Finance Minor Renovations & Updating Costs Into Your Mortgage Loan


Buying a new home is an exciting adventure, but finding the perfect home takes time and patience at least until now.

Many homebuyers are unaware of a great FHA program known as the 203K streamline. This unique program allows for minor renovations and updating costs to be financed into the mortgage loan. Often times, outdated homes enter the market at a great value, but despite the bargain, buyers may overlook the home because of the lack of funds or hassle of updating. With the 203K streamline program, borrowers can get a great deal on a home and update it to their liking – from color of paint, new carpet style, energy efficient appliances, and even new countertops.

Below is a short list of items often completed with the 203K streamline program:

  • Repair/Replacement of roofs, gutters, and downspouts
  • Repair/Replacement/Upgrade of existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems
  • Repair/Replacement of plumbing and electrical systems
  • Repair/Replacement of flooring
  • Minor remodeling that does not involve structural repairs, such as kitchens
  • Exterior and interior painting
  • Weatherization, including storm windows and doors, insulation, weather stripping, etc.
  • Purchase and installation of appliances, including free-standing ranges, refrigerators, washers and dryers, dishwashers, and microwaves
  • Improvements for accessibility for persons with disabilities
  • Replacement of windows and doors and exterior wall re-siding

As with most loan programs, there are restrictions applicable to FHA financing, but we are confident this program can help buyers create their perfect home. And it is not limited to just purchases – refinances are eligible too!

So what are you waiting for? To learn more about this great program, find us at hometeammortgage.com and contact a qualified loan officer today!

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.

Ebby Offers Park Cities Living Under $1 Million


This week, Ebby Halliday herself cut the ribbon for the grand opening of the Park Cities’ newest and most exciting residential development, The Courtyards at Normandy.

These free-standing, single-family homes offer the coveted Park Cities lifestyle, including Highland Park ISD schools, with exceptional pricing between $890,000 and $990,000. With its vibrant Mediterranean style, this enclave of red tile roofs, private patios, brick motor courts and wrought iron balconies will include a total of 36 custom-built homes.

Phase I has just been completed and work on Phases II and III has already begun. Upon full completion, the Courtyards will occupy both sides of the 4500 block of Normandy Avenue. Many of the existing large, mature oak trees have been preserved and are an integral part of The Courtyards’ character. Additionally, new landscaping, plantings and seasonal colors complete the look of an established, lively neighborhood.

Artfully conceived and meticulously planned, these generously proportioned, charming homes offer a variety of floor plans and sizes that range from 2,981 sq. ft. to 3,417 sq. ft. All homes have three bedrooms, three baths and one or more powder rooms, while most include a home theater, library/study and a game room. Each of the three-story properties has its own elevator and two-car garage.

Each home features premium hardwood floors, top-of-the-line stainless appliances, thick granite countertops and first quality hardware to complement the homes’ earthy palette of limestone and stucco. All floor plans are open, and an abundance of windows fill the interiors with light and a sense of airiness. In addition, energy-saving features help reduce operational costs. An automated fire sprinkler system safeguards each home and intrusion protection is available from the University Park Police Department’s Direct Response program.

Residents will also enjoy the exclusive use of a lap pool and gathering area for entertaining. Maintenance of the pool and exterior landscaping are included in the very reasonable HOA fees of $100 per month.

The Courtyards at Normandy is a project of Crescent Estates Custom Homes and was the vision of its President & CEO, Mehrdad Moayedi whose homes are well known in the Dallas luxury market; Ralph W. Bush, Jr., VP for Operations and Architecture; Michael Dees, Builder and COO of Crescent Estates. Connie Dieb is the Marketing & Sales Coordinator.

To reach the Courtyards at Normandy, take Lomo Alto Drive three blocks north of Mockingbird Lane. Or, to learn more, visit the development website here.

In addition – the units located at 4506, 4508 and 4510 Normandy will be open this Sunday, October 30 from 2-4 pm.

A Rebound in New Home Sales


The following was sent to all members of The Ebby Halliday Companies by President & CEO Mary Frances Burleson:

Multiple signs now point to a rebound in new home sales.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently reported housing starts up 15% in September, 2011.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, which measures builder sentiment, jumped by 4 points to 18 in what was the biggest one-month gain since April 2010, according to a recent RISMedia article.

MetroStudy, a leading provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing industry, recently published an article forecasting a significantly improved nationwide new home market for 2012.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram reported on October 4, 2011 that home construction was up 7 percent, and closings on new homes up 6 percent from the same period last year.

