The Mark Cabal Team
(682) 233-0324

Arlington TX Real Estate Blog

Looking for an apartment? Here's where to start:


Getting started on finding a new place to live doesn’t have to be scary or a chore. With a bit of organization and pre-planning, your apartment search can go smoothly and result in a fabulous new place to live. Here are some tips to get you going in the right direction.

Determine the kind of apartment that will meet your needs.

It’s hard to start apartment hunting if you don’t know what you’re looking for. One bedroom? Two? A community pool? A separate office? How much do you want to spend?

Before you start your search, you need to know what you want in an apartment in order to weed out places that aren’t going to fit. Answer these basic questions before you kick off your search:

  • How much can you afford?
  • How much do you want to spend?
  • What area of town do you want to live?
  • How many rooms do you want?
  • What kinds of amenities do you want? Do you want access to a gym? A pool?
  • Do you prefer a gated community?
  • What features do you want inside the apartment? For example, a washer and dryer or dishwasher?

Once you have a basic outline of what your minimum requirements are, you can then start considering optional luxuries — more expensive kitchen appliances, a covered parking space, included utilities, etc.

Set some dates

The amount of time you allow for finding your apartment will depend on how quickly you have to move or how much time you can devote to an apartment search. If you are under no time pressure, allow yourself one to two months to find an apartment. Mark your calendar with your intended move date and move backwards, making sure...

Small home, big views! See inside this stunning tiny home

It may be tiny, but the new 160-square-foot home feels much bigger thanks to its long panoramic windows that draw the outdoors in.

Steve Niedorf / Courtesy of Escape Vista

This gorgeous new design from tiny home builder Escape Homes starts at $40,000 and includes all the small living features one needs such as kitchen amenities, a bathroom with full shower, and of course a comfy place to rest your head. And with the ability to gaze outside from almost every inch of the place, it’s just begging to be parked at a scenic spot. Vacation in the mountains, anyone?

Steve Niedorf / Courtesy of Escape Vista

The living space is small but efficient. There’s a double-sized daybed (queen-bed optional), extensive storage and LED lighting.


All gave some...

...some gave all

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From all of us here at The Mark Cabal Team, we thank you.


5 Things Your Real Estate Photographer Wishes You Knew

cell-phone-for-sale-shotDon't. Just don't. Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

Contrary to what you might have heard, a buyer’s first impression is no longer that special moment when they first pull up to check out your curb appeal. In fact, more often than not, they've already checked out your place from front to back online—and for all you know, they may have decided to cruise right by.

Most buyers spend weeks stalking perusing online listings, making Pinterest dream boards, texting must-see homes to their agent, and, well, judging.

And what is the key difference between a home deemed a HILF (home I’d like to finance) and one doomed to be mocked on social media? Photos.

Photos are the curb appeal of the digital age, and those shots have to be good. Freaking out? Don’t. Check out these pro secrets instead.

1. It doesn’t matter how many megapixels your (or your agent’s) smartphone has

To get a good photo, you need the right equipment, including a high-end camera and some full-featured editing software.

The bigger sensors of a professional-grade...

8 Tips For Doing Stunning Urban Landscape Photography

As a photographer, when you hear the word landscape your mind will most likely conjure up images of lush valleys, looming mountains, and majestic, sweeping vistas. With good reason, as the natural world can be a place of staggering beauty. But done well, a different type of landscape photography, the urban landscape, can produce shots that are equally as compelling as anything Mother Nature can throw your way.

The energy of a major city lends images a vitality that can’t be found anywhere else. There’s so much movement and life in the urban environment, and the best city shots capture that buzzing vibrancy.

Urban landscape 02

Shooting urban landscapes also has plenty of practical advantages too. Every type of photography is all about the light, and that is one thing cities never run out of. You can shoot in the artificial glow of the metropolis long after you’d have been forced to pack up your kit and make your way home from a day in the countryside.

Couple that with the fact that, for the most part, cities are a lot more accessible for the majority of us, and shooting urban landscapes is the ideal activity for photographers during those long winter months.

So here are our top 8 tips for getting the most out of your time pounding the sidewalks.

#1. Research

You wouldn’t embark on a traditional landscape photography outing by jumping in the car, heading for the hills and hoping for the best. Likewise, the success of an urban landscape shoot depends largely on how well you plan.

Your home town

Even if you’re off to capture the town or city you grew up in, putting in...

10 High Impact Landscaping Ideas For Instant Curb Appeal

When it comes to making your yard look more inviting, here are 10 high impact landscaping ideas you can try for instant curb appeal. 

