Friday, February 17, 2006
A special form is needed to apply for homestead exemptions. The form must be completed and returned to the appropriate appraisal office not before January 1 but no later than April 30. You can download the application from http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxforms/50-114.pdf, fill out the form, and send it in to your appraisal district.
Don't fall for misleading solicitations to file your homestead exemption. There is no fee to file a property-tax homestead exemption. Shortly after the purchase of a home in Texas, you might receive letters on official-looking stationery offering to file your homestead exemption for you for a fee. Even some people who have lived in Texas their entire lives confuse these letters as a form from a state agency requiring a mandatory fee.
The actual process is both free and easy so take a few minutes to save yourself hundreds of dollars on your tax bill.
California buyers agents are now required to tell their buyers that the offers they make are not confidential. The seller and his agent may choose to share the information in your offer, such as the price and terms of the offer, with anyone, including another buyer or agent to entice them to outbid your offer. This information may be important to buyers because it may affect the price and/or terms of their offer. It could also affect what strategies might be used in order to get offers accepted, such as having an offer expire quickly before the seller has a chance to receive another one.
Now that this requirement is in place, however, there may not be many markets that find it useful. Calfornia, New York, and Florida are still in relatively strong sellers' markets, but here in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California, it’s much closer to a normal market in February 2006. February 2004 in Southern California was another story, however, and that’s when this requirement would have been more useful because we had a double-digit number of offers on every property. The highest number of offers on one property that I was involved in was 26. My buyer didn't end up with that property, by the way. In fact, I wrote 15 offers at or above asking price in February 2004 and didn't end up with any of those properties. For February 2006, we have 3 offers written and accepted, all under asking price.
This requirement is just about 2 years too late, but it'll be in place the next time we're in the strong seller's market of the real estate cycle.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
On the bright side, it's a fantastic market for buyers right now. Whether you are a first-time buyer, an investor, or a move-up buyer you can find some great deals on homes right now. Don't get all in the doldrums about the financial state here but act while prices are the best they've been in years! For assistance, call us at our tollfree number, 800-923-3245.
And the economic state of Michigan will improve!
Monday, February 13, 2006
Monday, February 06, 2006
Like, why would the public listen to a PodCast about real estate?
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Now that we are experiencing a more balanced real estate market, Sellers have to do more than place a sign in the yard, set a price 20% higher than the house down the street that sold last week and have 2-3 offers in their hand in a couple of days.
Buyers are more discriminating. They will not accept a home with the defects they might have put up with just 6 months ago. So, what mistakes should a Seller avoid for a profitable and smooth transaction?
- Improper pricing
- Not providing access
- Bad housekeeping
- Not making repairs
- Poor showing techniques
- Relying on traditional methods
- Being emotional
- Not knowing the market
- Unqualified prospects
- Choosing the wrong agent
Click here for an Interactive Seller Guide on how not to make these costly mistakes. Or, contact one of the REALTORS listed on this site for more personalized information.
Ruth Ann Macklin
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
CNN Money Article
For the next 2 years, the San Antonio market is projected to grow at between 7% and 8% annually. Please contact me if you are an investor looking for residential purchases in the San Antonio area.