Shin Oak Realty is a full service Real Estate office specializing in the Central Texas Real Estate market.
Our Team: Randy O'Dell, Suzy Bates, Candice O'Dell, Bradley "BJ" O'Dell & Barbara Childers

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008

I received this email from a Lender, that we know and trust, who asked us to pass it along.

July 30, 2008
Dear MBA Member,
This morning President Bush signed into law The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 into law.
Considering the current state of the real estate market, I can say with 100% confidence that this is indeed the most significant piece of housing-related legislation that we have seen in more than a generation. While there is no cure-all to solving the nation's housing problems, this bill will serve as the foundation for responsible solutions in the future.
While this bill did not enjoy an easy road to passage, it is gratifying to see that many of the provisions that MBA tirelessly lobbied for are part of this landmark housing bill. FHA modernization and GSE oversight reform have been long standing goals of MBA and these provisions are reflected prominently in the new bill. In fact, MBA testified before Congress thirty times in 2007 and 2008 on issues related to this bill.
In addition, several of the provisions that MBA and its members found troublesome are not included in the bill, most noticeably the bankruptcy cramdown reform provision. MBA launched an extensive communications and advocacy campaign, over several months, affirming the industry's opposition to the bankruptcy reform proposal. Our Chairman-Elect, David Kittle, also provided testimony before Congress on several occasions regarding bankruptcy. In the end, the bankruptcy provision was deleted from the bill, despite heavy lobbying efforts from various consumer groups who supported it.
Among the bill's provisions are several that MBA feels are vastly important to our member companies as we look to secure the future of our industry:
FHA Modernization: Authorizes a $25 million appropriation to improve technology, processes, program performance, eliminate fraud and provide appropriate staffing. Effective January 1, 2009, it also increases the FHA loan limit to the lesser of 115 percent of the local median home price or $625,500 with a floor for lower priced markets of $271,000, establishes a 12-month stay on FHA's proposal for risk-based premiums, sets the down payment requirement at 3.5 percent and prohibits seller-funded down payment assistance (both direct or through a third party).
GSE Oversight Reform: Creates a new regulator (five-year term, appointed by the President, confirmed by the Senate) with oversight authority similar bank regulators, establishes a new affordable housing fund and capital magnet fund to be funded by a 4.2 basis point fee on all new loans, significantly changes the affordable housing goals and raises the conforming loan limit to the higher of $417,000 or 115% of the local median home price, not to exceed $625,500 (effective January 1, 2009).
FHA Rescue: Creates a voluntary program for lenders to write down the loan balance in exchange for an FHA guaranteed loan not to exceed 90 percent of the newly appraised value of the home. The lender would pay a 3 percent FHA loan origination fee. To qualify, the borrower must have a debt-to-income ratio above 31 percent on the original loan. The program is capped at $300 billion.
Tax Incentives: Creates a $7,500 refundable tax credit for first-time home buyers, expands the volume cap for the low income housing tax credit, allows for tax-exempt treatment of bonds guaranteed by the Federal Home Loan Banks and exempts the low income housing tax credit from the alternative minimum tax." Affordable Rental Housing: Encourages the development of affordable housing by harmonizing multifamily FHA mortgage insurance programs with the low income housing tax credit. Allowing these two programs to work together will result in more effective uses of both programs.
GSE Backstop: Authorizes the Treasury Secretary to temporarily increase the GSEs' line of credit and to, if necessary, buy equity in the GSEs in order to provide confidence to credit markets. Also provides a role for Treasury and the Federal Reserve in GSE oversight to ensure safety and soundness.
TILA Reform: Requires TILA disclosures to be delivered seven days prior to loan closing, requires that disclosures include examples of how payments would change based on rate adjustments in addition to disclosing the maximum possible payment under the loan terms and mandates that the consumer receive early disclosures before paying anything more than a nominal fee that covers the cost of a credit report.
Empowering States: Raises the cap by $11 billion on tax-free bonds that state housing finance agencies may use to help at-risk homeowners by refinancing troubled loans and appropriates $4 billion for states to purchase and renovate abandoned and foreclosed properties.
Licensing: Encourages state officials to create a national licensing system for residential loan originators, allows HUD to create its own national licensing system if the states fail, establishes minimum qualifications for all loan originators and requires federal regulators to create a registry for banks and thrift employees who originate loans.
I am proud to say that MBA was instrumental in shaping this bill into a law that will benefit the majority of American homeowners and help to stabilize the nation's housing market. Our hard work has clearly positioned MBA as the leading organization and strongest voice in the real estate finance arena.
As we usher in a new President and a new Congress in January, MBA will continue to work with both the executive and legislative branches to ensure that the housing market continues on the path to full recovery. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 is certainly a step in the right direction and I believe it will lead to renewed consumer confidence in the nation's housing market as well as the overall economy.
MBA staff will be working to facilitate extensive discussions between industry players, the relevant federal departments and the federal and state financial regulators in order to address the challenges and questions that will surely arise during implementation of the different programs under this new law.
Kieran P. Quinn, CMBChairman

