hp_1024x1024

Texas Watering Holes

Wanting to escape the summer heat?  Here are some of the watering holes around our great state.

1. Balmorhea State Park – Balmorhea, TX

If you happen to be driving 60 miles west of Fort Stockton and find yourself desiring a nice way to cool down, you’ll be in luck. You’d be around the corner from Balmorhea State Park; the world’s largest spring fed pool. Not only is it huge, it’s in the middle of the desert. Along with providing humans 72 degree water, year-round, it’s home to fish, turtles, and various other creatures.

There are even retro motor-court style cabins for folks who’d like to spend a few days at the park. Admission is $7, which considering you’re in the desert, is a small price to pay to escape the west Texas heat.

2. Jacob’s Well – Wimberley, TX

This spring-fed swimming hole in northwest Wimberley, Texas still flies under the radar after all these years. On any given summer day, you won’t find more than 20-30 people down here, which is a great thing. Nestled in a thick area of trees and shrubs, there’s plenty of shade from the hot Texas sun if you just want to watch folks who decide to take a big jump in to the well.

The opening of the well is about 12 feet wide, and it descends 35 feet, before descending another 120 feet at an angle in to caves. Diving in to the underwater caves isn’t recommended though, even for experience SCUBA folks, so if you do go, stick to swimming and enjoying the pool this spring has created.

3. Hamilton Pool – Dripping Springs, TX

At first glance, Hamilton Pool looks like it belongs on another planet. We’re always saying Texas is like nowhere else, and this is exactly why. Hamilton Creek spills over the top creating a 50-foot waterfall in to the shaded pool below. Bring a towel to grab some sun on the shore, or some goggles to swim. Either way, don’t leave your sun-block at home. Sunburns are no fun.

On occasion, the pool is closed due to weather or trail conditions, so it’s always smart to call ahead at (512) 264-2740 to verify that they’ll be open that day.

4. Krause Springs – Spicewood, TX

The previous three swimming holes have been on public land, but Krause Springs is owned by the Krause family, and has been for about 50 years. It’s open year round and is fed by, you guessed it, springs. There is a lot to do aside from just swim such as butterfly gardens and plenty of beautiful Texas landscape to explore.

As far as amenities go, there is both primitive camping and RV hookups. There is a cheap per person charge to enter the park, as well as to camp.

5. Barton Springs – Austin, TX

You can’t do a Texas swimming holes list without Barton Springs. The “frigid” spring-fed waters of Barton Springs are said to be healing waters. The biggest ailment I know it cures is heat exhaustion, but boredom is another disease this pool takes care of quickly.

It’s $3 to enter for the day. Parking can be an issue if you’re trying to park on the North side of the pool, so if you’re driving down, try parking on the south side for the best luck on that end. Bring your blanket or towel so you can post up on the hill, but leave your food, frisbees, footballs, and alcohol at home.

6. Devil’s Waterhole – West of Burnet, TX

Nowadays, droughts are a big factor in whether or not you’ll enjoy watering holes in a particular area. Devil’s Waterhole in Inks Lake State Park thankfully isn’t affected by drought conditions. The cliffs are fun to jump off of for those of yall who aren’t afraid of heights.

Aside from the swimming hole, there’s plenty to do in the park for all yall that like fishing, hiking, and camping.

7. Blanco State Park – Blanco, TX

One thing is for sure; in Texas we love damming up rivers or springs to make giant pools out of them. Blanco State Park has one of the prettiest such pools. Located in Blanco, TX it’s a short drive from Austin as well as not too far out of the way if you find yourself out in Fredericksburg.

As with most of the swimming holes, this park has plenty of fishing, hiking, and picnic area for all ages to enjoy.

8. Las Moras Pool, Fort Clark Springs – Brackettville, TX

If the crowds at Barton Springs get ya down, you can drive to the southwest Texas city of Brackettville and stay at Fort Clark Springs. Boasting the 3rd largest spring fed pool in Texas, this private resort is worth the stay. The Las Moras pool is huge and sits in the middle of what used to be a functioning military base.

