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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

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Bucket List – Top Things Every Traveling Texan Should Do!

Pull off a Schlitterbahn four-bagger Texas’ beloved waterpark has four locations: Corpus Christi, Galveston, New Braunfels, and South Padre. Hit all of them and be forever named the “Sultan of Schlitterbahn.”
www.schlitterbahn.com

Visit Blue Bell Visit the creamery in Brenham, Texas! Stop by for a scoop of ice cream at the Ice Cream Parlor, view how we make ice cream from the Observation Deck & shop in the Country Store.
www.bluebell.com

Kayak Caddo Lake Kayak through the sprawling labyrinth of lush bayous and wetlands, using the thick cypress trees cased in Spanish moss as a sort of lakeside slalom.
tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/caddo-lake

Mountain-bike Through Palo Duro Canyon At 120 miles long, 20 miles wide, and 800ft deep, it’s the second-largest canyon in the United States — but it’s only visited by around 300,000 people per year (by comparison, the Grand Canyon gets over 5 million).
www.palodurocanyon.com

Camp Out At Enchanted Rock The nation’s second-largest granite dome is one of the choicest spots to catch those big and bright Texas stars.
tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/enchanted-rock

Cliff Jump Into Jacob’s Well Ever seek the thrill of diving headfirst into a 140 ft. natural artesian spring with an extremely dangerous limestone cave below it?
www.visitwimberley.com/jacobswell

Channel Indiana Jones Texas has plenty of amazing caves, some of which lie just west of the small city of Sonora (which, FYI, is about halfway between San Antonio and Big Bend).
www.cavernsofsonora.com

Hike Your Way To Gorman Falls We don’t even know why you’d visit Colorado Bend State Park without hiking the 1.5-mile trail to this hidden treasure. Afterward, you’ll be treated to a misty chill and a breathtaking 60ft waterfall cascading into a fern-coated grotto.
tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/colorado-bend

Do The River Walk Walk, shop, dine, and enjoy the hospitality of our world-renowned urban waterway. Hop aboard a river taxi and discover for yourself why millions visit every year.
www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com

Cruise Along Route 66 The Texas slice of the legendary Route 66 is 178 miles of ramshackle ghost towns and mighty fine roadside attractions, including Amarillo’s offbeat but totally rad Cadillac Ranch and McLean’s tribute to barbed wire, the Devil’s Rope Museum.
www.barbwiremuseum.com

Salute The Texas State Capitol Take a guided tour of the 19th-century building… or just take a selfie in front of it.
www.tspb.texas.gov

Drink Your Way Through The Best Breweries Sip fine craft suds at all 10, then finish with a stop at Spoetzl Brewery. The magical land that pumps out each and every can and bottle of Shiner also happens to be the oldest brewery in the state.
www.shiner.com/brewery/spoetzl-brewery

Live That Astronaut Life The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center is home to a bunch of great experiences, from International Space Station mission operations to astronaut ice cream. If you take the threehour tram tour (YOLO!), you can even get a peek at the historic mission control room.
spacecenter.org

Wineries In Fredericksburg The Texas Hill Country is home to over 45 wineries and vineyards and Fredericksburg is the epicenter of the Hill Country wine region.
www.visitfredericksburgtx.com

Conquer “The Texan King”  The iconic Big Texan Steak Ranch harbors the opportunity of a lifetime, and that is the chance to tackle and defeat a colossal, 72oz hunk of Texas beef.
bigtexan.com

Trip Out In Marfa Experience hyper-reality in this offbeat West Texas town, where you’ll find a minimalistic Prada art installation in the middle of the desert, and mystery lights that have gone unexplained for over half a century.
www.atlasobscura.com/places/prada-marfa

See The Best Star Show In The State The McDonald Observatory in Davis Mountains State Park hosts “Star Parties,” where you can look through a bunch of telescopes (including the biggest in Texas) to see night sky constellation tours and views of celestial objects.
mcdonaldobservatory.org

Eat Deep-fried Everything At The State Fair We’re talking things like America’s original Corny Dog, chicken-fried lobster with Champagne gravy, funnel cake, bacon cinnamon rolls, and deep-fried BEER.
www.bigtex.com/

 

Source: thrillist.com

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10 Ways to Live More Eco-Friendly

Here are just a few ways to live more eco-friendly:

  • Shop local. Purchasing local products offers an impressive way of reducing pollution that results from supply chain logistics.
  • Opt for natural and organic beauty products. There are many items you already have in your kitchen that you can use for organic beauty products.  It will keep your skin and the environment happy.
  • There are other items around the home that can be recycled outside of kitchen paper and plastics such as unused electronics, old books, and clothes.
  • Avoid drinking bottled water. Plastic waste hurts the environment significantly.
  • Personalize gift wrapping. Creatively re-using wrapping, tags and bows can offer cheap ways for saving the world’s trees.
  • Switch to a bike when you can. It can save you money and help you stay in shape.
  • Always have reusable bags on hand for unplanned shopping. Plastic bags are among the largest contributors to landfills worldwide.
  • Use energy efficient light bulbs to reduce waste and save money.
  • Eat Local! Buy locally grown food and eat out at locally sourced restaurants.
  • Invest in a smart home device that automatically adjusts your thermostat when you are not home, and tracks your usage to help save you money and reduces energy use.
Earth Day 2016

History of Earth Day

Earth Day was founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, and Earth Day 2019 occurs on Monday, April 22. The holiday is now a global celebration that’s sometimes extended into Earth Week, a full seven days of events focused on green living. The brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson and inspired by the protests of the 1960s, Earth Day began as a “national teach-in on the environment” and was held on April 22 to maximize the number of students that could be reached on university campuses. By raising public awareness of pollution, Nelson hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight.

