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City of Westlake - New Home Developments

by The Minteer Team

Are you looking for a new build community in Westlake, TX? You’re in luck! New home developments are popping up all around the area! From rolling hills and hundreds of mature trees to a quaint European village, these three housing developments offer the best of luxury living in the Town of Westlake:

 

Quail Hollow

http://quailhollowwestlake.com/


Quail Hollow, Westlake, Texas

Photo Courtesy of Quail Hollow Website.

 

Quail Hollow, a new housing development in Westlake, is the perfect definition of luxury estate living. The community setting is absolutely stunning, featuring rolling hills, hundreds of oak and cypress trees, scenic lakes and more! Just a short jaunt away is the Vaquero Golf Club offering Quail Hollow residents with access to golf memberships and Clubhouse amenities (fitness center, tennis, dining, kid’s activities and social events). The Quail Hollow community spans 188 acres and was carefully broken into 92 home sites to ensure residents won’t feel crowded. Homes in the Quail Hollow community are built on wooded one-to two-acre home sites and because they are custom, range in both price and size. Preferred builders of the community include: Cunningham Classic Homes, Michael Lorant Estate Homes, Sharif & Munir Custom Homes, Larry Stewart Custom Homes, Simmons Estate Homes.

The community is located near the renowned Westlake Academy, an open-enrollment charter school which offers the International Baccalaureate curriculum, and Liberty Christian, a highly-recognized private school. However, if you wish for your children to attend a public school, the majority of Quail Hollow’s home sites are zoned for Carroll ISD and a handful for Keller ISD.

Click here to view a list of lots for sale in the Quail Hollow community: http://quailhollowwestlake.com/lots/

Quail Hollow - Available Lots, Westlake, Texas

Map courtesy of the Quail Hollow Website.

 

Entrada

http://vestacustomhomes.com/entrada/


Entrada, Westlake, Texas

Rendering Courtesy of Centurion American

 

Located on the southeast corner of SH 114 and Davis Boulevard in Westlake, the Entrada mixed-use village can be summed up in one word: European. The European-style community plans to feature retail shops, restaurants, medical offices, entertainment options, residential homes, a signature bridge, similar to the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy, and a significant water feature. In total, the community will have 300 residential units: 200 single-family villas, 70 to 80 townhomes and 40 to 50 condominiums. These homes, just like the community, are European in style and custom built by Vesta Custom Homes. Visit the community website for more information on Entrada, Westlake’s European community.

Click here to watch video overview of the community: 

 

Granada

http://vestacustomhomes.com/granada-westlake/

Luxury homes, beautiful land and a great school district, are just three words that describe Granada, a new-build community in Westlake. Spanning more than 84 acres of prime Westlake land, the Granada community will offer 84 single-family luxury homes starting at $1.2 million. After buying a lot, residents have their choice of prestigious builders: 

 

Vesta Custom Homes:

http://vestacustomhomes.com/


Vesta Custom Homes, Westlake, Texas

Photo courtesy of Granada Website.

 

Calais Custom Homes:

http://www.calaiscustomhomes.com/


Calais Custom Homes, Westlake, Texas

Photo courtesy of Granada Website.

 

Larry Stewart Custom Homes:

http://lstewarthomes.com/


Larry Stewart Custom Homes, Westlake, Texas

Photo courtesy of Granada Website.

 

Simmons Estate Homes

http://www.simmonsestatehomes.com/


Simmons Estate Homes, Westlake, Texas

Photo courtesy of Granada Website.

 

The community itself is conveniently located just 20 minutes from the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and near some of the area’s top schools: Carroll ISD, of which 98 percent of seniors go on to attend college or university after graduation, and Westlake Academy, a local private school offering all three International Baccalaureate programs.

Click here to view lots available in the Granada community.

Granada - Available Lots, Westlake, Texas

Map courtesy of Vesta Custom Homes Website.

 

Are you interested in building or buying a home in one of these communities? Give us a call; we would be honored to help you!

