I've written many blogs specifically for the Grand Prairie, TX area as well as the Arlington, TX area. We specialize in listing homes and are the best Remax near you. 

Oct. 13, 2018

The Pros and Cons of new construction

It’s new!

            What’s not to love about new construction? It’s brand stinking new! But seriously, the beauty of new construction is that if you buy a new home built from the ground up, you can pick the cabinets and flooring. How fun is that? From choosing the colors of the tile or carpet to choosing if you want subway tile on the backsplash, this is what most people live for with new construction. 


Pro tip: If you want to be involved with the details such as design, you will need to build from “dirt”. Anything that has been started has also been planned out. That means it’s usually to late in the process to choose materials and styles. 


You also should know that a lot of new builds under 300K usually don’t have options to pick from. They opt for a more of a “standard features” approach. Still very nice, but the designer in you might not agree. I bought a home like this a couple of years ago. The carpet was the one thing I wished I could have changed. The layout and size of the home sold it for us. We can live with the carpet a couple more years.  




            You might not believe this, but there are a couple of new home builders in the DFW area that will run programs to help buyers qualify. That translates to great savings on your closing costs. I know of a certain builder that gives a $1000 credit to teachers and other heroes in the community. This is just one simple example of an incentive that a builder may offer. I’ve seen thousands of dollars of incentive applied to closing costs. Not every builder does this, but we have to ask. 


The catch: Everything has a catch to it, am I right? In order to receive any incentives, the buyer has to use the builder’s preferred lender. I actually used the builder’s lender over my preferred lender when we purchased and it was a great deal. 


            Pro Tip: If you are skeptical about using an unfamiliar lender, ask them to give you a breakdown and compare it to a breakdown that your own lender can offer. With an “apples to apples” comparison, you’ll have it laid out for you.   



            Most builders offer a warranty on a few basic items, while other builder have ten year warranties on foundation. It’s important to note that these warranties have stipulations that the buyer must adhere to. Some builders have a certain timeline for filing claims and if you aren’t a super detail-oriented person, those deadlines can come and go. That’s why it’s important to get have important date reminders set up to make any claims. 



            The most common question I get from people moving to DFW from out of state is “what do I get with the HOA?” It’s not really what you get, but more of what you don’t get to do. 


HOA’s have restrictions in Texas. That’s a great thing if you consider that your neighbor might own his own trucking company and wants to park his semi in the driveway. You might laugh, but I’ve seen it firsthand.  


Community pool

            When you are considering a new home, you should ask about the community areas. Does it have a pool or a kids playground? You’re paying a lot of money for a new home and that’s a great incentive to buying in a community that is up and coming.  



Wait time

            Building can take from 6-10 months. Depending on what your timeframe is, this point could actually be a positive. Are you in a lease? Are you trying to sell another home? All this matters. 

I had some clients that sold a home in Grand Prairie and bought a brand new house just a few miles away. The home took about 10 months to build and the purchase was contingent on the sale of their current home. We had to time it just right. Listing the home had to be within a very targeted timeframe. In this case it worked out just perfectly. Sometimes it means having to rent a temporary place to live. It’s inconvenient, but the benefits sometimes outweigh the issues. 


Pro tip: If you buy something in the later stages you might not get to choose the color of the cabinets, but there is a silver lining. Your house will be ready sooner. 



Constant construction  

            I bought a new home about two years ago and guess what…the builder is just now finishing up the subdivision. I hate to say it, especially since I want to sell you a brand new home, but it takes a while to complete a brand new building phase. The positive side: the incentives I mentioned. You can’t match those. 


Balancing act

            All in all, you will need to make your own list of pros and cons. I hope my list got you to think, but ultimately you will have to balance what you want vs. what you need.


            If you need to move in quickly, you won’t get the luxury of picking details. You’ll be surprised how much a new home will impress you, especially if you’ve been checking out pre-owned homes.


