Foreclosure, credit and eviction protection for military women & men

President Obama signed into public law No: 114-142, S.2393 – Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act of 2015, on March 31, 2016. This law provides an extension through 2017, for foreclosure protection under The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act – formerly known as The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides specific

financial and foreclosure protection for our military women and men that have debt originating before their call to active service.

It is important for creditors and landlords to note some of the provisions of protection in this act:

  • State Tax Relief
  • Termination of Property Leases
  • Eviction Protection
  • Foreclosure and Forced Sale Relief
  • Judicial Relief – does not include criminal
  • Ability to Terminate Automobile Leases
  • 6% Cap on Credit Interest Rates
  • Credit Rating Safeguards
  • Insurance Cancellation and Reinstatement protections

There are specific requirements which must be followed to insure the protections for the servicemembers. The credit or mortgage borrowers must request the protection under this act. The loan or debt must have originated prior to the current active military service. The lenders, landlords, creditors, insurance companies, etc. must be notified, in writing, the servicemember is requesting protection under The Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act of 2015.

This is a general list of provisions. Further specific information is available at: 2016© All rights reserved.










Statistics for Texas home buyers

Statistics bring to our attention trends and moves within our personal focus and direction. Though we are all unique individuals, state and national currents of home buying and home selling activity relay the propensity of our overall habits.

Women are rocking it in Texas. Twice as many women (14%) purchased homes in Texas as men between July 2014 and June 2015, compared to 7% of men. The national comparison is 15 % of women home buyers compared to 9% of men home buyers for 2015. Before the Fair Housing Act of 1968, women had a difficult time obtaining a credit card to buy a dress let alone qualify for a mortgage to buy a home. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 further assisted women with obtaining credit.

Married Texas home buyers decreased 2% to 70% from the previous year. Six percent of unmarried couples bought homes in Texas between July 2014 and June 2015.

Homes purchased with room for parents or adult children (over 18 years of age) are 15% in Texas compared to 18% nationally.

The median size home sold during this time period is a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2060 square foot house. The national average size home Headeris 1,900 square feet during the same time period. New home construction, 30%, accounted for Texas home sales. Texans like new and shiny. The national average is 16% which has recently remained constant.

Nationally, folks remain an average of 9 years in their homes. Texans average 8 years in their homes which decreased by one year between July 2014 and June 2015. The average age of a Texas home buyer is 45 years of age with first time home buyers median age of 31 years old.

Eight weeks was the average tenure for seeking the perfect property, with views of an average of 10 homes in Texas. 68% used the assistance of the internet and a Texas Realtor®. The primary purpose when choosing a Texas Realtor® in 2015 was to understand the buying process, assistance with pointing out flaws and features and 57% chose a Realtor® for counseling in selecting the best home for them.

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Handguns – TX landlords and tenants

Texas private property owners have the right to prohibit handguns, concealed or open carry, on their property. This includes rental property. Communication, verbal and written, is due notification to tenants.

The Texas Penal Code – Section 30.07(c)(3)(A) provides required language for prohibiting open carry, as well as The Texas Penal Code- Section 30.06(c)(3)(A) specific language for prohibiting concealed handguns on a private property. If the notification is included in the Texas property lease, special provisions section (26), Handguns TX landlords and tenantsclear and direct wording must state forbidding concealed weapons and open carry, separately.

Notice to every individual entering the private property can be signs conspicuously posted at each entrance. Again, the signs, one for open carry and one for concealed handguns, must use the language of the Texas Penal Code – Section 30.07(c)(3)(A) for open carry and The Texas Penal Code- Section 30.06(c)(3)(A) for concealed handguns – in Spanish and English, utilizing two contrasting colors with block lettering,  a minimum of one inch high. This is due notification to people other than the documented tenant.

Landlords can specifically ban concealed or open carry handguns on their property. The written notifications must specify either separately. Express and current notification to your tenants with any and all updates will provide clarity and confirm lease requirements.

This article is only applicable for the state of Texas. Check with legal counsel, a licensed Realtor® or your state association of Realtors®. The Texas Association of Realtors® provides further information for landlords and tenants.© – All rights reserved

Time of day matters for termination of contract option period

Effective, January 1, 2016, The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), implemented the time deadline as 5:00 pm (local to the listed property) for termination of the contract option period.Option termination

How many times in the past were you, as a real estate agent, conducting business at 11:57 PM?


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Processes for an inherited home -Realtors® & Legal

This article is the second in a series to assist when you have inherited a property. The first article advised the immediate actions at the commencement of possession. Relationships and family matters are the first priority. After wrapping your head around your newly acquired responsibilities, professional real estate and legal consultations will guide and direct you through this process.