Homeownership Fees to Consider Before Purchasing Your First Home

by The Minteer Team

Buying your first home is a big decision – probably one of the most important of your life. To better prepare you for this major milestone, here are several homeownership fees to consider before purchasing your first home:

Mortgage Payment

While you may no longer have rent payments, you do have a mortgage payment. Before beginning the home search, determine how much home you can afford. The best way to do this is to consult a mortgage lender. They will look at your financial situation to determine what you can reasonably afford. Use this number as a starting point, then consider YOUR financial situation and what you can actually afford. Keep in mind; these numbers may not match. ALWAYS go with the number you can actually afford – you don’t want to buy a home only to realize you can’t afford to make the monthly mortgage payments a couple of months down the road.

Property Taxes

Often overlooked by many new homeowners, property taxes vary by state and are typically paid twice a year. Why are they overlooked? While you do pay property taxes living in an apartment, YOU are not responsible for making the payments – the apartment complex includes those costs in your rent. As a homeowner, YOU are responsible for paying the property taxes directly to the state. If you are paying a mortgage, most mortgage companies will require you to have an escrow account where you pay money (often part of your monthly mortgage payment) to be held to pay the property taxes and insurance.

Homeowner’s Insurance

Varying by state and region, homeowner’s insurance can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500 a year. To keep costs down, consider bundling your homeowner’s insurance with your auto or life insurance.

Homeowner’s Association Fees

Chances are, the neighborhood you live in will require association fees for community features (pools, parks, etc.) and maintenance (lawn care, etc.). Factor this number into your budget – the fees can be monthly, quarterly or yearly.

Utilities

Every homeowner expects to pay utilities – the mistake most buyers make is the value they expect to pay. Utility bills in an apartment are much cheaper than that of a house. As a new homeowner, expect your electric and water bills to increase and figure you will now be paying several utility bills you didn't when you lived in an apartment (sewer, trash removal, etc.).

Renovations and Repairs    

Gone are the days where you could just call your apartment complex and submit a maintenance request! Owning a house means taking the responsibility of paying for your own renovations and repairs. When buying a home, take note of all the immediate improvements and repairs that need to be completed shortly after taking ownership – and before signing the final documents, ensure the costs of completing the repairs fits into your budget.

Gardening and Yard Maintenance

As a homeowner, you now get to enjoy a front and backyard. While this is one of the great qualities of a home, keep in mind that you will now have to maintain your yard and garden. Also, depending on your neighborhood, you will have to keep your front yard in good looking condition – for curb and community appeal purposes.

Moving Expenses and New Furniture

How much stuff are you moving? Do you have enough furniture to fill your home? Consider both moving and new furniture costs when moving from one location to another.

Estimate all of these homeownership fees along with your income and daily living expenses before signing the final documents to buy a home. Your budget and sanity will be glad you were proactive.

Are you looking to buy your first home? We would be happy to help! Give us a call anytime. 

Buying a Home May Be Easier Than You Think!

by The Minteer Team


First Time Home Buyers

Does buying a home seem overwhelming and, possibly, out of reach? From phrases like, “you need a down payment of at least 20 percent,” to “you need a perfect credit score to qualify,” there are many misconceptions within the home-buying process. In reality, qualifying for a mortgage, or buying a home, is much easier than you may think.

What are the misconceptions? Money and credit are the most common. Here’s why these two misconceptions are not as overwhelming as they may seem:

Money:

It may require less money than you think!

There are a lot of payments associated with purchasing a home: down payments, closing costs, mortgage payments, etc. While the expenses associated with buying a home may appear out of reach, there are several possible solutions to your problem. Here are a couple of ways you can remedy the “not having enough money” misconception: 

You can receive closing cost assistance from your lender

A down payment is not the only cost associated with buying a home – there are also closing costs. Closing costs are mortgage-related fees associated with the home purchase and include the following: loan origination fee, appraisal, title search, attorney fees and more. Closing costs range from two to five percent of the loan balance. If you're already struggling to afford the down payment, the closing costs may seem impossible. However, your lender may offer assistance to help you pay for these closing costs. What are the possible support options? Some lenders allow you to finance your closing costs within the mortgage, or the bank pays the closing costs if you agree to pay a slightly higher mortgage rate. These options depend entirely on your mortgage lender.

