Dec 14, 2017

Liens and Titles and Deeds, Oh My

I've got a new column on Candy's Dirt. check it out -

Liens and Titles and Deeds, Oh My

I’m Lydia Blair (formerly Lydia Player) and I bring more than a dozen years of real estate experience to the CandysDirt.com team. When it comes to the title business, I’ve been down the closing path many (many, many, …) times. However, I’m not an attorney. And I don’t play one on TV – or anywhere else. So, you won’t just get the inside scoop from me. Each week we’ll go straight to the experts, the best title minds in the Texas title business to answer your questions and shine some light on the inner workings of the industry. Got questions? Fire away! Lydia@candysdirt.com.
To kick off this first column, I’ve got dirt.

I’m off at the 27th annual Texas Land Title Institute in San Antonio this week, where I’ll bring you all the latest news. This year’s sold out conference includes Dawn Moore of Allegiance Title in Dallas, speaking about a topic we all love to hate: homeowners associations or HOA’s. Dallas’ Paul McNutt of Title Resources Guaranty Company will be teaching a doc prep class on survey issues. Registered Dallas folks at the conference include Steve Holley with Republic Title, Tracy McMahon of Capital Title, Joe Theriot with Lawyers Title, Bill Woodall of Chicago Title, along with several DFW professionals and attornies who will be instructing,

We may skip the specifics of the Home Equity Lending class – yawn. But you can be sure, I’ll relay any important details about the new Power of Attorney rules and how the industry expects the remote closing process to make waves in the next year. Just as real estate brokerages, mortgage companies and the entire real estate industry is undergoing changes, so is the title business. The changes we’ll be hearing about this week will be sure to have a ripple effect that will be felt by Realtors, buyers and sellers. We’ll see what the experts say about how strong and fast those waves of change will be hitting us.

On a lighter note – If you’re wondering how the conventioneers of a title industry event like to have fun, oh baby. Look for my boots-on-the-ground report from the “Parties in Possession” class. It could be entertaining, and I promise to keep the boots on!

Liens and Titles and Deeds, Oh My

Jul 12, 2016

Dallas Real Estate Update July 2016

Anybody with knowledge of real estate in this town knows that the Dallas market is hot!

Here are a few updates and predictions that Steve Brown (real estate editor at the Dallas Morning News) shared with me this morning.
In a nutshell -

  • More than 350 people a day are moving to the DFW area. That continues to drive the demand for housing. As long as job growth continues, our population growth will continue and demand for homes will continue. 
  • Demand for residential real estate remains strong with very few properties available under $300k. 
  • We currently have about 50,000 apartments under construction with the average rent on a NEW apartment at $1,500 a month. Vacancy rates are less than 5%. 
  • Very few condos are being built right now due to the competition for land. 
  • Home prices are rising much, much faster than wage increases. This will make homeownership less attainable for many people in the future. Fortunately mortgage rates are still low. 
Looking ahead, I agree with Steve on several items:
  • The home market will remain strong for now. 
  • We'll see a seasonal slow down soon due to the election. Folks don't like to make major purchases right before the presidential election. Regardless of who wins, sales will pick back up after Christmas.
  • The rate of growth in prices will slow down especially at the high price points. That's a slow down and level off - not a drop. 
  • A rise in interest rates could also slow our lightening fast market to a more normal pace. 
Remember - 350 PEOPLE A DAY. 
All those folks have to live somewhere. 

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Dec 23, 2015

Who chooses the title company in Texas?

Residential real estate continues to change after the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) went into effect in 2015. One regulation highlights that the buyer has the right to choose the title company for their purchase.

In Texas, it is typical for the seller to pay the title policy and, in years past, the seller felt that they should get to choose the title company. But that is not the case. Why?

Because once the sale is completed, the seller is gone and has no future stake in the property.The title insurance policy belongs to the new owner. As a buyer, would you want the seller to choose your homeowners insurance company, home warranty company or home inspector? The buyer should get to choose these. The CFPB does not care who pays for the title insurance policy. But they care that the buyer has been informed of their right to choose the title insurance company.

This rule has actually been around for a while, but now being regulated and enforced. With the new CFPB, if a seller (or their agent) requires a buyer to use their preferred title company (either directly or indirectly), they are violating RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) and could face fines or a law suit.

Check out RESPA Section 9 : Seller required title insurance
http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/ramh/res/respamor#HE2

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