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1/8/2013 McKinney 2013 Housing Forecast


2013 has arrived and so has the time where I look at the past year housing market to try and predict where we are headed. We saw an extreme turnaround this past year from a Buyer's market that was somewhat stagnant to a Seller's market.

Now, with this being said let me explain to some of you who may read this and ask"Why isn't my home selling?" This Seller's market is particularly true to homes under $250,000 that are in good to excellent condition. Homes that need a little work are selling but not with the multiple offers or near as quick as other properties. Why is this happening? Well, a couple of reasons. Inventory is WAY down, new home builders have raised their prices pushing first-time buyers into mainly resale. First-time buyers weren't hit by the recession like home owners were thus they have the credit and means to buy whereas home owners either had job, credit, and/or just loss of funds. This leads into the $300k market where homes are still moving slower due the recession residual effects. This market will pick up this year with interest rates staying low but I would not expect a large uptick in inventory. In the McKinney market overall I don't expect a large increase in new construction but will be more than 2012. -

I hope this provided a little in depth knowledge into our McKinney real estate market and what I believe we will be in store for...I know I am looking forward to it

If you have any questions you can email Chris Harden with The Harden Group/RE/MAX Four Corners at or call me at 214-491-7257. 

10/16/2012 Markets can change very quick!


At the beginning of 2012, I looked at the housing inventory numbers and was amazed at how down the numbers were over 2011. And for 5 years we were down 30% in McKinney to a little of 600 homes available. So, my economics background kicked and supply and demand hit me. Finally supply was down and our demand began strong so homes that had been on the market for awhile began to move.  The Buyer Market that had held strong for the last few years began to wain and  it began to even out for buyers and sellers.

So, throughout the summer the market held to a pretty even market as interest rates held at all time lows. Inventory started coming back as builders felt more secure and more new homes were put on to the ground. Now usually when this happens the supply and demand says more supply means softer market for sellers. But what builders did was increase their prices for their lower priced units and this has pushed first-time buyers into the resale market and increased demand. This has allowed those sellers who couldnt move before to move up into the new construction that builders have on the ground now. Now it is a sellers market. In less than a month, we have seen multiple offers become commonplace on homes under $200,000 within days of being on the market.

So what is my prediction. This is a healthy housing bubble as long as it is done steadily and slowly. This sellers market will continue for probably another 6 months and we will see another evening out back towards buyers as sellers will want to take advantage next spring.

If you are a seller wanting to take advantage of this market now, give me a call at 972-396-9100 or email

10/12/2012 Brand vs No Brand #bringthebrand


I got involved in a debate on Facebook about whether a Realtor needs a brand name company or can make it doing their own brokerage. The funny thing was that a lot of the people telling me they didnt need a brand name were Keller Williams agents and that Gary Keller saysYou are the brand and to make your own brand Well, I hate to tell you this but you are KW brand. Sure, you may get your own color but it still says Keller Williams. Those listings are still Keller Williams brokerage listingsnot the agents. They belong to the KW brand. I was with KW for 8 years and finally asked the question Where is my $22,000 per year going? Not to bring me business. Its was going to pay for camps and a nice large office to recruit big eyed new agents. Not to help the agents who were already there working.

One Realtor from a mom and pop transaction fee company saidBuyers dont search for a brand, they search areas and how you are listed on search engines That is a GREAT philosophy if you are a Buyers agent waiting on the next deal. I believe in building a business through listings. I am able to get those listings because RE/MAX I represent gives me the tools to get the listings and market my sellers to attract buyers. My office alone averages 140-150 leads a month from people searching properties on I can bet I know what that mom and pop generates per month off its site. Onemaybe two buyers for its sellers and agents. Small brokerages like this are great in small towns and areas where everyone knows them but not in the larger areas.

My belief is that Realtors must have a brand name behind them. I am proud to be a RE/MAX agent broker because I know my company gives my clients the best tools and gives me the best opportunity to succeed. I dont mind spending my money for RE/MAX advertising because I know that money is for good usenot a camp or to just to a broker.  To increase business for existing and new agents. To give them a chance to succeed. I love the RE/MAX brand.

If you have a question on the RE/MAX brand or real estate please feel free to email me at or call at 972-396-9100. #bringthebrand, #remax

10/9/2012 Not a problem...but still a problem


I love real estatethe highs and lows. Well, I like the highs much better than the lows, but I love real estate nonetheless. It is different every day. Always something new and you never know what that next phone call is going to bring you. In 2008 the real estate market had a huge problem and in turn had a huge correction(kinda like the stock market). There was too much inventory and we were feeding unqualified buyers on a so-so demand. Interest rates were excellent at 5%. But now we have a different problem.and it is a good one. There is not enough inventory for buyers who are qualified. Builders cannot keep homes on the ground and first-time home buyers are finding deals.

