While fall has just begun, the campaigns for the various races on the ballot on November 3 are in full swing. Please take a look here to see the HAR recommended candidates for the City of Houston. There are also important city, county and state propositions that will be on the ballot. Texas Prop. 1 would increase the homestead exemption for school taxes from $15,000 to $25,000 AND ban transfer taxes on real estate transactions. Keep an eye out for more communications from us regarding these issues.

With the end of summer, many REALTORS® find their business slowing slightly. What better use of your time than professional development. There are so many great courses coming up, from the Accredited Buyer’s Representative to Senior Real Estate Specialist and everything in between. Make sure to check here for all of the great opportunities to broaden your skill set and knowledge base for the benefit of you, your clients, and your business.

If you practice international real estate (buy or sell properties outside of the U.S. or help clients from outside the U.S.), then the 2015 International Survey will be of particular interest to you. You may see the details here. In the Houston area, 39 percent of foreign buyers are purchasing properties worth more than $400,000, compared to 21 percent in the rest of Texas. This and other interesting results may be found from the survey.

HAR’s biggest member event of the year is right around the corner. The BIG e will be held on October 15 at the Norris Conference Center, and it is an information-packed, all-day event that you won’t want to miss. You may find out more about it here. Verl Workman, Terry Watson, Nobu Hata (VIP luncheon) and our very own Bob Hale will all be there to impart their wisdom on the attendees. All this for only $69 for general admission or $99 for VIP passes. I’ll see you there!

Last but certainly not least, HAR dues billing will be going on starting in October, so that you can pay your 2016 annual dues prior to the holiday season. A voluntary TREPAC investment of $45 is included on each invoice. While is it voluntary, you should note that TREPAC is currently fighting the patent trolls and working to pass Texas Prop. 1 that would ban transfer fees and increase the homestead exemption. Forty-five dollars is a small investment in protecting your career. You may read more about it here.

Until Next Month,

Nancy Furst
2015 HAR Chair