In Closing 

            I would love to help guide you through the process and I look forward to working with you as you transition to Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Arlington or Mansfield. I primarily work these areas, but I have a team that can work all the surrounding areas. To help you out, I’ve created a list of new homes in these areas. Please note two things: the pics on the listings are representations of the homes. 2) there is a sign up 


            I hope you enjoyed my blog, feel free to reach out to me at 469-834-3808 or at garciateamdfw@gmail.com



Posted in Buying a home
Oct. 1, 2018

3 tips to sell your home faster

Your home's design and online listings are an important part of selling your home quickly and for the highest price. We've helped many homeowners ( not only in Grand Prairie and Arlington) sell their homes at competitive prices, and we know a few tips and tricks to help your home stand out to potential buyers. Read on for 3 decor ideas to use when staging your home to sell.


Find appropriately sized furniture

First, make sure your rooms have the right size furniture. For example, a smaller kitchen will appear cramped if you have a bulky dining table, so stage your space accordingly. On the other hand, people touring your house may feel lost in a huge living room with small furniture, so make sure you define your space with furniture that makes your rooms stand out. 


Clean the clutter

This point is huge!  I can't tree it enough. Nothing is more distracting in an online listing than your old magazines strewn across the family room, or your child's teddy bear collection taking up half their bedroom. If possible, move your personal items to a storage unit before you put your house on the market. Not only will your home look cleaner and organized, but potential clients may have an easier time picturing themselves in your home. 


Add light and nature

For the best photos and tours, make your home appear as light and bright as possible. Open the windows, pull back the curtains, or bring in a couple large plants to bring the outside in. Not only will your house appear bigger, but buyers will have a better experience when touring your home. This is exactly what new home builders have been doing for years! 


Contact us 

Decorating tips can seem like a dime-a-dozen when you are trying to figure out what to do when selling your house. By working with an experienced real estate agent, they can point you in the right direction when it comes to designing your home to sell. Whether you need just a few small furniture changes, or are interested in a staging consultation, we can help make the best recommendations to fit your needs and budget.


The Garcia Team at Remax in Grand Prairie, has the experience, marketing savvy, listening skills and passion that can help you sell your home, fast. Contact us today to learn more!

Sept. 14, 2018

Choosing a Remax listing agent in Grand Prairie

Choosing a listing agent in Grand Prairie 



Are they Reliable 

            Sounds like a no-brainer, but it starts with the first phone call. Did they answer or even call you back? Believe it or not, this is a good indicator or how the transaction will go. I’ve earned business by answering my phone and calling back. I recently went on a listing appointment where I was basically hired because I showed up. The other agent they were going to hire never showed. How crazy is that? I’m always perplexed by realtors that don’t answer or call back. The first lesson I teach new agents at Remax in Grand Prairie is to answer the phone (or call back)... but for real. It's important. 




            Most agents will provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis or CMA.  Did you know that some agents use an auto-generated CMA? I really don’t get that. What I do is start with the direct area and work out from there. I actually take several hours to complete my analysis. In some cases there are a lot of factors to consider. Is it by a golf course? Does it have a pool? Has anything else similar sold recently? Grand Prairie is diverse. You need the best local numbers. 

            You really can’t compare a one story to a two-story home. Most agents would know that, but there are a few out there trying to get by without really knowing what they are doing when it comes to setting up a sales price for the home. That’s a huge mistake an t can cost you thousands. 


Are they local? 

            Should you pick a local Realtor that’s near you? In the age of information, this question is arguable. Being a local realtor in GP, I think its super convenient to be able to tell a client about the new Ikea and the new Epic water park. I would assume that most people would prefer to work with somebody that has an office near the area they want to buy a sell a home. 

This is exactly why I choose to work at Remax Pinnacle in Grand Prairie, because I wanted to stay local. Honestly, I didn’t want to have a two hour drive to list a property in an area that I really didn’t know much about.  



   Are they Friendly? 

            I learned that when you meet a jerk, they are usually accompanied by other jerks. It’s funny, but true. Think about that guy in high school that gave everybody a hard time. Wasn’t he always surrounded by others just like him? Things don’t really change much. I joke around and say that our industry has profession realtors and professional Real turds. 

            Trusting and actually liking the person that will sell your home is a must. If you find them abrasive, chances are others do also. You don’t want a combative situation when selling your Grand Prairie home. 



