Are the Lack Of Home-Loan Options Leaving You Feeling “Stuck”?

Home Loans, and knowing which one best serves your needs, can be tricky in today’s market.  Understanding which type home loan and product works best for your particular scenario can save you thousands of dollars (not to mention frustration!). With such low inventory in North Texas, creativity counts when 1) you need to win in a multiple-offer scenario and 2) have a challenging situation or are self-employed.  If you’re wondering how to qualify for your next home, read on…

Thankfully, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the BEST loan officers in our business!  If you aren’t finding homes that meet your “move-in-ready” standard, let me introduce you to a pro who can tell you all about the 203K home loan program.  Looking to actually flip property for profit, and not actually owner-occupy the home?  I have a wonderful connect with a bank which offers you a line of credit after just two successful “flips”.  Credit-challenged or a recent divorce has left your credit score less than “healthy”?  With today’s FHA home-loan, which offers a 3.5% down-payment option, your score has to be at least a 580 for financing approval.  Is this your first home, or the lack of a down-payment is preventing you from owning a home?  Perhaps the SETH down-payment program is for you (requires a 620 Fico Score).  Self-employed, and wondering how that will affect you?  As you might guess, I have wonderful loan officers who are ready to lend and specialize on this particular type of situation, too!  Considering a move-up or want to enhance your lifestyle?  Concerned your current home won’t sell before the dream-home you just saw sells (to someone else)?  Let me introduce you to the Bridge Loan Program.  I also have access to the relatively new 3% Conventional loan program or get this….a 1% Conventional Loan Program through one of my preferred lending partners.  Whatever your situation, chances are…there is a product out there for you.  Let’s recap just a few of the primary options that are currently available to you (all data is as of 5/10/17; always confirm as rules and guidelines can change at any time, and without notice):

FHA Home Loans (580+ Fico Score / 3.5% of sales price as down-payment)

SETH Down-Payment Assistance (Zero Down) Programs (620 Fico Score-can be used with FHA OR Conventional Loans

Conventional Home Loan (680+ Fico Score) 

203k Home Loan (For Owner-Occupied Renovations / Fixer-Uppers)

Bridge Loans (Help you buy your next home before you’ve sold your first one if you don’t qualify for both). 

Portfolio Loans and Hard Money Loans (Investment Property / Property Flipping)

There are SO many options and products in today’s market! 

By the way…if you haven’t already heard, as of 7/01/17, more than 60% of tax liens and public records currently reflected on one’s credit bureau will be taken off for not meeting the new guidelines.  If one of these situations has prevented you from your home-ownership goals and dreams, feel free to contact me, and I’ll put you in touch with the loan officer who specializes in that particular scenario.  I would love the opportunity to listen to your story, and find a successful solution to your problem.


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

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

52 Weeks to An Organized Home

Selling a Home, or even the thought of selling a home in this fast-moving North Texas market can strike fear in many.


While the thought of making a large profit can certainly leave you dreaming of dollar signs, the looming thought of the large “to-do” list can seem so overwhelming that you may put off moving for the simple fact that you feel you have “too much to do” before you even put your home “on” the market.  Or, you may feel you’re ready….or can wave your magic wand and get the home on the market in a week (then along come the kids, the dogs, the utterly insane sports schedules, school pick-ups and work meetings) then you realize your time ran out quicker than you thought.  Maybe you even thought your home was ready to put on the market….then after looking through MLS listings, you realize your house just does not stack up to the competition in the way it currently presents itself.  DO NOT FEAR. 🙂  Your local Realtor- (moi’) has a plan for everything 😉

Ask Me How Much You Can Net On The Sale Of Your Home!

OR…perhaps you don’t want to put your home on the market “this” summer…but after hearing about how much profit your friends / neighbors made on the recent sale of “their” home, you are certainly considering it!  Below is a step-by-step 52-Week Plan to Get Your Home Organized without feeling pressed for time or in a rush.  (Don’t forget to get your important documents organized and locked away as well!).  This will also give those of you who need it time to work on any financial or credit goals (such as saving for your down-payment!).  In a year, you will look back realizing how stress-free the process truly was!  (You may find this a great list to also go through if you “are” in a pinch on time and want an organized way to go about your projects that will keep you on track.  Simply Combine a designated number of items per week).  Ready?! 


