Bee Keeping AG exemption

If you wish to get your own bee hives!! Bandera County has their standards published here is more info…

Here is the snap shot of the “bee keeping info on Pg 17”

G. Beekeeping Operation
This type of operation provides many products: honey, beeswax, propolis, pollination of crops, and bees to sell to other beekeepers. To qualify for agricultural appraisal, state law permits keeping bees for two purposes:

  1. pollination of crops, and
  2. production of human food or products that have commercial value.
  1. Typical requirements in the District include keeping a minimum of three (3) active hives of honeybees. Each hive must include at a minimum one brood box (8 or 10 fram es) with a cover and bottom.  The District also requires that not less than five (5) or more than twenty (20) acres be used in this type of operation.
  2. Management practices for this type of operation include maintaining the required number of hive boxes, providing adequate shade and water for the bees, providing adequate pest control, receipts for purchases and sales of equipment, bees, and products. The landowner does not  need to own the bees, but the hives must belocated on the property seeking open-space agricultural appraisal. The landowner may choose to lease the land to a beekeeper who manages the bees on the leased land.
  3. Typical equipment for this type of operation include, but is not limited to,protective clothing (head net, suit, gloves),smoker, hive tool,hive boxes (deep broodboxes, honey supers, etc.)

The term also includes the use of land for wildlife management. The term also includes the use of land to raise or keep bees for pollination or for the production of human food or other tangible products having a commercial value, provided that the land used is not less than 5 or more than 20 acres.  more follow this link.

The new tax code change that now qualifies beekeeping as an agricultural use enterprise in Texas open-space land appraisals has generated a lot of interest, said Dr. Chris Sansone, Texas AgriLife Extension Service entomologist in San Angelo.
Sansone said that in a recent update, Deborah Cartwright, director of the Property Tax Assistance Division from the state comptroller’s office ( ), announced the Texas Legislature added beekeeping as another agricultural use for purposes of open-space land appraisal.

Tax Code Section 23.51(2) was amended to include in the definition of agricultural use “the use of land to raise or keep bees for pollination or for the production of human food or other tangible products having a commercial value, provided that the land used is not less than five or more than 20 acres.”
“The second option states that the food or products must have commercial value, not commercial production,” Sansone said. “While human food and products must be produced, the law does not require that they be sold commercially. Commercial production of agricultural products, such as livestock or crops, is not required for land to qualify for open-space land appraisal under current law. The other option requires that the land be used for raising or keeping bees for pollination.”
Sansone said the Texas Comptroller’s office recommended that each appraisal district consult their local AgriLife Extension office concerning the number of acres and hives needed to fulfill the requirement.
“A bee yard or apiary can be run on a pretty small scale,” he said. “Bees forage over a large area, sometimes well over a mile depending on available resources. Central Texas is not the optimum for beekeeping because of the lack of a consistent pollen and nectar source compared to the Houston/College Station areas. Sansone said the website: offers a good overview of managing bee populations.
“There may be some differences in how the different County Appraisal Districts apply the regulation, and I suspect that some burden may be on the property owner to justify the use of land for bee pollination and to show how the bees are an agricultural enterprise,” Sansone said. “Property owners should think about a landscape plan of the property that shows how different plants and plantings would contribute to the bees’ foraging. Property owners may also be required to provide a basic marketing plan on how honey, and related products such as beeswax candles, soaps, etc. could be sold. They may also discuss renting the hives for pollination services.”
Sansone said local appraisal districts will determine the number of hives that are required on a per-acre basis and other requirements for beekeeping as an agricultural enterprise.
Sansone said Paul Jackson, chief apiary inspector for the state with the Texas Apiary Inspection Service, is an excellent resource person for local appraisal districts needing information. He can be reached at:

More information provided at:

Native Texas plants for sale from the Texas Forestry Service

Seedlings for sale

Each year, West Texas Nursery grows roughly 30 different hardwood and evergreen seedling species, though exact numbers vary based on seed availability, weather and other factors.

Customers can begin placing orders for seedlings each September. Sales continue while supplies last through the fall and winter. Seedlings are shipped the following February.

For more information, call West Texas Nursery at 806-892-3572. Orders can be placed online, over the phone or by fax at 806-892-3585.