With its Builder Sales and Service Division under the direction of Bob Hafer, a veteran professional with an extensive background in the home building industry, the Ebby Halliday Family of Companies is leading once again and is perfectly positioned to capitalize on the anticipated upswing in new home construction and sales.

Start your home search at ebby.com.

Possibly the Most Luxe Room in the World: Hermès First Interior Design for a Hotel


Celebrity homes and high end, over-the-top luxury homes are always great eye candy. And given that it’s almost time for trick or treating, we thought we had to share this delicious morsel.

It’s the library of the most luxurious building in Manila, Philippines, Trump Tower, and it was designed by none other than Hermès. In fact, it’s the very first Hermès interior design for a public project. And given that the famed French fashion house recently launched an extended home line, you can now have furniture and coasters to match your Birkin. Would you have it any other way?

The Trump Tower in Manila also includes hi rise condos designed by the likes of Versace and Missoni. Learn more at CPP-Luxury.com.

Tour the Mid-Century Callaway House in McKinney This Weekend Proceeds Benefit The Samaritan Inn


Come and savor the 1950s again on October 28th & 29th, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, as you tour the graceful mid-century Callaway House at 802 Finch Avenue in McKinney.

Located at the fringe of the historic district, this lovely home has been remodeled and repurposed to reflect today’s lifestyle. Additionally, the home has been staged with furniture from The Inn Thrift Store and White House Antiques, and the furnishings are available for purchase during the tour event. There will also be an enchanting Christmas shop with trees and decor located in the garage area – so this is a perfect opportunity to start your holiday shopping for loved ones and pick up some decorations to make your own home a winter wonderland!

Tickets are $10 and all proceeds benefit the Samaritan Inn, Collin County’s only homeless shelter. You can purchase tickets online at thesamaritaninn.org or at The Friends of the Inn Thrift Store at 103 E. University Drive, McKinney.

Do not miss this chance to support The Samaritan Inn and also start your Christmas shopping!

Well-Known Luxury Dallas Real Estate Boutiques Ellen Terry, Realtors and Dave Perry-Miller & Associates Unite Under One Name


Ebby Halliday Real Estate Inc. today announced that Ellen Terry, Realtors, one of this area s most respected residential luxury boutiques, is joining with Dave Perry-Miller & Associates, the area s fastest growing luxury boutique. The office will conduct business as Dave Perry-Miller & Associates, an Ebby Halliday Company, and Lee G. Thomas will continue as office manager. The Ellen Terry, REALTORS operation joins three Dave Perry-Miller & Associates offices located in Preston Center, Highland Park and Uptown. Both firms are owned by Ebby Halliday Real Estate Inc.

Timing is everything, and the timing of this move meets current market needs and positions our company to better serve our clients and associates, says Ebby Halliday Real Estate president and CEO, Mary Frances Burleson. This natural progression of success creates a new level of synergy for these two luxury boutiques. The goal remains to be a market leader and offer clients and associates the very best tools in which to buy and sell luxury residential real estate.

The future is before us as it never has been before, Ellen Terry said. This is truly an exciting time, not only for our new alliance, but our associates and the clients we serve.

Ellen Terry has never been one to sit still, not only focusing on her personal success, but also the success of those around her. This move brings two dynamic groups of professionals together who have a long history and already share a connection through their parent company, Ebby Halliday Real Estate Inc.

This partnership of similar cultures just makes sense, said Dave Perry-Miller. I began my real estate career with Ellen Terry and the philosophies of our companies will blend seamlessly.

Many of the associates in both offices are the product of Ellen Terry s training and expertise. Combining the two companies will bring together years of experience and a team of like-minded professionals known for their real estate prowess.

We built our company on several strategic moves in our almost 70 years in business and we believe this decision to merge these two fine companies will help ensure our market position for many years to come, says company founder and chairman of the board, Ebby Halliday.

Ron Burgert, company CFO, adds, From a business standpoint, we are able to combine budgets, marketing and advertising in a more strategic and cost-effective manner. Real estate is cyclical, and as in past mergers of this type, the local real estate market has contracted to create new alliances to great success.

Ebby Halliday, REALTORS acquired Ellen Terry, Realtors in 1995 and Dave Perry-Miller & Associates in 2007. The firm will continue its mission of focusing on luxury homes in this area s most desirable neighborhoods. The Ebby Halliday Companies, which also includes Ebby Halliday, Realtors, is already the luxury real estate market leader in North Texas, selling more homes priced at $1 million and greater than any other broker, according to NTREIS MLS sales data.

