Thinking of buying? Now is the time!

With prices continuing to rise month over month, interest rates staying at historic lows, and inventory dropping faster than we can keep up with, it is becoming quite clear that we are well out of the “buyers market” and the ailing real estate market which caused the recession. Whether you are wanting to buy a home for you and your family before they get too expensive, or you are looking to take advantage of the market by parking/investing in real estate, you are choosing the right time to do so. There is still plenty of stuff out there and it is very likely you will see a great return on your home/investment in just the next few years. If you are interested in exploring the opportunities currently out there, or just have any questions about real estate in general, please feel free to call or email with your questions and I will do everything I can to assist you.


Check out my NEW Blog about the new construction market!


Now that I am going my separate way in real estate, and creating my own team in which I can CHOOSE what I want to focus on, I have decided to take my experience in the new construction world and put it to use as one of the main niches I plan on focusing on as a licensed Realtor in the State of Texas! I don’t think there are too many Realtor’s that focus on new construction/working with builder’s, even though about 10% of buyer’s go with new construction, and I am sure an even larger amount would really consider going with a brand new home.

I know I would probably like to purchase a new home if I had the choice between an old, lived-in, out-of-date home, and the brand new, state-of-the-art home, with all the newest styles and technologies. Just the great energy efficiency ( and the money it will save me over the years) on it own is enough to sell me on going with a new home. Then when you add in the fact that you get to choose the floor plan, and then pick out all the colors and finish out from the design center.

With preexisting homes, you have to tour dozens to find something that fits all of your needs, and has your favorite design aesthetics. Most of the time you have clients who purchase an older home, and the first thing they do is completely remodel it, or at the very least paint all the walls a different color. To me, if a buyer is going to be doing all of that regardless of what home they buy, why not save them the trouble and show them all the new construction options.

A great part of living in Texas is that we have land, A LOT OF LAND. In a lot of places in the country, and the world, there is not any space left, and you HAVE to buy something preexisting, so doing that and then remodeling makes sense. But if you can do everything you want from the start it will be much easier, it will cost less, and you don’t have to live in a construction zone! I know some people prefer the project of remodeling a home, and they want to buy an old home because of the location, these are two times when it’s perfectly okay to buy something and immediately turn it into a construction zone. Honestly though, the majority of buyers I talk to would prefer starting from scratch, getting the newest and the best technologies built-in to their homes, picking out the floor plan that fits their families needs best, and creating a home that fits their personal tastes/styles. I believe more people would purchase new if they knew about the communities, or if they knew about the builders.

The reason why more people do not go with new construction from a builder is simple: the majority of people purchasing homes use a buyers agent to assist with finding, and purchasing a home. Unfortunately, a large percentage of buyers agents will do whatever they can to avoid taking their buyer into a model home. The agents are afraid of losing their client during the builders sales pitch, they are scared they may go write a contract without them. Also, a lot of agents are control freaks, and they fill that going into a sales center and dealing with salesmen is going to cause them to lose control over their client. And I think the biggest, and final, reason as to why agents don’t bring their buyers to new communities to check out the local builder comes down to one thing: the agents ego, selfishness, and greed. When their client decides to build a new home, it takes at LEAST 6 months for that home to be built and closed, which means the agent gets paid at LEAST 6 months later than they would like to get paid. Unfortunately, there are a lot of agents out there who think this way, and they unfortunately give all the good, well-intentioned Realtors out there a bad rap.

The Realtors who ALWAYS put their clients first, those who put their clients needs above their own needs, these are the types of Realtors people should search for when starting the process. There are a lot of good Realtors out there who follow our code of ethics, those who take the fiduciary duty between themselves and their clients, very seriously. I consider myself one of those agents who takes their duty to the client extremely important, if I am not always doing what is in the best interest of my clients, then I can not expect repeat business and referrals.

