Archive for the ‘ Real Estate ’ Category

We may not have the same number of first time home buyers as we did when the government was offering incentives but there are still many searching for that first house to call a home.

There is no perfect home.

I can’t count the number of times a client would say, “If only we could take this house and put it on the other home’s lot.”

There Are a Lot of Houston Homes

Keep in mind there are a lot of homes on the market because of the size of Houston. Right now there are 14,711 homes! That doesn’t even count the farms, multi-family homes, vacant lots and other properties in the real estate market.

You can (and should) read a lot about the local real estate market. There are some very important things that you need to watch for as a first time Houston home buyer.

There are bad neighborhoods, houses with underlying structural damage, etc. You need to become aware of these factors. But the one thing you can’t read about is the feeling that comes over you when you have been desperately looking for the right place and then suddenly find it. It is the feeling of finding the perfect home!

First Time Buyers Can Get Discouraged

As a first time Houston home buyer, you may get discouraged, but don’t let it get you down.

It may take some time before you find the house you can call home. You may feel that it is all a wasted effort. A lot of clients hit this point of frustration right before they see the house they want. It’s like magic. The desperation comes and then the home pops up.

In Houston there are approximately 120 listings added every day. Some of these homes have incredible designs that are simply inspiring. The thing is that you need to find the one that inspires you. Then you’ve got it.

You’ll Know When You Know

You will know a home is right for you when you feel it. You can walk into this Houston home and imagine your furniture in it. You can envision stepping out into the back yard on a sunny day with a cold drink in your hand. Everything fits together perfectly, and the small things that aren’t perfect really don’t matter.

A top real estate agent will want you to get exactly what you want. It’s your job to communicate the criteria that’s important to you. He’ll need to possess a feeling of what you want and then show you what’s available. A good agent will never give up until you are fully satisfied and happy with your final decision.

This is really all there is to it. You’ll know when you know. There is no big secret that a first time Houston home buyer doesn’t have access to. The right house is out there waiting for you. You just need to find it.


Author: Tre Pryor is an Internet-veteran turned tech-savvy Realtor specializing in Louisville real estate. One of the top Louisville agents, you can find his work at and


English: An icon from the Crystal icon theme. ...

English: An icon from the Crystal icon theme. Nederlands: Een icoontje van het Crystal icon thema (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Property taxes are based on the assessed value of your property recorded by your local government’s tax records office. The local property tax assessor can determine property value using various methods such as if a certain neighborhood becomes a popular place to live or if market pressures, such as inflation, have influenced property values.

In recent years, several events have decidedly driven down the value of properties in many markets. Your focus, as a property tax payer, must be in knowing the current value of your property in today’s market. Your property tax must reflect the current property market and be appraised at a similar value in comparison with other comparable properties in the same area.When you receive a notice of an assessed valuation of your property, and you do not feel it represents its current market value you can, within a specified timeline, dispute the validity of your property tax assessment. (This site  is an excellent resource on the subject).The assessor will not lower the property tax assessment unless you have thoroughly researched the key indicators and are prepared to defend your position that the assessed tax value was based on incorrect assumptions or data. Try here for more information.

To challenge your property tax assessment you must:

● Ensure that the assessment report correctly lists the square footage of your home and the size of you lot.

● Compare the appraised value of similar properties in your neighborhood to the appraised value of your property

● Obtain the selling price (market value comparisons) on at least three to five homes that recently sold in your neighborhood.

After you have obtained and verified the above information and have determined the tax assessment of your property is incorrect, then prepare this information and submit your petition to challenge the assessment.

The assessor’s office will then review your submitted petition and usually provide a written decision to you within a few weeks. If you still disagree with the assessor’s decision, you can continue to appeal, even into the judicial court system.

Stonefield Trace Real Estate home picture

Image by GregFly via Flickr

Owning a home can give you considerable tax advantages. Homeowners pay local property taxes and interest on their mortgage. A renter pays rent. The landlord however can use the money the renter pays to pay the interest on the mortgage so in a indirect way the renter pays this. The homeowner or landlord has a distinct advantage over the person that pays rent. If the landlords income, exemptions, and other deductions are the same as his renter the landlord will pay less taxes so you can see there is a distinct advantage to being a homeowner or in owning rental property.

The homeowner will be allowed to deduct from his income when paying interest on a mortgage or paying property taxes (Click here to see how this works) While rent of course can not ever be deducted. Let me give you an example of how this works. You can have two childless couples whose income and circumstances are identical except one couple rents a house and the other couple owns their house. And while both couples have identical incomes, and deductions the one that owns their house will have further deductions available to them in the amount of $1.920 due to their interest payments and property tax payment. The couple that is buying their home will get to take a total deduction of $2.640 while the couple renting can only take a deduction of $1.500. Believe it or not but the couple who own their home will pay $217.00 less than the couple who rents. As a homeowner you can pass part of your property tax and interest payments on to good old Uncle Sam.

And even when the homeowner pays off their mortgage and even if they live in a community with no property tax they will still receive favorable tax treatment because of the imputed rent income which is paid but they pay no taxes on. Again let me show you an example. Lets say you have two people that both work on the same assembly line for the ABC Assembly Company each making a $30.000 a year income. Now both of these people own their own home but Mr Crane lives in his home while Mr Black rents his home and lives with his relatives. Now both of them have a $50.000 house free and clear. Mr Black has a net cash rental income of $1000.00 after all expenses including his property taxes. He will have to pay taxes on $51.000. Mr Crane should look on his cost free living as being worth $1000.00 which is really income in kind. If these two were to be treated equally they should both pay taxes on either $50.000 or $51.000. But in truth Mr Crane pays on $51.000 and Mr Black on $50.000. The same thing would apply if Mr Crane were to invest his savings in his house while Mr Black invested in high grade municipal bonds. After a time Mr Black would have interest income which is taxable while Mr Cranes rent income received in kind would not be.

Some people can depreciate part of their houses value for tax purposes. If a homeowner uses part of their home for a home business then they can deduct the portion of the over all costs used for that portion of the house where the business is located. For example if one half of the house is used for business then one half of the total expenses can be deducted. The same would be true if the homeowner were to rent one half of their house to someone.

This article was courtesy of the Lending Expert Blog.