Return to West Texas Nursery.

Short Sales and Deeds in Lieu of Foreclosure

I found a great article on the internet click this for the original:

A short sale or deed in lieu may help avoid foreclosure or a deficiency.

Many homeowners facing foreclosure determine that they just can’t afford to stay in their home. If you plan to give up your home but want to avoid foreclosure (including the negative blemish it will cause on your credit report), consider a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure. These options allow you to sell or walk away from your home without incurring liability for a “deficiency.”

To learn about deficiencies, how short sales and deeds in lieu can help, and the advantages and disadvantages of each, read on. (To learn more about foreclosure, including other options to avoid it, see Nolo’s Foreclosure area.)

Short Sale

In many states, lenders can sue homeowners even after the house is foreclosed on or sold, to recover for any remaining deficiency. A deficiency occurs when the amount you owe on the home loan is more than the proceeds from the sale (or auction) — the difference between these two amounts is the amount of the deficiency.

In a “short sale” you get permission from the lender to sell your house for an amount that will not cover your loan (the sale price falls “short” of the amount you owe the lender). A short sale is beneficial if you live in a state that allows lenders to sue for a deficiency — but only if you get your lender to agree (in writing) to let you off the hook.

If you live in a state that doesn’t allow a lender to sue you for a deficiency, you don’t need to arrange for a short sale. If the sale proceeds fall short of your loan, the lender can’t do anything about it.

How will a short sale help? The main benefit of a short sale is that you get out from under your mortgage without liability for the deficiency. You also avoid having a foreclosure or a bankruptcy on your credit record. The general thinking is that your credit won’t suffer as much as it would were you to let the foreclosure proceed or file for bankruptcy.

What are the drawbacks? You’ve got to have a bona fide offer from a buyer before you can find out whether or not the lender will go along with it. In a market where sales are hard to come by, this can be frustrating because you won’t know in advance what the lender is willing to settle for.

What if you have more than one loan? If you have a second or third mortgage (or home equity loan or line of credit), those lenders must also agree to the short sale. Unfortunately, this is often impossible since those lenders won’t stand to gain anything from the short sale.

Beware of tax consequences. A short sale may generate an unwelcome surprise: Taxable income based on the amount the sale proceeds are short of what you owe (again, called the “deficiency”). The IRS treats forgiven debt as taxable income, subject to regular income tax. The good news is that there are some exceptions for the years 2007 to 2009. To learn more, see “Income Tax Liability in Short Sales and Deeds in Lieu,” below.

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure

With a deed in lieu of foreclosure, you give your home to the lender (the “deed”) in exchange for the lender canceling the loan. The lender promises not to initiate foreclosure proceedings, and to terminate any existing foreclosure proceedings. Be sure that the lender agrees, in writing, to forgive any deficiency (the amount of the loan that isn’t covered by the sale proceeds) that remains after the house is sold.

Before the lender will accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure, it will probably require you to put your home on the market for a period of time (three months is typical). Banks would rather have you sell the house than have to sell it themselves.

Benefits to a deed in lieu. Many believe that a deed in lieu of foreclosure looks better on your credit report than does a foreclosure or bankruptcy. In addition, unlike in the short sale situation, you do not necessarily have to take responsibility for selling your house (you may end up simply handing over title and then letting the lender sell the house).

Disadvantages to a deed in lieu. There are several downfalls to a deed in lieu. As with short sales, you probably cannot get a deed in lieu if you have second or third mortgages, home equity loans, or tax liens against your property.

In addition, getting a lender to accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure is difficult these days. Many lenders want cash, not real estate — especially if they own hundreds of other foreclosed properties. On the other hand, the bank might think it better to accept a deed in lieu rather than incur foreclosure expenses.

Beware of tax consequences. As with short sales, a deed in lieu may generate unwelcome taxable income based on the amount of your “forgiven debt.”

Income Tax Liability in Short Sales and Deeds in Lieu

If your lender agrees to a short sale or to accept a deed in lieu, you might have to pay income tax on any resulting deficiency. In the case of a short sale, the deficiency would be in cash and in the case of a deed in lieu, in equity.

