Is Your Home in a Flood Plain?

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FloodPlainMapDo you know if your home is in a Flood Plain?  This is starting to become an issue and it can either delay or destroy a closing.  Bruce and I have had 2 instances lately on house deals found to be in the flood plain.  The first one was a small little acreage home in Eustace Texas.  You wouldn’t think an acreage property would be in a flood plain.  The house was close to the road.  On the very back portion of the property, there was a creek.  We didn’t think anything about it until the survey was done and it showed a portion of the property in a flood plain.  There were several options for our buyer

  • to close on time, purchase Flood Insurance and then wait for the Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) to come in from FEMA and hope that they would determine that the property was not in the flood plain.
  • Delay closing, have the surveyor fill out the Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA), wait on FEMA (which takes time) and hope that they would determine the property was not in the flood plain.
  • Terminate the deal and begin the property search again.

Our buyer decided on option 2.  The surveyor filled out the LOMA and we began the long wait for FEMA to get back to us.  After a long wait, it was determined that the property was not in the flood plain, and now we have a very happy buyer.

Sellers really need to remember what the goal is – to sell the house.  Consider having a surveyor out to make sure the property is not in the flood plain.  If it is, then get that LOMA filled out and turned in right away.  The last thing you want is to almost be ready to close and then find out that you have a flood plain issue.

Our second most recent experience with this, the buyer went ahead and purchased flood insurance and hopefully they will be able to cancel the coverage when their LOMA comes in showing that the property is not in the flood plain.

If you want to read more information about FEMA and flood plains, the latest edition of the Texas Realtor Magazine has a great article about it.  June 2017_selected-pages  I will definitely start checking the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) on properties before listing them.

Let the Schwanbecks Exceed Your Expectations!

We would love an opportunity to assist you in your real estate needs  – anywhere in the DFW metroplex or whether you want a lake home in East Texas.  Click here to view our website.

| Debbie and Bruce Schwanbeck, Realtors at Ebby Halliday Realtors DebbieS@ebby.com BruceS@ebby.com  469.249.2034 |

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Real estate is hopping

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Real estate is hopping and it doesn’t matter if you are looking to buy or sell in DFW or Cedar Creek Lake. Bruce and I can assist you. 

Let the Schwanbecks Exceed Your Expectations!

We would love an opportunity to assist you in your real estate needs  – anywhere in the DFW metroplex or whether you want a lake home in East Texas.  Click here to view our website.  Click here to learn more about Cedar Creek Lake.

| Debbie and Bruce Schwanbeck, Realtors at Ebby Halliday Realtors DebbieS@ebby.com BruceS@ebby.com  469.283.8656 |

When was the last time you Cleaned your computer?

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Computer spring clean

You don’t need a broom to clean up your computer

 

If you want to keep your house clean, you need to dust it regularly; if you want your car to run well, you should service it annually; and if you want your computer to stay speedy and responsive, it needs its own maintenance—a digital spring cleaning.

We’re not just talking about wiping down your keyboard, but also about clearing up the digital clutter inside your system, including apps you don’t use, junk files that are taking up room, and more. Here’s how to get started.
Get rid of older apps

Removing older apps

REMOVING OLDER APPS

Uninstalling apps you no longer use can instantly improve your computer’s performance.

 

What’s the harm in leaving unused applications on your computer? Not only do these programs take up precious storage space, they make your operating system work harder than it needs to—clambering over Start menu entries, sifting through settings files, and installing updates for programs that have no real reason for being there.

 Not to mention, the fewer applications you have installed, the fewer applications for hackers to target or data mining companies to plug into. So it’s well worth identifying the programs you no longer need and uninstalling them—they can always be reinstalled later if you change your mind. Meanwhile, for the applications you do decide to keep, make sure you’re running the latest versions.

On Windows, open the Settings screen from the Start menu and then click System and Apps & features. You can sort apps by size or date to weed out the ones you don’t need, or click an app to remove it. On macOS, click and hold on an app inside Launchpad, then hit the delete button when it appears. Depending on the program, you might have to use the relevant uninstall utility (if there is one) in the Applications folder in Finder, or just drag the app’s entry from the same screen to the Trash.

Clear away digital clutter

CleanMyMac

CLEANMYMAC

Plenty of third-party programs will tidy up your system for you.

CleanMyMac

It’s an inevitable consequence of modern-day computing life that as you use your device, junk files will build up: files you’ve created and forgotten about, temporary files created by the operating system, files that haven’t been properly cleared away by your applications, and so on. There’s not much you can do to stop this from happening, but you can stay on top of the mess with a regular clear-out.

Unless you really know your way around Windows or macOS, it’s a good idea to get assistance from a third-party program for this. CCleaner (for Windows and macOS) has long been one of the best free options in this department, and we also like CleanMyMac (macOS) and System Mechanic (Windows), though those last two aren’t free.

These programs can definitely be helpful, but if you set aside a chunk of time for the task you can probably do some simple clean-up jobs yourself—deleting those photos you’re never really going to look back on, or clearing out old documents and spreadsheets that are no longer relevant.

