Almost 1,000 Open Houses This Weekend!


If you were thinking of touring homes this weekend, there are almost 1,000 open houses across the DFW Metroplex for you to choose from!

From urban to suburban, large to small, there’s something for everyone – and the best place to start your search is ebbyopenhouses.com.

There you can search all the open houses in the North Texas MLS, not just those listed by Ebby Halliday, and sort them by your desired criteria. Then pick the ones you like, and generate a map with turn by turn driving directions.

Take control of your weekend and start your search here.

Is it Time to Refinance?


Owning a home is not only a dream come true but a big financial investment. With rates at historic lows, savvy homeowners can save thousands sometimes hundreds of thousands – by refinancing their current loan. Here are some advantages:

  • Lower current monthly payments
  • Pay off your mortgage faster
  • Save money over the life of your loan
  • Reduce fluctuating interest rate risk by converting from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate
  • Possibly eliminate Private Mortgage Insurance
  • Increase monthly cash flow to use for other major expenses or consolidate debts

Below is an illustration of the monthly savings that can be generated by refinancing into a lower rate – $188 a month or $2,256 a year!

Old Loan New Loan
Interest Rate 6.5% / 6.715% APR 4.5% / 4.691
Current Balance* $150,000 $150,000
Payment (Principal + Interest)* $948.00 $760.0
*This example assumes a 20% down payment on the original loan.

Below is an illustration of the savings that can be generated by refinancing into a shorter term $75,393 over the life of the loan!

Old Loan 30 Year Term New Loan 15 year Term
Interest Rate 4.5% / 4.691% APR 4.0% / 4.179%
Current Balance* $150,000 $150,000
Payment (Principal + Interest)* $760.00 $760.0
Finance Charge $126,912.26 $51,518.96

Contact a Home Team Mortgage loan officer today and discover what your refinance savings could be! hometeamortgage.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.

Golf Course Real Estate Still has a Pulse in the Heart of Texas


For many, it s the American Dream: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Golf Course Living. In 2011, the first Baby Boomers turn 65 and the demand for golf course real estate in Sunbelt states will likely skyrocket as Boomers look for homes in a climate conducive to their hobby.

But those who have long dreamed of living adjacent to fairways and greens could be disappointed. Development of a golf course community is exceedingly rare in this slumping economy. After almost two decades during which new golf course communities spread like wildfire across the Sunbelt, both the real estate and golf industries have suffered major setbacks.

In 2010, builders started on 15,000 homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to Ted Wilson of Residential Strategies, Inc. That s down nearly 70% from the 51,000 housing starts in 2006.

New golf course construction has also taken a major hit. The overbuilding of courses in the 90 s and early 00 s oversaturated the market. When the recession descended upon the industry, many courses were forced to close, some in the middle of construction.

With every rule, however, there is an exception. In 2010, only one course opened in The Metroplex. What vaults this course from exception to veritable anomaly is it is part of a residential community.

The Old American Golf Club, located in The Colony s The Tribute Resort Community, opened its doors to public play in September 2010. In addition to fairways, greens, bunkers and water hazards, The Old American features brand new residential lots alongside select sections of the course and dozens more just off it. In the desert that is the current landscape of new golf course development, The Tribute is an oasis, affording golfers the opportunity to live alongside the game they love.

The Old American and The Tribute were brought to life by Matthews Southwest, a DFW-based developer that has transformed The Metroplex s real estate market through urban redevelopment and suburban lifestyle development. In The Tribute, Matthews Southwest saw the opportunity to deliver a suburban community where people could enjoy their hobbies right outside their front door. The community s location on the shores of Lewisville Lake, combined with The Old American and The Tribute Golf Club (opened in 2005), has provided residents with access to golf, boating and fishing.

Even in the down economy, builders and homeowners have pounced on the opportunity The Tribute presents. Matthews Southwest reported a more than 100 percent year-over-year increase in residential lot sales at The Tribute in 2010. The community s 1,150 acres showcase many of North Texas most prominent and distinguished builders, offering home designs that emphasize the Old World-themed atmosphere of The Tribute and begin in the 240 s.

As Baby Boomers and golf enthusiasts search for a place to live in harmony with the game they love, they may be hard up as developers and builders continue to tighten purse strings. However, The Tribute serves as proof that golf course real estate still has a pulse in the Heart of Texas.

Want to see the current availble homes for sale within golf course communities? Start your search at ebby.com right here.

Ebby s Top Associates Companywide Second Quarter 2011


Be sure and check out the back page of the Business Section in today s Dallas Morning News. There you ll find the Ebby Halliday Companywide Top Associates for Second Quarter 2011.

