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Learn about real estate & homes for sale in Van Alstyne,TX & the surrounding communities of Anna, Melissa, Howe and all of North Texas.

Van Alstyne as well as the adjoining  cities are great places to call home. I often describe our area as being like Mayberry. We have a rural feel but are close enough that you can get into ahem…..Dallas or  ahem….DFW Airport in a reasonable amount of time.

Life is much easier here. You go to the post office and people say HELLO, HOW ARE YOU DOING? Guess what? They actually mean hello and they really want to know how you are. Refreshing isn’t it? Van Alstyne is a great place to raise a family with fine schools, plenty of downtown businesses and a down home feeling. It’s not a good practice but you could leave your keys in the car here and there is about a 99.9% chance they would still be there upon your return.

I hope you enjoy and comment on this blog, visit the Van Alstyne area and call me if you need help finding a Van Alstyne home for sale or marketing your current home regardless of its location. My trusted spotted horses can help you spot the perfect home or buyer.  Please feel free to change the search to other areas & let me know if you need agent referral. I would be glad to help!

Keith Laursen  – The TX Home Spotter – A Fathom Realty Realtor – 469-233-1234Realtor Keith Laursen's Red Fathom Realty Logo

Search by city on the menu or click on the icons to go directly to subdivisions in Van Alstyne. Explore the other features of the site and please visit and like VanAlstyneHomes on Facebook!

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Texas Real Estate Commission Consumer Protection Notice and Information About Brokerage Services.

98 Northridge – Van Alstyne,TX – FOR LEASE

Are you looking for a yearly lease home within the Van Alstyne ISD? This home is just a short distance from Van Alstyne High School tucked away in small neighborhood. Less than 2 miles north of the Van Alstyne exit from Hwy 75 you will have easy access to downtown, restaurants, retail and major roads including Hwy 75 and Hwy 5.

Available for immediate occupancy @ $1300 per month. Contact Keith Laursen 469-233-1234

Keeping Current Matters

Current national real estate news and items of interest to increase your knowledge of the real estate market.

Don’t get dogged when selling your home!

Before you think about listing your home for sale, there are a few things you need to get straight. One of them is your pets, how they act and what you should do with them. From a stern talking to, caged in the garage or a trip to dog day care you have to plan for home showings.

Ten Pet Questions to Consider

Is your dog or pet up to date on shots?
The last thing you want is a lawsuit because Buffy the poodle wasn’t up to date on her rabies shots.

Is it registered as required by law?
There is never a problem until there is one, so like above make sure you have followed all the rules for permits where you live.

Is it a dangerous breed as defined by your insurance?
Many breeds are considered dangerous by insurance companies. Your Pit Bull may be the most mellow dog you have ever owned but consider removing dangerous breeds or inquire about short-term insurance if available.  Advise your Realtor so they can note about them in the MLS listing’s private remarks. No home buyer likes to be surprised when confronted with the undisclosed Mastiff.

How does it handle strangers?
Some animals love strangers and others want to eat them.  Be sure to let your real estate agent know your pet’s name and if it will respond to basic commands like No!

Is it chipped in case it get’s out?
Sometimes dogs and cats can’t wait to dart out the front door.  In the event that happens you need to be able to locate them.  Having your animal chipped just makes sense and you a responsible owner.

If it escapes, will it come when called?
Does Duke know his name or is he deaf when someone says, “Duke, get back here right now”.

Will fleas attack visitors?
Hopefully this won’t be an issue but make sure you have handled any bugs lurking in the couch or on Fido.  Nothing is more memorable when house hunting than an itch.

Will it distract guests?
If your dog(s) bark constantly when strangers arrive you may want to consider boarding. Also if you have a strange pet like a snake or some other exotic creature consider how buyers feel about them.  It may be normal for you to have a Tasmanian Devil in the bedroom but not everyone will feel the love.   You want the buyer to think about buying a home vs. your choice of pets.

How are its bathroom habits?
If your pet is named Farty Dan, please make proper arrangements. I listed a home once with a mild-mannered Boston Terrier that could run free in the home and not bother strangers.  The only issue was he had a bad case of diarrhea all over the home before an important showing. If you have cats, please take care of the litter box before a home showing.