You can use gift funds for a down payment

Do you not have enough money for a down payment? It turns out; several mortgage programs allow gift funds as a down payment option. Keep in mind; every mortgage program has different requirements. Often, the bank will require that you put some of your own funds into the down payment – which is better than paying the whole amount yourself. Also, it is important to note that most banks require that the gift funds come from a relative – and, they must provide the lender with their account statements and a letter stating the borrower doesn’t have to repay the gift. Talk to your lender about their gift fund options. 

You don’t need 20 percent for a down payment

In today’s market, there are options available to you that don’t require a down payment of 20 percent:

  • Conventional 97 program - requires only three percent down (minimum credit score of 680)
  • Down payment assistance programs - can help you get approved with NO money down
  • FHA loans - allow as little as 3.5 percent down (with a credit score as low as 580)
  • VA loans – allow as little as zero percent down

Credit: You don’t need a perfect record

Your credit score is one of the first things a lender will look at when determining whether or not you qualify for a mortgage. As credit a major determining factor, a common misconception is thinking your credit score is not high enough to be eligible for a mortgage…but, as noted above, there are programs to help you qualify for a mortgage with a less-than-perfect record and credit score. Say you have a foreclosure or bankruptcy on your record – while these will stay on your credit report for seven to 10 years, they don't automatically kill your chances for a home loan. In fact, your lender will qualify you based on your credit activity over the past 12 months. With this in mind, you may qualify for a loan even if you are in the processing of rebuilding your credit score. However, always consult a lender before assuming your credit score will qualify for a loan.

While it may still seem overwhelming, buying a home is within reach for many – AND, it is easier than you may think!  Do you have any questions about buying a home? Give us a call; we would be happy to help!

Bathroom and Kitchen Trends For 2018

by The Minteer Team


Is a home renovation in your future? Since trends change year-over-year, it is a good idea to look to the future when considering a home renovation– especially if you are thinking about selling your home in the next couple of years. What trends are the experts predicting for 2018?

Here are the most popular:

Granite is Out!Granite, while popular for years, is on its way out of our kitchen…what is taking its place? Quartz countertops, of course! Quartz is durable, fresh and has incredible finish options! What other options are trending? Concrete and butcher's block countertops – the latter is especially popular for a center island.

Bold HardwareWhile chrome and satin are still the go-to options for a classic look, it appears that hardware trends are going BOLD in 2018. For the ultimate bold statement, add shiny brass throughout your home. However, if you're looking for something not quite as bright we recommend rose gold – it stands out, but not as much as shiny brass!

Stone SinksCustom pieces are trending – and, this applies to sinks as well. Look for beautiful hand-carved stone sinks to appear throughout houses in 2018. While stone sinks are popular, many individuals will stick to porcelain sinks to keep the cost down while maintaining a classic look.

Two-Toned CabinetsThe days of the all-white kitchens are gone! Look for two-toned cabinets to trend in 2018. Different colored upper and lower cabinets add visual interest and contrast to your kitchen space. This technique works particularly well with darker lower cabinets and lighter upper cabinets – or, if you’re not completely sold on this design trend, start out small by just painting your kitchen island a different color. Painting your kitchen island a different color achieves visual interest and contrast while not going all out.

Colors – BLUE and NavyColors are the biggest trend of 2018 – especially BLUE! The trend has hit everything from cabinets to fabrics to appliances and even doors.

Subway Tile is Out!Subway tile is officially out! What tile is trending now? Any tile with a unique texture, color or pattern.

