Frequently Asked Questions

/Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions2019-08-08T11:48:42-04:00
Accounting / Taxes2018-12-20T13:38:08-04:00

Chartered Financial Strategies LLC
Sean Monohan, CFP & Enrolled Agent

ClearChoice Financial Group, Inc.
Kendal Marshall, CEO & Founder
469-941-2648 (O) / 460-742-1076 (C)

Appliance Repairs2018-12-20T13:38:08-04:00

A+ Certified Appliance Service
Tyler Adkins

Callahan’s Appliance Inc.


Box & Associates

DW Skelton &Associates
214,-265-1037 (O)
214-697-5897 (C)

Eric Biskamp
Appraiser (includes Property Square Foot measurement services)
214-235-8324 (C)

Shinpaugh Appraisal Company
Carl Shinpaugh
214-890-9916 / 214-202-7626


Auten & Willingham, P.C.
Mark Auten
214-643-8757 (O) / 469-223-7394 (C)
Estate Planning, Business Formation, Probate, and Real Estate Law

Lori Leu & Associates
Lori Leu
972-996-2540 (O)
Seniors, Wills, Estate Planning & Administration, Long-Term Care, Benefits Planning, etc.

Ruais & Associates, PLLC
Philip Ruais
214-572-2109 (O)
Real Estate, Business Contracts, Estate Planning, Probate, Litigation, etc.

The Law Office of Cristina Levine PLLC
Cristina Levine
800-620-0900 / 469-400-6849

Brick Masons2019-02-04T17:01:53-04:00

David Sotelo

Don Barker

Greg Farris

J.H. Masonry
Johnny Harper

Nanroc In. (formerly Martinez Masonry)
Joe Martinez

Master Masonry
Roger Landry

The Fireplace Specialist

Carpet Cleaners2020-01-08T13:19:39-04:00

All Star Carpet Cleaning
Sergio Perez
972-347-5884 (O) / 972-832-1082 (C)

Minuteman Carpet Services
Andrew Arnold

Pure Dynamic
Brad Addington
972-746-2717 (O) / 214-995-0308 (C)

Steam Me Up
Jim Holcomb


Chiropractor North Dallas Spine Center
Dr. Oscar Presas, NUCCA Chiropractor
972-781-0010 (O)
No popping or cracking. Just an adjustment of your upper cervical.

Credit Repair2019-02-04T17:03:11-04:00

Back Office Credit Solutions
Kissena Sheets
Credit Consultant
800-656-0084 ext. 101 (O)
972-677-3460 (C) 

My Score Restoration
Jerry Vergara
Credit Specialist

Omega Credit Repair
David Dishman
Credit Specialist


Echeverria Brothers,
Julio Echeverria, Master Electrician
972 -265-9861 (O)


Cedar Creek Fences
Dave Phillips
214-218-2800 (O)

Exterior Wood Savers

Johnson Fence Company
Bill Johnson
469-877-9415 (O)

RIF Fence Stain & Restoration,
Jim Waida
214-205-6481 (O)

Superior Custom Painting,
Gabe or Carlos Lopez, 214-251-6802 (O)

Texas Best Fence & Patio
972-210-2460 (O)

Financial Advisors/Planners2019-02-04T17:33:04-04:00

Edward Jones
Craig Mills, Financial Advisor
972-733-1037 (O)

Holcomb Wealth Management
Kimberley Holcomb, CFA
972-980-0284 (O)

Omega 2 Wealth Management
Karin McIntosh
817-500-o556 (O)

The Protected Legacy Group
Jim Stephenson


CSC Floors
Amber Suggs, Territory Manager
214-368-0082 (O) / 214-334-9328 (C)

Juan Aguilar (Bathroom, Kitchen & Flooring Remodels)

Style Floors (Flooring & Remodeling)

Floor Raiser2018-12-20T13:38:09-04:00

Chris Latham

Foundation and French Drain Companies2020-01-08T14:00:49-04:00

Arch Foundation Repair
214-467-9700 (O)

Bedrock Foundation Repair, LLC
214-824-1211 (O)

Integrity Foundation Repair
Jeff Marshall
817-561-6500 (O) / 817-269-2171 (C)

MBR Guaranteed Foundation Repair
Phillip Duffin
817-469-1090 (O) / 817-891-6426 (C)

Perma Pier
972-833-0926 (Dallas) / 817-497-8164 (Fort Worth)

