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As many homeowners are thinking of staying in their current house, but making some changes to update,

here are some handy tips:

1. Get more than one bid - Be sure the Contractor is licensed, and beware of a "low bid".

2. Get everything in writing - verbal agreements may be forgotten or denied.

3. Make the contract SPECIFIC. Include the clean up after the project and special requests, like saving fixtures or lumber.

4. Keep a Copy of the Contract.

5. Put Change Orders in writing. As you add or change your mind about details, don't just talk about them.

6. Confirm financial terms - determine the down payment and when draws will be made. Be sure the contractor understands the terms.

 Hanne Sagalowsky / hanne@daveperrymiller.com / 214-402-8200 / International Property Specialist

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While driving through Preston Hollow, amid the constant new construction, I see more and more homeowners that are remodeling and have had clients call to ask me for a name of a contractor.
Here are six tips for hiring a contractor for your project:

1. Get more than one bid - Be sure the Contractor is licensed, and beware of a "low bid".

2. Get everything in writing - verbal agreements may be forgotten or denied.

3. Make the contract SPECIFIC. Include the clean up after the project and special requests, like saving fixtures or lumber.

4. Keep a Copy of the Contract.

5. Put Change Orders in writing. As you add or change your mind about details, don't just talk about them.

6. Confirm financial terms - determine the down payment and when draws will be made. Be sure the contractor understands the terms.

 Hanne Sagalowsky / hanne@daveperrymiller.com / 214-402-8200 / International Property Specialist

 

 

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Losing a loved one is never a time when you want to think about real estate, but there is one thing that is very important to remember at that time.  When a loved one dies, who owns a property, or is the co-owner of a property (such as a spouse) it is very important to ask a Realtor to write you a "letter of value".  This "letter of value" needs to state the Realtor's opinion of value on the date of the death of your loved one.  Having this letter in a file will help tremendously if and when you decide to sell the property.  This letter can be helpful in other ways, also, such as to establish the value for a future restructuring of your finances.  I have just been contacted by a client who has remarried and they want to restructure ownership of the property in both names.  To do this, they need the value of the home when her husband passed away over 10 years ago. This task is much easier to accomplish in the months after a loss, rather than years later.  All it takes is one phone call.  Having a relationship with a Realtor can be beneficial in life, whether you ever need to buy or sell.  Call me anytime you have a real estate question or concern.

 Hanne Sagalowsky / hanne@daveperrymiller.com / 214-402-8200 / International Property Specialist

Hanne Sagalowsky
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Front Entrance on Thomas

2806 Thomas - State Thomas - 4 Bedroom - 3 Full baths - 2 Half baths - Elevator - 3 Car Garage

MLS# 13521659

A very unique upscale property in the heart of State Thomas with all the amenities of a Preston Hollow or Park Cities home. No Homeowner dues! Custom built by Mark Clifton with all the bells and whistles. Light and bright throughout. As you enter the elegant entry on the first floor, you are met with a sweeping staircase and a living area complete with built-in bookcases. Also on the first floor are a study, a private bedroom with bath, and a half bath. The study opens to the first floor patio through French doors. Ascend the staircase to the 2nd floor. The main living area with a wood burning fireplace, a gourmet kitchen, a formal dining, and a climate controlled wine closet, and a silver closet. The dining room is oversized, able to accommodate a table of 12. French doors to three balconies from the 2nd Floor \2013 one facing the front of the property, one from the kitchen and one from the dining room. Reach the 3rd floor either by one of two staircases or the elevator (that services all floors). The Marvelous Master bedroom has a sitting room porch with a \201CJuliet\201D balcony and a fabulous master bath, complete with a jetted tub, a separate shower, dual sinks, a wall of built-in drawers, and walk-in closets. Bedrooms 3 and 4 are also located on the 3rd floor, along with the utility room and a landing and window seat area at the top of the stairs. Immaculate 3 car garage. Outside the garage are 3 spaces for off street parking that belong to this property. Downtown living at its finest. Walking distance to the Arts district, Klyde Warren Park, sporting events, and restaurants.