What will you do on short notice?
Showings can happen from a sign call.  Ideally, you will want to leave the home so you should know how you will handle your pet.  Take them for a short walk or ride, to the neighbors or to doggy day care.

I hope those pet questions help.  We all love our pets but when selling your home you have to plan ahead.  Call me for other home selling tips and let’s get you moving!

4 Mistakes to Avoid the First Time You Buy Or Sell A Home

If it’s your first time buying or selling real estate, you don’t know what you don’t know. There are tons of potential pitfalls and challenges along the way that it’s hard to anticipate when you don’t know what to expect.

But luckily for you, most of the missteps taken by first time buyers and sellers are pretty universal, which means you can learn from their mistakes and avoid falling into the same traps.

Here are four common real estate mistakes to avoid the first time you buy or sell a home:

1. Thinking you know the right price

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The price of a home – whether you’re buying or selling – is one of the most important components of a real estate transaction. But there’s a lot more that goes into pricing than what meets the eye.

Pricing a home is a kind of science. There are so many factors that come into play – time of year, current market conditions, how quickly homes are selling the neighborhood, the current value of the home. The real estate agent takes all of those factors into consideration when coming up with the right price for a home.

Without a real estate background, it’s impossible for you to understand all of those conditions and how they affect the price of a home. If you’re selling, you’re likely to think your home should sell for a higher price because of the value it holds for you. If you’re buying, you’re likely to think a property should sell for less because that means a better deal on your end.

But ignoring your real estate agent’s pricing advice because you think you know what the price of a property should be is a mistake. As a seller, you’ll end up overpricing your house (which will leave it sitting on the market). As a buyer, you’ll end up lowballing your offer (and losing the house in the process).

The first time you’re buying or selling a home, it’s your best bet to leave the pricing to the experts. Your real estate agent will always work to get you the best deal – and keep you from pricing yourself out of the deal you want.

2. Not budging on negotiations

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Another mistake first time buyers and sellers make is being too rigid when it comes to negotiations.

Most real estate transactions require a bit of compromise. As a seller, you might need to give in on some of your buyer’s demands and as a buyer, you might need to work with the sellers a bit in order to close the deal. It’s just the way real estate works. And if you’re not willing to give an inch, the deal can very quickly go south.

Now, just to be clear: you should never compromise TOO much. Don’t compromise on the things that are important to you. But if a minor repair is all that’s standing between you and closing your real estate deal, giving in can be much easier than walking away.

3. Not thinking outside of the box

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If there’s a mistake that nearly all first time home buyers make during their home search, it’s not thinking outside of the box.

Most first time buyers have a very specific idea of what they’re looking for in a home. And while it’s fine to know what you want, refusing to look at properties that don’t check off every single item on your wish list is a major mistake – a mistake that can keep you from finding a home you’re in love with.

If you want to find a home you love, it pays to get creative and see as many properties as possible. Have certain non-negotiables (like a specific number of bedrooms or a designated outdoor space) but allow for some wiggle room on everything else. You’ll end up seeing more properties, and who knows? You might fall in love with a house that’s totally different from what you thought you wanted – a house you would never have seen if you didn’t think outside of the box.

4. Trying to do everything on your own



Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make the first time you buy or sell a home is trying to do everything on your own.

Buying or selling a home is not only hard work, but it requires a certain level of knowledge and expertise. You need to know where to look for hot properties, how to market to buyers, how to negotiate, how to file all the paperwork… if you’ve never bought or sold a home, it can be completely overwhelming.

Which is why you need a real estate agent to walk you through the process. When you work with a great real estate agent, they make the experience of buying or selling a home easier, faster, and more profitable.

Trying to do everything on your own is a mistake. But hiring a real estate agent can quickly rectify that.

Buying or selling your first home can be overwhelming. But now that you know the most common mistakes to avoid, you’re well on your way to a stress-free first time buyer or seller experience.

