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Home foreclosed in 2010 fined hundreds for 2012’s uncut grass

Warrants issued for a former homeowner in Fort Worth who has not lived in the home for two years, regardless of proving foreclosure to the city. This is happening to homeowners across the nation as the chain of title remains eroded.

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Confusion over foreclosures

Fort Worth man, David Englett is not alone in receiving a fine from the city on a home that foreclosed years ago, no, across the country, homeowners continue to receive fines for various infractions on homes they lost or gave up to the bank and no longer own. How is this happening?

In Englett’s case, his home was foreclosed upon two years ago and he has not lived there since. He had no idea that he had outstanding warrants for unpaid city fines on the home, but discovered the debacle when he went to renew his commercial driver’s license and found a hold on the license, which is a big problem in his line of work as a truck driver.

The warrants were issued for operating an alarm without a permit, grass not being cut and an old fence. “I didn’t live there, so why would I worry about it the bank foreclosed on it,” Englett told CBS 11. “Even when I lived there we never activated the alarm.”

The man has since paid the fine to remove the hold on his license but says he still owes the City of Arlington hundreds of dollars, despite repeatedly showing proof that he is not the homeowner. He says he cannot understand why he is responsible for maintaining a home that was foreclosed two years ago. “I feel like I’m being punished for something I didn’t do,” said Englett. “It’s really frustrating and costing me a lot of time.”

Englett added, “I don’t want to go to jail over nothing – never been to jail – don’t want to go to jail.”

How does this happen?

The City of Arlington, like many other cities, says that if the title hasn’t changed, what appears to be a former homeowner remains the current homeowner responsible for the property, regardless of whether the bank takes care of transferring the title or not.

Until the title is transferred to a new homeowner, the City will keep the former homeowner as the responsible party, independent of what bank documents are offered as proof of foreclosure.

CBS 11 Legal Expert Jerry Loftin says the city just wants someone to pay the fines. “If it’s foreclosed, it’s not his.” He added, “You have to remember, cities are all about grabbing money from you, I mean they try anyway they can.”

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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