The Crosstown Blog

If you've got a 1980's home in Carrollton in the Lewisville school district, this data might interest you.  The target home is built in 1986, is 2400 sf and located in the Booth Creek subdivision.  Search criteria is 2000 to 2800 sf, and built from 1980 to 1990, from the Carrollton area in the Lewisville school district:

           Sales   Forc   Median Sale   Avg Sale       Avg/SF   List/Sale   DOM

2012    53        7      $189,000        $187,646      $82.33       97%         77
2013    70        3      $215,000        $209,975      $93.29       99%         41
2014    56        6      $223,000        $217,775      $97.11       99%         37
2015    58        0      $245,000        $246,212      $110.08    101%        32
2016    57        0      $275,000        $268,611      $120.09    100%        17

Market Area "Active" Status:
Listed:                       None
Under Contract:        10
Average List Price:   $300,457, or $128.45/sf
Days on Market:       14
Foreclosure Listings: 0

Search of MLS listings and sales of single-family dwellings reveals that demand/supply levels are under-supplied with no Active comparable listings. The median and average sale prices have increased dramatically over the past five years, with additional positive indicators noted such as declines in the amount of Foreclosure sales and days on market.   This growth is tremendous, and now the Denton County Appraisal District will do it's best to catch-up with their assessed property values - to the tune of about 10% year (the annual maximum).  Popularity can be attributed to the great schools, such as Indian Creek Elementary, Arborcreet Middle, and Hebron High, as well as all the new development along the Highway 121 corridor. Something else I've noticed is the widespread use of the "Castle Hills" moniker.  Put that out there, and the folks will come running.

August 4th, 2015 6:38 PM

If you've got a home in Lewisville near I-35, this data might interest you.  This area would be north of Main Street, and in between Garden Ridge and the east side of downtown.  
           Sales     Forc     Median         Avg            Avg/SF   List/Sale   DOM

2011    125       23%     $150,000     $143,670     $72.69     96%     78
2012    166       14%     $171,750     $166,688     $79.04     98%     67
2013    163         7%     $178,000     $176,760     $84.98     99%     38
2014    157         4%     $200,000     $199,854     $95.72     99%     4
2015    115         1%     $217,000     $223,057     $104.91   100%   25

Market Area "Active" Status:
Listed:                       21
Under Contract:        29
Average List Price:   $234,067 (2,203 sf at $106.82/sf)
Days on Market:       34
Inventory:                  1.3 months at 16.4 sales/month in 2015
Foreclosure Listings: 0

Search of MLS listings and sales of single-family dwellings reveals that demand/supply levels are under-supplied with about 1 month of current inventory. The median and average sale prices have increased over the past four years, with additional positive indicators noted such as declines in the amount of Foreclosure sales and days on market.   The past 12 months indicate roughly a 10% increase in the median and average sale prices ($205,000 to $225,000, and $208,600 to $226,845, respectively).

Target Property: A 2,000 sqft town home built in 1975 in the Oakbrook neighborhood of Farmers Branch. The annualized MLS data of comparable town homes, 1/2-duplexes and Zero-lot patio homes within the Carrollton/Farmers Branch school district market area was analyzed as follows:

Year    # Sold    Forclosures    Median Sale    Price/sf    List/Sale    DOM

2009    23            17%        $112,500      $65.50/sf    97%        86

2010    14            36%        $127,000      $65.12/sf    97%        81

2011    21            33%        $94,500        $55.75/sf    96%        128

2012    24            38%        $96,250        $58.62/sf    95%        83

2013    24            17%        $112,250      $67.37/sf    97%        96

Market Area Comparable "Active" Status:

Listed: 4 properties

Average List $: $159,850 (1,781 sf built in 1974 at $87.71/sqft)

Days on Market: 65

Inventory: 1.7 months at 2.4 sales/month in 2013

Foreclosures: 0

Search of comparable MLS listings and sales reveals that demand/supply levels are under-supplied with only 4 comparable listings. The median sale price has increased from 2011 through 2013; however, mitigated by the preceding 12-month analysis indicating a down-turn in the past 3-months. Overall, this is interpreted as current stability of market area values for comparable town home and patio home products. Furthermore, positive indicators are show in the Active inventory including higher list prices, declining days on market, no foreclosures and low inventory.


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Posted by Clay Bonner on November 6th, 2013 8:01 PMLeave a Comment

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Target Property: A 2,700 sqft home built in 1977 in the Prestonwood neighborhood of North Dallas.  The annualized MLS data of comparable homes within the Prestonwood market area was analyzed as follows:

Year    # Sold    Forclosures    Median Sale    Price/sf    List/Sale    DOM

2009    51            6%            $297,500    $105.59    96%        61

2010    66            2%            $276,700    $103.71    97%        61

2011    64            2%            $270,000    $102.28    96%        65

2012    78            1%            $304,000    $111.98    97%        61

2013    73            4%            $315,000    $117.92    99%        30


Market Area Comparable "Active" Status:

Listed: 12 properties

Average List $: $358,017 (2,707 sf built in 1977 at $132.79/sqft)

Days on Market: 25

Inventory: 1.6 months at 7.3 sales/month in 2013

Foreclosures: 0

Search of MLS listings and sales reveals that supply levels are under-supplied with less than 2 months of existing inventory. Median and average property values declined in 2010 and 2011, but appear to have rebounded in 2012 and increased in 2013. Furthermore, Active inventories show positive indicators such as high average list price, low inventory and low days on market.  It is very common for sellers to offer 1% to 2% "seller paids" for buyer's closing expenses and historically occur in 1/3 of all transactions with the trend currently high in frequency (44%) but low in dollar amounts (1.1%).