You can also see the complete list at ebby.com.

The Ebby Halliday Companies salute these Associates for their tireless dedication to providing preeminent service to their clients.

Congratulations to you all!

Support Blondes vs. Brunettes: Powder Puff Football for Alzheimer s Research


Ebby Halliday is proud to be a sponsor of the 4th Annual Blondes vs. Brunettes Powder Puff Football game.

On Saturday, August 6th, more than 175 young professionals will take the field at Ford Stadium at SMU to raise money for Alzheimer s research. Mary Frances Burleson, President of the Ebby Halliday Companies, will flip the coin to kick off the event and represent the company as a Touchdown Sponsor for the second year in a row.

“We are so proud to support the 4th Annual Blondes vs. Brunettes Football Game, says Ms. Burleson. This impressive group of young men and women has done so much over the past three years to raise funds and much needed awareness for the Alzheimer s Association. We applaud their efforts and we are honored to be a part of their team.

65 women on each side of the field represent Team Blonde and Team Brunette, while male coaches teach players drills, routes and plays for the game. The hard work continues off the field too, as participants also raise money and awareness in the months leading up to game day. More than 60 percent of those involved have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease in some way.

The last three games have raised a combined $415,000 towards Alzheimer’s research, and this year, the goal is to raise $215,000 by game-day. That’s where you can help – make your $25 or more donation, which gets you into the game and the after party at Bryan Street Tavern.

To donate online and for more information, visit bvbdallas.org.

And while we wish the best of luck to both teams, we must admit that we’re a bit partial to Team Blonde. Quarterback Jenn Thompson is also an Ebby Associate in the Preston Center office!

Sales Associate Barbara Stanfield Presents at TXU Home Energy Makeover


Summer weather is always hot in Dallas but this week has brought on consistent 100 degree temperatures and heat advisories. Weather like this can lead to more expensive energy bills and less cash to spend on summer activities. So, there was no better time and place than Thursday at the home of single mom Jo Trizila for TXU Energy to conduct a Home Energy Makeover. The day s goal was for TXU to help Jo conserve electricity and save some money. The makeover also spotlighted hidden energy efficiency risks that other inspections could miss. Some of the work done in today s makeover included attic insulation installation, sealing windows and doors, placing insulation in light switches and electric outlets and installing a programmable digital thermostat. Jerold Davis, of Tex Energy had previously conducted an audit on Jo s home to give her tips for improvement.

TXU invited various Mom Bloggers to attend a presentation about the energy improvements. Barbara Stanfield, a sales associate in Ebby s Little White House and an NAR Green Designee, was on hand to speak about why moving is the right time to consider energy efficiency. She recommended that home buyers be proactive before moving into a new home to find out about a home s energy efficiency and make sure there are no surprises. Barbara recommended talking to specialists to answer questions and ease the process. She also spoke about the value that this kind of work can provide for new homeowners.

The biggest hit with those in attendance was the TXU Energy MyEnergy DashboardSM, which allows you to see throughout the month how much energy you are using and what your bill will cost. There is also an application for your phone so you are able to control your thermostat no matter where you are. Lastly, TXU representative, Amanda Ray, showed off some great energy saving gadgets available through the TXU Brighten Online Energy Store. Even non-TXU customers can shop the store.

Thanks Barbara for your insights on what makes a green home smarter, healthier, and more energy and resource efficient, and to TXU for hosting this event and all of the bloggers that came out. Visit our Facebook page to see pictures from the event!

Barbara Stanfield speaks to "Mom Bloggers" at the TXU Home Makeover Event.

Gearing up for the Fourth Of July


Our corporate Ebby Halliday, Realtors office is showing some Independence Day pride this weekend. Nell Anne Hunt, an agent in the Irving/Las Colinas office stopped by to decorate the corporate office with American flags for the Fourth of July holiday. This is the 18th year in a row that Nell Anne has taken the time to make sure our offices look great for America s birthday. She even braved the afternoon Texas heat to keep her great tradition alive.

Speaking of tradition, Nell Anne is known for her annual Great Flag Caper project which has grown tremendously over the past 18 years. What started with Nell Anne placing a few hundred flags herself in her neighborhood has grown to include an army of hundreds who will place up to 40,000 flags this July 4th holiday all over the city of Irving.

If you are sticking around Dallas this weekend and looking for 4th of July festivities, check out FrontBurner (D Magazine s blog) for a list of some great Metroplex activities.

Happy Birthday, America and Thank you Nell Anne! We are wishing everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend!