The Latest Luxury Bathroom Features


The current issue of Luxe Trends, the luxury home trends newsletter from Luxury Portfolio International, highlights the latest amenities for home bathrooms.

Over the years, the bathroom has transformed from a strictly utilitarian space to retreats so serene they rival even the best spas. Most recently, modern designs such as stone sinks, wood paneling and skylights have become more prominent in luxury bathroom décor.

Some of the latest lavish features highlighted in this issue of LuxeTrends are in-floor electric heating for cold bathroom floors, steam shower systems, a commode capable of serenading you with your favorite music via an SD card, faucets with controls that mirror those of smartphones and tablets and aesthetically pleasing towel warmers.

Read the full issue of LuxeTrends here.

The Ebby Halliday Companies are proud to be the exclusive Dallas member of Luxury Portfolio International.

A Dallas Palace for Wills & Kate?


In case you haven’t heard, there’s a royal wedding taking place this week. And while the news media has all the important questions covered – like who will design Kate’s dress – Dallas’ own Candy Evans posed an interesting question: If William and Kate were to be in the market for a Dallas home, what would they choose?

Among her top two choices is the gated French estate in Preston Hollow at 9339 Hathaway listed by Dave Perry-Miller. The 5 bedroom, 5.2 bath home with almost 11,000 square feet on 2 prime acres looks modest compared to the newlyweds’ real first home, Clarence House, worth an estimated $76.68 million. That’s 343 times the cost of the average newlywed starter home, according to Candy.

Read her full post, complete with her Dallas home choices for the royal couple at the Second Shelters Blog.

And if you’re feeling like a prince or princess, check out a current search in the North Texas MLS for homes currently on the market priced at $3 million or greater – CLICK HERE.

It’s good to be king (or queen).

A Mortgage to English Dictionary: Breaking Down the Loan Lingo


We all know that buying a home can be overwhelming, especially when you add in the loan lingo and acronyms used by lenders and real estate agents. To help alleviate some of the confusion, below are some common terms (with explanation) frequently used in the mortgage process:

FHA Mortgage

FHA is a type of mortgage that offers lower down payments, lower credit and less income to qualify. These mortgages are government backed by the Federal Housing Administration.

VA Mortgage

VA mortgages are loans catered to qualified veterans, active- duty military personnel and reservists. These loans require no down payment and are guaranteed by the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Conventional Mortgage

Conventional mortgages are loans offering a wide range of options for borrowers. Some features may include monthly or single premium mortgage insurance, second liens, and higher loan amounts.

Fixed Rate Mortgage

This is a mortgage loan for which the interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan. The principal and interest payment does not vary. As with every loan, the escrowed portion of the payment may fluctuate up or down depending on the tax or homeowner s insurance changes.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)

This is a mortgage loan for which the interest rate may change annually, often after a set number of years. ARMs are tied to indexes which are used to determine changing rates to align with the current market. The principal and interest payment may vary up or down, along with the escrowed portion of the payment.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The APR illustrates the annual cost of financing, including interest rate, fees and charges and is expressed as an annual interest rate. Because you may be paying loan discount points and other prepaid finance charges at closing, the APR disclosed is often higher than the interest rate on your loan. This APR can be compared to the APR on other loan programs to give you a consistent means of comparing rates and programs.

Appraisal

The appraisal is a professional opinion of the value of a property. The opinions are provided by certified and licensed appraisers who rely on market conditions and comparables to determine the value of the subject property.

Mortgage Insurance

A type of insurance provided to lenders for protection against borrower defaults on the loan. Loans with less than a 20% down payment require mortgage insurance. The mortgage insurance premium can sometimes be paid upfront but is most commonly paid monthly in the mortgage loan. Mortgage insurance is eliminated when the loan reaches a 78% loan to value.

Pre Qualification

A process by which a lender assesses whether a borrower qualifies for a mortgage based on information provided by the customer. Typically, a prequalification is an informal review as a preemptive to preapproval and full loan approval.

Pre Approval

A process by which a lender verifies information including credit, income and asset information to assure the borrowers qualify for the mortgage. A preapproval is much more powerful in negotiating as it provides peace of mind for buyers, sellers and agents.

These are some of the most common terms of the many you ll hear when buying a home – hopefully this breakdown will make your mortgage process easier to understand . Home Team Mortgage is committed to explaining all of your options so you may have the utmost confidence in your most important financial decisions.

Contact one of our qualified loan officers for any questions or to assist you in your home buying experience.

hometeammortgage.com

Tom Parker is president of Home Team Mortgage, Ebby Halliday s in-house mortgage source, and a regular contributor to the Ebby Blog. Contact Tom at tom@tlpoffice.com or 972-665-1900.

Don t Believe Real Estate Agents That Now is the Time to Buy? Then Listen to the Investment Community.


Many times when the real estate community says that now is the time to buy, the public doesn’t quite believe them. If you happen to fall into that category, according to the Keeping Current Matters (KCM) Blog, you can stop listening to real estate agents and start listening to the investment community.

In a recent post, they point out that right now, both voices have the same message – it s time to buy real estate! Tuesday s blog post highlights two recent articles – one by The Wall Street Journal and another from Fortune Magazine encouraging the public to invest in houses.

The Wall Street Journal s Jim Woods states that real estate is a new desirable low-risk buying opportunity. Fortune Magazine conveyed a similar idea with an article in this month s issue by Shawn Tully entitled Real Estate: It s Time to Buy Again.

Thanks to the KCM blog for publicizing this great information. To read the articles in their entirety, click here.

White Rock Lake Centennial Kicks Off with An Intimate Evening with Ebby


Ebby isn’t the only one celebrating a centennial birthday this year. Dallas’ White Rock Lake is also turning the big 1-0-0 in 2011 and the 100 days of celebration kicked off last night at the Dallas Arboretum with An Intimate Evening with Ebby.

The event served as a celebration of the birthdays of both Dallas icons and Ebby also happens to be serving as Honorary Chairwoman of the White Rock Lake Centennial Celebration. The Celebration is hosted by organizations, including Ebby Halliday, Realtors, all committed to the preservation and improvement of this signature park. Proceeds from the 100 days of events will help fund 10 capital improvements projects at the lake.

To see photos from last night’s event, visit the Ebby Halliday Facebook Page.

For more information and a full schedule of White Rock Centennial Celebration events, visit whiterockdallas.org.

DFW Apartment Construction Can t Keep Up With Demand


As we all know, North Texas is one of the best places to be in the country. And apparently more and more people are beginning to feel that way.

One group having a hard time keeping up with recent demand is apartment builders – they’ve started construction on more than 3,200 new apartments, with more planned, but most won’t be ready until later this year or next. Which is why it’s not uncommon to now see occupancy rates above 90 percent at most DFW apartment complexes.

So what should you do if you’re looking for an apartment in the near future? Check out the video below that recently aired on NBC5 which features Ebby Halliday Leasing Specialist, Kat Garner.

View more videos at: http://nbcdfw.com.

If you’re looking for apartment search assistance, contact our Ebby Apartment Leasing Division.