The Mark Cabal Team
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Arlington TX Real Estate Blog

7 Tips for Staging Your Home

Make your home warm and inviting

to boost your home’s value and

speed up the sale process.

The first step to getting buyers to make an offer on your home is to impress them with its appearance so they begin to envision themselves living there. Here are seven tips for making your home look bigger, brighter, and more desirable.

1.  Start with a Clean Slate

Before you can worry about where to place furniture and which wall hanging should go where, each room in your home must be spotless. Do a thorough cleaning right down to the nitpicky details like wiping down light switch covers. Deep clean and deodorize carpets and window coverings.

2.  Stow Away Your Clutter

It’s harder for buyers to picture themselves in your home when they’re looking at your family photos, collectibles, and knickknacks. Pack up all your personal decorations. However, don’t make spaces like mantles and coffee and end tables barren. Leave three items of varying heights on each surface, suggests Barb Schwarz of Staged Homes in Concord, Pa. For example, place a lamp, a small plant, and a book on an end table.

3.  Scale Back on Your Furniture

When a room is packed...

‘Cape’ Lets You Fly Real Drones in the Real World… Over the Internet

The startup Cape calls itself “the world’s first online drone flight platform,” and they do exactly as the name implies: Cape lets you fly a real drone, in a real-world location, without ever leaving the comfort of your desk chair.

Sign up for the company’s public beta, and soon you’ll be invited to launch one of Cape’s drones placed all over California. Once you’re in, use your computer, tablet, or smartphone to launch and fly the thing—no pesky FAA certificate required, no worries about crashing an expensive investment, and (apparently) almost no lag between the controls and the drone.

We haven’t gotten access to the public beta just yet *shakes fist in the air*, but DPReview has and the setup seems pretty simple.

You simply pick an available DJI Inspire 1 along the coast or in the desert of California—each location is active at different times and days—read over the controls really quick, and hit enter to automatically take off. Once you’re in the air, you’ll be automatically fenced into a safe zone, kept at a legal altitude, and otherwise prevented from having too much fun at the expense of Cape’s fleet, but otherwise you’re free to fly around to your hearts’ content.

As a bonus, you never know what you’ll find....

7 Things You Should Know Before Buying a Foreclosed Home

You're ready to buy a home, but you're also looking for a bargain. A foreclosed home seems like the ideal solution: You know that foreclosed properties typically sell for less — sometimes much less — than homes listed and sold on the open market by real estate agents and owners.

But what you might not know is that buying a foreclosed property can also prove challenging to anyone who isn't a professional real estate investor. You might not know, either, that some foreclosed homes come with so much damage that the repairs needed to make them livable will quickly eat up any savings on their sales prices.

Then there's the matter of actually buying a foreclosure. Depending on how you buy such a property, you might find yourself competing with others who buy, repair, and sell foreclosures for a living. Trying to outbid these pros for your foreclosure is no easy task.

To sum up: Buying a foreclosure can be a challenge, one that could cost you plenty of time and money. Here are seven things you absolutely must know if you plan to buy a foreclosed property. 

1. Foreclosure Inventory Is Falling

It's becoming more difficult to find a foreclosed property today. That's because fewer homeowners are falling into foreclosure. According to RealtyTrac, foreclosures were reported on 1.08 million U.S. properties last year. That's a drop of 3% from 2014, and a huge fall of 62% from 2010. Back in 2010, more than 2.87 million U.S. properties had foreclosure filings against them.

2. You Can Buy Foreclosures in One of Two Main Ways

There are two main ways to buy a foreclosed home. In the first, lenders auction off homes after the owners of these homes stop paying their mortgages. These properties are then sold at public auctions. The second main way to buy a foreclosure — the way that works...

6 ways to screen your landlord

6 Ways to Screen Your Landlord

It’s standard practice for landlords to screen potential tenants. References, work history, banking information,
and even your Social Security number are fair game. But what about your landlord’s references? 
How concerned should you be about trusting someone you hardly know with your private information?

4 Ways To Recover From a Broken Budget

You’ve made your budget. Then, you forgot Christmas was coming and you want to buy gifts. Your A/C or heating bill went through the roof this month. The once-a-year bill arrives for the home owner’s association dues. You went out after work to grab a diet coke with some friends, and it turned into dinner, three glasses of wine, and an Uber ride home.

Budget busters – we’ve all had them. The best-laid plans can often get derailed for all kinds of reasons. Here are the best ways to fix your budget if you’ve gotten off track.

1. Take a deep breath

First is to recognize there is no perfect budget. That’s not an excuse for constant overspending though. The variable expenses in life – groceries, gas, utilities – mean you will always be a little over or a little under (preferably a little under) every month.

For example, you budgeted $500 for groceries and spent $493. Or you budgeted $200 for gas but gas prices went up, and you had to make an extra 2-hour drive somewhere, so it cost you $210 instead.

In other words – you’re human.


Not perfect.

Welcome to the club.

Action item: Recognize where you are over/under for a month and adjust next month’s budget as necessary. It can also be helpful to build in some fluff to those budget categories where you might expect some overspending. If you end up with extra at the end of the month – hooray!

2. Forgetting to budget for things

"I forgot to budget this year for the annual membership fee my new gym. It was $49 and not in the new 2017 budget." – Scott

See – eleven years of doing a budget and this stuff still happens.

And this was ...

School's Out!!

Image result for schools out

School is done - no more rushing around to beat the tardy bell! Now it's time for "Mom, can I have a snack" every 5 seconds!

We all love Summer here at The Mark Cabal Team and we also know that's when a lot of families start to consider downsizing (if they had a Senior graduate this year), upsizing (if their family is growing) or just trying to get closer to the school they wish to see their children in. Whatever the case, we are here to help put that plan together to get you where you need to be before school starts again! 

Call us if you have questions, poke around our website a bit - we have some information on school ratings under our "Buyers" link. We would love to be a valuable resource to you and your family!

Enjoy your Summer!