Despite having been a military base, there is plenty to do in terms of tourism and activities. The usual camping, swimming, and RV’ing is available for any takers. Don’t cruise down there expecting to jump right in the pool though. It’s only available to folks staying at the resort, but it’s definitely worth the stay.

9. Garner State Park – Concan, TX

I would literally be thrown out of Texas if I didn’t mention Garner State Park. The miles and miles of Frio river have been a Texas destination for years. Not to mention, Garner is where many of us learned to Two-Step during the summer dances.

Concan is a popular destination during the summer, so expect big crowds in Garner. Don’t worry though, there’s plenty of Texas for everyone to enjoy. Just don’t be surprised if most of the cabins are booked if you wait too long to grab one.

10. City Tube Chute – New Braunfels, TX

Many a cooler of beer has been lost to the City Tube Chute in New Braunfels. Made out of concrete and stone, this dam/chute has also been the location of years and years of cool enjoyment. Whether you’re just floatin’ through on your way down the Comal or you’re sticking around all day to watch all the drunks float by, it’s one of the top spots to cool down in Texas.

Due to the fact that some folks have been messin’ with Texas, there are some new rules in place for what you can and can’t take on the Comal river. Be sure to check out the updated rules before you head on down.

Source: http://yestotexas.com/10-best-swimming-holes-in-texas/

Hooded hacker. Cyber attack concept.

Cyber Security Tip – Protect Yourself With Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an authentication method in which a computer user is granted access only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence (or factors) to an authentication mechanism: knowledge (something the user and only the user knows), possession (something the user and only the user has), and inherence (something the user and only the user is).

Two-factor authentication (also known as 2FA) is a type, or subset, of multi-factor authentication. It is a method of confirming users’ claimed identities by using a combination of two different factors: 1) something they know, 2) something they have, or 3) something they are.

A good example of two-factor authentication is the withdrawing of money from an ATM; only the correct combination of a bank card (something the user possesses) and a PIN (something the user knows) allows the transaction to be carried out.

Two other examples are to supplement a user-controlled password with a one-time password (OTP) or code generated or received by an authenticator (e.g. a security token or smartphone) that only the user possesses.

Two-step verification or two-step authentication is a method of confirming a user’s claimed identity by utilizing something they know (password) and a second factor other than something they have or something they are. An example of a second step is the user repeating back something that was sent to them through an out-of-band mechanism. Or, the second step might be a six digit number generated by an app that is common to the user and the authentication system.

The use of multiple authentication factors to prove one’s identity is based on the premise that an unauthorized actor is unlikely to be able to supply the factors required for access. If, in an authentication attempt, at least one of the components is missing or supplied incorrectly, the user’s identity is not established with sufficient certainty and access to the asset (e.g., a building, or data) being protected by multi-factor authentication then remains blocked. The authentication factors of a multi-factor authentication scheme may include:

  • some physical object in the possession of the user, such as a USB stick with a secret token, a bank card, a key, etc.
  • some secret known to the user, such as a password, PIN, TAN, etc.
  • some physical characteristic of the user (biometrics), such as a fingerprint, eye iris, voice, typing speed, pattern in key press intervals, etc.
  • Somewhere you are, such as connection to a specific computing network or utilizing a GPS signal to identify the location.

 

th

What You Should Know About Texas

Here is so fun Texas trivia:

  1. FROM WHERE DOES THE STATE NAME “TEXAS” COME? The name Texas comes from Tejas, an Indian word meaning friendly.
  2. WHAT IS THE STATE MOTTO? Friendship.
  3. WHAT IS THE STATE NICKNAME? The Lone Star State.
  4. WHAT IS THE STATE BIRD? The Mockingbird.
  5. WHAT IS THE STATE TREE? The Pecan tree.
  6. WHAT IS THE STATE FLOWER? Bluebonnet.
  7. WHAT IS THE STATE GEM? Topaz.
  8. WHAT IS THE STATE STONE? Petrified Palmwood.
  9. WHAT IS THE STATE FOOD DISH? Chili.
  10. WHAT IS THE STATE SONG? “Texas, Our Texas”
  11. WHAT IS THE STATE FISH? The Guadalupe Bass.
  12. WHAT IS THE STATE GRASS? Sideoats Grama.
  13. WHAT IS THE STATE SHELL? The Lightning Whelk.
  14. WHAT IS THE STATE ANIMAL? The armadillo.
  15. WHAT IS THE STATE LARGE ANIMAL? The longhorn.
  16. WHAT IS THE STATE INSECT? The Monarch butterfly.
  17. HOW MANY FLAGS HAVE FLOWN OVER TEXAS EXERCISING ACTUAL DOMAIN OVER OR STAKING MAJOR CLAIMS TO THE STATE? CAN YOU NAME THEM? The proverbial “six flags” that have flow over Texas are those of Spain, France, Mexico, The Republic of Texas, The Confederacy, and The United States.
  18. WHERE IS THE STATE CAPITAL LOCATED? Austin.
  19. OUT OF WHAT MATERIAL WAS THE TEXAS STATE CAPITAL BUILDING IN AUSTIN CONSTRUCTED? Texas pink granite.
  20. WHAT DISTINCTION DOES THE TEXAS STATE CAPITAL BUILDING HOLD OVER ALL OTHER STATES? It is the largest, containing some 8.5 acres of floor space and nearly 500 rooms.
  21. WHO IS THE PRESENT GOVERNOR OF TEXAS? Greg Abbott
  22. FOR APPROXIMATELY HOW MANY STRAIGHT-LINE MILES DOES THE STATE OF TEXAS EXTEND, NORTH TO SOUTH? 800 miles; 801 to be exact.
  23. WHICH IS THE LARGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS? HINT, HINT: IT ENCOMPASSES 6,233 SQUARE MILES, AN AREA LARGER THAN THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT. The largest county is Brewster County in West Texas.
  24. WHAT FOUR (4) STATES BORDER TEXAS? Louisiana on the East, Arkansas on the Northeast, Oklahoma on the North, and New Mexico on the West.
  25. WHAT WATERWAY FORMS THE LONGEST SEGMENT OF THE STATE’S BOUNDARY? The Rio Grande forms the longest segment of the boundary.
  26. WHAT IS THE LARGEST CITY IN TEXAS BY POPULATION? Houston.
  27. THE RIO GRANDE IS THE LONGEST RIVER IN THE STATE. WHAT RIVER IS THE SECOND LONGEST? The Red river.
  28. OF ALL THE STATES IN THE UNITED STATES, TEXAS RANKS SECOND IN VOLUME OF INLAND WATER. WHICH STATE RANKS FIRST? Alaska.
  29. WHAT IS THE HIGHEST DAM IN TEXAS? Mansfield Dam on Lake Travis is the highest at 266 feet.
  30. TEXAS FARMS AND RANCHES COVER ABOUT WHAT PERCENT OF THE STATE’S LAND AREA? Farms and ranches cover about 132 million acres, nearly 80 percent of the State’s land area.
  31. HOW MANY INDIAN RESERVATIONS CAN BE FOUND IN TEXAS? Two! The Alabama-Coushatta Indian reservation between Livingston and Woodville in East Texas, and the Tigua Indian reservation in El Paso. The Kickapoo Indians occupy a 125-acre site near Eagle Pass that has not been designated as a reservation.
  32. IN THE 1860’S, WHAT OUTNUMBERED PEOPLE IN TEXAS 9 TO 1? Longhorn cattle.
  33. WHAT IS THE STATE SONG OF TEXAS? Texas our Texas
  34. WHAT STATE IN THE UNION HAS THREE CITIES INCLUDED IN THE NATIONS’S TEN MOST POPULATED CITIES? Texas (Houston, Dallas, San Antonio)
  35. WHAT IS THE MOST NORTHERN, SOUTHERN, AND WESTERN TOWNS IN TEXAS? Texoma, Brownsville, and Anthony
  36. WHAT FAMOUS CIVIL WAR GENERAL SERVED AS AN OFFICER IN THREE DIFFERENT NATIONS? A.S. Johnston served as an officer in the Republic of Texas Army, the United States Army, and as a general in the Confederate States Army was mortally wounded at the battle of Shiloh.
  37. WHO WAS THE ONLY PERSON IN AMERICAN HISTORY THAT HAD SERVED AS GOVERNOR OF TWO STATES? Sam Houston was governor of Tennessee and later Texas.
  38. WHICH CIVIL WAR UNIT SUFFERED THE HIGHEST PERCENT OF CASUALTIES DURING ONE BATTLE? The 1st Texas suffered 82.4% casualties during the battle of Sharpsburg, September 17, 1862.
  39. WHAT IS THE DAVIS MOUNTAINS, JEFF DAVIS COUNTY, AND FORT DAVIS ALL NAMED AFTER? Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America who wrote, “Soldiers of other states have their reputations to gain. The sons of the Alamo have theirs to maintain.”
  40. HOW MANY U.S. PRESIDENTS WERE BORN IN TEXAS? Two-Dwight D Eisenhower and Lyndon B Johnson
  41. WHERE WAS THE LAST LAND BATTLE OF THE CIVIL WAR FOUGHT? Palmito Ranch near Brownsville, Texas May 12-13, 1865 (more than a month after Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia).
  42. WHAT IS DOCUMENTED TO HAVE BEEN THE MOST HUMANE CIVIL WAR P.O.W CAMP HAVING THE LOWEST FATALITY RATE, NORTH OR SOUTH? Camp Ford near Tyler, Texas.
  43. WHICH BATTLE WAS THE MOST LOP SIDED VICTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR? The battle of Sabine Pass, Sept 8, 1863 46 men of the Jeff Davis Guards, 1st Texas Heavy Artillery defeated a Union force of 5,000 infantry, two gunboats, and 200 sailors.
  44. WHICH BATTLE DID TEXAS WIN its WAR OF SECESSION AGAINST MEXICO? San Jacinto
  45. OVER WHICH RIVER DOES THE HIGHEST BRIDGE IN TEXAS SPAN? Pecos River
  46. WHAT WAS THE DEADLIEST NATURAL DISASTER IN AMERICAN HISTORY? The 1900 hurricane that hit Galveston killing between 6,000 and 8,000 residents.
  47. WHILE TEXAS WAS A REPUBLIC, HOW FAR DID its PAN HANDLE REACH? Into modern day Southern Wyoming
  48. WHICH WEST TEXAS UNIVERSITY IS NAMED FOR THE ONLY CONFEDERATE GENERAL WHO WAS BORN IN IOWA? Sul Ross University
  49. WHICH TEXAS GOVERNOR WAS BORN IN CONNECTICUT? George W. Bush Jr.
  50. WHAT IS THE SMALLEST INCORPORATED TOWN IN TEXAS? Round Top, population in 1990, 81
  51. WHICH STATE IN THE UNION HAS THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF PRO SPORTS TEAMS? Texas

