times do you want this to happen before you feel otherwise??  If you like a home and you are up against two other offers–both full price and both financed, and although you are a “cash buyer” with no documentation to prove it….do you really think they are going to choose your offer over another qualified buyer who is “ready to go” and will likely be more prepared to make it to the closing table?

We are not trying to offend when inquiring of your credit-worthiness.  It’s a (huge) part of our job.  I hope if you had qualms over why we do this (prior to reading this) that I’ve cleared up a lot of the misconceptions and questions.  “You” may “know” you are approved, but we don’t.  

Amy S. Arey, Realtor | Halo Group Realty, LLC | 214.901.1341-Cell |

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Gated Lake Front Home For Sale on Lake Ray Hubbard

A beautiful gated home on Lake Ray Hubbard is this week’s featured lake front home in North Texas.  This gorgeous home for sale in the lake-front neighborhood of Anchor Bay in Heath, TX showcases a beautiful blend of Old World style with a touch of Mediterranean. 205 Rush Creek Drive in Heath will please the most discriminating buyer.

Representing the sellers is Carla Whitefield of Briggs Freeman.  Contact Amy Arey for Buyer Representation, or to view this lovely home for sale on Lake Ray Hubbard.


Elegantly displayed with a gorgeous pool overlooking the direct access to Lake Ray Hubbard and a lush front yard, the exceptional curb appeal of this home leaves nothing to the imagination.  This 4-bedroom, 4.5 bath home boasts over 5,000 square feet and a 3-car garage on a gorgeous 1-acre lot near Rockwall.






Beautifully landscaped with inviting double-iron doors, this home provides classic beauty. With ornately detailed decor and finishes, this beauty also has the look of a much more expensive home!  The sought-after winding staircase will easily become the perfect backdrop for all of your family photos.  This home was elegantly remodeled by D Magazine’s Builder of the Year for over 10 consecutive years, Tim Seymour Custom Homes.


Mahogany handscraped hardwood flooring and elaborate chandeliers perfectly accent the tray ceilings to allow for the perfect ambiance.  Giving the home the perfect “moonlit charm” with darker accents, this home is perfect for someone who also loves natural light and a great water view!



Your new dream home comes equipped with an elegant gourmet kitchen, complete with a double oven, commercial range, and massive island, perfect for entertaining.  The sought-after open floorplan balances sophistication and convenience.  You’ll love hosting dinner parties and entertaining guests here!  With energy star appliances, high-efficiency and tankless water heater, your new home is not only a timeless beauty but a great value as well!


Fit for Royalty, all THREE master suites in this home brag of elegance!  All three master “retreats” allow for relaxation, comfort and views, complete with plantation shutters.  Let the sunlight it, or block it completely out!




Is this not the perfect home / view to retire to? 😉

Imagine sipping your morning coffee to this resort-style view ever day….



Complete with an outdoor living area, this home is a true sanctuary.  Elaborate landscaping and an incredible view provide a true oasis!



Amy S. Arey, Realtor | Halo Group Realty, LLC | 214.901.1341-Cell | 


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Can’t Miss Million-Dollar Home: Motivated Seller Home on Lake Lewisville

Don’t miss this exclusive French Provincial Home on Lake Lewisville!  This stunning EIGHT bedroom home for sale in Emerald Sound on Lake Lewisville is everything you’ve been dreaming of!  With over 7900 square feet, this lovely house makes for a great Denton County Vacation or Lake Home! Perhaps you’ve been wishing for a weekend home to get away to, or simply a Texas Lake House that you can come home to during certain seasons of the year.



With a breath-taking drive filled with lush green trees and a spectacular sunset from your second story patio, it’s no wonder you instantly fall in love with 1130 Emerald Sound Blvd in Oak Point.  (Oak Point is just several miles west of Frisco and South of Highway 380, within 7 miles to Interstate 35, and less than a 35 minute drive to Denton enterprise airport).  Best of all, this home provides private access to the lake!! Representing the sellers of this wonderful estate are Jay and Cara Acker of Keller Williams Realty Denton. Listed at $1,499,000…but uh-hum….a little birdie told me that the sellers may accept less if the offer is reasonable 😉



Relax with your favorite coffee, tea, or vino or a great book in your quiet courtyard area.  Escape the noise from the day and listen to the subtle and relaxing sounds of the water feature.



