November 17, 2015

Should you have coffee with your lender?

CFPB & TRID regulations are now upon us! As of October 3rd any loan applications submitted will fall under TRID (TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosures) regulations. If you have a lender that you refer business to Independence Title Co encourages you to have coffee or lunch with them to find out how your lender will be […]


No more late night negotiations!

The TREC One to Four Family Contract and other TREC contract forms have been revised and are available on the TREC website. While many of the changes are insignificant, such as changing the word facsimile to fax, there are some important changes worth noting Negotiating during the option period of the One to Four Family […]

November 6, 2015

Conservative mortgage rules helped save Texas from the recession

The United States is still recovering from the longest and most severe economic recession since the Great Depression. Real GDP fell 4%, employment 6%, and the headline unemployment rate crossed the 10% mark for only the second time in postwar US history. As we know now, housing and finance were at the center of the […]

October 22, 2015 | Extreme Makeover

You may have noticed the Austin Board of REALTORS website got a makeover recently. The changes offer a more intuitive experience while surfing the site, but change is always a little difficult so they’ve made it easy to quickly access some of the most important areas of the site. Notice this? When you click View Site Tips, you […]

October 9, 2015

Enjoy low interest rates – for now

In September, the Federal Open Markets Committee, the Fed’s policy setting arm, decided not to raise its benchmark rate, which has been near zero for seven years. The benchmark rate is what a central bank issues which other interest rates are calculated against. Also called base interest rate, it is the minimum interest rate investors […]

September 30, 2015

New Regulations Are Around The Corner

Are you unsure how to best prepare your clients for closing in light of the new rules set out by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau(CFPB)? We’ve got you covered! Below are seven tips to help you and your client prepare for the changes effective October 3rd, 2015. Encourage your buyer to remit financial documents to the […]


Our Online Calculators are Ready for the New Regulations

As many of you now know the implementation date for the new TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) regulations set out by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is October 3rd. Most residential transactions with a loan applications dated on or after October 3rd, 2015 will be affected by these new regulations. This summer we released […]

September 18, 2015

Texas metros remain sellers’ markets

We are in interesting times. Texas metros have had hot real estate markets for the past five years. For the last few months, we have had questions at both end of the selling spectrum. On the one hand, we are still seeing a sellers’ market in terms of inventory and demand. On the other hand, […]

August 25, 2015

Do You have Survey-a-phobia?

Anyone working in this industry for a few years has a scary survey story or two to tell. I heard one recently from a local REALTOR; she had what you might call a “challenging client,” who needed a good deal.  They finally found a house and although the contract negotiations were very tough, the buyer’s agent prevailed! […]

August 18, 2015

Have you Utilized YouTube?

1.8 Million Words That’s the value of one minute of video, according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research. Have you incorporated video in your marketing efforts yet? If you haven’t, what stands in your way? Of course, YouTube is likely the first website that comes to mind when we hear “viral videos.” Many people […]

August 14, 2015

2015 Texas Midyear Review, Part III

This week, our series on the major Texas metro real estate markets shifts its focus to San Antonio. San Antonio continues to see growth near or above prerecession numbers, unlike the majority of the country. After a slow start to 2015, economic activity in San Antonio picked up in May. Jobs grew at an annualized […]

August 7, 2015

2015 Texas Midyear Review, Part II

We are continuing our review of the major metro real estate markets in Texas. This week we will spotlight Dallas / Fort Worth. Five Texas cities were among the top 10 U.S. cities in population growth between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014 — Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth, with each […]

July 31, 2015

2015 Texas Midyear Review, Part I

Of the 3218 counties in the US, only 65 have fully recovered from the recession. By “recovered”, we mean that employment is back to prerecession numbers, GDP is same or better, and real estate values are at or better than prerecession. It’s important to understand this context when talking about the market in Texas, where […]

July 13, 2015

An Interview About Mineral Rights in Texas

Mineral rights are a hot issue in real estate transactions. Since mineral rights can also be a confusing topic, I sat down with our legal counsel Jay Fitzgerald to try and clarify what mineral rights are and whose  role it is to determine those rights.  Q: Let’s say a buyer is interested in the mineral rights on a potential property. How would a […]

July 10, 2015

Mid-year condo report doesn’t tell the whole story

The Texas Association of Realtors released a report about condo sales in the Austin, DFW, San Antonio, and Houston metro areas. Values are strong in all, and sales are strong and improving except for Austin. According to the report, Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio experienced an aggregate 1% decrease in condo sales between January […]

June 19, 2015

Markets find their own values

Texas and its metros continue to be singled out as overvalued by different sources. The map below from real estate analysts KCM, using CoreLogic numbers, shows when the states saw peak prices and how far they are from that pinnacle. As you can see Texas is just now hitting the highest values they have seen […]

May 29, 2015

2015 points to slower growth ahead

Last year, the U.S. job market had its best year of gains since 1999.  Economic activity hit a whopping 5% in the third quarter, the best quarter since 2003. On the other hand, employment is still relatively weak with only 2% of the nation’s counties recovered to prerecession unemployment, GDP, and real estate values. Unemployment […]

April 24, 2015

Texas housing markets (still) aren’t overvalued

The Austin Board of Realtors reported that the March 2015 median price for single family homes was $255,000, a 10% year-over-year increase. This is a record high for Austin homes, so it isn’t surprising that some are saying our market is overvalued or in a bubble. Still, you can’t just look at appreciation and say […]

April 10, 2015

Expect low inventory to persist

One of the most common concerns for those moving to Texas is the lack of inventory in all real estate channels. Strong demand is the main reason there has been little to no increase in inventory in the last few years. There has been a great deal of discussion regarding the consistently low housing inventory […]

March 27, 2015

Texas continues to outpace the national economy

Officially, the Great Recession reached its lowest point in June of 2009, and the national economy began its path to recovery. Almost six years later, some states like North Dakota and Texas with strong energy industries are home to the most fully recovered economies in the aftermath of the Great Recession. However, if we look […]