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It’s that time of year again! Time for new homeowners to file for their homestead exemption! If you bought a home in Texas in 2016, you have until April 30th to file for a residential homestead exemption. A homestead exemption refers to exemptions from property tax that homeowners can claim. Homestead exemptions remove part of your home’s value from taxation, so they lower your taxes. For example, if your home is appraised at $35,000, and you qualify for a $15,000 exemption, you will pay taxes on the home as if it was worth only $20,000.

As a homeowner, you may apply for a homestead exemption on your principal residence ONLY. This means the home's owner must live at the home as of January 1st of the tax year, and be an individual (not a corporation or

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home improvements that add property value

When preparing to sell your home, or simply trying to give it a facelift, it’s common to wonder what updates will provide the most return on investment. Which improvements or additions will add to your home's property value and equity? After all, if you’re going to put in the money to improve your home, you will want to know that your efforts could provide a return in the long run.

It’s smart to be thinking about the future equity of your home, and these are questions our agents here at HomeCity get asked a lot. There is no one, go to upgrade that will work in every situation and with every budget. However, here are some of our top suggestions – straight from the experts themselves!

Upgrade the kitchen and bathrooms. Remodeling the kitchen and

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It’s that time of year again! Time for new homeowners to file for their homestead exemption! If you bought a home in Texas in 2016, you have until April 30th to file for a residential homestead exemption. A homestead exemption refers to exemptions from property tax that homeowners can claim. Homestead exemptions remove part of your home’s value from taxation, so they lower your taxes. For example, if your home is appraised at $35,000, and you qualify for a $15,000 exemption, you will pay taxes on the home as if it was worth only $20,000.

As a homeowner, you may apply for a homestead exemption on your principal residence ONLY. This means the home's owner must live at the home as of January 1st of the tax year, and be an individual (not a corporation or

4,910 Views, 3 Comments.

                                               

When inspecting a prospective new home, it’s important to keep an eye out for warning signs that the house has irreparable issues. While there are common warning signs of a bad deal, there are also a variety of ‘sneaky issues’ that can fly relatively under the radar.

We asked our agents what they tell their clients to look out for when searching for a new property. What they came back with was advice on not only physical issues in a home but also common things to avoid during the home buying process.

Your agent should be educating you on the following pitfalls, but just in case they aren’t, here are our top 10 things to avoid when purchasing a home.

 

1. Don’t compromise because of a time

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It’s no secret that rents are going up around the Austin area, with one bedroom apartments often renting for over $1,000 a month. Particularly in the more desirable neighborhoods near Downtown or South Austin. With over 2,056,405 residents, Austin continues to grow as an average of 159 people flock here per day.

Austin’s healthy job market, booming economy, and plethora of activities make it the perfect place to settle down – if you can afford it. Planning to live in a neighborhood that is not only desirable but falls within budget can be tricky. Rents can vary widely, depending on where you look, depending on amenities and area of town.

Our friends at EverythingAustinApartments.com accessed rental data that displayed the median rent for a one-bedroom

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millennial homebuyers buy their first house

Recently millennials, those born between 1981 and 1997, surpassed baby boomers as the largest share of homebuyers according to the 2015 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study. Overcoming generational hurdles like crippling student debt, post-recession low salaries and a more unstable lifestyle, more and more young people are entering the housing market. In fact, millennials are expected to form 20 million new households by 2025. While it’s perceived that millennials are postponing home ownership, studies show that over 49% of young renters say that their next move would likely be to own a home.

It can be scary to make such a large purchase, especially when you’re just starting your adult financial journey. However, knowing what to expect

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At more than 6.6 million residents, Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the U.S. Over the last decade, more than 1 million new residents have flocked to the region, and it’s no wonder either: With a great job market, a booming economy and plenty to do and see, it’s a place just primed for the picking – especially for the young professionals and Millennials who crowd today’s real estate market.

The DFW Metroplex is especially appealing to renters; though some of the country’s biggest cities saw rent gains of more than 14 percent over the last year, rents in Dallas remained right on par with the national average. In fact, when the average rent was $1,170 across the country last month (an all-time high), it clocked in at just

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downsizing your home or apartment

Let’s face it – our society values an accumulation of ‘stuff.' We’re taught from a young age that a house full of hard-earned items is equivalent with success. This can make it stressful to downsize, even when it’s desperately needed.

Downsizing and de-cluttering your space can feel refreshing and liberating! Whether you’re moving to a smaller home, or just simply looking to de-clutter, taking the plunge to throw away your earthly possessions is sometimes necessary. Sometimes there are clothes you’ve never worn or gifts that were never used, or simply something you just haven’t looked at in a few months! Whatever it may be – it has to go.

We caught up with Mary from Creating Mary’s Home, a professional organizer, and de-cluttering expert. She

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home buyers checklist

Buying a home (whether it’s your first home, you’re moving up, or you’re downsizing) can be an exciting yet complex experience. No matter how many times you’ve gone through the process, it’s handy to refresh your memory regarding the steps and best practices involved. 

Hiring an experienced agent can help guide you through the process fairly seamlessly, but it’s always best to be prepared. From figuring out your budget and down payment options, to choosing the perfect neighborhood, the home buying experience can be fun as long as you have a game plan. Follow these steps for an ideal home buying experience.

 

How much house can you afford?

This is a crucial first step in figuring out your housing situation. After all, you wouldn’t want to

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exchanging money for a house

There is a lot more to buying and selling a home than many people realize. No matter which side of the transaction you are on, it’s imperative that you have an ally by your side to guide you through the process. That ally is your real estate agent!

These professionals have been through the process many times and can help you understand what you want and how to get it. Agents not only know how to correctly price a home and prepare it for sale, but they often know a lot of information about the school districts and neighborhoods clients are hoping to buy in. They can be an invaluable source of information, and save their clients hours of work and tons of stress throughout the home buying or selling process.

Traditionally, a home seller pays agent

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