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04/16/19 9:30am

By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

Despite the sound of the name, there is nothing secretive or hushed about ‘Quiet Title.’ This is actually a legal action to ‘quiet the title’ under Texas law.

Quiet Title refers to a lawsuit to clarify the ownership of land and the validity of any liens on a piece of property. Legal action to quiet title is basically a suit filed to establish the true ownership of real property.

Typically, the reason for a quiet title lawsuit is to remove a cloud from the title. A cloud is any potential claim to ownership of a property such as a lien, encumbrance, mortgage, legal dispute, tax levy, partial ownership claim, etc. These are usually discovered in a title search of the property conducted by the title company or title plant. 

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04/15/19 2:30pm

By Nikki Lott
Special Contributor

This Mother’s Day, buy flowers, do brunch, and then head to the 37th Annual Fairmount Historic Home Tour. Travel back in time and ooh and aah over all the incredible details like exposed beams, overhanging eaves and romantic wrap around porches.

There once was a time when we went outside, meet our neighbors and … talked. CAN YOU IMAGINE? Back then, you needed neighbors to get all the hot goss and a cup of sugar. Well, maybe that detail hasn’t changed as much, but over the years the architecture and craftsmanship certainly have.

Along the tour, you’ll see delicately restored bungalows, a few new old homes (INTRIGUING) and one home that’s in transition. A chance to see the progress in person? Yes, please.

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04/09/19 9:30am

By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

The “2019 Voice of the Title Agent” is hot off the presses from The Title Report. This annual survey gives an idea of how folks in the title business are doing and their outlook for the coming year. The study covers a variety of topics related to the state of the title industry.

When questioned about business in the coming year, most title agents surveyed were optimistic about the future. More than 56 percent are anticipating some level of growth in 2019.  However, they aren’t as expectant as they’ve been over the past few years. Last year, more than 66 percent of title agents anticipated growth. While the majority of agents are expecting growth, the number who feel their business will drop or remain flat continues to increase.

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04/02/19 9:45am

By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

Title companies in Texas all offer the same basic services. And since title policy premiums are regulated by the state, there isn’t much difference in cost from one to the next. What makes one title company better than another? What keeps agents going back to their favorite escrow officers time after time?

I thought I’d survey a few Realtors. After all, they are the ones who usually choose which title company to send their real estate contracts.

After surveying dozens of agents and lenders, the No. 1 answer was great communication. To win their business, the title agency and closer must communicate quickly and frequently. This was at the top of the criteria for agents like Robin McCoy (Keller Williams), Chris Suwannetr (JP & Associates), Sheri Stout (Ebby Halliday), Erik Hargrave (PrimeLending), Kerry Slaughter (Keller Williams), Mary Anne Collins (eXp Realty), Vanessa Bamback (Haute City), Nichole Vilchis (Keller Williams), Kay Wood (Briggs Freeman Sothebys) and Phillip Walker (Keller Williams).

“They’re communicative with all parties and always one step ahead,” says Amy Timmerman (Local Resident Realty) about her favorite title company. “Updates, reminders, clear and prompt responses,” are what Lori Hudson (Ebby Halliday) appreciates about her preferred title agency. 

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03/26/19 9:55am

By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

Buyers and sellers aren’t the only victims of real estate scams and crimes. Realtors are also a favorite target of crooks, criminals, and other shady types.

Due to the nature of the real estate business, agents naturally come in contact and work with strangers on a regular basis. Most real estate deals involve big ticket transactions and that adds to the risk of dealing with unfamiliar people.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve highlights a few scams aimed at buyers and sellers. Realtors often get caught in the web of these deceptions as well. They just add to crimes that focus on these professionals.

After quizzing a few Realtors, here are just some of the scams going around lately:

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03/19/19 9:30am

By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

The internet can be both an ally and an adversary to today’s home seller. When it comes to scams and cons, homeowners are easy prey for professional criminals.

Let’s face it. When selling real estate, you are inviting strangers into your home. Figuratively with online photos, maps, and more. And literally when they come to view your property. You and your home are exposed for the world to see.

Being aware of the scams aimed at sellers is the first step to stopping them in their tracks. These are some of the most popular swindles I’ve heard about in the past year:

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03/19/19 9:15am
McKinney

Among many amenities, Parkside at Craig Ranch offers food truck parking and a beer garden for its residents (Photos courtesy Parkside at Craig Ranch).

From staff reports

It’s not often that a McKinney multifamily property finds itself in a “best of” list that includes properties in places like Honolulu, New York, Washington D.C., and Seattle.

But that was exactly what happened last week when the Parkside at Craig Ranch in McKinney was one of 10 award-winning projects Multifamily Executive magazine recognized for their unique amenities. The property is under the Lincoln Property Company umbrella.

Of the 10 properties recognized, some included unique pool projects, gallery spaces, maker spaces complete with tools and work tables, coffee and wine bars, and even a half-pipe skate park. (more…)

03/17/19 9:30am

DelanoBy Deb R. Brimer
Contributing Writer

If the walls of this timeless 1914 treasure could talk, what name-dropping stories they could tell! Some of the world’s most notable structures are among the works of award-winning New York architect, William Adams Delano, including palatial mansions for the Rockefeller family and Otto Kahn. But Chestnut Court was his personal haven that he designed for himself.

Located at 2 Chestnut Court in Muttontown, New York, this 6,100-square-foot stucco Tudor contains two and three levels, eight bedrooms, five-and-a-half baths, and an immaculately-landscaped two-acre estate with a stone patio, wooden deck, and swimming pool. (more…)