Step inside your double iron doors and you’ll adore every aspect of this well-appointed home.  Such an open feel with rustic charm!


Great for entertaining, celebrations and holidays will be even more memorable in this spacious formal dining.  Handscraped hardwoods and custom stonework sprawl the entirety of this open floorplan.



“Comfortable luxury” perfectly describes this lake home.  The rustic charm easily complements almost any style you decide to mix to create the perfect ambiance.

But wait….there’s more

You’ll love preparing meals in the gourmet kitchen, complete with a commercial gas range, breakfast bar, built-in cabinets, dual sinks, a FARM SINK (!), and a spacious walk-in pantry.



Don’t miss the custom closet:



On nearly 2.5 acres, you will finally get all of the privacy you crave with this lovely lake home.   A glistening pool complete with an expansive deck for all of your various patio furniture makes for great outdoor entertaining space.  Is that the perfect spot for a sand volleyball court I see…?


Enjoy a romantic conversation for two next to the fire-pit with the sun glistening off of the lake…as well as making a ton of family memories roasting marshmallows, making smores and sharing stories.


Amy S. Arey, Realtor | Halo Group Realty, LLC | 214.901.1341-cell | |

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Just Minutes from Frisco, Convenient to Toyota Headquarters and the new Dallas Cowboys Training Facility

As the saying goes (location! location! location!) …is key when buying a home.  This gorgeous Drees-built home is just minutes from highway 121, and is centrally-located and just minutes to either George Bush Freeway, Interstate 35 or Dallas Tollway.  I’m sure you, like many, are considering areas of rapid growth when deciding upon the location of your next home. Being so close to Frisco, 1633 Thomas Lane in Carrollton is an ideal location for those needing to be close to the Toyota Headquarters or the new Dallas Cowboys Training Facility as well.  In your leisure-time, relax on your boat on Lake Lewisville, just north of this home.  (*This home is not a lake-front home).  Need convenience to an airport?  Addison Airport is less than 20 minutes away!


Built in 2000, this home has had plenty of cosmetic updates, yet has a spacious yard with mature trees you do not get in new construction homes in Carrollton or Lewisville.  With 6 full bedrooms, 5 full baths and THREE living areas, this home is perfect for a large family. Listed at $613,000,  and nearly 5,000 sf, it’s the lowest price per square foot in the entire area, and has a gracious yard, large enough for a pool.  If you’re looking for a home in the Coyote Ridge Neighborhood and enjoy amenities such as golf, fishing from the neighborhood fishing pier, having multiple playgrounds with equipment, along with your very own neighborhood restaurant, schedule your appointment today to see this home.

View Neighborhood and School Information Near 75010


The sizes of the enormous guest-bedrooms in this home will shock you.  Pictured above, you’ll find just one of the guest rooms, with its own sitting area and separate bath.

View Other Homes for Sale Near 1633 Thomas Lane


With soaring ceilings, and recent paint, this home is move-in ready, and has a gorgeous interior.


Can you imagine the exterior updated with painted brick, perhaps rustic garage doors?

View the Virtual Tour of 1633 Thomas Lane.

Amy S. Arey, Realtor | Halo Group Realty, LLC | 214.901.1341-Cell


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6-Bedroom Texas Farmhouse Style Home for Sale in Coyote Ridge

Coyote Ridge is located just off of 121 and Hebron in Carrollton, TX.  It lies at the intersection of Lewisville and  Carrollton, on the opposite side of the highway from Castle Hills, among valleys of rolling landscaping and some of the area’s best golf courses!  Less than 5 miles from Lake Lewisville, you’ll always be just minutes away from summertime fun!  This is a prime location for anyone needing to have convenience to Frisco, Plano, or Dallas North Tollway as well!  In the sought-after Hebron High School District, you can’t go wrong!

If you want a community loaded with features like it’s very own fishing pier, community parks, playgrounds, walking paths, playgrounds, golf (to name a FEW!) with it’s very own restaurant…not to mention great golf with your neighbors…you’ll quickly see why everyone loves Coyote Ridge.