For anyone out there who is interested in the new construction market, if you would like to check out all the newest communities, and builder trends, then I recommend keeping an eye on this new blog: ! Now that I am no longer locked into a position where I had no control over my career, I plan on putting a ton of effort into bringing the new construction market, and all the great builders in the metroplex, to as many buyer’s and future buyer’s as possible. I then want to bring all the buyer’s that I can, over to the builders, so that the new construction industry can maybe start getting its rightful share of the real estate business in the DFW area! Not enough agents (if any agents) have really made it their mission to serve the new construction niche like I have. Starting NOW, in August of 2013, I am going to represent all the builders of the metroplex as best I can, and I hope I can forge alliances with all the builders that will not only benefit them, but benefit all the buyer’s out there as well!

And remember, if you want any inside information about what is going on with all the local builders, and the new constuction market? You gotta check out this blog: !!! I hope to see everyone on the new blog!

Take Care!

Stephen Sandlin

1 in 3 buyers would bid above asking price | Inman News

1 in 3 buyers would bid above asking price | Inman News.

Anyone thinking about selling there house? I think I have a good reason for you to go ahead and get it on the market…I’ll give you a hint: read this article!


And for all you buyers out there: When you think I am telling you that in order to get a house you love that you will probably need to offer full ask or above to guarantee you will walk away as the proud new owner? READ THIS ARTICLE!


Fast-paced Dallas housing market frustrating both buyers and agents | – News for Dallas, Texas – The Dallas Morning News

Fast-paced Dallas housing market frustrating both buyers and agents | – News for Dallas, Texas – The Dallas Morning News.

I have been talking about the state of the market for a few months now. We are in midst of an incredibly hot, very active market in which a large percentage of listings are receiving multiple, multiple, MULTIPLE offers within days of going on the market. Everyone that has been waiting on the sidelines for the past few years, for whatever reason, have all seemed to agree with each other that NOW is the time to buy.

In a “normal” market there should be 6 month’s worth of available inventory — we are down to just two months of available inventory. This is a perfect example of supply and demand…the fact that interest rates, as well as prices, are starting to creep up has caused all those folks who have been waiting for the  “right time” to buy, to collectively say, “IT’S TIME TO BUY EVERYBODY!! LAST ONE THERE’S THE ROTTEN EGG!!”

So all the people that had been waiting to get out there and buy, have been getting out there to take advantage of rates before they go up too much. So a lot of our supply has been dwindling away to all of the local first-time buyers. Along with all the first-time buyer’s, we have another large demographic, the baby boomers.  All the baby boomers are starting to see their kids move out for college, or moving into their first homes, turning a majority of the baby boomer generation into “empty nesters”. So from a local standpoint only, we have younger adults and families purchasing their first homes, and then their parents are stuck in homes that are just way to big for one or two people. So many of these empty nesters are doing what makes sense to them, and that is to usually down size to a smaller home.

And finally, added to all the local demand that is here to start with, the DFW area is home to many large corporations, and their headquarters are based in the Metroplex. We see these big companies starting to relocate people from around the county, and bringing them to Texas. And it’s not just the giant corporations bringing jobs to the area. There are entire businesses that have begun leaving their home states just to take advantage of our location. DFW is the central hub for all business throughout the entire USA. Especially with the international airport being dead center within the metroplex, it is just so much easier for traveling businessmen to live in the area and fly out from DFW to wherever they need to be, you can get to both LA and NY in just a few hours, tops. We also attract even more people and businesses to the state because we do not have a state income tax, and who likes paying any tax? NOBODY.

When you take everything into consideration, from the first-time buyers to those who are looking to downsize. People that have been relocated through a large corporation or someone moving their own smaller business to the area for tax reasons. Plus all the other people that you have moving to the area, seeking out a great opportunity combined with lower taxes, and a lower cost of living. With all this considered it becomes incredibly clear as to why we only have two months of inventory. And it all comes back to the basic economics of supply versus demand. We have a HUGE demand for a tiny amount of inventory (It’s been 10 years since I took macro or micro economics, but I can see the graph in my mind..) and the graph in my brain shows that prices are on the rise, which they are.

