Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 17

Open House April 22 from 2-4 in Lake Dallas

by Linnea Lavell

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!



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.





Season's Greetings from Our Family to Yours

by Linnea Lavell

Wishing you all a very Happy Holiday Season and a prosperous New Year!  

3 Ways Lenders Can Help Buyers Win!

by Kurt Gonzalez Highlands Residential Mortgage

 As buyers run into situations where they are competing in multiple offer situations these are the key things that can help buyers compete and win. 

Over the last two years these strategies have worked in the DFW area where homes go on the market and have anywhere from a few to more than twenty offers within 48 hours.

Experienced Realtors consistently use these strategies to compete and win in these situations.  Here is how the lender can help.

1.Pre Approval – make sure the buyer is fully pre-approved.  This means that the lender has not only pulled credit, but fully reviewed the buyer’s supporting documents.  Of primary importance are tax returns, paystubs and asset documents.  Also, good lenders will run the loan through an automated approval system or in some cases have an underwriter review the file personally.

2.Call the Listing Agent – have the lender call the listing agent directly and share some basic information about the buyer’s qualifications. Lenders are prohibited from sharing specific personal information but can discuss the buyer’s overall strength.

At Highlands Residential we will also discuss being a local lender with great local appraisal panel and advise the listing agent that they will be kept in the loop throughout the entire transaction.

3.Close Fast – great Realtors will often discuss with the listing agent the seller’s specific needs and prepare an offer that suits the seller. If the seller wants to close fast this is where a great lender can really help. 

We have helped many buyer’s win in multiple offer situations by closing in two weeks or less. Also, in today’s market many listing agents are advising sellers to avoid pre approval letters from big banks or out of state lenders because many of them cannot close transactions within a 30 day window.


This guest blog is courtesy of The Gonzalez Group at Highland Residential Mortgage.

To view homes in the DFW Metroplex, click here.


Rosa Gonzalez, Senior Loan Officer, NMLS#1193032, Office: 972.985.4700, Cell: 972.816.4616, / Kurt Gonzalez, Branch Manager, Office: 972.985.0000, Cell: 214.535.2882, / Angie Liebel, Business Development, NMLS#621451, Office: 972.581.2996, Cell: 214.435.6163,

Highlands Residential Mortgage / Gonzalez Group, 12001 N Central Expressway, Ste 750 / Dallas, TX 75243 / NMLS #134871


Dallas Cowboys New World Headquaters at The Star

by Linnea Lavell

Football season is almost here and the Dallas Cowboys are getting ready to move their headquarters from Valley Ranch to their new practice field in Frisco called The Star.

When completed, The Star will be a 91-acre mixed-use development that will include the Cowboy’s Headquarters building, an entertainment district with restaurants and retail, an Omni Frisco Hotel with convention center, a Baylor Scott & White sports medicine center and office space.

Here are some things you may not know about the new facility.

  • In a partnership between the Cowboy’s, the City of Frisco and the Frisco ISD; The Ford Center at the Star is a 12,000 seat indoor stadium that will house high school operations on one side and Cowboys operations on the other with the turf shared between them.  This is a first for an NFL training center.
  • The Cowboys will have a members-only club. The Cowboys Club at The Star will be similar to a country club only instead of a golf course, members will have the availability to watch the Cowboys practice.  Members will also have access to: a terrace overlooking the practice; the Cowboys Fit Club, where members of the Cowboys cheerleaders will train; talks given by coaches, players and owners; multiple dining options; private and corporate meeting spaces; billiards tables and a roof-top swimming pool. The initial 800 memberships are currently sold out. A family membership costs $4500 plus $350 per month.
  • Scheduled for completion the summer of 2017, the Omni Frisco Hotel will be a 16-story hotel that will have a two level connector between the hotel and the practice field.  There will be two restaurants that are open to the public in the hotel.  For a fun touch, some of the fabric used for the hotel will have a nod toward stitching on a football.
  • The Cowboys coaches offices overlook the practice field.  This setup allows the coaches to watch practice from a raised level and to diagram plays on a mini turf field outside of their offices.
  • The technology is amazing!!  The Cowboys are working with A T & T to install features in the war room (a 40 ft. by 30 ft. room) which include an interactive video wall made up of three rows of five 55 inch LCD narrow bezel displays; two 98 inch multi-media touch displays that will be used for side by side comparisons of players;  the Cowboys will be able to stream up to sixteen different video applications at the same time; and the room will include six secure phone lines for draft day for conversations with drafted players, the NFL, other teams, etc.
  • The team’s locker room, which will have walls are curved in the shape of a football will also have custom designed lockers which are being built off-site and will be delivered later.
  • One of the first events at The Star will be a quadruple header featuring all eight high schools in the Frisco ISD on August 27, 2016. For information on the Kickoff Celebration click here.

