Be a Leap Day Know it All


We can’t let February 29th pass by without acknowledging leap day! After all, it is rooted in history and stories just as our company is. We won’t get another chance to celebrate the day for another four years. So, let’s take some time to go over some of our favorite Leap Day fun facts.

  • The point of leap day is to keep our calendar aligned with nature.
  • Without leap day, annual events would slowly shift season. Eventually we would be celebrating Christmas in July.
  • There are roughly 187,00 leaplings (people with leap day birthdays) in the United States.
  • Four hundred years ago, women weren’t allowed to propose to men…except on leap day. But, if you saw the movie Leap Year, you already knew that.

Click here for more Leap Year facts and stories. And, visit Pegasus News for a list of Dallas restaurants that will be celebrating the “holiday”. Happy Leap Day Everyone!

More Good Real Estate News: The Dallas Morning News Reports Dallas-Area Contracts Pending Up 16 Percent


All signs continue to point to a fantastic 2012 real estate market in Dallas-Fort Worth.

The Dallas Morning News is reporting today that Dallas-Fort Worth pending home sales were up 16 percent in January. You might remember that we reported last week that at the Ebby Halliday Companies, pending home sales were up 19 percent for January 2012.

Today’s article goes on to state that nationally, the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose in January to the highest level in almost two years. In addition, the National Association of Realtors said that its index of sales agreements rose 2 percent across the country last month to a reading of 97. That’s the highest reading since April 2010, which was the last month that buyers could qualify for the federal home-buying tax credit and the last time the reading was above 100, which is considered healthy.

And the increase in pending sales seems to have created a shortage of inventory. Last Friday at the Ebby Halliday Breakfast of Champions networking event, Home Team Mortgage Company told the group of top listing Associates that they are experiencing a large increase in mortgage applications and that the ongoing problem seems to be that there are currently not enough homes on the market for the number of buyers looking to purchase.

Translation: if you’ve been contemplating listing your home for sale, NOW might be the ideal time. In addition to having a large number of buyers in the market for your current home right now, you’ll also take advantage of the lowest interest rates since WWII when you purchase your next home. It seems like a win/win.

To read the full article from today’s Dallas Morning News, click here.

To see current homes for sale in your neighborhood or to contact an Ebby Sales Associate to explore the market conditions specific to your area, visit ebby.com.

To learn more about mortgage rates and options, visit HomeTeamMortgage.com.

Warren Buffett: I d Buy Up Millions of Single-Family Homes If I Could


While we aren’t sure why the second richest man in America can’t buy millions of single-family homes, we certainly think he knows what he’s talking about. In a recent sit-down on the “Squawk Box”, the billionaire told Becky Quick that single-family homes are a very attractive investment right now. Buffett said that houses are currently even better than stocks, if held for a long period of time and purchased at low rates. He advises taking out a 30-year mortgage and refinancing if rates go down.

Buffett goes on to talk about other investments and the future of Berkshire Hathaway. For more from Warren Buffett, read the full CNBC article here.

For a comprehensive list of homes on the market, visit ebby.com. And, for more information on buying a new home or refinancing your current mortgage, contact a professional at Home Team Mortgage.

Ebby.com s Report Card is In


We mentioned last week that Ebby.com earned the Website Quality Certification from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. This week the full report arrived and we’re proud to announce that we received a total score of 58 out of 60!

We’re also proud that Ebby.com is regularly recognized with current awards for its outstanding features. A single award is noteworthy, but we believe that online innovation requires constant progress. That’s why we strive year after year to attain current recognition, which indicates our website is meeting the demands of today’s consumer with the most up-to-date technology available. Speaking of, you’ll be seeing some great new features from Ebby.com in the near future – stay tuned.

In the meantime, here are some highlights from Ebby.com’s official report card:

USABILITY:

The website is very easy to navigate; we did not encounter any errors. Given the amount of interactive content it did not take long to load. The property search feature is the very first thing that you see and there are multiple ways of approaching your search.

