Welcome to Our Portal About Texas Real Estate!

Welcome to all things about Texas Real Estate, including news and a resource portal where you will find valuable information and links to resources that will help make your real estate activities more profitable.

Some of the many topics we will be discussing here certainly include real estate investing, fix and flipping residential properties, where to find Texas hard money lenders so you can finance your real estate rehab projects, the different terminology used in real estate lending and investing, and current trends in the real estate market.

Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University,noted that more new homes were built in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex last year than in 19 states — including California.

As you can see, the Texas real estate market is an exciting and dynamic landscape for those looking for unique and profitable opportunities.

Whether you are looking to flip properties, build a portfolio of rental properties or just acquire equity, you will need to understand the scope and nuances of the market before jumping in.

#1: Understand The Key Real Estate Markets In Texas

Throughout the Texas area, you will note that there are plenty of areas where real estate is absolutely booming. This makes it one of the largest hotbeds for real estate in the entire country. Texas is such a large and diverse state, so it is not surprising that there are so many different hot button real estate areas found throughout the state. If you want to dip your toe in the water and get to know the real estate markets in Texas, it is critical that you learn which are the best for you so that you can begin your journey into reaping the benefits of these various real estate markets.


This city is the highest on the list of real estate areas in the entire country, coming in at number one. The reason for this is that Austin has a reasonable cost of living and a high quality of life throughout the entire area. In terms of Austin real estate, though population has grown by 9% in recent years, while the area still boasts some of the greatest job markets and some of the highest quality education in the entire nation. For people looking to invest in real estate in the Texas area, this is an excellent first place to look.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex

You can’t say Texas real estate without considering the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This is a hotbed area for real estate because it is one of the largest cities in the state full of hustle and bustle, tourism and plenty of business potential. There are a number of real estate agents that operate in this area for this reason, as this area continuously becomes one of the up-and-coming business sectors throughout the nation. If you would like to capitalize on these population growth and getting on the market on the front end, it is critical that you look into this market.


Houston is another wonderful area when it comes to buying Texas real estate. It is large and expansive and home to reasonably priced real estate of all types. So whether you are looking into commercial real estate or residential property, Houston has a little bit of everything that you can purchase, without you having to pay a huge amount of money in the process. The job market is thriving, the weather is beautiful and more and more people are looking to visit and relocate to the Houston area.

#2: Become Familiar With The Right Sources Of Information

When you want to get started on the right foot with your Texas real estate efforts, it is critical that you also get your hands on the right information. You would need to continuously access this information and familiarize yourself with it so that you can arm yourself with the right information whenever you need it. This will save you when you are in a bind, prevent you from making avoidable mistakes and keep you ahead of the game with all transactions that you look into.

Consider these different Texas real estate resources, so that you are able to get all that you can out of your transaction. Regardless of what type of real estate business or transaction that you are looking into, you will need to be sure that you are providing yourself the resources and tools to get the job done.

The Texas Real Estate Commission

If you want to take advantage of the help of an organization which will be helpful to you, this is one of the first places that you need to look. The Texas Real Estate Commission exists in order to protect the consumers of real estate all throughout the state. It would be a great idea to turn to this commission whether you are a real estate agent, a broker, an inspector, an investor or anyone else who wants to dabble in the field. The site will walk you through the process of acquiring these designations and will give you the help and service that you required for applying for such licenses or renewing such licenses. It will break down the fees and obligations that come with the territory, so that you are always operating within the letter of the law for all Texas real estate transactions. This gives you all that you require in order to understand what is expected of you and will assist you accordingly with any discrepancies or gray areas that you may not be aware of with regard to your Texas real estate transactions.

Texas Association Of Realtors

There are a variety of realtors who would be more than happy to assist you, all of whom are governed under the Texas Association of Realtors. It is great to familiarize yourself with this organization and take a visit to their site. There is a lot valuable information laid out on this site, including postings for events that will allow you to increase your knowledge of real estate, both n the state of Texas and as a whole. You will be able to pay dues and remain abreast of happenings in the area, including town hall meetings, regional meetings and informational sessions. This site is also critical because it gives you an opportunity to know who you are doing business with, due to the fact that it comes with a function for searching realtors. You will be able to look up any Realtor that is certified and licensed in the state of Texas, in order to find out information about their license renewal dates, their contact information and any other information pertaining to violations or restrictions. You will also be able to browse between a lot of tools that you will be able to use, including the ability to subscribe to e-mail lists, join groups and take advantage of publications pertaining to the industry. Learning this information will allow you to continuously remain in the loop with real estate information in the state of Texas. This should be one of the most important and useful resources that you take advantage on a regular basis.

