Believe it or not, there is an etiquette to buying and selling a
home, some unwritten rules that we would love to share with you to make the
process easier for all involved.
Money - do you know how you intend on buying this property?
If you have not spoken to a lender yet or gathered all the money under
your mattress, please do not look for a house. You need to make sure you
have what it takes to purchase real estate. We can recommend a lender to
you and it's a quick process that will not slow you down.
Time - Realtors and Sellers do not have all the time in the world
so please show up on time for your scheduled showing or call us at least an
hour ahead of time if you are going to be late. We usually have other
appointments to get to and the owners would love to return to their home as
soon as they can. Do not linger through rooms and study family pictures.
Take a quick look and see if this is a house that can stay on your short
list to return to for a 2nd showing.
Children - kids are very excited to look at homes and explore and
investigate but owners do not like returning to their homes with beds out of
order and things moved around on dressers. Please do not let your children
terrorize the cat or pull the fish out the tank and please keep them close to
you during the showing.
Just Looking? - Again, Realtors are very busy and always go, go,
go. It is very upsetting to tell an owner that the person they just spent
8 hours cleaning their house for is only looking or not planning on buying for
a few years. Please know your plans and be courteous when scheduling a
showing to see a house.
More Photos? - Realtors usually take pictures of every room for
their advertising online and some owners get very uneasy when a prospect starts
taking pictures of their home or belongings. Please ask the Realtor for
permission before snapping more photos of the property.
Disclosure - Too much information is appreciated! We want to
know about the leak in the roof or the toilet that doesn't flush. We want
to know that you are 6 months behind on your payments. When you list the
property, please tell us everything about your life in the home and experiences
you have had with repairs and mortgage payments and neighbors. We don't
want any surprises when the inspection takes place.
Honesty - Be honest with us on your plans. We have had
sellers back out of a contract at the last minute because they decided to stay
in the house. Make sure that you want to sell before we spend the time to
advertise and market the property and offer it to buyers.
What Stays? - Make sure to tell us about a light fixture that
doesn't stay or the curtains and blinds. Anything attached to the
property is supposed to stay upon closing so we need to know your plans before
we start showing the property.
One of the most common misconceptions we see as Realtors is the idea that a Tax Assessed Value is the same as the appraised value, also known as the Fair Market Value. This is not the case and often affects the offers we receive on listings. The truth is, the county assesses values on property based on a neighborhood or concentrated area and not an individual property. They also do not assess the value every year, but rather every 2-5 years because of the size of the area and the available team to make such assessments. Brewster County, for example, is the largest county in Texas and covers a wide range of territory. The option for the county appraiser to reach every single property to assess a value each year would be impossible. Most of the time, the properties are assessed at 80-90% of the Fair Market Value. Realtors and Licensed Appraisers actually visit the properties when they determine the Fair Market Value. After measuring the square footage and comparing the home to other sales and listings in the immediate area, a Fair Market Value is determined. This is the true value of a property because it is more specific. When buyers make an offer, instead of looking at the county’s assessed value, they should be asking their Realtor for comparable sales in the area of similar properties and make their offer based on that. It is very frustrating in our jobs when we have buyers telling us the value of the home is too low because the county has it $30,000 less than the list price. The facts are usually that the county hasn’t probably assessed the value in a few years, has never seen the inside of the home, they don’t know about improvements to the property or the neighborhood, and they do not have access to sales information since Texas is not a disclosure state. Sales in our area, and the state, are not reported to counties or taxing entities. Our advice is to ask for the comparables for nearby sales of similar property before making your offer. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. Do not rely on the county assessment.
Spring has finally arrived here in west Texas after a hard winter of ice storms and cold weather. Flowers are in full bloom and trees are leafing out. The sweet smell of the agarita bushes in my yard fill the air each morning. Big Bend, Terlingua, and Study Butte have never been greener. Some parts along highway 118 look like a golf course with patches of bright yellow flowers and bluebonnets lining the road and fence lines. It's a great time of year to visit the area!
Wow! What a month seeing the critters and wildlife around here. I went to Fort Davis a few days ago and looked out to the Elk pasture on the right, before the incline out of the pass, and saw a huge bull elk. Luckily I had my camera with me so I turned around in the highway for the snapshot opportunity. As I was watching him I noticed he was walking in circles and bellowing and panting. His bones were very visible through his fur and he was very ill-looking. I watched him for a few minutes walk in circles and behave as if disoriented and then headed into Fort Davis to call a game warden. I figured he was either sick or about to die and needed help.
As I showed property in the Davis Mountains Resort that afternoon I drove up on a wild burro, cute as can be. I, again, had my camera with me and snapped a few shots.
Yesterday, Heath and I ventured to Terlingua to list some property and as we were driving down a ranch road in the middle of Solitario we had a mare and little colt walk toward us in the middle of the road, almost walking up to the hood of the truck. As I whistled out the window and jumped out of the truck with my camera they hurried off, the colt bucking and jumping around. Great pictures with the sun setting behind them.
I love west Texas!
One of the privileges of listing ranches I have discovered is having to hike or drive to amazing places. Heath, Hayden, and I drove down to Terlingua on Sunday to list Leon Mountain Ranch. 1250 acres near Study Butte. We've done lots of research on the property online with maps and Google Earth but never realized how beautiful it was until we hiked to the peak. It gave breathtaking a new meaning while I was either hauling a 30 pound camera box with a drone in it or a 2 year old boy. Boy, was I exhausted! But we took our final few steps up the peak and looked up to find we had reached the top of the world. We were not only above Study Butte but we were eye to eye with Bee Mountain and Hen Egg and could see past the Christmas Mountains and far into Mexico. It was stunning. Heath took a second to capture our experience on the drone camera before we slid down the mountain.
Then, when we thought our adventures were over for the day, we took a drive toward Solitario to find a new piece of property to list and photograph. For the past 8 days the area has had rain non-stop so us thinking we were going to get through Terlingua Creek really was a stupid moment. We drove 12 miles off highway 118 on North County Road and twisted and turned on the roads, going through mud pit after mud pit. There were several times when the rain had washed so much of the road away we only had a few feet to pass and had a mountain on one side and a 10 foot drop on the other. I was a nervous wreck! We reached the end when we hit Terlingua Creek. 60 foot wide creek full of water, and who knows how deep...normally a dry creek. God, it was beautiful though! The valley on the other side of the creek was green and the sun was setting and shining on the mountains and cliffs stretching up. We thanked God for getting us lost so we could experience that moment. Plus we had the opportunity to go mudding on the way back. I hadn't done that since high school. It was a great day.
Mar 1 – Mar 31 Jr/Sr Art Class
March 1 through Tuesday, March 31 at the Chinati Foundation, 1 Cavalry Rd in
Using Carl Andre's permanent installation at Chinati as an entry point, area
students enrolled in the school's junior and senior art classes will create
their own poems and artwork to be exhibited at Chinati's annual Community Day
on Sunday, April 19.
Mon, Wed, Fri Senior Circle Stretch & Flex
Wednesdays, and Fridays at 10:00 AM at the First United Methodist Church, 208 E
Sul Ross Ave. Admission is free.
For more information call (432) 837-0254
Mon, Wed, Fri Tae
Monday, Wednesdays, Fridays at 1:30
PM at the Alpine Public Library or 6:30 PM at Crossroads Baptist
Fellowship. Admission is free. For more information call (432) 294-5034
Mar 3 Alpine City Council Meeting
Tuesday, March 3rd at 5:30 PM in
Council Chambers at 803 W. Holland Ave.
Mar 3 Bingo
Every other Tuesday at 6:30 PM at
the American Legion Hall located at 306 W. Sul Ross Ave.
Mar 3 – Mar 4 Mammos
on the Move Mammography Screening
Tuesday, March 3 and Wednesday,
March 4 from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM at Big Bend Regional Medical Center, 2600
Please bring identification card and insurance card. $129 if not insured. For more information call (915) 577-0100
Mar 3 Tri-Community
Tuesday, March 3 from 8:30 AM until
4:00 PM at Hotel Paisano Ballroomm, 207 N. Highland Street in Marfa. Garden Protection and Pests, Tomato 101, Ice
Storm Tree Damage and Repair, and more. $10
RSVP by Thursday, February 26 at (432) 729-4746 or (432) 837-6207
Every Tuesday Library
Tuesdays from 4:30 PM until 5:30 PM
in the Community Room at Alpine Public Library, 805 W. Avenue E.
First- and second-graders
Every Tuesday Basic
Tuesdays from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM
at the Alpine Public Library, 805 W. Avenue E.
Instructor is Gerardo Gonzalez. For
more information call (432) 837-2621.
Admission is free.
Every Wednesday Family
Family Story Time each Wednesday
from 4:00 PM until 4:45 PM in the AEP Multipurpose Room at Alpine Public
Library, 805 W Avenue E
Every Thursday Hike
with a Homeless Dog
Hike With a Homeless Dog every Thursday
from 9:00 AM until 10:30 AM at Davis Mountain State Park in Fort Davis. Grand Companions animal shelter brings dogs
for visitors to walk on a park trail.
Mar 5 – Apr 21 Our
Thursday, March 5 until Tuesday,
April 21. Artist's Reception on Friday,
March 13 2015 from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM.
Gallery On The Square
The Big Bend Arts Council and Gallery On The Square welcomes new member,
Theresa Wallace, to the Art Coopertative. Theresa is an accomplished artist in
oil, pastel, and photography. She is planning an exhibit of her photography,
"Our Beautiful Desert", which opens on Thursday, March 5. You can
view Theresa's oil and pastel artwork at Gallery On The Square and get an
invitation to her upcoming artist's reception.
For more information call (432) 837-7203
Mar 6 Knights
of Columbus Fish Fry
Knights of Columbus Fish Fry, Friday,
March 6 from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM at Our Lady of the Peace Catholic Church,
406 S 6th Street. $7 per
Mar 11 – 14 Electronics Recycling
Wednesday, March 11 through Friday,
March 13 from 9:00 AM until 6:00 PM and Saturday, March 14 9:00 AM until 3:00
Old Fire Station (corner of 8th Street and W. Avenue E). For a list of acceptable items call (432)
294-3183 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mar 16 – 21 Cactus
and Succulent Sale
Monday, March 16 through Saturday,
March 21, Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center 43869 Highway 118 in Fort Davis.
For more information call (432) 364-2499
Mar 21 Doggie Flea
Saturday, March 21 from 12:00 PM
until 4:00 PM at the Alpine Visitor Center, 106 N. 3rd Street. Bring your doggies by for a bath and flea
dip. Proceeds go to Alpine Humane
Society. For more information call (432)