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Linnea Lavell

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Explanation of Real Estate Titles

by Linnea Lavell

Recently I sat for my Broker exam and passed so I am now an Associate Broker.  The exam consists a State and National portion with a maximum of 4 hours to complete the exam.  

While updating my new title on my website and all of my advertising, I got to thinking "Do our clients and customers really understand the difference between a real estate agent,  Broker (Managing Broker or Associate Broker), Realtor, Real Estate Salesperson and an unlicensed assistance."  I wanted to take a few minutes and explain the differences in hope of giving a better understanding to our clients and customers we assist with buying, selling and leasing homes.

Each state regulates their individual requirements for licensure for that state but the titles you will come across in each state will be similar.

  • Real Estate Agent:  A person who has earned a real estate license can be called a Real Estate Sales Associate, Salesperson or Agent.  Requirements will vary from state to state but in most states you are required to take a minimum number of classes, submit an application, pay licensing fees and pass your test. For additional information on requirements in the state of Texas, visit the Texas Real Estate Commission website.
  • REALTOR®:  A real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®.  Membership requires the agent to uphold the standards of the association and its Code of Ethics.
  • Real Estate Broker: A person who has additional education beyond the agent level as required by the State, has satisfied the experience requirement, submitted the application, paid fees and passed the state/national Broker exam.  Broker's can work alone or hire agents to work for them. The Managing Broker is responsible for the actions of agents they sponsor or manage.
  • Real Estate Sales Associate or Salesperson:  Same as a Real Estate Agent.
  • Real Estate Associate Broker:  A person who has taken the additional education to earn a Broker's license but chooses to work  under a managing Broker.

If you are planning to purchase or sell a home, it is important to schedule a face to face meeting with the agents you are interviewing so you can ask important questions to determine their knowledge, experience, skill set and personality of the Agent or Broker.  For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact our office.

 

 

Open House April 22 from 2-4 in Lake Dallas

by Linnea Lavell

Lake Dallas - Just Listed

by Linnea Lavell

Spring in Texas Means Storm Season

by Linnea Lavell

Springtime in Texas not only means beautiful sunny days and warm temperatures but it can also mean severe weather. We can get straight line winds, thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes, heavy rain, flash floods and parts of Texas can get hurricanes.  It is always a good idea to have a plan in place and be prepared for severe weather.  

Here are some things to keep in mind to so you are prepared for storm season in Texas.

  1. Have a battery operated storm radio or download an app that will alert you if storms are heading your way. Also make sure you have additional batteries. 
  2. Know where to go in your home if the weather turns bad.  You want to be on the lowest level of the structure with as many walls between you and the outside walls of the home. An interior closet or bathroom on the first floor with no windows is a good choice. A storm shelter is the best choice should your home have one.
  3. Make a plan with your family on where to meet or how to reach each other should you not all be in the same location when a storm hits.
  4. Have an emergency preparedness kit available.  This should include a first aid kit, a flashlight with fresh batteries, a battery powered radio, any medications you must take, bottled water, etc.
  5. Make sure to protector your head.  Cushions or pillows can provide protection for your head.
  6. Make sure you have the proper footwear on during a storm.  If you are home and are barefoot, you will want to put on shoes in case there is broken glass or debris you need to walk over.
  7. Make sure pets are secured and you have food/water for them as well. Your pets will be scared so put their leashes on them and keep them calm during a storm by talking to them.
  8. Stay away from windows and stay inside during a storm. It is very tempting to see what is going on outside but if debris is flying through the air, you don't want to take the risk of being hit by debris or broken glass.
  9. If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a safe location and find shelter.
  10. Watch for downed power lines that could still have an electrical current running through them. Do not touch any downed lines. 

If you do experience damage to your home make sure you contact a reputable repair company to do the work on your home.  Many cities are having contractors register with them.  The town of Little Elm is offering this to residence who have been impacted by storms this past week. To view the information, click here.

Finally remember, things can be replaced but lives cannot.  Stay safe this storm season and keep an eye on the sky.

Natural Spring Cleaning Ideas

by Linnea Lavell

It's the first day of Spring and while not everyone is enjoying blue skies with record breaking temperatures, we in North Texas are enjoying a beautiful day!  

Many people are wanting to do a little spring cleaning around the home and opening the windows to get some fresh air. While you are doing your spring cleaning, it is also a good time to de-clutter your home so go through your closets and see if there are any items that can be donated to a shelter or charity to help those in need.  

You may also want to consider some natural cleansing alternatives that will get things sparkling clean but are less harmful to your family, pets and the environment.  A few of my favorites involve lemons, baking soda, vinegar, salt, cream of tartar, rubbing alcohol and tea tree oil. Here are some simple ways to use these items to get your home sparkling clean.

  • Lemon Scouring Paste- the natural acid in lemons juice removes rust and dirt. It makes an excellent scouring paste when combined with salt.
  • Grout Stains - cream of tartar is a natural bleaching agent. Combine with 1 to 2 teaspoons to lemon juice to make a paste, then apply with a toothbrush to the grout and rinse with clear water.  Your grout will look brand new.
  • Cleaning countertops is as easy as cutting a lemon in half and dip the cut side in baking soda. After scouring the counters, wipe with a clean sponge.  This is not recommended for delicate stone like marble or stainless steel (it may discolor).
  • All purpose cleaner can be made with 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1 1/2 cups of water and 10 drops of tea tree oil.
  • Glass cleaner (streak free) - 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon of corn starch.
  • Scouring cleanser - 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 tablespoon dish soap, enough white vinegar to make a paste.
  • Wood cutting board cleaner - wipe with full strength white vinegar or cut a lemon and rub over board to sanitize it.
  • Freshen the garbage disposal by taking the lemons you used for your cleaning, drop them in the disposal and turn it on.  Lemony fresh and sanitized.