 

April Stats Are In!

Our Stats at a Glance are here!  Click here to see our new format of the stats by county.  For more detailed information, check out this link.  Or for full stats by county, click here.  If you need past DFW Real Estate Stats information, please visit our Resource Section located on all of our office pages.

 

house graphic republic title

Texas Housing Insight

Here is a great post from Texas A&M Real Estate Center regarding home sales for March.

March 2019 Summary

Texas housing sales increased 1.6 percent during the first quarter amid lower mortgage rates and decreased price pressure. Single-family supply indicators were generally favorable with stable lot development, permit issuance, and housing starts. Single-family private construction values, however, contradicted this trend and extended a five-month slide. The average days on market (DOM) bumped above 61 days, primarily due to adjustments in the North Texas market. Lower mortgage rates provided incentives for prospective purchasers, but housing affordability remained a challenge across the state and weighed on homeownership rates. Despite tepid trends on both the demand and supply side, Texas’ robust economy and population growth maintained an overall healthy housing market.

Supply*

The Texas Residential Construction Cycle (Coincident) Index, which measures current construction activity, staggered as construction values trended downward. A slowdown in construction permits hindered the Residential Construction Leading Index, outweighing steady single-family activity. Lower interest rates and the extended economic expansion, however, should support the industry in coming months.