The Texas A&M Real Estate Center

When it comes to resources that you need to continuously familiarize yourself with, you should be sure that the Texas A&M Real Estate Center remains at the top of your list. This university is one of the most prestigious when it comes to providing real estate information throughout the state. You will be able to stay on top of the headlines relevant to state real estate, and will have access to data and studies that are useful to you.

This site also gives you access to people that you will be able to contact in order to field questions related to the field. You will have the opportunity to look into information that will also be relevant for when you want to begin your career in real estate and get your hands on information that will be useful to you. For instance, there is a thorough and in depth guide on how to obtain your real estate license in Texas, which should be required reading for anyone trying to do so.

The University Of Texas Real Estate Resources

When you want to be sure that you are able to get the most out of your success as a Realtor, it is critical that you always have a list of resources at your disposal. This site comes equipped with a host of information which will allow you to look into Texas real estate organizations, an archive of articles related to real estate in Texas and legal guides related to each and every type of Texas real estate transaction.

This university also holds offices with representatives in the department who can field questions during regular hours. This site is a hotbed of information if you are looking anything related to zoning, permits and titles, land transfers and more. You will be able to look through a series of databases that will also inform you of different land transfers and zoning changes that happen on a regular basis. This data and archives will give you a great opportunity to learn about the history of real estate in the areas that you are serving as well.

#3: Put Together A Team Of Quality Real Estate Experts

Since you will need need to get all that you can out every transaction, it is critical that you have a team of experts that are well rounded and able to provide for you. This will give you peace of mind and will make sure that you are always informed and prepared to make the best decision for yourself. When you have a team around you that is dedicated to the success of these transactions, you will have the greatest opportunity possible to capitalize on each and every transaction in front of you. These professionals should be hired with care and discretion, to make sure that you are doing your best to get all that you can out of your process. These professionals can get paid in a lot of different ways, including retainer, a case by case basis and in the form of a contingency fee.

You will need a quality lawyer to look over any and all contracts and to search for titles, a real estate agent to keep you abreast of listings, so that you can acquire property, accounting professionals to assist you in financial matters related to real estate and more. By having such a team on your side, you will also be able to stay aware of Texas real estate taxes, which will always be a factor when you are dealing in real estate in any capacity. Do your due diligence in putting together this team.

#4: Continuously Stay On The Pulse Of Real Estate Investing And Make It A Lifestyle

The best thing you can do is make real estate part of your lifestyle. You should always be subscribing to, purchasing and reading real estate related literature. You will also be able to subscribe to podcasts and YouTube channels related to it, so that you can learn from other people who are succeeding at real estate ventures of their own.

#5: Stay Abreast Of Your Financial Resources

Make sure that you are always keeping track of financial matters, so that they do not get out of hand. You will need to spend money wisely and avoiding bad debt. Further, always know where to bank and where to go for lending.

As you can tell, there are a lot of things that you will need to keep in mind when it comes to the Texas real estate market. By taking advantage of these points, you will have the opportunity to get all that you can out of this market and will provide yourself a realistic shot at getting all that you can out of this. No matter where you live in Texas, you can provide yourself with the knowledge that will allow you to capitalize on the Texas real estate market by applying these points and taking advantage of the resources.

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How To Prepare For Mortgage
Appointment With The Lender

Time to buy your first property?

It’s a wonderful moment in one’s life when the decision is made to invest in real estate. It can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.

Before heading towards a Realtor in the hopes of finding good properties, you have to assess the financial side of things.

What is your budget? Have you received a pre-approved mortgage? How will you acquire the necessary funds to get that dream home?

This is why the most important article you’re going to read on real estate will involve this part of the process. A part that has to be done right or you’re not buying anything.

Unless you have money to spend and don’t care for loans you will need to know more about this process.