Week     1:  Kitchen Counters and Sink  (Find a Home for Those Appliances on the Counter / Put away!).  The More Counterspace You See, the Larger the Kitchen Will Seem

Week     2:  Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers

Week     3:  Pantry and Food Storage

Week     4:  Refrigerator and Freezer

Week     5:  Recipes

Week     6:  Recycling / Trash Cans

Week     7:  Meal Planning / Grocery Shopping (If you haven’t tried Amazon Fresh for Grocery Delivery, it’s Amazing-Saves Time and Usually Money, AND You Can Get Your Groceries Within the Hour.  In my own home, we have began picking out meals each week via pinterest, then making the grocery list via Amazon Fresh.  When you see you are running low on an item, simply add it to your “cart” then check out on your designated “shopping” day each week.

Week     8:  Laundry Room  (Get Trendy / Cute Baskets to House Detergent Bottles / Bags)

Week     9:  Laundry Schedule

Week  10:  Cleaning Schedule

Week  11:  Garage

Week  12:  Attic

Week  13:  Addresses and Contact Info

Week  14:  Mail

Week  15:  Bills

Week  16:  Magazines and NewsPapers   (Get Storage Containers / Donate the Old to Shelters or Neighborhood Transitional Housing).

Week   17:  Passwords / Manuals / Warranties

Week   18:  Clean Out that “Junk Drawer” 😉  Replace it with Warranties.

Week   19:  Home Office (File Away Papers / Declutter)

Week   20:  Get Frames for Photos that Have Piled Up

Week   21:  Email and Digital Information

Week   22:  Bathroom (Update Fixtures if Needed, Throw on a Coat of Fresh Paint)

Week   23:  Makeup / Cosmetics (Throw out Old / Buy Organizers for Under the Cabinet Storage)

Week   24:  Linen Closet (Buy New, Fresh Towels)

Week   25:  Master Bedroom Closet (Organize and Color Coordinate so that your lighter colors are closest to the closet entrance, darker colors in back–a little trick to make your closet appear larger).

Week   26:  Master Bedroom (Buy Area Rug /Bedside lamps if needed)

Week   27:  Jewelry / Accessories (Organizers!)

Week   28:  Shoes!

Week   29:  Kids or Guest-Bedroom Closets

Week   30:  New Pet Bowls / Bedding

Week   31:  Toys and Games

Week   32:  Entryway / Mud Room

Week   33:  Living Room / Family Room

Week   34:  Dining and Entertaining

Week   35:  Crafts / Books

Week   36:  First Aid Kit / Emergency Preparedness / Organize Medications

Week   37:  Handbags

Week   38:  CD’s / DVD’s

Week   39:  Holiday Decor / Holiday Decor Closet or Attic

Week   40:  Business Cards

Week   41:  Decorate Storage or Baskets for Extra Blankets / Throws / Remotes

Week   42:  Front Yard-New Mulch, Seasonal Flowers, Color Framing Door

Week   43:  Back Yard-Tidy Furniture / Add Decor Items / Outdoor Rug / Mulch / Fresh Plants and / or Flowers.  Sod if needed.

Week  44:  Put a Fresh Coat of Paint on the Front Door!

Week  45:  Regrout Guest Baths / Floor If Needed

Week  46:  Regrout Master Bath / Floor if Needed

Week  47:  Regrout Kitchen Floor if Needed

Week  48:  Buy a Colorful Wreath for the Front Door

Week  49:  Dust all Blinds in Home

Week  50:  Clean All Windows Inside and Out!

Week  51:  Clean Baseboards / Touch Up Paint or Repaint All / Touch Up all Doors

Week  52:  Replace Any and All Burned Out Light Bulbs

This may seem like a lot of work, but the difference is in the details and even in a market with low inventory, you still want to sell your home at the highest price in your neighborhood, right?  (Right!!).  Now….Contact Your Realtor for Your Pre-Listing / Pre-Staging Appointment! 


Amy S. Arey, Realtor | Halo Group Realty, LLC | 214.901.1341-Cell / Connect with Me on LinkedIn!