If you were thinking about buying, don’t take this as a negative and decide you don’t want to pay a higher price for something, because prices have not gone up too high as of yet, and interest rates (especially when compared historically) are still pretty low. All this information is very useful because it shows you things are getting better, and that means things will start to increase in price.

But if you have been thinking about it, and you would like to try to buy something before prices go up a lot, I would jump into high-gear search mode, look through all the homes that make up the two month supply of inventory, and move quick on a home that you can see yourself living in for the next 5-7 years. And if you do get overwhelmed, confused or lost, or want help trying to find something that fits your needs that may not be listed yet, call up a Realtor and let them know you need a buyer’s agent that can assist you with finding “something of XX size, X/X bed/bath , with a pool and a yard, in Keller for no more than $500,000”

Looking for a home can get overwhelming, and exhausting, and if you don’t know what you are doing or you are not sure exactly where you want to be and what you want in a home, CALL ME OR EMAIL ME. My service will cost you nothing, and I will make sure to find a home that fits your lifestyle and will then negotiate on your behalf to make sure you get the home for a fair price and all the terms of the contract are in your favor.

It can be daunting to do this on your own. Call me and you will have a great time throughout the entire home purchase process. Please call my cell 817 808 3159 or email me at if you have ANY questions, or if you would like some assistance with any real estate related issue. Take Care Everyone, and until next time, you stay classy DFW…..

Stephen Sandlin

New upcoming developments (TWO) in Westlake, TX

There has been a lot of buzz recently about the new developments that are going to be coming to Westlake in the very near future. I have had a number of people ask me about whats going on with the developments (there are two new developments). The two developments are called Granada and Westlake Entrada. The town of Westlake has posted a very informative PDF on its webpage which covers everything regarding these two new developments. The Granada development is described as:

“located at the northeast corner of Davis and Dove Roads and extends northward to the southeast corner of Solana Boulevard…Granada…is comprised of 84 lots for custom homes in the $1.2 million and above range. Granada will be a gated community with significant amenities, including extensive open space with privately maintained, but publicly accessible trails. These trails will be located outside the subdivision’s walls and will connect with the Town’s existing trail system. When Granada’s trails are completed, our residents will be able to walk, run, or cycle from Terra Bella to Westlake Academy.”

The report then goes on to describe the Westlake Entrada development in quite a bit of detail. To sum it up here, Westlake Entrada will be a mixed-use development, bringing both residential and commercial growth to the town of Westlake. It is very important to both the city and the developer that Entrada remains a true mixed-use development,

“In order to achieve a mixed-use type development, the owner requested, and was granted, zoning to add residential and entertainment uses to the zoning to which he was already entitled. As a total package, this is proposed as a mixed-use planned development that will blend a wide range of various uses including offices, governmental, retail, restaurants, business services, medical services, entertainment establishments, and conference center type meeting space with residential uses.”

I have a feeling that both of these developments will be incredibly successful, but if I had to choose between the two, I would go with Westlake Entrada hands down. The little developer inside me has loved the idea of creating/developing mixed-use developments not too dissimilar from Westlake Entrada ever since the huge amount of time spent in the library researching urban sprawl for my urban planning and policy/city administration courses at OU (BOOMER SOONER). Currently in the DFW Metroplex there are not very many mixed-use developments like this, which is a shame. I do believe that the trend is finally starting to move more towards mixed-use developments, as land becomes more scarce and more expensive, this is going to become the most viable option financially for developers, as well as the most economical for local governments and their tax base.