Structured Foundation Repairs
972-349-4430 (O)


Interior Insights LLC
Debra Coffey

Tracie Byrd, 404-694-4422 (C)

Garage Doors2018-12-20T13:38:09-04:00

McKinney/Frisco Overhead Doors
972-837-1080 (O)

Nation Overhead Door & Gate
972-590-8895 (O)

Glass & Metal2020-01-08T14:09:44-04:00

Armor Glazing, Dario Garcia, 214-837-0392,

Granite Installers2018-12-20T13:38:09-04:00

Granite Stone Cutters
214-502-8029 (O)

Rene De Santiago
214-416-1308 (C)


Dallas Gutter and Repair
Eric Wales

No Leak Rain Gutters
972-727-8838 (O)

Texas Gutter Solutions
469-667-9101 (O)


Certified Industries LLC
Barry Locke
214-537-6461 (C)

Design Remodel Pros (Handyman Services)
Brian & Sara Belmonte
(972) 407-0754 (O)

Eduardo Juarez

Fix Me Up
Jim Holcomb

Handy Hallet
Robert Hallett

In & Out Handyman Services
Larry George

Heating & Cooling (HVAC)2020-01-08T14:57:26-04:00

Big Bear A/C and Heating
972-998-9990 (O)

972-679-4072 (O)

Master Tech Service Corp
817-251-4455 (O)

Matco HVAC
972-292-1880 (O)

Mr. Duct Cleaner
972-322-4356 (O)

Taylormade Heat and Air, LLC
Lance Taylor
469-424-3404 / 469-212-9732 (O)

Home Warranty / Residential Service Contracts2018-12-20T13:38:43-04:00

When selecting a plan be sure to include upgrades for A/C, Heater and garage doors to ensure the likelihood of coverage if failure occurs. DO NOT ORDER, just call to determine which company and plan you want. Contact your agent to place the order.

2-10 Home Warranty

American Home Shield

Broward Factory Service

Fidelity National Home Warranty

First American Residential Service

Nations Residential Service

Old Republic Home Protection Plan

Super Home Warranty


343 Home Inspections (Mechanical & WDI)
214-800-2001 (O)

360 Inspections,
Lance Dubahoe
469-224-0360 (O)

A-Action Inspections
972-572-4500 (O)

Best Inspections (Mechanical & WDI)
903-463-2220 (O)

Focus Real Estate Inspections
Kirk Watson
979-676-3228 (O)

Kissee Inspections
469-438-8509 (O)

Pillar to Post Home Inspections
Ken Duggan
214-399-5862 (O) / 214-986-6045 (C)

Providence Property Inspections
469-980-6818 (O)

Road Runner Inspection Services
Allan Bankston
214-226-9492 (O)

Show ’N Tell Inspections
Richard Whitsitt
214-642-7853 (O)

The Home Inspectors
972-235-0800 (O)


Insurance (Hazard/Home/Auto):

Interior Designer2020-01-08T17:16:10-04:00

Interior Insights LLC
Debra Coffey
214-507-4506 (C)

Tracie Byrd, 404-694-4422 (C)


All Texas Services (Collin/Denton County)
Alberto Hernandez
972-505-8698 (C)

Antonio Zarate
214-475-5913 (C)

College Fund Landscaping
972-985-0279 (O)

Lawn Care, Pest Control & Sprinkler Repair

Kim’s Emerald Lawns (Collin/Denton County)
469-272-6339 (O)

Green Meadows Landscaping
Kronda Thimesch
972-670-0331 (O)

Lewis Hernandez (Primarily Trees)
214-309-8681 (O)

Quality Lawn & Landscaping (Collin/Denton)
Acosta Antonio
214-404-1956 (C) / 972-814-5576 (O)

Sundrop Gardens
Manuel Hassenteufel
214-417-6036 (O)


MrReKey Locksmith,
Dustin Tabbert
972-282-9696 (O)
(Unique code: 121907, Client receives $10 discount if code used)

Maid Service2019-02-19T14:53:42-04:00

Lupe & Maria
214-353-0236, (Frisco, Plano, Carrollton)

Maria McClaughlin’s Cleaning Service
972-712-4575 or 214-492-9875 (Frisco, Plano, McKinney)

Realty Cleaning Services

Tomasa Cortes

Ultra Spic n Span Cleaning Inc.
Tawanna Fields
214-392-5949 (DFW area)

Veronica Aguilar
214-431-8557 (Frisco, Plano)

