What Kind of Golf Course Home Can You Get Between $181k and $5.1 Million?

If you are anything like me—i.e. abiding by a “work hard, play harder” philosophy—then at the end of the day, relaxation and stress-relieving activities are the name of the game. With another Monday upon us, I wanted to give you … Continue reading

What Can You Buy in Tanglewood between $300,000 and $3,000,000?

Let’s talk location. Great neighborhoods and coveted schools are plentiful in Fort Worth (and multiplying!). Today we are going to focus on the wonderful neighborhoods surrounding Tanglewood Elementary – Overton Park, Overton Woods, Tanglewood, and Colonial Hills to name a few.  Let’s take a look at what type of house you can get for the money in the Tanglewood school district.

You’ve heard it before, and you hear it a lot. It’s the age-old proverbial tagline, coined far before Disney got their hands on it.

Location, Location, Location.

While some home shoppers may place more weight in their buying decision on the whimsical, dreaminess of a home itself, still others – like the ones I work with – understand the importance of the 3 L’s.

Location to schools.

Children’s access to good education is a huge factor in deciding where a family will move within a given area. Many of my buyers actually search for real estate by school district, saying school districts are among the key factors in their home buying decision. In a recent Trulia survey, 35% of American parents of children under age 8 indicated their dream home is located in a great school district.

Location in and of itself.

Alongside an area’s proximity to a healthy school district, homebuyers also make decisions based on the location of a home in an area or neighborhood itself. Many factors drive buyers to an attractive neighborhood, such as increasing property values, past or recent solds, and average price and days on the market.

2014-2015 Tanglewood Neighborhood Infographic 

Tanglewood 2014 2015
Biggest Deal $1,475,000 $1,465,000
Number Sold 170 184
Average Days on Market 73 53
Average Price $434,994 $457,661
Close $ / List $ 96.21% 96.84%

*The average home price zoned to Tanglewood schools increased by $22,667 from 2014 to 2015. The average days on the market decreased significantly, suggesting the attractiveness of the area.

Location to attractions.

What’s the point of buying a 500k home right next to a wonderful elementary school if the closest gas station, grocery store, or gym is an hour away? Some could do it. Others wouldn’t. One of the many wonderful parts about Tanglewood neighborhoods are the short walking distance to the Trinity Trails, a beautiful Fort Worth staple.

trailsThe Trinity Trails are a system of trails along or near the Trinity River in Fort Worth, Texas. There are over 40 miles of trails along the Trinity River and its tributaries for walking, running, cycling, or riding horseback. The trail networks connect with 21 parks, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden and Japanese Garden, Log Cabin Village, Fort Worth Zoo, the Historic Stockyards, and downtown Fort Worth.

 Tanglewood Elementary School

Another great feature making Tanglewood a coveted neighborhood to live in is its renowned elementary school. Fort Worth Independent School District has many jewel campuses that are highly sought after by homebuyers. In 2015, Tanglewood Elementary ranked better than 99.5% of elementary schools in Texas—in the whole state of TEXAS, y’all! It also ranked first among 81 ranked elementary schools in Fort Worth ISD. Go ahead and cue Billy Currington—because they must be doing something right.

Tanglewood Elementary ranks #1 in Fort Worth ISD

Tanglewood Elementary ranks #1 in Fort Worth ISD

What Can You Buy in Tanglewood between $300,000 and $3,000,000?

Now that I’ve covered two major features making Tanglewood neighborhood so attractive (an excellent school district and close access to the beautiful Trinity Trails), I will now review 6 more reasons, when it comes to location x3 and moving to Fort Worth,  why Tanglewood neighborhood seems to corner the market.

PS—These 6 reasons come in the form of homes currently listed on the market in Tanglewood.

2516 Wabash Avenue | $290,000

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This home offers a great location in University Place, just one block off of Park Hill and a close distance to TCU and the Cultural District. This property is being sold as a lot, and offers a one bedroom, one bathroom home on the back of the lot that can either be used as a guest house or removed for new construction. I know a few ideas for what I would do with this land and location!

