McKinney TX Real Estate

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Home Sellers - Rules for Tasteful Holiday Decor

Below is a great article that I found pertaining to how to stage your home while it is on the market during the holidays. With interest rates at incredible low's, qualified buyers are out there ready to buy a home. Here's how to present your home to make it SELL!

"Sellers don't have to forgo all holiday trimmings just because their home is on the market. But they should decorate in a way that won't turn off buyers.

There's no doubt the holidays are near: Malls filled with poinsettias, festive music filling elevators, catalogs flooding mailboxes, and home design magazines packed with ways to make the season bright.

Many sellers want to pull out the stops and decorate according to family traditions, but houses that are on the market shouldn’t be overly personalized or cluttered at any time. Your job as a real-estate practitioner is to help sellers strike a balance between enjoying their traditions yet showing restraint. Explain that too much “stuff” camouflages what’s most important when decorations come down: a home’s architectural details, its condition, location, and price.

“Your goal is to help sellers show off their houses, but not their holiday decorations,” says Julie Dana, a home staging professional and co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Staging Your Home to Sell (Alpha, 2007). If you succeed, you’ll get them to convince buyers, “I wish this were my home for the holidays,” says Bruce Johnson, president of Lee Kimball, a design/build firm in Winchester, Mass.

Amid all of the challenges of listing a home during the holidays, there is one big plus: Most buyers who are actively looking at this time of year are serious. The following tips will help sellers achieve the right decorating balance:

Add tasteful, generic decorations. “Tasteful decorations can be an asset to a sale,” says David Iannuccilli, CRS, GRI, and co-broker/owner of RE/MAX Professionals in East Greenwich, R.I. But since taste is subjective, we asked Iannuccilli and other pros to define what good holiday taste looks like—and doesn’t. Most define it as “elegant,” “simple,” and “quiet.” Iannuccilli specifies a minimalist approach--one wreath, one tree, one dining table centerpiece. Dana recommends a tall narrow tree to emphasize a room’s height and conserve floor space. In the don’t-do list, Dana cites no “cute” wreaths with gingerbread men or oversized inflatable snowmen on front yards. She also suggests steering clear of personalized objects such as monogrammed stockings. “When decorations get too personal, people have a hard time picturing themselves in the home,” she says. Pat Heydlauff, a feng shui expert in Palm Beach County, Fla., recommends no or few religious symbols, whether crèches or menorahs.

Trade nonseasonal for seasonal decorations. To avoid clutter, remove a nonholiday accessory for each seasonal accessory added, says Dana.

Don’t imitate Scrooge. Even if decorating seems a Herculean task, tell sellers not to avoid all decorations. “People expect some, and they add warmth,” says Dana.

Think green…and metallic, and white. Too much red and green can backfire. Practitioners suggest a neutral palette of fresh greens, elegant silvers and golds, and classic whites. Karen Fornash, a real estate guru in New York, favors vases of white roses, lilies, and freesia, complemented by evergreens. Christi Page, owner of Top Drawer Hardware in Santa Monica, Ca., suggests replacing a few knobs in a bathroom or kitchen with ones that add a touch of seasonal color.

Remember the joy of entertaining. Because home entertaining connotes happy homeownership, builder David Cohen of Hampden Design & Construction in Newton, Mass., suggests staging a kitchen as if the owners were going to throw a cozy holiday party. “People don’t want things to look stark at the holidays,” he says.

Be mindful of valuable gifts. Keep most holiday presents and family heirlooms out of sight to avoid distracting buyers, says Gregg Goldsholl, a practitioner with Weichert Realtors in Larchmont, N.Y. Doing so also is a smart precaution for open houses. “Not all people who tour a home are trustworthy,” Dana says.

Keep up decorations for a limited time. While most homeowners love prolonging the holiday spirit, experts suggest curtailing it when the house is on the market. Dave Sears, co-founder of OptHome, a homeownership resource Web site in Winchester, Mass., advises a maximum of two weeks before and two after Christmas.

Add warmth and energy. Nothing says holidays more than twinkling lights and crackling fires, but make smart choices. Lights, which also help illuminate a home’s exterior in the dark—particularly important in winter when many showings take place—shouldn’t be left on all the time. Advise sellers to select efficient LED bulbs and use them with motion detectors or timers, says Rozanne Weissman, senior director of consumer campaigns with the nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy in Washington, D.C. To get a fire going quickly and make clean-up easier, consider manufactured logs, says Mendy Aul, with Pine Mountain in Daleville, Ind.

Minimize smells. Holiday aromas—baked goods and live greens—enhance seasonal decor, but overly strong odors from air fresheners and candles may send buyers running, says Deanne Kory, senior vice president with The Corcoran Group in New York. Heydlauff tells sellers to leave out a plate of cookies, which buyers will associate with the spirit of giving.

Play soothing music. Most people get their fill of jingles and carols, so suggest nonseasonal favorites that appeal year-round, says Sears.

Use timely marketing materials. Everyone wants to lower expenses, but it’s critical not to cut corners when you're taking photos for listing materials. The wrong images—a living room with a tree in summer—signal that a house has been on the market too long, says Dana.

Remember winter’s threat. If sellers live in a cold climate, remind them to shovel walks rather than have snow and ice become part of the décor.

And when sellers seem in doubt, remind them that less is always best. Happy Holidays!"

Friday, November 7, 2008

November is National Homeless Awareness Month

November is National Homeless Awareness month, created to bring attention to this significant social problem. Homelessness used to be considered an urban problem, but no more; the decline of the economy and the soaring foreclosure rate has caused homelessness to now be seen in every suburb of the country and Collin County cities are certainly no exception.

At the Samaritan Inn, the county’s only homeless shelter, we regularly see men, women, and children at our door who never expected to be in this situation. Homeless families are the fastest growing number in the homeless population and they are the majority of our residents. We provide a safe place to sleep and food to eat, but we also provide a comprehensive program that leads to independence. We supply the support, they provide the initiative.

To address this problem and put people back on their feet again, we need collaboration and we are pleased to say we have it.

To read more of this story click on here

What can you do to help? Contact the Samaritan Inn.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Collin County Real Estate Update - September 2008

With all of the talk about the current economic crisis, you may be wondering how real estate in Collin County is doing.

Below are statistics for September 2008 for McKinney, Allen, Frisco and Plano.

# Sales: 1,046
% Change over previous year: -14%
Average Sale: $245,517
% Change over previous year: +5%
Average Days on Market: 81
% Change over previous year: +23%

# Sales: 2,234
% Change over previous year: - 8%
Average Sale: $298,302
% Change over previous year: +2%
Average Days on Market: 89
% Change over previous year: +24%

# Sales: 1,597
% Change over previous year: -22%
Average Sale: $222,192
% Change over previous year: -3%
Average Days on Market: 80
% Change over previous year: +13%

# Sales: 2,873
% Change over previous year: -13%
Average Sale: $275,064
% Change over previous year: 0%
Average Days on Market: 68
% Change over previous year: +31%

What does all of this mean? Homes are sitting on the market longer and fewer of them are selling each month. For home sellers this means that your home needs to stand out - it needs to be in the BEST condition and priced RIGHT.

To speak with us about selling your home, just give us a call or email! We're here to help.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Open House in Stone Brooke Crossing THIS SUNDAY 8/24! UNDER CONTRACT!

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

McKinney Open House - TODAY!

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Unique Home For Sale in Eldorado Heights - Rare Find! SOLD

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Friday, July 18, 2008

McKinney Open House THIS SATURDAY!

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

You Just Might Have Missed It!

Listed and under contract on the same day? It happened! Don't listen to the doom & gloom you are hearing on the news about the "real estate bubble" or how terrible the market is. The fact is, homes that are PRICED RIGHT and are in GOOD CONDITION are selling! And FAST!
The home at 5509 Pebble Court was competitively priced at $162,000 for 2,095 square feet of great living space! Located in a popular McKinney neighborhood - Stone Brooke Crossing - this home wasn't really even on the market yet!
A fellow REALTOR knew that we were active in Stone Brooke Crossing and called us up to find out if we knew of anything that was about to hit the market. As it turned out we were about to list 5509 Pebble! This fellow agent had a buyer who really wanted to buy in this neighborhood - and we had a seller who really wanted to sell!
Two weeks later the buyer bought - our seller sold - and the rest is history!
Do YOU need a McKinney Realtor who can get the job done? Give us a call!

