The Do s and Don ts of Mortgage Financing

You re in the midst of buying your new home and find yourself with a lot on your to-do list. The basic requirements including utilities, phone, and internet are often joined with new furniture, new décor, and a general “out with the old and in with the new” mentality. It s an exciting time and it’s easy to get carried away, but before you do, read the following list of do s and don ts to ensure your credit is protected and so is your loan approval!


  • Apply for any new credit
  • Pay off collections or charge-offs
  • Close credit card accounts
  • Max out existing credit cards
  • Consolidate debt
  • Pay late on any accounts
  • Change employers, move or change your address
  • Dispute anything on your credit report

Avoiding these items will help preserve your immediate credit and minimize the risk of your credit score dropping.


  • Keep in touch with your loan consultant
  • Watch your credit closely
  • Stay current on all existing accounts
  • Shop for hazard insurance early

These steps will give you peace of mind and contribute to a much smoother buying experience and an on-time closing.

Following these simple suggestions could make the difference between a loan approval and denial. Contact your Home Team Mortgage loan officer for more guidance and gain peace of mind!

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 or 972-665-1900.

CELEBRITY HOMES: FOR SALE Troy Aikman s Highland Park Estate

It’s official – Troy Aikman s Highland Park estate is on the market.

The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback is reportedly looking to downsize and has listed his home on Highland Drive near the home of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for $24 million.

Fox 4 aired a story about the home last night and interviewed our friend Candy Evans from the real estate blog Only time will tell if Aikman will get the $24 million he is asking for, but Candy says that the fact that it’s Troy Aikman s home definitely adds value to the property.

Learn more from the video below and see the full listing details for the home at here.

Troy Aikman s House on Sale for $24 Million:

Staging: Home Sellers Secret Weapon

CBS News Sunday morning recently ran a great segment about the importance of staging homes.

Staging is a concept Ebby Halliday herself essentially developed before anyone else when she was first challenged to sell homes – and it worked. The story emphasizes the importance of the first impression of a house on the market – staging allows potential buyers to feel comfortable almost immediately when they walk in the home. Chicago home stager Mona Winningham says it best:

“The one thing people need to understand when they sell a house is you have to let go of the house, it can’t be yours anymore. You have to understand it’s now a commodity and we need to appeal to the broadest buying audience possible.”

A Chicago-based realtor featured in the video even goes so far as to say he won t work with sellers if they aren t willing to stage their home. Staging can mean either bringing in furnishings for a vacant home or editing existing furniture and decor in furnished homes to make it more appealing to more people. Shedding some light on the importance of staging, the story presents some interesting statistics staging a home might not cost as much as you think, and statistically, staged homes sell faster than homes that aren’t staged.

To learn more, watch the full video below:

Ebby Halliday Gives Back with Wildflower Festival Guitar Auction This Weekend

The Ebby Halliday 190 @ Jupiter and Campbell/Coit offices are giving back to their local communities through their support of the Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival this weekend. The Richardson festival, which usually attracts more than 70,000 attendees, is celebrating its 19th anniversary.

These offices are sponsors of the Wildflower Art Guitar Auction, which benefits the RISD Arts programs and the Network for Community Ministries in the Eisemann Center. Local celebrities are asked to donate a decorated guitar which will then be put on display in the Eisemann Center and sold in a silent auction for the duration of the Festival. Several Ebby Halliday sales associates will be working at the auction, so come out any time before 5pm this Sunday to bid on a guitar!

For more information on the Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival, a schedule of events or to purchase tickets, visit

Thinking of a Career in Real Estate?

Learn about all things real estate from the best in the business at Ebby Career Seminars this week. If you are interested in a future in real estate, the team at Ebby Halliday can show you the way. Our career seminars teach you all the important aspects of the real estate world including licensing requirements, training, marketing and technology tools, among many others. Ebby Halliday, REALTORS is the home of unmatched resources. We offer a fun work environment, health benefits and endless support services.

Times and locations are as follows:

Tuesday, May 17th | 6:00 to 7:00 pm

Ebby Tri-County Office

1016 E. Hebron Parkway #140

Carrollton, TX 75010

Thursday, May 19th | 9:00 to 10:00 am

Ebby Preston Plano Pkwy Office

5013 West Plano Parkway

Plano, TX 75093

Please RSVP to Linda Argo at

Dallas ranks high in Forbes Best Cities for Jobs List

Forbes brings good news to Dallas area residents once again with this year s annual Best Cities for Jobs list, released this month. The list measures growth between January 2010 and January 2011. Compared to last year, the findings are encouraging, as many of the best-performing areas experienced at least a slight rise in employment. Forbes ranks metropolitan areas based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The magazine bases its rankings on three criteria: recent growth trends, mid-term growth and long-term growth and momentum. The rankings are then broken down by size into small, medium and large cities. Coming in at number 5 on the list for large cities and overall, is our hometown of Dallas-Irving-Plano. The entire state of Texas was dominant in all three categories.

Whatever they are drinking in Texas, other states may want to imbibe, says the articles author, Joel Kotkin.

