February Existing Homes Sales Prices Decline

Created Tuesday, 31 March 2009 18:42


 TEXAS (March 31, 2009 RECON Real Estate Center, Reuters, CNN Money) – A total of 13,312 existing homes were sold in Texas last month, a 25.4 percent decline from February 2008, according to MLS data compiled by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. The median price dropped 2.9 percent to $138,300 during the same period, and the state finished the month with a 6.7-month inventory of existing homes.

Here is how select Texas cities fared in February (data current as of March 31, 2009):


Sales Change from
Last Year
Change from
Last Year
Amarillo 179 down 34.7% $118,800 down 3.2% 6.1
Austin 1,196 down 29.9% $187,900 up 4.2% 6.1
Beaumont 139 down 9.2% $132,800 up 10.1% 7.4
Bryan–College Station 91 down 25.4% $139,500 up 7.6% 5.9
Corpus Christi 235 down 17.3% $133,800 down 2.1% 9.3
Dallas 2,916 down 24.6% $145,900 down 1% 6.3
El Paso 326 down 0.6% $130,900 down 2.2% 11.4
Fort Worth 491 down 35.8% $107,000 down 7.5% 6.2
Houston 3,762 down 25.3% $138,100 down 8.5% 6.1
Laredo 57 down 16.2% $121,400 down 8% 9.1
Longview-Marshall 132 down 21.9% $118,800 up 3.7% 7.2
Lubbock 199 down 10.4% $112,600 up 11.2% 5.7
San Antonio 1,124 down 27.3% $143,300 up 0.2% 8.2
Texarkana 53 down 18.5% $107,100 up 13.7% 7.6
Tyler 178 down 15.6% $136,000 up 4.1% 10.6
Waco 135 down 14% $101,100 down 8.1% 7.7


Additional home sales data for these and other major Texas cities are available on the Center’s website.

Nationally, sales of existing single-family homes last month were down 4.6 percent compared with February 2008, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales were at a 4.72 million annual rate. At $165,400, the median sales price was down 15.5 percent from a year earlier. Inventory was at 9.7 months.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that new home sales rose 4.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 337,000 in February from a revised 322,000 in January. While February purchases were up from January’s record low, the sales rate was still down more than 41 percent from February 2008, when sales were an estimated 572,000. The report also showed that the median sales price of new houses sold in February was $200,900, down 18 percent from $245,300 a year ago.


Texas Veterans Forfeited Land Sale

Created Friday, 20 March 2009 01:23


April 2009
On TuesdayApril 28, 2009, the Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) will once again offer forfeited land tracts to eligible Texas veterans in a sealed-bid sale.
What’s New:
  • All winning bids will be originated as a mortgage loan with a Note and Deed of Trust.  Winning bidders must meet VLB credit requirements if obtaining VLB financing.
  • Closing costs and a down payment of not less than 5% of the minimum bid listed will be required at closing.  The VLB can only finance 95% of the minimum bid listed up to $80,000.00. In addition, any amount you bid over the minimum listed must be paid at closing, if you are obtaining VLB financing.
Please note:
  • ALL BIDS must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, April 27, 2009 (the day before the sale).  No walk-in bids will be accepted on the day of the sale.
  • There is a limit on the number of bids you may submit.  You may bid on a total of six tracts in the Forfeited Land Sale.
  • The sale will be available for viewing via webcast.  Live viewing is not guaranteed, as we have a limited number of connections.  The webcast will be archived and available on our Web site approximately 24 hours after the sale.
For information and instructions, see Forfeited Land Tracts or call toll free:  1-800-252-VETS (8387).

Forfeited Texas Veterans Land Tracts are handled directly via the Texas Veterans Land Board. Contact TVLB directly for more information.
For information about non-forfeited properties contact:


Delicious Carrot Salad

Created Wednesday, 18 March 2009 01:54

Recipe: Simple and Delicious Carrot Salad

Serves 4-6 as an accompaniment
·            6 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
·            3/4 cup roughly chopped Italian parsley
·            2 lemons, juiced
·            2-3 tablespoons olive oil
·            3 teaspoons brown sugar
·            Salt and pepper to taste
Coarsely grate the carrots using a box grater, mandolin or food processor with grater attachment. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper.
Just before serving, toss the carrots, parsley and dressing together.
Serve at room temperature.


Get Ahead Job Hunting

Created Wednesday, 18 March 2009 01:46

5 Ways to Get Ahead of the Pack When Job Hunting

Whether you are merely browsing for potential opportunities or newly unemployed and searching in earnest, learn how to set yourself ahead of the pack when job hunting with these effective employment strategies.

  • Update the Resume. Use keywords to maximize exposure and pass pre-screening filters while remaining concise and relevant.  Focus on demonstrated results and measurable outcomes.
  • Network. Social media sites like LinkedIn are created with professionals in mind, so make the most of contacts to enhance exposure.
  • Manage Your Media. Blogs, a personal website and even your online persona on other sites say a lot about you, so make sure to manage your online presence. More employers than ever research prospective applicants  so create an online presence that will impress.
  • Pay to Play. Depending upon your field, many websites allow job seekers to pay to play. It can be well worth the time, effort and expense to set up an account and pay to access the contact information for a specific position at a large company or gain other insider information about upcoming positions.
  • Old School. Although technology has transformed the way we search for jobs, don’t neglect old-school methods. For example, in addition to using a recruiter, sign up for RSS feeds for instant notification of every position within a given zip code in order to maximize your reach. Alumni associations, employer-provided placement and other sources remain valuable resources.