6804 Oak Falls - More Pics

McKinney Home For Sale in Wynngate - UNDER CONTRACT

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

205 Stone Brooke Ct. MLS # 11010252

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Stone Brooke Crossing is a sought-after neighborhood located in the heart of McKinney. Enjoy amenities such as the Community Pool, Covered Baby Pool and Playground. Ideal location is close to shopping, dining and major employment centers. Walking-distance to Award-Winning Glen Oaks Elementary, Dowell Middle School and the new Boyd High School. This beautiful brick home sits on a premium cul-de-sac lot and has great curb-appeal with extensive landscaping and two-car garage. Enjoy your pool-sized backyard equipped with sprinkler system, garden shed and lush landscaping. An 8-foot door invites you into this stunning home. Ceramic tile floors greet you as you enter this 1,831 square foot 1-story home with soaring ceilings and elegant architectural touches throughout...Inside this amazing former Sovereign Model Home you will find an elegant & spacious floorplan. The light & bright layout offers modern colors and a cozy living room equipped with gas fireplace in the heart of the home. A formal dining room is located off the family room and makes entertaining easy. It could also be used as a play area or study. A Chef's Kitchen is open to the family room separated by a large breakfast bar. The efficient kitchen is well-equipped with island, spacious 42" cabinets, cooktop, ceramic tile floors & large breakfast nook overlooking the backyard. The private master retreat is located in the back of the home and has a bath that offers a garden tub, separate shower, dual vanities and walk-in closet. The two secondary bedrooms are located in the front of the home and feature tall ceilings, spacious closets, celing fans and 2-inch blinds throughout. There's so much to love in this home!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Open House: Sunday, May 25th 2:00-4:00

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What are people saying about us?

Kim and I recently helped a couple sell their home and buy a new one to be closer to their kids and grandkids. This is what they have to say about the Barron-Daugherty Team:

May 22, 2008
Before our PC gets unplugged for the move, we want to sincerely thank you for a great moving experience. We certainly made the right choice by selecting you to take care of it all.

* You were responsive to our questions and always had or got the answers.
* You were always professional, patient and friendly.
* You treated our concerns as a top priorities.
* You were always honest and caring.
* You laughed at C's jokes.
* You offered many value-added services (staging, advice, drop-bys, open house, update emails, etc.)
* You networked and kept communications going with our girls to keep everyone in the loop.
(Communication is always the key to success.)
* You accepted us into your 'family of friends' by shared kid stories.
* You adapted your styles to deal with the variety of realtors, loan officers, service providers, etc.
* You never rolled your eyes (in front of me) when I asked dumb questions or repeated myself.
* You were technically and politically savvy in the realty processes.
* You earned our respect and referrals.
Thank you and let's keep investing in our friendship.
Stop by often to see our progress.

C and J

Friday, May 16, 2008

2008 Appraisals - Do You Need to Contest Your Value?

As you may know, our 2008 tax appraisals have arrived. Even though our market is struggling right now, many of our values have gone up (including mine). If you would like to challenge your appraisal, we would be happy to help. We can pull the comparable sales in your neighborhood for your house. Then you can take that information to the tax office and speak to an appraiser. You must meet with the appraiser by May 31, 2008.

If you would like us to do that for you, we will need the following information:
1. Your name
2. Your address
3. Your neighborhood
4. The square footage of your house (excluding the garage)
5. How much was your 2007 appraisal?
6. How much is your 2008 appraisal?
7. What do you think it should be?

If you will email this information to us, we can email back the comparable sales for your neighborhood. As always, if you ever need any real estate help, Laura & I are happy to help. We are never too busy for any of your family or friends as well.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Stone Brooke Crossing Garage Sale & Open House Tour - RESULTS!

Wow...what a weekend! Laura and I would like to thank our awesome neighbors in Stone Brooke Crossing for participating in our First Annual Garage Sale & Open House Tour that took place this past Saturday. Laura and I have heard from several of you and so far the response has been great!

· Well over 250 groups of shoppers visited the garage sales
· Many sellers sold most their items – with reports of one sale being sold out by 11 am
· We had visitors from as far away as Oklahoma as a result of the advertising
· We received cash and donated items for the Samaritan Inn Gateway Apartment Project
· The kids even got in on the excitement with reports of lemonade stands and cookie sales

Based on this response we have decided that we will make it a priority to host this garage sale each year, and possibly twice a year. It is our hope that the word will spread and even more residents will get in on the action! We would like to stress that this was not a HOA sponsored event. Laura and I are residents of Stone Brooke Crossing and were happy to be able to serve our community by organizing and sponsoring the event.

As always, we want to let you know that if you are in need of a McKinney Real Estate Agent we would be honored to earn your business. If you are looking for a Realtor with an aggressive, International Marketing Program that produces results – we are the ones for you! With our team you get TWO agents representing you resulting in TWICE the effort and results. No one knows Stone Brooke Crossing Real Estate like we do! Call us for a no-pressure, complimentary market analysis!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Get Ready...Get Set...


This weekend's Neighborhood Garage Sale & Open House Tour is upon us and we have had GREAT feedback! Our Stone Brooke Crossing neighbors are gearing up for some great garage sales. It's time to do your Spring Cleaning & clear out those closets!

If you have already turned in your registration forms and $15 then you will be recieving your garage sale permit tomorrow. Laura and I will be delivering these to you along with a copy of the neighborhood map that will be handed out to all the shoppers as they drive into our neighborhood on Crutcher Crossing (by the pool). You'll be the first to get a sneak peek at all the goodies your neighbors will be selling.

Make sure you stop by the pool and park area on Saturday morning, because Nathan Scott with First United Mortgage will be handing out donuts and refreshments. Come on down and say HI and meet some of your neighbors. Laura and I look forward to meeting each of you.

Keys To Success in Life

Work Hard
The dream comes through much effort-Ecclesiastes 5:3

Be Honest
Ill gotten gains do not profit-Proverbs 10:2

Be Generous
The generous man will be prosperous-Proverbs 11:25

Be an Expert
A skilled worker will stand before kings-Proverbs 22:29

Hire Carefully
Do not hire a fool or a stranger-Proverbs 26:10

Keep Good Records
Know well the condition of your flocks-Proverbs 27:23

Give to God
Honor the Lord from your wealth-Proverbs 3:9

Be Humble
The rewards of humility are riches,honor, and life-Proverbs 22:4

Don't Work for Money
A good name is to be desired above riches-Proverbs 22:1

Seek Counsel
In abundance of Counselors there is victory-Proverbs 11:14

Take Risks
Cast your bread upon the waters-Ecclesiastes 11:1

Divide your portion to avoid disaster-Ecclesiastes 11:2

Be Flexible
Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest-Proverbs 14:4

Friday, March 28, 2008

Stone Brooke Crossing Garage Sale Registration EXTENDED!

Since we've had such a good response from our awesome neighbors here in Stone Brooke Crossing, we will be extending the deadline to enter until next Wednesday, April 2!

So, what are you waiting for? Start in with the Spring Cleaning and see what YOU can find to sell. If you need a registration form, e-mail or call us! Our contact info is on the right of the screen. We'd be happy to walk on down and hand-deliver it to you too...don't be shy!

See you at the sale on Saturday!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

3509 Gillespie in Hidden Creek - McKinney, TX - SOLD

3509 Gillespie in Hidden Creek for $340,000
Living 1: 12X11 / 1
Living 2: 18X18 / 1
Living 3: 25X15 / 2
Study: 12X11 / 1
F Dining: 12X11 / 1
Breakfast:10X15 / 1
Kitchen: 11X15 / 1
Other Rm: 21X14 / 2
Other Rm: 11X8 / 2
Mstr BR: 25X14 / 1
Bedroom 2:11X13 / 2
Bedroom 3:11X13 / 2
Bedroom 4:12X12 / 2

Prestigious neighborhood in McKinney – Hidden Creek. Community pool with lifeguards, park, Skate Park and volleyball. Pristine condition. Low maintenance back yard with aggregate pebble patio and lush landscaping.

Great location. Exemplary rated Walker Elementary school. New Boyd High School.

General Features:
Unique, open layout. High ceilings throughout. Art niches and plant ledges. Downstairs master suite. Zoned heat /air. Phone and cable connections in most rooms. Custom-built home.