Let's Explore High Impact Landscaping Ideas

Most people want to make their yards look better, but sometimes it can be difficult to find something that makes your yard stand out. With these 10 high impact landscaping ideas for instant curb appeal, you'll be able to make some changes for the better that are generally affordable and different from what everyone else is doing. In fact, most of these are quite simple and really make a dramatic difference.

A Tree Bench

If you have a tree in your front yard, it's easy to use a little bit of wood to build a tree bench. This idea is perfect for the children to sit on and read a book or enjoy a game, or you can even put a few potted plants on it to make it even more eye-catching. Best of all, this idea is not only attractive and unique; it's also functional because you can sit on it and put things on it.

High Impact Landscaping Ideas...

8 Times Benches Proved They're the Most Versatile Piece of Furniture

So much hidden potential!

File cabinets aren't cute — it's a simple truth. Which is why we'd swap ours out for a white bench with a pretty floral cushion on top (like this one!) any day. Just add file folders to keep your most valuable papers out of sight.
Get the tutorial at Better When Built »


DIY Canvas Magazine Hanger

DIY Magazine hanger

When I’m looking for inspiration I often head over to Pinterest or Instagram to keep up to date with current trends or look for ideas I can use within my own work. But more and more often these days I’m finding it’s advantageous to step away from the Internet and look for new ideas in more traditional ways. When I’m away from the computer screen I can have some of my best ideas and I particularly love flicking through old magazines for designs and techniques I can modernize and personalize to create something that feels fresh.

DIY Magazine hanger

While it’s great to have magazines on hand, storing them can become overwhelming. One way to overcome the clutter is to use them as decoration. This DIY magazine hanger has the added visual element of showing flashes of color on each side of the covers. I think this makes the magazines much more appealing to read and attractive to display. And it’s also a really easy DIY that you can customize to hold as many magazines as you like. -Fran

DIY Magazine hanger-1


  • Canvas (or thick cotton) fabric
  • Wooden dowel
  • Rope
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Clay base plates (...

21 Things You Must Do When Visiting Miami

Give us all the palm trees

Two key elements of any bonkers vacation: a culture-rich city and a beach. Miami, at your service. As the infamous Art Basel rages on this weekend, we took some time to round up the essential things you should do in the sexiest city in America--any time of year.


1. Rent a convertible and cruise up and down Ocean Drive as much as possible.

2. Swing by La Sandwicherie, also in South Beach, for the greatest French sammies outside…well, France.

3. Rent a lounge chair on Miami Beach and people-watch to your heart’s content.

4. Get a cold-pressed juice at The Standard and hipster-watch to your heart’s content.

5. Feel virtuous and then reward yourself with the greatest coffee of your life--a Cuban colada.


6. Work off the espresso buzz by gallery hopping in Wynwood, the city’s renowned arts district.

7. Go one step further and take a tandem-bike tour around the neighborhood. Because what better way to see street art and graffiti by some of the world's most prominent artists...

Mobile Mechanic in DFW

Hello all! Meaghan here! I have an awesome friend who has started his own mechanic business - on the go! If you break down for any reason or have any kind of issues with your vehicle, give Steve a call and he will come to you! He also has a Mother's Day promotion going on right now!

Go find him on Facebook (I have included a link below), like his page and help support a local, self-owned businessman who just so happens to be one of my very good friends!

Renegade Mobile Mechanic

Mother's Day Promotion:

As Mother's Day is around the corner I will be doing a special. 
For every repair or maintenance done:

-If you are a mother, I will inspect your car for any other repairs/maintenance that may need attention or showing signs of problems that may occur in the near future for free.

-If you are not a mother, I will do whats listed above for your mother's vehicle for free as well.

This includes:
Brakes, tires, suspension, fluid levels, leaks, battery, and check for any codes. ...


What is Red Day?

Introduced in 2009, RED Day, which stands for Renew, Energize and Donate, is Keller Williams Realty's annual day of service. Each year on the second Thursday of May, associates celebrate Mo Anderson's birthday by spending the day away from their businesses serving worthy organizations and causes in their communities. RED Day is just another example of our commitment to each other and to the cities and towns where we live and work. Join us!

If you are interested in joining us tomorrow, please give our office a call! We will let you know where we will be serving our community!

(682) 233-0324


8 Exterior Paint Colors to Help Sell Your House

Like the hues you choose for indoors, exterior house colors should be ones you love coming home to day after day. That being said, if you're planning to put your house on the market in the near future, the wise course is to consider which exterior paint colors are going to attract the broadest range of buyers. "Neutral and traditional colors are a good bet if you are going to paint your home's exterior to get it ready to sell," says Elizabeth Mendenhall, a realtor in Columbia, Missouri, and a 2014 regional vice president of the National Association of Realtors. "You want a look that is warm and inviting. Unique colors may turn away some potential buyers." If you're painting for resale, give some thought to these eight exterior house paint colors with undeniable curb appeal.


