Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

April 4, 2024

How To Successfully Protest Your Texas Property Taxes

Courtesy of Gill, Denson & Company...see below for discount code! 



Property taxes are a significant expense for Texas homeowners, but did you know you have the right to challenge your property tax assessment? With the right approach, you can potentially lower your tax burden. In this article, we interviewed the property tax firm Gill, Denson & Company to guide you through the process of protesting your Texas property taxes, helping you understand your rights and navigate the steps involved.


Understanding the Process:

1. **Know Your Deadline**: Property tax protest deadlines vary by county. Typically, you have until May 15th or 30 days from the date of your tax appraisal notice to file a protest. Check with your local appraisal district for specific deadlines.


2. **Gather Evidence**: To support your protest, gather evidence such as recent sales prices of similar properties, documentation of any property damage or defects, and evidence of incorrect data on your property. This evidence will be crucial in making your case for a lower assessment. 


3. **File Your Protest**: Submit your protest form to the county appraisal district before the deadline. You can usually find the form on the district's website or request it by mail. Be sure to include all relevant evidence and information.


The Protest Hearing:

1. **Prepare Your Case**: Before your protest hearing, organize your evidence and prepare your argument. Be ready to explain why you believe your property is overvalued and provide supporting documentation.


2. **Attend the Hearing**: Attend your scheduled protest hearing prepared to present your case to the Appraisal Review Board (ARB). You'll have the opportunity to explain your position and provide evidence to support your claims.


3. **Negotiate if Necessary**: In some cases, you may have the opportunity to negotiate with the appraisal district staff to reach a resolution before your ARB hearing. Be open to discussing options for a fair assessment.


Additional Tips:

1. **Consider Hiring a Professional**: If you're unsure how to proceed or want expert assistance, consider hiring a property tax firm such as Gill, Denson & Company.  We partnered with them to offer our readers and clients a discounted rate to use their services of only 25% of tax savings (use the discount code BRININSTOOL when signing up).  They are paid based on how much you save, which makes it a risk-free process for you! They can navigate the process on your behalf and improve your chances of success.


2. **Stay Informed**: Keep track of any changes to property tax laws or appraisal practices in your area. Staying informed can help you make more informed decisions and better understand your rights as a property owner. By hiring professionals, they will stay up to date and help keep you informed.



Protesting your Texas property taxes may seem daunting, but with preparation and persistence, it's possible to achieve a lower assessment and reduce your tax burden. By understanding the process, gathering evidence, and presenting your case effectively, you can advocate for a fair valuation of your property. Remember to stay informed, consider professional assistance if needed, and don't hesitate to exercise your rights as a homeowner.



March 16, 2022

What to Expect from a Pre-Purchase Home Inspection

Found the perfect home? Buying or selling a home entails a lot. You must consider complex components such as air-conditioning, heating, plumbing, electrical systems, as well as structural framing. You can get information about all these things through a pre-purchase home inspection.

In some cases, you may be willing to buy a house that requires minor cosmetic repairs. Ensure that everything beneath the surface is in good condition first. In case of any problems, you can ask the seller to address the issues.

If he is unable, the buyer has the leverage to lower the offer to account for the renovations. That is why a pre-purchase home inspection is necessary and valuable whether you are planning to buy or sell your home.

What A Pre-Purchase Home Inspection Is All About

Pre-purchase home inspections usually involve evaluating all accessible areas of a property. A licensed inspector visually inspects the roof, foundation, structure integrity, mechanical structures, and flooring.

The inspector also checks the basement and attic. The job of a pre-purchase home inspector is to uncover issues within a property. It is not the inspector’s job to offer their opinion on the sale price.

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Jan. 1, 2022

Housing Market Outlook for 2022

To say that 2021 has been an interesting year for the U.S housing market would be an understatement. Despite living in the shadow of a global pandemic, the housing market experienced a surprising boom that saw it shoot well ahead of the economy. Low supply has led to skyrocketing prices, with competition between buyers being fiercer than ever. Fortunately, while buyers have needed to pay top-dollar and move fast to secure their dream home, mortgage rates have remained pretty much rock bottom.