8961 FM121 Van Alstyne, TX 75495 For Sale!

8961 FM121 Van Alstyne, Tx Home For SaleUPDATE – OFF MARKET

Coming Soon!  MLS#13653995

You can own this nice brick 3 bedroom 2 bath country home on 6 acres within the Van Alstyne ISD.  It is only 2.5 miles east of Historic Van Alstyne for easy access to Hwy 75 and Hwy 5.  Just 18 miles from McKinney or Sherman, Van Alstyne is located in the path of progress but still has that country feel.  There are three bedrooms, office, two baths and a room currently used as an exercise room in this 2370 sf rural home.

Porch swing at 8961 FM121 Van Alstyne, TX 75495

The neighbors won’t bother you here, it is surrounded by a large tract of country land to the north and a horse farm across the street to the south.  The pasture with seasonal tank is on the east corner of Hynds Ranch Rd. and FM 121.

Spread out in the expansive living room with wood burning fireplace, kitchen pass through and a mud-room big enough for a washer, dryer, freezer and folding space. The 15 x 15 master bedroom even includes a small sitting room to enjoy a good book, use as a mini office or perfect as a nursery.  The office and exercise room could easily be used as bedrooms by building a closet or using an armoire.

RV Storage at 8961 FM121 Van Alstyne, TX 75495Park your boat or RV under cover and make use of a 30 x 50 metal building split for storage and livestock. There is an additional small pasture on the west with access to stall area.

30 x 50 building at 8961 FM121 Van Alstyne, TXThe 30 x 50 shop is split for half shop and half livestock.  The livestock end has two dutch doors leading to a small pasture.

Contact Van Alstyne Realtor, Keith Laursen with Fathom Realty for your private showing today!

1783 Hackberry Rd. Van Alstyne, TX – SOLD!

Front of 1783 Hackberry Rd. Van Alstyne,TX 75495SOLD

The 15 acre listing at 1783 Hackberry Rd has increased to 18 acres including a 30 x 30 metal storage building with only a minimal price change.

This beautiful 4 bedroom home for sale is located close in and within the sought after Van Alstyne ISD. It is ready for immediate showings. The additional acreage makes it an even better value offering you more pasture, a nice building with concrete floor, electric and a roll up door on each end.  A nice home on acreage within the school district is getting very hard to find.

This land has it all including an Ag Exemption, 2 stocked ponds, cross fenced pastures, privacy and fantastic views. It is in an area of nice homes with a rural atmosphere but only minutes from town, Grayson Community College and Hwy 75. You can live in the country and be within apx. an hour of major lakes, Dallas and DFW Airport.  People don’t realize how close Van Alstyne’s location is to entertainment, airports, and recreation.  Let’s take a quick look at a map to show you where you can be in about an hour.

Put your toys in the storage building or three car garage and enjoy a cup of coffee on the east or west facing covered porches. Inside you will find 4 bedrooms with one upstairs off of a large den. Got mud on your shoes? Just take those boots off in the large mud and laundry room. This home is exceptionally clean and offers easy living. Get more information and take a look at a few pictures of this wonderful property.

Call Keith Laursen at 469.233.1234 for more information or a private showing.

1783 Hackberry Rd. Van Alstyne,TX 75495 Home and 15 Acres

1783 Hackberry – Van Alstyne ISD – Country Home on Acreage
MLS# 13595957


1783 Hackberry Rd. Home on 15 acres in the Van Alstyne ISD

Country Living in Van Alstyne

Leave the traffic and stress behind and live your country dream in this 2,830 sf. ranch home on 15 beautiful acres less that five miles west of charming Van Alstyne.  Properties like this are rare to find within the Van Alstyne school district.

Very peaceful setting with 2 ponds, cross fenced and comes with vast country views and sunsets for your relaxation. Bedrooms down with a large den and guest bedroom up. There is plenty of cabinet space, large mud room and 3 car garage.

This Van Alstyne,TX  property is surrounded by nice homes and large land tracts that make this a very desirable location with easy access to Hwy 75 via neighborhood roads and FM121. Only 18 miles to McKinney, Sherman or a little over an hour to DFW airport. In VAISD!

