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Tuesday, October 10, 2017   /   by Scott Shine

ALERT: Mortgage Refinance Scams Target Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Realtor Mag) – Predatory lending schemes are targeting thousands of veterans with Veterans Administration (VA) mortgages.

According to VA loan giant Ginnie Mae, the scams aim to convince borrowers to repeatedly refinance. They often prompt homeowners to switch from a long-term, fixed-rate mortgage to a riskier short-term, adjustable-rate loan. 

The borrowers later find that the principal amount owed to the lender has increased by thousands of dollars. 

Some lenders also are being accused of using teaser interest rates, “cash out” windfalls, and lower monthly payments. They also use marketing materials that sometimes resemble Department of Defense information.

The VA warned that lenders who make “improper charges or fees” that lead to foreclosure will face stiff penalties. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to fine and sue offending lenders. 

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Thursday, September 14, 2017   /   by Scott Shine

Texas home sales activity grows in first half 2017

AUSTIN (Texas Association of Realtors) – Texas home sales volume, home prices, and listings activity had strong gains in the first half of the year, according to the 2017 Texas Real Estate Midyear Report released by the Texas Association of Realtors.

Texas home sales jumped 5.5 percent compared with the first six months of 2017, with 166,256 homes sold throughout Texas between January and June 2017. Texas home prices also continued to rise steadily in the first half of the year. The median sales price increased 7.7 percent from the prior year to $221,800.

Real Estate Center Chief Economist Dr. Jim Gaines cautioned that Hurricane Harvey will likely negatively impact housing market statistics for the remainder of 2017.

"Houston's housing market accounts for roughly 25 percent of the Texas housing market," said Gaines, "and it could take months before the Houston area enters the recovery phase and a few years before the impacted communities fully recover." ...

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Friday, September 08, 2017   /   by Scott Shine

Fort Hood Deploys in Support of Hurricane Harvey Relief

FORT HOOD, Texas -- Fort Hood received orders to deploy 100 tactical vehicles and personnel to support delivery of relief operations for Hurricane Harvey Aug. 29.

The mission will be led by the 13th Sustainment Command Expeditionary. The 100 vehicles and 400 active-duty Soldiers will come from various units across post including 13th ESC, 1st Cavalry Division, 89th Military Police Brigade, 11th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade, 36th Engineer Brigade, 48th Chemical Brigade, 85th Civil Affairs Brigade and 504th Military Intelligence Brigade.


"Fort Hood stands ready to support state and federal agencies that are aiding our fellow citizens," said Maj. Gen. John Uberti, III Corps deputy commanding general. "This Total Army effort, which includes III Corps, has varying capability and capacity to assist in many areas. Our Soldiers, who volunteered to serve our nation, are willing and ready to assist as needed."

The 106th ...

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017   /   by Scott Shine

Thank you to our Realogy Family for your donations to the Red Cross during this time of great need

Realogy (the parent company of Coldwell Banker) has extended it's fundraising goal to $500,000; please spread the word that donations made via the link below will have a matching component from Realogy.  Thank you, Jean Shine

Realogy Charitable Foundation Raises $200K for American Red Cross, Including $75K Company Match; Raises Total Goal to $500K

Dear Realogy Colleagues,
Thanks to your generosity, the Realogy Charitable Foundation has raised more than $125,000 in just two days. Including our company matching donation of $75,000, the Realogy Charitable Foundation will now be sending the American Red Cross an initial check in the amount of $200,000 for its disaster relief efforts in the areas of Texas and Louisiana affected by Hurricane Harvey.
As you can see from the scenes unfolding on TV and the internet, this is an unprecedented disaster, and the need for more aid flowing to the region is great. Thus, we are continuing our fundraising efforts and increasing our goal to ...

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Friday, August 25, 2017   /   by Scott Shine

Preparation tips for Hurricane Harvey

COLLEGE STATION (AgriLife Today) – Texans should take measures to prepare their houses, farms, and ranches for the potential effects of Hurricane Harvey.

“We’re expecting Harvey to bring a lot of rain and flooding over a large area of the state and, as he intensifies, some strong winds as well,” said Dr. Andy Vestal, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension specialist in emergency management, College Station. “The storm system may also spur tornadic activity.”

The Texas Extension Disaster Education Network has a variety of materials on disaster preparation and recovery on their website. 

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