Open the door to 1610 Thomas Lane and you’ll instantly fall in love.  The 21-foot soaring ceilings accompany walls of windows in the family room, which allow natural light to cascade into this lovely floorplan.  Directly to each side of your foyer is a formal area.  A great space for a home office, this private area is quiet and away from the other areas of the home.  Easily install french doors for even more privacy!  What would make this even BETTER?  Perhaps looking out the window to see your gorgeous new pool.  (This home has a great lot ready for your dream-pool, and a brand new privacy fence!).  Can you imagine opening your windows and hearing the relaxing sounds of the water feature from your new pool?  A huge value as well…priced under $125SF in a golf-course neighborhood in Denton County….


Dark ebony hardwood flooring compliments the soft pallet of neutral tones in this farmhouse-style kitchen.  With an updated stacked stone backsplash, the must-have gas range, and a beautiful island with great storage, this will easily become your favorite area of the home.  New rustic corbels provide the perfect compliment to make this elegant kitchen with chandeliers “down-to-earth” and homey.


With massive double-masters (one upstairs, and one down), you’ll have great space for the entire family.  Pictured above is one of the guest bedrooms (sitting areas galore!).  Brand new fixtures, hardware, ceiling fans and tasteful neutral paint grace this home with beautiful style.  Sink your toes into brand new carpet upstairs as well!  With too many updates to list, you’ll simply have to see this home in person to appreciate all that it offers.

Have questions or would like to make an appointment to view this home?

Contact Amy Arey Here

Halo Group Realty, LLC | 214.901.1341-Cell | 


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Mid-Century Modern Home Fit For a Celebrity, with Rooftop Decks and Direct Access to Lake Lewisville!

If you love Mid-Century Modern with Scandinavian flair architecture, you will absolutely fall in love with this week’s featured lake-front home on Lake Lewisville!  Fit for a celebrity, this 3-bedroom beauty has everything you could possibly want in a home, including privacy, amazing water views…yet is BUILT for entertaining.  One look at the unique design and TWO roof-top patios, you’ll wonder why you ever even looked at any other homes.  1160 Emerald Sound Blvd in Oak Point Immediately feels like home.  This home is a true bargain at $995,000.


WHERE is Oak Point, you ask yourself?  Just South of 380 and less than 15 minutes to Dallas Tollway, or approximately 12 minutes to Highway 35, your commute to Dallas is a snap. Your commute to either DFW airport or Dallas Love Field is approximately an hour and a half, with a private airport in Mckinney just 35-40 minutes away (you can even build an apartment onto your hangar for those nights you just don’t feel like flying / driving). Entertain in privacy with  two great party decks …or simply enjoy the amazing views of Lake Lewisville…

Contact Me for a Showing of this Amazing Home


Representing the sellers is Patty McCallum of Real Estate Corridor, Inc.  If you don’t yet have a Buyers Agent to represent your needs, contact me today to discuss your needs.

VIEW MORE PHOTOS OF 1160 Emerald Sound Blvd


An open-concept living and kitchen area, clean lines and great room for your favorite art and decor, this is not your grandparents home.  An artsy vibe, yet simple, clean lines await you in this impressive home.  At just 2565 square feet, it’s the perfect size.  A 3-car garage allows for your favorite toys and collectibles.


How’s this for a room with a view?!


This massive island allows for a 7-8 person seating-space.  Hire a private chef (or have your Realtor do it for you after the purchase of your new home 😉 and impress your best friends with your new space.  The perfect space for a night of cocktails and fondue.  This kitchen is like having the Melting Pot right in your own home.


Wake up every day feeling like you’re on vacation with panoramic views of Lake Lewisville.



With THREE fireplaces, you will love this home year-round.


With another bedroom providing access to the patio, this bedroom provides a great space for a home office or creative space for writing with an atmosphere that promotes creativity.


An updated master bath comes complete with marble floors, a separate shower and the sought-after bear claw tub.

Have questions about this home or would like to see it in person?


Amy S. Arey, Realtor | Halo Group Realty, LLC | 214.901.1341-Cell

Connect with Amy Arey and View Recommendations on LinkedIn



Posted in Denton County Lake-Front Homes, weekly featured lake front homes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Easy Do-It-Yourself Tips to Make Your Home Classier

Updating your home to be more chic – without looking cheap – is completely doable on a budget.

If you’re looking to add more class to your home, taking on a DIY project can give your house that extra sense of style while saving you money. No need to cringe at those three little words: “do it yourself.” There really are fast, easy and affordable projects you can do on your own. Here are five relatively easy ways to enhance your home.

