Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker United, Realtors


MagnetWhen you buy a home, everyone who trolls the public records tries to get into your wallet.  I just read about a deceptive fee (not FREE) service to change your address. This company’s website appears as the first option when you search the Internet for “change my address.”  They charge around $20 for something that is free to you, and apparently people aren’t aware of the charge until they see their credit card bills.  To change your address on line be sure you’re on the USPS website which is www.usps.com.  That’s right -- .com – not .gov.  On the left under Quick Tools is the Change of Address button.


Another opportunity for scam artists in Texas is the homestead exemption. A homestead exemption is available to people for their primary residences, and is a property tax reduction of about 20%.  When you buy a home in Texas you will be inundated with mail from companies who can get the “certified” homestead exemption for you.  Don’t pay them a nickel.  You can get it yourself for free.  Between January 1 and April 30 of the year following your purchase, you submit the Homestead Exemption Request form along with a copy of your driver’s license and automobile registration that show your new address.  You can find the form on your county’s Appraisal District website.  For instance, in Houston it is www.hcad.org which stands for Harris County Appraisal District.


Don’t be a scam magnet.  If you get mail offering services you’re not sure about call your Realtor or the title company.


For information on buying or selling a home inside the Loop in Houston, call Debra Hight at 713-501-6880.  I will be happy to help you with that change of address.


Comments (18)

Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information
Howdy and afternoon Debra
Welcome to the ActiveRain Real Estate blogging community! You'll sure find a lot of mighty fine folks here in the community to get to know. I'm one of the many ActiveRain community members which are an ActiveRain Ambassador.
If you should ever have any questions about how to do anything or about the rules of the ActiveRain community, please feel free to contact me either by sending me a e-mail or by giving me a call, I'll sure be mighty glad to give you a helping hand. If for some reason I don't know the answer to a question which you might have, I'll sure will find out the answer and get back to you with the right answer.
Take the time to look at the different groups within the community, pick some different groups to join, post your blog posts in them, be sure to take the time to read the posting guidelines of each group you might want to join, folks sure will want to follow them. Members can join as many or as few of the different groups within the community as they would like to. Members are able to post their blog posts in 5 different groups at a time.
Keep up your mighty fine job of posting! I'll be looking forward to seeing even more blog posts written and posted by you, plus seeing you join some of the mighty fine groups in the AR community.
Have a good one
Dale in New Hampshire
Jul 26, 2013 11:04 AM
Debra Hight
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Houston, TX
Debra Hight

Thanks for the warm welcome and offer of help Dale.  I'm sure I'll be calling on you. 

Jul 26, 2013 11:12 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Scammers everywhere.

     Why would I pay money to change my Address?  Why would I pay for a Homestead Update?  But people fall for it; they take the bait from the Scammers!

Jul 27, 2013 12:08 PM
Debra Hight
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Houston, TX
Debra Hight

Some of the homestead exemption mail looks very official, but you're absolutely right.

Jul 27, 2013 12:21 PM
Rebecca Foresee
Alain Pinel Realtors - Morgan Hill, CA
Let's foresee the possibilities . and get results!

Debra, Excellent points and I love the phrase warning consumers not to be a scam magnet!  It's so true there are scams as well as money making schemes prevalent around every corner.    It's surprisingly easy to spend our hard earned dollars on less than well-intentioned plots.  p.s. Thank you also for commenting on my recent blog.  Here's wishing you great success!

Jul 28, 2013 07:59 AM
Debra Hight
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Houston, TX
Debra Hight

Rebecca. thank you for the feedback and kind words/

Jul 28, 2013 10:13 AM
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I hate these scammers. What's even worse is that so many people actually fall for these things. It's good to write a post like this to keep consumers in the know.

Aug 01, 2013 07:02 AM
Debra Hight
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Houston, TX
Debra Hight

Agree completely Tammie.  Recently one of my clients called me about "official documents" from the appraisal district. Scam avoided.

Aug 01, 2013 07:13 AM
Ken's Home Team LLC. | 360.609.0226 | Portland, OR & Vancouver, WA Real Estate Team
Ken's Home Team LLC. - Vancouver, WA

Welcome to Activerain from from all of us at Ken's Home Team. I think you will find this site to be a wealth of knowledge and referrals. This really is the best real estate blogging and real estate network on the internet. If you have any questions about Activerain, reach out to the wonderful Ambassadors here in the rain. (They are a wealth of knowledge and were picked by the Activerain staff for their willingness to help others

Aug 01, 2013 02:58 PM
Todd Clark - Retired
eXp Realty LLC - Tigard, OR
Principle Broker Oregon

Welcome to Activerain and I hope you are learning a lot and if you ever need any assistance, don't hesitate to check out my blog, email me, call me, I will be glad to help you in any way possible. Also, check out the main page of Activerain and look for the Activerain University tab, there are lots of educational webinars to help you build your business.

Aug 01, 2013 03:00 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is a good warning for home buyers. All of us need to be alert for scams.

Aug 18, 2013 10:22 AM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker
Elizabeth Anne Weintraub, Broker - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Not to mention, it's a good idea to send an OPT OUT letter to your new mortgage company so your information is not sold to everybody in the mortgage world. Part of that happens when companies scour the public records for new recordings, and there's nothing that can be done about that.

Aug 18, 2013 11:52 AM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

That is great information to pass on to every new home buyer you work with, Debra.

Aug 18, 2013 12:15 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA


First blog!!!! Great info!

Congratulations for joining this great community:)

welcome to active rain

Aug 18, 2013 04:37 PM
Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

BOOKMARKINNG to reblog! It only takes a few minutes to apply for the exemption. Why pay someone?!

Aug 18, 2013 10:56 PM
Debra Hight
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Houston, TX
Debra Hight

Thanks to everyone for being so welcoming.

Elizabeth, I wasn't aware of the opt out with the mortgage company. I'll be sure to pass on to my clients.

Joni, you're absolutely right -- why pay?

Aug 19, 2013 12:20 AM
Debra Hight
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Houston, TX
Debra Hight

Thanks Valerie. I always enjoy reading your posts.

Aug 19, 2013 10:16 AM