As Frisco continues to grow, we look forward to welcoming all the new businesses and residents to the area.

City of Frisco.

Frisco ISD.


Latest List of the Ugliest Paint Colors

by Linnea Lavell

Every year we have a new list of the ugliest home paint colors but after extensive research the Australian government thinks it has come up with the world's ugliest paint color. The lucky, or unlucky, winner is Pantone 448 C which is a lovely shade of greenish-brown bile called Opaque Couche. This color has such a negative impact that the Australian government is considering using this it to discourage people from smoking and other governments may follow suit.

When people choose paint colors they want to feel happy and uplifted however Opaque Couch misses that mark by a long way.  It might not be bad as a color for a pair of slacks or a jacket but that would be it. For a color in your home, it would be best to just say "No thank you".

Other colors that interior design experts have included on their worst possible colors you could have in your home include Peach Fuzz, Orange Popsicle, Blazing Yellow, Poppy Red, Parfait Pink and Revere Pewter.

If you are considering doing some painting at your home, do yourself a favor and do some research, test sample colors or consult an interior design specialist to see what colors will work best in your house.  Also don't forget if you are painting the outside of your home, many Home Owner Associations (HOA)  have specific regulations about colors of homes in their neighborhood so check with your HOA before purchasing your paint.






Back to School Tips

by Linnea Lavell

As summer draws to and end it is time to start thinking about getting the kids ready for going back to school.  There are so many things to think about, it can get overwhelming so here are few tips to help make the transition from summer break to school a little easier for both the parents and the kids.

  • Update medical records.  Most schools will let you know if medical records are out of date.  This is a good time to review and make sure everything is current and if the kids will be participating in sports get the physicals out of the way.   Make sure to address any medical concerns and provide a list of allergies to staff and administrators at the school.  Also make sure that all medical emergency information is up to date.
  • Get to know your children’s new teachers.  Try to reach out to the new teacher outside of orientations, open houses and other school events so you have some one on one time with the teachers.   At the very lease send an introductory email that includes finding out things you can do throughout the year to help regardless of how big or small. 
  • Ask your kids about their concerns.  Starting school can be exciting but there can also be some anxiety associated with the “unknown” of a new grade or a new school.  Take some time and discuss what their concerns are, what they are looking forward to and what things might be worrying them.  Give them a forum to discuss their concerns and help them work through any worries in advance to help them avoid a rough start to a new school year.
  • Talk to your kids about bullying.  We have a serious problem with bullying as reports show one in three kids will be bullied at some time while they attend school and with the increase in social media it only seems to be getting worse.  Talk to your kids about how to speak with and treat peers as well as when to speak up if they see someone getting bullied.  Also make sure they know when to come to you if they feel they are being bullied.
  • Set up bed time and wake up routines in advance.   During the summer months you may have gotten a little lenient about sleep schedules.  If you can, start establishing bed times and wake up times a few weeks prior to the actual start of school.  The kids may not like it but it will help them have their routine in place and be fresh for the beginning of school.
  • Get school supplies.  Many local stores will have a list of school supplies needed.  You can also get a list from the teacher or school.  Do some research online to find out where the best deals are then take one day and get it done.
  • Organize clothes.  This is a great time to go through closets and donate items that don’t fit any more or are not wanted.  Once you have purged these items, go shopping to get  articles of clothing that will needed for the new school year.  Make sure to organize the closets and dressers so everything is neatly arranged for when school begins.
  • Plan healthy lunches and snacks.  Take time to plan healthy choices for your kids that include high protein, low fat foods, include fruits and vegetables and other healthy items.  These items will make sure the kids have the energy and brain power to make it through the day.
  • Set up an area for backpacks and school articles.   By having a staging area, it will be easier to find things in when you are leaving for school.  Make sure to have a calendar in the area so you can write down important events and family schedules.  Have your kids help you keep this area stocked with items needed for school and free of clutter that is not related to school.  Be creative and have some fun with this.


Don’t forget Texas Tax Free Weekend begins Aug. 5, 2016 and ends Aug. 7, 2016.  Most school supplies, backpacks, footwear and clothing priced under $100 will exempt from taxes during that time giving families an 8% savings.



Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 17

Contact Information

Photo of Linnea Lavell Real Estate
Linnea Lavell
Lavell Realty, LLC
P.O. Box 1243
Little Elm TX 75068
Fax: 877-488-1740