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Everything posted by rbarz

  1. The last house to sell on Legend lane was listed as "lot value only" and sold for $575,000 on 2/23/09 after 49 DOM. I doubt the true value of that lot is reflected in the HCADs market value. I also doubt $650,000 is the true value. I just hope whoever buys it does not build that monstrosity. Here is a sweet article on "Tuscan Builders" the builders who were supposedly contracted to build the "munster's" home. "TIMELESS BEAUTY * AGELESS QUALITY Tuscan Homes is emerging as one of Houston's premiere custom builders. Dedicated to quality and service, this builder takes the bar one notch higher. Average square footages can range from 2800 square feet al the ways to over 10,000 square feet. The company president, Jason Ritchmond targets the customer's in the custom home market over the $300,000.00 range to over $1,000,000.00. "We are set up to service the more discriminating customer, and we work with them so that the entire process is an enjoyment." Tuscan Homes builds in the Memorial/Spring Branch, Memorial Area, West University, Bellaire, River Oaks, and closely related areas. Tuscan Homes is also considering going into some of the upper end areas outside Houston, such as the Woodlands and exclusive neighborhoods ..."
  2. There are solid core doors and solid wood doors although solid wood doors are, of course, made from a solid core. What is referred to as a solid core door is usually a veneer over engineered wood (such as birch over pine plywood). Solid wood doors are only one type of wood (such as mahogany) and are normally much more expensive, although pine isn't much more. Then there are the hollow core doors which are made out of baffles covered by something. Montalbano has solid core doors and I am not sure if they have any solid wood doors. Olshan had both last time I was there... Home Depot only has solid core slab doors--birch over ply and oak over ply.
  3. They told me yesterday that the Home Owner can pull a Mechanical permit, but the catch is you can only pull it for something like duct work... no A/C or Furnace installs so it might as well be useless.
  4. That is a contradictory statement. Apparently you are misunderstanding what this proposition stands for. If you vote for proposition 3 it is reducing the amount they can tax the homeowner because there will be no tax for "highest and best" use. If you vote for prop 3 the little old lady in the house on Heights Blvd can keep her over 65 homestead reduction and only pay the $1,500 in property taxes. If you vote against prop 3 then the little old lady can lose her over 65 homestead reduction, lose the 10% cap on value increases, and pay $18,000 in taxes because her property's highest and best use would be a commercial law firm. TAR is trying to protect property rights...
  5. Dear Robert, Early Voting begins, TODAY, Monday, October 19 in the Texas Constitutional Amendments Election. Several measures have been endorsed by the Texas Association of REALTORS which represent significant appraisal reform and protection of private property rights. Please cast your vote FOR Propositions 2, 3, 5, 9 and 11. Early voting begins October 19 and ends October 30. Election day is November 3. Contact your county voter registrar’s office for early Voting locations in your community. Propositions 2, 3, and 5 have fallen victim to a malicious and deliberate misinformation campaign which is meant to prey on the fears of uninformed voters in hopes that they will not actually read the proposals. Here is what they do: Proposition 2: Homeowners in Texas are well aware of astronomical increases in appraised values. These increases can be made ever worse when chief appraisers choose to bypass taxing a property as homestead, and base their taxes on the “highest and best use” of the property. Proposition 2 protects homeowners, who happen live in or near commercial areas, by mandating that their residence be appraised only as a residence, regardless of what the highest and best use of the property might be. Proposition 3: Current law requires that standards and procedures for the appraisal of property to originate in the county were the tax is imposed. As a result property owners are often victimized by a hodgepodge of inconsistent rules and standards throughout the state. This constitutional amendment corrects this problem by simply requiring an appraisal district to follow standard appraisal methods and procedures. Proposition 5: Appraisal review boards have the responsibility to resolve disputes between property owners and county appraisal districts when the taxable value of a property is being challenged. The property owner is always best served when the review boards are comprised of members who understand the issues and complexities of property valuations. Some rural counties have difficulty finding board members to meet these standards. This constitutional amendment will simply give these counties the option to pool together their qualified applicants to better ensure the property owner that their appraisal appeal is being handled professionally and timely. Proposition 9: This proposal would amend the Texas Constitution, to establish that the public has an unrestricted right to access and use a public beach, strengthening the state’s long-standing policy which has been around since before Texas was even a state. Texas has one of the strongest coastal access laws in the nation. Putting this language in the Texas Constitution would ensure that the state’s Public Beaches Act is protected from future tampering without the consent of Texas voters. Why do Texas REALTORS care? The Texas Coast is a gem because of its public beaches. Texans cherish having that access and tourists flock to beach communities each year, bringing in tax dollars and economic development which support local communities. Proposition 11: Both the U.S. and the Texas Constitution authorize the power of eminent domain. This power allows a governmental entity to take private property as long as it is for a “public use” and the owner is adequately compensated. This amendment would narrow the scope under which private property could be taken by eminent domain. It essentially would eliminate the taking of private property for either private economic development (e.g., a shopping mall) or to boost tax revenues. It also provides that the power of eminent domain could be granted only by a two-thirds vote of the Texas Legislature. If you need additional background materials to share with other Texas REALTORS® and consumers, you can access a layman’s explanation. You can also download a promotional flier for Props 2, 3 and 5. Don’t believe us? Read the Houston Chronicle’s endorsement of Props 2, 3 and 5 or read Rep. John Otto’s press release regarding this stealth misinformation campaign. You can also read the Texas Legislative Council’s thorough explanation on all 11 proposed constitutional amendments. Don't forget to pass this on by clicking on the Tell-A-Friend link. Visit the web address below to remind your friends to vote. Tell-a-friend! If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for Texas Association of REALTORS. This message was sent to rsb6546@yahoo.com. Visit your GetActive subscription management page to modify your GetActive email communication preferences.
