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The Advantage Blog

July 19th, 2018 Housing Market

Housing Market Expected to “Spring Forward” This Year
The housing market has “sprung forward!” Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale in the market right now is what is holding back the market. Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest, and traditionally they would have been right. Buyer demand has seasonality to it, which usually falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic temperatures and conditions.
That hasn’t happened this year.
Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows. Even with the recent increase in rates, buyers are still able to lock in an affordable monthly payment. Many more buyers are jumping off the fence and into the market to secure a lower rate.
The National Association of Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the top 10 dates sellers listed their homes in 2017 all fell in April, May, or June.
Those who act quickly and list now could benefit greatly from additional exposure to buyers prior to a flood of more competition coming to market in the next few months.
Bottom Line-If you are planning on selling your home in 2018, call us today to evaluate the opportunities in our local market.

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November 2nd, 2017 Emergency Planning

With all the catastrophes happening around the United State from the hurricanes, the fires &  the Las Vegas Shooting, we at Advantage send out sympathy to all affected. With that in mind please remember to try and have a plan and be prepared for Emergencies or Disasters. Because your family may or may not be together when a disaster strikes it is important to create a plan in advance and communicate this plan to all family members. It is also essential to have a disaster supplies kit that includes basic items from your home that you may need in case of emergency. Your plan should include:

  • How you will get to a safe place
  • How you will contact each other
  • How you will get back together
  • What you will do in different situations


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May 1st, 2017 Little Things That Make Big Impressions

Little things that make big impressions on buyers

It doesn’t take much to change a buyer’s impression of a home. Add some peeling paint, leaky faucet, and dirty dishes in the sink of an otherwise appealing home and suddenly the buyer crosses that property off his list. Just as minor imperfections can turn off a buyer, a few small actions by you can make your home seem even more appealing. So here are some tips to keep the buyers!

Fix conspicuous problems. You want to put your home’s best foot forward. If you can’t afford to remedy all the problems with the house, at least fix obvious ones. A buyer will notice the rotten porch railing or cracked window pane on a casual walk through. First impression matters, so always start there.

Show the owner’s manuals. Sure, everything’s online, but you still need to know the model number of your oven, dishwasher, and microwave when something breaks. Have an area where you keep all important manuals or bills for your home. A very helpful tip in easy replacement of AC filters is to keep your AC filters in the attic by the AC unit with dates to tell when to replace. All these things make it easier not only for you but the future owner.

Make an effort outside. Curb appeal is huge, so first, start by power washing the front porch and clean all the windows. Keeping your grass short makes bare patches less obvious. Add a few bags of mulch around trees and in flower beds can work magic on an otherwise lackluster yard. Add in a planter of colorful flowers by the front door, and you’ve added significantly to your curb appeal.

A little effort goes a long way with buyers, so ensure your home makes a great first impression! With a little work and some dirty hands, you could get your home on and off the market like that. Advantage Real Estate is here for all your buying and selling needs. If you would like a market analysis of your home, and/or tips on how to sell better and faster, give Advantage a call. Or if you are looking for a home we are always available.

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March 15th, 2017 An Accepted Contract Is Just The Beginning

An Accepted Contract is just the Beginning

Whether you’re the buyer or seller, an accepted Contract is just as exciting. But the stress of it all has just begun. Thankfully, Advantage Real Estate is here to help during this time. We can guide you through from beginning to end of all the potential problems that might arise.

An option to back out

In Texas, most contracts have a termination period, called the option period, which is usually under 12 days. This is security for the buyer. The buyer pays the seller a fee for a specified period of time during which the buyer can cancel the contract. The Buyer can exercise this option period for ANY reason without the risk of losing his or her earnest money. In short, a termination period creates the right to terminate within the specified number of days for a specified price.

A closer look at the property

Buyers usually hire inspectors during the termination-option period. After the inspection, if serious problems are found with the home, the Buyer can either ask for a price reduction or negotiate certain repairs prior to closing. Or the buyer may simply choose to cancel the deal all together.

