The constitutionally mandated decennial census that the U.S. will undertake in 2020 will affect many aspects of your business and community. Data from the census is used to draw political district lines, determine how many congressional representatives states receive, and distribute billions of dollars in federal funds to states and local communities.
An undercount of your community may threaten federal funds for local programs, affect infrastructure projects, and muddy the data private companies use to target expansion or investment. Shad Bogany, a past Texas REALTORS® chairman and partner specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau, has been working to get the word out about how important the 2020 census is to REALTORS® and what they can do to educate their communities.
“The census affects our business more than any other business,” Bogany says. “Whether you’re a part-time agent, full-time agent, or broker, you should want to get everyone counted in your community.”
The January 2020 DFW are real estate statistics are in and we’ve got the numbers! Take a look at our stats infographics, separated by county, with MLS area stats on each county report as well! These infographics and video are perfect for social sharing so feel free to post them!
To see past month’s reports, please visit our resources section here.
For the full report from the Texas A&M Real Estate Research Center, click here. For NTREIS County reports click here.
Survey Deletion Coverage is often also referred to as “Survey Deletion”, “Survey Amendment”, and “Survey Coverage.” When survey deletion coverage is given in the title policy it offers Buyers protection for errors or omissions that may have been made by the surveyor and accepted by the title company by changing the language in the “standard exception” of the title policy to read “Shortages in Area” only. The “standard survey exception” in a title commitment or policy (before being amended) reads:
“Any discrepancies, conflicts, or shortage in area or boundary lines, or any encroachments or protrusions, or any overlapping of improvements.”
Upon receipt of an acceptable survey, the title company may amend this exception to read “Shortages in area” only. Things that a title company will look at to determine if a survey will be acceptable include, but are not limited to, the following: that items noted on the survey are listed in the title commitment, verify the legal description, check platted building lines and platted easements, and other matters such as the seal and signature of the engineer, date of the survey, and north directional arrow.
Survey Deletion is addressed in paragraph 6. A. (8) of the TREC One to Four Family Residential Contract, where the parties select between the options of amending or not amending the standard exception in the title policy and who will be responsible for the payment of the premium.
There are other issues that may show up in the review of a survey, such as a building or driveway or fence over a building line, or into a platted easement. When this happens, the title company may still accept the survey and amend the standard exception to read “Shortages in Area” only, but will generally add a special exception on Schedule B of the title commitment and owner’s title policy for any of these issues that were shown on the survey.
The cost of survey deletion coverage on residential transactions is 5% of the Owners Title Policy Premium, and is 15% of the Owner Title Policy Premium in a commercial transaction.
Republic Title’s Dennis Pospisil, Senior Vice President of Digital Settlement and Signing Services recently sat down with eOrignal to talk about bridging the lender and settlement divide in a digital world. Check out the conversation here:
eOriginal: What barriers do you see standing in the way of a completely digital real estate experience?
I think engagement and adoption across the industry is crucial, but certain barriers may exist, like having the necessary equipment to support the adoption of digital mortgages. For example, consider escrow agents using a mobile notary. Are they prepared, willing and ready to take digital closings on the road with them? Has everyone (and I do mean everyone) involved in the closing had the required training? Are they setup in the system with logins, etc.?
The other thing that concerns me is the existence of multiple platforms. Is that scalable for settlement companies? Are settlement companies willing to receive transactions across multiple systems?
On a different side of the transaction, are loan officers willing to adopt and change what the closing experience and celebration will look like? Will they partner for the future by thinking about what they want the closing experience to look like in the years to come?
These are a few of the questions I believe the industry should consider as we move into this digital era.
Many people subscribe to the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” philosophy, but sometimes it is about making an existing way of doing things better. To continually be relevant in the market, you have to ask, “Can we make it better? If so, how?” I don’t see enough mortgage professionals focusing on those questions.
There are other barriers directly related to finances. For example, some settlement companies are not setup properly for high speed internet nor, in some cases, do they possess technology like tablets, laptops, and/or other items that are necessary to conduct a completely digital closing.
Lastly, there are practical barriers unique to our industry, such as legislation and the county clerks’ offices in the areas we serve. Does your state have legislation in place supporting remote online notarization (RON)? Does your state have legislation in place supporting the papering out of eSigned recordable documents? What about the steps necessary to bridge the traditional method of recording with the non-traditional method of eSigning?
Unique barriers are going to exist outside of these thoughts, so those interested in supporting digital closings must identify and work through them one at time.
eOriginal: What do you think is on the horizon? How about 5 to 10 years from now?
First, I think we’ll see additional RON legislation in various states. We are still at the beginning of this new digital age and several states still don’t have legislation in place to allow remote online notarization. You also have some states with RON legislation in place but with a few key elements still missing or being worked on, like a “papering out” bill. As an example, Texas should expect a “papering out” bill to pass very soon, as early as September 2019.
On the seller side of real estate transactions, I see RON making a shift towards a new and more convenient experience. The borrower side is probably heading in that direction as well, but from a settlement agent’s perspective, we’ll have to see how each of our lending partners adopts the concept of digital settlement, since it isn’t something we can control.
Then we have AI, or artificial intelligence, and machine learning, which are big ticket items beginning to play a role in the life cycle of the real estate transaction. They are still some time away, but it’s fascinating to read about all the work and projects already underway.
To help the readers understand the interplay a bit better, consider AI as the broader concept of machines being able to carry out tasks in a way that we would consider “smart.” Machine learning is a subset or current application of AI based around the idea of providing machines access to data and letting them ‘learn’ for themselves. Within our space, we are already seeing some of the large-scale real estate sites using AI for home or rental recommendations.
I agree with Dennis’s comments. At Fairway, the experience delivered to the consumer is critical, and we see settlement agents as a crucial component to ensuring that experience is positive, both now and into the future.
The mortgage industry is moving quite quickly. On the one hand, you have the proposed Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) changes that are happening, and on the other hand we see many different investors, programs, and products available, so it takes a lot of effort just to keep up with our market. Then factor in the Ginnie Mae offerings and the move toward digital transactions, and it’s clear that this is an exciting time to be in mortgage!
eOriginal: Where can others go to learn more about digital mortgages and lender and/or settlement agent best practices?
They’ve already found one resource, this blog article. Others worth visiting include:
Texas Welcomed More Than a Half-Million New Residents in 2018
The 2020 Texas Relocation Report released today by Texas REALTORS® shows the state ranked second in the nation for relocation activity in 2018, with 563,945 new residents moving to the state.
Texas eclipsed its 2017 total for new residents (524,511), and accounting for those moving out of state, saw a 78.1% increase in net new residents—from from 57,173 in 2017 to 101,805 residents in 2018.
“For the sixth year in a row, more than half a million people chose Texas as their new home,” said Cindi Bulla, 2020 chairman of Texas REALTORS®. “And why not? In addition to its business-friendly environment with no state income tax and abundance of jobs, land. and opportunity, Texas is known for its diverse, friendly spirit and culture.”
The top states for incoming residents to Texas were California (86,164), Florida (37,262), Louisiana (29,108), Oklahoma (24,590), and New York (21,509). Compared to 2017, the number of incoming residents from California increased 36.4% in 2018. Of the state’s new residents, 201,559 moved to Texas from outside of the country.
Texas saw 462,140 residents relocate out of state in 2018—the third-highest figure among U.S. states. California (37,810), Oklahoma (31,551), Colorado (26,930), Florida (24,197), and Louisiana (23,588) were the top destinations for those moving out of Texas.