  6. Are you sure? I heard they changed the rules recently... in the last year.
  7. No you can not get an electrical permit as a homeowner. A homeowner may obtain building, sidewalk/driveway, plumbing and mechanical permits only.
  8. The proposition is to help you not get hammered by your local taxing agency. There is no state property tax in this proposition. No. Very few. Only ones whose house would have a highest and best use other than residential homestead.
  9. That case was most likely a straw buyer scam too. They buy the homes put renters in them and collect rent but never pay the mortgages. Some scams pay the mortgages for a few months to pretend that they didn't intend on letting them go. But, There is no way you can buy a brand new home and pay for it with renters without at least 30% down (much less actually turn a profit). And of course if they put that much down they would never go into forclosure.
  10. Have you asked the surveyor or title company to give you a copy? They come up during the title search. If there are no deed restrictions in place then to produce enforceable restrictions you would have to get every single home in the neighborhood to sign them. I wouldn't bet on that happening anywhere.
  11. Lots and Lots of mortgage default scams with straw buyers...
  12. There have been problems with counties appraising property for its highest and best use and even taking away homestead rates in certain instances. For example, you live in a 1920s bungalow on Montrose (or Washington Ave or Shepherd, etc) instead of HCAD valuing the house as a residential home with the homestead discount, they value it as a commercial business because that is its "highest and best use". Then, you get a surprise in the mail when your tax bill shows up and instead of $2400 a year it jumps to $12,000. This proposition would require the taxing authorities to only tax your home as a home.
  13. Your probably going to pay triple (at least) if you need someone with a website and credit card payments. Sorry I can't recommend anyone fitting those credentials but if you find the price to be too high I can recommend other people that do the same quality work without the tech savvy
  14. The most ridiculous negotiation of all time was 5510 Crooms. Foreclosure asking $220,000, was an obvious steal which had probably close to 60 showings in 2 days. Needed some repairs and updating. Nothing unique or impressive about it. Sold for $410,000! The second highest bid was somewhere around $250,000. I have never even heard of a home in LA going for double the asking price! Anyone else heard of someone paying double?
  15. Almost all homes that sell are priced right to begin with (or eventually with price reductions), negating much of the need for negotiation. Surprisingly Desirable neighborhoods do not sell that much higher to the list price, if at all. Timbergrove Manor all sales in 2009 averaged 95% or the purchase price. The lowest was 42% - a forclosure with hurricane damage (sold post hurricane w/ pre hurricane price). The highest was 102% but includes sellers contributions to closing costs which kicks it down to 100%. Avg in 2006 was 96% River Oaks all sales in 2009 averaged 95% with 80% being the lowest (141 DOM) and 102% the highest (sold in 1 day). Avg in 2006 was also 95%. West University was 95% in 09 and 98% in 2006 Kashmere Gardens in 08 & 09 averaged 87% with foreclosures leading the pack. South Lawn in 08 & 09 averaged 94% Riverside Terrace in 08 & 09 averaged 96%
  16. There are a few local glass places that make them... two of them are on murphy road. I wish I could remember the name, but I do remember the price--about $700 for one panel and a door!
  17. Don't worry, I doubt your agent would give you a bad list of inspectors, unless they are a bad agent. Of course, a bad agent wouldn't be handing out any lists! Rest assured, the inspector will find more things than you can imagine while walking around with him (most won't be a big deal). You won't need an extra roof inspection, that is one of the main jobs of the inspector. I assume it is an asbestos roof if it is 80 years old? When they are that age they can't handle an inspection where they walk around on it so it will have to be a visually inspected from the ladder or the street. But, I can tell you now that even if you have the thick 1/4" tiles then the roof is approaching the end of its life span. And if it is the 1/8" thick roof it is probably as brittle as can be. If you need to have it replaced I know a roofer that is not outrageous for asbestos removal (PM me if you need his number).
  18. I have personally negotiated with as many as 18 sellers (all family members) at once... no deal on that one, but It always seems to take forever when there are multiple sellers, they can never agree. My guess is getting a bid on the electric sounds bad for a good deal on the home. I would imagine they want to make sure they are not giving the home away (in their eyes) and the bid is the number they will take off the price of the home. Hope you get a good deal... I couldn't find the home from your hints but while looking I found a nice mod north of Hobby...
  19. Both Google and Microsoft make them too. Google calls theirs the Powermeter and Microsoft's is called the Hohm. But, the ones going up in Houston are by eMeter.
  20. Don't be surprised if you only get one $2 bill because Iron is $0.01 per pound!
  21. I use someone that my family has used for 30 years. $60 when he comes out every quarter (I don't remember if there is an initial): Frank with Premier Pest Control 281.499.9445 713.253.3010
  22. Are you excited about the fee they are going to start charging you for that meter? I wouldn't be surprised if that fee remains on the bill well past the time it would have been paid off. Google makes them and an internet connection is built in to the thing so that your utility company can eventually start selling you internet service (or just upgrade big brother)
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