Earth Day History

By the early 1960s Americans were becoming aware of the effects of pollution on the environment. Rachel Carson’s 1962 bestseller “Silent Spring” raised the specter of the dangerous effects of pesticides on America’s countrysides. Later in the decade, a 1969 fire on Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River shed light on the problem of chemical waste disposal. Until that time, protecting the planet’s natural resources was not part of the national political agenda, and the number of activists devoted to large-scale issues such as industrial pollution was minimal. Factories pumped pollutants into the air, lakes and rivers with few legal consequences. Big, gas-guzzling cars were considered a sign of prosperity. Only a small portion of the American population was familiar with–let alone practiced–recycling.

Did you know? A highlight of the United Nations’ Earth Day celebration in New York City is the ringing of the Peace Bell, a gift from Japan, at the exact moment of the vernal equinox.

Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962, Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat from Wisconsin, was determined to convince the federal government that the planet was at risk. In 1969, Nelson, considered one of the leaders of the modern environmental movement, developed the idea for Earth Day after being inspired by the anti-Vietnam War “teach-ins” that were taking place on college campuses around the United States. According to Nelson, he envisioned a large-scale, grassroots environmental demonstration “to shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda.”

Nelson announced the Earth Day concept at a conference in Seattle in the fall of 1969 and invited the entire nation to get involved. He later recalled, “The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters. Telegrams, letters and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes and air—and they did so with spectacular exuberance.” Dennis Hayes, a young activist who had served as student president at Stanford University, was selected as Earth Day’s national coordinator, and he worked with an army of student volunteers and several staff members from Nelson’s Senate office to organize the project. According to Nelson, “Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself.”

On April 22, rallies were held in Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and most other American cities, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. In New York City, Mayor John Lindsay closed off a portion of Fifth Avenue to traffic for several hours and spoke at a rally in Union Square with actors Paul Newman and Ali McGraw. In Washington, D.C., thousands of people listened to speeches and performances by singer Pete Seeger and others, and Congress went into recess so its members could speak to their constituents at Earth Day events.

The first Earth Day was effective at raising awareness about environmental issues and transforming public attitudes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Public opinion polls indicate that a permanent change in national priorities followed Earth Day 1970. When polled in May 1971, 25 percent of the U.S. public declared protecting the environment to be an important goal, a 2,500 percent increase over 1969.” Earth Day kicked off the “Environmental decade with a bang,” as Senator Nelson later put it. During the 1970s, a number of important pieces of environmental legislation were passed, among them the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. Another key development was the establishment in December 1970 of the Environmental Protection Agency, which was tasked with protecting human health and safeguarding the natural environment—air, water and land.

Since 1970, Earth Day celebrations have grown. In 1990, Earth Day went global, with 200 million people in over 140 nations participating, according to the Earth Day Network (EDN), a nonprofit organization that coordinates Earth Day activities. In 2000, Earth Day focused on clean energy and involved hundreds of millions of people in 184 countries and 5,000 environmental groups, according to EDN. Activities ranged from a traveling, talking drum chain in Gabon, Africa, to a gathering of hundreds of thousands of people at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Today, the Earth Day Network collaborates with more than 17,000 partners and organizations in 174 countries. According to EDN, more than 1 billion people are involved in Earth Day activities, making it “the largest secular civic event in the world.”

 

source: www.history.com

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Spring Maintenance Checklist

Once the ground has thawed and the trees begin to bud, it’s time to prepare your home for spring. On top of your regular spring cleaning, you’ll also want to consider these general home maintenance tips. Use our spring home maintenance checklist to make sure everything in your home from the basement to the roof is in tip-top shape.

• Inspect roofing for missing, loose, or damaged shingles and leaks.
• Change the air-conditioner filter.
• Clean window and door screens.
• Polish wood furniture, and dust light fixtures.
• Refinish the deck.
• Power-wash windows and siding.
• Remove leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts.
• Replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
• Have a professional inspect and pump the septic tank.
• Inspect sink, shower, and bath caulking for deterioration.
• Vacuum lint from dryer vent.
• Inspect chimney for damage.
• Repair or replace caulking and weather stripping around windows, doors, and mechanicals.
• Remove insulation from outdoor faucets and check sprinkler heads.
• Have air-conditioning system serviced.
• Drain or flush water heater.
• Fertilize your lawn.

source: www.bhg.com