Hanne Sagalowsky / hanne@ebby.com / 214-402-8200 / International Property Specialist

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The Texas Association of Realtors, TAR, works for you every day. TAR is made up of Realtor members, like myself, who stay abreast of legal issues that affect homeowners, Realtors, and their clients. One of the main goals of TAR during the 85th legislative session is to educate property owners about what TAR calls the Hidden Property Tax.  TAR believes the local taxing entities are hiding behind increased appraisals to justify increases in their budgets ... even as local officials claim they have not raised taxes.  An increase in property value should not be an automatic increase in property tax revenue.  IF more revenue is needed, a more honest and transparent conversation needs to occur so taxpayers completely understand why.  The current system is confusing, and it ends up with more Texans seeing a hidden property tax increase.  As a Realtor, I join with TAR to encourage consumers to contact their legislators about this issue.  

Here is how you can help:

Got to the Appraisal Lookup on HiddenPropertyTax.com - here you can see the 5-year history of a property's appraised value and tax assessment.
Sign up to receive updates.
Follow the Hidden Property Tax on Facebook and Twitter as we find examples of misinformation about property taxes across Texas.

Hanne Sagalowsky / hanne@daveperrymiller.com / 214-402-8200 / International Property Specialist

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Have your filed the Texas Homestead Exemption on your home? Now is the time. If you bought a new home last year and owned that home on January 1st of this year, you are eligible for the Texas Homestead Exemption.  This exemption provides certain protections to homeowners and a reduction of your property taxes.  To file for this exemption, go to the www.dallascad.org, search your address, and find the Homestead Exemption form that is posted.  If THE previous owner had this exemption, it might still show as filed on this home, but BE SURE to CHANGE TO YOUR NAME, or the current exemption will fall off at the end of the year. If you are not a new homeowner, it is still good to check to see that the exemption was actually filed on your property.  If you find that it was not, you can contact the County Appraisal District and back file for 2 years for the reduction of your property taxes.  

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Hanne Sagalowsky

Sellers of homes in the United States, which includes Dallas...need to be mindful of the abundance of Chinese investors in the real estate market.  A new policy was announced by China's foreign exchange regulator on January 1, 2017.  A policy has been in place for years that Chinese citizens could only transfer up to U.S. $50,000 legally out of mainland China. The new policy keeps this limit, but now requires individuals to fill out a form describing the purpose of their foreign currency transfer.  The purpose cannot be for real estate investment, but can be for travel, education, and other reasons.  Chinese investors have found ways around these controls, and we expect that they will continue to do so.  This is "news you can use" if you are selling, and you receive an all cash offer from a Chinese buyer.  It would be good practice to ask for proof of funds showing that the funds needed to close are already on deposit in an American account. Stay tuned for more "News You Can Use from Hanne"!

Hanne Sagalowsky / hanne@daveperrymiller.com / 214-402-8200 / International Property Specialist

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Your son or daughter would like to buy a house, in Preston Hollow or Park Cities where they grew up, but their income will not allow for a mortgage.  In the present real estate market prices are higher than young people can afford.

There is an arrangement known as "shared equity", where you - as an investor - own a portion of the property with your child.  
Here is an outline of how "shared equity" can work.
The title to a property is taken on a 50-50 split. The owner-occupant and the owner-investor each pay 50% of the monthly mortgage costs and taxes. Both parties are entitled to deduct their share  of the mortgage interest and the real estate taxes from their income.  The owner-occupant pays rent to the owner-investor.

There are a few legal requirements for the Shared Equity Program.
1) The owner-occupant must pay a fair market rental for the portion that they do not own.
2) There must be an equity sharing agreement, in writing and signed prior to the purchase of the property.
3) One of the owners must occupy the property as their principal residence.
4) The ownership interest in the property must be for more than 50 years. This does not mean that the shared equity contract has to run for more than 50 years. Most shared equity agreements run between 3-7 years. As long as you own the property outright (in "fee simple"), this satisfies the fourth legal requirement.

This is a very streamlined shared equity requirement list. There are many other versions depending on your finances.
This plan is best suited to:
-Parents in a high tax bracket who want to help a child with a down-payment & closing costs
-Children in a high bracket who want to help retired parents purchase a home.
-A friend who wants to lend money to a buyer to assist in a home purchase.
-An investor interested in residential real estate investment who is looking for a solid, limited risk purchase
-Potential buyers with limited savings - but good income - who need a bigger house than they can currently afford

The possibilities of shared equity are unlimited. All that is required is careful planning, a well drafted agreement, and a full understanding of the tax and financial considerations of such a transaction.

For more information regarding this possibility, call Hanne.