We Shine Through Detailed Cleaning Service
Candis Smith
972-616-3878 (Collin & Denton County)


A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Local, Domestic & International Moving Company

Mark Waller

Fantastic Moves

Move Masters

Rhino Moving Pros

Nanny / Au Pair2019-08-07T18:24:41-04:00

Nannies On The Go
817-442-0225 (Southlake)
817-442-0200 (Dallas)

Odor Eliminator2019-07-01T16:59:17-04:00

Ongo Solutions (Odor Removal)
Ofer Kadeem
817-939-9969 / 817-440-6175

Site One Landscape Supply
Odor Control


Abanico Painting
Javier Rodriguez

Ramsay & Alan’s Painting
Jose Juarez
Paint, Stain, Drywall & Sheetrock (exterior, interior, doors, cabinets and shutters)
DFW area (free estimates)

Steve Tickner Residential Painting Specialist

Pet Services (Movers, Sitting, Veterinarians)2019-08-08T16:21:54-04:00

Camp Bow Wow
469-331-6223 (Main)

World Pet Travel
Angela Passman
214-396-5070 (USA) / 506-4000-1689 (Costa Rica)


Concord Plumbing Co.
John Dickerson

Do It All Plumbing
Norman Bundrant, Master Plumber (Collin/Denton County)
469 -487-9209

Buckeye Plumbing
Jim Nigel, Master Plumber (Tarrant County & Dallas South of I-30)

Texas Green Plumbing
Roger Wakefield
972-442-4101 / 214-907-2928

Pool Cleaning, Maintenance and Pool Inspections2018-12-20T13:38:43-04:00

Randy Smith
(Service areas: McKinney, Prosper, Frisco, Princeton, Allen, Fairview, Plano)

Power Washing2020-01-22T18:30:49-04:00

Blue Star Power Washing
214-631-9530 (C)

Certified Industries LLC
Barry Locke, 214-537-6461 (C)

APW Power Washing
Gary Anderson
972-523-2793 (C)

Remodeling Contractors2019-02-19T14:56:46-04:00

Alex Guthrie Construction

Burns Construction & Remodel
Mark Burns

Champion Home Services
Rick Middaugh

Design Remodel Pros
Brian & Sara Belmonte
(972) 407-0754

DFW Remodel Team
Vino Paudel, General Contractor, Remodeler

FS Renovations
Servicing entire DFW area, Ashley Coatney as a reference for a great price

Luna Pros

Pruitt Construction Company
James Pruitt

Serving You F1rst Contracting
Kevin Seaman

Star Home Remodeling
John or Stefano


Authority Roofing
Catherine Brenneman, Certified Master Elite Roofer
972-317-7663 (O)
214-697-2464 (O)

EcoTech Roofing
Robert Burnley
972-922-3606 (O)

First Out Roofing
Nick Frederickson
214-289-6776 (C)

Mark Snow (Former Claims Adjustor)
806-433-0125 (C)

JH Roofing & Construction
Jesse Hwong
972-235-2525 (O)
469-878-2315 (C)

Swan Roofing, LLC
972-596-8313 (O)

Texas Best Construction
Richard Stallings

Water-Tite Roofing

Security Alarms2020-01-22T19:10:23-04:00

ADT Security
Holger Moncayo

DFW Security

Safe Haven Security

Smith-Thompson Security


Kellee’s Custom Shutters
LeeAnn Kemp

We Got Shutters
James Peters


Aldridge Lawn Sprinklers

American Lawn Sprinkler Company


Lynn Wilson Interiors
Lynn Wilson, Stager

Staged Just In Time
Denise Smith, Certified Staging Professional

Structural Engineers2018-12-20T13:38:44-04:00

Crannell Engineering



CBG Surveying Inc.

