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PAMELA K ANDERS REAL ESTATE
        EMAIL ME        1116 Milford, Houston, TX 77006     Phone: (713) 256-6677     Fax:
MAY
23

My cup runeth over……………

Word on the streets from the Property Tax Consultants is that they consider the hearing outcomes thus far, to be about “par” in relation to what they have seen over the last couple of years. HCAD announced at their annual meeting this year, that they felt that values had been reduced fairly and that they weren’t looking to be reducing them any further, without some very convincing evidence!!! Hmmm – I wonder what they consider the evidence that Homeowners provide them with that clearly shows that they are not being taxed “equally” to comparable properties, located within their immediate neighborhood codes – bunk, baloney, hooey?

It is my understanding, that the first Texas Constitution in 1845 provided for uniformity and equality in taxation, as have the numerous constitutions adopted since then. The Texas Constitution in Article VIII, Section 1, currently provides that “taxation shall be equal and uniform”.

So if you can’t get the representatives at your local CADs to lower your value, because your evidence is based solely on uniform and equal discrepancy, when compared with comparable adjusted properties that are located within your neighborhood code – then you can request Binding Arbitration. You must submit the application and follow the instructions found at: http://bit.ly/LoKKlr

The cost: expedited binding arbitration is $250.00;  full blown arbitration is $500.00.

Just remember to keep it all in check. The tax rates vary from one area to the next, but for quick math, if you reduce your appraised value by $5K, you are reducing your tax burden by approximately $125.00 per year. So be sure to not spend more on fighting your appraised value than what you will actually save in your pocket!

Keep in mind; your Notice of Value provides two values: Market Value and Appraised Value. Your taxes are based on the Appraised Value. Lowering your Market Value will not actually equate to savings in your pocket the year of the reduction, but it does allow for a lower base from which the CADs  can raise a homesteaded property value from annually, (10%) cap.  Keyword: homesteaded; this cap does NOT apply to investment properties.

As Homeowners, it is our money and we have a right to keep it!!!


MAY
22

Our new office address!

I don’t know how it made other readers feel when they read the article in Swamplot this week entitled, “Those Emptying Government Offices”, but it made me want to pick up my belongings and move my office into one of these downtown spaces that we taxpayers are paying for, but no US governement officials seem to be using! Why is it that we have to endure homelessness of all ages, undernourished children, and the mentally ill being tossed out of mental hospitals here in the US: yet we have enough of China’s money to waste on things like “empty office spaces in downtown Houston, Texas”?

Read More: The federal government is still paying more than $3.3 million a year for the (as of last September) only 21 percent occupied 117,000-sq.-ft. U.S. Attorney’s office at 919 Milam St. Downtown (the lease expires in June 2013; the offices are moving to Wells Fargo Center). And over at Three Allen Center (at left), a much smaller lease for more than 11,000 sq. ft. by the General Services Administration that expires in 2014 is only 1 percent occupied. Those are the top Houston highlights in a report detailing unused office space the GSA is spending big bucks to lease. According to Texas Watchdog reporter Mark Lisheron’s scouring of data unearthed by a report in the Washington Examiner, 103 Texas properties leased by the GSA for government agencies are less than 5 percent occupied. [Texas Watchdog; spreadsheet of Texas leases] Photo: LoopNet


APR
2

http://texasrealtors.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/why-you-should-check-the-date-on-that-affidavit/

If you’re involved in a short sale, make sure the affidavit you’re signing is up to date.

Earlier this year, Freddie Mac changed the short-sale affidavit it requires real estate brokers, escrow agents, and transaction principals to sign. The affidavit includes certifications aimed at preventing fraud, such as requiring certification that the short sale was an “arm’s length” transaction. The affidavit still provides that a signatory making “a negligent or intentional misrepresentation” agrees to indemnify the servicer and Freddie Mac for losses, but now additionally provides that the certification is only to “the best of each signatory’s knowledge and belief.”

This new policy went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012, so make sure you’re signing a current form or request that a new one be provided. Learn more at Realtor.org.