Tidy up your browser

Browser cache

BROWSER CACHE

There’s plenty to tidy up inside your browser too.

 

Nowadays, we’re all spending a lot of our computing time inside a browser, and this is another area where you can do some serious tidying up. The aforementioned CCleaner does a good job of clearing out digital garbage that your browser doesn’t really need, but each browser has options of its own that you can also take advantage of.

In Chrome, go to Settings, Show advanced settings, and Clear browsing data to erase cached files, browsing history, plug-in data and more, which should make your browser a little lighter on its feet. On Firefox, the option is under Preferences, Advanced, Network and Cached Web Content. In Microsoft Edge, you need to go to Settings then Clear browsing data. Finally, in Safari, choose Clear History from the app menu. Checking your downloads folder for files you’ve forgotten about and don’t need is a good idea too.

Meanwhile, removing unused browser extensions can have the same benefits as uninstalling unused applications. This will streamline your browser, lowering its demands on your computer’s resources and keeping you safer as well. Open up your browser’s extensions or plug-ins page and see if there are any add-ons you can do without—getting rid of them only takes a few clicks of the mouse.

 Organize your system

Google Drive

GOOGLE DRIVE

Google Drive is one service that can keep your files in the cloud and remove local copies.

 

If no one sees your computer except you, what’s the point of keeping it tidy? (You may have the same attitude to your house.) Well, as we’ve mentioned, it means an easier time for your OS and your installed applications, and it also saves you time when you’re looking for important files. Plus, if everything is organized neatly, there’s less chance of files getting forgotten about and eating up hard drive space that could be used for something else.

Get your files in the designated user folders (like Documents on macOS or Windows) and you’ll notice the benefits the next time you need to open something quickly. In particular, you should try to avoid keeping masses of files and shortcuts on your desktop, as it gives your computer extra work to do every time you view the screen. For the same reason, it’s a good idea to spend a few minutes clearing up the Start menu or the Dock (depending on your operating system of choice), to make sure the shortcuts you really need are available and any unused ones are cleared away.

A whole host of cloud services, including Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and iCloud will store your files on the web and give you the option to keep or delete your local copies. This is a handy way of freeing up some hard disk space and lightening the load on your OS at the same time. Just be sure you are keeping the online versions and not deleting both the local and cloud-based copies of your files at the same time—each service has instructions on how to do this.

Physically clean your equipment

Laptop cleaning

LAPTOP CLEANING

Microfiber cloths and compressed air cans are the way to go to clean the outside of your hardware.

Dust-Off

While you’re tackling a computer spring clean, you may as well do some physical cleaning at the same time. Not only does it keep your machine looking shiny and fresh, in some cases you can actually prevent future problems (like the insides of your desktop getting clogged up with dust). The equipment you need isn’t expensive, and the job won’t take you very long. Be sure to power down and unplug your computer first.

Start with a can of compressed air, which is always useful for blasting away dirt from keyboards and ports. Then use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe down the outside of your machine and any of its peripherals, such as a mouse and keyboard. (You can read our full keyboard-cleaning guide here.) Cotton swabs are another helpful tool in the computer cleaner’s arsenal, as they help you clear away built-up dirt from nooks and crannies. For a more comprehensive clean, lightly dampening your cloths or swabs with isopropyl rubbing alcohol is sometimes recommended.

Plain old water can work too, but as you’re dealing with electronics, you need to keep your gently dampen your cloths and swabs rather than getting them wet. If you’re dealing with a desktop PC and you know your way around it, you can do some dismantling to really get into those dusty corners, but it isn’t essential.

With the digital and physical spring cleaning complete, you can power your computer back up and enjoy the benefits of your rejuvenated system—at least until the same time next year.

How Trees Benefit Home Values | Realtor Magazine

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Are your clients looking for a smart-home improvement project with a significant return on investment? Advise them to plant a tree.

Source: How Trees Benefit Home Values | Realtor Magazine

Let the Schwanbecks Exceed Your Expectations!

We would love an opportunity to assist you in your real estate needs – anywhere in the DFW metroplex or whether you want a lake home in East Texas. Click here to view our website. Click here to learn more about Cedar Creek Lake.

| Debbie and Bruce Schwanbeck, Realtors at Ebby Halliday Realtors DebbieS@ebby.com BruceS@ebby.com 469.283.8656 |

That Old Home Decor Isn’t Always a Bad Thing | Realtor Magazine

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Don’t think a home that boasts decades-old decor needs to be remodeled to appeal to home shoppers today. “The number of people looking for time-capsules houses [has] exploded,” notes

Source: That Old Home Decor Isn’t Always a Bad Thing | Realtor Magazine

Let the Schwanbecks Exceed Your Expectations!

We would love an opportunity to assist you in your real estate needs – anywhere in the DFW metroplex or whether you want a lake home in East Texas. Click here to view our website. Click here to learn more about Cedar Creek Lake.

| Debbie and Bruce Schwanbeck, Realtors at Ebby Halliday Realtors DebbieS@ebby.com BruceS@ebby.com 469.283.8656 |

If Buyers Want to Save Money: Tell Them to Shop | Realtor Magazine

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A new study reveals the saving potential of borrowers who shop around for a mortgage. The savings can really add up.