The entire development will follow a very strict set of rules and regulations in order to ensure the city and its residents that a certain style and design aesthetic will be created and maintained by all future residents or tenets. The plan for Westlake Entrada is to create something based on a European village with everything sharing a common architectural theme which has been adopted from the Spanish-Texan missions, essentially it will be Spanish themed architecture/style. When I think of a Spanish-Texas mission, my mind immediately (just like everyone else) thinks of the Alamo. But I am sure this is just one small example and there will actually be a much wider range of looks and styles so that the entire development does not end up being too homogenous and boring. However, until construction is well under way, there is no way of knowing for sure. Based on the developers prior work, I am sure it will come out beautifully in the end.

The current plan for Westlake Entrada calls for 322 residences which will sell VERY quickly. Not only are these going to be amazing homes located within one of the most premier communities in the entire DFW area, within walking distance of great shopping, dining, and entertainment, but they will also allow enrollment at one of the most highly sought after schools in the state.

I have included in this post a few things that I found to be the most interesting information I was able to glean from the report on the Westlake website. If you are looking for any additional information, or you are interested in what I left out, you can follow the link I have provided to a PDF version of the report. Or you can just head on over to the Westlake city webpage and explore it on your own.

And one more thing before I say goodbye, as I am sure everyone is wanting to know – When will these places be built, and when can we start building our new home in these communities? Giving a firm date for when developments will be ready is always tricky. There are so many different moving parts to a large project like this that things almost always get pushed back. Whether it is the bureaucratic red-tape, shortages of materials, workers going on strike, issues with financing, and on and on it goes…So now that you know this answer is most likely going to change, I feel comfortable telling everyone that based on the official report from the City of Westlake: Granada should be able to start selling lots and builders should be able to begin getting permits and starting construction sometime in 2014, Westlake Entrada on the other hand could be much sooner than Granada, assuming everything continues according to plan and there are no more delays, then there is a good chance we can expect a first phase sometime during the first quarter of 2014!

All you folks that have been waiting for a new opportunity in Westlake to present itself, here it is! Two opportunities, both of them coming pretty soon. If you want to guarantee yourself as one of the first homeowners in either one of these developments, I would tell you to start preparing now! Work on getting everything taken care of that you need to ensure your ability to buy a lot and build a new home. If you have to sell, start talking with a few different Realtor’s so you can have a good idea of what you can sell for, and how long it will take. At first it looks like the only opportunities are going to be for you to build a custom home. This takes time, on larger more expensive homes like the ones that will be built in these developments, you need to plan on the entire building process taking up to two years, and creating a plan on when to sell, where to live temporarily, etc…If any of my readers know that this is something they would like to do, or just want to discuss their available options, please give me a call or send me an email and I will help you in anyway possible.

Thanks for reading everyone, and take care!

-Stephen Sandlin



Why You Should Work With a REALTOR® | Realtor Magazine

If you are thinking about buying a home, one of the first decisions you should make is whether or not you are going to use a Realtor. If you are having trouble deciding whether or not to work with a Realtor, then I suggest you read the following straight from Realtor Magazine:

Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®. The term REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Here are five [sic] reasons why it pays to work with a REALTOR®.

  1. You’ll have an expert to guide you through the process. Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page settlement statements. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.
  2. Get objective information and opinions. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They’ll also be able to provide objective information about each property. A professional will be able to help you answer these two important questions: Will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
  3. Find the best property out there. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your REALTOR® to find all available properties.
  4. Benefit from their negotiating experience. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment. In addition, the purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
  5. Property marketing power. Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
  6. Real estate has its own language. If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with a professional who is immersed in the industry and knows the real estate language.
  7. REALTORS® have done it before. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS®, on the other hand, handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career. Having an expert on your side is critical.
  8. Buying and selling is emotional. A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security — it’s not just four walls and a roof. Because of this, home buying and selling can be an emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you.
  1. Ethical treatment. Every member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® makes a commitment to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a customer of a REALTOR®, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. It is mandatory for REALTORS® to take the Code of Ethics orientation and they are also required to complete a refresher course every four years.




Why You Should Work With a REALTOR® | Realtor Magazine.