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The Business of Real Estate

This category contains 93 posts

Support Water — Vote FOR Proposition 6

Some of you know that I have invested time over the past two years with ABoR Government Affairs, aimed at getting the Texas Water Plan funded. The time has come, and I am writing to encourage your vote FOR Proposition 6 on the November 5, 2013 ballot. (Or sooner … early voting begins on 10/21.) Continue reading

Investing in Austin real estate?

If you’re in the market for investment properties in Austin/Central Texas, where should you concentrate? One approach is to go where most of the leasing activity is already happening. With that in mine, here is a quick look at the 20 MLS areas where the most new leases were signed in the past year. Continue reading

You won’t enjoy much of this post …

More than 99% of Texas is experiencing some level of drought, and about 90% of the state is in Extreme or Exceptional drought. The drought in all of Central Texas is rated Severe or Extreme. There is hope, though! This year the Texas legislature will finally fund the State Water Plan! Continue reading

Could the Court vacate 18 months of financial regulations? Should it?

Hundreds of new mortgage-industry rules in recent years have undoubtedly slowed the housing recovery. Now it appears that all of that regulatory effort could be undone. Should it? Continue reading

Welcome the rain, but don’t forget the drought!

The Texas legislature only meets every two years. With two years or less of our water in storage at this point, this Legislative session is the time for action. Please attend next week’s Water Forum if you can, and help to spread the word on this issue and this Forum. Continue reading

Water — this is a non-partisan issue

What if Apple and Samsung had decided in recent months and years that they couldn’t trust Central Texas to provide the infrastructure necessary to support their growth? What if the next AMD or Motorola or GM makes that decision and moves somewhere else instead? What if growth continues, but builders can’t get building permits? Those are all real possibilities unless we take action now, during this Legislative session. Continue reading

About the “fiscal cliff” bill

The National Association of REALTORS® has done a good job reporting the effect on the housing industry of the American Taxpayer Relief Act passed by Congress this week.  Beyond the change in personal income tax rates that have filled virtually all news accounts, the Act also extends mortgage cancellation relief that has made short sale a … Continue reading

We’ve had quite enough help, thank you!

The recent housing crisis was in very large part caused by our government and quasi-governmental agencies (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) creating incentives for mortgage lenders to make loans that they would not have made otherwise.  I’ll be happy to discuss this, but in my opinion it’s incontrovertible. In response to the crisis it created, … Continue reading

3.8% tax on home sales? Well, maybe …

Yes, the Affordable Care Act imposes a new tax on capital gains, but it’s unlikely to hit you directly … Continue reading

Ask the legislature to fund the water plan

Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan are holding 849,000 acre-feet of supply. We used 880,000 acre-feet in 2011. See the problem? The State Water Plan must be funded. Please contact your representatives. Continue reading