3813 Arborlawn Drive | $480,000 | Overton Park

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This home is great for any home shoppers looking to get rowdy or settle down in Fort Worth near the TCU area and Tanglewood schools. With five bedrooms, a courtyard, and front patio, buyers have the freedom to jazz this home up, as they so desire.


2546 Rogers Avenue | $545,000 | University West

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This home is unique because it is a pre-war Tudor-style home, while most of the homes zoned to Tanglewood were built in the 50s and 60s. It is a rare 1920s English charmer located in coveted Tanglewood schools, and walking distance to the beautiful TCU campus.

3701 Arroyo Road | $650,000 | Overton Park

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This majestic Tanglewood home is not only mere steps away from renowned Overton Park, but also close to a path that takes you directly to the front steps of Tanglewood Elementary. Imagine this kind of access walking your kiddos to school on an early spring day!

3901 Inwood Road | $949,000 | Overton Park

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This is a totally renovated home that rests in Tanglewood Elementary. With meticulous landscaping, spacious living, and a gorgeous electric fireplace, it offers a perfect eclectic touch to the Tanglewood neighborhood.

3640 Middlewood Drive | $2,475,000 | Riverhills

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This stunning two-story English Cotswold Manor is situated on .61 acres in Tanglewood schools. It not only boasts beautiful landscaping, but also beautiful hand hewn English style trusses, hardwood floors, and designer lighting and details throughout.

The Bottom Line

Can you believe the niche-like nature of these homes offered in wonderful Tanglewood neighborhood? Each one of them is unique and enchanting in their own right.

AND, when it’s all said and done, a current home shopper can move to Tanglewood Schools for just under $300k….all the way to almost $3,000,000! This is why Tanglewood corners the market when it comes location x3 and moving to Fort Worth.

As an expert in the 76109 zip code, you can depend on me, my resources, and my marketing expertise to help you buy or sell your home. Contact me today to get started on your home search!


Mary Carolyn Gatzke Name Treatment

Executive Vice President
Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty
c: 817-291-2345
o: 817-288-7500
Email    Website     Facebook

Mary Carolyn is a Fort Worth native, a Tanglewood Elementary graduate actually, selling the finest central city classic neighborhoods and urban communities since 2003.  Mary Carolyn has quite a list of call-outs and awards herself,  “Best of Trulia Pro Agent,” “Five Star Professional,” “Council of Residential Specialists,” “Historic Home Specialist,” and so on.  These and testimonials from past clients demonstrate her commitment to being a trailblazer in the changing real estate industry. If you are considering selling your Fort Worth home check out Mary Carolyn’s comprehensive marketing on her current listings and results from previous sold listings. 


Pay Yourself First

The principle to pay yourself first has been referred to as the Golden Rule of Personal Finance.

The concept is that one of the first checks you write each month is for your own savings. The rationale is that if there is no money left after a person pays their bills, there is nothing to contribute to savings or investments that month. pay yourself first - check -300.png

By establishing a priority to save, a person realizes that the balance of their monthly income must cover living expenses and other discretionary spending. This is a much different strategy than saving what is left over from monthly expenses and other spending.

Many financial experts have likened an amortizing mortgage to a forced savings account because a portion of each payment is applied to the reduction of the principal amount owed. Some homeowners have taken that concept further with a shorter term mortgage to build equity faster.

In the example below, a $250,000 mortgage at 4% interest is compared with two different terms. The 30 year mortgage would have payments of $1,193.54 each month with the first payment having $360.20 being applied to the principal. Each payment would have an increasingly larger amount applied to the principal.

The 15 year mortgage would have payments of $1,849.22 each month with the first payment having $1,015.89 being applied to the principal. The $665.68 difference in payments goes toward reducing the loan amount and acts like a forced savings.

A homeowner might opt for the longer term and intend to put the difference in the two payments in a bank savings account each month or make an additional principal contribution to pay the mortgage down. However, as any person responsible for paying household bills knows, there will always be something that comes up that could hijack your intentions.

By committing to the shorter term mortgage, a borrower is committing to make the higher payment each month and the benefit is that it will reduce your principal balance faster.