Recent Upgrades:
Foundation watering hoses. Energy efficient roofing and tinted windows throughout. Garage floor is painted.

Exterior Overview:
Siding, brick, shutters and Austin Stone. Brick mailbox. Galvanized steel gutters. Underground utilities. Beveled, leaded glass oversized entry door. sprinkler system. Custom landscaping. Aggregate pebble patio and stone retaining wall with landscaping.

Interior Overview: Alarm system. Recessed lighting. Upgraded ceiling fans. Upgraded plumbing fixtures. Stairway with wrought iron spindles. Smoke detectors. Berber carpet in downstairs family room and upstairs game-room. Wood floors in kitchen. Designer paints. Custom drapes.

Front entryway: Chandelier in two-story arched interior doorway. Stairway to upstairs. Travertine tile flooring.

Formal living and dining area: Open and bright with soaring 2-floor ceilings over dining and living room with plant ledges.
Crown molding on walls and art niches.

Study: (First floor) Skip trowl walls and designer paint. Stained wood French doors.

Family room: (Open to kitchen) Fireplace trimmed with travertine and wood mantle. Gas logs. Upgraded Ceiling fan with lights. Custom TV cutout.

Kitchen: White appliances. 42” cabinets. Pot rack to remain. Spacious pantry. Built-in microwave, dishwasher and self-cleaning electric oven. In-sink-erator food disposal. Two-door matching refrigerator for sale (optional). Menu planning station. Butler’s pantry.
Hardwood floors and matching cabinets with dental molding. Oversized 4 X 7 island. White ceramic tile backsplash with marble accents and matching marble tile counter tops. Breakfast area with window seat. Storm door with screen leads to patio.

Utility room: (First floor) Additional storage cabinets above and next to washer/dryer (negotiable). Room for freezer (negotiable) Door leading to three-car garage. Gas and electric dryer connections.

Garage: 3 car garage. Swing entry. Painted concrete floor. 2 of the 4 white storage cabinets in garage remain with home. Garage door openers.

Master suite: (First floor) Fireplace with gas logs. Upgraded ceiling fan with light and remote. Crown molding. Decorator paints. Custom drapes. Double door entry to bathroom. Spacious bathroom: Oversized garden bath tub. Large glass-enclosed shower with seat. Double sinks with white marble counters. Separate toilet area with door. Large walk-in closet.

Custom Built Desk: (First floor) Custom Built “home management” desk outside master retreat. Lots of cabinets for storage that match the kitchen cabinets with marble tile counters.

Game room: (Upstairs) Skylight, Open to first floor with wrought iron spindles. Upgraded ceiling fan. Berber carpet. Closet for storage. Custom wet bar with decorative glass sink bowl.

Media room: (Upstairs) Theatre style room with velvet draped walls. Elegant wood molding. Decorative wall sconces on a dimmer.
Stadium seating with rope lighting. Blue carpet.

2nd bedroom: (Upstairs) Full bath attached. Large window and walk-in closet. Upgraded ceiling fan. Hallway linen closet.

3rd bedroom: (Upstairs) Jack-N-Jill bath. Walk in closet. Upgraded ceiling fan.
4th bedroom: (Upstairs) Jack-N-Jill bath. Walk-in closet. Upgraded ceiling fan. Dormer window lets in additional lighting

Loft: (Upstairs) Currently used as a student study area, could be a reading nook and much more.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Garage Sale and Samaritan Inn's Gateway Apartments

We are excited to announce that our office "RE/MAX Four Corners" adopted an apartment to furnish for the Samaritan Inn. This is a project known as "Gateway Apartments".

Did you know that In Collin County, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $650/month. When a security deposit (often first and last month’s rent), application fees ($25-50) and other deposits (utilities) are tabulated, housing quickly becomes out of reach for many hard-working people trying to exist on minimum wages or just slightly above. For those graduating the Samaritan Inn’s program, there is often no place to live within close proximity of full-time employment.

Because of an obvious lack of affordable housing within Collin County, the leaders at The Samaritan Inn, the county’s only homeless shelter, embarked on a new project to begin filling that specific gap. In December, 2005, Jane and Marc Sparks pur¬chased 1.3 acres of pro¬perty across from the McKinney-based Inn, and initi¬ated the steps to¬ward con¬struction of a 20-unit apartment complex. The Sparks family has committed $2 million to see the project to fruition – from dirt to final nail.
Upon completion in February, 2008, the property-struc¬ture will be donated to The Samaritan Inn, which will be responsible for its management. Named “Gate¬way” to symbolize the building as being the final “gateway” to indepen-dence for people formerly without homes (and often hope) who have worked diligently to obtain this level. It is the first such housing program of its kind in Collin County.

There will be 10 one-bedroom and 10 two-bedroom units available, with 1 and 2 baths, spacious floor plans and other appointments. The location permits access to McKinney public transportation.

Gateway residents will pay rent (at a discounted subsidized rate), utility bills and be 100 percent responsible for such things as groceries, while supervised by the Inn staff in order to have this transition period go as smoothly as pos-sible. They will con¬tinue to participate in various Samaritan Inn support programs and counseling (job search, financial adjustment, budgeting).

Residents will go through an application process and be thoroughly screened prior to approval for inclusion. Most rules that currently exist for Inn residents will apply to Gateway (no drug, alcohol, criminal problems) except that inde¬pendence will mean a measure of trust (no curfew, no automatic locks).

Rent will be adjusted every 90-120 days depending on alterations in a resident’s income. Transition periods will be 6-24 months in length and reviews/leases will be examined every 6 months by licensed Inn caseworkers.

“Gateway is transitional housing – not meant to become a permanent address – but a stepping stone to the next level of true independence after a disastrous period in a person or family’s life,” said Lynne Sipiora, executive director of The Samaritan Inn. “People often cannot make the leap from cold recovery to facing the harsh financial demands of living on their own. Gateway is just another means for The Samaritan Inn to help them.”

Thanks to the generosity of one family, and the hard work of dedicated staff and volunteers, beginning in February, there will be a new “Gateway” toward a better life for many people who once believed such possibilities did not exist.

We are excited about this opportunity to help and wanted to ask our fellow neighbors to help as well. If you have items that are on the following list and would like to donate them to this project we will be collecting them the day of the garage sale and delivering to the Samaritan Inn.

Furnishings list

Table and Chairs
Silverware set (set of 4 or more)
Large pot
Small pot
Frying pan
Baking dish
Mixing bowl
Can opener
Wooden spoon
Cooking knife

4 towels
4 wash cloths
1 hand towel
1 bath mat
1 shower curtain


1 full/queen mattress w/frame (headboard optional)
1 set full/queen sheets
2 pillowcases
1 comforter


Occasional Chair
Coffee table
2 nightstands


20 hangers
Paper towels
Toilet paper
Cleaning supplies
Laundry detergent
Dish soap

For 2 bedroom apartment, please add:

2 twin size mattresses w/ frames
2 sets twin size sheet set
2 twin size blankets
4 pillow cases
1 dresser
2 nightstands

Additional items (if able)

Tv/with stand
End tables

For more information please contact Kim or Laura or to adopt your own apartment contact Lynne Sipiora at 972-542-5302/

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

McKinney Business Owners

Calling all McKinney Business Owners!

Do you own a business? Are you looking for a way to promote your business to your neighbors here in McKinney? If so, we are looking for donations for our Stone Brooke Crossing Community Garage Sale & Open House Tour! All visitors to the open houses will have a chance to enter prize drawings. All businesses that donate will recieve advertising on the maps that are handed out to the garage sale "shoppers".

In addition to the map advertising, you can also set up a table in the SBC Pool parking lot next to our information table. We are anticipating lots of traffic and this will be a great spot to advertise your business. Advertising will be done in several newspapers, online & on the radio. Not only will our information table be handing out maps at this location, but we will also be giving out donuts, collecting donations for The Samaritan Inn (more info on this to come) and encouraging all neighbors to come on down and say HI!

For more information, or to sign up as a Prize Donor, please email us or call 469-667-8225 (Kim) or 214-415-5329 (Laura).