Here is the IRS’s theory on why you owe tax on the deficiency: When you first got the loan, you didn’t owe taxes on it because you were obligated to pay the loan back (it was not a “gift”). However, when you didn’t pay the loan back and the debt was forgiven, the amount that was forgiven became “income” on which you owe tax.

The IRS learns of the deficiency when the lender sends it an IRS Form 1099C, which reports the forgiven debt as income to you. (To learn more about IRS Form 1099C, read Nolo’s article Tax Consequences When a Creditor Writes Off or Settles a Debt.)

No tax liability for some loans secured by your primary home. In the past, homeowners using short sales or deeds in lieu were required to pay tax on the amount of the forgiven debt. However, the new Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 (H.R. 3648) changes this for certain loans during the 2007, 2008, and 2009 tax years only.

The new law provides tax relief if your deficiency stems from the sale of your primary residence (the home that you live in). Here are the rules:

  • Loans for your primary residence. If the loan was secured by your primary residence and was used to buy or improve that house, you may generally exclude up to $2 million in forgiven debt. This means you don’t have to pay tax on the deficiency.
  • Loans on other real estate. If you default on a mortgage that’s secured by property that isn’t your primary residence (for example, a loan on your vacation home), you’ll owe tax on any deficiency.
  • Loans secured by but not used to improve primary residence. If you take out a loan, secured by your primary residence, but use it to take a vacation or send your child to college, you will owe tax on any deficiency.

The insolvency exception to tax liability. If you don’t qualify for an exception under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, you might still qualify for tax relief. If you can prove you were legally insolvent at the time of the short sale, you won’t be liable for paying tax on the deficiency.

Legal insolvency occurs when your total debts are greater than the value of your total assets (your assets are the equity in your real estate and personal property). To use the insolvency exclusion, you’ll have to prove to the satisfaction of the IRS that your debts exceeded the value of your assets. (To learn more about using the insolvency exception, read Nolo’s article Tax Consequences When a Creditor Writes Off or Settles a Debt.)

Bankruptcy to avoid tax liability. You can also get rid of this kind of tax liability by filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, if you file before escrow closes. Of course, if you are going to file for bankruptcy anyway, there isn’t much point in doing the short sale or deed in lieu of, because any benefit to your credit rating created by the short sale will be wiped out by the bankruptcy. (To learn more about using bankruptcy when in foreclosure, read Nolo’s article How Bankruptcy Can Help With Foreclosure.)

Additional Resources

To learn more about short sales and deeds in lieu, including when these options might be right for you, see Nolo’s Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Blog or the bestselling Foreclosure Survival Guide, now available online at no charge. Both are written by practicing attorney Stephen R. Elias, president of the National Bankruptcy Law Project.

by: Stephen Elias , Attorney

TDHCA 77, The largest bond program released for First Time Homebuyers!

The Texas First Time Homebuyer Program
Approximately $500 million in funding for first time home buyers.

The Texas Mortgage Credit Program
increases a family’s disposable income by reducing its federal income tax obligation. The tax credit is valid for the life of the loan as long as the borrower occupies the property as their primary residence.

Program Highlights Include:
• $50,000,000 allocation has been released for immediate use
• Unassisted Rate: 4.99% (No DPA)
• Assisted Rate: 5.74% (Must use DPA)
• Minimum Fico Score: FHA/VA/USDA = 600; Conventional = 620
• Fees: 1.0% Discount, 1.0% Origination
• Loan Types: FHA, VA, Conventional, USDA, refinancing of Subprime Loans
• Income & Purchase Price Limits apply
• MCC is not allowed
• Loans must close and fund by 08/31/2010
• No allocation or set aside requirements for Targeted, Low Income or Assisted/Unassisted loans
• Rita Go Zone area is exempt from the first homebuyer requirement. Rita Go Zone expires on
Down Payment Second Lien for the Assisted Rate Program:
• $2,500,000 allocation
• 5% Down Payment Assistance
• 0% interest 30-year loan, deferred
• Not Assumable
• No payments required, therefore not required to be included in the DTI ratio
• Funds may be used for down payment, closing costs, prepaids and/or earnest money
• Second Mortgage Bond Registration Form must be completed after First Mortgage is

For additional information access:

Ouida Bailey | Sr. Loan Officer
593 Angel Drive
Lakehills, Texas 78063