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Posts Tagged ‘estate’

Tax Credits for Homeowners

In Green Living on May 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Federal tax credits have been reinstated for 2009 and apply to windows, doors, roofs, insulation, HVAC and non-solar water heaters up to $500.00. In addition, Austin Energy and Texas Gas Service offer rebates averaging $2000.00 for a total improvement package. Each improvement can help save you as much as 32 percent on your cooling bill.

Texas transaportation industries adjusting plans to support population growth

In Economy on May 13, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Central Texas transportation agencies are adjusting their long-range planning strategies this year to reflect the needs of a region that has been reshaped by rapid growth and accelerated economic development. As Austin and its surrounding communities have become increasingly interconnected over the last decade, agency leaders are working to create systems that will enhance urban mobility and support an emergent commuter population.
The quick pace of growth presents challenges for the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority and other agencies as traffic congestion builds steadily each year, said CTRMA Executive Director Mike Heiligenstein.
The legislation covers only 19 Texas counties, including Travis County, but Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, successfully lobbied to remove Williamson County from the list.
The Texas Local Option Transportation Act outlines six possible sources for generating new tax revenue, all of which require voter approval before taking effect: a new county gas tax, mobility improvement fees, parking management fees, motor vehicle emissions fees, driver’s license renewal fees and new resident roadway impact fees.
Counties would collect the taxes and apply them toward transportation improvements, construction bonds and contractor services. If the bill is approved by the House and signed by Gov. Rick Perry, it would take effect Jan. 1, 2010.

Get ready, more foreclosures to come!

In Foreclosure on May 5, 2009 at 7:45 pm

For those of you who have been thinking the housing market is bottoming out, don’t believe everything you read. FNMA has put a moratorium on evictions since October 2008, and every lender under the sun has pretty much followed suit. Come June, auctions and particularly evictions will again raise their head. The loan modification programs have had little effect and many homeowner who were able to modify their loans have begun to get behind in their payments in as fast as 90 days. Thankfully, it’s not the end of the world. Real estate will recover, prices will bottom out, and buyer’s purchase power will increase again once credit policies loosen.

If you’re in Texas be glad. According the the Texas A&M Real Estate Center, the number of real estate transactions have experienced double digit drops. However, house values over all have remained relatively flat. In fact, in some micro-markets real estate valuations have actually continued to climb.

For now, if getting  good deal by buying a foreclosure is what you’re after, “caveat emptor”.

1. Trust only agents that know how to work with foreclosed properties. Especially first time home-buyers. I’ve heard the stories and have seen the tears. Give yourself plenty of time to close; 60 days is a good idea.

2. Make sure to ask for everything upfront. Once you’ve contracted on a deal try to stick with it. If the house is really what you want then don’t loose site of what’s really important. The amount of channels, hoops and red tape that sales managers for institutional banks and asset management companies have to go through when additional consideration is requested based off a repair could jeopardize the entire deal. Some sellers are now offering their own home warranty solution in order to cover mechanical devises that break down once you move in.

3. If the house has been vacant for a while, their’s usually a reason for it. Sellers of distressed assets will typically fix the big things, like foundation. However, be careful of houses with pools. Usually they’re only boarded up. The reason, pool companies will charge 10’s of thousands of dollars to fix a pool. So the banks typically don’t even mess with fixing them.

4. Try an auction. Yes, auctions are coming back. If you remember in the late 80’s and early 90’s when you could buy a house at an auction at a great deal you may want to consider going to a few. Keep in mind, the best deals are going to be those properties that have been sitting vacant for quite some time relative to other homes in the neighborhood.

Foreclosures can be a good deal but make sure you know what you’re getting in to. You can check out foreclosure listings on my website, http://www.CharlesGalati.com.