Texas Longhorn at 1783 Hackberry Rd. Van Alstyne,TX 75495Make your moo ve – included two Texas Longhorns! Buy the adjoining 8.44 acres before someone else does. – MLS # 13595045 for over 23 acres of country living!

This fantastic home for sale is listed by Fathom Realty Realtor, Keith Laursen.  Don’t wait to contact Keith at 469-233-1234

More Info

1783 X Hackberry Rd. Van Alstyne – 8.44 Acres

1783 Hackberry Rd. Van Alstyne,TX 75495 8.44 Acres 


1783 Hackberry 8.44 Acre parcel looking west.A hard to find nice level 8.44 acres within the Van Alstyne ISD for sale in a rural area of very desirable homes apx. 5 miles from the Hwy 75 and FM121 Van Alstyne exit.  Van Alstyne is a small rural community in the path of rapid growth half way (18 miles) between the cities of McKinney and Sherman,TX.

This land is made up of two parcels consisting of one 8 acre parcel and a .44 acre parcel for access with a little over 100 ft of road frontage.  Beautiful country view to the west and surrounded by nice homes with a country feel.  In addition to a nice level building site there is even a small metal shop building with two roll up door doors for equipment storage or use as a shop.

Virtual Tour

An adjoining 4 bedroom apx 2830 sf. home on 15 acres also for sale. Put them together to enjoy your country dream!  Contact Van Alstyne Realtor, Keith Laursen with Fathom Realty for information at 469-233-1234.

Shop building and overhead showing surrounding home for sale:
1783 Hackberry Shop PictureOverhead of 1783 Hackberry Van Alstyne,,TX 75495 8.44 acre parcels

Home Buyers, Interest Rates and Brexit

BREXIT: What’s the FIXIT for U.S. Home Buyers and Sellers?

BREXIT: What’s the FIXIT for U.S. Home Buyers and Sellers? | MyKCM

Now that much of the dust has settled and the panic has waned, let’s take a look at what impact Britain’s exit from the European Union may have on the U.S. housing market.  The most immediate impact of Brexit for home buyers will be on mortgage interest rates. Interest rates have remained at historic lows for the last several years. Contrary to what many experts believed, rates have remained low throughout the first half of 2016.

Possible impact of Brexit on mortgage rates?

In a recent article, the Washington Post explained:

“Brexit has spawned the recent bout of volatility in global financial markets. That has anxious investors scurrying for safety — and few assets are safer than U.S. Treasuries. High demand for government debt pulls down interest rates.

That all translates into ultra-low mortgage rates for American households. And with Britain voting for Brexit, they could go even lower.”

However, the lower rates caused by Brexit may be short lived as Trulia Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin pointed out in a recent post:

“While the departure of the UK from the European Union has driven down the 10-year bond, and thus mortgage rates, we expect them to rebound later in the year as uncertainty over the economic consequences of the departure lifts.”

Bottom Line

Rates are already at historic lows. The UK’s exit from the EU almost certainly guarantees they will remain low (and possibly go lower) over the next few months. If you were thinking of buying your first home or trading up to the house of your dreams, this may be the time to act. The cost of money may never be better for a potential buyer.

Some home buyers are concerned about paying to much in this multi- offer market.  While prices are being higher by supply and demand, the good news is home are still affordable due to these low rates.  Contact Keith Laursen, based in Van Alstyne when you are ready to find the home of your dreams.  I work all areas of Grayson and Collin Counties.

Property Tax Madness – Six Points To Consider

Property Tax Madness – Six Points To Consider

Guy mad about his property tax.It’s that time of year when the notices of appraised value go out and the tax madness begins!  Before you get your blood pressure up, consider these six points that can affect your real estate value and how you may have the wrong perspective about the notice.


Be Happy About Your Property Tax Increase

Your Real Estate Investment Paid Off

You often hear that real estate is one of the best investments you can make.  You need a home to live in so it might as well be a good investment vs. a bad one. If the value always stayed the same or worse, went down, you would probably be a renter or calling the, We Buy Ugly Houses guys!  When the Central Appraisal District notice of appraised value lands in your mailbox, don’t despair, celebrate!  You made an excellent decision and your investment is paying off.  The tax man is just saying congratulations, the county, Jr. college, city & Van Alstyne ISD wants to share in your good fortune.  Life is Good!


