June 7, 2020

House Hunting During COVID-19

Many changes are now in effect that could actually make the overall home buying process easier, safer, and quicker. The new norm has become more of a semi-contactless process. We have seen a lot more electronic signing of documents and even electronic delivery of option and earnest money. The most important thing is to ensure the safety of all parties involved and respect the requests of individual homeowners while viewing their personal homes.

There are, however, a few changes that will take some getting used to. For example:
        1.      Some families are delaying putting their home on the market, so there is less inventory than we are used to this time of year.
        2.      A few homes only allow for a virtual tour. So, you may not always have the benefit of a physical inspection.
        3.      Mortgage lenders have tightened up their lending standards during this economic uncertainty. So, it could be a little more difficult to obtain financing right now.  It is always best to get the pre-approval from your lender prior to house hunting.

The home buying process has changed, but there is still a great deal of opportunity! With historically low interest rates and the busy summer season being upon us, we are confident you can still find your dream home, even in a pandemic!

Please let us know how we can help you!

June 7, 2020

This Summer is the 2020 Real Estate Season!

In 2020, Summer is the new Spring
Homebuyers are jumping back into the market as stay-at-home orders are starting to lift.  The busy spring real estate season is shifting into the summer because many families put their plans on hold, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, summer is the new spring for real estate.

What’s the Opportunity for Buyers?
Due to historically low interest rates, buyers are coming back to the market, even with forced unemployment and stay-at-home orders. With mortgage rates at such low levels, there is more incentive than ever to buy a home this summer.

What’s the Opportunity for Sellers?
Many sellers were waiting out the spring season to see what the market was going to do. Although more people are now putting their homes up for sale this month as compared to last month, current inventory is still well below last year’s. Buyers are definitely looking. If you have been thinking of selling, now could be the perfect time.

One Plus Realty is committed to help you navigate both buying and/or selling, even during this pandemic.

May 6, 2020

How to Celebrate Mother's Day While Social Distancing!

Mother’s Day is almost here and for many families that means celebrating apart. 

This year, you will need a mix of love and extra imagination to make your Mom feel special.  Below are a few ideas to Celebrate Mother’s Day While Social Distancing.

 

Send a Video

Record a video listing the many reasons you appreciate your mom or be silly and sing her favorite song!

Window Visit and/or Drive-By

If you are lucky enough to live close by your Mom, then you can pack up and do a window visit or drive by.

Watch a Movie Together

You could decide on a time and day then pick out a movie or TV show that you want to watch together. Pop some popcorn and video chat so you can interact with each other.

Family Video Chat

Arrange a time that your Mom and your family can visit together. You can use Skype, Facetime, Zoom or Alexa.

Send her a Gift

You could go “old-school” and use snail mail! There is just something that is very special about a handwritten letter or card. You could also have your Mom’s favorite food delivered to her home or send her flowers.

Activity Gift Boxes

If you want to do more than virtually chat, add an activity!  Send your Mom a gift box with a fun activity like a DIY candle making kit, a terrarium gift kit or a personalized paint-by-number canvas.

At-Home Spa Day Kit

There are plenty of spa day gift boxes you can buy that your Mom will like. Keep it simple by providing a face mask, bubble bath, candles and maybe a nice bottle of champagne or her favorite drink.

 

Send a Care Package

Collect all of your Mom's favorite items and send them to her.  Grab her favorite snacks, candles, a book from her favorite authors, her favorite wine, a gift card to her favorite store ... the options are endless.

Keep in mind that Mother’s Day might look different this year. However, no matter what is going on in the world it doesn’t take away from the love you have for your Mother. It’s not what you “get” on Mother’s Day. It really is just nice to hear, “I love you, Mom. Thank you.” That is way more than enough.

Feb. 23, 2020

10 Commandments for Home Buyers

 

 1. Thou shall not change jobs or become unemployed.

 2. Thou shall not buy a car, truck or van unless you plan to live in it.

 3. Thou shall not use your credit cards or let your payment fall behind.

 4. Thou shall not spend the money you have saved for your down payment.

 5. Thou shall not buy furniture before you buy your house.

 6. Thou shall not originate any new inquiries on your credit report.

 7. Thou shall not make any large deposits into your bank account. If you will receive a gift, talk with us first.

 8. Thou shall not change bank accounts.

 9. Thou shall not co-sign for anyone.

10. Thou shall not purchase anything until (WAY) after the closing.

 

*Committing any of these acts can dramatically alter your credit score or debt to income ratio and can even block your chance of closing on your home purchase.