So, what can we expect from the U.S housing market in 2022?

Construction Is Slowing, Pushing Demand Higher

Unfortunately, low supply is going to continue well into the next year and beyond. The Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University has predicted that the percentage growth in home construction will fall to single digits in 2022 in many areas of Texas.

San Antonio is expected to see the biggest drop, from growth of 27.9% in 2021 to just 5% in 2022, and other cities, including Austin, Houston, and Dallas-Fort Worth follow similar patterns, dropping from 20.8% to 5.2%, 22.5% to 5.3% and 12.8% to 6.3% respectively.

Home Prices Will Rise

And this outlook in Texas aligns quite closely with trends in other parts of the country. With homebuilding slowing, we can expect to see a stabilization in the housing market. However, as building slows and demand grows, we can expect to see prices rise. This could make affordability an issue for some demographics, particularly those who are trying to get onto the housing market for the first time and may need to borrow more than anticipated. This could also have a knock-on effect on the mortgage approval process, since lenders may require higher deposits to secure larger loans.

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Oct. 1, 2021

Tips to Sell Your Home Faster

If you’re considering putting your property on the market, you’ll probably be looking for a speedy sale – especially if you’ve already found the new home that you want to move to. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to stop your property from hanging around. Here are our top tips to sell your home faster.

Repaint Walls

Homes with neutral décor nearly always sell faster than those with unusual color schemes. Much of this is down to the fact that it is often easier to imagine yourself living in a home with natural walls and flooring than in a home with colors and designs that don’t suit your personality or lifestyle. It’s also easier to live with neutral shades until you get time to redecorate should you choose to.

Remove Personalization

Buyers want and need to be able to visualize themselves living in your home, but this is difficult to do when they are surrounded by evidence of you and your family. Put away family photographs, children’s artwork, medals, certificates, and other similar items. However, you can keep out any general decorative items like lamps, ornaments, and flowers, or wall art that could add to the appeal of your home. 

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July 1, 2021

Tips for Negotiating in a Seller's Market

When buying property, you need to think about different factors. Negotiating in a seller’s market can be difficult for any investor. A seller’s market is characterized by a high number of buyers and fewer properties on the market. 

This means that buyers do not have much room to negotiate. Sellers have the upper hand when it comes to the deal they accept. Learning how to negotiate will help ensure that you make the best investment. The following tips will help.

Setting Your Limits

Before you start looking, it is a good idea to lay out your goals and set your limits. Determine the type of property that you want and establish how much you are willing to pay for it. Set your income or cash flow goals before making offers. When bidding for a property, do not go above your limit. Remember, it is better to lose out on a particular property than to spend much more than you wanted to. Stick to your goals.

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April 1, 2021

How to Find the Best Real Estate Agent for Buying or Selling a Home

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make in your lifetime. This can mean that finding the right home and securing the best possible deal can be extremely stressful. While there’s nothing to stop you from going through the process without any support, choosing the services of a real estate agent is a very smart move.

These professionals usually have extensive experience of buying and selling homes, and coupled with their unique knowledge, particularly in the specific location you are looking to move to or from, they can ensure you get the right deal.

However, with plenty of different real estate agents to choose from, how do you know who is going to be the right professional to help you with your property sale or purchase? Here’s our advice on how to find the best real estate agent for buying or selling your home.

Ask Around For Recommendations

One of the easiest ways of finding out who’s a great real estate agent and who to avoid is to ask around your friends, family, and colleagues who have bought or sold a house recently. They will have personal experience to draw upon, and this is a great opportunity to create a shortlist of potential candidates without having to invest too much time and energy into the process.