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Stone Brooke Crossing Community GARAGE SALE & OPEN HOUSE TOUR

Saturday, April 5
Garage Sale 7:00 am - 2:00 pm
Open House Tour 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Saturday, April 5 Stone Brooke Crossing will have its First Annual Community Garage Sale and Open House Tour! There will be a 3-day ad in the local newspapers and an ad in the Dallas Morning News promoting the event. There will also be community maps handed out that will direct people to the Featured Open Houses and Featured Garage Sales. The maps will be handed out at the corner of Crutcher Crossing and Turtle Court. We will have signs and directionals into our neighorhood from 7 - 2.
We will also be handing out donuts in the morning and they will be served in the parking lot of the SBC Community Pool, so come down and say Hi!

To be a Featured Garage Sale, please email or call Kim (469-667-8225) or Laura (214-415-5329) (your SBC neighbors) to register. We will email you a registration form to fill out where you have the chance to fill out what featured items you will be selling at your garage sale. All featured garage sales will have special balloons at their home identifying them as a featured home. The cost is only $15.00 to participate and will be due no later than Friday, March 28.

To be a Featured Open House, please have your real estate agent call us for registration information. We will send them a registration form so that you can participate. The Featured Open Houses will have exclusive advertising and visitors to these Open Houses will have the opportunity to win some awesome prizes! What a great way to get some traffic in our awesome neighborhood to show off your home! The deadline to sign up as a featured Open House is also Friday, March 28.

Keep checking back for more details!
Stone Brooke Crossing is located in McKinney at the SW corner of Virginia Pkwy and Lake Forest Drive.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hot on the Market! 1805 Lafayette Plano TX 75075** $230,000**Call 972-396-9100

MAPSCO: Plano 658.T
Style: Contemporary/traditional
Living Area: 2,639 Sq. Ft.
Description: 3/2.5/2/3LA
Schools: Shepard/Wilson/Vines/PSHS
Lot Size: Approx. 48 x 101
LR: 26 x 12
DR: Living and dining open
Kit: 17 x 10
Brk: 5.4 x 7.8
Den: 10 x 13
Game: 17 x 12
BR#1: 14 x 12
BR#2: 12 x 13
BR#3: 12 x 10
Gameroom/Large Study

Prestigious neighborhood in West Plano on a quiet street. Craftsmanship, luxury and quality.

Open and bright two-story floor plan with many upgrades. Excellent condition.
Zero-lot line custom home (front, back and one side yard).

Great location. Easy access to Central Expwy.(I-75), President George Bush Turnpike & Collin Creek Mall.
David Weekly home in a planned neighborhood with greenbelts throughout. Quiet, safe neighborhood with two entries and curved streets. Park Bridge Homeowners’ Association (approx. 160 homes) and Neighborhood Watch Program. Award-winning schools.

General Features:
Unique, open layout with no enclosed hallways. High ceilings throughout. Two walk-in floored attics.
Downstairs master suite. Built-in Nutone central vacuum system with 4 wall inlets and accessories.
Trane zoned heat (2 units) / air (2 units) up and downstairs. Wired for Verizon FIOS high speed Internet.
Phone and cable connections in most rooms. Custom-built home with one previous owner, no pets or children. Anderson hardwood floors and matching cabinetry.

Recent Upgrades:
Central zoned Trane 60 energy-efficient furnaces (2) with warranties; permanent filters (2004-$2,800; 2005-$3,100). Central zoned air condenser 4-ton American Standard (2002-$2,260).
Roof: Elk asphalt shingles; 3 wind turbines; 30-year warranty (2003-$4,200).
Tile floors in bathroom, utility room and pantry (2008). Stained concrete two-level patio (2000-$5,400).
8-ft. stained & sealed privacy fence: Cedar board-on-board; steel posts; side & back yards (2000- $5,000).

Exterior Overview:
BV siding and red brick. Brick mailbox. French drain on side yard. Galvanized steel gutters. Underground utilities. Covered, two-story brick lighted front porch. Beveled, leaded glass entry door. 3-zone auto yard sprinkler system. Custom landscaping with year-around GroGreen professional maintenance (trees, shrubs, lawn. 8-ft stained cedar fence with steel posts and two gates. Termite detection system with 29 maintained stations by Home Pest Defense (2001-$1,300). Stained concrete, two level patio (2000-$5,400) and sidewalk from patio to back gate.

Garage: Alley-entry, storage and 2-car capacity. Phone jack. Lift-Master auto garage door and openers.
Driveway dual motion sensor flood lights.

Interior Overview:
Security Ranger American 4-zone alarm system. Extra energy-conserving insulation throughout.
Recessed lighting. 3 ceiling fans. Hunter Douglas Duette energy-efficient, honeycomb, horizontal blinds throughout.
Open stairway with two-way landing. Smoke detectors. Ivory Berber carpet in master suite and upstairs.
Trane variable speed, energy-saving heating & air systems. Walk-in attic with full flooring over the garage.
Second attic with folding stairs. Double-pane low-E glass windows. Fresh, neutral paint. Custom drapes.

Front entryway: Chandelier in two-story arched interior doorway. Coat closet. T-shaped stairway to upstairs. Under-stair storage closet.

Formal living and dining area: Open and bright with soaring 2-floor ceiling over dining room.
Anderson hardwood floors. Lighting on dimmers. Deep double-crown molding and picture frame molding on walls.
Built-in dry bar/cabinet and shelves in living room.

Guest half-bath: Tile floor (2008). Beveled, custom mirror.

Family room: (Open to kitchen) Fireplace trimmed with marble and 6-ft mantle. Gas logs or wood-burning fireplace. Ceiling fan with lights. Paned glass door opens to patio and side & back yards. 8 x 3 ft. beveled wall mirror.
Screened windows. Solar control, thermo safe, tinted windows for 98% UV elimination (family room and kitchen).

Kitchen: Black GE appliances: Modular downdraft electric stove with grill. Built-in wine rack. Pantry.
Built-in microwave, dishwasher and self-cleaning electric oven. In-sink-erator food disposal (2007).
New kitchen sink faucets and instant hot water dispenser (2007-$340). Two-door matching refrigerator for sale (optional).
Hardwood floor and matching cabinets. White ceramic tile backsplash and counter tops.
Spotlight and chandelier lighting on dimmer. Breakfast area with bay screened windows and built-in seating.

Utility room & large storage closet:
(First floor) Tile floor (2008). Cabinets above washer/dryer. Sound insulation. Door to two-car garage. Gas and electric dryer connections.

Master suite: (First floor)
Bedroom: Ceiling fan with lights. Crown molding. Large walk-in closet with shelving. Double door entry to bathroom.
Large bathroom: Oversized Jacuzzi whirlpool bath tub and wall mirror. Large skylight. Custom full-wall shelves and storage with white cabinet doors. Glass-enclosed shower (new pan & tile 2007). Double sinks with white ceramic tile vanity counter. Separate toilet area with door and built-in magazine rack.

Game room or large study: (Upstairs) Open to first floor. Ceiling fan. Ivory berber carpet (throughout upstairs).
Two walk-in doors to large floored attic.

2nd bedroom: (Upstairs) Raised ceiling. Display shelving on two walls. Large windows with honeycomb blinds plus blackout pull-down shades. Hallway linen closet.

3rd bedroom: (Upstairs) Unique, open catwalk to the bedroom. Double-door closet. Separate cedar closet.
Display shelving installed on two walls. Fresh neutral paint.

Full bath: (Upstairs) Textured & neutral painted walls (2008). Two sinks and bathtub with shower.
White ceramic tile on vanity counter.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Pre-Listing Inspection

Tips on How to Sell Your Home FAST for the BEST PRICE

Most Realtors and Home Sellers will tell you that a detailed home inspection is the responsibility of the Home Buyer to have done prior to closing. We would like to offer another point of view on this subject. One that may help you sell your home a little faster and help ensure your home closes.

In today’s housing market, homes are not selling as quickly as before. You need every tool available to ensure your home sells and closes. So, how can a pre-listing inspection help? We believe there are 3 ways a pre-listing inspection can help which we have listed below.

Create confidence and trust for potential home buyers. When a home buyer knows of potential problems ahead of time, they are more likely to feel comfortable with the purchase and prepare themselves for the repairs. They are going to find out later anyway and deals have a tendency to fall apart when problems are discovered at the last moment.