Supply-side activity remained stable at the earliest stage of the construction cycle as builders rushed to satisfy pent-up demand for homes priced less than $300,000. The number of new vacant developed lots (VDLs) balanced in Houston after sliding late last year, while jumping to a post-recessionary high in San Antonio. Growth in these metros occurred primarily in the $200,000-$300,000 sale-price range. Austin VDLs maintained solid year-over-year (YOY) growth but showed signs of cooling due to continued constraints at the lower end of the market. Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) was the exception where last year’s sale slowdown led to decreased lot development across the price spectrum.

Single-family housing construction permits stabilized with VDLs after a sharp drop in December. In San Antonio, permits returned to typical levels (around 620 in March) after significant volatility to start the year. Houston and DFW remained the national leaders, issuing 3,168 and 2,679 monthly permits, respectively. North Texas development shifted toward the suburbs, supporting activity in Fort Worth. Austin ranked fifth nationally with nearly 1,300 monthly permits issued. Overall, Texas permit activity outpaced the rest of the nation, but growth has normalized compared with early 2018.

Total Texas housing starts trended upward amid solid single-family construction. Nearly 23,500 single-family homes broke ground in the Texas Urban Triangle during the first quarter, two-thirds of which were in DFW and Houston. Central Texas starts, however, posted double-digit quarterly growth with Austin and San Antonio outpacing the larger metros in per capita terms. In contrast, single-family private construction values fell across the state. While luxury-home construction has stalled over the past year, the new-home price distribution does not explain the persistent decline in construction values.

The supply expansion pushed Texas’ months of inventory (MOI) upward, but the metric held below four months. A total MOI around six months is considered a balanced housing market. The MOI for homes priced below $300,000 appears to be retracting after marginal relief last year. The supply of active listings dropped to 2.9 months for homes priced less than $200,000 and below 3.3 months in the $200,000-$300,000 range. A slowdown in the rate of Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listings hitting the market weighed on inventories at the lower end of the market.

New MLS listings fell for the second straight month across the major metros, putting downward pressure on the MOI. Austin’s supply of active listings dropped to a seven-month low at 2.6 months. The MOI expansion paused in North Texas, settling at 3.4 and 2.6 months in Dallas and Fort Worth, respectively. On the other hand, Houston and San Antonio’s MOI reached multiyear highs at 4.1 and 3.7 months, respectively.  

Demand

Texas total housing sales increased 1.6 percent during the first quarter as lower mortgage rates and more moderate price pressure provided some breathing room in constrained markets. The $200,000-$300,000 price cohort posted the strongest quarterly sales growth at 3 percent. New-home sales, however, continued to struggle and forced builders to shift toward lower-priced projects.

While the new-home market adjusted in North Texas, a rebound in resale transactions pushed up total sales in both Dallas and Fort Worth. Similarly, Austin’s resale market led to 3.8 percent growth in first-quarter closed listings. San Antonio activity increased in both the existing- and new-home markets, pushing quarterly sales up 6.5 percent. Houston was the only major metro to post a first-quarter decline, primarily due to stagnation in the $300,000-$500,000 price range.

While sales were positive, Texas’ average days on market ticked above 61 days for just the second month since 2014, increasing across the major metros. San Antonio’s DOM tracked the state-wide average, despite solid housing-market activity over the past year. Austin and Houston moved similarly, with homes averaging 58 days on the market. North Texas activity continued to normalize after a prolonged period of imbalances. The Dallas DOM surpassed 53 days for the first time since 2013 while Fort Worth reached a three-year high at 44 days.

Decreased affordability, ballooning student debt, and aging demographics pulled the first-quarter homeownership rate down to 64.3 and 61.8 percent in the U.S. and Texas, respectively. The Texas metric peaked around 67 percent before the housing crisis. Homeownership rates were lower in metros with waning affordability, falling to 57.2 and 59.5 percent in Austin and DFW, respectively. The Houston rate wavered but held just above 60 percent. San Antonio’s homeownership rate remained elevated at 64.4 percent and trended upward amid the current regional expansion.