Birthdays to Remember This Month

Created Wednesday, 18 March 2009 01:24

Birthdays to Remember This Month


Actor Walter Huston, who was born on April 6, 1884, received an Oscar nomination for his role in the movie Dodsworth. But he was most famous for his role opposite

Gary Cooper in The Virginian. Jack Miner, who was born on April 10, 1865, is known as the father of North American conservationism. He is best known for his work collecting data about the migration of birds.

Dale Messick, who would have been 103 on April 11, was the first woman syndicated comic strip artist in the United States. She created the Brenda Starr strip, which was hugely popular in the 1950s.

Frederick Law Olmsted, known as the father of American landscape architecture, was born on April 26, 1822. He is most famous for his design of New York’s Central Park.


Fascinating Facts about April

Created Wednesday, 18 March 2009 01:19

Fascinating Facts about April

  • Samuel Morey patented the internal combustion engine on April 1, 1826.
  • Apple Computer was formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak on April 1, 1976.
  • The United States Mint was established on April 2, 1792.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech on April 3, 1968.
  • The Beatles occupied the top five positions on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart on April 4, 1964.
  • Warner Bros. premiered the first 3-D film, House of Wax, on April 9, 1953.
  • Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into outer space on April 12, 1961.
  • Videotape was first demonstrated on April 14, 1956.
  • The first crossword puzzle book was published on April 18, 1924.
  • The Woolworth Building in New York City opened on April 24, 1913.


Power of Berries

Created Wednesday, 18 March 2009 01:15

The Amazing Power of Berries

Searching for a powerful way to reduce the risk of cancer, fight disease, improve memory and prevent age-related eye disorders? Pick up a pint of berries on your next trip to the grocery store.

A growing body of evidences supports eating blackberries, blueberries, elderberries, raspberries and even strawberries as a way to reduce the risk of disease and fight many common symptoms associated with certain diseases.

Fresh berries are most effective for therapeutic use; frozen are next best. For those unable to obtain berries on a daily basis, try adding a berry extract to your diet.

Not only do berries contain necessary antioxidants like vitamins A,C,E and folic acid; they also contain anthocyanins, compounds capable of fighting tumor growth and aiding the body’s natural defenses.

Adding berries to your diet is a simple way to fight disease and satisfy a sweet tooth at the same time.


Don’t Make These 4 Home Seller Blunders

Created Wednesday, 18 March 2009 01:08

Don’t Make These 4 Home Seller’s Blunders

Learn how to obtain the best price and avoid the headaches and heartaches associated with selling a home by avoiding these top four mistakes most people make:

1. Pricing

Without a doubt the single biggest mistake most people make when selling a home is not pricing right. Price too low and people are likely to ignore the home because they think it has major flaws; price too high and it is likely to sit on the market so long people lose interest. Work with an agent to price right as soon as the house goes on the market.

2. Maintenance

Failure to make small repairs, paint and properly maintain the property can result in a lower selling price, longer duration on the market and just plain lack of interest.

Remember, first impressions matter. Most people will begin their search online then take a drive by the home before scheduling an appointment to see more.

Make sure your home looks its best at all times.

3. Cutting Commission

While it might seem smart to reduce commission or even try to sell a home yourself, it’s usually penny wise and pound foolish. Remember, a lot of the commission goes to the agent/broker who brings a buyer to the tableless commission equates to fewer people working on your behalf to get the home sold.

Don’t scrimp on the MLS or cut commissions; the additional time, advertising costs and other expenses are likely to erode any so-called savings you might hope to gain.

4. Future Planning

Make sure you have a plan in place before sitting down to the closing table; be sure to take taxes into consideration and have a new home lined up in advance.

Otherwise, you are likely to find at least a portion of your profits going toward unexpected expenses.


Famous Quotes

Created Wednesday, 18 March 2009 00:26

Worth Quoting

William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564. He died on the same date 52 years later. Here are some life lessons from his works.

  • Action is eloquence.
  • Assume a virtue, if you have it not.
  • Be great in act, as you have been in thought.
  • How use doth breed a habit in a man.
  • I am not bound to please thee with my answers.
  • I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.
  • In time we hate that which we often fear.
  • Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.
  • Praising what is lost makes the remembrance dear.
  • Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind.
  • The soul of this man is in his clothes.
  • We are advertis’d by our loving friends.
  • We know what we are, but not what we may be.
  • Brevity is the soul of wit.
  • There are occasions and causes why and wherefore in all things.
  • An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told.
  • Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge.
  • Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.
  • All that glisters is not gold.
  • Nothing can come of nothing.
  • Method in the madness.
  • The world’s mine oyster.