Knowing about problems ahead of time allow the home seller to budget for repairs. Imagine receiving a contract on your home, getting excited about moving and then find out you have to come up with a thousand dollars to replace a few windows just days before closing. If you can’t get it fixed in time, the closing could be delayed or worse, buyer’s remorse could set in and the buyer cuts and runs. If you know ahead of time, you can have the money set aside or be able to adjust the listing price ahead of time to be able to come down on the sales price as part of negotiations.

Market your home as “Certified Pre-Owned”. Okay, so this may sound funny but Steve Rodriguez with Realty Times made a good point in his recent article.

“Pre-listing inspections allow agents to market homes as “Certified Pre-Owned;” and homebuyers, like those purchasing new cars, are willing to spend more money on properties that have been professionally inspected.”Source: Realty Times, Steve Rodriguez (12/27/07)

It makes a lot of sense to spend the few hundred dollars on a Home Inspection prior to listing your home. The benefits are real and can help reduce the stress level during the negotiation when everyone is already on the same page. Please let us know if you have questions about home inspections and what your responsibilities as a home seller are.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Valentine's Day in McKinney - Where to go to Wine 'n Dine YOUR Sweetie!

This week men in McKinney will inevitably go into a frenzy as Valentine's Day approaches and they realize that plans need to be made, and QUICK! But where should you go to make a big impression? You could always make a romantic candlelit dinner in the comfort of your own home, but if you're not so hot in the kitchen then McKinney offers some really romantic choices without the hassle of going south to Dallas or Plano.

Here are some of the most romantic spots that McKinney has to offer! Make sure you leave us a comment and let us hear about your favorite place!:

1. Goodhues Wood Fire Grill - Rated as one of the best restaurants by D Magazine! Get your reservations early! GREAT atmosphere - GREAT food!
2. Poppy's - AWESOME outdoor cafe with live music! Their website says they have a special Valentines Dinner with live music by Sean Holden. Half price wine on Wednesdays! A definite winner!
3. La Misha - This place drips with sexiness! From their website : "Let Valentine's dinner at La Misha rekindle that special spark with luminous candlelight and the romantic sounds of a live cello player. Enjoy a four-course dinner, complemented with a bottle of Prosecco champagne, and ending with a chocolate dip strawberry. A rose for each couple. February 14, 15, 16 For reservations, call 469-361-1400 $45 per guest for lunch, $65 per guest for dinner plus service charge"
4. Rick's Chophouse - at the new Grand Hotel and Ballroom on the historic McKinney Square! Recently renovated. Totally romantic.
5. The Pantry Restaurant - From their website: "We have carefully chosen foods and spirits known to play on your romantic tryst. Please join us for this exciting event where 5 courses of food and wines are paired together in a celebration of passion. Ambiance and Romantic atmosphere is created by using scents, sounds and taste. Make your reservation today to be sure you don't miss out on any of this divine evening! Plan on celebrating this romantic evening with your loved one. Special menu prepared by chef Kate Montgomery. Contact Landon Winery to make reservations. 972-542-3030"
6. Landon Winery - See above for information about the Winemaker's Dinner, catered by The Pantry Restaurant. This award winning winery has a totally unique and sultry, cozy atmosphere! I'd be surprised if they aren't booked up already! Hurry, guys! Hurry!
7. Zin Zen Wine Bistro - A totally unique wine bistro located in the new Adriatica Croatian Village in Stonebridge Ranch. Cuddle up with your sweetie and a bottle of one of their many wines.
8. Mama Emilia's Italian Restaurant - A favorite Italian restaurant located on McKinney's Downtown Square. White tablecloths, great food and drink and romantic atmosphere!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

50 Free & Fun Things To Do And See In Dallas!

Looking for something to do?

Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive
A growing number of bronze, larger-than-life-size steers and their cowboy escorts moo've along Pioneer Plaza - adjacent to the Dallas Convention Center. This bronze cattle drive is located on the actual Shawnee Trail drive of the 1850s - and is the largest bronze monument of its kind in the world.
Downtown, Young & Griffin Streets

Outdoor Sculpture Tour
Discover over 30 distinctive sculptures on the sidewalks of Downtown. Along with pieces from the 19th century, there are contemporary works, including a painter capturing magnificent Dallas on canvas - Can you find him?

Art Garden
Enjoy the Sculpture Garden at the base of the statuesque Trammell Crow Center in Downtown. More than 20 statues from the French masters, including Rodin, reside in this peaceful setting with cascading waters and beautiful gardens.
Free/Donations AcceptedTues. - Sun. 10 am - 5 pmThurs. 10 am - 9 pm
Downtown, 2010 Flora Street, 214-979-6430

Uptown and West Village
Dallas' popular Uptown District is exploding with new residential and retail centers with a variety of elements coming together for a shopping, dining, and entertainment experience that will appeal to all types of tastes. The West Village focal point is the new Magnolia Theater that supports independent film and arts.
Uptown, McKinney Avenue and Routh Street, 214-922-9622

Mustangs Sculpture in Las Colinas
Nine mustangs, bronze, beautiful and larger-than-life, splash their way across a stream cut through the stone and granite plaza of Williams Square. Stroll across the plaza and visit the Mustangs of Las Colinas Sculpture & Exhibit, which includes an informative 20 minute film about mustangs and the making of this breathtaking sculpture.
Exhibit Center Open: Tues. - Sat. 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
In nearby Irving, O'Connor Road, North of Highway 114, 972-869-9047

Tour the Morton H. Meyerson
The acoustically renowned Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, designed by I.M. Pei, is yours to tour on selected Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 1 p.m. (please call in advance for monthly tour schedule as tours are subject to change with rehearsals and performances) Discover the 4,535 pipes on the Herman W. Lay Family Organ - this $1.36 million organ, crafted by C.B. Fisk Inc., is truly an acoustical wonder!Enthusiastic and experienced volunteer docents are available to welcome visitors, school groups, conventions, families, and others for a one-hour tour detailing points of interest throughout the Meyerson. Once a month, schedule permitting, a thirty-minute organ demonstration of the Lay Family Concert Organ is presented, followed by a tour of the Center.
Free one hour tours at 1 pm. Events hosted at the center are by admission only.
Downtown, 2301 Flora Street, 214-670-3600

Dallas Central Library
Read all about it at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library. This public library includes one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence, printed in 1776 - also on permanent display, is William Shakespeare's First Folio of Comedies, Histories & Tragedies. The library's Children Center is one of the largest in the country.
Mon. - Thurs. 9 am - 9 pmFri. - Sat 9 am - 5 pmSun. 9 am - 1 pm
Downtown, 1515 Young Street, 214-670-1700

Spanish Art at the Meadows Museum
The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University has the most comprehensive collection from the Spanish masters outside of Spain. There are also special exhibitions, a sculpture garden, and the tree-lined SMU campus is an eye-catcher itself. Call about special exhibits.Free on Thursdays after 5 p.m.
Wed. - Fri. 11 am - 8 pmSat. - Sun. 11 am - 5 pm
5900 Bishop Blvd, 214-768-2516

Mary Kay Cosmetics
Take a walk through history and experience a dream that began more than three decades ago - when Mary Kay set out to build a company that would give women unlimited opportunities to achieve success in every aspect of their lives. During your visit, you'll relive the rich heritage of our Company and see how it progressed from a tiny storefront to the amazing success that it is today. Celebrate each step in the fulfillment of one woman's dream and the marvelous achievements of women who believe in it.
Hours of operation: Monday - Friday 9am-4:30 pmReservations required.
16251 N. Dallas Parkway, 972-687-5720

Location, Location, Location
Dallas is home to some scenic and captivating, beautiful and breathtaking neighborhood communities. Walk, ride or drive around Turtle Creek and adjoining Highland Park, and don't miss the historic homes of Swiss Avenue (including the Wilson Block Historic District), Munger Place and other lovely locales! Featured: gorgeous parks, lakes and landscapes. Ask a native!

Inner-City Refuge
Dallas features more than 20,000 park acres including 18 lakes with 4,400 surface acres of water at 17 park sites and 17,196 acres of greenbelt/park land. To learn more about the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department, call 214-670-4100 and be sure to ask about .The Ultimate Adventure. - a free booklet highlighting the details of all the leisure and recreational services Dallas offers.

