April 2014

Tierra Grande Cover

Closing the Gap: How Housing Market Conditions Affect Negotiations

(Anari) 3pp.

A study of sales data reveals how an areaís housing inventory affects prices. When months of inventory is high, buyers have an advantage and usually pay less for homes.

Major Metros, Border Cities: Comparing Economies

(Torres, Gaines) 6pp.

Texasí economy is massive and strong. But there are big differences between the economies of its major metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and Border MSAs. These differences center on economic diversity.

Penalty-Free IRA Withdrawals for Home Purchase

(Stern) 1pp.

Generally speaking, the IRS wonít let you pull money out of an IRA penalty free unless youíre 59Ĺ. But first-time homebuyers and those who havenít owned a home in the past two years can withdraw money to use toward purchasing a home.

On the Water Front: Flood Insurance Reform Means Higher Premiums

(Gilliland) 3pp.

Legislation aimed at tackling the National Flood Insurance Programís $24 billion debt will end subsidies for nearly 440,000 program participants and base premiums strictly on a propertyís risk levels.

Yellen at the Helm: Where to From Here?

(Dotzour) 3pp.

Janet Yellen appears committed to the Fedís mandate to maximize employment and keep prices stable. Donít look for her to raise interest rates until unemployment gets closer to 5 percent.

Purchasing Power: The Business of Buying Electricity

(Hunt) 3pp.

Businesses buying electricity in Texas need to do some serious homework to get the best deal. With different types of electric providers and pricing methods varying widely as well, there are no easy comparisons to be made.

Property Tax Protest & Appeal

(Gilliland) 2pp.

If your property tax bill makes you scream, take heart. Texasí Property Tax Code allows you to appeal to your local appraisal board if a property is not assessed at fair market value or if other properties in your area are assessed differently.


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