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

Home Loan Application Check-List

Home Loan Application Checklist – Items needed for Loan Application

Employment and Income Documentation:  
• Provide your last 30 days of pay stubs.
• Provide W-2’s for the past two years.
• Provide all pages and schedules of last two years personal federal tax returns, please sign page two.
• If retired, provide benefit award letter, last two years 1099’s, and all pages and schedules of last two years tax returns
• If any rental income is received, provide copy of current lease agreement and two years tax returns
• If VA and active duty personnel copy of Statement of Service Letter and Off Base Housing Authority Letter

Proof of Assets Information
• Provide ALL pages of most recent 2 months statements for all accounts listed in assets section of loan application; including all
checking, savings, stocks, IRA, 401k, etc.
• If funds to close will come from a gift, complete the gift letter and the following: (see gift requirements)
a. from the donor – a front and back copy of the cleared check from the donor’s account
b. from the borrower – a copy of the deposit slip showing the gift check deposited into your account, and a stamped balance
statement from the depositors bank
• If funds to close will come from sale of home, copy of Hud-1 from sale of home and deposit slip showing proceeds deposited into
bank account

Additional Documentation
• Copy of driver’s license or passport AND social security card or green card
• If you have obligations due to legal actions, for example child support, bring in any judicial decree
• If applicable, a full copy of bankruptcy papers, including all schedules and discharge, we will also need a credit explanation letter
explaining the circumstances which caused your bankruptcy and include how this circumstance has been corrected
• If you are a Veteran, or a spouse of a deceased Veteran you need a Certificate of Eligibility and a copy of VA DD214
• Obtain a new homeowners insurance policy within 96 hours of loan application.
• If you have an American Express Card, provide copy of most recent monthly statement(s)

Self Employed or Business Owners
• Provide all pages and schedules of last two years business tax returns and corporate K-1’s
• Letter from CPA verifying currently self-employed for the last two years
• If more than 25% ownership of a corporation, please provide two years of Corporate Tax Returns
• Copy of business license
For Refinance Transactions
• A copy Mortgage Statement for all properties listed on tax returns
• Copy of the “Note” or “Adjustable Rate Note” (This information can be found in your previous loan closing documents)
• Provide HUD-1 settlement statement if you obtained a purchase money second at the time of purchase.

Considering Buying or Selling a Home?  Need a referral for a great loan-officer whom you would be in great hands with?  Contact me; I can help!

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


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

Spring Cleaning and Organization

Spring Cleaning time of the year is here, and it’s the perfect time to organize your home. Included in organization are those oh-so-important documents and information that seems to never be at your fingertips when you need them (birth certificates, immunization records, etc).  I am the first to admit that while I may be organized with things in my professional life, those documents in my personal life seem to never be where I need them.  So, let’s take this time to get organized together!  Especially if you’re considering putting your home on the market this summer, now is the perfect time to start organizing your home and donating items that are no longer useful so that you aren’t bombarded with so much to do in the midst of summer before listing (when you would much rather be on vacation and spending quality time with your family 🙂


Some people have not embraced the usefulness of the bookmarking app of Pinterest.  “Do-It-Yourself-er” or not, you’ll find many great ideas here…and not just for the home.  One in particular that I ran across seemed great for organizing and storing all of life’s useful documents.  Whether you decide to important documents in a file-cabinet and lock it away, place them neatly in the garage (so that that ugly filing cabinet is out-of-sight), or store life’s must-haves on an external drive, consider making a second copy filed under “items for home loan” if considering purchasing a home soon.  Not only will it make your home loan process much smoother, but should something happen or an emergency arise such as an unexpected surgery or hospitalization, another family member will know exactly where to go to make sure there’s no lapse in any important bill during your stay.  So jump on Amazon and get a few filing-cabinets and let’s begin, working one-by-one:  (by the way…the mentioned website also has a lot of great tips for the home!).

List Of Important Documents. Paper/ file organization. Also to ensure you have as part of an (organized) emergency evacuation plan.:

Once you’ve organized all of the important papers and documents in your life…on we go to organizing other important matters of the home.  If you’re considering selling a home this summer, your agent will be so impressed when they come by for your pre-listing appointment!  Bookmark this page and sign up for updates to get great tips and advice on streamlining your home in easy-to-follow steps…and don’t miss my next blog-post offering great advice on how to declutter a home without feeling overwhelmed or bombarded!

Considering Selling YOUR Home and Wondering What You Can Net On the Sale?

Visit My Website to Search for Homes

Contact Me Any Time Via Text / Email or Call; I’m Always Happy to Help!

Amy S. Arey, Realtor 

Halo Group Realty, LLC | 214.901.1341-Cell |

**Connect with me on Linkedin here to view recommendations from my clients**

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

The HOTTEST Home Improvements for Resale in North Texas

Wondering what the HOTTEST Home Improvements and Interior Updates are in North Texas Right Now?

