(1) GREEN home improvements lower utility bills as much as 20-30% & install a tankless water heater & weather-strip your doors and windows. (2) Green homes sell faster as buyers want to save money. (3) Buyers will usually pay more for an energy efficient home. The Appraisal Journal said each $1 green home improvements decreased the property’s annual energy bills, the home’s value increased by $10-$25. For a 3000 sf home this translates to an increase of $8,000 to $25,000. (4) Look better & live longer with a kitchen garden, walk places, attract wildlife & on & on. (5) Live more comfortably. Go back to #1 and add double paned windows. THE GREEN LIFE CAN ALSO BE THE GOOD LIFE.
Struggling homeowners continue to be a favorite target for scammers. according to the National Association of Realtors. Scammers are passing themselves off as Homeownershio Preservation Foundation (HPF) counselors & using federal programs such as HARP & HAMP to trick homeowners. There are CLUES to watch for: (1) ask for a fee in advance to work with the homeowner’s lender to modify, refinance or reinstate a mortgage, (2) guarantees they can stop a foreclosure or get the loan modified, (3) advised the homeowner to stop paying the mortgage company & start paying them instead, (4) pressures the homeowner to sign over the title to their home. Call HPF directly at 888-995- HOPE to verify a trained counselor.
Unemployment continues its decline in Texas for the 6th month in a row, according to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). Nearly 28,000 jobs were added in February, dropping the state’s umemployment rate to 7.1%. Unemployment was at 8% February 2011. Eight of the 11 major industries saw growth in February with local governments adding the most, according to SMU economist Bernard Weinstein. This is due to an increase in commercial and infrastructure work. The lowest unemployment numbers are in Midland and Odessa with 3.8 and 4.5, respectively. The highest in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area for unemployment at 10.9%.
CNBC. Texas is benefiting from an economy driven by energy production and Economist Jim Gaines at the Real Estate Center at TAMU agrees. The middle of the country, the spine, has done much better than the 2 coasts. A common thread is energy, from Texas to the Dakotas – there has been a real boom time due to the exploration & drilling activity. This boom means more jobs. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show Texas ranks in the top ten in job growth for the past 10 years. Not only has this given Texas the ability to weather the national economic storm, but also the diversity of the Texas economy, which has helped drive job growth and demand for real estate, according to Texas Association of Realtors Chairman Joe Stewart.