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Houston Real Estate Blogosphere brings together all the blog posts of REALTORS from the Houston area in one place
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Education

The most recently published posts in the Education category
Prescription drug abusers reportedly are posing as home buyers and using open houses to raid medicine cabinets and night stands in search of drugs. A group of real estate agents, organizations, and businesses have teamed up to form the Safe Homes Coalition to raise awareness. The group’s initial focus is in San Diego County, but it hopes the message will spread across the country. The ...
Read Post [Posted on 04/19/2014 By John Askins]
The water temperature may be just right, but the cost of buying and operating a pool is scalding.Anyone who contemplates owning a pool should expect it to cost at least $3,000 a year, or $5,000 if they turn the job of maintaining it over to a pool service, estimates Susan Elser, a certified financial planner in Indianapolis.Installing a pool along with the required extras like a high fence costs a...
Read Post [Posted on 04/18/2014 By John Askins]
'Zombie lots' returning to life in some neighborhoodsImage 1 out of 5James Nielsen/StaffA sidewalk ends in the Southview Villas subdivision Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in Houston. ( James Nielsen / Houston Chronicle )By Nancy SarnoffApril 17, 2014A for-sale sign in front of a new house in Southview Villas is one of the few signs of life in this seemingly forgotten neighborhood near...
Read Post [Posted on 04/17/2014 By Kenya Burrell]
photo NOAABy 2014 NAR President Steve Brown With the passage of the NAR-supported Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act in early April, REALTORS® were able to help bring property buyers and owners relief from exorbitant rate shocks and potentially inaccurate rate quotes that were causing uncertainty in the real estate market. But, the story doesn’t end there.  In fact, that is only ...
Read Post [Posted on 04/17/2014 By Cynthia Mullins]
Houston leaders discuss a proposed anti-hoarding ordinance relating to hoarding and related behavior. The vote was delayed, but Mayor Annise Parker says it's a problem that is not unique to Houston."This is an issue that had been popping up over and over again, and we have worked with mental health professionals. We've worked with police through the Department of Neighborhoods to in...
Read Post [Posted on 04/17/2014 By Kenya Burrell]
5 Buying TipsWHEN PURCHASING A HOME These 5 buying tips will save you time, money, and headaches. 1. Get Pre-Qualified – before you can seriously consider purchasing a home, it’s important to know exactly how much you can afford. This can be the scariest part of the buying process for some. It’s perfectly natural to be nervous, but we can put you in touch with someone you can trust to help ...
Read Post [Posted on 04/17/2014 By Mary Ann Lipsey]
 Budgeting to Buy a House No matter how good the credit rating, today's homebuyer no longer has the luxury of buying with little or zero down. Unless you are low-income with good credit, or a veteran, no-down loans are also a thing of the past. Most lenders today want at least 20 percent of the loan amount as a down payment on a house. For a home priced between $168,300 and $287,500, ...
Read Post [Posted on 04/16/2014 By Shayne Stone]
March Housing UpdateHouston home sales rose again in March, with most of the buying taking place at the higher end of the market. We’ve also seen ongoing strength in the leasing market, which illustrates that many consumers continue to take advantage of available lease property. We are happy that there hasn’t been any further decline in the local supply of homes and are hopeful that new const...
Read Post [Posted on 04/14/2014 By Kenya Burrell]
Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the ...
Read Post [Posted on 04/14/2014 By Patricia Uzzi]
Taxpayers claiming a home office deduction should make sure their “home work” is in order before turning in their “assignment” to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for “grading.”“A home office needs to be used on a regular basis,” said Dr. Jerrold Stern, research fellow with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and professor of accounting at Indiana University. “Incide...
Read Post [Posted on 04/14/2014 By John Askins]
Self-employed members of the workforce such as realtors can start now to reduce their 2014 tax bill through such methods as buying business equipment, like computers, software, or even a car by the end of the year. The Internal Revenue Code enables them to deduct the entire amount in one year for tangible personal property used more than 51 percent of the time for their business. Self-proprietor...
Read Post [Posted on 04/13/2014 By John Askins]
A massive security flaw exposed on websites could put at risk your private information, such as credit card numbers and other data. The bug is known as Heartbleed, and security experts are warning Internet users to change their passwords on sites they use — and then be prepared to change them again soon. Researchers uncovered the vulnerability in a Web security measure known as OpenSSL....
Read Post [Posted on 04/12/2014 By John Askins]
It's hard to believe but true: More than 5 million Americans eligible to receive a big tax break from the government miss out on it, according to the IRS.They're eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit—but they need to file a tax return to get it. The credit is designed to reward work and can offset federal taxes owed or create a tax refund, depending on the filer's circumstances.Nearly 26 milli...
Read Post [Posted on 04/12/2014 By John Askins]
The 9th Annual Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival!Come out and enjoy one of the best events The Woodlands has to offer! April 12 & 13, 2014!The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival is ranked #1 in Texas and #5 in the US!Tickets are $12.00 per person2099 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77380http://www.woodlandsartsfestival.com/ -Pam Franks ...
Read Post [Posted on 04/11/2014 By Pamela Franks]
Buyers needing financing for their home purchase often struggle to compete with other buyers willing to pay all cash to close the sale. All-cash buyers are making up an increasing part of sales too. The National Association of REALTORS®’ latest existing-home sales report shows that in February all-cash sales accounted for 35 percent of transactions. Some lenders are helping buyers better co...
Read Post [Posted on 04/08/2014 By John Askins]
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