DESIGN & WEBSITE CONTENT:

The look of the site is consistent with the Ebby brand; every element looks clean and harmonious. The photography is exceptional, makes every listing look special. There is a ton of community information; even someone with no knowledge of the Dallas area will get a great overview from this site. Beyond the basic community information there was a wealth of “goings on” in the area. This would be very appealing for someone moving from one community to another; doesn’t only market the Ebby brand, but it’s a great sell for Dallas.

INTERACTIVITY:

As mentioned before, there are multiple ways to approach the home search and they have managed to cover all of them. The mapping feature is exceptional; you can really pinpoint exactly where you want to find a home. As we mentioned several other times, Ebby.com does a good job of remembering people who aren’t familiar with the area. Most impressive was the short video that explained how to use the interactive map, left no room for confusion. There are links to all of the social media sites (even the look of that is integrated nicely into the site). The blog is very good and it is current. There are property alerts and mobile applications available.

CUSTOMER SERVICE & CLIENT RESPECT:

Very simple and easy to find contact information and inquire about property listings. Immediately received a phone call to discuss our inquiry further, and also received an email ten minutes after our inquiry submission.

Real Estate Recovery in 2012?


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

Indicators point toward a much stronger real estate market for DFW and N. Texas in 2012:

“Foreclosure filings were down 26 percent in January in the Dallas Fort Worth area from the first month of 2011. It’s the biggest year-over-year decline in more than two years.”
– George Roddy, CEO of Addison-based Foreclosure Listing Service

“New home starts may increase 15% from last year.”
– Dallas Morning News, February 9, 2012

“North Texas’ population growth led the nation with more than 146,000 new residents in N. Texas area from 2008 to 2009 (latest figures available).”
– North Texas Commission

“Nationwide housing affordability during the third quarter of 2011 hovered near its highest level in more than 20 years.”
– National Association of Homebuilders

“Mortgage interest rates are at an historic low – the lowest since World War II.”
– Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).

“Housing sector (is) now, potentially, a source of growth”.
– Harvey Rosenblum, Executive Vice President & Director of Research, Dallas Federal Reserve

“Homes put under contract for sale in January 2012 (contract pending) were up more than 19% over January 2011.”
– The Ebby Halliday Companies

Luxury Portfolio International Presents Extreme Closets on CNBC.com


Closet space is important to home buyers at every price range. But in the luxury real estate market, closets are taken to the next level. Often times the master closets of luxury properties are the size of some people’s entire homes, have amenities like coffee bars and security systems, and some could even be mistaken for high end boutiques. Recently, CNBC.com highlighted extreme closets from properties represented by Luxury Portfolio International.

Included in the collection are a few celebrity homes: the Chicago condo of interior designer and daytime television host Nate Berkus (listed by Luxury Portfolio member Baird & Warner) and the Beverly Hills mansion of Christina Aguilera (listed by Luxury Portfolio member Hilton & Hyland), which was formerly owned by Ozzy and Sharon Osborn.

Also included is the closet of a University Park home listed by Dave Perry-Miller & Associates.

So if the resting place of your prized Birkin collection is equally important as where you rest your head at night (or if you’re just curious and want some ideas for your own closet), see the full compilation at CNBC.com here.

Ebby Halliday, Realtors and Dave Perry-Miller & Associates are proud to be the exclusive Dallas affiliates of Luxury Portfolio International.

Thank you, Mark Cuban


Well, fist pump right back to you Mr. Cuban.

Recent news has warned that Greenville Avenue could be abnormally quiet this March 17th. Usually, it’s a day filled with green beads, green beverages and large crowds as the Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade marches down the famous street. But, this year, the Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Association found themselves more than $40,000 short of the necessary budget to hold what would be the 33rd Annual Parade.

After some last minute efforts failed to produce the necessary cash, Dallas Maverick’s owner, Mark Cuban stepped in. Stating that he didn’t want to see the parade go away, Cuban pledged the full $40,00 to save the parade, a very last-minute move as the organizers stated they would pull the plug this Friday if they didn’t have the necessary funds.