Fight the Central Appraisal District

If you don’t agree your dream home is worth more, you can always fight it.  You have 30 days to explain why your home is falling apart, your neighbor is being charged less for the same model or the new power lines have fried your home value.  Seriously, if you are going to fight your appraisal don’t go in with an attitude that you have been singled out personally. Go in with documentation for needed repairs, pictures of your homes condition and data showing the value of your property like a Realtor’s market analysis (CMA), actual appraisal or other documentation vs emotion.  You can play Perry Mason before the review board but the easy thing to do is opt for the informal review.  Just arrange a meeting, lay out your position and in most cases you can win an adjustment.

Hint – Don’t go in with a Zestiment or other real estate portal estimate or an Ad for home for sale in your neighborhood.  To find out why, read my past article on Zestiments or just click on the Zestiment link at the bottom of Zillows page, then read it and weep.  Zillow hasn’t been in your home and since Texas is a non-disclosure state, they don’t have accurate information on what your neighbor’s house sold for.


Focus on the Tax Increase vs. your Home Value Increase

Most people dread the notice and go bonkers as soon as they see an increase in value.  I recently had a property increase in tax value by $16,395.  Call out the national guard, everything is a year older and I didn’t even buy those fancy appliances. What you need to do is multiply the increase by the tax rate to find the actual increase in tax payment.  Since this property is in Van Alstyne, the tax rate is higher (2.8049) due to city taxes vs. being outside the city limits (2.1923).   If you do the math, my taxes increased $280.49.  If this property was out of the city limits it would have been a $219 increase.  Now ask yourself, do you want to spend the time gathering documentation, taking pictures and take off from work to spend a pleasant couple of hours going to Sherman and talking about taxes?   Obviously there is a point where it is worth it but for most people, the amount of increase isn’t large enough to fight the battle.


Did You Slide By Undervalued?

People often forget about the years without an increase or they were happy because they were undervalued.  How many times have you heard someone gleefully remark about an addition the tax office isn’t aware of?  Home owners often finish an attic space, convert a garage or enclose a screened in porch for additional living space.  Frequently the tax office figures this out from building permits but in the unincorporated areas like most of Grayson County, building permits are not required. By law, the appraisal district is required to re-evaluate your property every three years. They normally do it every year but if you live in a rural area or an area of little turnover, you might escape the tax man’s eyes. So be happy if the central appraisal district just discovered that deck you had the last five years!


Let’s Build A High School Football Stadium

Don’t forget that there are various entities that make up your rate detailed on the notice. One of the most expensive of these is the school system and it’s the most likely to raise the rate.  The next time a 63-million-dollar high school football stadium like McKinney is building sounds awesome, consider where that money comes from when you vote. If you are buying a home in a development be aware that sometimes they form special assessment districts for infrastructure improvements. In that scenario you pay the normal taxes, the HOA assessment and also the special assessment.


Claim Your Tax Exemptions!

You would be surprised at the number of people who neglect to take advantage of their entitled exemptions like homestead, over 65, disabled veteran/person or agricultural.  Make sure you are taking advantage of these exemptions and they are being credited to you if you had them in the past.  I had a friend who was too lazy to file for his homestead exemption for over ten years. A few minutes of his time could have saved him hundreds of dollars.


The Bottom Line

Regardless if your value is up or down, it’s a good time to have a Realtor or appraiser do a market analysis of your homes current market value.  Most likely, it has increased significantly since the last time you checked.  Not only is this good information to use in fighting your tax appraisal but can also be used to evaluate your homeowner’s insurance and possibly eliminate Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) if your equity has increased enough. So you can see, getting that notice of appraised value from the Central Appraisal District isn’t really something you should dread.  Embrace it and then get a professional third-party opinion to either fight it, use it to your advantage or prepare your home for sale.  Contact Van Alstyne Realtor, Keith Laursen with Fathom Realty when you need help.

Get Started Today ——– Call Keith Laursen 469.233.1234

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