Tax Extensions Passed

Polychron on passage of tax extensions
Posted in Legislative, by NAR on December 17, 2014

National Association of Realtors® President Chris Polychron has issued the following statement on key legislation passed by Congress:

“The package of tax extensions approved by the U.S. House and Senate, and headed to the President’s desk for signature, includes important provisions that will help distressed homeowners and commercial property investors with transactions made during 2014. NAR applauds Congressional leaders in both chambers for their effort to pass this legislation before adjournment.

“Realtors® strongly supported the bipartisan Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act, which was included in the package to prevent underwater borrowers from paying taxes on any mortgage debt forgiven or cancelled by a lender in a workout or after their home was sold for less money than was owed. We are grateful to Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Reps. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., for championing the provision.

“The legislation also includes one-year extensions of the 15-year depreciation schedule for leasehold improvements and the deduction for improvements to energy efficient commercial buildings.”

Scams to Avoid when Buying a home!

Hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and is ready for a New Year!!
While we are preparing we have to “keep our eye on the ball”.
Below is an article from Texas Association of Relators:

12/19/2014 | Author: Ward Lowe

A new family moved in next to us, and my wife and I stopped by to welcome them. They asked us when trash pickup is (Friday), if the city will fix the broken streetlight next to their driveway (yes), and if the guy who “walks” an imaginary dog through the neighborhood is dangerous (no).

Then they asked a strange question: They wanted to know how much we paid to file our homestead exemption.

A scam that’s been around for years
They received a letter in the mail containing lots of data about their property from a company offering to file their homestead-exemption paperwork—for the low, low price of $35. Being first-time homebuyers, they didn’t know that there is no fee for filing your homestead exemption in Texas. You download the form from the state and file it with your local appraisal district; it doesn’t cost anything.

But wait … there are more
I’d heard about that homestead-exemption scam; we received a similar letter when we bought our house. Lucky for us, our Texas REALTOR® had explained how to file the exemption. She also said to call her if we received any other official-looking letters asking for fees for anything related to the sale of our house. That came in handy when we got an invoice a few days after closing from a deed-retrieval service, charging us $87 for a copy of our deed. She told us to throw away the so-called invoice—we would be getting a copy from the title company.

As far as real estate scams go, these may be small potatoes, but when you’re buying a house, every dollar helps

1,500 Rooftops coming to Seguin!!!!!

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release Contact: Terry Treviño
December 15, 2014 Phone: (830) 401-2476
Email: ttrevino@seguintexas.gov
Contact: Danny Welch
Phone: (210) 602-7859
Email: dfrankwel@cs.com
1,500+ Rooftops Planned for Seguin, Texas Update on 299 Acre Greenspoint Development
Seguin, Texas serves as the county seat for the second fastest growing county in the nation, Guadalupe County. According to the US Census, Guadalupe County has seen a 47.75% increase in population from 2000-2010. Guadalupe County has a 154% projected population growth increase from 2010-2040 according to the San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization. Seguin also serves as the retail hub for 3 major counties-Guadalupe, Gonzales and Wilson. Seguin is seeing business expansion city-wide, with many nationally known retailers entering, returning and expanding in the market. With Seguin’s abundant growth, Seguin’s housing is booming-with over 1,500+ new single family rooftops planned. This includes: 800+ homes for Mill Creek Crossing by Perry Homes, 382 homes for The Meadows at Nolte Farms by D.R. Horton and 400+ homes for the Greenspoint Development.
One of Seguin’s new major housing developments is Greenspoint. Located along SH46 at Rudeloff Rd., Greenspoint is a 299 acre master planned community on the City’s west side near the NewQuest Properties’ Seguin Commerce Center being developed along IH10. Greenspoint will include more than 400 homes in Seguin ISD.
“We saw it as a great opportunity to invest in Seguin’s growth,” Al Kay, Greenspoint Development investor, said. “We’ve got a lot of room to expand and a lot of interest in what we are doing.” After closing on the property in September, Greenspoint entered into a Public-Private
Partnership with the City of Seguin to install a sewer line. Sewer line construction will be the
first visible sign that development has begun. “We’ll put the sewer project out for bid and a contractor will build it for us,” Harry B. Jewett, development manager/partner for Greenspoint said. “Once we have the sewer line in
place, it opens up the rest of our property for development. The other utility systems are
already in place. We’re in a good spot and we are ready to go.”
“The scale of the Greenspoint Development will allow us an opportunity to craft this property into a very desirable Seguin community,” Jewett continued. “With the amount of acreage
we control, we can develop a variety of residential communities including single and multifamily neighborhoods, garden homes and senior living facilities”. These will have easy access to the commercial businesses planned for the SH46 frontage.
The development is going to incorporate low impact drainage design. “We are trying to incorporate systems in our subdivision design so we don’t end up with a lot of drainage infrastructure,” Jewett said. “We’re going to do that more naturally in a manner that is green and sustainable”. Greenspoint also worked with the City on Seguin’s major thoroughfare plan. An important part of the development agreement is the design of the outer loop parkway.
“The developers of Greenspoint are committed to the implementation of the vehicular circulation pattern that incorporates elements of the major thoroughfare plan for the city,” Jewett said. “This means that the residential and commercial facilities in our development will benefit from the maximum utilization of SH 46 with a planned 200 foot-right-of-way parkway. These two major facilities will create the framework for the pattern of collector streets, neighborhood streets, walkways, bike lanes, parks and open spaces that will be essential characteristics of the final Greenspoint development project.”
The Greenspoint development has a contract with Corner Store. The Seguin Planning and Zoning Commission recently approved the Corner Store’s preliminary subdivision plat for the site at the southwest corner of SH46 and Rudeloff Rd. “The Corner Store is the leading USA based company that is committed to bringing a very high level of convenience service to the traveling public,” Jewett said. “We believe that the facility that they will construct as part of our project will be a model of the most up to date facilities for a convenience store experience.” “We felt that Seguin was a new frontier for all the growth that’s going on,” Danny Welch, Greenspoint Development, marketing, said. “We are excited about Seguin and the new companies coming in here and the chance to bring in some rooftops. We’re looking forward to working with Seguin.”