           What are people saying about them? Nowadays most people research to get ahead of the game and pick somebody that matches their situation best. Please feel free to read our reviews and get an idea of who we are. 



            Picking a Listing Agent is kind of like buying a car. If you are in desperate need of a car, you’ll get the first one that runs. Listing your home is a big deal. It’s probably the biggest transaction that most people are involved in. Take your time and pick the best one. Call us! 


Sept. 4, 2018

An overview of the best condos in downtown Fort Worth

Texas & Pacific Lofts


         Walking into the T&P condos for the first time, I really had no real reference point except for other condos that had an apartment feel to them. These condos in the heart of downtown Fort Worth definitely don’t have that apartment feel. The main building lobby is a relic from 1930, I mean that in a good way. It’s ornate and feels rich and warm. The theme follows the community room, which is available to the tenants on a reservation basis. 


The main building was constructed in1930. The actual rooms are modern with very high ceilings. The ceilings and some walls have the unfinished look along with exposed ductwork. Rows of windows allows tons of light to come in and amplifies the dimensions of the home.   


I would describe the complex as art deco and shabby chic. The newer section was built in 2005-2007 and has a less rustic feel. The finish out is a lot more traditional.   


Amenities include a small pool and gym. As far as the pool, it’s a nice pool that’s inside, but has an outside feel. It’s under the main building’s roof, however it’s on the outside of the residencies. It’s a bit hard to imagine, but trust me, once you see it…you’ll see why it’s hard to describe. You’ll either love it or hate it. Either way, I don’t consider the pool a huge selling point. I’d love to see it renovated and it could use a bit more privacy. That’s just me. But want do I know? I swim with my shirt on. 


The gym is full of great aerobic machines as well as some free weights. It’s private and requires a key fob to enter.  


Parking is mostly outdoor. Some condos include a deeded parking spot while others don’t include parking. It depends on the condo. 


Possibly the biggest attraction of the Texas and Pacific condos has to be the fact that the train station is connected and right downstairs. It was recently announced that the new TexRail that goes directly to DFW Airport Terminal B will be completed near the end of 2018. You can easily commute to Dallas via the TRE.


This will make the T&P condos very desirable to frequent travelers. Business travelers and airline employees will love the proximity to downtown and the quick access to the airport. 


On the weekend the area is buzzing with activity thanks to the T&P tavern that is inside the building. 


If you are considering making the T&P condos your home, I’d love to schedule a visit. Here's a link to the units currently for sale. You will have to sign up, just an FYI    


For a more complete list of all Condos for sale in Downtown Fort Worth, Click here.


- Albert Garcia, Realtor






ONE Montgomery Plaza


The condos at Montgomery Plaza are centrally located on 7thstreet. So…before I get into the description about the condos, I have to mention the food around that area. I’m a foodie and they have everything within a few blocks. There is a Gloria’s at the bottom level of the building! What? Yup. I would get so fat if I lived there. Good thing the complex has a great gym for early workouts. 


The building itself boosts 12 inch walls and withstood a flood and tornado according to one of the photo descriptions I read in the lobby. The place is stout for sure. It was built as a Montgomery Ward’s in 1928. If it were built today, it would surely go way over budget just because of the workmanship. It was the flagship for Montgomery Ward’s here in Fort Worth. 


Walking into the lobby you’ll notice that it’s nice, but minimalistic. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. I emailed the assistant manager twice and she responded very quickly. I was impressed. 


Montgomery plaza has two towers. Tower 2 is East facing and has views of downtown Fort Worth. My recent sale there was in tower 1. My client loved the fact that it’s the side with the pool, hot tub, media room and gym. Both towers have access, but she loved the fact that she doesn’t have to cross over to the other building to enjoy the amenities. It’s a good tradeoff, I think. 


Note: you can tell which tower the condo is in by the first number in the unit. 1765 would be in tower 1, while 2765 would be in tower 2. 


As far as amenities, this place has some really great ones. The pool is on the 3rdlevel at tower one. I would describe it as having a resort feel. It’s important to note that the pool area will be under renovation (although I don’t think it needs it) from fall of 2018 to the spring of 2019. Click to search for condos in Montgomery Plaza.