 

For more details see the full article here.

 

Jan. 18, 2020

Inspiring Goals for 2020

 

Personal

Listen more. Talk less.

 

Family

Reach out to a distant relative.

 

Social

Spend less time on social media, and more face to face time with those who matter most to you.

 

Home

Owning less is better than organizing more.

 

Work

Be more proactive, and less reactive.

 

Health

Make your health a priority. Drink more water. Eat more greens.

 

Financial

Although money cannot buy happiness, there is something to be said for the peace of mind financial stability can bring.

 

Travel

Prioritize experiences over things. The future is uncertain. Have all the amazing experiences you can while you can!

 

 

Oct. 8, 2019

HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS

Walk Safely

  1. Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. 
  2. Put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  3. Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  4. Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to
  5. the left as possible.  Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  6. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  7. Join kids under age 12 for trick-or-treating. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, tell them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

Costumes for a Safe Halloween

  1. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  2. Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  3. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. 
  4. When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls. 

Drive Extra Safely on Halloween

  1. Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  2. Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  3. Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  4. Get rid of any distractions - like your phone - in your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  5. Turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
  6. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Be especially alert for kids during those hours.

            For the full article click here.

Oct. 8, 2019

PUMPKIN SPICE COOKIES WITH CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

yield 3 DOZEN COOKIES

 

cook time 15 MINUTES

 

total time 15 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS

PUMPKIN SPICE COOKIES:

  •  1/2 Cup Butter (Sweet Cream Salted)
  •  1 Cup Sugar
  •  2 Eggs
  •  1 Cup Canned Pumpkin
  •  2 Cups Flour
  •  4 tsp. Baking Powder
  •  1 tsp. Salt
  •  2 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  •  1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
  •  1/4 tsp. Ginger
  •  1 Cup Chopped Walnuts or Pecans (optional)
  •  Cookie Sheet
  •  Parchment Paper

CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

  •  1/2 Cup Butter (Sweet Cream Salted)
  •  8 oz. block of Cream Cheese
  •  3 tsp. Vanilla
  •  4 cups Powdered Sugar
  •  1 tsp. Cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS

PUMPKIN SPICE COOKIES:

  1. In a mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs and pumpkin and mix well.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and spices together and fold into cookie batter.
  4. Mix until well blended.
  5. Drop a spoonful of the cookie batter onto a cookie sheet.
  6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool.
  8. Frost with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

  1. Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a mixer until blended.
  2. Add powered sugar a cup at a time and continue to mix until sugar is incorporated.
  3. Finally, add cinnamon.
  4. For more detailed instructions and videos see the full article here.

Oct. 8, 2019

Best Pumpkin Patches in DFW

 

Blase Family Farm Pumpkin Patch

Where: 1232 E. Fork Drive, Rockwall; 972/772-3645

When: Sept. 28–Oct. 31; Monday–Friday 9am–6pm, Saturday 10am–6pm, Sunday noon–6pmThe basics: Visit this charming family farm for old-fashioned fun with a petting zoo, hayride, hay maze and—of course—an endless picturesque backdrop of pumpkins. Let the kids pet and feed a longhorn, goat and sheep before boarding the farm train to tour the 13-acre, pine-filled property. Bonus: Your little pumpkin can have his or her next birthday party at the farm (during weekdays).

Cost: $8 per person; free for kids 1 and younger; pumpkins for purchase

Big Orange Pumpkin Farm at Preston Trail Farms

Where: 15102 TX-289, Gunter; 972/382-4995

When: Sept. 14—Nov. 27; 8am−8pm daily; store opens at 8am; café opens 7am-2pm Monday-Friday and 7am to 8pm Saturday and Sunday)

The basics: Pet and learn about more than 50 farm animals on this educational tour and pumpkin patch. Plus, there’s a hay maze, hayride and roping pen. On weekends, be sure to ride the brand-new train. And mark your calendars for September 8 from 10am–3pm, as the farm is hosting Touch a Truck, where the farm will have their hayrides, petting farm and barrel train running at no cost, except the admission fee of five dollars per person. All proceeds will benefit the Gunter Parks Foundation.

