May Newsletter- from Sports Car to Tractor

As we are now at the end of May, school is out and we are entering into summer. We hope that you had a meaningful and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. The DFW markets are hot but flat. The spring and summer seasons are typically the hottest selling seasons compared to fall and winter. 2019 is no exception, however when comparing year over year numbers the markets are definitely slowing down. Prices were appreciating at sports car speed and now they are moving at “tractor pace”. When you live in the more rural parts of North Texas sometimes you get behind a tractor. You can’t pass and you wonder if you are moving at all. You can see the slowing pace of the YoY change in the median sales price for the month of April below.

Mortgage rates peaked in November and have been on the decline which has increased the number of refinances. Even with the lower rates, affordability becomes an issue as many buyers are becoming priced out of the market. Homes are staying on the market longer. The seller’s market is weakening and buyers are beginning to gain more leverage.

Freddie Mac Chart

Median Sales Price

APRIL 2019
Denton County
$315,000 | +0.6%

Collin County
$339,000 | +3.4%

Dallas County
$250,000 | +2.8%

Tarrant County
$240,000 | +2.1%
The median sales prices are just up slightly YoY- hence the “tractor pace”. 
 

Median Price Per Square Foot

APRIL 2019
 

Denton County
$140 | +1.4%

Collin County
$139 | +0.7%

Dallas County
$140 | +5.3%

Tarrant County
$124 | +4.2%
The price per square feet metrics are also showing nominal increases YoY. 

Days on Market

 
 
APRIL 2019
 

Denton County
51 | +18.6%

Collin County
59 | +25.5%

Dallas County
42 | +31.3%

Tarrant County
38 | +15.2%
The average number of days on the market has increased YoY, forcing sellers to lower their prices in order to sell. 

Months Supply of Inventory

APRIL 2019
 

Denton County
3.1 | +29.2%

Collin County
3.5 | +29.6%

Dallas County
3.1 | +29.2%

Tarrant County
2.1 | +10.5%
 
The supply is increasing moving us to a more balanced market.   Supply is between 2 and 3.5 months. 

Volume – Number of Sales

APRIL 2019
 

Denton County
1,367 | +6.8%

Collin County
1,503 | +4.9%

Dallas County
2,311 | +4.5%

Tarrant County
2,476 | +5.2%
The number of sales for April is still strong and increasing in all four counties. 

How to Prepare Your Home as You Age in Place

Check out our most recent blog post which is a guest post from Patrick Young. Do you know someone who is aging and might need some accommodations to their home? This post gives great tips on preparing your home as you age. If you would like to write a guest post for us, please email us at shannon@dwslaterco.com.

Great Cycle Challenge

This is our fourth year to participate in the Great Cycle Challenge for the month of June. We will ride 200 miles and are raising funds to help fight cancer. This year we are riding for our friend Mike who is in a very tough battle with esophageal cancer. We hate cancer and want to do what we can to help fight this disease. You can read more about our story and support our cause at with taxable donations to https://greatcyclechallenge.com/Riders/ShannonSlater

If you have questions or need appraisal services please contact us at www.dwslaterco.com.

Please note that the data above is from the NTREIS MLS database and Freddie Mac. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For appraisal services please contact us at www.dwslaterco.com.
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How to Prepare Your Home for Aging in Place

Enjoying Life at Any Age

This post is written by Patrick Young who has been a regular contributor to our blog.  Patrick is an advocate for those with disabilities and writes important information pertaining to those with disabilities. This article focuses on preparing your home as you age. This speaks personally to me as we have been helping my grandmother through some transitions as she ages.

How to Prepare Your Home for Aging in Place

Image courtesy of Unsplash

For many older adults, aging in place is a priority. In fact, some statistics indicate that 90 percent of seniors hope to stay in their homes as they grow older. If you’re considering changes to make your home more age-friendly, there are a couple of key strategies you should keep in mind. Read on for information to help you create an environment that will support you and keep you safe throughout your golden years.

Steer Clear of Falls

Stability is something we take for granted in our younger years. However, along with age can come serious risk for falls. In fact, HomeAdvisor notes that more than a third of adults over the age of 65 fall every year, so modifying your home with fall prevention in mind is important.

In order to make appropriate changes, it’s helpful to understand why seniors fall. Waning eyesight can be a major contributing factor since older eyes don’t adjust to changes in brightness as well as they used to. Aim for even, bright lighting throughout the home, adding task lighting as needed where you work. Pay special attention to dim areas where no natural light is available, such as hallways and staircases. If lights are already installed in those areas but navigation remains challenging, use brighter light bulbs. In addition to added lights, you can use paint to brighten a space and boost contrast, such as making a dark staircase easier to see.

You should also think about your home’s general structure. In the event that you should require an assistive device such as a cane, walker, or wheelchair, an uncluttered floor plan with wider-than-average hallways and doorways can be a boon. Also, think about where your most-used rooms are located. Having your bedroom, kitchen, bath, and laundry on the main floor is helpful when aging joints aren’t able to traverse stairs as well.

Beware of the Bath

As far as most dangerous spaces, bathrooms usually top the list for seniors. The combination of slick surfaces, water, and changes of position can lead to getting off-balance and not being able to recover. You can address those concerns with a little tweaking, making an otherwise tough-to-navigate space easier as you age. Consider adding non-slip strips to the tub and shower area, a bathmat outside the tub, and a comfort-height toilet. Grab bars should also be installed in three places: in the tub and shower area, near towel racks, and next to the toilet. Many people are concerned that grab bars will look institutional, but some newer grab bar designs blend seamlessly with decor, adding a spa-like feel.