Posted on March 27, 2012 by Texas Association of REALTORS®


MAR
25

Image

Spring is in the air; which means 2012 Notices of Property Tax Values are in the mail (at least in Harris County as of last week). Bellaire News.com reported that over 900,000 residential property owners will receive their notices over the next three weeks (starting March 16, 2012) from Harris County Appraisal District. Mailing of value notices on commercial property will begin later this month, with the entire process continuing throughout April and into May.  For the full story, check it out at http://bit.ly/GPa82v.

Homeowners, the only card that you’ll ever need in your wallet, on your desk, or in that key place on your dashboard, is the “green card” offered exclusively by IProtestMyValue.com This exclusive card reminds Texas Homeowners of their call to action, at this time of the year: Take the Bite Out of Your Property Tax Bill!  Log-on for a FREE property tax analysis at www.IProtestMyValue.com because as Homeowners, we have the right to fight back!  It’s OUR money and we want to keep it in OUR pocket; not put it in the tax man’s nor the tax consultant’s!


FEB
19

Webster’s Dictionary gives examples of the definition of a hero as follows: (1) a mythological or legendary figure, often of divine descent; (2) an illustrious warrior; and (3) one who shows great courage.

No matter how strong, smart and independent we believe we are, at some point in our lives, we all need the assistance of another. Being a Realtor for 28 years, I think I can speak firsthand about the importance of being there for others and offering advice, experience and if need be, “got your back” coverage in a transaction.

Yesterday, I found myself in need of assistance with this device that is called a “smart phone”, that I felt had gone “stupid” on me! I had a laundry list of reasons that I felt like this device had let me down, namely, the navigation system was not working, whilst on my latest trip to San Antonio, etc. etc. etc.

Act I: After much ado, I made my way over to the Sprint store on Westheimer & S. Shepherd, here in Houston on a Saturday afternoon – fully prepared to have to hang out for an hour+. I was determined that I was going to resolve these issues and somehow or another, get my life back. It’s insane how co-dependent we have all become on technology. When I referenced my horror experience in San Antonio, what I experienced was: no navigation system. In other words, I actually had to drive by the seat of my pants, following road signs, leading me out of the major metropolitan, back to the I10 freeway, in the direction of home, sweet home – HTown. Thankfully, I made it without making any wrong turns.

Act II: I enter the Sprint store and a young man greets me and inquires if he could assist me with anything. As I stood there trying to breath without having smoke coming out of my ears, I calmly stated to him “dude this phone of mine is hosed up”! Blah, blah, blah. Poor guy looked a bit frightened as I was holding the device in my hand at the time, waving it back and forth! He immediately directed me to go to the back of the store where one of the technicians would assist me.

Act III: Ben, the technician stares straight into my eyes and inquires, “may I help you?” I went up to the counter and began to rattle off every reason in the book about why my “smart phone” had gone “stupid” on me. He listened intently and once I stopped talking and the man could get in a word edgewise, he stated in the most matter of fact way that he could, “your problem is that you got no G”. G meaning 3G or 4G. I had no internet connection whatsoever going on. I looked at him puzzled and inquired, “what?” He asked me to hand him the device and he scrolled to the area on the phone where you turn the G on and off and showed me – the box was unchecked; I in fact had no G going on. Now in order to have your navigation system work, you need G. To have your “places” work, you need G. To update my super, duper Supra device that unlocks these lockboxes that we Realtors put on Homes – you need G.

Act IV: In comes Larry, another wonderful expert at Sprint. He hears everything that I had been going over with Ben and inquired if I would like a “widget” put on my home screen that would be an on/off switch for G. Not really sure of what he was asking, I nodded my head up and down; staring at him as he so easily navigated on my phone; wow, just like Ben had. I then went down this laundry list of other things that had been happening and one by one, these two experts knocked the problem out with so much patience…..and then it dawned on me…………it was all OE, aka operator error!!!!! Apparently, moving up from a Blackberry to a Droid takes a learning curve, training, or at the very least, one needs to read the manual that comes with the phone that one buys!