Source: If Buyers Want to Save Money: Tell Them to Shop | Realtor Magazine

Let the Schwanbecks Exceed Your Expectations!

We would love an opportunity to assist you in your real estate needs – anywhere in the DFW metroplex or whether you want a lake home in East Texas. Click here to view our website. Click here to learn more about Cedar Creek Lake.

| Debbie and Bruce Schwanbeck, Realtors at Ebby Halliday Realtors DebbieS@ebby.com BruceS@ebby.com 469.283.8656 |

Water My Yard

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Your clients could be saving money on landscape watering

A tool from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension could save your clients money and help conserve resources by providing custom advice on how much water their yard needs.

Water My Yard takes into account local weather conditions and irrigation system details to calculate watering recommendations for a specific address. Automated updates from the tool can help homeowners avoid overwatering while keeping their landscape healthy and saving money. The water district as a whole can benefit, too, from the resources and energy saved if homeowners only water when necessary.

Let the Schwanbecks Exceed Your Expectations!

We would love an opportunity to assist you in your real estate needs – anywhere in the DFW metroplex or whether you want a lake home in East TexasLet the Schwanbecks Exceed Your Expectations!

We would love an opportunity to assist you in your real estate needs – anywhere in the DFW metroplex or whether you want a lake home in East Texas. Click here to view our website. Click here to learn more about Cedar Creek Lake.

| Debbie and Bruce Schwanbeck, Realtors at Ebby Halliday Realtors DebbieS@ebby.com BruceS@ebby.com 469.283.8656 |

The new EBBY.com

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The new ebby.com offers North Texas homebuyers and sellers more than “curb appeal”. Featuring a mobile-first approach, the site offers a seamless experience that performs optimally on all devices.

The new site is designed with today’s mobility in mind so users enjoy a positive experience regardless of device or screen size. The new ebby.com is a huge leap forward in responsive technology and features:

Real-Time Property Alerts – All properties on ebby.com, including all MLS listings, are updated within minutes; you’ll be the first to know when a new property becomes available in North Texas.

Market Snapshot – This innovative tool keeps you informed of current market conditions in your neighborhood, so you’ll have a clear understanding of market prices. You can easily get reports that include new listings, price reductions and recently sold properties in the area.

Property Alert Accounts – By signing up for a Property Alerts Account, you’ll receive real-time alerts and have the ability to save searches, add properties to Favorites, create a Market Snapshot, and more.

As a buyer, you can search homes for sale across North Texas in a particular school district, near your workplace, or within specific street boundaries. As a seller, you are assured your home will be presented utilizing the very latest in responsive technology and large, high-resolution photos.

Let the Schwanbecks Exceed Your Expectations!

We would love an opportunity to assist you in your real estate needs  – anywhere in the DFW metroplex or whether you want a lake home in East Texas.  Click here to view our website.  Click here to learn more about Cedar Creek Lake.

| Debbie and Bruce Schwanbeck, Realtors at Ebby Halliday Realtors DebbieS@ebby.com BruceS@ebby.com  469.283.8656 |

DFW Market is #2 for Investors

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Bruce and Debbie Schwanbeck

Ebby Halliday Lakewood Lake Highlands

The Dallas-Fort Worth area ranked as the number-two metro for property investment this year, according to the CBRE Americas Investor Intentions Survey 2017.

DFW and North Texas, ranked just behind Los Angeles, is up from number three in last year’s survey, edging out New York City for the number two spot.

The 2017 survey results indicate that investors will remain actively engaged in real estate investment this year, with 67% intending to be net buyers (more acquisitions than dispositions). The percentage of net buyers has increased from 60% in 2015, and the current survey shows that 83% of investors intend to maintain or increase their purchasing activity in 2017.

Let the Schwanbecks Exceed Your Expectations!

We would love an opportunity to assist you in your real estate needs  – anywhere in the DFW metroplex or whether you want a lake home in East Texas.  Click here to view our website.

| Debbie and Bruce Schwanbeck, Realtors at Ebby Halliday Realtors DebbieS@ebby.com BruceS@ebby.com  469.283.8656 |

Ebby.com Wins Another Award

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MEbbyWebsite

Ebby.com, the newly redesigned, mobile-friendly website of Ebby Halliday, Realtors, recently added another award to its long list of accolades.

The ‘Website Quality Certification’ is presented by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, – the nation’s largest and most active real estate referral network – to member companies that have demonstrated excellence in website design, functionality and execution. Every aspect of the site was reviewed to ensure exacting standards were met in numerous key areas, ranging from design and content to human interactivity, responsiveness and search engine optimization.

Let the Schwanbecks Exceed Your Expectations!

We would love an opportunity to assist you in your real estate needs  – anywhere in the DFW metroplex or whether you want a lake home in East Texas.  Click here to view our website.  Click here to learn more about Cedar Creek Lake.

| Debbie and Bruce Schwanbeck, Realtors at Ebby Halliday Realtors DebbieS@ebby.com BruceS@ebby.com  469.283.8656 |