Well-anchored inflation expectations combined with continued concerns of global economic growth pulled interest rates down for the fifth consecutive month. The ten-year U.S. Treasury bond yield fell to an annual low of less than 2.6 percent, while the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation’s 30-year fixed-rate dropped below 4.3 percent. Texans capitalized on lower rates, pushing mortgage applications for home purchases up 14.6 percent in the first quarter. The impact should support housing demand, particularly in markets struggling with affordability constraints. Refinance mortgage applications, which are more sensitive to interest rate fluctuations, increased 33.4 percent over the same period.

Prices

In addition to lower mortgage rates, home price appreciation continued to moderate. The Texas median home price balanced around $235,800, just 2.3 percent above year-ago levels. While still increasing, home prices are no longer soaring at double-digit levels YOY like in 2017. Austin and Dallas maintained the highest median price at $300,700 and $285,500, respectively, but remained on a flat trajectory. The Houston ($239,900) and San Antonio ($226,600) median maintained steady YOY growth above 3 percent. On the other hand, the Fort Worth median price increased nearly $5,000 between February and March, surpassing a record-high $240,500 and 5 percent YOY growth.

The Texas Repeat Sales Index corroborated the moderation in price growth, balancing at 4.1 percent YOY. The Austin and Dallas indices rose 4.2 and 3.0 percent, respectively, despite little movement in median price. Houston (3.1 percent) and Fort Worth’s (4.8 percent) metric followed median-price movements. The San Antonio index increased 5 percent YOY, capturing more appreciation than indicated by the metro’s median.

Click here for the full report.

Source – James P. Gaines, Luis B. Torres, Wesley Miller, and Paige Woodson (May 2, 2019)

    https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/articles/technical-report/Texas-Housing-In…