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Homeowner Advisory

Similar to an annual wellness physical, homeowners should consider an annual review of the financial elements of their home. It’s particularly valuable based on the fact that their home and its equity is generally, one of their largest assets. Info You Need.png

  • List of similar properties recently sold and currently available
  • Information on challenging property tax assessment
  • Refinance Analysis to:
    • lower your rate
    • shorten the term
    • make improvements
    • eliminate mortgage insurance
    • remove a person from the loan
    • eliminate credit card debt
    • combine loans
    • take cash out of the equity
  • Equity Accelerator to retire the mortgage within a specific period of time
  • Repairmen and contractors recommendations
  • Information on rental property opportunities

We’d be happy to provide this information at no obligation as part of our on-going commitment to providing homeowner information, both in general and specifically, to our contacts. It is part of a long-term strategy whereby we hope to earn your loyalty and referrals when you do need our services to buy or sell.

It’s a Big Difference

Let’s say that you just won $8,750 on a lottery scratch-off ticket. You’ve decided to be frugal and invest the money and have decided on three alternatives: buying a certificate of deposit, a mutual fund or use the money as a down payment for a $250,000 home.

To compare the three alternatives, let’s look at the equity in each one three years from now.Your best investment graphic.png

The certificate of deposit can be invested at 1.3% in today’s market and you believe you can reasonably earn 5% on a mutual fund. You expect the home to appreciate at three percent a year.

The certificate of deposit would be worth $9,096 at the end of three years and the mutual fund would be worth $10,129. However, the equity in the home at the end of three years would be $45,204. That is a four time’s higher yield on the home.

One of the main reasons for the big difference is that the buyer benefits from leverage: the use of borrowed funds to increase the results. The $8,750 down payment is controlling a $250,000 investment. The appreciation is determined by the price and not merely by the cash invested. Another factor is that the loan balance is smaller at the end of five years than originally borrowed due to amortization.

There are certainly other factors to consider such as maintenance and other expenses but when the financial benefits are as strong as they are, it certainly deserves a much closer investigation. One of the first things to consider is whether the borrower can qualify for a mortgage and the only satisfactory way to be certain is to get pre-approved by a trusted mortgage professional.

Use the Your Best Investment calculator to make your own projections.

Here’s Why 65 People Move to Fort Worth Everyday

From productivity and friendliness to a booming, cultural nightlife, Fort Worth scoops up numerous honors and accolades as a Top U.S. City in 2015. Continue reading

Is Understanding Costing You Money?

People tend to fear what they don’t understand. Homeowners understand fixed rate mortgages and remember the horror stories of people who lost their homes because they could no longer afford them when their adjustable rate mortgages went up.iStock_000023022788Small-250.jpg

Interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages have been so low for enough years, that borrowers haven’t even given much consideration to an adjustable rate mortgage. Changes in the way adjustable rate mortgages are now made make them much safer for borrowers who understand how they work but also know they’ll only be in the home for a limited period of time.

Adjustable rate mortgages can go up or down according to an index that the lender has no control. The amount that can be adjusted is limited by caps for each period and for the life of the loan. While there are different periods for ARMs, the most popular lock the first period for five to seven years and then, can adjust annually after that.

One quick and easy way to determine whether an adjustable may be a viable alternative to a fixed would be to determine the maximum payment adjustments possible to find out when the savings from the early years are exhausted which would be the breakeven point. If the borrower is certain they’ll move prior to that date, the ARM will definitely provide a lower cost of housing.

The breakeven point for a $250,000 mortgage would be 8 years 3 months comparing a 2.9% 5/1 adjustable-rate with 1 and 5 caps to a 3.8% fixed-rate mortgage. In the initial five-year period, the payments on the ARM would be $124.32 lower and the unpaid balance would be $3,522 less than the fixed-rate to make a total savings of $10,981.

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Whether you’re buying or refinancing, get some good advice from a trusted lending professional about the adjustable-rate alternative. If you’re only going to be in the home a short time after the mortgage is made and your tolerance for risk allows you to feel comfortable, the ARM may be the best choice for you. Check out this ARM Comparison to use your own numbers.