Latest News In Real Estate from The Sharkey Peek Group/Prosper Texas 972-977-2254

Real Estate Agent with Ebby Halliday Realtors

Get a $7,000 downpayment from the government
Hear from the executive director of the Texas Department of Housing and Community affairs about how you can turn the first-time-homebuyer tax credit into money for a down payment and closing cost.

Can't keep up with your mortgage payments? Here's help

If you're falling behind on your mortgage, you shouldn't wait to act. But you need not pay anyone to fix things on your behalf, either. Free help is available at

First-time Texas buyers can now monetize federal tax credit
In July the state's housing agency announced that it has a way - two ways, actually - for Texans to monetize the $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time buyers. The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) released $7.5 million through two separate second-lien mortgage programs to help qualifying first-time homebuyers take advantage of the federal homebuyer tax incentive. The state programs offer short-term loans until homebuyers file and receive their federal tax credit. The loans offered through TDHCA can be used for downpayment and/or closing costs, and the federal tax credit payment can be used to repay them. However, buyers must close on the home purchase no later than Dec. 1, 2009. For more information, visit

Market versus appraised value

The appraised value of a property is a professional estimate of a property's market value. It's based on the recent sales of similar properties, square footage, location, construction quality, and more. An appraisal varies in cost depending on the price and size of the home. Most lenders require appraisals as part of the loan application process.

But don't confuse the appraisal with market value. The appraised value is a certified appraiser's opinion of the worth of a home at a given point in time. And it should give you a pretty good idea what your home will sell for. Ultimately, though, your home's market value is the price a buyer is willing to pay for it. Having your home professionally appraised before putting it on the market will help you and your Texas REALTOR® determine a fair asking price. There are other methods of determining the value of your home, including a comparative market analysis (CMA). A CMA compiles information and sales prices from homes similar to yours from your neighborhood that have sold recently. Many Realtors perform CMAs for clients and potential buyers.

Whether you rely on a CMA, an appraisal, or both, you will be able to price your home according to objective measures rather than a gut feeling or a number plucked from the air. 

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