WHY the EQUIFAX BREACH MIGHT MAKE IT HARDER to BUY a HOME

One of the largest and potentially damaging data breaches had occurred, as the credit-reporting company EQUIFAX was breached.    About 143 million consumers had their addresses, credit card  numbers & possibly Social Security numbers stolen.  Can affect 1/2 of U. S. adult population.  With this information the “bad guys” can get new credit cards, pass a security check for a new job & more.  This is devastating to get a mortgage.  Can haunt you for years!  MORE TO COME.

WHAT’S INCLUDED in the SALE of a HOUSE? – stays

stove, wall-to-wall carpeting, ceiling fan, TV wall mount, chandelier, window shutters, smoke detectors, curtains/drapes and rods, blinds and window shades, garage door opener, shrubbery and landscaping, window air-condition unit AND what ever else buyer asks for and is negotiated.  If something is to be excluded, should be in the listing agreement and contract.  MORE COMING ON WHAT GOES WITH THE SELLER.

GROWTH in TEXAS

Nationally, the median home prices increased from $232,000 in 2006 to $236,000 in 2016.  While home prices have returned to the boom levels of a decade ago, there is no signs of a real estate “bubble” bursting, says Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale.  Backed by tighter lending standards like the Dodd-Frank Act & Consumer Protection Act, current price appreciation is now driven by strong supply-and-demand.

RURAL LAND IN NORTHEAST TEXAS

In 2016  prices climbed more than 8.6%.  The 1,781 sales eclipsed first quarter 2016’s total of 1,576 sales.  At 3,748 per acre, prices continue their strong recovery from 2011 lows.  An uptick in oil and gas activity in the Haynesville Shale as well as robust recreational demand contributed to this strong performance.  All this from Tierra Grande magazine from the Texas A&M Real Estate Center.

WHY FALL IS a GOOD TIME to BUY A HOME

(1)  Prices are typically lower as reflected in homes that did not sell in the summer.  Usually about 2.6% below fair market price, according to Realty Trac.  (2)  Less competition as most folks buy in the spring and summer.  Often easier to negotiate.  (3)  There is still inventory & owners anxious to sell.  Again if really wanting to buy visit with your lender ASAP.

TxDOT CLEANS 10 MILLION CUBIC FEET of HARVEY DEBRIS

Equivalent of about 186 football fields.  More than 600 TxDOT employees working weekly rotations have been brought in from around the state to assist local  employees in the hardest-hit areas from Corpus Christi to Beaumont.  All roads are now open, except one in Bastrop County.  Of the 4,300 bridges inspected following the storm, only 13 required repairs.

DEEP-WATER TERMINAL

The Panama Canal has been widened to handle larger cruise ships, tankers & barges, so the locally based Contanda Terminals had acquired 339 acres with deep-water access for a shipping terminal.  Will be build in phases.  It will provide access to onsite processing, multiple ship and barge docks, and tank truck and rail car accessibility.  This will help to accommodate the larger vessels coming to Houston.

SMART STRATEGIES TO PAY OFF YOUR MORTGAGE FAST

(1)  Make one extra payment each year.  Shaves off about 4 years of a loan.  (2)  Add a little extra to each monthly payment.  Probably better to simply make an extra payment when you can (less confusion).  (3)  Refinance to a shorter-term loan.  Often to do this, much have 20% cash into the loan already.  Be SURE YOUR LENDER DOES THIS CORRECTLY.  (4)  Create your own amortization schedule.  Like refinancing minus the fees & paperwork.  JUST CHECK WITH YOUR LENDER BEFORE YOU DO ANY OF THIS!

5 SURPRISES ABOUT FIXING A FLOODED HOME – part 2

(4)  Repairing a flooded home will cost you.  Drying up a 2,000 sf house in normal conditions may cost over $2,500.  (5)  Homeowner insurance doesn’t cover all floods.  Make sure you know what the insurance covers.  Most do NOT cover rising water, but will if comes thru the roof.  Have to ask for it specifically.  Many in the Houston, Beaumont & other areas have a lot to learn about this.

5 SURPRISES ABOUT FIXING A FLOODED HOME – part1

(1)  A flooded home can be fixed.  Removing the moisture is the key.  Get in there and clean up quickly.  Closer to the 3 to 5 day mark, then becomes questionable.  (2)  You’d be amazed what can be saved.  Use truck-mounted vacuums with 2,000 horsepower and dehumidifiers.  Maybe even sheetrock & TVs and laptops.  (3)  Mold, not water is the real problem, particularly in the Houston hot weather.  Treat with anti-mold agents.  MORE TO COME