Let’s see what you need to take with you to an appointment. This information is gold for those who have never done this before.

Photo ID (Multiple)

Well, this is common sense. You will have to showcase ID to verify who you are and where you reside currently. All ID you will be providing to the lender has to be updated and accurate. If not, you will be declined as they do check for this information and are serious about it.

If you wish to test your luck, please do go to a lender with the wrong ID. They will turn you away immediately.

The ID has to have a photo as they will be looking to match it with the person who is there in front of them (which would be you).

Bank Documents

This is a given as you will be asking for a loan. You need to have your latest bank documents (all of them) as this will help determine how much you have in your possession and how liquid these assets are.

How many months should you be providing them with in terms of the statements? The safe bet is to go for the previous two-three months of statements. If you don’t want to head back home, just bring the previous four statements and you will be fine. There aren’t too many lenders who ask for more than that.

Tax Papers

Your tax information and papers will be required for the home loan as well. You will be asked to provide the previous two years as that will be enough for them to assess what you are claiming in terms of your income.

They will also know how much you are receiving in tax returns.

If you are applying during “tax season”, you will not be asked to provide immediate papers as that is unfair. They will ask for last year’s and that will be enough.

W2 Forms

You will be asked to verify your income as that is a big part of what the are basing your viability on. They will wish to see how you are bringing in money to pay for the mortgage.

These forms are given by the employer (if you are employed) and have to be filed with your taxes.

For those who are receiving 1099s, please give those to the lender as that will suffice in your case.


Have you made any deposits in the account? You might be asked to bring documentation for that as well to verify where the funds have come from, This is certainly the case for large amounts.

Mortgage Statement(s)

Do you have a mortgage already in place? This has to be brought along with you for them to assess how much is still due and how your payments are looking. This is mandatory and they will go through the system to figure out whether you already have a mortgage under your legal name.

You have to provide payment proof over the previous two years when it comes to the mortgage statements.

Additional Letters

If there are funds you are receiving from a third party for personal reasons (i.e. family), you will have to provide an explanation for this. It will be filed under your name and taken into account when they are going through your mortgage. It is best to look at what you are getting when hoping to gain approval.

There are some who don’t bring this letter and are turned away after the accounts are checked.

These are all of the documents you will have to bring along with you to the lender when you are hoping to get pre-approved for the home loan. Do not panic when you are going in for the first time as it is supposed to be a cordial meeting and one that should be enough to get you approved.

Be confident and you will be fine.

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Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Buying a home can be a daunting task for most first–time home buyers. Many find the buying process so overwhelming that they eventually decide to rent instead of purchasing their own house, and sometimes this is the wrong choice. Currently, the housing market represents a great opportunity for the people that are buying a home for the first time. The inventories are full of for–sale homes, the prices have dropped and the interest rates are also very low. For the first time buyers it can be the perfect time to find your dream home. If you are in this situation, check out the tips below.

First of all, decide on a specific budget. That’s where it all begins. There are still numerous buyers who don’t have a budget in mind and get lost in the buying process. Establish a price range and only look at those houses that enter that range. Next, go to a bank and find out how much of your monthly income you can spend on the insurance premium, taxes and mortgage. Some banks will tell you that the proportion is 42%, others that it is 28%. It depends on the lender. Be careful with what you choose. If you borrow more money it means that you will have to repay even more interest. Don’t be greedy.

Take your time to properly calculate the housing budget. You can do this by evaluating the monthly expenses. Track them in a notebook and see how much you’re spending and how much money is left at the end of the month. Taking into consideration your savings, you can figure out when you’ll have all the money for the down payment. Thus, before signing a mortgage contract, make sure that you will be able to pay the monthly insurance payments, taxes, interest rates and principals.

The following tip would be to keep it as realistic as possible. After you’ve established your location and your budget, you can start thinking about the amenities that your first home should have. Everyone is looking for luxury, but your budget might not be ready for that. It’s important to do some research and see what your money can buy. Make the wish list according to that research. You might have to make some compromises, but remember that the house can be upgraded later on, when you have more money.

Look for a variety of lenders such as local lenders, regional banks, mortgage brokers and national banks and compare their offers and estimated payments and rates. After you’ve found the right lender, try to get a pre–approval. Get a mortgage pre–approval before you begin looking at houses so that you are in a better bargaining position. The pre–approval period typically lasts for up to 90 days, which is usually enough time to find and close on your new home.