DFW Real Estate, Housing Market, Title Insurance, Title Company

tx-largeflag

Texas Fun Facts and Trivia

  1. Texas is popularly known as The Lone Star State.
  2. The Alamo is located in San Antonio. It is where Texas defenders fell to Mexican General Santa Anna and the phrase Remember the Alamo originated. The Alamo is considered the cradle of Texas liberty and the state’s most popular historic site.
  3. The lightning whelk is the official state shell.
  4. Texas is the only state to have the flags of 6 different nations fly over it. They are: Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Texas, Confederate States, and the United States.
  5. Although six flags have flown over Texas, there have been eight changes of government: Spanish 1519-1685, French 1685-1690, Spanish 1690-1821, Mexican 1821-1836, Republic of Texas 1836-1845, United States 1845-1861, Confederate States 1861-1865, United States 1865-present
  6. The King Ranch in Texas is bigger than the state of Rhode Island.
  7. During the period of July 24-26, 1979, the Tropical Storm Claudette brought 45 inches of rain to an area near Alvin, Texas, contributing to more than $600 million in damages. Claudette produced the United States 24 hour rainfall record of 43 inches.
  8. More wool comes from the state of Texas than any other state in the United States.
  9. Edwards Plateau in west central Texas is the top sheep growing area in the country.
  10. Texas is the only state to enter the United States by treaty instead of territorial annexation.
  11. The state was an independent nation from 1836 to 1845.
  12. Texas boasts the nation’s largest herd of whitetail deer.
  13. A coastal live oak located near Fulton is the oldest tree in the state. The tree has an estimated age of more than 1,500 years.
  14. Sam Houston, arguably the most famous Texan, was actually born in Virginia. Houston served as governor of Tennessee before coming to Texas.
  15. Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in the state.
  16. The first offensive action of the Texas Revolution occurred in Goliad on October 9, 1835 when local colonists captured the fort and town.
  17. On December 20, 1835 the first Declaration of Texas Independence was signed in Goliad and the first flag of Texas Independence was hoisted.
  18. The Hertzberg Circus Museum in San Antonio contains one of the largest assortments of circusana in the world.
  19. The capital city of Austin is located on the Colorado River in south-central Texas. The capitol building is made from Texas pink granite. It served as the capital of the Republic of Texas in 1840-1842.
  20. Austin is considered the live music capital of the world.
  21. Texas is home to Dell and Compaq computers and central Texas is often referred to as the Silicon Valley of the south.
  22. Professional sports teams include the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, Houston Astros, Houston Comets, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, and Texas Rangers.
  23. Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. The Dublin Dr Pepper, 85 miles west of Waco, still uses pure imperial cane sugar in its product. There is no period after the Dr in Dr Pepper.
  24. The first suspension bridge in the United States was the Waco Bridge. Built in 1870 and still in use today as a pedestrian crossing of the Brazos River.
  25. In 1836 five sites served as temporary capitals of Texas: Washington-on-the-Brazos: Harrisburg: Galveston: Velasco: and Columbia. Sam Houston moved the capital to Houston in 1837. In 1839 the capital was moved to the new town of Austin.
  26. The capitol in Austin opened May 16, 1888. The dome of the building stands seven feet higher than that of the nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C.
  27. Texas comes from the Hasinai Indian word tejas meaning friends or allies.
  28. The armadillo is the official state mammal.
  29. Texas has the first domed stadium in the country. The structure was built in Houston and opened in April 1965.
  30. The Houston Comets are the only team in the country to win four back-to-back WNBA championships. 1997-2000 Cynthia Cooper remains the only player to win the WNBA Championship MVP.
  31. The worst natural disaster in United States history was caused by a hurricane that hit Galveston in 1900. Over 8000 deaths were recorded.
  32. The first word spoken from the moon on July 20, 1969 was Houston.
  33. Texas’ largest county is Brewster with 6,208 square miles.
  34. Texas possesses three of the top ten most populous cities in the United States. These towns are Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.
  35. El Paso is closer to Needles, California than it is to Dallas.
  36. Texas includes 267,339 square miles, or 7.4% of the nation’s total area.
  37. The state’s cattle population is estimated to be near 16 million.
  38. More land is farmed in Texas than in any other state.
  39. More species of bats live in Texas than in any other part of the United States.
  40. Laredo is the world’s largest inland port.
  41. Port Lavaca has the world’s longest fishing pier. Originally part of the causeway connecting the two sides of Lavaca Bay, the center span of was destroyed by Hurricane Carla in 1961.
  42. The Tyler Municipal Rose Garden is the world’s largest rose garden. It contains 38,000 rose bushes representing 500 varieties of roses set in a 22-acre garden.
  43. Amarillo has the world’s largest helium well.
  44. The world’s first rodeo was held in Pecos on July 4, 1883.
  45. The Flagship Hotel on Seawall Boulevard in Galveston is the only hotel in North America built entirely over the water.
  46. The Heisman trophy is named for John William Heisman the first full-time coach and athletic director at Rice University in Houston.
  47. Brazoria County has more species of birds than any other comparable area in North America.
  48. The Aransas Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of North America’s only remaining flock of whooping cranes.
  49. Jalapeno pepper jelly originated in Lake Jackson and was first marketed in 1978.

Source: https://www.50states.com/facts/texas.htm

The New Earnest Money Delivery Date Sample Timeline

FROM THE CONTRACT:

“IF THE LAST DAY TO DELIVER THE EARNEST MONEY FALLS ON A SATURDAY, SUNDAY, OR LEGAL HOLIDAY, THE TIME TO DELIVER THE EARNEST MONEY IS EXTENDED UNTIL THE END OF THE NEXT DAY THAT IS NOT A SATURDAY, SUNDAY, OR LEGAL HOLIDAY.”

IMPORTANT TIPS:

– EARNEST MONEY CANNOT BE DELIVERED ON A SATURDAY, SUNDAY OR LEGAL HOLIDAY. HOWEVER, YOU DO COUNT SATURDAY, SUNDAY AND LEGAL HOLIDAYS AS EFFECTIVE DAYS WHEN COUNTING THE THREE DAYS, BUT NOT AS THE DELIVERY DATE. THE DELIVERY DATE IS THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY.

