Monthly Archives: July 2012


Continued activity in the oil & gas industry made the state’s mining & logging industry 1st in job creation in June, according to the Real Estate Center’s MONTHLY REVIEW OF THE TEXAS ECONOMY.   The leisure & hospitality industry & the other services ranked 2nd & 3rd.  Nearby Texarkana ranked 3rd in new job creation.  The Texas economy gained 2.2% compared with 1.3% for the U. S. from June 2011 to June 2012.  The state’s private sector had a growth rate of 3.2%  compared with 1.8% for the nation’s private sector.  All Texas industries except the information industry had more jobs, but the state’s government sector continues to lose jobs.


Real lakes are not built overnight.  It takes centuries of plants & trees living & dying to create the perfect aquatic environment.  Unfortunately, most lakes in TX were built overnight as part of the reservoir building boom of the 1950s thru the 1970s.  Instead of carved out of the soil by years of erosion or geographical depressions,  our lakes were created by bulldozers that pushed away trees & scraped away the dirt.  It wasn’t a sterile environment, but lacked the natural native aquatic vegetation that helps improve water quality & create better fish habitat.  Texas Parks & Wildlife is actively planting lake vegetation along shorelines & a recent planting is at Lake Palestine near Tyler.   On Palestine water willow will be planted as it establishs better in the hard clay substrate at the southern end of the reservoir.  30 cages will be established over a mile of shoreline.  These plants produce seeds & cuttings to be carried further.  Bellwood Lake in Tyler did plantings & choked out the hydrilla.  Much interest in these programs!




Local governments can seize and sell a home if the owner falls behind in property taxes & fees.   This process helps governments make ends meet at a time when property values are lower & the weak economy is squeezing tax revenue.  Tax debts as low as $400 can cause folks to lose their homes because of arcane laws & misinformation among consumers, according to John Rao, an attorney at the National Consumer Law Center.  It is impossible to figure the number of homes sold in TAX LIEN SALES, as the information is spread among thousands of local govenments.  In Florida alone in 2008, $2 billion worth of tax liens were sold.  Many older Americans use the equity in their home as collateral for reverse mortgages and other methods.  Folks must KEEP TRACT OF THEIR PROPERTY TAXES each year and be sure they are paid and not depend on their lender.  People with higher-quality mortgages tend to pay taxes and insurance to their mortgage companies as part of their monthly bills,  but even then the homeowner needs to check to be sure their taxes + their homeowners insurance is paid YEARLY.


July reminds us of homes of our funding Fathers.  Their homes were more than shelter, but places of reflection & inspiration.  George Washington inherited Mount Vernon when he was 20 years old.  John Adams was born in a home that remained in his family for 4 generations.  “HOMEOWNERSHIP IS AN INVESTMENT IN OUR FUTURE,  but also a gateway to our past”.   The homes of our country’s founders offer insights into their characters & values & reflects their spirits, just as our homes for us today.  1/5 th of women are now homebuyers  & it is a way to express their independence.  The founding Fathers lived close to where they were born & that is still true according to the National Assoc. of Realtors.  The typical buyers only moves 12 miles from his or her previous residence.  Thomas Jefferson said “I am as happy nowhere else & in no other society, & all my wishes end, where I hope my days will end, at Monticello”.