No doubt you can find a number of magazines and websites with articles on the best updates for resale.  The problem with these articles is that they focus on the national or global scale.  If you’ve ever renovated your home and then tried to sell it, you especially, know that $ in does not equate to $ out.  That being said, it’s important to know what updates are behind the fastest-selling homes in your specific area when considering renovating your home.

Wondering what YOUR Home Could Sell For?  Click Here to Find Out Now!


Based upon multiple economists predictions, the housing market in Texas will continue strong in 2017 due to two dominating factors:  1)  The ever-increasing demand in housing in housing from the ever-increasing group of first-time home buyers, and 2) the continued job-growth.  While the upper-end luxury real estate market has tapered off, the demand for housing under $350,000 has increased more than ever.  With that demand, comes a younger crowd with different wants an needs. When considering selling a home, or considering renovating to get the most money for your home, its important to know what’s driving the wants / needs of these consumers to get the best “bang for your buck”!

Search for homes in Collin County

It’s important to understand what is going on in your local market to know how you stand up next to the competition. Based on a survey from yours truly 😉 of homes sold in North Texas (that went under contract within a week of being listed and sold for more than list-price), there was one dominating factor:  a move-in ready home.  With the growing number of younger home-buyers in our local market, I might also be so bold as to suggest that we can get a little “trendier” with updates to appeal to the current consumer opposed to the normally recommended “neutral traditional” winning the cake.  I don’t have to tell anyone that Millennials have a reputation for being BOLD.  They want a move-in ready home with character.  (Note:  I am not suggestion you do not need to repaint those purple and red accent walls; there is still something to be said for mass appeal and knowing what is popular in a given location within a specific price-range). We must know our audience to know how they will perceive our product!  How does one do this you might ask?


So what “are” the sought-after updates that are helping homes in North Texas sell faster than their competition (and for more money?!)

  1. Open Floorplans / Open Concept (I KNOW; surprise for me too!! ;0)

Knock that Wall Down!  People crave space they can relax and entertain in…

We are also still seeing a lot of “greige” paint in homes, with the aid of Revere Pewter…


2.  Gourmet Kitchens with Gas Ovens, Huge Islands that Double as Breakfast Bars


….don’t forget the “trendy pendant lighting” over the bar…


3.  Hardwood Flooring 

(The tile-like hardwood is a GREAT substitute-especially in areas with moisture, and makes for a great,  less-expensive route with the look of real hardwood!)


4.  Brick Accents and Limestone Washed Fireplaces


5.  Subway Tile Back Splash


6.  Mature Trees

Homes for Sale in Richardson, Homes in Eldorado in Mckinney and other areas of Collin County offer lush, treed lots.  Search for yours here!.


7.  New Roof

It probably does not surprise you that living in Texas, one might consider a new roof a definite “plus” when searching for their next home.  If your roof is in need of repairs, contact me!  I will be able to refer you to various roofers in DFW whom my clients have had great experiences with! 


8. New Front Door – The Mission-Style Door

Is there any surprise that consumers value a new front door as a sought-after amenity on their “must-have” list?  A simple investment that can instantly transform the exterior look of the home by adding life to curb-appeal,  as well as the immediate foyer area by allowing natural light to cascade in, creating more of a “homey” and “open” feel, this is a can’t lose investment when considering renovating your home.  (The mission style door, shown below, seems to make quite the appearance in renovated homes in Collin County right now).  This should be a shoe-in considering that most people make their first impressions within 7 seconds.  These pertinent seconds could be the seconds that decide if the buyer wants to even “come in” to your home or not…

**Don’t forget that “pop” of color next to your door to make your home feel inviting and well-cared for!**



Wondering how much your current updates could get you when selling a home?  Wondering what to do to your home to get top dollar? 

Contact me today to listen to your goals / discuss options to meet your goals!


Amy S. Arey, Realtor | Halo Group Realty, LLC | 214.901.1341-Cell – SEARCH FOR HOMES


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

Boyd High School Zoned Featured Lake Front Home

This week’s featured lake-front home sits on an absolutely breath-taking lot with scenic water views and a beautiful cascade of trees.  This home for sale in Mckinney’s sought-after Boyd High School zone in Mckinney ISD has 4-bedrooms, 3.5 bath areas, a 3-car garage, and is 3784 SF.  As expected, this stunning home has just as many beautiful interior features as it does exterior beauty.