Fun fact: Blue mesa and Target within walking distance. That’s always good. 


For a more complete list of all Condos for sale in Downtown Fort Worth, Click here.


- Realtor, Albert Garcia



Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 27, 2018

The Draw of Grand Peninsula and Mira Lagos

So, I received three different requests to show homes the other day, and as I am scheduling them I notice they all have something in common. They were all in Grand Prairie communities, but under the Mansfield school district. Providing the best service to my clients is always at the top of my list, so I decided to compile a list of why this is such a popular area for growing families:


  1. The Amenities: With new subdivisions popping up throughout the Mira Lagos and Grand Peninsula footprints, we are starting to see the demand for use of the community centers and pools. This comes as no surprise with most centers offering fitness classes, such as Zumba and yoga for a free or discounted rate.

  2. Joe Pool Lake: Whether you are enjoying a day on the water fishing, having a visit to The Oasis, or lining up for the Holiday light festival, the proximity to the lake definitely has its advantages. Especially for growing families looking to make memories in such a sunny climate as Texas.

  3. The Home Designs: Since these areas were quite competitive amongst builders, the consumer has seen the benefit with beautifully designed homes throughout the neighborhoods. This can easily be seen when walking down the immaculately kept paved trails and driving by the private ponds scattered throughout the subdivisions.

  4. Schools: The schools in this area are often spoken about highly, with the proximity of the elementary put right in the middle of the subdivisions, it offers great convenience to parents of young children.

  5. The Variety: There are many builders who were competing to get into this area, this left a large variety of different style and design of homes. Some of the builders include Drees Custom homes, Bloomfield, and First Texas Homes just to name a few. Another benefit to this is that there are many homes that vary in age. Despite what some may think, not all consumers are in a rush to buy new construction.


No matter how many times I sell a home in this area, it is always a delight to drive these neighborhoods and see the attention to detail. I have been keeping up with the new construction and am very excited as these new opportunities arise to serve these communities. Please click to search for home in this area



Written by: Manuel Martinez


Manuel is a top producing agent in Grand Prairie. He is an Army combat veteran, dedicated father and top rated Realtor.


Aug. 3, 2018

Selling your home fast in Grand Prairie

What does it really take to sell your home quickly in Grand Prairie? 

I guess the answer depends on why you have to sell it quickly. If you mean that you want to sell it because of impending foreclosure, then the answer is getting exposure to the right people...mainly investors. If you don't have a financial burden it is still possible to sell your home quickly. With the right marketing and flexibility of both the buyer and seller, we can obtain a win-win situation. 

I had a house for sale a couple years ago in the 75050 area code that was a wreak. Unfortunately, the home was full of trash and super outdated.

In this case my recommendations were the following:

  • have the home emptied 
  • have the home professionally cleaned
  • have the carpet shampooed 
  • dump all the trash 

This made all the difference once we took pictures and marketed to a list of investors, it sold in one day for top dollar. A neighbor had made a cash over for 40K less than what the seller actually got. 

If your situation is different I can still help. I've sold home were people have to relocate fast or they have to sell because of a divorce. Those are tricky, but I've sold many. As long as as parties agree, it can happen smoothly. 

In summary, every situation is different and should be looked at on a case by case basis. As long as the title is clear and the sales price is marketable, we can get it sold. 

Read my blog on what it takes to sell your home.

July 31, 2018

10 Money-Saving Home Maintenance Hacks

Before we know it we’ve run out of hours in a day! If you’re like me, chances are you’ve been too busy to take care of a few (or a lot of) things around the house.


As a Realtor in Grand Prairie, I wanted to come come with a good list of practical things the average homeowner could use. I searched high and low for some of the easiest, most time-saving maintenance hacks, tried them and compiled a list of my top 10 favorites!


1.  Faucets

Recover that powerful pressure once again by finally getting rid of all the muck that it’s collected. Grab a plastic bag and pour some white vinegar inside of it enough to fully immerse your sink faucets or shower head. Wrap the bag around it with a rubber band and let it soak about 30 minutes. This will help remove those persistent mineral deposits. Just make sure that once you remove the bag you wipe it down as to not get any vinegar in your eyes or on your skin. We get pretty good water pressure in Grand Prairie, so if you have a pressure issue with more than one faucet, you might have a bigger issue that a plumber should look at.  