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Jan. 1, 2021

Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Buying a house is a huge decision and probably the most expensive purchase that you will make in your lifetime. Nevertheless, as first-time buyers with little knowledge of the home buying process, you could be forgiven for finding the entire experience overwhelming and struggling to know where to start. Fortunately, we can help. We’ve put together some of our top tips for first time home buyers which should help you to get started with this important milestone in your life.

Start Saving As Soon As Possible

It goes without saying that buying a home is a very expensive process. Not only will you have to stump up a significant deposit, but there are also lots of taxes and fees that you’ll need to account for too. The more money you can save for your down payment the better. You’ll be able to reduce the amount you need to borrow, but a bigger deposit could also secure you a better deal on your homeowner loan since it shows a bigger commitment to your purchase. Ideally, first time buyers need at least 10% of the purchase price of their property but check with your lender.

Get Your Finances And Credit Rating In Order

Getting a homeowner loan is often the hardest part of a property purchase. As well as the deposit you can offer, one of the key things that lenders will look at is your credit score and your income and outgoings. Your credit score tells lenders how likely you are to be able to repay your homeowner loan, and the better this is, the more favorable the interest rate on your mortgage will be. This alone could save you thousands of dollars on your mortgage every year. You can help improve your credit score by clearing off any debts and making sure your bank account stays in the black every month.

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Oct. 1, 2020

How to Buy, Build, or Design the Perfect Space for your Home Based Business

If you’re starting a business from home, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is choosing a location for your new home office. And with these quick tips from the real estate experts at B.Properties, you’ll learn how to buy, build, or design the perfect space for your personal and professional needs. Read on to begin!

Buy A Larger Home

Whether you reside in an area where Home-Based Businesses are prohibited, or you simply need more space for living and working out of your home, buying a larger house is just one option to consider. Before Purchasing A New House, however, you’ll need to complete several important steps — like setting a budget, completing the mortgage pre-approval process, hiring an Experienced Real Estate Agent, and beginning your home search online. 

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July 1, 2020

Tips for Applying for a Home Loan

Most people need to take out a home loan to fund their property purchase. However, borrowing money isn’t necessarily as easy as it sounds. Lenders generally have a long list of eligibility criteria meaning that you will need to jump through multiple hoops as part of the application process, and even then, there’s not necessarily any guarantee that you will be approved. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to increase the likelihood of being accepted for a loan to buy your dream property. Here are our top tips for applying for a home loan.

Discover Your Credit Score

If you don’t currently know what your credit score is, now is the time to find out. It takes just a few minutes to download your credit report, and many websites will let you do this for free provided you sign up for trial access. Your credit score is a number that depicts your creditworthiness and is based on your credit history – how many credit accounts you have, how much overall debt you have, the ratio of this debt to your income, your repayment history, and more. The higher the score, the better prospect you are for potential lenders. This is because a high credit score usually points to someone who is in control of their finances, who doesn’t borrow more than they can afford, and who makes their payments on time. A credit score is important because it can affect who will offer you a home loan and what percentage interest you are likely to have to pay. People with high credit scores usually repay their loans at lower interest rates. If your credit score is very low, you may need to spend some time building up good credit before buying a property.

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April 1, 2020

Increasing Your Homes Valuation Through Home Improvement

Do you want to increase the value of your property before selling? Perhaps you aren’t planning on selling just yet, but you are planning ahead for your next move. Either way, you will want to ensure that you can get as much as you can for your current home, which will place you in the strongest possible position for your next property purchase. As any realtor will tell you, there are a number of different ways to boost your home’s valuation. One of the most effective methods is through home improvement. 

Larger home projects may be the most obvious way to add significant value to your property, but even more, basic structural repairs and cosmetic enhancements can increase the desirability of your home and make it seem more valuable. Here are some of the top home improvements you can make to increase your home’s valuation.  

Repairing Structural Defects 

Not all structural defects are visible, but they can have the most severe financial impact on the value of your home. This is because correcting them can be expensive and time-consuming. In some instances, a report by a structural engineer that shows problems could cause a sale to fall through altogether. Some of the most common structural defects include:

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