Blog


November 4, 2022

Market Update with Mark Sprague

By Mark Sprague, State Director of Information Capital The Federal Reserve Bank’s policy-making committee (FOMC) raised rates this week (at the November 1-2 meeting) by .75% and kept a hawkish tone given the continued stream of inflationary data coming in since the September meeting. Inflation has slowed, but not much, and it may take a while to bring […]

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October 18, 2022

Property Tax Time in Texas – Tax Prorations

 By Karen Burnett, Senior Vice President, Escrow Manager Property tax time comes around October 1 of each year. That is the date that the county tax assessors are supposed to have their property tax rolls prepared and ready to release. Since they do not always hit that date, we see tax bills released throughout the […]

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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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April 29, 2022

TAX VOTE MAY 7th

By Roland Love, Vice President, Business Alliances & Field Operations There is an important Constitutional Amendment vote on Saturday, May 7th, the day before Mother’s Day (another important reminder – do not forget your Mother on Mother’s Day!). There are two proposed amendments that affect tax exemptions. The State legislature already enacted the supporting legislation […]

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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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February 22, 2021

A note to our customers

From: Brian Pitman, CEO/Co-Founder To our Clients and Friends, Like many Texans, both individuals and businesses, our company was hit this past week with power outages and limited staffing due to travel restrictions and weather hardships. Now that our functionality is being restored, our leadership and team members are working tirelessly through all hours to […]

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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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