Financing Considerations

A transaction can unravels when a buyer cannot obtain the financing specified in the contract or the property does not meet the lender’s requirements. For example, if the appraisal of the home comes in lower than the purchase price, or there may be issues with obtaining insurance for the home.

The list goes on

Option periods, inspections, and financing can be three common hurdles during the transactions, although there are many others. Problems with title insurance or the survey, disagreements about items that convey, issues related to homeowners associations, or damage to the property after acceptance of the contract but before closing are a few examples of issues that can arise.

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February 17th, 2017 Valentine’s Day Contest

To help celebrate Valentine’s Day, Advantage Real held a contest. The rules were to “LIKE” “SHARE”, and “COMMENT” on the Facebook post. However, you couldn’t just comment about anything. You had to explain how you fell in love with your home. We had first and second place winners. First place winner received one dozen red roses and second place winner received a famous Martin Southern Comfort cake!

Here’s what the winners had to say,

Second place: “So I actually had a dream about 10 years ago, I was living in a beautiful home and walking down the stairs Christmas morning. I told my wife about the dream and explained how in my dream I was living in a home that I would never too able to buy. About 3 years later, I was looking to buy and my home had been foreclosed on, and left open to the elements for about two years. My wife told she remembered my dream and she believed she found the home I dreamt of. It took what seemed like forever to buy. There’s a lot more to the story, but that’s the just of it. Lol”

First Place: “It happened this past October! We got tired of renting and took the dive into buying our own home. We looked at 3 houses, but the first one was it. It had plenty of room for my husband, son, and I. If we want to have more children there is still plenty of room. The house was move in ready and needed no work. The backyard was nice and has a shop out back for my husband. That is his favorite part! We closed late in October and moved in before November. We have loved every second of living there. We have had many family dinners with extended family, celebrated our sons first birthday, and 2 big holidays! This house has been perfect for us!”

We are so happy that these two families found the home of their dreams! The Advantage Real Estate Team is here to help you with your buying and selling needs!  We want to help you fall in love with the home of your dreams, whether it’s your first home, or your forever home, we are here to help! Come fall in love with a home as you work with Advantage Real Estate!

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January 9th, 2017 Are you looking for a house to call home? Here are a few questions you may have.

How much home can I afford?

When you are looking for a home it is important to contact a good local REALTOR and local lender that can help you determine the price range for a home that very best fits your budget. Be sure you get in touch with a licensed REALTOR so you can confirm your budget or have he or she point out any extra expenses you might have missed.

How much should I offer?

After looking at homes let your REALTOR walk you through the steps on what happens next. Make sure you are being competitive when you are making an offer. You don’t want to lose the house of your dreams by not offering enough, although you certainly do not want to pay more than the house is worth.

How do we beat other offers?

Your REALTOR should be giving you guidance on how to be competitive. Make sure you convey your seriousness to your REALTOR. That way your Realtor can make you the most attractive buyer to the seller.

What are closing costs?

The lender and REALTOR will provide you with your closing costs, even though the realtor may want to advise you some, the lender and REALTOR should fully explain all of the costs associated when buying a home.

What should I be looking for in a home inspection?

Before buying a home be sure to get a proper home inspection. This way you can either know what repairs are needed on your future home or back out of the contract. Also talk to your REALTOR about negotiating with the seller any repairs that need to be made. It is wise to get estimates and have a licensed professional like an electrician, plumber, and roofer review the inspection report. TREC inspectors are not normally licensed in specific areas such as electrical and plumbing. Therefore, it could help with clarification on any issues. Beware of foundation repair companies in areas where drought conditions may have caused some settling.

Your real estate professional will help you through every step of the process as you make a house your home. If you are looking for a home in the Wichita Falls area, your real estate professionals at Advantage Real Estate have been recognized by the Better Business Bureau and named Texoma’s Best for 2 years in a row.