Giving Thanks
Thanks-Giving Square - private, interfaith and educational - welcomes people of all nations, cultures and religious traditions. A unique chapel and museum honoring Thanksgiving - meditation garden, bells and fountains make this the "Home of American Thanksgiving."
Open: Mon. - Fri. 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Closed Christmas and New Years Day.
Downtown, Pacific, Bryan and Ervay Streets, 214-969-1977

Old - Fashioned Country Kitchen
Visit Spring Creek Farm and see how the famous Owens Country Sausage began, as you tour a museum featuring a fully equipped kitchen, workshop, butchery and country store with articles and replicas dating back to the early 1900s. Outdoors, see Belgian draft horses, miniature ponies and other animals. Self guided tours daily - guided tours for groups of eight or more by reservation only.Mon. - Fri. 9 am - 3 pmReservations requested in advance.
1401 East Lookout Drive at Plano Road, 972-235-0192

Free Admission Museums
The eight museums of Fair Park offer an exceptional variety all in one location near Downtown. Admission is charged at some but quite a few are Free! Donations are accepted. Those that offer free admission:

The African American Museum (exception - special exhibitions) 214-565-9026. Tues. - Fri. noon - 5 pmSat. 10 am - 5 pmSun. 1 pm - 5 pm
The Hall of State (exception - special exhibitions) 214-421-4500.Mon - Sat 9 am - 5 pmSun 1 pm - 5 pm

City Hall of Fame
Dallas' City Hall is a site to see. Famed architect I.M. Pei designed the inverted wedge shaped building, one of the most distinctive structures in all of Dallas. The plaza is home to one of Henry Moore's largest bronze sculptures.
Downtown, 1500 Marilla Street, 214-670-3687

1A Retail Renaissance
The looking is free, but with more shopping centers per capita than any other major U.S. city, the buying may be hard to resist! Visit many of the cities fine centers and stores such as the renowned Galleria, modeled after Milan's fashion forward masterpiece; NorthPark Center, where you will enjoy over 235 world-class specialty stores; and Highland Park Village, the first planned shopping center in the United States.

Allen Premium Outlets 972-678-7000
Galleria 972-702-7100
Grapevine Mills 972-724-4900
Highland Park Village 214-521-0050
Irving Mall 972-255-0571
NorthPark Center 214-363-7441
Stonebriar Center 972-668-6255
Town East Mall 972-270-2363
Valley View Center 972-661-2424
Vista Ridge Mall 972-315-3641

Dallas Tourist Information Center
Relive the city's past with a visit to the Old Red Courthouse, site of the Dallas Tourist Information Center in the Downtown Historic District. The Center features touch screen information stations, Internet access stations, viewing room to see Dallas videos, and a full staff available every day of the week. Just around the corner you will find John Neely Bryan's Cabin, reconstructed home of Dallas. founder - just a stroll away, is the popular West End, Dealey Plaza and the DART Light Rail.
The Downtown Historic District is located in the block enclosed by Market, Elm, Commerce and Houston Streets, 24-Hour Hotline 214-571-1301

A Nation Remembers JFK
Dallas pays homage to one of its darkest times, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated during his 1963 visit. Designed by Kennedy family friend, Philip Johnson, the John F. Kennedy Memorial is an open-roofed, concrete walled monument symbolic of an open tomb. It is not unusual to find flowers and notes placed here. Nearby, the infamous School Book Depository and Grassy Knoll have changed little since that devastating day in our Nation's history.
Downtown, Main and Houston Streets

Sail Away
Take to the water and leave your worries in your wake. Dallas offers many area lakes - 63 within a 100-mile radius. Dallas' largest and most popular lakes offer endless recreational opportunities including fishing, sailing and canoeing, trails for hiking and biking, playgrounds and facilities for picnicking.
(Some parks charge a small entrance fee.) 214-670-4100

Deep Ellum
Of Dallas' many different parts, possibly none is quite so intriguing as Deep Ellum. This former industrial neighborhood and cradle of Dallas' jazz scene is now home to much of the city's avant-garde culture. Discover an eclectic variety of restaurants, nightclubs, galleries and shops.
Just east of Downtown, 214-747-DEEP

M-Line All Around
The historic M-Line Streetcar meets the modern new M-Line Trolley Bus to create the M-Line service. Ride the streetcar down McKinney Avenue connecting to the Trolley Bus to St. Paul and Ross, within walking distance of the Dallas Museum of Art. Ride down Main Street to the famous West End to have lunch, shop, or just browse the shops. Whatever your interest maybe the M-Line can get you there for free!Donations AcceptedMon - Fri 7 am - 10 pmSat - Sun 10 am - 10 pm
Service 7 days a week. Call for schedule, 214-855-0006

Arts District Stroll
Take a one-hour guided walking tour of the Dallas Arts District where trained docents lead you through the largest arts area in the country. First Saturday each month. Meet at the Crow Collection of Asian Art. 10:30 a. m. Please R.S.V.P.
Arts District Friends 2010 Flora Street, 214-953-1977

Farmers Branch Historical Park
The Farmers Branch Historical Park is home to several historic structures that range in time from the 1840's to the 1940's. Structures include log cabins, the oldest stone structure on its original foundation in North Texas, and a 1930's gas station. Tours free, interactive programs available. Mon - Fri 8 am - 6 pmSat - Sun 12 pm - 6 pm
Call 972-406-0184 for information.

West End Story
What once was a warehouse and an old candy and cracker factory has been reborn into a tourist's delight. Downtown's West End Historic District, great for browsers, features over 50 specialty shops at the West End MarketPlace plus a variety of restaurants and clubs. Summertime nights in the MarketPlace are often filled with the sound of free concerts.
Downtown/Market and Munger Streets: 214-748-4801
West End Association Event Hotline: 214-741-7185

Observation Station
From the observation area known as Founders Plaza at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, you'll see some of the 2,300 daily takeoffs and landings from one of the world's busiest airports. Witness winged wonders in this area featuring 20 parking spaces, long-distance binoculars, graph board to help you identify the different aircraft, speaker system featuring audio straight from the Control Tower, plus four picnic areas.
Open daily - 6:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.
2829 30th St. (Carbon Road) at DFW International Airport, 972-574-6000

Super Model Train
The U.S.' largest permanent model train display is in Dallas, and happily, it.s in the lobby of Children's Medical Center of Dallas. Eight trains run simultaneously at this free exhibit. Children's Medical Center has a small fee for parking.
1935 Motor Street, between Stemmons Frwy. and Harry Hines Blvd., 214-640-2000

Fantasy Landing
A unique and special highlight of the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department is Fantasy Landing, Dallas' first public playground where able-bodied children and those with disabilities can play together. The playground features customized ramps, tennis courts and pull tunnels with bars for children in wheelchairs. Brightly-colored brick paths help visually impaired children find their way through the play area.
Kiest Park in Oak Cliff, 214-939-2746

Dallas Farmers Market
Seven days a week from 7 a.m.- 6 p.m. (with the exception of special holidays), local farmers display and sell a mouth watering and eye pleasing selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, herbs and floral plants at the Dallas Farmers Market. A perfect place to leisurely stroll and take in the colorful, glorious sights at this open-air market.Open Daily 7 am - 6 pm
1010 South Pearl Street, 214-939-2808

Sports Connection
With teams in every major sports league, Dallas loves its hometown sports, and many Dallas Cowboys football, Texas Rangers baseball, Dallas Mavericks basketball, Dallas Stars hockey and Dallas Burn soccer games are televised. So cheer on your winning team at home, hotel or at one of Dallas' many Sports Bars.

Game Information:
Dallas Cowboys 972-785-5000
Dallas Stars 214-467-8277
Dallas Mavericks 214-747-6287
Texas Rangers 817-273-5100
FC Dallas 214-979-0303
Dallas Desperados 972-785-4900

Celebrate Good Times
Numerous festivals and parades are held each year in the great Dallas outdoors, and a good many are absolutely free. Many are holiday related, and nearly all have food, music, art and/or live entertainment. Use entertainment publications as your guide. (See "Want More")
Call the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau's 24-Hour Special Events Hotline at 214-571-1301, or visit Dallas on the World Wide Web at:

Outdoor Activities
Hiking, biking, walking or running - Dallas offers happy trails for you. The Dallas Parks & Recreation Department maintains a number of bike/hike trails such as the 9.33 mile trail at White Rock Lake, 8300 Garland Rd, which connects with the 7.3 mile trail at White Rock Creek Park.
Call 214-670-4100 to locate a trail or 214-670-4039 for bike route maps.