Processes for an inherited home

Preserving relationships during this emotional period will aid in creating a team of trust. The consequences of inheritance may have been previously known and expected. There may be high emotion or extreme surprise of the situation. Your new duties may include being a mediator, counselor, parent, and for lack of a better label, “leader of the pack”. Until the legal disposition of the property is received, in hand, by an authority, your response will be, “I will confirm the outcome when it is received”.

A consultation with an attorney is highly advised. If the will states an executor/executrix, the responsibilities are in writing. Direction for probating the will and executing the duties will become a court order. Laws vary by state. Documentation will be required by the real estate agent, Title Company and/or attorney(s) for transfer of the property.

If the inherited property is in the name of a trust, consulting with an attorney is also, advised. A trust may have detailed instruction for maintaining, liquidating, who may reside or visit in the home, disposition of the house’s contents, etc. The trustee will be directed by the contents of the trust. If the home is to be sold, a copy of the trust will be required by the Realtor® for confirmation of the authorized signer for all contracts and property deed/title transfer. Laws vary by state and jurisdiction.

The legal outcome of the authorized individual may not be well received by all involved parties. The authorized decision maker may be taking steps not conducive to named beneficiaries. The foundation of all decisions is now based on the written instruments created by the deceased homeowner. Your response will now be, “I am carrying out instructions based on “named deceased” wishes”.

If the home owner died without a will, intestate, an attorney will need to be consulted. No action can be taken until the inheritance of this property has been legally established. Laws will vary by state and jurisdiction. Legal counsel is highly advised.

A well-established Realtor® or real estate broker can assist you through the process of the documentation required to sell the inherited home. Unless they are an attorney, they cannot offer legal advice.

A real estate agent can professionally recommend the steps involved for listing the inherited residence for sale. He or she can provide a comparative market analysis (CMA) for consideration of the list price. A CMA does not replace or substitute for an appraisal. The real estate agent can also counsel with sale projections based on any changes that can be made to the house.

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Grow a down payment

Buying a home is within everyone’s reach. Attitude and discipline will assist in reaching your goal. First time home buyers are creative people. You can grow a down payment within the means you are living with now. Home ownership will benefit your financial bottom line. You may be paying higher rent than a future mortgage payment calculates.Grow a down payment

Review your expenditures. For one week, write down every cent you spend including gum, candy, coffee, soft drinks, movies, drive-thru and impulse purchases. If you are buying $5.00 per day, for on- the- go coffee or soft drinks during a work week, it totals to $1,300.00 per year.

Toll road fees appear to be incidental to save 15 minutes of commute time. If the toll is $3.00 each way to work, five days a week – a one year total is $1,560.00.

How bad do you really want your own home?

Quit eating out. For the cost of a chef salad in your local restaurant, you can purchase salad ingredients at your local market for a few days of salad at home. Salads do not require a lot of “cooking” expertise. Learn how to cook your favorite eateries’ entree. Your down payment fund will grow exponentially. Create events such as picnics for a new view instead of the golden arches. Barbecuing in your new back yard can be a dream come true.

Do you own a boat, motorcycle, ski-doo, snowmobile, RV or classic car being stored? How often do you utilize these fabulous grown-up indulgences? Sell these items. Add up how much you will save in insurance, maintenance, storage fees and running costs. Grow your down payment. Buy your home. Buy another fancy schmancy fun extravagance to store in your new garage.

Eliminate debt, starting with the smallest balance first. Observe the amount of monthly interest you are being charged on the account. Paying off each bill will allow that dollar amount to be saved toward your goal of home ownership.

One person’s junk is another person’s treasure. Consider a garage sale or selling unused items on Ebay, Craigslist or other auction sites. If the motivation is to own your own home, think of getting rid of “things” as less to move when you switch to your new house. Less stuff to move will also lessen the moving expense. Your down payment will grow with each deposit from the sale of possessions you no longer want or need. Do not buy anything you do not actually need until your down payment goal is met. Weigh the difference between “want” and “need”.

Each of these suggestions will take fortitude, tenacity and the extreme desire to reach your down payment goal. Increasing your income with a second job can expedite the process. It is still possible to make the dream of home ownership a reality in your near future.

Share your success- add a comment of any additional ideas you may have for growing your down payment.

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Processes for an inherited home

This is the first in a series of articles in an effort to assist people with the sad situation of liquidating an inherited property and estate.  Death brings overwhelming emotion with unexpected responsibilities.

Our culture already includes limited schedules. The last thing you need is an extremely time consuming project thrown in the middle of your life. There are few individuals waking up and proclaiming they really want to maintain, repair, clean, clear out, and sell a relative’s home. If the estate includes rental or commercial properties, the task multiplies in terms of time and account management. The emotional baggage is part of this package, also.