"The color you paint your home's exterior can make or break people's perception of your house," says Erika Woelfel, director of color marketing for Behr Paints. A trio of Behr colors created this traditional look: Hazelnut Cream (750C-2) as a base, accented by Gallery White (PPU12-12) and Dark Truffle (PPU5-19).


11 Reasons Why A Real Estate Agent Would Make The Best President


We’ve already covered why your real estate agent is your best friend… but could an agent also be your best choice for President? I think so, and here are 11 reasons why.

1. Real estate agents are great at public speaking.

In fact, they spend at least 75% of their time talking to, lecturing, training, mentoring, and educating their clients and some co-workers. An agent wouldn’t even need a speechwriter because they can speak off the cuff and from the heart. You can trust what they say, too, because they tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. Wouldn’t this be a refreshing change in the highest elected politician?

2. A real estate agent would reduce the national debt.

Real estate agents know all about managing money. Since it takes 30-45 days for a sale to close and earn a paycheck, agents learn to spend their money wisely and stick to a tight budget. They already are conditioned to account for money spent on marketing, office expenses, association dues and other things – so that would help when needing to revamp social security, government spending and how often to vacation in Hawaii. They know not to spend carelessly because they have to deduct broker fees and 30% in taxes from their checks, so having been self-employed would be a huge asset when running the country.

3. Real estate agents are always accessible.

They always answer their phones, and can also be reached...

The Financial Implications Of Private Mortgage Insurance


Private Mortgage Insurance, more commonly referred to as PMI, is a mortgage expense that draws a wildly varying set of opinions from homebuyers and homeowners. Before we dive too deep into the financial implications or pros and cons of PMI, you need to fully understand its background, what it is and why it exists.

First, PMI is not a new concept. It was originally introduced more than 120 years ago as a tool to protect banks so that they can provide mortgage financing to those that lacked the assets to provide a substantial down payment.

To this day, it still serves the exact same purpose. How it is used, how much it costs and who has to pay it has taken many forms since the idea was first introduced. I will spare you the history lessons – Wikipedia has that covered – although it does provide insight into why different generations vary from ambivalence to disgust when it comes to the subject.

Simply put, PMI allows borrowers to obtain a mortgage without having to provide 20% down payment by covering the lender for the added risk of a high loan-to-value (LTV) mortgage. It has helped MILLIONS achieve home ownership. It is not the devil. It’s a financial decision made daily by families everywhere. Let’s get the skinny, shall we?

PMI is risk-based. Your credit score and debt-to-income ratio will play a part in your premium. They are both secondary players to the lead character: loan-to-value. If you need OR choose to put the minimum down, then you’ll pay more. So 5% down borrowers will pay more than 10% down borrowers and 10% down borrowers pay more than 15% down borrowers.

So that is your first decision: what do I have in the bank, how much of it should I use and what will it...

Bohemian Dome in the Desert


Geodesic domes had their heyday a few decades ago, but the style and quirky details of this dome in Joshua Tree brings the design back to today. Owned by Kathrin and Bryan Smirke, the Dome in the Desert has recently been featured in several magazines and books including “The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes” by Justina Blakeney.


The couple found the (small, not tiny) house by placing an ad on Craigslist. The owner of the dome contacted them and they snatched it up before it went on the market. Kathrin and Bryan removed the popcorn ceiling, knocked down some walls, (see the before photos) and plastered the walls in bright white. They needed to replace the roof, so they decided to add in the five skylights for additional light.


Here's How You Can Stay at Arianna Huffington's $8 Million Apartment

What would you do with your daytime hours if you slept better at night? That's the important question behind a new Airbnb-led giveaway that offers one lucky winner and a guest the chance to stay in Arianna Huffington's New York City home.

Huffington, editor in chief of The Huffington Post (and best-selling author), is in the midst of promoting her new book, The Sleep Revolutionin which she delves into the dangers of sleep deprivation and the importance of good sleep for success, happiness, and good health.

And in the name of restful sleep, she is opening the doors to her $8 million home in New York's SoHo neighborhood. "It’s not a Greek temple," she explains, "but it’s as close as I could come: my own private temple to sleep in the middle of the city that claims it never sleeps."

She promises a truly rejuvenating stay, one in which the lucky winner will enjoy Epsom-salt baths to their heart's content, gourmet meals, and a completely tech-free sleep space. Upon waking, the guest will be invited to join Huffington on HuffPost Rise to chat about the experience.

Read on for a peek inside Huffington's SoHo sleep escape.