Marti Pattinson

REALM Real Estate Professionals

14909 Southwest Freeway Suite 102
Sugar Land, TX 77478

Cell: 281-703-0016   
Phone: 281-703-0016 
Fax: 832-690-5987

Housing Trends

December 2018

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What do Texas Homeowners Care About?

Most Texans know that Realtors are there to help you buy or sell your home. But many folks may not realize the role that Texas Realtors play in advocating for public policies benefiting homeowners.

Earlier this year, the Texas Association of Realtors commissioned a telephone survey of Texas homeowners. The purpose was to get a better idea of the issues foremost on their minds. Austin-based Baselice & Associates conducted the survey Jan. 24-29, interviewing homeowners from all parts of the state. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percent.

The top concern … Are you ready? Property taxes and appraisals, with 36 percent saying this issue concerns them the most, and 18 percent citing it as their second-most pressing concern. Combine these, and 54 percent of Texas homeowners are worried enough about property taxes and appraisals to rate it No. 1 or 2.

Other issues that concern homeowners in Texas:
• The prospect of higher taxes – 18 percent rated this their top issue and 20 percent their No. 2 issue
• Crime – 16 percent rated it No. 1 and 21 percent No. 2
• Public education – 16 percent No. 1 and 19 percent No. 2
• The economy – 10 percent No. 1 and 15 percent No. 2

Property taxes, appraisals worrisome

The survey results show that a majority of Texas homeowners are mainly concerned over property taxes and appraisals. The public policy goals of Texas Realtors are closely aligned with these concerns. During the 80th Texas Legislature, which ended May 28, the Texas Association of Realtors was successful in urging lawmakers to pass several measures reforming the property-appraisal process for homeowners. And Texas Realtors supported an amendment that provides property-tax relief to homeowners 65 years and older, and those who are disabled.

In public policy circles, Texas Realtors have been the chief proponents of property-tax relief for Texans. Texas ranks 42nd in the U.S. in homeownership, and high property taxes are partly to blame for this low ranking. The first phase of property-tax cuts was a 17-cent reduction in school maintenance and operations taxes per $100 valuation, passed during last year’s special session.

The second and larger phase of property-tax reductions, bringing an additional 33-cent cut in school maintenance and operations taxes per $100 valuation, kicked in this year, so your property-tax bill for next year will reflect the largest savings.

What legislators did, both last year in the special session and this year in the regular session, are steps in the right direction toward meaningful property-tax relief for Texans. But we still have a ways to go. We’ll continue urging lawmakers to make homeownership more affordable, whether for first-time or long-time homeowners. Besides continuing efforts to lower homeowners’ property taxes and make the appraisal process easier and fair, Texas Realtors work on other issues that benefit Texans. In case you’re wondering what these might be, here are two brief examples:

Mortgage fraud – curbing abuses protects consumers

In the recent 80th legislative session, Texas Realtors played a major role in passing legislation to curb mortgage fraud, protecting home buyers and sellers, and ensuring a viable real estate market.

Transfer fee – keeping a bad idea from taking root

At the 11th hour of the 80th session, the Texas Association of Realtors stopped a bad idea from gaining a foothold in Texas. A private transfer fee is a scheme (many call it a scam) where a person sells his home but files a covenant on the property requiring a fee – one percent is common – paid to the party who filed the covenant. The payment to the seller who filed the covenant is required every time the property is sold after that for as long as 99 years. We urged quick legislation that prohibits private-transfer-fee arrangements and makes any attempts to create them unenforceable.

Source: Texas Association of REALTORS®
Reprinted with permission.