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          OWNERS, RENTERS AGREE: OWNING A HOME IS A SMART DECISION
Washington, January 19, 2011
National Association of Realtors         Read Full Article

A substantial majority of both home owners and current renters agree that owning a home is a smart decision over the long term. That's according to the results of a National Association of Realtors® survey of 3,793 adults conducted online by Harris Interactive.

The American Attitudes About Homeownership survey found that in today's challenging economy, 95 percent of owners and 72 percent of renters believe that over a period of several years, it makes more sense to own a home. In addition, an overwhelming majority of home owners are happy with their decision to own a home - 93 percent of owners surveyed would buy again.

"Home owners and renters agree that home ownership benefits individuals and families, strengthens our communities, and is integral to our nation's economy," said National Association of Realtors® President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. "The results of this survey illustrate just how important issues related to home ownership are to people in this country."

The survey uncovered some differences between home owners and renters, as well. While more than half of owners are "very" or "extremely" satisfied with the overall quality of their family life, only one-third of renters report the same levels of satisfaction. Similarly, 43 percent of home owners are very/extremely satisfied with their community life, compared with 30 percent of renters.

A majority of renters - 63 percent - said that it was at least somewhat likely that they would purchase a home at some point in the future. Among this group, young adults (18-29 years old) have the strongest aspirations for home ownership; only 8 percent of young adults said that it was "not at all likely" that they would purchase a home at some point in the future.....
          STATE OFFERS $45M TO HOMEBUYER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Dallas Business Journal - by Austin Business Journal 
Monday, January 17, 2011 

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs released $45 million to consumers through its first-time homebuyer program.

The Texas Mortgage Credit Program is meant to help reduce a borrower's tax liability by offering a credit in exchange for taking a certified homebuyer education class. Homebuyers could save up to $2,000 in annual taxes, according to the state.

"Despite all the negatives we hear from other states, the fact is that the Texas economy - and the demand for homeownership - both remain quite healthy," said Michael Gerber, executive director of the state agency. "Many families want and are ready to take that exciting step toward homeownership, and TDHCA wants to help them achieve their dreams through safe, reliable homebuyer lending products offered through the state, coupled with responsible homebuyer education."
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          MONTHLY REVIEW OF TEXAS ECONOMY                    (updated monthly)
January 2011 by Ali Anari and Mark G. Dotzour
Texas Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University

The Texas economy gained 231,700 jobs from December 2009 to December 2010, an annual growth rate of 2.3 percent. Over the same period, U.S. non-farm employment rose 0.8 percent. Texas' private sector continues to play a key role in creating jobs. The state's private sector posted an annual employment growth rate of 2.7 percent compared with 1.2 percent for the U.S. private sector from December 2009 to December 2010. 

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TO RENT or TO BUY? 

Renting has its benefits, but weigh your housing options carefully before you assume that owning a home is out of your reach.     (click here for article)

WHAT A REAL ESTATE AGENT CAN'T TELL YOU
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          REAL ESTATE IS ABOUT JOBS
February 9, 2011     NAR, Ron Phipps, 2011 NAR President
Voices Of Real Estate

IMPORTANT FACTS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW:
  Fact:  For every additional 1,000 home sales, about 500 jobs are added to the economy.  
            Those are real jobs that give our families, friends and neighbors a chance to work.
  Fact:  Every home purchase pumps approximately $60,000 into the economy.
  Fact:  Housing accounts for more than 15 percent of the national gross domestic product.
  Fact:  Home owners pay 80 to 90 percent of ALL federal income taxes.

Read this great article by Ron Phipps, 2011 NAR President, on the Important Connection between Housing, Jobs and the Economy: 

                                                      As the voice for real estate, 
                                                       we hope that Congress and the 
                                                        White House get the message: 
                                                         Real Estate is all about Jobs. 
                                       America needs a healthy housing market to thrive.







HOME OWNERSHIP MATTERS BUS TOUR
NAR Hits the Road

In March 2011, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® leadership team will kick off a three-city bus tour to promote the benefits of home ownership. Each stop on the tour, part of the Home Ownership Matters campaign, will include two events designed to engage REALTORS® and consumers on key issues. The awareness this effort will raise will benefit REALTORS® and homeowners nationwide. This tour will include a REALTOR® Town Hall and Consumer Events to educate the public on issues of homeownership and NAR's efforts to keep housing first. 
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       10 REASONS YOU NEED A BUYER'S AGENT


Due to the age of the internet, you may think you're able to find your dream home without the help of a Realtor®. However, here are ten reasons why you still need a Buyer's Agent:

 1.  Convenient: Researching and Scheduling Showings can consume a lot of your time. 
      Why not let someone who does it professionally do it for you? 
 2.  Market Knowledge:  Realtors®  understand  the  market, making it easier for them to find the best 
      home at the right price for you.
 3.  Insider Knowledge:  Not only do Realtors®  know the market, they also have access to know what
      homes aren't on the market, but looking for buyers. 
 4.  Identify Your Needs: You probably have a long list of things you're looking for in a home. 
      Realtors® are able to rein you in and prioritize your needs so it's not impossible to find your dream home!
 5.  Realtors® have access to Comps and Sales Information:  Knowing what other houses similar to yours 
      sold for - this information will be useful when you start submitting offers.
 6.  Professional Negotiation:  Speaking of making offers, it can be a very scary and daunting experience!                 Realtors® have done this many times and will help make it easier on you.
 7.  Mitigator of Emotions:  Buying a house is very emotional. A Realtor® will remove any emotions 
      associated with the sale and get you your home at a great price!
 8.  Professional Connections: To get to the closing table, you have to go through a multitude of professionals.
      A Realtor® already knows and has worked with these professionals, so you won't have to take 
      extra time to find your own. 
 9.  Knowledge of Industry Standards, Legalities and Writing a Contract: 
      Do you know the rules to all of these?     Enough said.
10.  If the top nine reasons have not yet convinced you, then this one should:  
      A buyer's agent is free!
      The agent is paid by the seller through commission. So you really have no reason NOT to use a buyer agent.

Cliff Moon, Accredited Buyer's Representative
Cliff Moon, Realtor®, GRI, ABR
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         DON'T OUTSMART YOURSELF

Are you one of the people who is trying to "time the market" and wait for home prices to go down before you make a purchase? Doing so may not be as wise as you think.

Investment experts in different fields acknowledge that attempting to guess when the best conditions are present is an inexact science at best, even for industry specialists. The real estate market is no exception. In your attempt to find the most favorable balance between interest rates and sales price, you may just outsmart yourself and cost yourself a tidy sum of money.

Market upswings and downturns are rarely evident until after the fact. Consider the following: If you're ready to buy today but decide to wait one more year and the price of the home goes down a few thousand dollars but interest rates are half a point higher, what have you saved? Nothing - in fact, had you purchased, you'd have a year's worth of mortgage-interest tax deductions and a 12-month head start on building equity.

You don't have a crystal ball - no one does. Any real estate expert can tell you that trying to time the market is risky and short-sighted. Over medium- to long-term periods, real estate appreciates steadily and is a solid investment. Any savings you see from price reductions may very well be offset by rising interest rates. The point? If you're ready to be a homeowner, it's almost always a good time to buy a home.

If you have doubts about buying a home, talk to a Texas REALTOR®. Your REALTOR® can help quell your uncertainties and explain why acting now to buy a home makes sense and will pay off in the long-term.



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