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Randall Martin's Blog

By Randall Martin | Agent in Houston, TX
  • Honey...the Sellers will be sleeping over.....

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Houston, Home Selling in Houston, Moving in Houston  |  January 3, 2013 7:57 PM  |  72 views  |  2 comments
    "The Sellers Will Be Sleeping Over for a few days"

    Sounds weird doesn't it??? Let me give you a scenario...

    Say you and your REALTOR (by now you are using a REALTOR, right?) make an offer to purchase a home. Your REALTOR calls you up and says "Congrats!! The sellers have accepted your offer...........under one condition..."

    Wait a minute!! What is the one condition????? Your REALTOR says, "The sellers need to lease-back the home for a few days after closing."

    I know your initial response..."I just bought this home and I want to move in immediately after closing." Of course, who wouldn't? Let's pause for a moment and I'll break it down in Layman's terms [deep breath] The sellers need to sell their current home before they can close on their next home. Sometimes loans do not "fund" the same day everyone signs paperwork. A lease-back for a day (or two or three days) gives the sellers time to close on their next home AND have their furniture moved into it. phew!

    What if you and the sellers closed on your home, had the movers delivering your furniture the same day, and came to realize that the sellers were not able to close on their NEXT home until tomorrow? You're going to be mad and the movers are going to be asking for more money! A seller lease-back is often the best answer. It is an easy way to make sure things go smoothly for everyone.

    The home is yours, but you are simply allowing the sellers to remain for a specified period of time after closing. You, as a buyer AND the new landlord, are protected in many ways. I'd love to go into further detail, but for sake of time (and short attention spans!!) I'll cut it off here. Please message me for more info!

    Randall@AgentRandall.com - www.AgentRandall.com

    ...I was listening to an Aerosmith documentary when I wrote this...
  • Homestead for More Bread!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Houston, Property Q&A in Houston, Home Ownership in Houston  |  December 17, 2012 9:57 PM  |  88 views  |  2 comments

    So you bought a home is Texas... Now let me tell you how to put more BREAD in your wallet!! You might have heard of something called
    filing a homestead exemption. Some rules have changed as of September 1st, 2011. I'm about to tell you (in the next 226 words) what that means and how to do it!

    Wikipedia defines the homestead exemption as "a legal regime designed to protect the value of the homes of residents from property taxes, creditors, and circumstances arising from the death of the homeowner spouse."

    This definition is true...but money brings the LOUDEST bark! Basically, Homestead exemptions exempt part of your home's value from taxation; therefore, they lower your taxes. Texas only allows you to file a homestead exemption for one property - sorry if you own more than one home :(

    So, how do you do it? First, you can only file for exemption between January 1st and April 30th. ALSO, you have to own your home as of January 1st of the year you're filing. Next, pay attention to these new rules (courtesy of the Harris County Appraisal District):

    Effective September 1, 2011, in order to qualify for a residential homestead exemption you must provide HCAD with a copy of either your Texas driver's license or Texas ID Card.

    The address on your driver's license or state ID card must match the physical address of the residence for which you are applying.

    This address must also be the same as the address on your vehicle registration. Attach a copy of your vehicle registration receipt to your homestead application.

    All three addresses must match (home, vehicle registration, and driver's license)!!!!

    Feel free to email me at Randall@AgentRandall.com if you need help finding the correct Homestead application for your county. I'm all about helping you get more BREAD from your HOMESTEAD :)
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