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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October 31, 2014

Looking back at 2014

It would be great if I was right all the time. Unfortunately, only my wife is right all the time. That being said, it is the time of year where we look back at the previous year, confirm those things we forecast on, and report what has happened and where the regional real estate market […]

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Fall Fun at Independence Title

By: Erin Reichman, Education Specialist Whether you celebrate Halloween or attend a alternative Fall Festival, the end of October marks the beginning of the Holiday season. The fun and anticipation is almost tangible. This is also the time of year when adults finally have a free pass to unleash their inner children in the form […]

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October 24, 2014

What factors are important when looking at real estate?

If being in the real estate industry was easy, well, then everyone would be doing it. However, the truth is that no matter how wise or smart you are, no matter how many connections you make, no matter how hard you work, no matter how much you read and learn, there are certain factors you […]

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October 17, 2014

Is Texas overvalued? – Part II

This newsletter is a follow up to last week’s post, “Is Texas housing overvalued?” Check out last week’s post on the Independence Title blog to get an understanding of why we don’t think it is overvalued or in a bubble. People are asking if Texas is overvalued because Texas metros have received so much attention […]

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October 10, 2014

Is Texas overvalued?

Last week, the media picked up an article by one of the major real estate media outlets on the ‘overvalued’ Texas metros real estate. The real estate and financial collapse of the last decade — a once-in-a-century financial crisis and recession — is not something most folks are excited to see repeated. Many parameters since […]

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Technology is no Substitute for a Realtor

by Kara McGregor, Sr. VP of Business Development, Independence Title Company When real estate markets are healthy and information resources plentiful, some home buyers and sellers inevitably engage in a discussion about whether they can/should bypass the real estate agent and manage the process of buying and selling property on their own. For would-be home […]

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October 3, 2014

Metropolitan job growth drives demand for all real estate channels

The median price for homes in the state of Texas hit another all-time high in June 2014 in the four major metros, and demand for homes in the state continues to be strong, but demand has seems to reached a plateau in the last couple of months with values and rents continuing to remain strong […]

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September 26, 2014

National economy still recovering

In Texas, 2013 was the year we felt the economy turn a corner. Although the recession “officially ended” in June of 2010, most consumers and businesses point to last year as the year they felt and saw the economy turn. In the real estate industry, we saw stronger home value and real estate appreciation. Here […]

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September 19, 2014

Another look at renting versus buying

There are those that worry that a new bubble is forming. Rents are a good yardstick: house prices that appreciate in line with rents make sense, since both are a sign of demand. But when one outstrips the other, it is time to review whether to buy or rent. In most Texas metros, rents have […]

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September 16, 2014

You Have the Power! Do You Know how to Use It?

How do you choose a title company in Texas? New rules adopted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provide fresh emphasis on consumer choice, but again, there are no stated guidelines to help home buyers and sellers make an informed decision on what company should handle their transaction. Most consumers aren’t sure what title companies really do, much less how to judge which one is “best.” Here is a brief primer on some factors that can truly affect the experience of your transaction, with some clarifying questions to ask as you talk to your real estate agent or mortgage lender, or as you browse title company websites in search of clues.

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