Which future trend are you considering adding to your home in 2018? Personally, we love the two-toned cabinets!  If you have any questions about renovating your home, we are here to help! Contact us anytime. 

Top BBQ Joints in DFW

by The Minteer Team

In Texas; there’s nothing better than some good ole smoked barbecue. From tender beef and pork ribs to handmade sausages to pinto beans with scrap beef and pork and homemade peach cobbler, here is a list of the most coveted barbecue joints around DFW: 

 

DALLAS: 

Cattleack Barbeque
Rating: 4.75
Location: 13628 Gamma Rd., Dallas, TX 75244
Hours: Open Thursday, Friday and the first Saturday of the month from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Favorites: Ribs, brisket, pulled pork, sausage, TODDFATHER Sandwich or the crack cake.

Lockhart Smokehouse
Rating: 4
Locations: Dallas, 400 W. Davis, Dallas, TX 75208; Plano, 1026 East 15th Street, Plano, TX 75074
Hours: Open all week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (or until the meat runs out)
Favorites: Two great sausages and the cut known as shoulder clod, brisket (try to get a slice with some of the flavorful crusted edges) and pork ribs with their great bark.

The Plano location offers occasional smoking classes – announced on Lockhart’s Twitter and Facebook. If you’re at the Dallas location, explore the Bishop Arts District after grabbing some BBQ – you’ll be glad you did!

Pecan Lodge
Rating: 4.25
Location: 2702 Main Street, Dallas, TX 75226
Hours: Open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Favorites: Handmade original pork and jalapeno-cheese beef sausages, the $75 Trough (which allows you to try it all, especially the monster beef rib) and the pitmaster sandwich (three types of meat, slaw and fresh jalapeno).

You can find a seat at the bar with NO WAIT!

 

FORT WORTH:

Heim Barbecue
Rating: 4
Location: 1109 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76104
Hours: Open Wednesday through Monday (closed on Tuesdays) from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (or until the meat runs out)
Favorites: Well executed beef ribs. 

Are you searching for other award-winning barbecue joints around the DFW area? Here are some of the top choices – according to Texas Monthly’s Top 50 Texas Barbecue Joints:

 

CRESSON:

BBQ on the Brazos
Rating: 4.25
Location: 9001 E. U.S. 377, Cresson, TX 76035
Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (or until the meat runs out)
Favorites: Brisket-and-egg tacos, fatty brisket, glazed pork ribs, spicy jalapeno sausage, cilantro-based coleslaw and homemade peach cobbler.

 

WAXAHACHIE:

Harris BBQ
Rating: 4
Location: 220 U.S. 77, Waxahachie, TX 75165
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (or until the meat runs out)
Favorites: Stellar brisket, pineapple-juice spiked sauce pork sandwiches and pinto beans (with fresh tomatoes and scrap beef and pork).

 

DESOTO:

Top 5 BBQ
Rating: 4
Location: 209 E. Pleasant Run Road, Suite 113, DeSoto, TX 75115
Hours: Open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Favorites: Tender pork and beef ribs, hearty brisket, collard greens and mac and cheese and homemade peach cobbler.

 

FORNEY:

4-T’S Bar-B-Q & Catering
Rating: 4
Location: 205 W. Broad St., Forney, TX 75126
Hours: Open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Favorites: The 18-hour cooked brisket with a simple salt-and-pepper rub and the chocolate pecan pie.

If you’re looking for more barbecue joints around Texas, and your waistline can take it, here is Texas Monthly’s 2017 list of the Top 50 BBQ Joints in Texas: http://www.texasmonthly.com/food/the-list-the-top-50-barbecue-joints-in-texas/

Do you have any questions about the DFW area? As longtime residents, we can answer just about any question you may have – give us a call anytime.

This Month in Real Estate - July 2017

by The Minteer Team

Curious how the national housing market is doing? Check out these great resources! Questions? Give us a call at 817-481-8890 or send us an email! 


