Monday, January 30, 2012

In search of an honest man

Similar to Diogenes’ search for an honest man, homeowners want someone to do quality repairs at a fair price.  The task appears reasonably easy but if you’ve ever tried to locate someone to fix something, you know just how difficult it is.
Finding a list of companies from a phone book doesn’t mean they’ll be reasonable and reliable, it just means they have a phone and are willing to pay for an ad.  Searching on the Internet may direct you to a website that appears to be a local company but really is a marketing company who will sell the lead to a repairman or company who will pay a referral fee.
There are consumer organizations like Angie’s list who rate repairmen and contractors but they usually require an annual membership fee to be able to access the information.  There are also services like Renovation Experts or Service Magic that are registries for contractors but they may not be the most competitively priced.
Your best recommendations are going to come from friends, family and neighbors you trust who have actually used the repairmen before and would use them again.  The problem here is that you might have to make multiple calls before you can find a friend who can recommend the type contractor you need.
Repairs are a normal part of selling homes and we certainly come in contact with lots of contractors.  This experience leads us to understand who is reputable and reasonable as well as who to avoid.  As part of our commitment to helping you be a better homeowner from the time you buy your home until you sell it, we’re more than happy to make a recommendation of good repairmen or other professionals you might need.  Give us a call…we want to help.                                  Buy Sell Invest with Hart

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Housing Trends Newsletter by David Hart - January 2012

Welcome to the most current Housing Trends eNewsletter. This eNewsletter is specially designed for you, with national and local housing information that you may find useful whether you’re in the market for a home, thinking about selling your home, or just interested in homeowner issues in general. 

Please click on this link to view the Housing Trends JANUARY 2012 Newsletter 

The Housing Trends eNewsletter contains the latest information from the National Association of REALTORS®, the U.S. Census Bureau, reports and other sources. 

Housing Trends eNewsletter is filled with local and national real estate sales and price activity provided by MLSs and the National Association of Realtors, U.S. Census Bureau key market indicators, consumer videos, blogs, real estate glossary, mortgage rates and calculators, consumer articles, and local community reports. 

If you are interested in determining the value of your home, click the “Home Evaluator” link for a free evaluation report: 

Sound decisions can only be made with accurate and reliable information, and I am happy to be a trusted resource for you. Thank you for the opportunity to provide you with this monthly eNewsletter, and I look forward to answering any questions you may have and to the opportunity to be your REALTOR® in the future. 

Sincerely yours, 

David Hart, Realtor                                           Buy Sell Invest with Hart

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

SWAPO 2011 News...Rush Creek Site... DENIED....

There will be no big rig gas drilling trucks by Bowen and Bardin!

The Rush Creek Pad Site was denied by City Council last night, after a lengthy meeting. Attendance at the meeting was standing room only (about 300 attendees, guessing) and there were 25 speakers for and 34 speakers against. There was a very spirited presentation by all speakers raising good points regarding their stance.  In summary the primary reason for the denial is its location within a high density area of a neighborhood.  City Council suggested that Chesapeake find another location to drill for this area with less of an impact on the neighborhood.
The last site on the agenda last night was the Truman Drill Site at 310 N Collins St which was approved by City Council. There were 4 speakers for and 5 against.
City Council did make the comment that they are for drilling in Arlington but they are careful to consider the location of Pad Sites within our city.
My intention is to be knowledgeable about proposed land uses, understand the natural gas issues pro and con, communicate major issues to SWAPO membership, meeting our neighbors, and understanding their view points while furnishing related resource links located at the bottom of this blog so that they can make informed decisions.  

Thank you

Here's a link to the Star-Telegram article that came out today:

Monday, January 23, 2012

SWAPO 2011 News...Notice of Public Hearing...Rush Creek Site...

REMINDER the City Council meeting for the Rush Creek Site will be Tuesday 1/25/12 at 6:15 PM:

Chesapeake has filed a zoning request with the City of Arlington for the Rush Creek drill site located at the SW corner of Bowen and Bardin Roads.  The case numbers are:

1) ZA11-6 which is a zoning change from Planned Development (PD) to Office (O)
2) SUP11-9 which is the Specific Use Permit for gas drilling

Arlington City Council will take the recommendations of the P&Z Commission (meeting held December 7th which P&Z approved this site) and have a public hearing on the two cases on Tuesday 1/24/2012.  If you have concerns over having a industrial site in your neighborhood, please attend and let the City Council members know how you feel about the Rush Creek drill site.

Deductible Is the Point

Points refer to prepaid interest on a home mortgage and can be fully deductible by the buyer in the year paid if the right conditions exist. The points must be used to buy, build or improve a taxpayer's principal residence but not all fees charged by the lender are necessarily deductible.
According to IRS Publication 936, "The term 'points' is used to describe certain charges paid, or treated as paid, by a borrower to obtain a home mortgage. Points may also be called loan origination fees, maximum loan charges, loan discount, or discount points. A borrower is treated as paying any points that a home seller pays for the borrower's mortgage."
If you purchased a home in 2011, have your tax professional evaluate your closing statement to see if there are loan fees that may be used as a deduction on your tax return regardless of whether you or the seller paid them.
Refinancing a principal residence or purchasing an investment or income property require that points must be deducted ratably over the term of the mortgage rather than deducting them fully in the year paid. Borrowers in these situations should consider the benefits of lower interest rates from paying point to higher interest rates without points.
This article is meant to provide information that can be discussed with your tax professional about your specific situation and is not to be considered tax advice.
                                                       Buy Sell Invest with Hart

Friday, January 20, 2012

SWAPO 2011 News... Oil and Gas Prices...

Natural Gas
NYMEX January $2.33 Price Per MCF of Gas

Crude Oil
NYMEX January $98.39 Price Per Barrel of Oil

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

SWAPO 2011 News... from the Wimbledon area by George Hoyer...Rush Creek site

Hello United Wimbledon/Neighbors.
As you know the Arlington Planning and Zoning Commission approved the zoning cases:
ZA11-6 - To change the zoning of 55.066 acres at 4950 Bowen Road from PD to O.
SUP 11-9 - A Specific Use Permit to drill on the 4.426 acre Rush Creek Drill Site.
At their meeting on December 7, 2011 the members of the Oak Lake Homeowners Association overwhelmed the P&Z Commissioners with their speakers in support of the Rush Creek Drill Site. The proposed site is near the Southwest corner of Bowen and Bardin Roads and therefore will not impact the residents of the Oak Lake neighborhood since they are well West of the site. The noise, traffic, health hazards and inconvenience of the industrial drill site will not impact them.
According to Chesapeake Energy, the Rush Creek drill site will not be within 600 feet of homes to the East and North of the site. However, the 600 feet does reach across Bowen Road and the Bardin Road right of way, so the site will be very close to residents on both streets. The site will definitely be visible from Bowen Road and the Bardin Road intersection. Chesapeake is planning on 22 wells at this location so the site will be active for many years. I personally do not think that an industrial drill site belongs in our neighborhood, and I plan to oppose it. However some neighbors do not have a problem with having the drill site in the neighborhood and want the royalties from gas production. Some think that since we got our bonus check in 2007 we should let Chesapeake drill at the Rush Creek site. If you recall, in 2007 United Neighbors was negotiating with Dale Property Services, who were representing Chesapeake, and Paloma Resources. Paloma was planning on drilling at the Rush Creek site, and Chesapeake was planning to drill at a location Northwest of Bowen Road and Pleasant Ridge in Dalworthington Gardens. Both were offering about the same in lease terms and signing bonus money so United Neighbors went with Dale Resources for $15,850/acre in bonus money. The plans for the Dalworthington Gardens drill site fell through when the DWG City Council denied the zoning change for the drill site. So Chesapeake is now trying to obtain the zoning change for the Rush Creek site. Chesapeake was denied their first attempt to get the zoning changes in June of 2010 by both P&Z and City Council. Chesapeake extended some of our gas leases by using the force majeure clause in the lease for a year. If you were in the group of neighbors that received the force majeure letter and did not receive a 2 year option bonus check, you now own your mineral rights again since the 3 year lease and 1 year of force majeure has expired. Be aware that if the zoning change is approved, Chesapeake or their representatives will be showing up at your door trying to lease your mineral rights. The days of $15,850/acre signing bonus checks are over and Chesapeake will try to lease your minerals for as little as possible since natural gas is selling at very low prices, I've heard that $3,500/acre is considered high today. So, what I'm saying is don't be in a hurry to lease your minerals.
The Arlington City Council will hold a public hearing on the 2 zoning cases on Tuesday, January 24 at 6:30 at city hall. If you are concerned about having an industrial drill site in your neighborhood please send notes to City Council members. I've listed the City Council members email addresses below. If you think having an industrial drill site in the neighborhood will have no impact on your neighbors and think the small amount of royalty payments is more important than quality of life then you can give your support to these cases. Whether you are for or against, please attend the Council meeting on the 24th and let Council know your thoughts and concerns.
The attached flier is being distributed by our neighbors in Deerwood Park. Their neighborhood and the Ouro Verde neighborhood will be impacted the most if this zoning case is approved.
George Hoyer
Your United Wimbledon and United Neighbors Representative for the Wimbledon Neighborhood
Here are the email addresses for Arlington City Council members. We are in District 2, and our Council member is Sheri Capehart.

SWAPO 2011 News ...Notice of P&Z Public Hearing pushed back to Feb 1st... Eden Rd Site...

Notice of Public Hearing
                                                      Case Number: SUP11-13

1)    Planning and Zoning Commission Public Hearing Date: 01/04/12, now scheduled for 2/1/12 same time, 5:30pm.
2)    City Council Public Hearing Date: 02/07/12, not sure about this date yet,will revise later.

Applicant: Brad Pittman
Edge Barnett Operating Company LLC
Address: 4388 Vickery Boulevard, Suite 100
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
Telephone Number: 817-870-0130

Site Location: 4700 Eden Road generally located south of Eden Road and west
of U.S. 287 Highway.

Current Zoning: Village on the Green – Residential (VG-R)

Request: Specific Use Permit (SUP) for gas drilling

General Description of Applicant's Proposed Uses: Gas Drilling and Production

Monday, January 16, 2012

Choose Your Deduction

One third of all U.S. households, 75% of households with more than $75,000 income and most homeowners itemize their deduction on their federal income tax returns. It makes sense because the interest paid on their mortgage and their property taxes probably exceeds the allowable standard deduction.
However, with interest rates as low as they have been in the last two years and the price of homes having come down considerably, it is possible that the standard deduction may be the better choice.
Each year, the taxpayer can compare the total of the itemized deductions to the standard deduction to select which method will result in the most benefits. The 2011 standard deduction is $11,600 for married couple filing jointly and $5,800 for single filers.
The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 allows homeowners to take the standard deduction and the lesser of their actual property taxes of $1,000 if filing their return married jointly. For more information, see Schedule L found on and consult your tax advisor.
                                                    Buy Sell Invest with Hart

Saturday, January 14, 2012

SWAPO 2011 News.....Rush Creek Neighbors speak out...

SgtMaj Tully Bryant and others speak out about this drill site location at Rush Creek, it is time for you to investigate the facts, please visit his site listed in the picture above and the links below in this BlogSpot to decide yourself. We are making it easy for you to investigate yourself. Especially check out the royalty calculations SgtMaj Tully calculates and the gas royalty calculators in this BlogSpot listed below. i.e. do not think that these royalty calculations are going to give you any large amounts of money, or be enough to fund any special neighborhood projects.
The issues goes before the City Council January 24th at 6:30. See posting dated December 27th below.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Forced Savings...Really?

Part of the American Dream is to own a home. A home is a place to call your own; a place to raise your family and share with your friends. A home is a place to feel safe and secure. A home is a good investment?
In a recent report* by Beracha and Johnson, it is suggested that buying a home is the right thing to do but not necessarily for the reason that people expect. A home is, in many instances, the largest investment that homeowners have and it accounts for the majority of their net worth.

The report suggests that the self-imposed savings due to amortization has a significant contribution to a person's net worth. The premise was determined by comparing the net worth of buyers to renters over a 31 year period of time.

When the savings in rent and down payment were reinvested, renters had a greater net worth than buyers after each 8-year cycle by a margin of 91% to 9%. On the other hand, when the requirement to reinvest the savings was dropped and renters were allowed to spend the savings on consumption, the Buyers had a greater net worth 84% compared to 16% for renters.

Appreciation, tax savings and amortization contribute to lowering the cost of housing and help homeowners build equity. The forced savings due to amortization benefits the individuals who may not be disciplined enough to invest the savings otherwise. Regardless of which benefits apply in different situations, owning a home can be a satisfying investment both emotionally and financially.

*Factor Sensitivities in the Making of Buy vs. Rent Decisions: Do Homeowners Make the Right Decision for the Wrong Reason by Eli Berach and Ken J. Johnson of Florida International University writing for the Journal of Housing Research.
                                                              Buy Sell Invest with Hart

SWAPO 2011 News...

Effective January we will start furnish a monthly newsletter targeted to publish on the 10th of each month about any natural gas issues to our members who have signed up through the BlogSpot. We do this as a public service in order to increase the communications about what is going on in our area 76001 and 76017.

This BlogSpot continuously updates the reference web sites listed at the bottom of this blog with some outstanding web sites and other blogs that offer a wealth of information for the homeowner so that they may sort out the facts themselves.

Revised purpose statement: 1/18/2012:
We consider anyone who joins SWAPO to be in favor of working with SWAPO members collectively to obtain the highest signing bonus for a natural gas lease and with the intention of collecting a monthly royalty for the production of natural gas. This means that you will not sign independently until SWAPO has made a recommendation. Membership is currently around 1000 members. We also support a communication network regarding any natural gas well issues in order that we may keep neighbors informed about natural gas well issues in our neighborhoods so that each citizen can make an informed decision.

Comments regarding anything published on this site may be directed to me at  We look forward to providing a service to our community. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

SWAPO 2011 News ...Notice of Public Hearing pushed back on agenda to Jan 18th

Notice of Public Hearing
                                                      Case Number: SUP11-13

1)    Planning and Zoning Commission Public Hearing Date: 01/04/12, now scheduled for 1/18/12 same time, 5:30pm.
2)    City Council Public Hearing Date: 02/07/12

Applicant: Brad Pittman
Edge Barnett Operating Company LLC
Address: 4388 Vickery Boulevard, Suite 100
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
Telephone Number: 817-870-0130

Site Location: 4700 Eden Road generally located south of Eden Road and west
of U.S. 287 Highway.

Current Zoning: Village on the Green Residential (VG-R)

Request: Specific Use Permit (SUP) for gas drilling

General Description of Applicant's Proposed Uses: Gas Drilling and Production

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The "Right Size" Home

Work hard, buy a home, start a family and continue to upgrade your home until everyone has enough room. This has been the blueprint for lots of homeowners for the last fifty years but there is certainly a shift in thinking that could change all of that.
Interestingly, Americans live in much larger homes than most people in other countries throughout the world. The U.S. Census reported in 2006 that the average single family home completed had 2,469 square feet which was 769 feet more than in 1976.
Once the children are grown and have moved out, homeowners are finding they have too much room. Even if their home is paid for, they have higher property taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance on the larger home than they'd have if they were living in the "right size" home.
Some homeowners state thaty they're keeping their larger home because it has luxury features that smaller homes don't have. There's a movement that seems to have started in the United States to find the "right size" home with the amenities and convenience that homeowners want.
This philosophy has been expressed by Sarah Susanka in her book Creating the Not So Big House. It proposes a house that "values quality over quantity with an emphasis on comfort and beauty, a high level of detail, and a floor plan designed for today's informal lifestyle."
                                                             Buy Sell Invest with Hart