Final Act: I thanked them over and over again for being so patient; applauded them for being so smart at what they do; and then, being the person that I am – I handed each of them a business card for my real estate company, Pamela K Anders Real Estate and then the powerful greencard for the on-line residential tax evaluation service called, www.IProtestMyValue.com and told them both, “if I can help either of you in any way, just let me know.”

Pam Anders’ definition of a hero on February 18, 2012: Ben and Larry - Superstars at the Sprint Store on Westheimer & S. Shepherd in HTown (aka Houston, Texas)…


FEB
16

Thanks to the last Texas Legislature and efforts by the Texas Association of REALTORS®, property owners in homeowners associations are now guaranteed the right to place religious displays on their front doors; fly the U.S., state, and military flags; and install rain barrels and solar panels on their property. Other recent legislative changes will make HOA meetings and records more accessible to all HOA members and will prevent HOAs from using nonjudicial foreclosures powers.

Texas Association of REALTORS® Vice President of Governmental Affairs Mark Lehman was quoted in a San Antonio Express-News article summarizing the changes.

Posted on February 4, 2012 by Texas Association of REALTORS®


FEB
16

 

Chuck Anders of IProtestMyValue.com out supporting runners @ 2011 Marathon

Texans, Don’t Pay more than your fair share of Property Taxes

 

What is IProtestMyValue.com all about? The mantra is: Take the Bite out of Your Property Tax Bill!

Homeowners in Texas, if you think you are paying too much in Property Taxes, log onto www.IProtestMyValue.com for a no risk, no cost analysis of your residential assessed value.  It’s about keeping the money in the Taxpayer’s pocket, not putting it in the Taxman’s nor the Tax Consultant’s.  It’s easy and you can do it yourselves. Take the Bite out of your Property Tax Bill, with IProtestMyValue.com

They seem to be showing up at all kinds of events in Houston and other parts of Texas.


FEB
16

A rumor about a 3.8% federal tax on all home sales has again hit the in-boxes of Texas consumers and real estate agents. So, is there such a tax for all home sales? No.

The facts are that individuals with incomes over $200,000 a year ($250,000 for married couples) will be subject to a 3.8% tax on profits of more than $250,000 ($500,000 for couples) from the sale of a primary residence. So, a husband and wife who make more than $250,000 a year and sell their home for a $510,000 profit would pay $380.

Posted on February 7, 2012 by Texas Association of REALTORS®


MAY
18

Fort Bend CountyHomeowners: Important Notice from your Appraisal District: 

Due to a computer error while printing the 2011 Appraisal Notices approximately 700 plus appraisal notices were mailed out with errors such as duplicate names, wrong names, wrong physical or mailing addresses, etc.

If you received one of these appraisal notices with one or more of these errors please disregard this notice.

You will be mailed a corrected appraisal notice on Monday, May 16, 2011

and will have an extended deadline to protest of June 17, 2011.


2011 Appraisal Notices

  • If your value or ownership did Not change from the previous year you will NOTreceive a 2011 Appraisal Notice
  • The deadline for filing a protest is May 31st.
  • If you did not receive a 2011 Appraisal Notice you can only file by mail, fax or in person.
  • No Protest will be accepted via the ‘Contact Us’ link from the main page.

Online Protest

  • You MUST have your 2011 Appraisal Notice to login to the Online Protest website.
  • Online Protest are now available via the link on the left side of the website
  • ONLY Residential accounts are eligible to file online.
  • Property Tax agents are not eligible to protest online.
  • Your Online Protest is your informal hearing.

****** DO NOT LOSE OR DISCARD YOUR 2011 APPRAISAL NOTICE ******

  • On your 2011 Appraisal Notice is your account information and your secure Online Protest ID. You must have this information in order to login.
  • For security reasons we will not provide this information over the phone.
  • If you did NOT receive a 2011 Appraisal Notice you can NOT file an Online Protest.
  • You can still file a protest via in person or by mail.

MAY
16

West U Examiner headlines “West U property tax roll dips slightly”.. the article goes onto to advise that HCAD Chief Appraiser stated that HCAD is still receiving protests from property owners – well more people need to: 77005 Zip Code (West U) we have identified at least 2615 Homeowners that are over-assessed!


 
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