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

SH 29 Open House Update

SH 29 Open House Update
Extended Hours and Additional Opportunity for Input
Monday, August 4
6:00 to 9:00 p.m. (New Time)
Liberty Hill High School Cafeteria
13125 West State Highway 29
Liberty Hill, TX 78642

Commissioners Covey and Long have extended the hours for next Monday's open house in the Liberty Hill High School Cafeteria, located at 13125 West State Highway 29. It will now run from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

"This project is really important to the future of Williamson County. Commissioner Covey, and I want to ensure it is done the right way," said Commissioner Long.

The format has also been modified from the initial meeting announcement. In addition to an open house with visuals, including maps of the alignments and the issues matrix, a presentation will be made to provide attendees with the latest update and progress report. If you would like to submit a question to be answered during the presentation phase of the meeting next Monday, please do so in writing to or fax to 512-943-1662 by Thursday, July 31, at 5:00 p.m.

"We hope Monday night's open house will serve to provide a thorough update of where we are in the process, clear up any misinformation and respond to questions that are important to the citizens," said Commissioner Covey.

Much of the format will remain in place with multiple ways to provide input. Citizens still will have the opportunity to visit individually with the engineering firm leading the study, as well as representatives of the County. The primary objective for the evening is to provide a venue in which members of the community can provide feedback about the various alternative alignments under review and the plan to eliminate 13 alternatives.

We hope to see you Monday. And, be sure to submit your questions to or fax to 512-943-1662 by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 31.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Newest Sales Statistics

WOW! I just got the newest statistics in for Williamson County Home sales, and for the week of 6/22, there were 188 homes sold! The week before that was 147. That is up several homes from May, and numbers are still rising!

Home sales are strong in our area, so if you or anyone you know is interested in selling their home or property, please have them call Shin Oak Realty. We keep up with the current market and know how to get things accomplished!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I found this article today and thought it would be good to share.

TEXAS ( – That boom you hear in Texas’ major metros is the sound of retail construction, according to Dallas-based Weitzman Group and Cencor Realty Services.

Houston has 4.9 million sf in various stages of construction, the most of the state's “big four.” Of that, 1.5 million sf will deliver midyear. The city’s 134.2 million-sf inventory is 88 percent occupied.

Dallas–Fort Worth has 4.2 million sf slated for completion by the end of the year. The Metroplex has a 167.9 million-sf inventory with 89.4 percent occupancy.

San Antonio developers are bringing four million sf of new retail space. The city’s 34.5 million-sf inventory is 91 percent occupied.

In terms of occupancy, Austin leads the pack with 92.5 percent of its 38 million-sf inventory filled. The city is getting an additional 2.5 million sf of retail space.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Area Sales Statistics for 2nd Quarter for Liberty Hill

Q2: 2007 vs. 2008
2008's average sale price = 7.5 % higher than 200
74 more units sold in 2008 than in 2007

Average Sales Price $234,198
Average Cumulative Days on Market 122

Average Sales Price $217,859
Average Cumulative Days on Market 84

Data provided by Tina Cargill, LandAmerica Austin Title

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

IRS Raises The Standard Mileage Rate

Responding to public pressure and the rising price of gas, the IRS just increased the standard mileage rate that can be used to claim deductions, as well as employee reimbursement, for business driving. For the second half of 2008 -- from July 1 through December 31 -- the rate jumps to 58.5 cents for every business mile traveled (plus business-related parking fees and tolls). The previous rate of 50.5 cents per mile remains in effect for January 1 through June 30. (IRS Announcement 2008-63)

For entire article, click the link below.