When 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.
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