January 09, 2020 | Texas REALTORS® Staff
Several new real estate-related laws passed in 2019 by the 86th Texas Legislature took effect on Jan. 1, 2020. These include the following REALTOR®-supported bills that benefit Texas real estate consumers.
Expanded Access to Home Equity
As of January 1, property owners may now use agricultural land as collateral for a home equity loan (House Bill 1254, authored by Rep. Jim Murphy and sponsored by Sen. Kelly Hancock).
More Transparency in Property Taxes
Several pieces of the monumental property tax reform legislation from 2019 (Senate Bill 2, authored by Sen. Paul Bettencourt and sponsored by Rep. Dustin Burrows) took effect January 1 to be in place for the 2020 tax year:
A new law provides a temporary property tax exemption for property owners in areas that have been declared disasters by the governor. This will help property owners struggling in the wake of disaster and provide these taxpayers more immediate relief.
Flood Protection Funding
In November 2019 election, voters also passed a constitutional amendment known as State of Texas Proposition 8.
The resulting new law effective January 1 created a Flood Infrastructure Fund to develop flood mitigation infrastructure, which will help communities better withstand future flood events and create a more resilient Texas in preparation for future flooding.
More New Laws in 2020
Visit the website of the Legislative Reference Library of Texas to see lists of all the bills from the 86th legislative session and provisions from other bills that became effective Jan. 1, 2020.
Contact Jaime Lee, director of advocacy communications, for more information about any of these legislative changes.
In the world of real estate, winter is often considered a dead zone as far as sales go. But the same logic that applies to the housing market doesn’t quite translate to the land market.
1.Winter Doesn’t Mean Fewer Buyers
The biggest problem with selling a house in the winter is lower rates of demand. People are loathe to move in dreary weather and in the middle of a school year, so they usually stay put until early spring.
2. Buyers Are Getting Ahead of the Game
People buy property for a lot of reasons, many of which are weather dependent. If a buyer wants land for building or planting, winter isn’t going to be the ideal time to do it. Instead of being an impediment though, it’s actually an advantage. Buying in the winter means that there’s still plenty of time to get everything in order before the ground starts to thaw and improvements or adjustments can be made. And a strongly interested buyer is going to take advantage of that and give themselves wiggle room to get the sale finalized and plans underway.
3. There’s Less Competition
A lot of land buyers still mistakenly believe that the seasonal slog of the housing market applies to land sales too. As such, you’re likely not going to be seeing as many new listings pop up as you would during other times of year. That’s very good news, especially when taken into consideration with the points above.
4. Winter Can Highlight Key Features of Your Property
Instead of thinking of all the things that winters takes away in terms of appeal, think of what it adds.
There’s no way to predict how fast your land will sell, but don’t let winter weather deter you from going on the market. There are a lot of benefits to listing in the colder months, and it may be just the ticket to getting a leg up on the competition.
by Laura Mueller
To View additional information click on the following link:
In our last blog we spoke about how growth is affecting the real estate market in Texas. This month, we want to take a look at one of the reasons such growth is taking place. In a time where the job market is extremely volatile, Texas has seen a tremendous influx of jobs available. In fact, between the years 2004-2014 Texas lead the U.S. in the job growth.
Delving back into Potter’s lecture from our last entry, you can see that Texas tops the list of jobs created over the past decade with 2,180,000. This vastly overshadows its closed competitors, California (810,000), New York (550,000), and North Carolina (340,000). According to a 2014 article by the Washington Post researches say, “Texas has produced hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs across most industries since 2000, making Texas the top destination for domestic migrants since 2006.”
While oil has always been big business in Texas, the article shows that there has been an even and varied distribution of job growth in different industries from education and health services to construction and trade. This variety of jobs in the market allows for a sustainable amount of growth moving into the future. According to the Houston Business Journal, “Texas added 33,200 nonfarm jobs in May.” This is an increase despite losses in the oil industry. With as much diversity in job growth there isn’t as much fear placed on a bubble bursting and suddenly people are fleeing Texas.
So what does this mean for buying a home? With 29% of the country’s new jobs being founded in Texas, our communities are continually strengthening and becoming richer. Housing values can remain consistent or even demand more of a payoff if you eventually sell. Texas is a highly coveted area for developing a life and a family, rivaling the U.S. most industrious states.
With a nurturing and skilled real estate agency, you can find a spot for you, your family or your business in this changing market. It’s just about being informed. For more reading on Potter’s lecture, refer to the linked pdf. Come back each month for more exploration on how to approach Texas’s ever changing climate.
Power Luncheon PDF
Washington Post Article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/03/07/texas-isnt-just-leading-the-nation-in-job-growth-its-doing-it-more-equitably-too/
Houston Business Journal: http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2015/06/19/texas-job-growth-back-on-the-upswing-despite-oil.html
Texas is constantly changing. It’s one of the side effects of being one of the largest states in the country. Things are always bigger in Texas, from our metro areas to our migration patterns. Understanding Texas’s ebbs and flows are important in figuring out how to handle its real estate market.
According to Lloyd Potter’s lecture on the changing demographics in Texas, Bastrop County experienced a substantial increase in population between 2010 and 2014. This is a period in which 102 counties actually lost population. There has been a shift over the last four years where people are leaving the north-western region and settling east. Counties such as Bastrop that are situated around Texas’s four powerhouse metro-areas, Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, all experienced growth.
Bastrop County is projected to be one of the top-10 fastest growing counties in Texas. According to a report in the Elgin Courier, Bastrop County is expected to reach a staggering 272,723 people by 2050. This is a huge leap from the 74,171 people it boasted in 2010.
But what does all that mean? Texas is not a stranger to change. Growth is in its blood. But growth is not a scary situation. It just requires preparation. With growth, the markets change as well. Incoming residents change the makeup of towns and regions, rearranging their demographics to affect things such as average housing cost and availability to quality of school districts and the types of stores in your community.
With a nurturing and skilled real estate agency, you can find a spot for you, your family or your business in this changing market. It’s just about being informed. For more reading on Peter’s lecture, refer to the linked pdf. Come back each month for more exploration on how approach Texas’s ever changing climate.
Here is the link to the Elgin Courier article.
Please also see the Power Luncheon Changes in Demographics of Texas Report.
Austin is the third fastest growing big city in America and the housing market is reflecting that. The
increase in annual home sales at the end of 2014 marked a fourth straight year of increases in the area.
As our community continues to expand at a rapid pace, it’s an important time to be savvy about your
real estate decisions.
Due to steady job and population growth, real estate has been going through the roof in the area. With
new subdivisions developing and expanding in the Bastrop area all the time, they are still struggling to
keep up with the demand for its residents. On average in 2014, a house stayed on the market for only
47 days before being purchased. That is three days fewer than in 2013. Turnover like that as well as a
competitive market could leave newcomers to town feeling anxious about finding their own place to
The Austin-area housing market is at the very least consistent. According to a report, 2,283
single-family homes were sold last year. Families from all walks of life in a wide array of homes. With
the right realtor to help you navigate this generous wave of sales, you can be looking at the home of
your dreams in no time. Real estate has a tendency to be a very scary field, especially for first time
buyers. There are so many pitfalls and things to know that most are seem overwhelmed by the prospect
of buying or even looking for a place of their own. Here at Bridges Real Estate Group, Patti Bridges is
licensed and skilled in all the ways to help you make the right decision and find the house of your
It’s a good time to be house shopping in the Austin area. Let us show you how!