Cost: $8 per person Monday–Friday; $10 Saturday and Sunday; free for children 2 and under

Pumpkins on the Prairie

Where: 3521 Main St., Frisco; 972/335-2882

When: Sept. 28−Oct. 31; Monday−Friday 1–7pm, Saturday−Sunday 9am–7pm; patch opens at 10 am Friday Oct. 11 and Monday Oct. 14  because of FISD school holidays

The basics: Bring the family to this not-so-average pumpkin patch for hayrides, a bounce house, temporary tattoos, games, a hay maze and face painting. Don’t miss the best autumn attraction for littles: catapult pumpkin launching. Check their website for details on events like Market With a Mission on Oct. 20 from 9am–4pm, the Carter Blood Drive on Sept. 30 and Blessing of Animals on Oct. 7. Run by Grace Avenue United Methodist Church, this pumpkin patch benefits outreach efforts to help people in need.

Cost: All activities free; pumpkins for purchase

Pumpkin Patch at Creekwood United Methodist Church

Where: 261 Country Club Road, Allen; 214/544-8050

When: Sept. 29 12pm to sundown; Sept. 30–Oct. 31 daily 9am to sundown

The basics: Stock up on giant pumpkins at this kid-friendly patch. The iconic red barn at Creekwood UMC sets the perfect backdrop for your fall family photo. Creekwood’s Fall Carnival in October will have crafts, games, face painting and more—don’t forget your costumes.

Cost: Free; pumpkins for purchase (all proceeds will benefit the Creekwood Youth Mission Programming.

 

Storybook Ranch Pumpkin Patch

Where: 3701 S. Custer Road, McKinney; 972/369-0874

When: Sept. 29–Oct. 31; Sunday−Friday 10am to sundown, Saturday 9am to sundown

The basics: Your littles can ride ponies, navigate a hay maze, jump in bounce houses, meet furry friends at a petting zoo and tour a historic western town by wagon all with a scenic autumn backdrop. Plus, every kid gets a free mini pumpkin with admission while supplies last.

Cost: Access to the patch is free; admission to other activities is $15 per child over 2 years and $5 per adult. Pumpkins for purchase.

Pumpkin Patch at Christ United Methodist Church

Where: 3101 Coit Road, Plano; 972/596-4303

When: Sept. 30−Oct. 31; daily 9am−7pm

The basics: Up to two tons of pumpkins will be dropped off at Christ UMC in preparation for this pumpkin patch fundraiser. Round up your little pumpkins and the camera for lots of photo opportunities. Stop by the Fall Festival on Oct. 21 for additional activities and vendors.

Cost: Free; pumpkins for purchase

Autumn at the Arboretum

Where: Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas; 214/515-6615

When: Sept. 22–Nov.21; 9am−5pm every day except Wednesday and 9am−8pm Wednesday

The basics: Enter It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown during this year’s fall festival at the Dallas Arboretum, featuring 150,000 fall blooming plants. This fall’s features include many themed attractions from the Peanuts Gang, including Snoopy and Woodstock atop his famous dog house and Lucy giving her 5¢ garden advice at her booth. The one-acre Pumpkin Village, containing more than 90,000 pumpkins, squash and gourds, will have your kids exploring for hours. Make sure to bring your camera, and don’t forget to check out the Children’s Adventure Garden too (for an extra cost).

Cost: Included with general admission: $15 adults, $10 kids 2−12, free for kids 2 and younger. Pumpkins are available for purchase at the Tom Thumb Pumpkin Patch inside It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. 

Ruibal’s Rosemeade Market Annual Fall Festival

Where: 3646 Rosemeade Parkway, Dallas; 972/306-2899 

When: Saturday, Oct. 5, 11am–3pm

The basics: Ruibal’s annual autumn extravaganza returns with face painting, balloon animals, fresh roasted corn and more. Ditch the picnic and snack on provisions from food vendors all decorated with autumn hues. And as always, Ruibal’s will have an extensive selection of pumpkins, gourds and fall plants perfect for your front porch. Bring the camera for lots of picture-perfect backdrops. The pumpkin patch displays at all four locations will be open from Sept. 21–Oct.31.

Cost: Free; pumpkins and concessions for purchase

St. James Episcopal Church Pumpkin Patch

Where: 9845 McCree Road, Dallas; 214/348-1345

When: Sept. 28–Oct. 31; Sunday 11:30am–7pm, Monday–Thursday 1pm–7pm, Friday–Saturday 10am-7pm

The basics: Round up the family—even Fido—and head to St. James’ annual pumpkin patch to stock up on supplies for your autumn hearth. Bring the camera to snap a festive family photo or silly face-in-the-hole pictures. Purchase a variety of mini, baking and oversized pumpkins and gourds with proceeds benefiting St. James’ youth group programs. Ask about private parties and events, in addition to school groups and tours.