So why is not enough inventory good? This is a simple economics issue. When supply cannot meet demand then this causes price increases thus those sellers who were underwater are now seeing daylight and able to move. In our market(North Texas or DFW) we are seeing multiple offers still in October. Buyers are getting into bidding wars on average homes that would not see an offer a few years ago.

Now this does not mean to go out and try to make a fortune on your home. We still have to look at market guidelines and appraisers to make sure we are not going to have issues. But rates are expected to stay low through the end of the year and we are not seeing a slow down. Even in an election year.

So, when you are ready to move that home you have been sitting on give The Harden Group call at 972-396-9100 or email at Remember, no one sells more homes than RE/MAX

9/28/2012 Scab Refs are like Scab Realtors
I am a big sports fan. I love football, baseball...I can even watch soccer. So, this issue with the replacement referees really struck me that the replacement refs are kind of like replacement Realtors. How are they alike? Well, very little experience overall, did not know the rules correctly, and got the teams into bad situations. When you are looking for a Realtor to handle one of your most expensive investments, do you want an inexperienced agent who does not know the contracts and could get you into legal trouble, or do you want the experience of a RE/MAX agent and The Harden Group to work for you.

Here is the truth about Realtors...WE ARE NOT ALL ALIKE! I am sure you know a Realtor...probably you know 3 Realtors. The difference is that there are too many "replacement" Realtors who thought this job looked fun and easy money. Too many of these replacements cannot explain a contract or the issues that can arise due to a bad offer that they are trying to talk you into accepting because all they can see is the commission. One thing that Realtor will not tell you because they probably don't know is that it is illegal for a Realtor to put his commission ahead of the clients best interest. It's called Ethics.

When you are ready for a Real Realtor and not a Replacement give me a call at 214-491-7257 or email at
9/11/2012 Housing Trends

The home building industry has definitely changed over the decades but it has really changed in the past 10 yrs. In our area if you look at homes from the 1970's probably you think of Fox and Jacobs very cookie cutter with closed off square rooms with a maximum living space of about 2000 sq ft. In the 1980's homes started growing in size and two stories became more common but still had the closed atmosphere but sizes began to grow up to a max of 3000square feet. The 90's saw homes sizes start to grow more and rooms began to open up. Homes became more custom but still had very similair feels.

 It was the turn of 2000 that homes really began to change. With the boom of the housing industry home sizes boomed as well. Custom homes were more common and builders really changed their styles to open flows. Tract home builders started expanding their sizes up to 5000 and home buyers were enamored with the sizes and price per square foot they could now buy. What is something else that grew when buyers bought these larger homes? UTILITY BILLS. Most did not think about the cost the cool and heat these properties.
So, what is the trend now? Downsizing. Homeowners have grown tired of living for their homes and paying the high utility costs. Home builders are taking note too and we are seeing homes now being built around 3300 sq ft instead of 4300 sq ft that was normal 10yrs ago.

How long will donwsizing continue? Well, if you follow the trends the next change will occur 2020.

If you have any questions about the real  estate market and housing trends please don't hesitate to contact me at 214-491-7257 or email at

8/29/2012 North Texas Plants...flower edition


Okay, let me preface this by saying I am an outdoors kinda guy. Love hunting, fishing,sportsyou know masculine stuff. But, I do like planting flowers and having them grow. I guess it is getting my hands dirty and watching a sense of accomplishment.

Here is our Dallas/Fort Worth area we have a rich dark clay soil that can stay moist if mulched and our plants do well in if planted right. And, by right I mean shade, sun, or partial sun/shade flowers planted where they belong. If you plant a shade flower  to get afternoon sun you might as well put it out of its misery because it will be gone in a week. If you plant a sun plant in a shaded area it will never grow and eventually shrivel from too much moisture.

Lets start with sun plantsthese are my favorites. First, for flowers Marigolds and Zinnias are fantastic. You have to dead head the marigolds when the flower dries but you can put the dead head into the ground to come back next year. Same with Zinnias. Marigolds do have a bit of an odor to them though. Both of these you can buy in small six-packs fairly inexpensively from Home Depot or Lowes. Another plant that does well in the sun are Lantana. They tend to grow more wild and will take up space pretty quick so you dont need but two or three to take up space. These you can cut back in the fall and leave the root to come back next year. Another flower that does well in sun is Phlox. There are a lot of varieties of these but they do well in planters and hanging baskets.

