January 2012 RSS Feed
Live Where You Play, Play Where You Work
Houston Home Prices Are Doing Much Better Than Rest of Nation
According to Clear Capital, which services mortgage and lending industries, the Texas housing markets are doing much better than the rest of the nation.
The average Houston home prices dropped .8 percent in 2011 compared to a 2.1 percent nationally. Houston's home prices increased by 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with a national decrease 4 percent.
Clear Capital is further expecting Houston home prices to increase by 3 percent this year while expecting to see only a 2 percent rise nationally.
Changes for Homeowners Associations Effective January 1, 2012
Homeowners associations have new guidelines for maintaining their association documents, providing access to the association records, and conducting open meetings. Also effective January 1, a homeowners association is required to use an "expedited foreclosure" process before foreclosing against a property owner, unless the property owner gives a written waiver. The process includes obtaining a court order by the association against the property owner.
HOAs are now prohibited from foreclosing a debt that consists solely of fees charged to obtain copies of HOA records. They are also now required to apply owner's payments in the following order: first to delinquent assessments, then current assessments, and finally attorney's fees and fines. This…
Excellent Opportunity to Buy Lake Conroe Waterfronts
If you live in the Lake Conroe area, you're well aware of the devastating drought we've had and the toll it's taken on Lake Conroe. The lake is down a whopping 8 feet! Although there are a few public boat launches open, just about all of the waterfront properties are dry docked.
Waterfront home prices are falling, making it an excellent time to purchase waterfront property. If you're looking for an investment, now is the time. Of course, buying waterfront property when there is little water is not for the feint of heart. No, it's for the serious investor or homeowner with a vision and an understanding that Lake Conroe was created as a water supply reservior and the lake level will come back once this historic Texas drought has passed.
2012 Changes to Texas Laws *Paperless Property-Tax Bills & Appealing Property Appraisals*
Among some of the January 1, 2012 changes to state law that affects real estate are paperless property-tax bills and appealing property appraisals without going to court.
Beginning January 1, local tax offices can offer an electronic tax bill. If you are interested, you will need to check with your local tax office to see you can begin receiving your tax bill via e-mail.
Also new as of January 1, if you want to appeal your property appraisal and you own property in Collin, Denton, Fort Bend, or Montgomery county and the property is worth more than one million, you can appeal the property appraisal through the State Office of Administrative Hearings rather than the district court. Property owners in Bexar, Cameron, El Paso, Harris, Tarrant, and…
2012 Changes to Texas Real Estate Laws *Title Policies*
Several changes to the Texas laws that affect real estate went into effect January 1, 2012. The changes affected the HOA resale certificate, owner's and lender's title policies, disclosure for private transfer fees, HOA guidelines for foreclosures, access to association records, and conducting open meetings, as well as paperless property-tax bills, appealing property appraisals without going to court (only in some counties), and tenants right to appeal eviction regardless of the ability to pay court costs.
The changes to the owner's and lender's title policies are minimal. Prior to January 1, 2012, title companies could always exclude coverage of the ownership of minerals, and would give the buyer a 2% credit. Now, the title companies are not…
Texas Property Homestead Exemption 2012
A state law that went into effect the 3rd quarter of 2011 changed proof of residency requirements for homeowners applying for the homestead exemption as well as those applying for the over 65, disability, disabled veterans, homeowner's surviving spouse, and manufactured home exemptions. This new law did not change the requirements for those who already have homestead exemptions.
The new law requires applicants to provide a copy of their Texas driver's license or state ID card and vehicle registration receipt. The documents must have the same address as the property for which the exemption is requested.
If the applicant does not own a vehicle, he/she must produce an affidavit stating that he/she does not own a vehicle and also provide a copy of a…
Changes to Texas Real Estate Laws Effective Jan. 1, 2012 - The HOA Resale Certificate
The Texas legislature has made several changes specific to real estate that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2012. One of those changes effects the HOA Resale Certificate.
Beginning January 1, home buyers purchasing property in a subdivision will be able to request a resale certificate directly from the homeowners association. On all contracts entered into on or after January 1, buyer will be required to pay the fee for the resale certificate unless the buyer and seller have agreed otherwise in the sales contract.
Our current TREC addendum provides options for delivery of the resale certificate and states that the seller will have to pay for it. This addendum will change early in 2012.
What Does this Mean for Home Buyers?
The HOA may require…
Christmas in Montgomery, TX 2011
A small town Christmas celebration!
A mixed bag of festivities - everything from a hometown parade to a cookie walk with local vendors selling homemade treasures.