 

June 2017 Housing Market Update For Northeast Tarrant County

by The Minteer Team

The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University have released June 2017's real estate figures! 

We've rounded up the real estate figures for ColleyvilleGrapevineKellerSouthlake, and surrounding NE Tarrant County towns. 

Depending on which city you live in, almost all home sales were up from this time a year ago. The average sales price of homes were also up as much as 37% - great for sellers looking to increase their equity when selling. If you're thinking about selling, now would be a great time to start looking for your new home before you list so you can ensure your next abode before selling. 

If you don't see your city or if you're curious to know what the potential value of your home is based off of real-time home sales in your neighborhood, visit www.WonderWhatMyHomesWorth.com. As always, we are available to answer any real estate questions that you may have!

(Click image for a larger view.)

May 2017 Housing Market Update for Northeast Tarrant County

by The Minteer Team

The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University have released May 2017's real estate figures

We've rounded up the real estate figures for ColleyvilleGrapevineKellerSouthlake, and surrounding NE Tarrant County towns. 

Depending on which city you live in, almost all home sales were up from this time a year ago. The average sale of homes were also up - great for sellers looking to increase their equity when selling. If you're thinking about selling, now would be a great time to start looking for your new home before you list so you can ensure your next abode before selling. 

If you don't see your city or if you're curious to know what the potential value of your home is based off of real-time home sales in your neighborhood, visit www.WonderWhatMyHomesWorth.com. As always, we are available to answer any real estate questions that you may have!

(Click image for a larger view.)

Northeast Tarrant County Mass Transit

by The Minteer Team

Are you looking for a way to avoid the traffic in Northeast Tarrant County? Living right outside of Fort Worth, our area has some great public transportation options available to get you around. To help, we've done the research for you. Below are some of the best public transportation options in our area:

Fort Worth Transportation Authority

The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) provides bus, rail, and rider services to commuters and residents throughout Tarrant County. The mission of The T is to reduce the traffic burden on Fort Worth and Tarrant County roads and interstates, reduce pollution levels and ease parking problems for the communities we serve.

The T Bus System

The bus system is the largest of the public transportation systems offered by the Fort Worth Transportation Authority. See below for more information on fares and bus maps.

Fare Information


http://www.the-t.com/fares/fare-information/

Click here to view the Bus System Map: http://www.the-t.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/FWTA-TheT_System_Map-April17.pdf

Rail Services

Trinity Railway Express

Looking for a way to get from Dallas to Fort Worth? The Trinity Railway Express is a 35-mile, east-west track railway connecting downtown Dallas and downtown Fort Worth. The route schedule is as follows: 5 a.m. to 11:35 p.m. on weekdays, 8:50 to 11:35 p.m. on Saturdays, and no regular service on Sundays. The TRE currently has 10 stations: T&P (Fort Worth), Fort Worth ITC, Richland Hills, Bell Station, CentrePort/DFW Airport, West Irving, Downtown Irving, Medical/Market Center, Victory, and Union Stations. The TRE has 25 passenger cars, seating an average of 140 passengers each.

Click here to view information regarding the TRE fares: http://www.trinityrailwayexpress.org/howtoride.html

For more information on the TRE, click here to view a fact sheet: http://www.the-t.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/TrinityRailwayExpress_Fact-Sheet.pdf

TEXRail – Coming in 2018

The TEXRail is a 27-mile commuter project, developed by the Fort Worth Transportation Authority. When complete, the commuter rail line will extend from downtown Fort Worth, and continue through the Northside, North Richland Hills, downtown Grapevine, to the northern entrance of the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Construction for the TEXRail began in 2016 and is expected to start routine operation in late 2018. 

Click here to view TEXRail Fact Sheet: http://www.the-t.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/TEXRail_Fact-Sheet.pdf

Rider Services

Bike and Ride

Do you want to bring your bike downtown to get around easily, but don’t want to bike all the way there? The T has just the solution for you. Bring your bike downtown by loading it on the bus bike racks, or board the TRE train with your bike.