Hanne Sagalowsky / hanne@daveperrymiller.com / 214-402-8200 / International Property Specialist

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The real estate world continues to grow ever smaller thanks to advances in technology and transportation that connect buyers and sellers thousands of miles apart. Therefore, strategic agents with a global mindset — like Hanne Sagalowsky –grow ever more essential to the future success of residential real estate firms. For this reason, Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate is thrilled to announce the addition of the native Dane to the luxury brand’s roster.

In 1989, when Hanne was transitioning from a teaching career to residential real estate, she told her fellow rookie agents during training she was going to focus on having an international reach. She was laughed at.

However, her background as a foreign student (attending Indiana University for her B.A and M.A, and completing an International Baccalaureate program in Denmark), along with her genuinely adventurous personality, her interest in foreign languages (she is fluent in three), and her desire to learn, all told her to press on — this was the way to go! Fast forward to today, 25+ years into an incredibly successful global career, and it’s obvious her instincts were spot on.

“In getting to know Hanne,” firm founder Dave Perry-Miller says, “I was really intrigued to learn of her perseverance on this particular career path. She could see the bigger picture and was quite ahead of her time in doing the legwork to position her so well for today’s competitive market.”

Besides being a long-term top producer, Hanne continues to hone her expertise in this area. She is one of 2,300 real estate professionals worldwide with a CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist) designation. This means she completed rigorous course work that enables her to understand and guide the global buyer.  She recently attended theLuxury Portfolio International® Symposium in Berlin with an exclusive list of 150 professionals from 19 countries. Hanne also currently serves on the National Association of Realtors® Leadership Team as the liaison to all global committees — and is the only “Texan” on the team.

About her transition to the firm, Hanne says, “Servicing a luxury clientele discreetly and professionally is what Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate does best. Because of my knowledge of immigration laws, tax laws and currency fluctuations, and my regular exposure to international buyers and sellers, I can help bridge the gap with the high-end client looking to move to or from this fabulous cosmopolitan area.”

Hanne and her husband Arthur Sagalowsky, M.D., Professor of Urology, UT Southwestern Medical Center, are themselves residents of Preston Hollow, and have two adult children and two grandchildren, with two more on the way. They enjoy bi-coastal travel to visit their family, and love that their home in Dallas is right in the middle.

Hanne has garnered the following awards and credentials:

  • NAR® Leadership Team 2016
  • NAR President’s Liaison to Denmark & Sweden 2016
  • Chair, Strategic Planning Committee for Texas Association of Realtors 2016
  • RPAC Hall of Fame
  • Omega Tau Rho Medal for exceptional service to the Real Estate Profession
  • Past Recipient of the Lois Hair Bernays “Realtor of the Year” award
  • Past President Metro-Tex Association of Realtors
  • Board Member NAR
  • Past President & Director NTREIS (Regional MLS)
  • Graduate Realtor Institute
  • Certified Residential Specialist
  • Accredited Buyers’ Representative
  • Dallas Historic House Specialist

Hanne Sagalowsky / hanne@daveperrymiller.com / 214-402-8200 / International Property Specialist

 
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With all the current storm activity that came close to threatening Park Cities and Preston Hollow, it might be time to consider making a safe room in your own home.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) claims that such a "safe room" can give you "near absolute protection" from tornadoes and hurricanes.  This is taken from FEMA P-320: Taking Shelter from the Storm, Building a Safe Room For Your Home or Small Business. The article includes detailed geographical info, a risk assessment, and safe room designs.

"Near absolute protection means that, based on our current knowledge of tornadoes and hurricanes, the occupants of a safe room built according to this publication will have a high probability of being protected from injury or death."

Experts tell us that we usually only have 13 minutes warning of tornado.  Your best odds of survival are if you are at home and if you have a safe place to ride out the storm. There are several factors in constructing a safe room.  FEMA recommends a minimum of 7 X 10 feet, located in the home, outside of the home, or underground.  The basic cost to design and construct a safe room ranges from $8,000-$9,500 for an 8 X 8 foot space and $14,000-$17,000 for a 14 X 14 foot space.  A safe room can be even be retrofitted in an existing space in the home, such as an interior closet or pantry.

Even well constructed homes cannot withstand winds of more than 250 miles per hour. The safest place you can be is in a room constructed of reinforced concrete with no windows and a concrete floor or roof system.  The money spent on this item seems well worth it, if it should save your life and those of your loved ones.

Several companies in the DFW area specialize in construction of safe rooms. For additional information, contact Hanne Sagalowsky at the number below.

Hanne Sagalowsky / hanne@daveperrymiller.com / 214-402-8200 / International Property Specialist