1. Replace Your Light Fixtures
Switching out an old or basic light fixture for a more elegant one is an easy way to shift the ambiance of a room. By adding a sophisticated light fixture, you can control the intensity of the light and character of your room. And you don’t need to pay a pretty penny for expensive new fixtures – you can buy used fixtures online.

2. Add Floating Shelves
Installing floating shelves in your home combines the functionality of extra storage space with a bit of style and personal flair. Floating shelves can be mounted on walls in many different patterns, and they come in various materials to give your rooms a unique touch. For a small room choose shallow shelves to display framed photos; for a larger room you can afford to use deeper shelves to hold vases, books and unique trinkets.

3. Paint an Accent Wall
Painting an accent wall can add a pop of color and showcase your personality. Usually a low-risk project, a homeowner of any skill level can tackle this project in a day. You just need some painter’s tape, a brush and the color that suits you! Just make sure the color you choose is complementary with the other colors in the room. Stay consistent between warm and cool tones.

4. Install Decorative Molding
Adding decorative molding around your home can add an extra touch of elegance. Install molding to the ceiling by capping walls, columns and cabinets, or add chair molding lower to the ground. With detailed molding you can add character to your rooms while also making them feel taller and more finished.

5. Build a Stone Fire Pit

Take your sophisticated style outside by building a stone fire pit in your backyard. Completed in only a few hours, take uniquely shaped rocks or large stones and put them together to create a functional and stylish fire pit. Before starting the project, be sure to check your local fire codes or homeowners association to ensure you are safe and allowed to start building.

Adding a touch of class to your home doesn’t have to break the bank! Just be sure to start with one project at a time, allowing yourself to complete one before starting the next. Otherwise, you’ll fall victim to chronic project incompleteness syndrome – not a good look!

Now that you know about these five inexpensive DIY projects, which will you try?

If I can ever be of any assistance in answering your Real-Estate questions, feel free to contact me any time- I would love to help you solve your Real-Estate problems! 

-Amy S. Arey, Realtor | Halo Group Realty, LLC | 214.901.1341-Cell |

Posted in Home-Buying and Home-Selling Advice, Home-Buying, Home-Selling Advice, Home-Selling Advice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Featured Lake Front Home on Lake Lewisville

Summer is here…and if you’re looking for a lake-front home on Lake Lewisville, now is the time to begin looking!  Just imagine yourself being able to relax and enjoy the scenic views from your back yard or patio by as soon as the end of the summer.  If you’ve been dreaming of a lake-home, but have yet to begin your search, feel free to contact me and I’ll get started on your dream-home search right away!

Look at the beautiful curb-appeal!


Featured this week is a beautiful lake-front home in Cross Roads in Oak Shores.  This lake-front home on Lake Lewisville is sure to impress with it’s amazing curb-appeal and stunning water views!  3301 West Oak Shores Drive is a gorgeous 4-bedroom, 6.1 (!!!) bath home with 5552 square feet.  This home features nearly 230′ of waterfront footage! Representing the sellers is Renee Graver from Private Label Realty.

Need Buyer Representation?

Looking for your dream-home with a stunning lake-front view? Contact Amy today to get automatic updates on lake-front homes and never miss out on your dream home from being too busy to look! 


This lake-front property features a 3-car garage, two of which are attached, and 1 detached, which could easily be converted to a studio apartment-area, workshop, home office, and more!



A graceful, winding stairwell and an open floorplan with loads of windows overlooking the water greet you as you open the door to your lovely new home!


Gleaming white cabinets in a beautiful kitchen that you will love to entertain in looks over a cozy family room with amazing tray ceilings!  A neutral scheme, this area is very open, light and bright!  Sure to be a favorite room, enjoy a quiet afternoon relaxing and enjoying the waves hit the shore from the wall of windows!


A view from every corner of this kitchen!


Ever dreamed of having a fireplace in your bedroom?  This home on Lake Lewisville has that, and so much more!

Contact Amy Arey today at 214.901.1341 | to start YOUR Dream-Home Search!


This lovely home has a great office space in the back…and as you may have guessed-a wonderful lake-view as well!  This space would make great office space, an area for home-schooling, a craft or art studio and so much more.  What would YOU use this space for?

Contact Amy Arey to set an appointment to see this lake-front home today @ 214.901.1341


Amy S. Arey, Realtor | Halo Group Realty | 214.901.1341-Cell |

Posted in Denton County Lake-Front Homes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment