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Inside Real Estate:

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Improving Housing Markets - Page 8 Local Real Estate News - Page 5

Tips for Relocating Newlyweds - Page 5 WTHBA Featured Floorplan - Page 7

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How long have you worked in real estate? I have been in real estate full-time for four years. It’s something I never saw myself doing when I was younger, and now I love it.

What tips do you have for someone looking to buy or sell a home? Even though this sounds self-serving, it is the best tip I have… hire a professional! This is what full-time real estate agents do day in and day out. Our job is to take a stressful event in your life (when is moving NOT stressful) and make it as enjoyable of an experience as possible. We know what pitfalls to avoid and how to guide clients through critical decisions; we are expert negotiators and will help you navigate a tedious process.

Why should someone choose you as their real estate agent? Someone should choose me to be their real estate agent because I will work hard to take care of them and see to their needs throughout the entire process of either buying or selling. My goal is to make my clients feel important. I want them to know that I care and that I will give them my best every time.

What are the most gratifying and most challenging aspects of what you do? The most gratifying aspect of my profession is when a client becomes a friend. I have


building that served as both a workshop and living quarters. It was a beautiful place with a pond and room for horses.

And before that? I started my own business right out of college as a Professional Organizer. I did that for seven years before being asked by a client at that time to go to work for him in his insurance office. After about a year in the insurance business I took some time off to travel, came back and got my real estate license.

What is your specialty? My team and I work with residential buyers and sellers in Lubbock and the surrounding areas.

at its

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Keller Williams Realty 806-438-4226

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? There are many things that put a smile on my face. I love football season and watching the games all weekend long. I am a member of the South Plains Storm Spotting Team and love to see a good storm. I enjoy reading fiction and nonfiction. I am a sucker for most any type of game because I love a good competition. I also love spending time with my friends and family.

Real Estate Download the Real Estate Section on the

Rachel Townsley

Why do you live in the Lubbock area? I have traveled all over and considered living elsewhere, however, you cannot beat Lubbock’s cost of living and the friendly people. It is a great place to grow up and raise a family. It is full of kind, warm and loving people. There is plenty to do and many ways to be active in the community.

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Realtor Revealed Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Lubbock.

Rachel Townsley, Keller Williams Realty

met some amazing people and have learned so much from my clients. Many have become friends that I am thankful to have in my life. The most challenging part of my profession is working with many clients at once and still doing my best to make

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them feel that they are my only client at the time. What is the most unique property you’ve listed or sold? I recently sold what I call a “barn-dominium.” It was a 7-acre property with a metal

What local organizations and charities are you involved in? I have been an Ambassador with the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce for six years. I am a huge advocate for getting involved with the Chamber. I am also the current President for Agents in Action, a local non-profit founded by Keller Williams agents with the purpose of helping agents and community members in need. We have raised over $170,000 in the last five years to help people with unexpected medical bills, funeral expenses, and other needs. I have also been a member of the Lubbock Junior Women’s Club for more than six years now.

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SATURDAY, JUNE 30, 2012 A2



Real Estate

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80 metros listed as improving housing markets in June The list of U.S. housing markets showing measurable and sustained improvement now includes 80 metropolitan areas, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) for June. Though down from the 100 markets shown as improving in May, the list includes 28 new entrants and at least one representative from 31 different states (including the District of Columbia). The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. This month’s IMI showed some considerable shifting of markets on and off the list, with 52 metros holding on to their spots, 48 slipping from the list and 28 being added. Notable new entrants to the improving list in June include Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Grand Junction, Colo.; Fargo, N.D.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Dallas. “Though today’s IMI reflects a decline in the number of improving markets from May, the list continues to show significant geographic diversity, with 31 states represented and roughly one quarter of all U.S.

metros included,” said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg. “The shifting of some markets off the IMI in June underscores the fragile nature of the housing recovery as well as the fact that many locations that previously made the list had recorded only marginal house price gains, which were easily wiped out by small downward changes,” noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “However, the fact that multiple new areas are showing up on the list each month is encouraging, and highlights the degree to which local economic and job market conditions are what drive individual housing markets.” The IMI is designed to track housing markets throughout the country that are showing signs of improving economic health. The three indicators that are analyzed are employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, house price appreciation from Freddie Mac and single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau. NAHB uses the latest available data from these sources to generate a list of improving markets. A complete list of all 80 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI is available at www.



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Real Estate



Local Real Estate News – Lubbock Association of Realtors

Counteroffers and contracts – know what to expect

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BY Debora Perez Ruiz, President Lubbock Association of REALTORS®

Many real estate transactions would never come to pass if not for counteroffers. Sure, some deals get done with an acceptance of the original offer, but the fact is that many offers to buy are met with a counteroffer – even when the price is right. There’s often a lot of back-and-forth before buyers and sellers close a deal. But you can get through the counterofRUIZ fer phase with your sanity intact. You just need to know what to expect. What’s Involved in a Counteroffer? At its most basic, the buyer submits an offer with specifics on the purchase price, down payment amount, financing, timing, and other business details. After receiving the buyer’s offer, the seller sends it back with changes to one or more terms.

Counteroffers are simply responses to original offers – whether it’s a change to the purchase price or a refusal to leave an appliance. Once a counteroffer has been made, the proverbial ball is in the other party’s court; they can accept the counter, make another counteroffer, or not respond at all. And so it goes. So how do you know if a counteroffer is a good thing? Much depends on what you want. For example, if you’re selling and you get an offer with an acceptable price but a closing date that isn’t, you can counter with a closing date that suits you. By the same token, if the offer is lower than you’d like, you can make a counteroffer with an amount that would make you happy. Once everyone agrees, you’re on your way to closing day. Of course, this is a gross oversimplification of only one part of a real estate transaction. There are still plenty of details to take care of between an accepted offer and closing. Problems with Counteroffers Sounds easy enough, but what if there

are problems? Many people don’t realize that any change to a contract that results in a counteroffer – even if it’s as minor as asking to keep the refrigerator – automatically voids previous offers, and the buyer (or seller) can completely ignore the new offer if he desires. In other words, if you submit an offer to purchase a home, the seller comes back with a counteroffer, you counter his counteroffer, and he rejects it, the deal is off. You can’t officially go back to his first counteroffer and accept it. So, before you make one last counteroffer to try to keep the refrigerator, make sure that appliance is worth potentially losing the deal, because a counteroffer gives the other party the power over whether the transaction moves forward or comes to an end. Some sellers will respond to a buyer’s offer not with a counteroffer but with an invitation for the buyer to submit a new offer. The invitation to submit a new offer typically spells out what terms will make a more favorable impression on the seller. This approach keeps the seller’s options open to continue to receive offers from other potential buyers.

If you find yourself in the offer-counteroffer stage, make sure you are reachable, so you don’t miss out on a house you want or, if you’re the seller, on a potential sale. Get it in Writing Finally, get everything in writing. Verbal offers and contracts aren’t binding, and, despite our increasing dependence on it, the same goes for e-mail. A contract must be signed to be enforceable. Your Lubbock Realtor is obliged to convey a verbal offer or counteroffer or verbal acceptance to the other party, but a contract is not enforceable until it is in writing and signed by all parties. Once a deal is signed, it is much more difficult for either party to pull out without being penalized. The bottom line is to communicate with your Lubbock Realtor and revisit all considerations before making or accepting any counteroffers. To find your Lubbock home, I invite you to visit and for more information about real estate in the Lone Star State, please visit TexasRealEstate. com.

Newlyweds: Tips for moving into your first real home (ARA) – The wedding’s over and now you and your new spouse are ready to take that big step of moving into your first real home. It’s a big task, joining together two households and finding the perfect location with great schools, affordable taxes and good neighbors. But once you’ve signed on the dotted line for the home where you will begin your life as a couple – and maybe also raise your family when the time arrives – you’re ready to plan your big move. Many newlyweds face the chore of merging furniture, kitchen equipment and closet space from two households. To start your moving process off on the right

foot, consider eliminating duplicate items and having a garage sale, or donating items, before beginning the packing process. It’s a great chance to upgrade household furnishings – especially if you received something new as a wedding gift. Then determine what size of moving truck you’ll need. A good rule is to plan for 150 cubic feet of space for every fully furnished room. Many young couples moving from a small apartment or condo into a larger first home will find a 12- or 16-foot rental truck more than adequate. Plan to reserve your truck at least two weeks in advance. For help in making moving day go smoothly, use these tips from Penske:

• Start early and group items together – Get good, sturdy boxes of various sizes, and then fill them with items of a similar content. Some traditional ways to group items are by item type (i.e. photo frames) or by contents of a room. Label each box with the room name and the contents. Make sure you have plenty of packing bubbles or towels and cloths on hand to keep breakable items from being damaged in the move. • Still unpacking your wedding gifts? – If space isn’t a concern, keep those wedding gifts in their original boxes, because the store packaging will help protect the items. But if space is tight in the rental truck,

throw away the store packaging and carefully repack in your moving boxes – with plenty of padding to protect your new gifts. • Save your muscles – Ask friends to help you with carrying boxes. If something is heavy, enlist some help to prevent injury or strain on your muscles. • Loading the truck – Load the largest items (bed, couch) into the truck first to ensure they will fit, and then start loading the heaviest boxes on the bottom and lighter boxes on top. Having each box labeled with contents will help prevent you and your friends from packing heavy books on top of fine china. When you cross the

threshold of your new home the first time, you’ll be surrounded by the excitement and energy of adventures to come. Carefully unpack,

cherishing the memories of your personal belongings as you meld them to fit into your new home and life with your new spouse.

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Real Estate



Featured Floorplan – Dan Wilson Homes

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4416 103rd – Lakeridge South This week’s Featured Home is located at 4416 103rd Street in Lakeridge South, and this exquisite Dan Wilson home will immediately catch your attention! The Featured Home is sponsored by the West Texas Home Builders Association in cooperation with the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. The perfect combination of brick and stone sets this home apart with its timeless appearance and gorgeous street appeal. This home has been designed, built and finished to make a statement – “warmth and beauty combined with modern day construction techniques can result in a home that is truly cherished for generations to come.” This floor plan is very livable and functional, while being able to accommodate large groups for entertaining. Features of this home include: • Approximately 3,737 square feet • 4 bedrooms • 3 bathrooms • 3 car garage • Formal dining room • Basement • Outdoor kitchen • Outdoor fireplace • Pool • Open concept design • Interior wood beams • Fireplace in dining room • Fireplace in living room • Multiple interior arches • Viking appliance package • 2x6 exterior wall construction • Decorative wall finishes Dan Wilson has been involved in the construction industry for more than 30 years. He understands the true quality that homeowners seek and deserve. His commitment to “valued quality” and customer service has helped Dan Wilson Homes become the leading custom homebuilder in Lubbock. Dan knows that a custom home should be designed and built to meet the expectations and desires of the owners. He takes pride in delivering a stress-free building experience that keeps the owners involved and the project on time and in budget. The construction of a custom home should be a special experience that customers will enjoy, Dan believes, so he is personally involved in every home he builds, incorporating proven quality and designs that keep his products and ideas in the forefront of the homebuilding industry in Lubbock. The Featured Home will be available to visit during the Open House, this Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m. For more information about this home or building your own custom home, please call Dan Wilson at 806-698-6626.

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Lubbock AJ Real Estate Section 2012-06-30  

The Avalanche-Journal's Real Estate Section comes out every Saturday. It contains local Real Estate related news, editorial stories and feat...

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