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Posted by Clay Bonner on October 22nd, 2013 10:47 AMLeave a Comment

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The answer is Yes, but the rules for qualification vary per state. Some of the required education crosses over, too. You will be able to become a licensed Real Estate Salesperson quicker than you can become a licensed Appraiser. Either way, just be sure you have a back up source of income while you are getting your feet wet in either field. 9 out of 10 Realtors don't make it past their first year. And finding an Appraiser Sponsor will be difficult without pledging a full-time committment during your 2-year apprenticeship.

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Posted by Clay Bonner on February 3rd, 2011 4:15 PMLeave a Comment

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October 7th, 2010 7:45 AM

According to, here's the latest rundown:

Central Air Conditioner....11 years

Window Air Conditioner....9 years

Trash Compactor....6 years

Dishwasher....10 years

Electric or Gas Dryer....12 years

Washer....11 years

Garbage Disposal....9 years

Heat Pump....12 years

Microwave....9 years

Electric Range....16 years

Gas Range....17 years

Refrigerator....12 years

Electric Water Heater....13 years

Gas Water Heater....11 years

When I pull out my old list from 2006, decreases are noted in HVAC, the fridge and the washer; and only the dryer appears to have increased its longevity.  Why does the appraiser need to put this useful information in a file folder?  When an appraisal is completed on a rental property, the lender usually wants an analysis about the income-generating ability of the property (since that's usually part of the borrower's financial picture).  Just like appraising the value of the property, a market rent for the property is also determined by comparing our house to others that are currently rented.  In the final step, a monthly cash-flow is determined and part of the expenses are reserve amounts set aside for appliance replacement.  So if your $1200 Kenmore fridge only last 12 years, then $8.30 is deducted from the monthly rent as part of the reserve replacement expense.  Ultimately, after making deductions for other appliances, household systems, mortgage, insurance, etc., then the monthly cash-flow is revealed.

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Posted by Clay Bonner on October 7th, 2010 7:45 AMLeave a Comment

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Does this mean that your property is now going to appraise for 4.3% less than last year?  There is a chance, but probably not.  This is a county-wide average, so some market areas do better than others.  Addison is down 7.6%, Carrollton is down 4%, Highland Park down 3%, Sunnyvale up 1.5%.  Here's an insider secret: what happens in Sunnyvale has nothing to do with what happens in Highland Park.  As long as the three most important thing about real estate ares location, location and location, the overall averages that make-up the headlines can only serve one, but very big purpose: it plants the seed in the homeowner's mind that there property may have declined by 4.3%.  This makes things so much easier for the appraiser who comes along and appraises it for less than they bought it.  Typically, North Texans have been spoiled from about 1992 through 2007 that there property value would inch-up every year.  Dare an appraiser check the box "declining market" and there would usually be a ruckus with the homeowner, Realtor and loan officer (never mind that plenty of lenders have always made loans in declining markets).  All the doom and gloom in the DMN over the past two years has enlightened real estate professionals and homeowners alike that the price of real estate changes every day - for better and for worse.  Thanks, Steve!

PS:  The municipal winner of the 2009 to 2010 change was Hutchins, up 14.4%.  This does not mean that your $100,000 house in 2009 is now worth $114,000.  The statistic reflects the change in averages; so, your old $80,000 house built in 1975 is now paired with a newly-constructed $110,000 house.  Where the average used to be $80,000, it's now $95,000; hence, a 14% increase in the overall value.

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Posted by Clay Bonner on August 22nd, 2010 9:48 PMLeave a Comment

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Does this headline or advertisement appear in Friday's Real Estate section every week?  Seems like it.  Let's see what they're saying:

07/17/10: Dallas Morning News: Record low mortgage rates attract buyers (Nationwide average) 30yr Conv. FRM 4.58%, 15yr Conv. FRM 4.04%

07/23/10: Dallas Morning News: 30-yr fixed rate hits record low of 4.56% (Nationwide average) 30yr Conv. FRM 4.56%, 15yr Conv. FRM 4.03%

08/06/2010: Dallas Morning News: Mortage rates dip below 4% (Nationwide average) 30yr Conv. FRM 4.49%, 15yr Conv. FRM 3.95%

08/13/2010: Dallas Morning News: 30-year rates at another modern low (Nationwide average) 30yr Conv. FRM 4.44%; 15yr Conv. FRM 3.92%

08/20/2010: Dallas Morning News: Mortgage rates drop once again (Nationwide average) 30yr Conv. FRM 4.42%; 15yr Conv. FRM 3.90%