View Homes for Sale in Mckinney Boyd High School District


Representing the seller is Beth Casey of Keller Williams North Collin County.  This brick and stone exterior home with to-die for views will not be available for long.  Set your viewing appointment today!  This home is for sale for $695,000.



This lake-front home in Lakeside Crossing gives you a serene and peaceful feeling from the moment you open the door.  The soaring, two-story ceilings and neutral paint elegantly coordinate with the dark, hardwood flooring.  What’s so extremely rare about this home you ask?  It’s one of the very few properties that overlook both the golf-course AND the lake!  Better yet, it was recently remodeled and move-in ready!



Is that an amazing view from your living room or what?!


You will instantly fall in love with this beautiful kitchen, which showcases yet another beautiful view of the pool and water from your breakfast nook.  Leathered granite, spanish revival fixtures and loads of natural lighting create just the right transitional atmosphere. The must-haves of gas-cooking, a Bosch dishwasher and luminous under-the-cabinet lighting provide an elegant touch with kitchen essentials!  This may be my personal favorite room of the entire home…

View Homes for Sale in Mckinney in the Dowell Middle School Zone

Ready for a close-up of what all of those wall-to-wall windows have been looking out at…?



Dressed in popular Revere Pewter, this elegant master bedroom will coordinate well with both warm and cool tones.  What is that we see…?  Have you noticed the direct access to that lovely patio / entertaining area with an outdoor fireplace?  (This area also has amazing views of the lake, golf-course and heavily treed lot).  If you’re looking for a home for Sale under a Million in Mckinney with a fantastic view, don’t miss 1309 Hidden Meadow Road!

Ready for a few more views of that beautiful lot?!




Have questions on this or another home for sale in / around the Mckinney area?

Contact me today!

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

214.901.1341-Cell |

view what Amy’s clients are saying about her

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

Mid-Century Modern Home in Dallas with a View of a Private, 3-Acre Lake!

Mid-Century Modern Homes in Dallas have been sought-after for some time now.  Perhaps it’s because of the lack of product on the market, or the lack of this style that is in such popular demand.  No doubt that as soon as you see a great Mid-Century Modern Renovation, it’s likely under contract just as soon as it hits the market (and sometimes before it even hits MLS!).  In many cases, this rare breed of homes is sold via “word of mouth” from your Real Estate Agent’s network (especially in the upper-end, luxury price-point). Today’s featured lake-front home in North Texas is non other than a fabulous mid-century modern renovation that sits on a private, 3-acre lake in Dallas, shared by only 16 other homes! bizerte-exterior-2


Both the views and the curb-appeal of this beautiful 3-bedroom, 3-bath home will take your breath away.  Perfectly-manicured trees and a great Mid-Century Modern contemporary design welcome you as soon as you drive up.  This home is listed for sale at $599,000. Representing the sellers is Paul Kirkpatric of David Griffin and Company.

Request a private viewing of 635 Bizerte Avenue in Dallas


Those soaring ceilings, bamboo flooring and the walls and walls of windows will simply take your breath away!  This open concept space allows for great natural light…and oh, the views!!  Cozy up next to one of THREE fireplaces and enjoy the beautiful colors of leaves in the fall, or the amazing landscape of blooms in the spring!


Move-in ready, this Mid-Century Modern is ready for you…



Equipped with all of the features that you can expect in this great home, the chef in the family will love the white-oak cabinets, stainless steel appliances and popular quartz counter tops (not to mention the “must-have” gas oven!).  With impressive qualities from the inside out, you simply won’t know which part of this lake-front home is your favorite. Built for entertaining, the open floorplan offers many “conversation areas”.



Can you imagine having dinner with this view every night?

View more photos of this Mid-Century Modern Home Here


Such a serene, relaxing view of the lake and your pool area, don’t you think?

Look for Other Lake-Front Homes near Dallas

The only bad news?  This home is already under contract.

Contact Amy below to stay on top of Mid-Century Modern or Lake-Front Homes for Sale near Dallas, TX.  You must be quick to win the prize in this sellers market.  Let me help you stay on top of the best homes for sale in North Texas.

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

Serving North Texas since 2002!

View Amy Arey Reviews from Current and Past Home Buyers and Home Sellers


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