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, October 29, 2009

Home Buyer Tax Credit extended!!

WASHINGTON - Senators agreed Wednesday to extend a popular tax credit for first-time homebuyers and to offer a reduced credit to some repeat buyers.

The tax credit provides up to $8,000 to first-time homebuyers but is set to expire at the end of November.

Senators agreed to extend the existing tax credit for first-time homebuyers while offering a reduced credit of up to $6,500 to repeat buyers who have owned their current homes for at least five years, said Regan Lachapelle, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

The tax credits would be available to homebuyers who sign sales agreements by the end of April. They would have until the end of June to close on their new homes, said a congressional aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the deal.

Senators were still negotiating the expansion of a separate tax credit that lets money-losing businesses get refunds for taxes paid in previous years, providing them with an immediate source of cash.

Senators in both political parties were hoping to add both tax provisions to a bill that would give people running out of unemployment insurance benefits up to 20 more weeks of federal aid. The Senate could vote on the overall bill as early as Thursday, but lawmakers were still haggling over several unrelated amendments Wednesday evening.

Popular bills like the one to extend unemployment benefits often attract amendments that would have a difficult time passing on their own.

Republicans were demanding that they be given a chance to offer amendments to restrict federal aid to the beleaguered community activist group ACORN and on requiring that people receiving unemployment insurance be processed through E-Verify, an Internet-based system that employers use to check on the immigration status of new hires.

Majority Democrats have refused to add the amendments.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

A little Texas.....

This is a must read for all Texans, used-to-be Texans, adopted Texans or
wanna-be Texans.

Pep , Texas 79353
Smiley , Texas 78159
Paradise , Texas 76073
Rainbow , Texas 76077
Sweet Home , Texas 77987
Comfort , Texas 78013
Friendship, Texas 76530

Love the Sun?
Sun City , Texas 78628
Sunrise , Texas 76661
Sunset, Texas 76270
Sundown, Texas 79372
Sunray , Texas 79086
Sunny Side , Texas 77423

Want something to eat?
Bacon , Texas 76301
Noodle , Texas 79536
Oatmeal , Texas 78605
Turkey , Texas 79261
Trout , Texas 75789
Sugar Land , Texas 77479
Salty, Texas 76567
Rice , Texas 75155
Pearland , Texas 77581
Orange , Texas 77630
And top it off with:
Sweetwater , Texas 79556

Why travel to other cities? Texas has them all!
Detroit , Texas 75436
Cleveland , Texas 75436
Colorado City , Texas 79512
Denver City , Texas 79323
Klondike , Texas 75448
Nevada , Texas 75173
Memphis , Texas 79245
Miami , Texas 79059
Boston , Texas 75570
Santa Fe , Texas 77517
Tennessee Colony , Texas 75861
Reno , Texas 75462
Pasadena , Texas 77506
Columbus , Texas 78934

Feel like traveling outside the country?
Athens , Texas 75751
Canadian, Texas 79014
China , Texas 77613
Egypt , Texas 77436
Ireland , Texas 76538
Italy , Texas 76538
Turkey , Texas 79261
London , Texas 76854
New London , Texas 75682
Paris , Texas 75460
Palestine , Texas 75801

No need to travel to Washington D.C.
Whitehouse , Texas 75791

We even have a city named after our planet!
Earth , Texas 79031
We have a city named after our state
Texas City , Texas 77590

Energy , Texas 76452

Blanket , Texas 76432
Winters, Texas

Like to read about History?
Santa Anna , Texas
Goliad , Texas
Alamo , Texas
Gun Barrel City , Texas
Robert Lee , Texas

Need Office Supplies?
Staples, Texas 78670

Want to go into outer space?
Venus , Texas 76084
Mars , Texas 79062

You guessed it. It's on the state line.
Texline , Texas 79087

For the kids...
Kermit , Texas 79745
Elmo , Texas 75118
Nemo , Texas 76070
Tarzan , Texas 79783
Winnie , Texas 77665
Sylvester , Texas 79560

