It is not at all uncommon to see “For Sale” signs posted in front yards throughout a typical neighborhood in Houston. Unfortunately, the reason for selling the property is not usually because a family’s income has increased and they are moving into a bigger yard with a swimming pool and three-car garage nor is it due to a newly retired couple who has just purchased an RV with the intention of seeing the country. Instead, more and more people in Houston and around the country are losing their homes to foreclosure.
According to the Houston Association of Realtors, one in three homes that were sold last month had been in foreclosure. That is up nearly ten percent from the number of homes purchased through such circumstances last year. Of course, this number just accounts for the homes that are actually finding new owners. How many of us have seen the same house stay on the market for months on end? The number of homes sold last month fell 22.7%, with the total numbers of houses sold down more than thirty percent from the same period two years ago. This news is not good for realtors, contractors, construction workers, and anyone else involved in the housing industry.
In the stimulus package that was just signed by President Obama today, first-time home owners have been offered an $8000 tax credit that does not need to be repaid if the home is not sold within three years. Will this be an important step in improving consumer confidence when potential buyers are considering a home purchase? I guess we will check on the statistics at this time next year and see.
At Bertolino LLP, we have Austin bankruptcy attorneys and San Antonio bankruptcy lawyers who practice Ch 7 and Ch 13 bankruptcy law and real estate law. We also have Houston bankruptcy lawyers who can provide the legal assistance you need if you are facing foreclosure or if you want to make sure that you are signing a fair contract when buying your first home. Please contact one of our attorneys in Austin, Houston, or San Antonio and let’s see how we can help.
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