Cost: Free admission; pumpkins for purchase

Pumpkin Patch in The Shed at the Dallas Farmers Market 

Where: 1010 S. Pearl Expressway, Dallas; 214/664-9110

When: Sept. 25—Oct. 31; 7 days a week from 11am–6:30pm.

The basics: Do double duty with grocery shopping and fall photo ops at the Dallas Farmers Market’s patch. Pumpkins and gourds of all shapes, sizes and colors will be available for purchase. Don’t leave without getting a festive balloon from the on-site balloon artist. Visit during any weekend through Dec. 31 to take advantage of Holiday Hall, featuring local craft and gift vendors.

Cost: Free; pumpkins for purchase

Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch

Where: 5100 Cross Timbers Road, Flower Mound; 817/430-4536

When: October 1–31; 9am–7pm daily

The basics: The original Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch has it all: two mazes (for small ones and big kids), bounce houses, cartoon cutouts, a pumpkin train, hayrides, train rides and playground equipment. Oh, and pumpkins. Bring food for picnicking any time or buy from local vendors—like Fletcher’s Corny Dogs—on weekends. Leashed pets are welcome.

Cost: $5 parking weekdays, $10 parking weekends, buses are $1 per person; free activities and rides

Hall’s Pumpkin Farm 

Where: 3420 Hall Johnson Road, Grapevine; 817/991-1052

When: Daily beginning Sept. 27; Monday–Thursday 3–8pm, Friday 3–10pm, Saturday 10am–10pm, Sunday 1–8pm

The basics: Come to a working farm and pick your pumpkins off the vine, or snag a pre-picked one from one of the vignettes around the farm. For a little extra, hop on a tractor-pulled hayride on the weekends or test your wits in a two-acre corn maze. Kids will also love visiting the farm animals. Bring food and drinks if you like; some concessions are available.

Cost: Free admission; corn maze $5; hayrides $3–$5

The Pumpkin Patch at First Christian Church

Where: 910 S. Collins, Arlington; 817/277-2634

When: Oct. 14–31; 11am–8pm daily

The basics: Every year, FCC Arlington and Rush Creek Christian Church of Arlington partner to bring thousands of pumpkins to the FCC property. Come by to walk through the pumpkin displays, take family photos, participate in yard games, read an autumn story to your kids and enjoy a few lawn games. More than 5,000 gourds and pumpkins will be available.

Cost: Free admission; pumpkins for purchase

Mainstay Farm Family Pumpkin Days

Where: 1004 W. Bethesda Road, Cleburne (5 miles south of Burleson; look for the half-buried ranch wagon); 817/295-6772

When: Sept. 28–Nov. 3; Saturday 10am–8pm, Sunday 11am–6pm

The basics: Mainstay Farm is hopping in October with sheep racing, hayrides, train rides, Flying Fox ride, face painting, a maze, a tree house, duck races, pumpkin ice cream and all kinds of fall decor for purchase. This year, Mainstay’s newest attraction is the Pumpkin House–perfect for pictures to spruce up your Fall family photos! And that’s just the beginning—check the website for more daily attractions and concessions. Be sure to try the new Texas Tubin’ Hill, a 150-foot Texas-themed inner tube slide. Special events include the Pumpkin Smash (use your imagination).

Cost: $18.95 with online purchase; $21.95 at the gate for ages 3 and older. Free for children 2 and younger; season passes available online

Country Critters Farm

Where: 3709 County Road 617, Alvarado; 817/477-3060

When: Weekends Oct. 5–Nov. 17, 10am–5pm (the gates close at 4pm); Columbus Day 10am–3pm; weekdays by reservation only

The basics: Pay admission to Country Critters Farm and walk away with one pie-size pumpkin per child, but bring spare change for jack-o-lantern pumpkins to take home and carve. While you’re dreaming of pie, your kids will be going gaga over the bounce houses, playground, petting zoo, pony ride, train ride, hayride, maze, duck races, games and storytelling sessions (whew!).

Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for seniors, $10 for kids, free for age 2 and younger

Shadow Creek Pumpkin Patch

Where: 1530 Indian Creek Drive, Midlothian; 972/358-6703

When: Sept. 28–Oct. 27; Saturdays 10am–6pm and Sundays 1–6pm.