Finally, after deciding on 2 or 3 homes, call on the services of a home inspector to have a house inspection. If you’re going to spend hundreds of thousands on a property, you will want to avoid any surprises, especially those that are not readily apparent when you are walking through the house.

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Real Estate Negotiations And How To Make The Perfect Offer

You’ve found your dream home.

It is perfect with the picketed fence and beautiful kitchen you have always wanted. It’s standing right there in front of you asking for an offer.

How are you going to nail this negotiation phase so the dream house doesn’t slip away? Can it be done without losing your shirt and not having any money left to do anything else?

Yes, it can be done, but you have to understand how real estate offers work and how to nail the negotiation phase.

Push And Pull

This is one of the best strategies you can use according to savvy real estate investors.

The idea is to ease into the negotiation. Learn 1-2 key components the seller deems to be important for the offer to go through. This could be the price, seller contributions, or something else close to their heart. They might be adamant this is what they require.

You, on the other hand, might just want the closing costs to be reduced.

So, now you can see the situation in front of you.

How can you get those closing costs reduced? You have to use the push and pull strategy.

This means you would go hard on what they want (i.e. price and seller contributions) but easy on the closing costs. In essence, you are making them work hard for what they want.

This encourages them to negotiate. They start pushing for their requirements to be met. This is when you swoop in and give them what they want, but throw in the fact you now require reduced closing costs. They won’t care because in their minds they’ve won the negotiation since you gave in, but that was the plan all along. You just took a longer route to your preferred destination.

This is such a great way to set up your offer and walk away with a huge smile.

Bend But Don’t Break

You will see some people get so enthralled with the process that losing is not an option for them. In their eyes, they have to do whatever it takes to get the house and that is it.

You can’t have this mindset because that is when you lose a lot of money and give them too much. There are many stubborn sellers who will try to break you and take everything, but you can’t let that happen. It is fine to bend a bit (i.e. sacrifice certain aspects of the offer), but not give it all to them.

If they get to that point, you just walk away and move on. This is how it is and they might even come back to you and say they want to change their mind.

It happens all the time in real estate.

Counteroffer Will Come

If all real estate deals were to be assessed since the start of time, the majority would have had counteroffers thrown in before anything was settled. It is almost mandatory for a counteroffer to come along from the seller. It is a natural reaction in essence.

The seller assumes you are not giving them enough and they produce a counteroffer. This is human nature because we don’t always expect the best from someone who is making the offer.

What you have to do is prepare the initial offer with one eye on the reality of getting a counteroffer.

Make the initial offer a little “out there” in terms of how crazy it is. This will give you more room to drop when you start making serious offers.

Meaning if the house is $500,000, tell them you will only pay $420,000. This is just a shock offer to get them started.

This is how you go through the negotiation phase while putting together an offer. Keep these things in mind because the offer is often the hardest part and it tests your nerves throughout.

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Real Estate Investing In Smaller Towns

Has your mind ever lingered towards investing in a small town market?

Real estate is such a peculiar topic, which can make the mind wander towards such opportunities.

Big cities often get all of the attention as they are the catalysts for the country’s economy. If these major cities aren’t doing well then it is automatically assumed the entire nation is heading downwards. This doesn’t always happen in smaller towns since they’re often separated from the economic realities of larger markets.

So, why not stick to the thought of small town investing? Is there potential for going down that route?

There might be, but it is best to weigh out the pros and cons.

Good Tenants Are Easier To Find

The residents in smaller towns often know one another. This is wonderful for someone who has a property and needs to rent it out. The local residents will be able to locate someone to take up space and keep it clean.

In larger cities, it becomes harder to find a good tenant and the turnover rate can be nauseating because you are always back to square one in these cases.

The turnover rate is rarely high in small towns as long as you do find a tenant. When you have found one, they will stay for a while.

No Competition

You are one of the rare investors who considered small town real estate markets. There is no competition to speak of in these areas and that means you can name your price and get properties.

There is no competition because people generally don’t move towards these smaller towns. They all head towards the larger real estate markets. With the competition taken out of the battle, you get to enjoy the spoils for yourself.