2.  Vent Hood Filters

Keeping up with the cleanliness of a vent hood filter can be a huge pain! Cut out some work by simply soaking it in the sink with some hot and soapy water and use a scrub brush to loosen the grime. Voilà!


3.  Carpet Dents

Carpet dents seem like they last forever. One easy way to get rid of those dents is by laying a moist washcloth over the dent then steaming it with your clothing iron. This works on almost all carpet types. Side note: if you have carpet in the bathroom, you should consider stripping it out and adding tile floors. I see time in the bathroom more in the Arlington area, but I have seen a couple homes in South Grand Prairie with a well worn carpet in the bathroom. 


4.  Chipped Windows

This is one thing you definitely don’t want to go too long without replacing. To temporarily fill small chips, use a bit of clear nail polish on your window. 


5.  TLC for the HVAC

Extend the life of your heating and cooling system by cleaning the condensate drain line. Pour a solution of 1 cup bleach and 3 cups water down the tube every three months to keep it algae-free. 

6.  Ceiling Fans

The simplest yet most messy things to clean! To make cleaning easy, try using a pillow case. Cover each blade one at a time with a pillow case and wipe it towards you. This will keep all of the dust inside and keep you from covering your furniture or sheets in dust.


7.  Stove Cleaning

An easy trick to save yourself from all of the hard scrubbing is to preheat your oven to 150°F. On the top rack, place a bowl of ammoniaand place a pot of boiling water. Your spine will thank you for this


8.  Window Blinds

Your tongs are your greatest weapon when combating all the dust stuck on your blinds. Wrap a washcloth around each tip and secure them with a rubber band. Squeeze the tongs and trap the dust on your blinds on both sides. No more Swiffer Duster needed!


9.  Crown Molding

Overcome those hard to reach places by tying a towel on the end of a long broom. A few minutes of this and you’re done. Cobwebs tend to lead the buyer to believe the whole home is a mess. Simple fix. 


10. Dishwasher

Keep your dishwasher from collecting iron stains and lime deposits with lemon-flavored Kool-Aid. The citric acid will break all of that down. 


Do yourself a favor and try some of these hacks out to save yourself time and money.  Keep up the great work and Spring cleaning won’t have anything on you!



Read my blog about what it takes to sell your home 

July 8, 2018

Fun things to do within 30 miles of Grand Prairie

When I first arrived in the DFW area I tried hard to find cool things to do that wouldn't break the bank. It was 1998 and my internet skills were non-existent. Actually, the internet wasn't even close to what it is now. Geez, I printed off a Map every time I went somewhere. Here's a list of things I found throughout the last 20 years. 

Cedar Ridge Preserve is by far one of the closest places around Grand Prairie. It's actually in the Cedar Hill/Dallas area. You'll have two trails to choose from. The long trail is a loop and have a couple of harder parts. It's a nice hike. 

The short trail is well...short. I refused to take that hike for a couple of months. That was a big mistake. Once I finally decided to hike it, I realized I had misjudged. There was a small picturesque pond that will no doubt bring a sense that you are not in the metroplex anymore. 

Best part...It's free! Well kind of. There is a small donation box at the trailhead you can drop a buck in. Closed on Monday.  
7171 Mountain Creek Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75249


The Brass Bean in Grand Prairie is an independently owed coffee shop with lots of style. They know coffee. I love supporting places like this. If you are looking for a shop that is not so mainstream, this is the spot. They serve sandwiches and occasionally have live music. 