The basics: Check out this family-owned farm in Ellis County—with many attractions, including a corn maze, hayride, petting zoo and more, your family will be in for a full day of fun. Stop by the Pumpkin Shack to purchase the pumpkin, gourd or corn husk of your choice.

Cost: $10 for a unlimited fall fun bracelet (entry fee), including entry into all activities. Kids under four years are free. Cash only!

Lola’s Local Market 

Where: 1771 Kever Main, Melissa; 214/ 404-8353

When: Opens the weekend of Sept. 28 until Nov. 2; Open Tuesdays—Sundays (closed Mondays) 10am-7pm; Pumpkin activities are weekends only from 12-5pm

The basics: Activities on the weekend include pony rides, hayrides, pumpkin painting and more. Peruse through the huge selection of pumpkins (including exotic pumpkins) and fresh goodies available at the market. Food trucks and vendors will be on site during the weekend.

Cost: No entry fee; $5 parking; activities range from $1-$5

Yesterland Farm

Where: 15410 Interstate 20, Canton; 903/567-2255

When: Open weekends from Sept. 21–Nov.3. Join Yesterland for spooky-filled attractions during Fright Farm in October Friday and Saturday nights from 6–10pm.

The basics: Rides (including a ferris wheel), corn mazes, plenty of photo ops, rock wall climbing, farm zoo, live entertainment, and oh, a pumpkin patch, plus so much more. Plan to spend a whole day discovering and playing at Yesterland farm.

Cost: General admission passes begin at $21.95 and include unlimited park rides, the corn maze, pumpkin patch and farm attractions. Discounted tickets are available online at $16.95

Aubrey Pumpkin Patch

Where: 1042 W Sherman Dr., Aubrey, TX 76227 ; 940/343-5155

When: Sept. 28–Nov. 3 daily 10am thru 7pm 

The basics: Celebrating their Fourth Annual Pumpkin Festival, the Aubrey Pumpkin Patch features fun for the whole family. Barrel train rides, hay mazes, and pumpkin pickin’ are just a few of their attractions. Bring your camera and snap pictures of the whole family in front of their hand-painted backdrops or opt for the goofy picture in their “your-face-here” pumpkin cutouts!

Cost: $9 admission for ages 2+ older

North Park Center’s Pumpkin Patch

Where: 8687 N Central Expy, Dallas, TX 75225; 214/363-7441

When: Sept. 30–Oct. 31; open daily 

The basics: Stop by North Park’s pumpkin patch while you shop with your little ones. Visitors of all ages are invited to enjoy the selection of pumpkins and gourds that sprawl across the CenterPark Garden. The beautiful 1.4 acre garden features pumpkins of all shapes and sizes (the perfect spot for a quick family pick!).

Cost: Free

Arapaho United Methodist Church Pumpkin Patch

Where: 1400 W Arapaho Road, Richardson, TX; 972/231-1005

When: Sept. 29–Oct. 26; open Monday–Friday & Sunday from 11 am–7 pm, Saturday 10am–8pm 

The basics: The annual Arapaho UMC pumpkin patch is at the corner of Arapaho and Coit Road. There will be plenty of pumpkins to for your children to pick up! The proceeds from each pumpkin sale go to support Navajo Farms in New Mexico and other church ministries in the community.

Cost: Free; pumpkins available for purchase

Pumpkin Nights at Howell Farms

Where: 4016 W Division St. Arlington, TX 76012

When: Oct. 10—Nov. 3; 5:30pm—10:30pm nightly

The basics: Busy with your little ones during the day? Not a problem! Pumpkin Nights in Arlington has your family covered. They are open rain or shine with spectacular light displays and pumpkin carvings. Don’t forget your camera—this display has many places to pose for a picture with the whole family!

 

Cost: $20 for ages 13-59, $18 for adults 60+, $16 for children ages 4-12; kids 3 and under are free; see the link for ticket bundles options and discounted rates

For more details and pictures see the full article here.

Sept. 19, 2019

One Plus Realty Supports Bethlehem Place

5th Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Date:

Oct. 14th, 2019

Location:

Gentle Creek Country Club

3131 Prosper Trail, Prosper, TX 75078

⇒Registration: 10:30am

⇒Shot Gun Start: 12:00pm

 

Food Drive

Sept. 19, 2019

Prosper Homecoming

Homecoming