Other city names in Texas , to make you smile......
Frognot , Texas 75424
Bigfoot , Texas 78005
Hogeye , Texas 75423
Cactus , Texas 79013
Notrees , Texas 79759
Best, Texas 76932
Veribest , Texas 76886
Kickapoo , Texas 75763
Dime Box , Texas 77853
Old Dime Box , Texas 77853
Telephone , Texas 75488
Telegraph , Texas 76883
Whiteface , Texas 79379
Twitty, Texas 79079

And last but not least, the Anti-Al Gore City
Kilgore , Texas 75662

And our favorites...
Cut n Shoot, Texas
Gun Barrell City , Texas
Hoop And Holler, Texas
Ding Dong, Texas and, of course,
Muleshoe , Texas

Here is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about folks from Texas ...

If someone in a Lowe's store offers you assistance and they don't work
there, you may live in Texas ;

If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you may live in Texas ;

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a
wrong number, you may live in Texas ;

If 'Vacation' means going anywhere south of Dallas for the weekend, you may
live in Texas ;

If you measure distance in hours, you may live in Texas ;

If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you may live
in Texas ;
If you install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both
unlocked, you may live in Texas ;

If you carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them,
you may live in Texas

If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph --you're going 80 and
everybody's passing you, you may live in Texas ;

If you find 60 degrees 'a little chilly,' you may live in Texas ;

If you actually understand these jokes, and share them with all your Texas
friends, you definitely live in Texas ..

Here are some little known, very interesting facts about Texas .
1. Beaumont to El Paso : 742 miles
2. Beaumont to Chicago : 770 miles
3. El Paso is closer to California than to Dallas
4. World's first rodeo was in Pecos , July 4, 1883..
5. The Flagship Hotel in Galveston was the only hotel in North America built
over water. Destroyed by Hurricane Ike -2008!
6. The Heisman Trophy was named after John William Heisman who was the first
full-time coach at Rice University in Houston ..
7. Brazoria County has more species of birds than any other area in North
8. Aransas Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of North America 's only
remaining flock of whooping cranes.
9. Jalapeno jelly originated in Lake Jackson in 1978.
10. The worst natural disaster in U.S. history was in 1900, caused by a
hurricane, in which over 8,000 lives were lost on Galveston Island .
11. The first word spoken from the moon, July 20,1969, was " Houston ," but
the space center was actually in Clear Lake City at the time.
12. King Ranch in South Texas is larger than Rhode Island ..
13. Tropical Storm Claudette brought a U.S. rainfall record of 43' in 24
hours between Friendswood and Alvin in July of 1979...
14. Texas is the only state to enter the U.S. by TREATY, (known as the
Constitution of 1845 by the Republic of Texas to enter the Union ) instead
of by annexation. This allows the Texas Flag to fly at the same height as
the U.S. Flag, and may divide into 5 states.
15. A Live Oak tree near Fulton is estimated to be 1500 years old.
16. Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in the state.
17. Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. There is no period in Dr Pepper
18. Texas has had six capital cities:
Washington -on- the Brazos, Harrisburg , Galveston ,Velasco, West Columbia
and Austin ..
19. The Capitol Dome in Austin is the only dome in the U.S. which is taller
than the Capitol Building in Washington DC (by 7 feet).
20.. The San Jacinto Monument is the tallest free standing monument in the
world and it is taller than the Washington monument.
21. The name ' Texas ' comes from the Hasini Indian word 'tejas' meaning
friends. Tejas is not Spanish for Texas ...
22. The State Mascot is the Armadillo (an interesting bit of trivia about
the armadillo is they always have four babies. They have one egg, which
splits into four, and they either have four males or four females.).
23. The first domed stadium in the U.S. was the Astrodome in Houston ..

Cowboy's Ten Commandments posted on the wall at Cross Trails Church in
Fairlie , Texas :
(1) Just one God.
(2) Honor yer Ma & Pa.
(3) No telling tales or gossipin'.
(4) Git yourself to Sunday meeting.
(5) Put nothin' before God.
(6) No foolin' around with another fellow's gal.
(7) No killin'.
(8) Watch yer mouth.
(9) Don't take what ain't yers.
(10) Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff.

