Why Volunteer for HAR/TAR/NAR!

February 15, 2011

While I do not exactly live and breathe real estate, you just might think I do by the amount of time I give it, both as a Realtor and as a volunteer. In fact, today I returned from our bi-annual governance meetings in Austin and I am first to admit that I am thoroughly “pooped”.

Why do I do it?  Why would I spend so much time away from my business and family on volunteer projects that at first glance do not make me money? I am often asked these questions and want to share my personal experience with you.

As a volunteer, you get to…:

  • Surround yourself with industry leaders and innovators, nationally recognized and gifted individuals known for their contributions to our industry. These are people usually who move in different circles than we do. In fact, you might rarely get to meet them, much less work with and learn from them without giving of yourself and your time to the things they love – the business of real estate.
  • Learn something new every single day. This is the best form of continuing education and is being taught by the true masters in our business.
  • Be “in-the-know” and at the forefront of industry trends and technology. Things change so fast with regard to contracts, marketing, social media, etc. that you may end up with a huge advantage over your competitors by leading the pack.
  • Network with like-minded professionals across the State and Nation, which could pay off in quality future referrals. I have been fortunate to receive referrals from many fellow Realtors with clients moving to or from my area of Katy, TX. And I also have a great resource to refer my clients when they move. A true win-win situation. 
  • Serve your fellow members, building good will and a strong reputation with your peers. Plus, it really does the heart good!
  • Make an impact on your industry. You might just be the next great innovator or “influencer” and your association and its members will benefit.
  • Enjoy your business more thoroughly through building life-long relationships. Some of my best friends are Realtors who work hard and play harder. This is a group that enjoys life and they never get upset if I have to text a client or take a call. They truly understand me and my life as a busy Realtor.

There are so many more reasons for you to step up to the plate. What is stopping you? Volunteer Today!

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Texas: A Proposed Sales Tax on Real Estate –

January 12, 2011

Texas, like many states, is currently facing an economic shortfall and our Legislators are scrambling to make up the difference. There are many proposed bills being brought for consideration to try to shore up the State’s coffers. While I realize the money has to come from somewhere, an informed consumer is wise consumer.

Political party affiliations aside, as a Realtor, I am a fierce proponent of private property rights. I will be running a series of discussions about the proposed bills to share available information so that you aware of items that could negatively impact your property rights and your pocket-book.

Taxes on real estate transactions: Combined State and Local sales tax rate would be applied when a property is sold or changes ownership and on long-term leases.

This is similar to buying a car now but could come into play whether a home is bought, sold, or transfers ownership due to divorce, probate, etc. The position of the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) is that this will actually drive down the number of transactions and potentially  increase the future tax rates needed to cover earmarked expenditures, burdening both buyers and sellers and hurting the real estate market and the Texas Economy.

As a Buyer: This would certainly eat into the cash reserves for your down payment, repairs, furnishings, etc. And if your margins for borrowing are narrow, this could actually diminish the amount you can finance or size of home you can purchase.

As a Seller: This will eat into the equity or net proceeds you walk away with from the sale and could end up raising the costs of housing in your area.

As a Tenant/Landlord: One concern is what will be designated as a “long-term lease” and how much will this impact lease costs because someone has to bear the expense:  landlord, tenant or both. As an investor, this could certainly impact your ROI.

What are your thoughts on this proposed sales tax item?


Texas Realtors Launch Program to Assist Homebuyers!

August 17, 2010

 TAR (Texas Association of Realtors) INITIATIVE TO HELP HOMEBUYERS

 AUSTIN (Texas Association of Realtors) – The Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) has announced an initiative to help more homebuyers take advantage of housing assistance programs and make homeownership more affordable for Texans.

According to TAR, Texas ranks 44th out of 50 states in overall homeownership, partly because of a need for more affordable housing. That homeownership gap is widest in Texas among Hispanics, who account for 36 percent of the state’s population but only 5 percent of homeowners.

 “The good news for our state is that many programs do exist to make homeownership more affordable for Texans,” said TAR Chairman Bill Jones. “The bad news is that few people know about them and even fewer know how to take advantage of them.”

To address this issue, TAR has launched TxHomePrograms.org, an online searchable database of housing assistance programs in Texas.

In addition, Texas Realtors are partnering with local lenders, housing counselors and others throughout the state to host educational events for consumers. At these events, attendees will learn about workforce housing issues, consumer needs for workforce housing and Texas-specific programs available to make homeownership more affordable.