Author: Emily Rice

September 23, 2022

How the Federal Reserve Impacts Mortgage Rates

Compiled by Mark Sprague, State Director of Information Capital The other day was the Federal Reserve meeting; their decision was another 75-basis point / ¾ point rate hike. Mortgage rates have surged to 14-year highs, deterring buyers, sellers, and builders, who have begun shifting to renting (homes, apartments, etc.) in anticipation of rates slowing or falling. However, […]

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September 16, 2022

TREC Wants Your Input!

 By Kaema Roberson, VP – Director of Education Get involved! Comment on the proposed TREC form revisions by September 26th. Currently, the proposed forms are out for public comment, and the earliest possible adoption date is November 7th, when the Commission meets for its quarterly meeting.  Once the forms are adopted, Independence Title will hold […]

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August 24, 2022

Wire Fraud – Is It Still a Thing?

By Karen Burnett, Senior Vice President, Escrow Manager Yes, it is!  Stealing has been part of human history since the beginning of time and as we have evolved, so have thieves and their ruthless ways of parting people with their money.  In the Real Estate Industry, thieves continue to target wire transfers to try to […]

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July 19, 2022

The Long-Awaited Slowdown In the Pace of Economic Activity Nationally is Here, or Is It?

By Mark Sprague, State Director of Information Capital Jobs nationally and locally continue to be created at a robust pace. (Job openings are twice the number of people out of work nationally and locally.) Consumers are spending. Businesses are investing. The housing market has slowed largely because of a lack of supply rather than a drop in demand. […]

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January 18, 2022

Tax Time in Texas – Homestead Exemption Q&A with Roland Love

By Roland Love, Vice President, Business Alliances & Field Operations Our recent note regarding the legislative change generally allowing a person to claim a homestead exemption anytime during the year – with some limitations – elicited a number of great follow-up questions. So we thought it would be good to share those with others. First, […]

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January 4, 2022

Homestead Exemption Changes – Effective January 1st!

By Roland Love, Vice President, Business Alliances & Field Operations So maybe you’ve heard the buzz – “I can get a residential homestead exemption anytime during the year!” Is that a game-changer? Well, not unless you buy a property that does not already have the exemption, and then it can be meaningful. It also means […]

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December 21, 2021

2022 and Beyond! A Market Update from Mark Sprague

By Mark Sprague, State Director of Information Capital As many of you look to 2022 and beyond, we all know it’s really anybody’s guess as to what the future holds. However, many of you who know me know that I am in the business of forecasting and analysis and hopefully in the business of anticipating what comes next. […]

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August 25, 2021

New PID Notice Requirements Q&A

By Kaema Roberson, VP – Director of Education If you haven’t already heard, beginning September 1, 2021, sellers will be required to provide notice to buyers when selling property located in a public improvement district (PID).  Let’s do a bit of Q&A to provide the answers you’re looking for? Q: What exactly is a PID? […]

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July 13, 2021

Mark Sprague’s Update to Lumber Futures

I keep getting these questions: “What are builders doing on purchasing lumber at these high prices?” “Any recommendations on when this will go down and how long?” and “Will prices continue to support the increase of build cost?” The quick answer is that costs will continue to go up through 2023, with a plateauing of […]

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May 3, 2021

Welcome Michele McClintic to Rockwall (DFW)

A 15-year-resident of Rockwall with a tenure of 21 years in the title business, Michele McClintic has joined the Independence Title family in the Rockwall office.  Michele has spent most of her career in the Dallas-Park Cities area closing commercial, resale, and refinance transactions.  While she loves the uniqueness of every transaction and the thrill […]

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April 6, 2021

Are We in a Bubble? At What Point Does Aggressive Values Appreciation Indicate a Bubble

By Mark Sprague, State Director of Information Capital We are getting lots of questions about the lack of inventory, which leads to the question of whether we are in a real estate “bubble” here in Texas. First, values rising over historical norms are not the definition of a bubble. Austin and most of our Texas metros […]

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March 25, 2021

Welcome Christy Shattles to Monticello (DFW)

Meet Christy Shattles … With a tenure in the title industry spanning 28 years, Christy is joining Independence Title as Branch Manager, Escrow Officer of our Dallas-Monticello office.  Christy began her career in 1993 during her freshman year at the University of Texas at El Paso, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree with a secondary […]

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March 9, 2021

Using Instagram Reels for Real Estate

By Emily Rice, Social Media Manager Have you noticed the semi-new feature on Instagram called Reels? Reels a blend of Instagram Stories and IGTV, short videos up to 30 seconds long –  basically, Instagram’s version of TikTok. In this post, I’ll show you how to create Reels and how to incorporate them into your real […]

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January 14, 2021

Business Planning 2021

By Emily Rice, Social Media Manager 2020 is FINALLY over!  The best word to describe this year for real estate is busy, which might be a bit of an understatement for some of us.  Starting 2021, most of us are thinking about resolutions and goals for this year, but the question is, how are we […]

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December 30, 2020

Ten Economic Questions for 2021 (focus on Texas)

By Mark Sprague, State Director of Information Capital Every presentation, every forecast the disclaimer ‘that a recession could be caused by “a catastrophic event” such as significant global military conflict, disruption of energy supplies for any reason, a major natural disaster (meteor strike, supervolcano, etc.), terrorist attack on a port, a demagnetizing bomb, (think about […]

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November 12, 2020

It’s Not an “Option” Yet!

By: Kaema Roberson, Associate Director of Education for Independence Title Wondering if the rumors are true? Will the title company accept and receipt the option fee? On November 10th, 2020 the Texas Real Estate Commission voted to adopt the Broker Lawyer Committee’s proposed contract changes. The buzz in the real estate community is around the […]

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April 16, 2020

Market Musings (Greater Austin Area)

Mark Sprague, State Director of Information Capital Here’s an update on some recent questions I’ve been considering, with input and feedback from much wiser analysts/economists whose seminars I have been able to sit in on the last few weeks. What impact has COVID 19 had on the nation’s economy?   We have never had a crisis […]

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July 18, 2019

The Safest Way to Travel? Maybe Not for Your Cybersecurity

Summertime: the kids are out of school, the weather is just right, time to go on vacation! It’s always something to look forward to, except the part where you have to use the dreaded airport to get there. Between keeping up with tickets, luggage, family members, and wandering kids, it’s no wonder thinking about cyber […]

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July 11, 2019

Have You Used the Matrix Tax Record Search for Target Marketing? [Austin & DFW Area]

Have you heard about the new Matrix tax record search? Instead of having to go to Realist to search the public record, you can now search directly within Matrix. It’s a fast, simple, and convenient way to help you farm prospective areas and neighborhoods. Some of the features include: Search by any geography—subdivision, city, zip […]

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June 20, 2019

How to Recognize and Avoid Phishing Attempts

By now you’ve probably heard of phishing, which describes attempts by cybercriminals to extract private, personal information from people and companies. Criminals use phishing emails to trick you into giving away information you’d otherwise keep confidential. When it comes to real estate transactions, the bad guys want details like the buyers’ and sellers’ social security […]

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