Dallas Symphony Summer Concerts
Dallas' outdoors beckons lovers of nature and music. During the Spring and early Summer months, The Dallas Symphony Orchestra performs in area parks and you can also hear "Jazz under the Stars" at the Dallas Museum of Art on Thursday evenings.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra: 214-692-0203
Dallas Museum of Art: 214-922-1200

Freedman's Cemetery Memorial
Located less than one mile north of Downtown Dallas, is Freedman's Cemetery, a pre-Civil War African-American burial ground in what was once the Freedman's Town Area - a small Dallas community formed by Blacks freed from slavery in the mid-1860s. This historic and state landmark memorial features larger-than-life-size figures cast in bronze by African American artist, David Newton.
North Central Expressway between Lemmon Avenue and Hall Street, 214-670-3284

Fountain Place
Waters dance and leap skyward at Downtown's Fountain Place. At the base of this dramatically sculpted 1.2 million sq. ft. office tower of green reflective glass lies an oasis of colorful flowers, waterfalls, 172 bubbler fountains and central fountain. The latter is one of the world's most complex and consists of 360 computer driven water jets. Designed by the acclaimed architectural firm of I.M. Pei & Partners, Fountain Place has received international recognition.
Downtown, 1445 Ross Avenue at Field Street, 214-855-7766

Hands On
Named after one of the foremost hand surgeons in the world, The Adrian E. Flatt, M.D. Hand Exhibit is an extraordinary private collection of over 100 cast, bronze-coated hands. The contrast of sizes, and sense of personal capability, when simply viewing life-size hands is intriguing. Personalities include: Katherine Hepburn, Walt Disney, Louis Armstrong and Winston Churchill - to name a few.Mon - Fri 8 am - 9 pm
Baylor University Medical Center - Truett Building - 1st floor
3500 Gaston Ave., 214-820-6684

Retail Tale
Discover how Dallas' outstanding shopping reputation began with the opening of Neiman Marcus in the early 1900's. Over 95 years later, the Flagship Neiman Marcus in Downtown Dallas remains a ready-to-wear couture legend. The Downtown Dallas store features a museum on the fifth-floor which tells the Neiman Marcus story in the highest of style.
Neiman Marcus is Open: Mon. - Sat. 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Thurs. 10:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m.
2628 Main Street, 214-741-6911

Lower Greenville Avenue
Greenville Avenue is one of the oldest entertainment areas in Dallas and is home to many boutique and eclectic shops as well as live entertainment clubs, great bars and restaurants. Greenville Avenue has one ot the oldest bars in Dallas, the Greenville Avenue Bar & Grill, and hosts the ever popular Greenville Avenue St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Greenville Avenue between Mockingbird & Ross Avenue
Greenville Avenue Business Association 214-368-6722

Crow Collection of Asian Art
The Crow Collection of Asian Art contains more than 600 paintings, objects of metal and stone, and large architectural pieces from China, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia. Over 300 works are on display in the galleries including precious jade ornaments from China, delicate Japanese scrolls and a rarely seen 28-foot by 12-foot sandstone facade of an 18th century Indian residence.
Open: Tues. - Sun. 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Thursdays 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
2010 Flora Street, 214-979-6430

Dallas Nature Center
To nature, that is. Just a short drive from Downtown is the Dallas Nature Center - 633 acres of preserved wilderness and mesquite prairie, with 10 miles of hiking trails, native-plant nurseries, picnic area, nature programs and visitors center. Small donation is recommended.
7171 Mountain Creek Parkway, 972-296-1955

NorthPark Center – World-Class Art Collection and 1.4 Acre CenterPark
NorthPark Center is Dallas' premier shopping and dining favorite and a not-to-be missed destination for art enthusiasts. Ad Astra, 2005, by Mark di Suvero, Corridor Pin, Blue, 1999, by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, and 20 elements, 2005, by Joel Shapiro are the newest additions to the NorthPark Center Art Collection and carry on NorthPark's tradition of showcasing major works by world-renowned artists including Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Jim Dine, Jonathan Borofsky, James Rosenquist and others.
NorthPark's 1.4-acre landscaped garden, CenterPark, doubles as a serene urban retreat and an exciting venue for free community events. Relax and dine amid world-class sculpture, canopies of trees and green expanses of lawn. For a schedule of events, visit
Open 10 am to 9 pm Monday-Saturday and noon to 6 pm Sunday. Department store, restaurant, theatre, spa and holiday hours vary. North Central Expressway at Northwest Highway. Complimentary shuttle to/from Park Lane DART Light Rail Station. 214-363-7441.

Dallas Galleria
It is no wonder The Guide Section of the Dallas Morning News votes the Galleria as "Best Place to People Watch" - or shall we say "Star Watch." Such well-known faces as: Janet Jackson, Oliver Stone, Kevin Costner and Tom Cruise have been seen touring the Galleria - to name a few! Ice skaters are also fun to watch on the indoor rink Olympians Tara Lipinski, Kristi Yamaguchi, Brian Boitano and Scott Hamilton once performed on this glimmering ice. Rink open year-round.
LBJ at Dallas Parkway North, 972-702-7164

The Art of Sports
The Sports Legacy. The Gallery of Sports Art at Ameriquest Field in nearby Arlington is the nation's largest art gallery devoted to sports and features original art, limited edition lithographs and bronze statues representing a variety of sports including baseball, basketball, fishing, hunting and soccer. Children supervised by parents are welcome.
Open: Mon. - Sun. 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and on game nights open until the game is over.
1000 Ballpark Way, Arlington, 817-461-1994

This information is from:

Monday, February 4, 2008

So, You Want to Buy a New Home?

If you are in the market for a new home anywhere in the Collin County area, you are in luck! Right now the market is best poised to favor the buyer, rather than the seller. A "Buyer's Market" for sure. Drive down any street and you're sure to see a "For Sale" sign begging you to "Stop The Car" and check out the "Immaculate" home.

But with so many homes on the market you can afford to be a little choosy, right? Heck, you may have even entertained the thought of buying a brand new home from a builder. When given the option of buying a new home that has never been lived in versus buying a pre-owned home that doesn't have exactly the interior you desire, the choice becomes clear! Nothing beats that new car, I mean, new house smell!

There are many benefits to buying a new home:
YOU pick the floorplan, possibly modifying it to fit your taste even more. Closet not big enough? Bump this wall out a foot here, 6 inches there - PERFECT!
YOU pick the finishings: flooring, paint, brick, countertops, carpet, lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, tile, cabinets, exterior elevation, etc etc.
NO ONE ELSE has ever lived there! No "skeletons in the closet" to find later.
Builder warranty - "bumper to bumper" for ~1-2 years, structural warranty up to 10 years.
YOU get to watch it being built from the ground up!
Depending on the builder, you may even recieve closing cost assistance.

Sounds GREAT, doesn't it? Who wouldn't get excited?

We've worked with MANY buyers and I know how easy it is to get wrapped up in the excitement of buying/building a brand new home. Those model homes work wonders! They've got them decked out with ALL the upgrades, beautiful interiors, over-the-top gamerooms with surround sound & up-to-date 100" Plasma TV's that have the men drooling while the kitchens are decked out with lavish granite countertops, custom cabinetry & stainless appliances that the women want. Oh, and don't forget about the picturesque landscaping out front! Yes, the model homes smell great, look great & before you know it you are collecting stacks upon stacks of folders from all of the area builders you can find. Mounds of floorplans. Elevations. Feature Sheets. Buyer Incentives. Community Features. Your mind is swimming. You begin dreaming new homes. Googling new homes. STALKING new homes.

That's where WE come in. Without a third party involved it could be very easy to make some BAD decisions when it comes to creating your dream home. Here are a few pitfalls that every new home buyer should look out for:

1. The "Prices are Going up Next Month" pitch. Suddenly, you feel you must make a decision right away. The base prices will fluctuate as long as the builder is still building in the neighborhood. Don't settle for a builder that isn't offering exactly what you are looking for. Once you are locked under contract, it could be very costly or impossible to make changes to design options that you made in a hurry.