To read the full version of the story from The Dallas Observer, click here.

Here at Ebby, we’re happy to see the parade will march on – it’s a great Dallas tradition! And if the parade is one of your favorite Dallas activities, but you’d like to avoid the parking headaches, check out our Ebby.com Proximity Search to find a home within walking distance of the exciting event!

Ebby.com Earns Website Quality Certification


Ebby.com, The Best Address In Real Estate, just added another award to its long list of accolades. This time it’s the Website Quality Certification (WQC), presented by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World!

Read the entire press release below. And then, for fun, check out the great video at the end of this post which gives some history of LeadingRE, particularly Ebby Halliday’s role in its creation. Needless to say, we’re very proud of this honor:

PRESS RELEASE:

Ebby Halliday, Realtors has earned the 2011 Website Quality Certification (WQC), presented by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® to member companies that have demonstrated excellence in website design, functionality and execution.

Every aspect of the site, ebby.com, was reviewed to ensure exacting standards were met in six key areas, ranging from design and content to human interactivity to search engine optimization. The WQC was introduced in 2009 to recognize and encourage superior websites among Leading Real Estate Companies of the World s 550 member firms.

With so many people going online to obtain information on homes, communities and everything relating to home buying and selling, it is vital for a real estate firm to have a current, easy-to-use and relevant website, notes Pam O Connor, president/CEO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®. By earning the Website Quality Certification, Ebby Halliday, Realtors has demonstrated that it offers fundamental online resources to home buyers and sellers, which are further supported by the expertise only a dedicated real estate professional can provide.

For more information about Ebby Halliday, Realtors, please visit ebby.com.

The 10 Valentine Love Nests: A Stunning Master Closet for Your Valentine


What is the one thing that every woman undoubtedly wants in her dream home? A spa-like master bathroom and the perfect closet for her designer clothes, favorite shoes and valued handbags!

Well, look no further than the stunning, one-of-a-kind master bathroom and closet at 800 Timberwood Lane in Fairview. The current owner completely remodeled the master bath and closet for his wife and presented it to her as a gift on Valentine’s Day! The master bathroom features travertine floors, granite counters and leads to a custom master closet complete with hardwood floors, an organization system, a beverage bar and coffee bar. Why would you ever want to leave?

This four bedroom, three and one-half bath home has numerous other amenities including a guesthouse, workshop, four fireplaces and a screened-in porch. This home would be the perfect love nest to share with your Valentine.

For more information on this home, click here.

To see all 10 of our “Valentine Love Nests,” click here. And, as always, find your perfect match that meets your exact criteria by searching The Best Address in Real Estate, ebby.com.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The 10 Valentine Love Nests: A Romantically Staged Master Retreat in Stonebriar


This one proves that it’s all in the presentation. We asked our Associates for their input as to which homes to include in our “10 Valentine Love Nests” promotion, and Sales Associate Barbara Novotny of the Ebby Campbell/Coit office got creative. She took the romance to the next level in her Frisco listing by staging the living room and master bedroom with rose petals, chocolate covered strawberries, champagne and candles. Then, to top it off, she had her photographer come back to reshoot the lovely spaces so her work was shown off in its best light. Here’s the result:

Romantic details grace nearly every inch of this gorgeous estate in the gated and guarded community of Stonebriar. The dramatic two-story entry opens to marble floors with a floating staircase, while the spacious living room with a fireplace has a wall of windows overlooking the backyard retreat with a sparkling pool and spa – the perfect place to snuggle up on a chilly Valentine’s Day night.

Perhaps the most romantic room in the home is the downstairs master suite complete with a sitting area, pool views, jetted tub and seperate shower.

For more information on this romantic property, which could be the perfect Valentine’s gift for your special someone, click here.

And, be sure to check back tomorrow for our 10th and final home in our “10 Valentine Love Nests” series. Or, as always, find your perfect match that meets your exact criteria by searching The Best Address in Real Estate, ebby.com.