More than 2,000 Texas REALTORS® converged on Austin yesterday to visit with state lawmakers on issues affecting Texas homeowners. I was one of them!
“Texas withstood the real estate bubble that ravaged the rest of the country, largely because state leaders made private-property rights a priority in recent sessions,” says Dwight Hale, chairman of the Texas Association of REALTORS®. “We are focused on maintaining those policies so homeownership remains affordable in Texas.”
Texas REALTORS® are urging passage of legislation to strengthen property owners’ rights against eminent domain abuses and eliminate private transfer fees … a scam in which a hidden fee must be paid by the homebuyer anytime a property is sold, for up to 99 years.
Texas REALTORS® also oppose legislation that would weaken home-equity lending protections Texas homeowners have enjoyed since 1998 … protections the Texas Association of REALTORS® pushed for back in the 1997 session. “This kind of protection doesn’t exist in other states, and many homeowners have found themselves upside down on their loans as a result,” Hale says. Read the news release on PR Newswire
Law enforcement officers, pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers and firefighters/emergency medical technicians can contribute to community revitalization while becoming homeowners through HUD’s Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program. HUD offers a substantial incentive in the form of a discount of 50% from the list price of the home. In return you must commit to live in the property for 36 months as your sole residence.
How the Program Works
Eligible Single Family homes located in revitalization areas are listed exclusively for sales through the Good Neighbor Next Door Sales program. Properties are available for purchase through the program for five days.
How to Participate in Good Neighbor Next Door
Check the listings for your state. Follow the instructions to submit your interest in purchasing a specific home. If more than one person submits on a single home a selection will be made by random lottery. You must meet the requirements for a law enforcement officer, teacher, firefighter or emergency medical technician and comply with HUD’s regulations for the program.
HUD requires that you sign a second mortgage and note for the discount amount. No interest or payments are required on this “silent second” provided that you fulfill the three-year occupancy requirement. The number of properties available is limited and the list of available properties changes weekly.
Here are the real estate market reports for the state’s 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). The reports cover census data, employment and unemployment, major industries, business climate, education, transportation and infrastructure issues, growth patterns and much more. Best of all, they are available from the Center’s website for free.