Monthly Archives: October 2011


Senate Bill 18 was passed by the recently adjourned Legislative session.  (1)  clarifies the definition of “public use” to more effectively constrain eminent domain to true public use.  (2)  requires state & local govenments, which seek to obtain private property, to make a written “good faith” offer to the landowner.  (3)  grants a “buy-back” to a landowner whose property is taken through eminent domain & not used for 10 years.  (4)  mandates the Condemnation Petition to state the public use purpose for the condemnation with a copy provided to the property owner.  The passage of Senate Bill 18 came after Texas voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 11, which placed restrictions against eminent domain for economic development purposes in the Texas Constitution in 2009.


(1) TX leading nation in economic recovery.  (2) Texas’economy is big & getting bigger (almost as much GDP – gross domestic product – as Australia).  (3) Texas’ economy is profitable with GDP 2nd only to California & just passed NY.  (4) Texas’ population is growing & could be 12 million from 2010 to 2030.  (5)  Texas’ economy is international sending products to 25 countries with  Mexico receiving 34.4%.  (6)  Tax burden is less in TX with Texans accounting for 7.9% of state’s per capita income, compared with 9.8 for the nation.  (7)  TX has affordable housing with owner-occupied housing units having a value of $125,800 or 40th in the nation.  (8) Texans have entrepreneurial spirit.  (9) Texans are mobile & since there are no constrains by language & cultural we move around.




(1) ATTEND INSPECTIONS – the inspector can show you items that need repair & whether immediate or long term.  Some items like reversed hot & cold water faucets are minor, but major ones like a foundation problem can be major.  You can talk to the inspector.  (2) READ THE REPORT & DISCLOSURES – watch for repairs owner did himself, repeated repairs to the same home system, water & leakage issues & reports of non-functioning mechanical or other systems in the house.  Inspector can recommend another inspection of a system, so watch for this.  (3) GET MULTIPLE REPAIR BIDS – can serve as a negotiating item for a price reductions, etc.  (4)  STOP OVERCONFIDENCE IN ITS TRACTS – even if you are doing the work yourself, get bids in case you have to turn it over to a professional and (5)  PRIORITIZE PRICE REDUCTIONS & CREDITS OVER SELLER REPAIRS – you will probably do a better job, then the owner, so negotiate a repair allowance or reduction during the option.

“HOME OF TOMORROW” at State Fair of Texas

The exhibit is open from now through October 23 and the “HOME OF TOMORROW” exhibits the latest technology in home automation, energy-efficient construction, appliances, design & imaginative outdoor environments.  Highlights include the Net-Zero Energy Homes, which demonstrated how a home can produce its own electricity & even sell excess electricity created within the home.  For those who like cozy spaces, the MICRO-HOME shows how a bedroom, family room, kitchen & bathroom can all fit within a space the size of a walk-in closet.  The exhibit is on the main gate plaza between the Women’s Museum and The Daughters of the American Revolution House.