Texas Real Estate Blog - Texas Housing Market Blog

Options For Paying A Reduced Down Payment

How to Pay a Reduced Down Payment When Buying a HomeA huge part of the difficulty in realizing the possibility of buying a home is coming up with the requisite down payment. Did you know there are actually more than 2,400 programs nationally that can help?  Finding them, determining which ones are applicable to you, and then understanding these programs parameters can be a challenge. This article is intended to discuss the major programs; share some insight into the lesser known programs; suggest sources to find highly specific programs you might be eligible for, and to give you...

Don't Think You Can Own a Home? Homeownership is a Possibility for Everyone

Do You Have the Possibility of Owning a Home?Are you ready to buy a home? You might not be right now, but you can be with some work on your finances. Financial troubles can be rectified and you can own a home. By taking the necessary steps, your dream will become a reality. It might take some time and considerable effort, but achieving the financial security that comes with being ready to buy a home is worth it. In reality, even if you decide not to buy, you will be in a much better financial situation - ...

How to Manage Your Finances as a Married Couple

How to Tackle Your Finances as a Married CoupleOnce the anxiety of wedding planning starts to fade into memory, a new possible source of conflict arises: finances as a married couple. Fortunately, by taking charge at the very beginning, couples can minimize a lot of the difficulties that can come when people have to make joint decisions about their financial future. The investment of time and plenty of communication over the years can help married people to build a financial arrangement that will suit them both.

Get Comfortable Talking About Money

For a lot of people, trying to gain a little familiarity with another's financial situation...

The Problems Americans Face in Building Long-Term Wealth and Ways to Solve Them

How to Build Long-Term WealthThere's an internal struggle in the upcoming generation poised to take control of the financial world within the next couple of decades. People who are currently in their 20s and 30s have a lot of income potential and are highly educated, but they have many reasons to hesitate before their opportunities for financial growth. If they can harness their skills and the technology around them to create a financial lifestyle that works best for them, they will be better able to build wealth and a future that is worth having.

Problem: Insufficient Financial Education

It should come as no surprise that people who are...

How Can You Plan for Making Larger Purchases?

How to Plan for Making a Larger PurchaseFor most Americans, developing a budget to plan for large purchases is an inevitable part of life in the U.S. Having a home is a fundamental necessity. In many areas, having reliable transportation is essential, and this often means purchasing a car. While a car is more feasible in terms of paying cash to purchase the asset outright, buying a home translates into obtaining a mortgage and providing a down payment (unless you have $300,000 or more laying around somewhere).

But large purchases aren’t limited to homes and cars. You’ll need to first consider...

Can My Savings Lose Value? A Lesson on Inflation

Can Your Savings Lose Value?When you work hard to develop and adhere to a budget so you can put aside money, you don’t want to discover that it’s lost value. Is that a risk for your savings?

The simple answer is yes: your savings can lose value over time due to inflation. As it stands now, savings accounts, even the high-yielding accounts, have such low percentage rates that inflation is more likely to impact your savings when compared to other appreciable assets and investments. So, what is inflation exactly? 

Basically, inflation...

How to Become an Experienced Investor: Advanced Investing Strategies to Adopt

How to Practice Advanced Investing StrategiesDipping a toe into the world of investing can feel like the start of something big. While it is big, it takes a while to get there. Several months or a year after starting an investment strategy, the game might better be called, "Hurry Up and Wait." However, this viewpoint is precisely the one that usually works best for long-term investors to build wealth and manage the jumps and dips that investment offers over the years. With a cool eye and a confident hand, any investor can move beyond basic budgeting and ride...

Investing & Saving for Retirement on a Budget

How to Save for Retirement on a BudgetYes, it really is possible to stash away a bit of cash for your future – even when you feel as if you’re living paycheck to paycheck. The sad reality is that the payday-to-payday syndrome is now the norm, but there really are ways to break free without compromising your budget.

If you are under 30, reaching retirement age is almost unfathomable. And if you have a family, retirement seems not only some vague concept that applies to others but also an impossibility. The reality is 20 or 30 years can go by faster than you think, so it just makes sense to plan as much as...

What is Equity? How to Empower Yourself By Building Equity

How to Build EquityEquity is the measurement that results from subtracting a person’s or enterprise’s assets from their liabilities when they make investments. Essentially, equity is the value left over after you’ve paid all of your debts, with liability representing debt, and assets being classified as those things you own (e.g., cash, cars, homes, and other items that can be liquidated to exchange for cash).

With regard to home ownership, equity is the value left over once you subtract the balance of your mortgage from the fair market value of your home. When someone says they are “upside down”...

Thinking Ahead About Retirement: Here's What You Need to Know

How to Plan For Your RetirementWith the idea of retirement decades away, it might be too easy to put off building a retirement fund until finances improve, the budget isn’t as tight, and there’s more room for discretionary spending. The truth is that an earlier start to investing usually leads to a bigger payoff. Some people might decide to work past retirement age, but with the right funding approach, they may not have to do so. In fact, advanced thinking about retirement may even allow people to retire early.

