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 […]

Read More >>
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 […]

Read More >>
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 […]

Read More >>
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. […]

Read More >>

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 […]

Read More >>
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 […]

Read More >>
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, […]

Read More >>
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! […]

Read More >>
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 […]

Read More >>
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 […]

Read More >>
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 […]

Read More >>
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 […]

Read More >>
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 […]

Read More >>
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 […]

Read More >>
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 […]

Read More >>
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, […]

Read More >>
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 […]

Read More >>

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 […]

Read More >>
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 […]

Read More >>
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 […]

Read More >>