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Showing posts from February, 2016

Home Buyers and Seller beware - WIRE TRANSFER FRAUD

If you are in the process of buying or selling a home please BEWARE: Online banking fraud is on the rise. If you receive an email for a title company or your real estate agent containing WIRE TRANSFER INSTRUCTIONS call your agent or escrow officer immediately to verify the information prior to sending funds. Here’s how the scam goes down. You’re about to settle on a home. You get an e-mail from your real estate agent or from the title company, requesting funds to be wired to an account for settlement. The e-mail states that there is a last-minute change in wiring instructions. You dutifuly wire the money using the new instructions. Then, the call comes from the title company the day before settlement, asking why you have not sent your funds for settlement. This is the moment you learn that you have sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to a thief. This scheme is not new. But a recent resurgence of wire fraud in the real estate industry, and the increase in its sophistication, prompted the N…

The property was damaged after it went under contract. What are you options?

Severe and unexpected weather in Texas is not usual. We have experienced flooding and tornadoes that caused damage to properties. Not all are weather related. On occasion a property may be vandalized or theft may occur. These and other perils can also affect real estate transactions that haven't closed.

So, what happens if you are under contract and the property is damage? 


The Casualty Loss Paragraph requires the seller to restore the property to its previous condition by closing. If the seller can't, the buyer has a few options:
Terminate the contract and get your earnest money back.Extend the time for the seller to complete the repairs up to 15 days, with the closing date extended accordingly.Accept the property in its damaged state with possible insurance proceeds, if permitted by the seller's insurance carrier. The seller also credits the buyer the amount of the insurance deductible at closing. If the property is being financed, this might not be an option.Sales price or…

Residence homestead exemptions and other exemptions - Fraud Alert

It's that time a year when you can now file for homestead exemptions. Please be advised that you might qualify for a tax exemption and it’s now time to apply. Below you will find further details on this discount and the link for the necessary forms. This process is FREE. Do not fall for scammed that will ask you for a filing fee.
Applications for the Homestead Exemption must be filed between January 1st and April 30th.  The process is easy, FREE and it will save you money on property taxes so don't delay!  There is no need for you to pay anyone for this service.  If you bought a home recently, most likely, you will receive offers from vendors that appear to be very "official" offering to file your application for a fee.  You need not pay anyone for this service and the county appraisal offices do not charge any fees.
Please note that In order to qualify for the exemption, you must provide:  A copy of your Texas Drivers license or Texas State ID card.  The address on th…

Rental Fraud Alert - Texas - Luz Astacio, 512-222-6876

Rental Fraud Alert: This fraud occurred in Cypress Texas but I found others outside if Texas that have been contacted by these same scammers!
I know I have brought this up before but it's worth mentioning again. There are many rental scammers out there and people fall for it every day.
I had a former client rent a home on their own. The offer they received was too good to be true (that's always a sign). They paid their security deposit and 1st months rent. They were emailed a contract (not a Texas lease) which everyone signed. It all seemed legit. They were given the combination to a lockbox that was on the door that contains the keys. They moved in and shortly after were asked for $1000 to pay property taxes (red flag!).They sent the funds and then they called me.
Unfortunately it took me 5 minutes to realize that they had been scammed. The home is actively on the market for $2550 (their rent was $1200) and the owners listed on the contract provided are not the owners of the ho…