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December 22nd, 2016 Holidays with Advantage Real Estate

Advantage Real Estate is passionate about giving back to this community.  Whether it is making a difference in an individual family’s life, providing for groups such as Shepherd Air Force Base or assisting nonprofit organizations, we love helping!  Our team members recognize the need to give to others!
We were blessed this Thanksgiving to cook a hardy meal and provide other comfort items for a less fortunate family.  Working with the church groups, schools and other organizations, our Broker/Owner, Dee Ann Martin provided our team with names of individual families who were struggling.  Now we are grateful to provide the family with Christmas dinner and Christmas presents.  The firemen graciously repaired two  bicycles that will be delivered to the children by Christmas.   Faith Women’s Refuge received a double stroller from our office, delivered by our own Noros Martin. Our neighbors at First National Bank of Wichita Falls have generously provided even more necessities such as towels, pillows and hygiene products.  We are incredibly grateful to everyone involved.  Their generosity is overwhelming.
We know there will be faces lighting up in the home of this special family.  Seeing someone smile any day of the year is very meaningful, especially during the holiday season.  It is such a blessing to all of us in our office.  Sometimes we forget how giving a little to others allows us to gain so much more in return.  
Our Christmas wish for you this season is to encourage everyone to take a moment and give back to the less fortunate. Take time to make a difference in someone’s life. Let it be a reminder of what was given to you on the first Christmas, the greatest gift of all, the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all your friends at Advantage Real Estate.
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December 8th, 2016 Winterizing Your Home

If you haven’t winterized your home, do not wait!   It should be done now!!!!!  Winter maintenance will help you avoid costly weather-related repairs that are so common in the coldest months. Here’s what to focus on when winterizing your home:

  •       Pipes – Frozen water can cause breaks, leaks, and cracks in your water pipes. Piping is the most susceptible part of your home when it comes to cold weather damage, particularly pipes located in the attic, basement, crawl spaces, and near outer walls especially on the north side of a home. Proper insulation will keep these outer pipes from freezing, but if they are not well-insulated, you need to take steps to ensure they withstand a cold snap. When the forecast calls for unusually cold temperatures, let water drip from hot and cold faucets overnight. Keeping cabinet doors open will allow warm air to circulate in places like below sinks. If you plan to leave your home for an extended period of time during cold temperatures, you should shut your water off completely.
  •       Heating System – Your heating system is about to get its big annual workout, so now is the time to make sure it’s all tuned up and ready to go when winter hits. Have your furnace  checked by a licensed contractor before a freeze, and clean or replace your filter on forced air systems. Stay energy-efficient by making sure your heat isn’t escaping through poor insulation or gaps in your windows and doors. Use weather stripping on doors and shrinkable plastic wrap on leaky windows.
  •       Insulation – In addition to adding weather stripping  to doors and windows, we recommend calling a home insulation contractor to inspect your insulation and perform any upgrades if necessary.
  •       Chimney – If your home has a wood-burning fireplace, you’ll need to get your chimney checked for soot buildup once a year, preferably in the fall before you begin using it regularly. Soot buildup can be very dangerous, posing a fire hazard and carbon monoxide poisoning risks. The Chimney sweep should also check the damper as well as  the exterior of the chimney.

In addition to taking the above steps to winterize your home, it is always a good idea to have an emergency plan in place. Keep flashlights, a first aid kit, and plenty of blankets readily accessible, as well as a stock of bottled water, nonperishable food items, batteries, and emergency contact phone numbers. For those of us that might experience freezing rain and ice causing power lines to snap as well as trees to fall, winter preparedness is important!

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October 28th, 2016 How Can You Save On Your Water Bill? A Smart Meter!

Are you looking for an efficient way to save money on your water and electricity bills? A smart meter is a specialized technology that helps both consumers and utility providers monitor usage to create an energy plan. The two-way information flow offers real-time information that monitors usage patterns to improve efficiency. The most common form of smart meter is for the electric power sector; however, it is also becoming more prevalent for water utilities. Some of the benefits of smart meters include:

  • Detect in-home leaks – Smart water meters can save the customer money by detecting the daily usage. If the hourly usage stats do not drop to zero periodically (especially overnight) this could be the sign of an on-site leak.
  • Detect off-site leaks – Issues outside of the home can be detected by comparing the usage reading stats among a block of customers to the main water server for that area. This can help pinpoint small leaks before they become a major emergency.
  • Identify water main break locations – A significant drop in water pressure can be detected by the utility provider, allowing them to make quick decisions in the event of a catastrophic break.
  • Monitor usage compliance – Water shortages in some areas of the United States have created the need for water restrictions in certain communities. A smart meter allows the utility provider to ensure that residents are complying with the usage rules.
  • Provides usage breakout – Both smart water and electric meters give the consumer a real-time breakdown of energy consumption. This allows them to more carefully monitor their usage and create a plan to help them manage their utility expenses more accurately.
  • Historical data – In addition to real-time information, smart meters give consumers a historical breakdown. This allows them to more accurately pinpoint times of the year when their usage levels will be higher so that they can more carefully budget.
  • Aids in conservation efforts – One of the biggest benefits to smart meters is the impact they have on your energy consumption. These smart devices give the consumer the ability to cut their energy usage (and ultimately their energy bills) in very significant ways because they are more aware of exactly how much of our natural resources they are consuming.

If you would like professional advice on how to increase energy and water efficiency in your home, contact Advantage Real Estate! Our professionals are happy to provide each client with advice or even direct you to the right resource for your real estate needs. Contact the professionals at Advantage Real Estate to discuss your options.

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September 1st, 2016 Join Advantage Real Estate in Celebrating SAFB

Three Giant Anniversaries


Sheppard Air Force Base 75th, German Air Force 50th, ENJJPT 35th

Wichita Falls, Burkburnett, Iowa Park, and Henrietta, PLEASE join together with us as we celebrate our military and civilians at SAFB. This area received the Altus Award as the best community in the Air Force four years ago.  Let us show the men and women who are willing to give their lives to protect our freedom just how much we do support and appreciate them. Opportunities to participate in various activities are provided below.

Located in the heart of Wichita Falls, Sheppard Air Force Base is the largest US Air Force training base in the nation. For the past 75 years, Sheppard Air Force Base (SAFB) has been one of the Air Force’s premier training bases with more than 75,000 training graduates. Advantage Real Estate would like to take this opportunity to spotlight the 75th anniversary celebration of SAFB, the 50th anniversary of the German training and the 35th anniversary of the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program.

Sheppard Air Force Base 75th Anniversary

On September 17th and 18th at 9 am, Sheppard Air Force Base will be holding an Open House & Air Show dedicated to the history of SAFB and showing its impact on the Air Force. This FREE event will take place at Sheppard Air Force Base. Not only will there be an air show from the US Air Force Thunderbird Demonstration Team, but also music from country artist Pat Green.

German Air Force 50th Anniversary

On August 19, 1966 the first class of jet pilot students arrived from their homeland in Germany to the heat and high plains of Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls, Texas. This began a 50 year relationship with this area.  As many will remember, the great community relations with this area played a role in SAFB being selected as the home of ENJJPT.  To celebrate this occasion, the Germans will hold several events during the week of September 22nd.  Activities will include an undergraduate pilot training graduation September 23, followed by Oktoberfest on Saturday, September 24.

ENJJPT 35th Anniversary

Over the past 35 years, Sheppard Air Force Base and the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program has trained and delivered more than 7,100 combat pilots for the NATO alliance. With only 13 countries participating in this unique ENJJPT program, it is an honor for the NATO pilot training to take place in the Wichita Falls area. If you would like to help Sheppard Air Force Base celebrate 35 years of ENJJPT, stop by the Open House & Air Show on September 17th and 18th. Gates open at 9 am and the Air Show starts at approximately 11:30 am.

Advantage Real Estate salutes the men and women of Sheppard Air Force Base who have helped shape Wichita Falls into a vibrant community. The Martin Team at Advantage has over 40 years of experience working with families coming to this area to be stationed at SAFB.  It is important to us to make our military and civilian families feel a part of our great community.

As a local North Central Texas real estate firm, Advantage Real Estate uses our years of combined experience to help residents of Wichita Falls and the Sheppard Air Force Base community with their housing needs. To set up an appointment with a real estate agent at Advantage Real Estate, visit our website, or call our office at 940-696-3300.

Please join us as we say “Thank You” to our military families and friends.


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