Rideshare

Use The T’s two rideshare programs to reduce congestion, while saving time and money:

Vanpool

A vanpool program is a group of at least six people who share the costs of getting to and from work – these individuals usually live or work near each other. Participating in the vanpool program may make you eligible for saving on automobile insurance (up to 15 percent).

Carpool

The carpool program is two or more people sharing a ride to and from work in a car – these are based on sharing commute expenses. This program has two different arrangements:

  1. Poolers use one car owned by one driver. The driver calculates the operations costs for a daily commute and divides by the number of riders to determine how much each rider should contribute.
  2. Poolers can rotate car use. No money is exchanged in this arrangement as each person’s vehicle and driving time are shared equally.

Do you have any questions about getting around the Northeast Tarrant County area? If so, give us a call; we would be honored to answer any questions you may have.

Top Sandwich Shops in Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake

by The Minteer Team

Craving a sandwich in the Grapevine, Colleyville, or Southlake areas? We're here to help! Take a look at some of the top sandwich destinations in these regions, as well as the some of the chain sandwich shops:

Grapevine

Grapevine Subs & More
$ | Sandwiches
104 Jenkins Street, Grapevine, TX 76051
http://www.grapevinesubsandmore.com/

Weinberger's Deli
$ | Sandwiches
601 S Main Street, Unit 100, Grapevine, TX 76051
http://www.weinbergersdeli.com/

Lucy’s Lot
$$ | Dive Bar, Burgers, Sandwiches
451 E NW Hwy, Grapevine, TX 76051
http://lucyslot.com/

Hometown Bakery
$ | Bakery, Breakfast, Brunch, Sandwiches and more!
413 E NW Hwy @ Dooley Rd., Grapevine, TX 76051
http://www.hometowncookieco.com/

A.J.’s On Main
$$ | Barbecue Sandwiches
651 S Main Street, Grapevine, TX 76051
http://www.ajsonmaintx.com/

Meat U Anywhere BBQ
$$ | Barbecue Sandwiches
919 W Northwest Hwy, Grapevine, TX 76051
http://www.meatuanywhere.com/

Chain Sandwich Shops:

Southlake

East Hampton Sandwich Co.
$$ | Sandwiches
2211 E Southlake Blvd, #500, Southlake, TX 76092
http://www.ehsandwich.com/

Modern Market – Southlake Town Square
$$ | Sandwiches, Salad, Breakfast, Lunch, and more.
1161 E Southlake Blvd., Southlake, TX 76092
http://www.modernmarket.com/

Pure Café
$ | Sandwiches, Juice Bar, Smoothie Bar, and more.
1244 Prospect St., Southlake, TX 76092
https://www.facebook.com/Puresouthlake/

Great Harvest Bread Company
$$ | Sandwiches, Bakery, Coffee, Tea, and more.
1241 E State Highway 114, Southlake, TX 76092
https://www.greatharvest.com/home

Taverna Rossa
$$ | Sandwiches, Salad, Pizza, Pasta, and more.
1151 E Southlake Blvd., Southlake, TX 76092
http://tavernarossa.com/

Corner Bakery Café
$$ | Sandwiches, Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, and more.
100 State Street, Southlake, TX 76092
https://www.cornerbakerycafe.com/

Chain Sandwich Shops:

Colleyville

Hometown Café
$$ | Sandwiches, Pizza, Tea, Coffee, and more.
1101 Cheek Sparger Rd., Colleyville, TX 76034
https://www.yelp.com/biz/hometown-cafe-colleyville

Chain Sandwich Shops:

Key:
$ = under $10
$$ = $11-30

Do you have a favorite sandwich shop in the area that didn’t make our list? Send your recommendation our way; we would be happy to add it to our list!

Do you have any questions about the housing market in the Grapevine, Southlake, and Colleyville areas? We know and love these communities and would be happy to help you in any way we can. Give us a call at 817-481-8890 or send us an email!

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