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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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March 14, 2015

Gyft The Giftcard App

The thing you learn very quickly at SXSW is just how much swag you can carry. Every time I thought there was no way I could cram another thing into my backpack someone forced me to take a free t-shirt. If by “forced,” I mean they held it out and asked if I wanted it. […]

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Evergreen: Cultivating Enduring Customer Loyalty

Today I attended a South by Southwest session on creating Evergreen Clients by Noah Fleming of Fleming Consulting & Co. Noah’s book Evergreen: Cultivate the Enduring Customer Loyalty That Keeps Your Business Thriving covers, what he calls, the three c’s as the keys to building lifelong relationships with clients; character, community and content. Twitter user @Salmonilla […]

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March 13, 2015

Economic outlook positive for 2015

The strength of the Lone Star State’s economy has led our national economy through the general gloom of the slowest national economic recovery in modern history. Now, with the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil hovering around $45/barrel, and unleaded gasoline selling for as little as $1.89 a gallon, some worry that the […]

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February 20, 2015

The shape of residential real estate to come

Demographic trends are among the strongest forces that shape real estate markets. Different generations have different housing needs. The largest and wealthiest generation, the Baby Boomers, is reaching retirement age, which will have a profound effect on the national economy and the supply of available housing. Let’s take a look at the major generational cohorts, […]

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February 19, 2015

Check Legal and Ethics off Your 2015 To-Do List!

Don’t let your mandatory continuing education credit sneak up on you this year! Sign up today for a Legal and Ethics class in your area. When you register online you’ll have the option to pay for class, receive email updates as details are confirmed, and receive reminders as your class date approaches. Remember to mark your calendar! […]

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February 17, 2015

CFPB brings changes to mortgage lending

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created in 2010 in direct response to the financial crisis of 2008. As many remember, the crisis was set off by a number of problems in the subprime mortgage market, and the downstream selling of those mortgages in security markets. This reform process has been compared to the […]

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January 23, 2015

Low oil prices and the national economy

In our last edition of the Voice, we discussed the potential effects of the decline in oil prices on the Texas region. The fall in energy prices has the potential to cost the Texas economy 125,000 to 150,000 jobs. This week, we’ll look how declining oil prices could affect the national economy. Most of us […]

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January 9, 2015

Low oil prices and the Texas economy

For the last few weeks there has been great interest in the decline in oil prices. I wanted to address the many questions I have received about how this will impact the Texas economy. I am not an expert on oil futures, but living in Texas for the last half century has given me a […]

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December 19, 2014

Leading economic indicators remain positive

In November of this year, the U.S. economy created 321,000 jobs, more than in any month in almost three years. It was the 50th consecutive month of job growth, an unparalleled streak since World War II. Compared with the rest of the world, where many economies grow barely grow at all, the U.S. economy looks […]

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December 5, 2014

Predictions for the 2015 housing market

Almost ten years after the housing bubble peaked and three years after home prices bottomed, the boom and bust still cast a long shadow nationally as well as regionally. What does 2015 have in store for the housing and real estate market regionally? The ‘rebound effect’ we felt in 2013 that drove the recovery after […]

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November 14, 2014

Are first time buyers too late to the party?

As the national and local metro markets continue to appreciate in price, more attention is being paid to the cost of shelter for first time homebuyers. Despite an improving job market and the lowest interest rates in decades, a recent survey released this month by the National Association of Realtors shows the first-time buyers share […]

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November 7, 2014

CFPB Chat

by Kara McGregor, Sr. Vice President of Business Development I had a chance to sit down with members of our Best Practices Committee and talk about CFPB and new regulations coming in 2015.  Independence Title’s Jay “Fitz” Fitzgerald, General Counsel , Denise Holmes, Vice President of Policy and Compliance, and Marjorie Tinnell, Vice President of […]

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November 6, 2014

Video | CFPB- What It Is and Why We Care

The CFPB or Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a fairly new government agency whose duties include regulating mortgage lending. There will be some significant changes to the Real Estate landscape in the Summer of 2015 that as a Realtor you should be aware of. Watch this video for a brief introduction to CFPB, it’s history, […]

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