When to Stop Working

Although the decision...

IRA, 401k, 403b: Which Retirement Plan is Right for Me?

Understanding Different Retirement PlansAs people start to delve into the world of investment, they may be inundated by the alphabet soup that is retirement plan acronyms. It can be difficult to distinguish between an IRA, 401k, and 403b. Plus, a lot of the information changes yearly. This guide distinguishes the common types of retirement plans and shows how to decide which one is most appropriate for individual needs when you’re planning a budget for your daily life or saving for retirement on a budget.


What Are the Different Types of Investments?

Different Types of Investments for Your PortfolioMaking it big in investing does not require a person to have been born by the 1960s, as much as it often feels this way. The truth is that a lot of companies have promise and fizzle out, while many others explode in value quite under the radar. The trick is to participate and diversify investments to create a better chance of catching the big fish. Once you’ve mastered basic budgeting, it’s time to get started with investing: Understanding the common types of investments is the first step.

Because ...

How to Build Your Investment Portfolio

How to Construct an Investment PortfolioBuilding and maintaining a well-researched financial portfolio is instrumental to success for anyone involved in investing, but for those just getting started, it can be hard to determine what decisions are the right ones. What goes into an investment portfolio? How should assets be allocated? How does diversity affect the quality of a portfolio? An investment portfolio should help its owner meet their future financial goals, so it’s important for a prospective investor to begin with as much information as possible.

Create a Unique Investor Profile

One of...

Investing For Beginners: Resources & Advice For Investing In Your Future

How to Get Started With Financial InvestingPutting money in a savings account is fairly easy to establish, but it also often has a disappointingly low rate of return and the possibility of your savings losing value. People who want their money to work for them and earn their money must do so by investing it and making wise investment decisions. The good news is that anyone with some spare cash and time can get into investing.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with an attorney,...

Advanced Budgeting: How to Take Your Budgeting Skills to the Next Level

How to Develop Advanced Budgeting Skills In Your Financial LifeSo, you’ve been adhering to your budget, but perhaps life circumstances have shifted. Maybe you need to relocate due to a new job, or you’ve decided to return to school. Life is in a perpetual state of fluctuation, and your budget will continually reflect this reality. Therefore, it’s wise to review your current budget to ensure it fits your lifestyle as well as your financial goals and objectives. 

It’s true that future financial projections are challenging to pinpoint precisely, and that can make ...

Credit 201: What Can Good Credit Do for You?

The Benefits of Having a Good Credit ScoreCredit cards are generally the first step for establishing a good credit rating, which is key for a healthy budget. While millennials and Gen Z’ers may bemoan the credit rating system—and with good reason—credit scores are still a fundamental requirement for accessing the acquisition of large assets such as cars and homes. When used correctly, credit cards can pave the way for greater financial freedom. The emphasis here is “when used correctly.”

As you build your credit, you’ll benefit from lower interest rates. As it stands...

How to Fix a Bad Credit Score: Repair Your Credit & Find Financial Freedom

How to Fix a Bad Credit ScoreCredit score is a powerful determinant in what milestones any individual can make while trying to plan for the future. Qualifying for credit cards, car loans, apartment leases, mortgages and, in some cases, even employment is dependent upon having a good credit score. Where do you stand in terms of credit score? In general, the credit scores are classified as follows:

  • 720 or higher: Excellent
  • 660 to 719: Average
  • 620 to 659: Poor
  • 620 or lower: Bad

Anything below 660 is considered...

Explaining Credit Scores: You Can Get On Top Of Your Credit!

What to Know About Credit Score And Your Financial HealthWhile credit scores are not the end-all, be-all measurement of financial responsibility, having a good credit rating can mean the difference between becoming a homeowner versus being a lifelong renter.

Though renting is also a viable way to make sure you have a roof over your head while establishing your financial security, most apartments, condominiums, and landlords require a credit report at the time of your rental application submission. Beyond the narrow, yet important scope of establishing a household, there are additional considerations for maintaining a good credit score. ...

What You Need to Know About Student Loan Refinancing

What to Know About Student Loan RefinancingDeciding if you should refinance your student loans can be intimidating and confusing—very confusing to be exact! 

In essence, refinancing is the process of obtaining a new loan with new terms and hopefully a lower interest rate in the process, and it can be a viable tactic for student loan debt repayment planning. Refinancing and Consolidation are different, and certain student loans are restricted to one or the other. The confusion stems because the terms are often used interchangeably.

What is the Difference Between Refinancing and Consolidation of Student Loans?

Refinancing a loan refers...

Student Loan Repayment Possibilities: Explanations and Resources

Resources for Student Loan Debt ManagementOnce you’ve graduated and found a job, the reality of debt repayment planning for all those college loans hits hard and unpleasantly. And seemingly impossible to handle. This article is intended to give you as many resources as possible to develop a budget and to explain the core requirements, positives and negatives of the various payback options in clear and simple terms so student loans don't affect your ability to buy a home.

Throughout, the terms “lender” and “loan servicers”...