Innovative Surveying

Jimmy Pogue Land Surveyors

Roome Land Surveying
Chad Sledge

Texas Heritage Surveying, LLC


Collin County Cab
(24-hour taxi service for airport, in-town runs, doctor’s visits, etc.), servicing Frisco, Plano, Allen, McKinney and the surrounding areas

Tree Trimmers2019-02-19T15:48:41-04:00

Becerra Lawn Maintenance

Wright Way Tree Service

Utility Companies2019-08-12T16:15:39-04:00



Water and Trash (If your city is not listed, call the city in which you will be residing for information)


Water Restoration/Mold Remediation2018-12-20T13:40:06-04:00

Brett Young
972-335-9900 / 512-791-3959

Puro Clean Water Restoration
Jim Bauer
214-463-2252 / 469-656-7000

Rainy Day Services

Window Cleaning, Repair or Replacement2019-08-08T16:28:07-04:00

BullDozier Window Service

Clear Reflections (Window Cleaning)
951-970-7282 (O)

Lone Star Spit & Shine Windows
Sheldon Coone

Precision Windows

Squeaky Clean Windows
Chuck Davis

Texas Windows

Window Covering2019-01-04T15:28:00-04:00

Blinds and Drapes for Less
972-270-3203 (O)

Lender Questions2018-12-20T13:40:07-04:00

When contacting lenders, inquire and compare the following:

  1. What is loan process?
    • Can application be taken over the telephone, via a website, or in  person?
  2. Financing Options available?
    • Do you need to put any money down to purchase the  house?
    • What are the financing programs, Terms and Interest Caps?
      • FHA, Conventional, VA, USDA,
      • 30 year fixed, 15 year fixed, etc.
      • ARMs (Adjustable Rate Mortgages), Interest Only, Construction Loans, etc.
  1. Interest Rates for different financing options?
    • Is there a loan origination fee? If so, how much?
    • Are there any points being charged for the rate quoted?
      • What exactly is a point?
    • Can you lock the interest rate? If so, is there a rate lock  fee?
      • If interest rate changes, can you get the lower rate?
      • How long can you lock a rate?
    • What is the APR (annual percentage rate) –
      • This is very important when comparing lenders. It is designed to represent the true cost of the loan to the borrower, expressed in the form of a yearly The purpose is to prevent lenders from hiding fees and upfront costs behind low advertised interest rates. The APR will give you an idea of the overall difference in fees charged by the lender to close your loan.
    • Will property taxes and hazard insurance be escrowed?
      • Is there a fee if you don’t want to use an escrow  account?
    • What is the estimated time to close loan?
    • Can they email you a “Good Faith Estimate” or “Closing Costs  Worksheet”?
      • Good Faith Estimate is an estimate of the charges which you are likely to incur at the closing/settlement of your
    • When can you anticipate your first mortgage payment and for how much? How much money will you need to bring to closing/settlement?

Once you’ve gathered your information, if you’d like for me to assist you in comparing lenders, let me know.

What is a Homestead Exemption and How to Request it?2018-12-20T13:40:07-04:00


  • You have an ownership interest in the property and use the property as your personal residence; however, you are required to state that you do not claim an exemption on another residence homestead in or outside of Texas.
  • You must own and reside in the home on January 1 of the tax year.
  • You must provide a Texas driver’s license or state identification card and the homeowner’s vehicle registration receipt. The address on the identification and the vehicle registration receipt MUST match the address for which the homestead exemption is requested.
  • If the owner does not own a vehicle they can send a current utility bill showing name and address along with an affidavit indicating non-ownership of a vehicle. The bill MUST match the address for which the homestead exemption is requested.
  • IT’S FREE! DON’T PAY TO FILE A TEXAS HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION! Scammers send official-looking stationary to suggest that a fee (usually $50 or more) must be paid for a homeowner to get an exemption. These claims are false and deceptive.

Property owners should read applicable statutes carefully. Below are the relevant websites and/or homestead applications.

Dallas County –

Collin County –

Denton County –

Tarrant County –

What are my Fiduciary Duties as your Realtor®?2018-12-20T13:40:07-04:00

When you hire me as your Realtor®, my Fiduciary Duties to you are:

  • Obedience
  • Loyalty
  • Disclosure
  • Confidentiality
  • Accounting
  • Reasonable Care & Diligence
What should I expect when viewing properties with my Realtor?2018-12-20T13:40:07-04:00

When viewing properties, please keep in mind that although this may be a very emotional time,

  • Do… view the process as a business decision.
  • Bring checkbook for Earnest Money and Option Money
  • Allot time to submit offer
  • Do… rate each property on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the perfect home. Please note that typically, perfect homes are hard to find so, any home that rates an 8 or 9 should be strongly considered as a home to submit and offer on.

As you rate each property, consider:

  • The neighborhood
  • The property curbside appeal
  • First impression when you enter the home
  • Property finish out
  • Repairs needed, if any
  • Size of home relative to your needs

After viewing a property, please rank properties by 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th purchase choice. Any property that slips to 5th or higher should be discarded.

