JLA TV Introduction

JLA TV Introduction

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How do you choose your realtor?

Would you see a dentist that only works on one patient a year?  Probably not….check out this video blog on that very subject.How do you choose your Realtor

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Short Sale vs. Foreclosure

Short-Sale vs. Foreclosure

 The state of the housing market is one of the hottest topics being discussed today.  Most reports revolve around foreclosure and the percentage of foreclosures on the market.  One area that is not always discussed is short-sales.  Short-Sales are a relatively new concept that many distressed home owners are turning to as an alternative to foreclosure.

A short-sale is very similar to a foreclosure.  The home owner is behind on their payments and does not see any possibility of getting caught up and the home will not sell for what the owner owes on the home.  Instead of being forced out by the bank due to foreclosure, the home owner, usually with the help of a realtor, works with their mortgage company to sell the house “short”.  This means that the house is worth less than the owner owes on the home.  There are positives and negatives to both scenarios and an entire book could be written on the details involved for both.  However, I want to lay out the most basic positives and negatives to both scenarios.

Short-Sale Positives: 

1)      Owner typically gets to stay in the home longer as they work to sell the home

2)      Credit Score hit is less

3)      The 3-year waiting period to purchase again starts the day the home is closed on.

Short-Sale Negatives

1)      More paperwork and dealing with a Realtor, home showings, ect

2)      Emotional strain of selling the home

3)      Bank still has to give final approval on the deal and it can take months to close

Foreclosure Positives:

1)      Owner moves out and puts the bad situation behind them

2)      The mortgage company becomes liable for the home once they foreclose

Foreclosure Negatives:

1)      3-year waiting period does not start the day the owner moves out.  The waiting period starts when the home is resold and the deed changes hands.  This can sometimes take a year or longer.

2)      Massive credit score hit

In my opinion, the greatest advantage to a short-sale is that the owner knows the exact day that their 3 year waiting period begins.  They can then plan to purchase again in 3 years and hopefully avoid the mistakes / issues that forced the first short-sale.  Again, this short blog is by no means a comprehensive guide to short-sales and foreclosures. 

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Paint – The Inexpensive Change

Updating your home with fresh paint may be the most significant change you can make. This inexpensive investment will likely yield the greatest return. 

Painting can instantly transform a room especially if you are changing the color scheme.  Paint ages just like rest of the home and should be updated regularly.

Choosing a paint color from the thousands of choices available may be a very daunting task.  Earth tones and neutral colors are always a safe selection.  Bold colors such as red and purple work well for accents but can be overwhelming for an entire room.

Investing in a good roller, pan, and paint brush will make the project go more smoothly.  You should plan for a minimum of one gallon of paint for a standard 10×10 room.  If you are covering a darker color, then a second coat of paint will be required to give a smooth solid finish.

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Houston Homestead Tax Exemption

Did you purchase a home in 2011?  If you did, then you may qualify for the Homestead Tax Exemption.  The Homestead Tax Exemption deducts a set amount from the value of your property for taxation purposes.  For example, if your home is valued at $150,000, and you qualify for a $15,000 exemption, then you will be taxed on $135,000. 

A form must be filed with the Harris County Tax Authority to obtain the Homestead Exemption.  I recommend that all home owners check the taxe records at www.hcad.org to verify that their primary residence is homestead.

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