Processes for an inherited home

Immediate actions include securing the property:

  1. Locate keys for –
  • Doors and windows
  • Safe deposit boxes
  • Padlocks
  • Outbuildings, sheds, pool gates, storage units,etc.
  • Vehicles
  • Riding lawn mowers, ATV’s, boats and recreational vehicles
  • Safes and firearms

2. Locate garage door remotes

3. Locate security system info

4. Remove pets

5. Make arrangements  or forward mail & deliveries

6. Evaluate services conducted -landscaping, exterminators, etc.

7. Locate legal instruments, documents and utility bills.

The relationship with the deceased will dictate whether detailed plans were shared or you’re driving blind in the dark. Directives in the form of wills, trusts, life estates and other legal documents will provide a course to follow. An appointment with an attorney is strongly advised. Executor/executrix or trustee authorization will be required to transfer title/deed to another party or yourself.  A reputable Realtor® can only advise you with the documents/authorizations required required to contract the home for sale or lease.

The location of the house is a factor in planning execution and disposition. If the home is not local, a schedule for travel and expenses associated, must be made. It is easy to acquire an “out of sight, out of mind” approach during stressful events and grief. Empty houses appear to deteriorate at a quicker pace than homes with life within.

This is stage 1 of an estate inheritance and liquidation. It is common to be dealing with an upset family/kinship. The routine deeds and responsibilities still need tended to. In all likelihood, you have a full time career or commitments in your life. Strong individuals can begin to bend when life changing experiences occur. Your BFF/spouse/significant other/life partner can assist in talking through timelines, delegation of duties, returning calls during this difficult time.

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HOA -New Homeowner Association facts

A new HOA changes as it grows
A new HOA changes as it grows

New construction means new home smells. No one ever walked on the carpets with their dirty feet. A brand new subdivision with clean concrete driveways. After the emotional high, you have questions for the first homeowners association (HOA) meeting.

A new community is often created by a developer. A limited number of occupied homes may result in promised amenities, not yet completed. New infrastructure and noisy construction may be still in the process. A new homeowner association changes as it grows.

The newly created HOA is often comprised of the developer and their personnel. Let’s face it, before the first home is built, the initial “rules” are created by the developer and team. It takes time to finish the task of constructing your neighbor’s homes. The by laws, covenants and deed restrictions, which should have been given to each buyer, will specifically state the “who is who” and directive actions and requirements. It should state how often an HOA meeting will be held.

If you have never lived in a subdivision with homeowner association requirements, there is a learning curve. If the developer still retains the majority on the board of directors, this company is still financing monuments, amenities – such as swimming pools, club houses, landscaping, running trails, play areas, etc. If the community will comprise of 750 homes upon completion, the homeowner association dues should be calculated to sustain the current subdivision financial needs. Until that point in time, roads, street lights, sidewalks, green spaces, tennis courts and/or other planned amenities must still be funded. The first residents must exhibit patience with the process.

The homeowner association board of directors is not a landlord entity. They are not responsible for crime prevention, out of warranty repair claims, neighbor disputes, street parking or loiterers. The HOA is responsible for what is specifically written in the covenants and deed restrictions. Out of kindness, the community developer can create a “Neighborhood Crime Watch” and erect signs. Again, this is out of the generosity of their own funds to erect signs and provide guidance and direction for setting up a committee. An HOA meeting is not the time and place to bring up neighbor disputes because you don’t like the type of utilitarian vehicles parked in your neighbor’s driveway unless the covenants and deed restrictions prohibit the action.

Study and read your subdivisions by laws, covenants and deed restrictions verbatim. If there is an opening for a new director on the HOA board, you have a chance to be elected to participate in future decisions for your community.  The rules and regulations will assist with maintaining property values, preserve the aesthetics of  where you live and provide your home with the same or better environment you purchased it with.


Your questions and comments are always welcome.

Copyright 2015 A. Peto-Selby, Realtor® All Rights Reserved.

A. Peto-Selby, Realtor® – information blog

Andi Peto-Selby, Realtor
BD Realty Advisors, LLC, Broker

Welcome to A

Launching a new real estate information blog is as exciting as it is challenging. This website will communicate industry trends, standards, tribulations, as well as the entire process for buying and selling a home. It will also offer experience and source based educational resources for real estate agents, industry sales representatives and Realtors®.

This blog will not offer legal advice or ever proclaim to be able to replace legal counsel. The foundation of all material is researched through expert resources.

We do learn from each other – clients, customers, real estate professionals. Your comments and inquiries will always be welcome. Reviews and guest author contributions will also be posted.

Your business and trust is earned. I return telephone calls promptly. If you are considering the sale of your home or seeking to purchase a home – Call me -. 713.870.0208 


Email:     APeto-

Broker website:       BD Realty Advisors, LLC, Broker

Always looking forward!




Copyright 2015 A. Peto-Selby, Realtor® All Rights Reserved.

Residential & Commercial Real Estate 713.870.0208