Your investment is definitely safer in these small towns compared to larger cities where the margins are razor thin.

No Bad Areas

Larger cities have certain parts of town that are forbidden for investors because of criminal activity. This is just a part of the big city, but not so much in smaller towns.

The real estate market remains safe because the entire town is safe. The policing of these towns is easier and those who live there are generally good at handling things before they get out of hand.

This makes it easier to keep the property’s value safe as an investor. You can purchase knowing the area won’t hurt you.

Harder To Finance

If you are hoping to get a mortgage, you won’t get it in a smaller town as easily as you would in a major city such as New York. You will have to fight for it and they will ask you many questions.

You need to have a lot of cash flow behind you to buy in these towns and that often pushes investors away.

Big investors don’t mind because they can fund it themselves, but those who need the mortgage will be stuck.

Banks don’t want to get into these smaller towns because they won’t recoup their funds as easily if you default on the loan.

Difficult To Locate A Property Manager

Do you plan on living in the property? If you do, this is obviously not going to concern you, but for anyone that is not, you will find it hard to get a good property manager.

These towns are not used to someone investing in real estate, so they often don’t have property managers for you to work with.

You will either have to get someone who isn’t trained or you won’t find one at all, which is risky as it is.

In major cities, there are proper firms who are responsible for property management. This is not the case in a smaller town.

Prices Increase Slowly

This is the one thing all investors point to when this conversation comes up. They state the small town properties are more of a lifelong investment. If you want to make money in 5-10 years, you have to stick to the major cities. You might end up waiting 20-25 years before you get a sizable increase in your small town investment.

They just don’t want to wait and most investors end up thinking short-term rather than long-term.

If you are up for the wait, the small town investment begins to make sense.

Real estate markets will always vary and it is an investment opportunity for great growth. Yet, the small town real estate market is only for a select few who know how to manage themselves and won’t panic.

If you are one of them, this could be lucrative for you.

Don’t pigeonhole yourself.

Look at the small towns too.

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How To Find The Right
Real Estate Agent For You


If you are in the process of buying or selling property, a great real estate agent can be a godsend. With that said, separating the great ones from those who are less than stellar is not always easy. Here are several tips that will help you find the best agent available.

Ask About Their Work Hours

You are probably wondering what this has to do with you, but it is actually quite important. While there are some competent agents who sell property part time, the best agents are usually those who work full time. This is because they spend their days with an eye on the market instead of toiling away at their other job. If there is any indication that real estate is a hobby or a side job to them, you should definitely look for someone else.

Make Sure They Know The Neighborhood

Even the best real estate agents would have a difficult time selling property in an area they are not very familiar with. It is important for an agent to be knowledgeable about the area since they will know what the trends are and they can help you decide whether a particular neighborhood has everything that is on your wish list.

The best way to test their knowledge of the area would be to ask them about a recent home sale in your area. If they are not aware of the sale or any details surrounding it, this means they are probably not as familiar with the area as they claimed to be.

Avoid Online Pictures In Portals

When you are browsing online real estate portals, you may notice that some agents have their faces on their listings and others do not. What many people fail to realize is that the agents with pictures have actually paid for that luxury. This means that there is no guarantee that they are any better than the others. In short, do not allow a nice face to lead you into a wrong decision.

Talk To People In The Area With Comparable Homes

Most agents tend to specialize in a specific type of property. Whether that is a $150,000 one-level home or a $6M Tudor style mansion, you need to find a Realtor who actually has experience with comparable properties. Speak with people in the area who have comparable homes and ask them if they would be willing to recommend someone to you. Even if they are not in a position to do this, there is a chance that they may be able to lead you in the direction of someone who is able to help you.

Find Out How Many Properties They Have Listed

A great way to gauge the quality of your agent would be to check out the number of listings they have available. If they have a large number, you should be concerned about whether you will get the attention that you deserve. One the flip side, if they don’t have many listings, this could be a sign that they are not particularly popular. You have to try hard to find someone who has a great balance of properties. It is also helpful to compare all of the listed properties to yours.

Finding the right Realtor can mean the difference between a smooth and effortless transaction and an experience that is akin to a nightmare. Use this handy advice to ensure that you have one that is nothing like the latter.

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