A Ft. Worth Star Telegram article highlighting the findings quotes Michael Shires, a professor at the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy in Malibu, Calif., as he attempts to explain the success of the city and the entire Lone Star State:

“During volatile times, places with broad-based growth strategies — like Texas and Utah — do best. Cities that are heavily dependent on a narrow set of industries leave themselves vulnerable, paying back the gains of good years in poor years.

We don t want to brag, but between a flourishing economy and a basketball team bound for the Western conference finals, it sounds like our fair city is a good place to be right now.

Throwing out the First Pitch for the Home Team

Doug Haeussler (pictured above with a few of his favorite Rangers fans), Agency Sales Manager of Ebby Halliday, REALTORS Home Team Insurance will throw out the first pitch for his other home team at the Texas Rangers Game tonight, Tuesday, May 10th. The Rangers will take on the Oakland Athletics in the second of a three-game series at The Ballpark at Arlington. Doug, a native of Michigan, has been an avid Texas Ranger s fan since he moved to Texas in the 1980 s.

Doug landed the gig through his participation on the Agent Advisory Council board of Safeco Insurance who also invited him to visit Rangers spring training in Arizona this year. Doug follows in the footsteps of Matthew McConaughey who threw out the first pitch last Friday night and our very own Ebby Halliday who threw out the first pitch in 2005. It should be noted that the then 94-year-old Ebby had quite the arm and made a lasting impression on the crowd.

No pressure, Doug!

Ebby s 190 @ Jupiter Office Grand Opening

Nearly 10 months ago we told you about the groundbreaking for our new 190 @ Jupiter office. Now construction is complete and this past Wednesday marked the official opening of the new Ebby Halliday, REALTORS 190 @ Jupiter office!

Real estate icon, Ebby Halliday, President Mary Frances Burleson and CFO Ron Burgert were all in attendance along with Mayor of Richardson, Gary Slagel and Richardson City Manager Bill Keffler. The new state-of-the-art office, located in the Shire Shopping Centre at the George Bush Tollway/190 and Jupiter, represents the merging of the company s Firewheel/190 and Richardson offices. With this new office, Ebby Halliday, REALTORS is better positioned to serve Richardson, Garland, Murphy, Sachse, Wylie, Rowlett and surrounding communities.

Company President, Mary Frances Burleson, expressed the company s enthusiasm on the new office:

We are excited about our new Ebby office, which will align us with the current needs of the marketplace. Our hope is that this new office will be beneficial to Ebby Halliday, REALTORS and the surrounding communities.

Sales Manager of the new office, Malinda Howell, who was also in attendance, showed her excitement as well:

“We are so proud of our latest and greatest new regional office location. It is an amazing facility and just in time for the 190/George Bush extension to Interstate 30. Our state-of-the-art building is home to over 90 professional sales associates and services a large region of the DFW Metroplex.”

See photos from yesterday s event by visiting our Facebook page! To contact a sales professional at our Ebby 190 @ Jupiter office call (972) 783-0000 or click here.

Trader Joe s Coming to Dallas!

We aren t the first to report but are certainly excited by the news that Trader Joe s is scouting locations for their impending move to Dallas. The California grocery chain is known for selling quality wines at a low price while providing gourmet condiments and high-quality frozen foods. This unique grocery store will most likely be competition for chains like Central Market and Whole Foods. Some are speculating that Trader Joe s locations may begin to pop up near these competing grocery chains because they attract the same kind of shoppers. More specifically, local commercial realtors have suggested that the chain is looking near Preston Hollow (in a location previously occupied by Border s books – RIP) and Lower Greenville which are already home to a Central Market and Whole Foods respectively.

The move would be the second of two California chains making their way to Dallas as In-N-Out Burger has already started building in various places around the city. As reported, Mike Davis, an economist with the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business, said the arrival of Trader Joe s is a good thing for Dallas.

“It means Dallas is growing because Trader Joe’s is not going to go into a market that’s not growing,” he said. “It also means we’re affluent, because Trader Joe’s is catering to kind of a higher-end customer.”

Davis said Trader Joe’s arrival in town will also increase competition for grocery stores already in town.

Davis said North Texans who live closest to the new location of Trader Joe’s wherever it is stand to gain the most because its arrival will immediately “spruce up” nearby grocery shopping opportunities.

Tell us what you think. Are you excited about Trader Joe s coming to our city?

Ebby Halliday Among Local Celebrities in Happy Trails Dallas Campaign Video

The city of Dallas will have a press conference at 10:30am Thursday morning (meaning any minute now) to unveil the city s new Happy Trails campaign. Mayor Dwaine Caraway and others will present the new campaign which is designed to make the city s trails safer.

The web site clearly explains the purpose of the campaign:

The City of Dallas has over 100 miles of the most beautiful and diverse urban hike and bike trails in the country. Follow trail etiquette, be courteous and have fun.

To promote this idea, the city shot a promotional video with local celebrities and our own Ebby Halliday makes an appearance! Other notables include the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, Mark Cuban and Troy Dungan. Be sure to check out all the promotional videos and the new site! And remember to be safe on our city s beautiful hike and bike trails!

Happy Trails Celebrity :60 from Jake Ferguson on Vimeo.