No Money Down…Does Not Mean NO MONEY NEEDED2018-12-20T13:40:07-04:00

When a lender tells you that you may be able to get into a home for no money down, they do not mean you will not need any money to purchase/close on a property. Oftentimes buyers confuse “No Money Down” with the thought that they will not need any money. This is far from the truth. Typically, to purchase a home, the buyer will need funds for earnest money, termination option and/or inspections.

With this in mind, when a lender says “No Money Down”, they typically mean you may be eligible for 100% financing using one of many lender programs that may be available.

What Constitutes Closing Costs?2018-12-20T13:40:07-04:00

Closing costs are expenses that cover fees associated with the transfer of property ownership, fees paid to state and local governments, and the costs of obtaining a mortgage loan. Some of these fees are negotiable, and could be paid by either the buyer or the seller. Some costs are one-time fees (non-recurring closing costs, such as title search, termite inspection, appraisal, etc.); while other fees such as homeowner’s insurance or property taxes are things you will expect to continue to pay on a regular basis as a homeowner. As part of the loan selection process, your mortgage consultant should give you an idea of how much money you should have in reserve to cover your end of these costs. The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) requires the lender to provide you with a Good Faith Estimate within three days of the submission of your loan application. RESPA also states that as a home buyer, you have the legal right to request a copy of the HUD-1 Settlement Statement 24 hours before your closing is scheduled. The HUD-1 clearly defines all closing costs, including those that are to be paid by the buyer and the seller. It’s a good idea to have both of these forms before your closing so you can compare the estimated costs to the actual costs before you finalize your transaction.

Items & Funds Needed to Submit an Offer in Texas:2018-12-20T13:40:07-04:00
  1.  Loan Pre-Approval Letter or Letter of Funds Availability from Loan Officer / CPA / Financial Advisor / Bank.
  2.  Earnest Money
  3.  Termination Option Fee (for existing homes)
  4.  Inspection Fees
    Mechanical Inspection
    WDI (Wood Destroying Insect) Inspection
  5.  Down Payment
    Minimums: FHA– 3.5%; Conv – 5 to 10% of Sales Price
  6.  Closing Costs (loan origination, title insurance, prepaids -taxes/insurance)
    Ranges from 3-6% depending on price of property. Consult lender for more accurate amount.
How Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid?2018-12-20T13:40:07-04:00

Most real estate agents work for a broker as independent contractors and are 100% commission based. Typically, the commissions are paid at closing by the seller (i.e., owner, builder, bank, etc.) to the broker then distributed to the agent based on either a percentage commission split with the broker or full commission less a transaction fee. This is true even if the agent you are working with has signed a buyer representation agreement with you. However, a real estate transaction can be negotiated any number of ways, and that includes the possibility that the buyer could end up paying some or all of the sales commission.

Since most real estate agents work solely on commission and have expenses and financial obligations just like you, your loyalty is much appreciated. Most agents will respond with a sincere commitment to servicing your needs.

Note: Typical, Seller Closing Costs: $150,000 Property; 6% commission paid on  Sales Price = $9,000 plus title policy, property taxes year-to-date, legal fees and processing fees. These additional fees on average are 2.5 -3% of Sales price or $4500. So, Seller’s Estimated Closing Costs are $13,500. Keep this in mind, when considering the notion of having the Seller additionally pay your closing costs.

What is Intermediary?2018-12-20T13:40:07-04:00

Broker represents the seller & the buyer and provides only factual information and no advice to either party; shall treat both parties honestly; shall not disclose if seller will take a lower price or if buyer will pay more than submitted offer; and may not disclose confidential information.

What is a Seller/Owner’s Agent?2018-12-20T13:40:07-04:00

Broker represents the owner and must place the interest of the owner first; buyer should not tell owner’s agent anything they do not want the owner to know because owner’s agent must disclose any material information known to owner.

What is a Buyer’s Agent?2018-12-20T13:40:07-04:00

Broker represents the buyer and must place the interest of the buyer first; owner should not tell buyer’s agent anything they do not want the buyer to know because buyer’s agent must disclose any material information known to buyer.

*When you call our vendors, please mention that you were referred by Gillian Cunningham Realty Group. Thank you!

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Let's Talk Real Estate!


I can answer all your local real estate questions.

Gillian Cunningham | Residential Real Estate Specialist | Texas

Gillian Cunningham

Certified Residential Specialist

(469) 269-2754

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