Ebby Halliday, the grand dame of residential real estate is credited with setting the standards in which today s real estate practices are conducted. Ebby Halliday, REALTORS, Ellen Terry and Dave Perry-Miller & Associates continue to practice the points of service in which Ebby built her namesake firm: service to the industry, community and clients. The Ebby Halliday Companies will also maintain its standing as the exclusive Dallas member of Luxury Portfolio International (luxuryportfolio.com), the luxury division of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, a 48-year-old global network responsible for more transactions than any other real estate network. Through the award-winning website luxuryportfolio.com, which features more $1 million-plus residences than any other luxury property network, The Ebby Halliday Companies will continue to market luxury homes on a global basis, as it has for almost 50 years.

ABOUT EBBY HALLIDAY

Dallas-based Ebby Halliday, Realtors (ebby.com), founded in 1945, is the largest independently owned residential real estate company in Texas and ranked among the top 10 in the nation. With approximately 1,500 sales associates and staff in 30 area offices, the company participates in nearly 13,000 property transactions annually, exceeding a sales volume of nearly $3.5 billion in 2010. Ebby Halliday is one of the oldest and most respected full-service residential real estate firms in the country, offering brokerage, property management, leasing, mortgage, insurance and title services. Ebby Halliday opened Home Team Mortgage Company (hometeammortgage.com) in 1996, Home Team Insurance (hometeamins.com) in 2003 and Texas Premier Title (txprem.com) in 2011.

To see more photos from this morning’s announcement, visit the Dave Perry-Miller Facebook Page.

An Over-the-Top Halloween Home Decorating Idea


For all you creative types out there, here’s a real doozy of an idea for decorating your home for Halloween – and step to it, you only have 1 week before the big night.

Many of you may have seen this home, as it has become quite the YouTube sensation, but nevertheless, enjoy the video below. You may just be inspired to create your own fabulous Halloween light display, or, at the very least, enjoy a few minutes of toe-tapping fun:

All I Want For Christmas: Neiman Marcus 2011 Christmas Book Unveiled


In the good ole’ days, all we wanted for Christmas were our two front teeth. But this year, thanks to luxury retailing Mother Ship Neiman Marcus, you can take that simple wish a few steps further. Ok, maybe a lot of steps.

Yesterday at the Dallas Contemporary, the Dallas-based luxury retailing legend unveiled its 2011 Christmas Book. And while every edition is filled with fabulous gifts galore, the highlight is always the infamous His & Hers gift. From airplanes to hot air balloons to robots, this item is always the one thing that people talk about – and 2011 is no different.

For those of you who have just about everything, have you ever considered His & Hers dancing fountains? And not just any fountain, this over-the-top aquatic marvel is produced by WET, the same company responsible for the dancing fountains in front of the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Can you imagine what your neighbors would say? And because you’re dying to know, the cost is a cool $1 million.

For those of you on a budget, the 2011 Christmas Book also offers an International Flower Show Tour arranged by JetWay Private Air ($420,000), a Hacker-Craft speedboat ($250,000), a Dream Folly Fantasy (described by a launch party attendee as “The Ultimate Girl Cave”) which is a custom Yurt inspired by the 1960s TV show I Dream of Jeannie installed at your estate ($75,000), a Tom Burr Table-Tennis table ($45,000), or a Johnnie Walker Private Scotch Tasting ($5,000).

And car enthusiasts always know there’s a haute set of wheels included in each year’s Book – this time it’s the 2012 Ferrari FF, bespoke for Neiman Marcus of course. And don’t worry, the $395,000 price tag also includes a set of luggage that matches the car’s soft-touch semi-aniline leather. How else would you travel?

A notable change this year that we love – a charitable connection. Eight of the nine 2011 Fantasy Gifts have a charity donation built into the price.

All that said, as of today, there are only 67 shopping days remaining until Christmas. So have your Black Amex close by and check out the 2011 Neiman Marcus Christmas Book online at neimanmarcus.com.

Happy Shopping!

Ebby s Top Associates Companywide Third 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 Third 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!

Good News for DFW Real Estate!


The following was sent to all members of The Ebby Halliday Companies by President & CEO Mary Frances Burleson. We thought you would enjoy also:

According to today’s Dallas Morning News, residential foreclosure postings in the DFW area hit a 4-year low in the first half of 2011. That’s down 10% from the same period in 2010 and down 25% from 2008.

This is a healthy sign for the area real estate market!

Local economists agree:

“The reduction in home foreclosures is a trend we hope to continue to see. The housing market appears to have reached bottom”. – D’Ann Peterson, Business Economist, Dallas Federal Reserve

“I expect that the worst is probably behind us”. – Dr. James Gaines, Economist, Real Estate Center at Texas A & M

It seems clear that a recovery is underway in the Dallas – Fort Worth real estate market.