Shared from Seguin Economic Development Corporation 12/15/2014

Why use a REALTOR?

For most people, buying a home is the largest financial investment they will ever make. It is the one time you can say you went shopping and spent a quarter of a million dollars (or more).

So shouldn’t you work with a REALTOR® to get the best advice possible for that investment?

REALTORS® Facilitate the Process

A REALTOR® is a client advocate, the market expert and the negotiating tiger all wrapped up into one independent contractor. Because REALTORS® are usually solo practitioners, they wear many hats. They are sales people, but they are also marketing directors, social media managers and data analysts all in one.

A rising number of home buyers are using REALTORS®. About 88% of home buyers purchase their home through a real estate agent or broker—a share that has steadily increased from 69% in 2001, according to the National Association of REALTOR®’s 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

Homeowners rely on REALTORS® to help them find the most qualified buyer and to navigate the home selling processes. Rules regarding home sales are always changing, and it is the REALTOR®’s job to stay on top of those market dynamics and pass along their expertise to their clients.

REALTORS® direct their home-buying clients to the best financing options for their situation, and they steer all their clients to make better decisions in preparation for the home buying or selling process.

For instance, a homeowner who wants to list their home might be advised to take a home equity line of credit (HELOC) before listing to make necessary repairs—because once the property is listed, a bank will not lend on that property. A buyer might be advised not to buy a car before starting or closing on a home purchase, because such a big ticket purchase would change their debt-to-income ratios and might disqualify them for a home loan.

REALTORS® Offer Great Resources

REALTORS® know the best contractors and can refer them easily to new homeowners and potential sellers. They are the link between all things real estate and the novice.

One of the REALTOR®’s most important roles is as the unbiased voice of reason. The REALTOR® is the objective set of eyes in the transaction. They help sellers see outside their personal connection to a property, and they help buyers stay level when faced with a multiple-bid situation.

A REALTOR® can help a buyer save money and help a seller to make the most money. Because they go through the home buying and selling process daily, they can warn clients of potential dangers and looming changes.

For instance, when Congress threatens to eliminate the mortgage-interest deduction, REALTORS® are at the forefront of the fight rallying to voice their support and save the measure. They are the link between housing policy and the consumer.

A REALTOR® maintains a customer-focused approach. Showing properties and writing offers is just a percentage of what happens in the course of the typical REALTOR®’s day: no two days are alike, and no two transactions are alike.

The REALTOR® is the only constant in the real estate transaction. Can you afford not to have that experience on your side?

Copied from the NAR webpage.

Do I have to disclose a repair I made last year?

I found this article interesting and thought I would share. Hope you are all staying warm and enjoying the hustle of Advent. . .preparation for Christmas. About to “Deck the Halls” at our Corner Post Real Estate office.–Katie Clark, BROKER

I hired a licensed electrician last year to fix a wiring issue in my home. I’m putting my house on the market next week, and I know I’m supposed to disclose defects of the property. Since I had the wiring issue fixed, do I have to disclose it?

No, you do not have to disclose a previous wiring repair. While you must disclose known defects or malfunctions of your property, the only previous repairs you must disclose are those to the foundation, roof, or other structural repairs, such as a collapsed overhang. Since the repair of the wiring issue is not one of these types of repairs, you do not have to disclose it.

If you have made previous roof, foundation, or other structural repairs, you should disclose these items in Section 3 of the Texas Association of REALTORS® Seller’s Disclosure Notice. Section 4 is where you should disclose anything still in need of repair. Your Texas REALTOR® can provide more information about this form.

While you’re not required to disclose this electrical repair, keep in mind that it’s always better to disclose too much than too little. You’ll reduce your risk of facing future problems if you’re up front and honest in your disclosures.

11/04/2014 | Author: TAR Legal Staff