98 DESTINATION DFW – WINTER | SPRING 2018
homestead exemption as a way to lower
their taxes. To qualify for homestead exemption, the owner must be living in the property
by January 1 of that year. If a homeowner
moves into the property on January 2, he or
she cannot apply for homestead exemption
until the following year. Once the homeowner
files for a homestead exemption, it is good
for as long as the owner lives there and is
using the property as his or her homestead.
If a homeowner moves out of the property
and rents it, the homestead exemption is
dismissed. Another interesting thing about
the Texas homestead law is that if a property
is purchased that has already has a homestead
exemption, the homestead exemption transfers
to the new owner.
GET EXPERT HELP
Find a realtor through our resource partners
at www.destinationdfw.com, recommendations from friends and family, or through
your local board of realtors in the area. With
expert help, you’ll be able to make a smart
and informed decision about buying a home
– one of the most important investments
you’ll ever make.
Be sure to choose a realtor who knows the
neighborhoods, the schools, the extracurric-
ular activities, and the tax bases of different
school districts. A realtor will also be able to
explain whether a home may be subject to
certain legal rules and restrictions regarding
the physical specifications of the home,
including later housing alterations you
Find a realtor through recommendations
from friends, co-workers, family, or by
contacting your local board of realtors to
find a real estate professional in the area.
With expert help, you’ll be able to make a
smart and informed decision about buying a
home – one of the most important investments you’ll ever make.
Whatever housing option you choose, it’s
critical to be prepared. If you’re buying,
double-check check your credit with credit
reporting companies, and correct any
inconsistencies or errors before applying
for a loan. All financing institutions use a
scoring system derived from a combination
file made up of reports provided by several
credit reporting agencies. This gives a
beacon score that determines your rate.
The typical entry for fairly good credit
would be a score above 650, with 700 as an
automatic approval. Mortgage brokers may
work with borrowers and assist in correcting
costly errors on their credit reports that
could affect the final interest on the loan, or
even the loan approval.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires
each of the three nationwide consumer
reporting companies (Equifax, Experian,
and TransUnion) to provide consumers
with a free copy of their credit report once
every 12 months. Call 877-322-8228, or go
to www.annualcreditreport.com to order.
THE RIGHT PLACE FOR YOU
Deciding where to live is ultimately a very
personal decision. With the right relocation
professionals, a little imagination and a lot of
legwork, those new to the area will be able to
find the neighborhood that suits them best.
The metroplex has 10 major metro areas
and 12 counties. Counties include Collin,
Dallas, Delta, Denton, Ellis, Hunt, Johnson,
Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, and
Wise, and major metro areas include Dallas,
Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano, Irving,
Garland, Carrollton, Denton, McKinney,
and Richardson, with many smaller communities in between.
While by no means comprehensive, we’ve
included sample neighborhoods in the largest
counties to give you an overview of the area
and an idea of what you might find in each
area – like a neighborhood or a city’s personality and area amenities. For more detailed
information, check with your realtor.
Photo courtesy of Canyon Falls Photo courtesy of Hollyhock