If you have questions or would like additional ideas, please contact me

 

 

 

Spring Forward

by Linnea Lavell

It's that time of year again to set our clocks forward 1 hour.  The official beginning of Daylight Savings time for 2017 is 2 a.m. on March 12.  Before you go to bed Saturday night, don't forget to set your clocks forward 1 hour.

It is also a good time to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.  

Spring is just around the corner.  Enjoy yourselves!

 

 

Popular Paint Colors for 2017

by Linnea Lavell

Painting a room is an easy and fairly inexpensive way to update your home.  Color can make a tiny room feel larger, or a spacious room feel more warm and intimate.  

Selecting a color can be overwhelming with all the options available.  Take your time, use the tools offered by many paint companies and find a color that works for you and your home.  Don't be afraid to experiment with color.  You can purchase a small sample of paint to try out on your walls to see if it will work with your vision of the home.

Take time to check out some home decor magazines to get ideas.  Not all colors will work with all home styles so research what others have done that might work for your home.  You don't have to exactly copy what someone else has done but maybe take parts of one design and combine it with another to make something that is unique to you and will work with your home.  

The forecasters are making predications as to what will be the most popular color trends this year. Neutrals are always popular, safe, traditional and comforting. Dress up the neutral color by adding pops of color throughout the room.  Color forecasters are indicating chocolate browns, mocha browns and cinnamon as popular colors.  Green is continuing to gain strength and popularity.  Red, pink and violet have also become popular choices.

Colors that are not fairing so well this year include orange  (unless you choose coral or a deep, earthy orange), true yellows, and soft lavenders (or true deep purples).

Color is a powerful design tool that can make your home feel warm, calm, cheerful, comfortable or dramatic. Color is a wonderful way to lift your mood (and it doesn't have the calories associated with ice cream or dark chocolate). 

Be creative, have fun and spice up your home with a little color.

Curious about the current value of your home?  For a free home valuation, click here.

 

 

For Buyers: Internet vs. In-Person

by Linnea Lavell

Don’t believe everything you see on the internet. You’ve heard that one before. It’s great to start out by conducting research if you’re interested in buying a home, but I strongly advise you to be conscientious of the websites you use to do your browsing.  

Here is an interesting article to read regarding online property portals.  

The internet can be a great source of information but it can also cause you to have more questions than answers when you research a topic. As an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®), I can lead you in the right direction and better explain the online property portal process. I look forward to working with you!  

Feel free to check out the buyer reports page on my website for additional information.

 

 

FHA Reduces MIP Rate

by Linnea Lavell

**Update to this blog entry.  White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued a memorandum Friday night, January 20, 2017 to all executive departments and agencies to freeze new or impending regulations giving the new administration time to review them.  This includes the reduction of MIP rates that were set to take place January 27, 2017.  According to a report from CNN, this is fairly standard for a new administration taking over from the other party.  To see the full article click here.  

 

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) which is part of the Department Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on January 9 a reduction in Mortgage Insurance Premium of one quarter percent for most borrowers on closings/disbursements happening on or after January 27, 2017. This is great news for home buyers using a FHA loan.  For the average homeowner, this is expected to be a $500 savings annually in insurance costs.

To see the full news from HUD, click here.

FHA has been helping people become homeowners since 1934. FHA insures the loan so your lender can offer you a better deal.  With a FHA loan, your down payment can be as little as 3.5%.  If you have questions about FHA loans or what loan type is best for you, contact our office for a free loan analysis.

Buyer Representation When Purcahsing a Home

by Linnea Lavell

Buying a home is one of the largest financial decisions you will ever make so doesn't it make sense to have an experienced representative to work with you during the transaction?   

Not all real estate agents are created equal so here is a further explanation of types of buyer representation.

A Buyer's Representative (or simply Buyer's Rep) is a licensed real estate agent that represents a prospective home buyer during their transaction.   You can expect a Buyer Rep to assist you with how much you house you can afford to buy, understand your wants/needs, locate appropriate properties, view the homes with you, provide information on homes, advise you in formulating an offer, help with a negotiation strategy and keep track of the details throughout the transaction.  A Buyer Rep should make the home buying experience go as smoothly and successfully as possible.

An Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR) is a buyer's agent who has taken advanced training and  who has proven experience in servicing the special needs of the buyer client.  In addition to knowing the dynamics of the local market, an ABR designated buyer's rep can help you make informed decisions throughout the entire home buying process.  

A Buyer Rep and an ABR can also assist you with new construction.  It is important to remember that the builder representatives are just that - representatives of the builder.  When making such a large financial decision, it is important to have someone that represents you the buyer and can help you throughout the home buying process.

Many buyer's are concerned about the commission for a buyer's rep.  In the vast majority of cases, the seller's contract outlines the commission for the buyer's rep.  

If you are considering purchasing a home in the North Texas area and need an ABR, I would be happy to assist you.  To schedule an appointment visit my website.

 

 

 

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 47

Contact Information

Photo of Linnea Lavell Real Estate
Linnea Lavell
RE/MAX North Central
6401 Eldorado Pkwy, Suite 300
McKinney TX 75070
214-280-5900
214-810-5906
Fax: 877-488-1740