– WHILE EARNEST MONEY IS NOT
REQUIRED TO BE DELIVERED UNTIL THE 3RD DAY, IT IS RECOMMENDED TO DELIVER THE CHECK DURING BUSINESS HOURS TO OBTAIN A RECEIPT OF EARNEST MONEY FOR THE DELIVERY.

 

Click here for printable version.

Sold Home For Sale Real Estate Sign in Front of Beautiful New House.

What Is Earnest Money

What is Earnest Money

Earnest money is a deposit made to a seller that represents a buyer’s good faith to buy a home. The money gives the buyer extra time to get financing and conduct the title search, property appraisal and inspections before closing. In most cases, earnest money is delivered when the sales contract or purchase agreement is signed, but it can also be attached to the offer. Once deposited, the funds are typically held in an escrow account until closing, at which time the deposit is applied to the buyer’s down payment and closing costs. 

Earnest money is also known as an escrow deposit or good faith money.

Reasons to Pay Earnest Money

When a buyer decides to purchase a home from a seller, both parties enter into a contract. The contract doesn’t obligate the buyer to purchase the home, because reports from the home appraisal and inspection may later reveal problems with the house. The contract does, however, ensure the seller takes the house off the market while it’s inspected and appraised. To prove the buyer’s offer to purchase the property is made in good faith, the buyer makes an earnest money deposit (EMD).

When Earnest Money Is Refundable

The buyer may be able to reclaim the earnest money deposit if something that was specified ahead of time in the contract goes wrong. For instance, the earnest money would be returned if the house doesn’t appraise for the sales price or the inspection reveals a serious defect – provided these contingencies are listed in the contract.

Of course, earnest money isn’t always refundable. For example, the seller gets to keep the earnest money if the buyer decides not to go through with the home purchase for contingencies not listed in the contract, or if the buyer fails to meet the timeline outlined in the contract. And, not surprisingly, the buyer will forfeit the earnest money deposit if he or she simply has a change of heart and decides not to buy. 

Earnest money is always returned to the buyer if the seller terminates the deal.

How Much You Pay in Earnest Money

While the buyer and seller can negotiate the earnest money deposit, it often ranges between 1% and 2% of the home’s purchase price, depending on the market. If a home costs $250,000, a 1% earnest money deposit would be $2,500; at 2%, the deposit would be $5,000.

In addition to the local market rates, the size of the earnest money deposit depends on the level of interest other buyers have expressed, how hot the housing market is and how quickly a prospective buyer can close on his or her offering price. In hot housing markets, the earnest money deposit might range between 5% and 10% of a property’s sale price.

While the earnest money deposit is often a percentage of the sales price, some sellers prefer a fixed amount, such as $5,000 or $10,000. Of course, the higher the earnest money, the more serious the seller is likely to consider the buyer. Therefore, a buyer should offer a high enough earnest deposit to be accepted, but not so high as to put extra money at risk since there’s still a chance that the deal might not go through and the deposit not refunded.

Earnest money is usually paid by certified check, personal check or a wire transfer into a trust or escrow account that is held by a real estate brokerage, legal firm or title company. The funds are held in the account until closing, when they are applied toward the buyer’s down payment and closing costs. It’s important to note that escrow accounts, like any other bank account, can earn interest. Therefore, if the earnest funds in the escrow account earn interest of more than $5,000, the buyer must fill out tax form W-9 with the IRS to receive the interest.

Protecting Your Earnest Money Deposit

Prospective buyers can do several things to protect their earnest money deposits.

  • Make sure contingencies for financing and inspections are included in the contract. Without these, the deposit could be forfeited if the buyer can’t get financing or a serious defect is found during the inspection. 
  • Read, understand and abide by the terms of the contract. For example, if the contract states the home inspection must be completed by a certain date, the buyer must meet that deadline, or risk losing the deposit – and the house.
  • Make sure the deposit is handled appropriately. The deposit should be payable to a reputable third party, such as a well-known real estate brokerage, escrow company, title company or legal firm (never give the deposit directly to the seller). Buyers should verify the funds will be held in an escrow account and always obtain a receipt. 

Source: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/earnest-money.asp

Shopping Basket