08/27/2010: Dallas Morning News:  Mortgage rates drop even further (Nationwide average) 30yr Conv. FRM 4.36%; 15yr Conv. FRM 3.86%

09/03/10: Dallas Morning News: 30-, 15-year mortage rates decline to record lows (Nationwide average) 30yr Conv. FRM 4.32%; 15yr. Conv. FRM 3.83%

10/01/10: Dallas Morning News: Mortgage rates are down again (Nationwide average) 30yr Conv. FRM 4.32%; 15yr Conv. FRM 3.75%

10/08/10: Dallas Morning News: 30-yr rates fall to lowest since 71 (Nationwide average) 30yr Conv. FRM 4.27%





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Posted by Clay Bonner on July 24th, 2010 8:41 AMLeave a Comment

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re: Dallas Morning News: Rigid HOA standards defended, criticized 

I thought the arbitrary foolishness of the Stonebriar HOA's definition of a pick-up truck was fairly entertaining, but this article in Sunday's DMN reveals a certain Colleyville HOA's uber-control at the apparent hands of a single individual - the developer.  The kicker with all HOA rules is that the homeowners legally agree to them when they purchased the property.  What makes this HOA story unique is how these homeowners are not and probably never will be in control of their HOA.  They belong to a Developer-Owned Association.

The particular rules of this Colleyville HOA are a mix of good and bad, but it sounds like the overall problem is that the developer, who views his communities as children, doesn't treat the homeowners like adults.  Here's a run-down of items mentioned in the article:

Having the developer in sole control of the HOA: Bad.  He can, and has, raised dues without the votes of the homeowners.  Even to go so far as to levy a special assessment for legal fees.  Ironically to fight against the same homeowners suing in court. 

Architectural Control Committee: Good.   I have seen $1,000 coach lamps that are too small for the house they were hung and they look terrible.  Same effect to those that are too big.  Does it affect the sale price of the house across the street?  No.

Fees to review homeowners' plans: OK.  Variable fee: Bad.  Repeat fee for repeat submissions after the first rejection:  Worse.

Only using the HOA's approved list of contractors: Bad.  Price fixing, colusion, etc. obvious.  Solution already in place: architectural control committee.

Ability to amend or abolish existing CCR's without homeowner vote: Bad.

Relinquishing HOA control to homeowners after the last lot is sold: Bad.  Most I've run across relinquish after a majority percentage.   This developer can stay in contol forever now.

Taking months to approve ACC plans:  Bad.  This is where the developer exhibits his lack of respect for his homeowners.  The article cites many examples of unfinished works-in-progress pending some sort of approval.  

Having to acquire ACC approval for flower beds in the back yard: Bad.  It's behind the fence! 

Help is on the way for the Westmont HOA, recently relinquished to Paul Kramer of Castlegate Homes.  Paul intends to maintain the uber-high standards of the ACC, but sounds like he also intends to restore respect between the HOA and homeowners by streamlining the approval processes.  I did some appraisals for Paul many years ago in Colleyville and Vaquero (the kind of homes so awesome you'd never forget).  Paul was a nice guy with very good taste - although I'm still undecided about Jenny's house.

Moral of the story:  HOA's are usually fine.  But I think many people just assume that the HOA will be just like most HOA's, perfectly amicable, and don't read the 40-page CCR presented at their closing table.  But then later discover, after it's too late - au scheisse!    

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Posted by Clay Bonner on March 28th, 2010 9:19 PMLeave a Comment

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October 26th, 2009 4:30 PM

The county tax record does not classify properties as Rural, Suburban or Urban.  This designation is left up to the appraiser’s judgment.  The issue is complicated by the fact that Fannie Mae has no definitions for these three words.  Thus, this is one of the most debated topics in appraisal classes.

For example, a home on 10 acres can be located in an unincorporated part of Collin County north of Frisco but south of 380 and have a Frisco mailing address, located in the Prosper ISD, have a septic sewer and the owners work in McKinney.  The arguments can be made for both Rural and Suburban based on location, proximity to major employment, view, and surrounding land use, septic vs. public sewer, distance to nearest Dairy Queen, etc.

However, I do not know any appraisers that would not label a property inside the Frisco, Prosper or McKinney city limits as anything other than Suburban. Also, land size alone does not automatically determine a designation.

Rural is probably the designation that I have used least often. I usually designate a property Rural when on the fringes of the outlying counties, on unincorporated land with vacant (agriculture) being the predominant surrounding land use.  It’s usually obvious and rarely contested.

Urban is usually saved for the large metropolitan areas. But even in Dallas my guideline is that inside Loop 12 is Urban, and outside is Suburban.  Addison Circle is a nice area but isn't exactly like West Village and Knox-Henderson.  

I hear this sometimes:

If you walk out to get the morning paper naked and nobody complains, that’s Urban; if a neighbor complains, that’s Suburban; if nobody can see you, that’s Rural.


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Posted by Clay Bonner on October 26th, 2009 4:30 PMLeave a Comment

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