Y'all git all that?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


AUSTIN (Austin American-Statesman) – A third-quarter increase in builder-issued residential permits is a sign of the capital’s new-home market stabilizing, according to Houston-based Bohlke Consulting Group LLC.

The single-family residential permit tracking firm reported that a total of 2,185 permits were issued between July and September, a 9.2 percent increase over the same period last year.

It was the strongest quarter in more than a year, according to the firm’s vice president of consulting services, Gary Bohlke. This was despite a 45.3 decrease in permits in September from the year’s peak in July.

Bohlke expects builders to seek 6,700 to 7,000 permits this year, up from 2008 numbers.


AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal) – The city council has voted in favor of funding the city’s fourth water treatment plant, a decision that will create thousands of local jobs.

The $849 million Water Treatment Plant 4 will bring an estimated 3,000 additional construction jobs to Austin.

The current economic climate has allowed the city to build the plant for 20 percent less. However, opponents say the plant will raise water rates by 15 percent.
The plant will sit on 92 acres in northwest Austin at FM 620 and Bullick Hollow Rd. The land was purchased last year with funds approved by a 1984 bond vote.


WASHINGTON (American Wind Energy Association) – Texas leads the nation in total megawatts of wind-generated energy installed and in megawatts added during the third quarter.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reported this week that Texas added 436 megawatts of energy during the third quarter alone, 185 more than that added by the second leading state, Oregon.

The wind farms that comprised this addition to Texas clean energy production were Panther Creek III, Roscoe IV and Sunray II, with 199.5, 197 and 39 megawatts created, respectively.

The state’s total operating wind capacity is at 8,797 megawatts.

Texas wind farms Gulf Wind, Papalote Creek and Penescal II are currently under construction. When completed in 2009 or 2010, they will generate 283.2, 179.9 and 201.6 megawatts of power, respectively.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


WASHINGTON (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) – The Obama Administration yesterday announced a new initiative for state and local housing finance agencies (HFAs). It will help support low mortgage rates and expand resources for low- and middle-income borrowers to purchase or rent homes that are affordable over the long term.

The initiative has two parts: a new bond purchase program to support new lending by HFAs and a temporary credit and liquidity program to improve the access of HFAs to liquidity for outstanding HFA bonds.

The HFA Initiative will provide hundreds of thousands of affordable mortgages for working families and enable the development and rehabilitation of tens of thousands of affordable rental properties.

According to HUD, it will do this at little or no cost to taxpayers because it is paid for by the HFAs themselves and, as a temporary program, it incentivizes HFAs to transition back to market sources of capital as quickly as possible.

"Through this initiative, the administration aims to help HFAs jumpstart new lending to borrowers who might not otherwise be served and to better support the financing costs of their current programs — key components in stabilizing the housing market overall," said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

HFAs will pay a fee to have access to both programs under the HFA Initiative. These fees have been designed to cover expected costs to the Treasury Department and the taxpayer.

More information is available on HUD's website.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


TEXAS (San Antonio Business Journal) – Four of the five best labor markets in the country are in Texas, according to a new study compiled by
Austin leads the way, followed by San Antonio. Houston ranks fourth and Dallas–Fort Worth fifth.

Landing at third is Baton Rouge.

All 100 metropolitan areas in the study, including those in Texas, have seen employment decline since last year. However, while 5 percent of the nation’s private-sector jobs have disappeared since June 2008, the collective decline for the 'Texas Four' has been 2.6 percent.

The Texas markets still have 589,500 more jobs than they did five years ago. used a nine-part formula to analyze employment trends in the nation’s 100 largest labor markets. The formula used midyear U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 2004–09, including unemployment rates and trends, and raw and percentage changes in private-sector employment.

Friday, October 2, 2009


AUSTIN (Austin American-Statesman) – Central Texas' new-home market might be bottoming out, according to Residential Strategies Inc. and its third-quarter starts and closings figures, released Thursday.

Third quarter home starts were down 5.4 percent from the same quarter last year to 2,239 but up 17 percent from second quarter 2009.

"This is a positive sign and perhaps a signal that the successive quarterly decline in activity may be coming to an end," said Ted Wilson, a partner with Residential Stategies.