Out and About

Your home’s exterior deserves some special considerations. Senior Health Memos notes that low-maintenance landscaping choices, such as evergreen shrubs and raised beds, make upkeep easier for older adults. Similarly, easy-care siding and some added hardscaping can keep you enjoying the great outdoors throughout your golden years. While you’re making upgrades to your home’s exterior, consider incorporating a ramp into the design. Ramps allow easier navigation to and from your home regardless of weather, and even when carrying bags or using a cane. Make sure that you can remain active into the evening hours by adding appropriate outdoor lighting on paths and porches.

Lastly, don’t overlook the garage. Being able to park your vehicle indoors helps you avoid getting outside in inclement weather. If your garage primarily serves as a storage room instead of parking space, do some decluttering and make accommodations for your car. Ensure you can come and go freely, with ample lighting and no tripping or slipping hazards.

Making a home into a safe haven for your senior years is a smart decision. Ensure it’s easy to tend and supports your changing needs. With a handful of well-chosen changes, you can comfortably look forward to aging in place.


This is a guest post from Patrick Young. Patrick created AbleUSA to offer resources to people with disabilities and offer advice about navigating various aspects of life. For more information and resources, you can contact Patrick at AbleUSA.


We do not sell real estate but appraise it.  If you would like to provide a guest post please contact us at www.dwslaterco.com.  It is our desire to provide you with relevant information in regards to real estate appraising and those who use appraisal services. 

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What is a Barndominium?

red barndominium

Do you watch Fixer Upper? Did you see the episode of the Barndominium? I truly believe the term “barndominium” was influenced by this episode of Fixer Upper. This alternative style of home is becoming more and more popular in the past few years. Basically, a barndominium is a style of home which is typically made of metal construction similar to barns. Sometimes they are attached to barns or workshops similar to the photo above or they could stand alone. These are unique homes and offer a certain lifestyle for those that love living in the country and the country lifestyle. We have seen them as barns that have been converted into living space or built designed as living space. Most of the time they are attached to barns and stall spaces.

Although the exterior of many barndominiums look like barns the interior are typically well designed, insulated and can have average to very high grade custom finishes. Here is the interior of a finished out interior barndominium:

Finished out interior of a barndominium

This style of home has actually been around a while but we have seen a recent increase in the number of barndominiums as well as an increase in prices. I agree with this article in realtor.com that this is a good term used to describe them. We used to call them “metal constructed homes” or “barnstyle homes”. Our local MLS (multi-listing service) added the term “barndominium” as a style of home in 2016 so it is now easier to search for this style of home. Prior to 2016, it was more difficult to track them as they were listed in the MLS as various types of alternative construction. You can see this chart how within the past 2 and 1/2 years in our markets barndominiums are appreciating:

Barndominiums are a Lifestyle Choice

We have seen a rise in the number of barndominiums we have appraised as well as sales in our North Texas markets. We believe that this is a great choice for those that prefer a more country lifestyle. When the living space is attached to your barn stalls, wash rooms, and tack rooms, it is convenient to go and tend to your animals within your space. Once, David, was appraising a barndominium and the new owners had just arrived from out of town. As they were in the kitchen and David was observing the interior, they had forgotten to shut on the doors and this beautiful horse strolled in and joined them all in the kitchen. They calmly led the horse back out the door into his stall but it illustrates the lifestyle of a barndominium. I liken it to those that enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of the city may prefer living in a high rise, those that prefer the sights, smells and sounds of the country may prefer living in a barndominium.

Sometimes the barndominium is a converted space in the barn and used as a living area until the future main house is built. Sometimes the barndominium is designed as guest quarters or for ranch hands and other times they are the main living area and designed as such from the beginning.

Appraising Barndominiums

Appraising barndominiums can be tricky as they are a more unique style of home. As more barndos (how many shorten the term), become available on the market, they become a bit less complex. Some of the things that appraisers will look for:

Main Space or Extra Space– We have appraised some properties where the barndominium is a guest house or perhaps living quarters for a ranch hand. If the living space is not a part of the main living area, it will not be included in the main living area but as an additional feature. You can read more about living area here: What Counts as Living Area in an Appraisal?

Quality– The quality of construction will be considered in the appraisal as not all barndominiums are of the same quality. Just as some custom homes have higher grade finishes and features, the same can be found in barndominiums. It is important to compare barndominiums with similar quality of construction if possible.

Lot Size– Barndominiums are typically on acreage and the size of the acreage will have an impact on the appraisal. Ideally, if an appraiser is appraising a 2,500 sq ft barndominium on 10 acres, they would love to find comparables of similar sized sq ft on as close 10 acres as possible.

Location– as always in real estate, location is the biggest factor influencing value. A barndominium located next to a river will have a much different value than a barndominium located next to a cement plant. In our markets, there are entire subdivisions of barndominiums on 5-10 acre lots. These subdivisions are designed for an equestrian lifestyle and are located in areas where the soil is of sandy loam and most suitable horses. The locations with sandy soil have many more equine properties as well as equine hospitals, supply stores and services available. Barndominiums in these locations sell for higher prices than those located outside the more suitable soil.

Additional Buildings & Features– Appraisers will also take into consideration additional improvements to a property such as workshops, mulitple barns, arenas, fencing, etc. All of the features are to be taken into consideration for contributory values.

Barndominium converted from original barn

What do you think of Barndominiums? Have I left anything out? Would this be a style of home for you?

If you have any questions about appraising barndominiums or other real estate feel free to reach out to us at www.dwslaterco.com

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