2. The "$XX,000 Buyer Incentive IF YOU USE OUR LENDER" pitch. Most every builder out there is tied in to a "preferred lender" or "in house" lender. By getting you to use their lender, the company makes money on the loan, therefore they can offer you the discount on the purchase of your home. BE CAREFUL! Many buyers see this and think "Why wouldn't I use this lender?". The answer is easy. Unless you've done your homework, the interest rate that the "preferred lender" is charging you could be MUCH higher than the competing lenders. In the long run, the $xx,000 you got knocked off the base price of the home could be less than what you end up paying over the LIFE of the loan. My advice - SHOP AROUND! Some lenders might be able to match the builders incentives.

3. Picking out a bad lot. Once you've chosen the builder, the floorplan and the options, you've also got to choose the LOT that your home will sit on. If you choose wrong, it could cost you dearly when you try to sell. Try to choose a lot that does not back to a busy street, have a funky slope, or back to commercial. Put yourself in the mind of a buyer in a few years - would YOU want to buy a house in that location? I believe spending a little extra on a lot premium is one of the best places to spend your money when building. You can always add those upgrades later, but you can't ever get a new lot!

4. Pricing yourself out of the neighborhood. What do I mean by this? Let's say the base prices of homes in the neighborhood you want to build in ranges from $150-200K. You choose a plan that costs $175K -base price before any upgrades/lot premiums. You're pumped. You're staying in your budget. You're not the biggest house in the neighborhood, and your're not the smallest. And then comes the trip to the design center. $40,000 and 2 pages of upgrades later, you are now paying $215,000 for the same house. When you go to sell this house in a few years you will be compared to all of the other floorplans like yours that cost $175K (base price). Let's say the average homeowner tacked on $15K in upgrades. This means that your competition will be able to sell the same home for $25K LESS than yours. Thus, you've priced yourself out of the neighborhood.

5. Going NUTS at the design center/showroom. This is where the builder makes most of their money. Builders have a large mark-up on their upgrades. For example, if you choose to have the builder install a garage door opener you will pay ~$400. If YOU install the opener, you can buy one at Home Depot for $150. Get the picture? You need to have someone (cough, cough) that can help you decide what is a smart upgrade decision, and what is a bad one. Do you NEED to have the entire house covered in the most expensive hardwood flooring, or could you be happy if you just got the dining room and study done now, and did the rest later? Or could you settle for a mid-grade wood? Is it a MUST that you get the top of the line appliance package now, or could that be something you upgrade in a year or two?

These are just a few of the important decisions you will need to make when it comes to buying a new home. Having a REALTOR represent you in the transaction will be the smartest decision you could make. OH...and let me just clear up another misconception about having an agent represent you in a new home transaction:

Many buyers think that if they come without an agent that the builder can cut them a deal. The fact is, that most of the commissions paid to agents are already accounted for in the builder's marketing budget. This money has already been set aside. In fact, having an agent represent you can SAVE you money, by knowing how to negotiate the BEST deal for you!

Our job is to find you the best home for the best price! If you are looking for a McKinney Realtor or Collin County Realtor, we would love to assist you in your home search!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Best Bang for Your Buck Updating Projects

Attention Sellers! With the large amount of inventory on the market, I'm sure your agent has given you many tips on how to increase your chances of selling your home quickly and for the best price. More importantly, maybe they've told you to "update your home". Great. They've told you things like - paint your home, put in new carpet, organize, de-clutter. While these are excellent tips, I think SPECIFIC tips would be more helpful.

I hate to see a seller spend a lot of money on new carpet or paint, only to see them choose a hideous paint color and cheap plush carpet in an unappealing color. Here's a list of some specific action items that you can do to attract the most buyers to your home. Think of it as, "Updating to Sell Your DFW Home For Dummies". Why just DFW? I've been to a LOT of Model Homes in the DFW Metroplex. A LOT! These specific updates are found in every model home I've seen. Perhaps this list can pertain to many other markets as well...but you can bet buyers in DFW want to see these things:

Best "Bang for Your Buck" Updating Projects
1. REMOVE YOUR WALLPAPER! ALL Wallpaper is dated.
2. NEUTRAL PAINT - USE WARM BEIGE COLORS! Choose warm cozy colors over white. Have a painting party and GET IT DONE!
3. REPLACE CARPET - CHOOSE "FRIEZE" CARPET OVER PLUSH. It's not much more expensive, but make a big impression on buyers! carpet smell!
4. GRANITE COUNTERTOPS IN THE KITCHEN. Always a showstopper! This option is pricy for entry-level markets, but a must for $300K+
5. REPLACE BRASS FIXTURES - LIGHT, PLUMBING- WITH "OIL-RUBBED BRONZE" OR SATIN NICKEL. That's right, take down those "Hollywood light" strips in the bathrooms!
6. IF REMOVING WALLPAPER, SKIP TROWEL THE WALLS FOR AN UPDATED TEXTURE. So inexpensive, yet so chic! Your friendly Home Depot or Lowes representative will be happy to teach you how!Don't believe me? Visit any model home and take notes of what colors, fixtures, styles are popular. These are the most neutral, popular choices for buyers today. Or, better yet, open a Pottery Barn catalog...try to imitate the styles there with furniture you have.

Other tips for SERIOUS Sellers:
1. Get a PRE-LISTING INSPECTION! Think of it as selling your home as a "certified pre-owned" home. You'll ease buyers fears and not have any surprises yourself when the buyers get the home inspected! Complete any needed repairs before going live on the market.
2. Invest in a few hours with A PROFESSIONAL HOME STAGER! Their job is to use what you have to help your home show at it's absolute BEST! There are TONS of great ones here in the metroplex! Let me refer you to one!
3. Don't have the time to do a great cleaning of your home each week? Then HIRING A HOUSEKEEPER to come frequently while your house is on the market could be money very well spent! Selling a house can be stressful enough. Hiring an extra pair of hands can be a lifesiver to those of you with full time jobs, kids or just a very busy household! And, with it looking so sparkly clean, it could very well mean LESS time spent on the market.

Are you looking to sell your home? Do you need a Collin County Realtor? Contact the Barron-Daugherty Team at d + b real estate for exceptional service - before, during and AFTER the transaction!
"Real Family. Real Estate."

The "Pottery Barn" Test

When working with a new seller, one of the most important things we can educate them about is the importance of preparing their home for showings. Educating them that how we live is not how we live when we are selling. Then telling them what changes need to be made prior to listing the home. What updates need to be made.
What happens if you are a seller, and you just don't know if you need to update your curtains? Your kitchen? Your furniture? Your paint? Maybe it's been a while since you've decorated your home and you are not sure if your style is still relevant.
We came up with a pretty good idea that proves to be an easy and quick test. If Mr or Mrs Seller isn't sure about the state of their home's decor, we kindly refer them to a Pottery Barn Catalog. I would say, if you don't find that style of _________ (window treatments, furniture, etc) or color palette in the catalog, then there's a good chance it would not appeal to today's buyer. If you don't have a Pottery Barn Catalog, then go to your nearest Model Home.
Of course we know that buyer's tastes come in all shapes, sizes and colors. But what we are trying to do is have the home appeal to as many buyers as possible. Buyers want what is popular NOW. With the large amount of inventory that is available, if you aren't willing to update the home, then the seller down the street is.
And what house do you think will sell first? The one that the buyers will have to spend a weekend painting or installing new light fixtures? Or the one that is move-in ready that they can impress their friends with?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

About Us

There’s an old saying that two heads are better than one. But who ever thought you could put that wisdom to use when buying or selling real estate? Now you can, with Laura Barron and Kim Daugherty – d + b real estate sister REALTOR® team. With a synergistic working style that produces results, Kim and Laura are committed to helping you find your dream home anywhere in DFW.

Longtime residents of North Texas, Laura and Kim bring a wealth of valuable skills and abilities to the table for their clients. Kim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Texas A&M, and has experience in New Home Sales.

Laura has an extensive Customer Service background and puts that experience to work for all of their clients. Together, they were part of The Kraft Team as Buyer’s Agents. By focusing on buyers, Laura and Kim have learned exactly what buyers are looking for in today’s market. Building upon that success, Laura and Kim have built a partnership like no other.

By working together as your agents, Laura and Kim will complement each other’s expertise, multiply each other’s time and provide you with the exceptional service, professional knowledge, and most complete representation necessary to help you achieve your goal of buying or selling real estate in North Texas.