Monthly Archives: September 2011

CLOSING COSTS on a home closing

Nationwide, closing costs have  jumped nearly 9% over the past year, according to  Average closing costs on a $200,000 mortgage are $4,070, up from $3,741.  New York has the highest at $6,183 followed by Texas at $4,944.  States with the cheapest costs are Arkansis, North Carollina dn Indiana – each averaging $3,400.   One of the reasons closing costs are higher in Texas is the Owner’s Title policy is higher than in some states, plus when you are looking at any property with land the survey will be more expensive and thee are still lots of those closings in Texas.



KNOW THE NUMBERS:  insurance, taxes, utilities, maintenance vary widely, so get estimates before you buy.  (2) pay attention to umemployment statistics.  High jobless rates can dampen housing price appreciation.  (3)  search for financial and demographic information on various neighborhoods.  With INTEREST RATES AT AN ALL TIME LOW this is a good time to buy.  Yes, prices could DROP more, but very difficult to know the bottom.  A realestate rule of thumb holds that you should rent if the home price is greater than 15 times the annual cost to rent.  For a more precise answer, AARP’s interactive calculator at      can compare the cost of buying and maintaining a homes with rental payments.  Get our your calculator so you can figure!


according to Tom Mullins, president/CEO of the Tyler Economic Development Council & Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce.  Our Smith County is one of the fastest-growing counties in East Texas, with 3,000 to 3,500 people moving here each year and Texas is growing more rapidly than any other, with an average of 1,000 new people becoming Texans every day.  Mullins said people usually don’t move unless they have jobs or businesses in the area.  Much growth in this area.  Unemployment in the Tyler area is averaging 8%, higher than Mullins wants it to be.    Still below the  state’s 8.7% andthe nations’s at 9.1%.  Tyler is regional retail hub.  Home sales have been down, but average price of homes has been up in the past 5 years.  Now the number of huses being solid trending up while HOME PRICES ARE DOWN.  People are more realistic about selling, if they need to sell.   Building permits are down.


In order to receive a homestead exemption for property tax purposes, applicants must now provide a copy of their Texas driver’s license or TX state-issued identification card & a copy of their vehicle registration receipt.  The addresses on these must  be the same address as the homestead exemption.  If no vehicle you are required to submit a notarized affidavit certifying that fact & provide a copy of a current utility company bill.  Again the address has to be the same as the property for the homestead exemption.  This applies to all exemptions:  over-65, disability, 100% disabled veteran, extension of exemption for a surviving spouse & exemption for a manufactured (mobile) home.  Documentation will need to be provided for these exemptions.         will soon have these exemption forms on line.