123 W Main St #112, Grand Prairie, TX 75050

I personally love the little town of Waxahachie. The people are kind and they like to have little festivals from time to time. One place that opened in 2018 is the White Rhino. It’s a very hip coffee shop that I know you’ll love. It’s snap dab in the middle of a residential area. The owner restored and modernized an old Victorian home and let me tell you…he outdid himself. There is also the original location in Cedar Hill and one inside of a church in Red Oak. I prefer the Waxahachie location. I included their website below:


The best taco spot
Okay, Waxahachie has my heart. Mainly because of the little taco shop that could. Two Amigos started of in a tiny location with enough from for about 12 adults. They expanded a few years later and pretty much doubled their seating. Early in 2018, the owner of Two Amigos opened up a new location that was built from scratch. It’s the best Tex-Mex around. Seriously. You can trust me. You should trust me. 

Two Amigos
241 S. Monroe Street
Waxahachie, TX 

Mountain Biking 
A great place to Mountain bike is Cedar Hill State Park. The switchbacks in the trails will have your heart pumping. I would say the trail at Cedar Hill is for beginners to Mid level riders. Cost is $7 for the day or you can get a yearly membership that gets you into any Texas state park. Call and check the trails beforehand. Especially after rain. 972-291-3900 

Another great off road trail close to Grand Prairie is Bolder Park. The entrance is free, but make sure you have nothing of value in your vehicle. You basically park on the street and you park at your own risk. Don’t do this ride alone. Go with a friend and give yourself plenty of daylight. I would say the trails at Bolder are more mid-level to expert rides, although there is a beginner trail that you might choose to ride first. 

Bolder park 
6600 Pastor Bailey
Dallas, TX 75237 

Cedar Hill State Park 
1570 N. Cedar Hill Rd. 
Cedar Hill, TX 75104

Find all the awesome trails in DFW


Fresh produce

So the Farmers Market in Grand Prairie isn't huge at all, but you should stop by and grab some fresh fruit and veggies. Once in a while they have live music from local artists. I stop by a couple times a year. 


The Dallas farmers market is a little more time consuming. I always bring cash because not all the vendors have card readers. They have great indoor restaurant in the food court area and you always get a few free samples. Parking is not free, unless you park super far. Make sure you take a picture of your license plate, because you will need it to check in at the payment kiosk if you park at the main parking lot. 


More to come

I'll be updating this list from time to time. I hope you find it useful. I also sell homes. I can help you buy or sell a home. You can sign up for a home search  


Read my blog about what it takes to sell your home 

Posted in Market Updates
July 8, 2018

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about what the local Grand Prairie Market is performing? So are we! Actually, we are pretty obsessed. Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more.

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.



Read my blog about what it takes to sell your home 

Posted in Market Updates
April 23, 2018

Is Zillow really accurate

How accurate is the Zestimate?


Ah, the famous question. You may be just as guilty as a lot of people of typing in your address to find out what your home is worth. Zillow uses what’s called an “automated valuation model” or AVM. This algorithm takes into account any homes that were sold, current transactions and your tax assessment. This is true of homes in Tarrant county. 


This seems like an easy way to come up with your home valuation, but it is also far from the truth. Zillow has admitted that their Zestimate may not determine the actual price. Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what Zillow has posted on their website


“Zillow does not offer the Zestimate as the basis of any specific real-estate related financial transaction. Our data sources may be incomplete or incorrect; also, we have not physically inspected a specific home. Remember, the Zestimate is a starting point and does not consider all the market intricacies that can determine the actual price a house will sell for.”


As of now, their algorithm in the DFW area is only accurate within 20% of the sales price. Those are thousands of dollars that people could be losing out on if they price their home according to their AVM. If there is little to no market activity, Zillow will expand the radius and the homes that it uses to valuate yours. This strategy only worsens the value estimation due to the simple fact that different neighborhoods carry different values. If the radius is too broad, the value of your property will be calculated inaccurately.


Sadly, there is no secret formula that will give you an accurate estimate of value, no matter how state of the art it is. Because Zillow has never seen your home, they have no way of knowing about any upgrades, improvements or even damages your house has undergone. Their algorithm is not capable of calculating different types of remodeling and how it impacts the value of your property. They may be comparing your home with the cat lady’s home. 


The only way to truly receive accurate information is to contact a Local Realtor in Grand Prairie and ask for a Comparative Market Analysis. Who better than local expert to view your home and give you real numbers to work with when it comes to your largest and most important asset. I’m here to help.