Okay, shade flowers I usually go with the tried and true Begonias. These make an excellent border, come in different colors, have a nice dark green waxy leaf and tend to stay flowering until first frost. Daisys andHydrangeas also do well but tend to be a bit more finicky. Hydrangeas do need a lot of water and the soil has to be right and if so will get fairly large.

For Partial Sun I like bulbs. They come back every year and take up great space. Hostas I do in a row and they come in a variety of types so it gives you a choice of leaf types and sizes. You can also do Day lilys,Iris, Dahlias, and Cannas. A lot of my flower beds are done in bulbs so I am not replanting every year. Now bulbs do attract grubs so if they start to be a problem I would almost bet that is the issue. Otherwise bulbs are great.

Well, that is my take on flowers in the North Texas area. If you have any questions please feel free to email me at or call me at 972-396-9100. The Harden Group and RE/MAX Four Corners are here to help you with your real estate needs



Almost everyone has a hobby. Some people like fishingsome like scrapbooking. Me? I like landscaping. I have always liked getting my hands dirty and making something grow. Seeing a new flower bed take shape and having a life of its own is very rewarding plus adds a lot of appeal to a home. There a lot of varieties of shrubs to choose from. Our climate makes it really easy to maintain shrubs with very little fertilizing.

I will tell you I am not much into shrubs. They are a staple, however, of most flower beds. Shrubs add a good background and add height. They allow you to tier the bed depending on the shrub and how you shape it. One of the most common shrubs in our area is the Holly. They come in a variety of species and are evergreens so keep their color all year when your flowers die out during winter. My favorite shrub though is theLoropetalum. They have a green and purple color and put out a purple flower. Typically they dont bigger than 3 feet but can easily be shaped. They can get wild if you dont control them but are very adaptable to climates. Nandinas area also popular in our area and come is a wide variety of species from dwarfs to firecracker. Nandinas though are typically smaller to the under 2 ft size and stay in a more compact shape. Then is you want to really go native look at the Texas Sage. It has a lighter green leaf and not as dense but does keep a purple flower and adds character. Being a more native plant they do tolerate heat and dry climate very well.  Of course I have found that once a shrub has rooted well it can handle dry and hot climates well.  If you like a shrub to be more of a barrier then I recommend the Red Tip Photinia. They can grow up to 15ft and flower during early summer. Red tips are very common here for blocking views and make a great barrier.

In the next few days I will go over flowers and trees. Yes, I am a flower guy strange as that may sound. So I may get a little long winded(blogged) on that one

If you have any questions on our North Texas area both in landscaping and real estate give us a call or email. You can reach me at 214-491-7257. The Harden Group works hard for you!

8/23/2012 McKinney #2 Best Place to Live
Established in 1848, McKinney is one of northern Texas' oldest towns. Stroll around downtown, and you'll see cotton mills and feed stores transformed into hip boutiques and art galleries.

The city offers plenty of housing options, from starter homes to old Victorians and "Texas-style" five-bedrooms. Low taxes have lured companies with white-collar jobs in technology and energy, a new hospital opened in July, and a conference center and hotel complex is in the works.

McKinney's location on the fringes of the Dallas area means commuters have a longer drive downtown, but also easy access to rolling green hills, golf courses, and leafy open spaces lacking in neighboring towns.

This is from CNN Money Magazine. I have to agree...McKinney is a great city with small town charm yet big city amenities and close enough to Dallas and Fort Worth. If you are thinking about a move to our area...come visit McKinney. You will love our small town charm.

8/21/2012 Rental Market is still booming
I saw this article in Kiplinger's and just had to remark how true it is even in a small market like McKinney. This really applies to all over the nation from what I have read and heard. Here is the statement I saw:
Look for the next housing bubble to be in the rental market. Rental rates will rise over 5% by 2013 with rates continuing to increase in apartments. Landlords are receiving multiple applications and are able to be more selective in their tenants.

Even with interest rates at all time lows, it is still difficult to get loans for buyers who were in caught in the housing bubble and have bruises on credit due to foreclosures or short sales. Thus rentals are flying!

If you are a landlord or want to get into the investment market then now is the time...not next year...NOW!

Give us a call at 972-396-9100 or email at The Harden Group is here for your real estate investment needs.


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Contact Me

Chris Harden
Direct: 214-491-7257
Mobile Phone: 214-491-7257
RE/MAX Four Corners
8930 State Hwy 121 Ste 586
McKinney, TX 75070
Office: 972-396-9100

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