Why Texas Real Estate is a Good Investment Opportunity

Those who are interested in investing in real estate should know that Texas provides some of the greatest real estate opportunities in the US. A beautiful state,Texas is known for its warm climate and country music, as well as the rich history and friendly people. By understanding some of the advantages of investing in Texas real estate, you can determine whether it’s a good idea for you or not.


Texas Laws Regarding Tax Sales

Texas offers some of the best laws for those who are interested in buying tax lien properties. This is, of course, the kind of sale that offers estates for the price of the back taxes present on them. With most of these sales, the homeowner can opt to purchase the home back after the investor’s purchase, by paying the back taxes.


However, in Texas, if you’ve paid for the estate and the homeowner wants to keep the sale from going through, they must pay you twenty-five percent interest for the first year and 180-day redemptions. There are some cases in which a two-year redemption will apply and the investor will receive a fifty-percent redemption penalty.


In addition to that, the homeowner must pay the interest on the actual amount paid at auction rather than the amount the property was offered for originally. So, if an auction presents a property and starts the bidding at $3,000 but the investor ends up winning the property for $10,000, the interest must be paid on the $10,000 rather than the $3,000.


Texas Offers Monthly Sales

One of the benefits of investing in this type of  Texas real estate is that many counties hold a monthly sale rather than having one large yearly sale the way most other states do. In those states that offer yearly sales, investors are drawn from all over to take advantage of some seriously low priced properties. This means one thing for the investor who wants a piece of the action: competition. With Texas’ monthly sales, the draw is less so fewer investors turn up. This means that one investor who is truly interested in buying can find a great deal because there is less competition.


Rental Income

Another great benefit of Texas real estate tax lien sales is that the investor will receive any rental income that comes from the property immediately after buying it at auction. So, if there’s a tenant in the home who is paying monthly rent, the investor will receive that money at the next date the rent is due. The investor may choose to evict the tenant but may also choose to allow them to live there and pay rent, as a way of gaining another income stream.


There are many benefits to investing in Texas real estate, even for those who aren’t planning on simply “flipping” the properties and reselling them. With a little research on the properties up for sale, an investor can make a huge return on a property.

Looking for a Texas Real Estate Form Solution.  Consider BULL Forms.

Types of Real Estate Opportunities in Texas

Texas, with its warm climate and beautiful scenery, has a wide range of real estate opportunities, whether you plan to invest or find your next home. There are many different types of real estate, depending upon where in Texas you look. By understanding the areas, you’ll have a better understanding of what kinds of homes and architecture are available.


Houston is a bustling city, housing more than 2.1 million people in less than 600 square miles. Skyscrapers are the ornaments of the city, with beautiful examples of architecture seen in buildings like the JPMorgan Chase Building and the Bank of America Center. Real estate opportunities for residential homes abound, with beautiful architecture styles. Just a few include Victorian, a highly decorative style, Craftsman, a more modern and traditional look, and Colonial Revival, a beautiful and stately look that is reminiscent of the 1890’s. Texas real estate in this area is pricey, but great deals can be found by researching and watching foreclosure lists.


Austin, the capital city of Texas, is home to just fewer than 800,000 people and one of the most historical cities in the state. Within the city, visitors will see a host of stone buildings that follow Roman building guides, as well as skyscrapers that became popular in the 1900’s. Residential architecture styles include beautiful Victorians and cozy bungalows. The architecture in Austin is also heavily influenced by Spanish and European styles.

San Antonio

San Antonio, with more than 1.3 million residents, is home to the Alamo as well as many beautiful architectural styles. Those who are seeking Texas real estate opportunities in San Antonio will find a huge Spanish influence. Hidden among Spanish-style homes are French and Neo-Classical influences as well as a great deal of modern architecture. The San Antonio skyline is a beautiful blend of old and new buildings that combines to create the unique San Antonio feel. This is a beautiful place to live as well as to invest in real estate.


Dallas is the third largest city in Texas, and one of the most beautiful cities to live in. Dallas offers a wide variety of real estate opportunities as well. Most homes listed in Dallas are single-family homes on lots, thought there are a variety of architectural styles. These vary throughout the different districts, but it’s easy to find Victorian, Neo-Classical, postmodernist architecture, as well as strong Spanish and European influences. While certain districts and neighborhoods are definitely pricier than others, most of Dallas’ real estate can be considered expensive. Finding foreclosures or looking on the outskirts of town is a great way to find more affordable Texas real estate.

While these cities are gorgeous cities to invest in Texas real estate, there are many smaller towns that offer great investment opportunities and wonderful places to live. From the weather to the friendly individuals to the beautiful and diverse architecture styles, Texas is a great place to buy and sell real estate.

Texas Real Estate Broker Requirements

Whether you’re thinking of becoming a Texas real estate broker, or you want to make sure your Texas real estate broker is qualified, it’s important to understand the specific state requirements. A trained specialist has information and knowledge that those who are untrained do not have access to, and this is advantageous for the broker, as well as his or her clients.

Real Estate Salesperson

Before an individual can take the Texas broker’s exam, they must be an active real estate salesperson, including having their license, for at least 2 full years. Without being a practicing, licensed real estate salesperson, individuals cannot obtain their broker license.

Training Hours

In addition to having a Texas state real estate salesperson license, individuals must have at least 900 hours of education, including 270 hours in core subjects. Core hours do not include MCE (mandatory continuing education) hours. However, for the remainder of the hours required, both MCE and SAE courses count. In some cases, obtaining a college degree can provide individuals with more than 600 hours.

When to Take Courses

Individuals can take courses at any time while waiting to take the Texas real estate broker’s exam. However, it’s important to count the hours properly, as different types of courses are counted differently. For instance, online courses are additional hours that count toward the total hours needed, and home study courses count too. The best time to take the courses is during the required 2 years as a real estate salesperson.

Additional Information

For individuals who have been licensed real estate salespersons in states other than Texas, the requirement is to have at least 2 years’ experience as a real estate salesperson in the months directly preceding taking the broker exam. A copy of the course transcripts or college transcripts will be required in order to take the Texas real estate broker exam.


In order to take the Texas real estate broker exam, the original application which is required by all applicants costs approximately $360. In addition to that, there is a $10 fee called a Recovery Trust Account that is required by all applicants. In some cases, individuals will need to pay a fee for a background check prior to the test.

Overall, the process to become a real estate broker in Texas isn’t difficult, especially for those who are already qualified real estate professionals. The most difficult aspect of the process is waiting the required two years. However, the experience gained during this two years is important and can help with the future career of the Texas real estate broker.

4 Reasons it is Important to have a Real Estate Agent in Texas

The Lone Star State has a lot of homes and a lot of land, and finding a good real estate agent is extremely important for any property purchase. The differences in Texas real estate are as big as the state itself: landscape, climate, and housing styles change from city to city. Having some help and navigation in this large terrain is ideal to finding the right home.

1. Knowledge

A real estate agent has studied and understands the business of property buying and selling. They understand the Texas real estate in which they work because they live there themselves. Agents are knowledgeable about property searching, price range, home value, inspections, negotiations, market activity, and every single piece of paper that needs to be signed before and after owning or selling a home. A good real estate agent will take all of this knowledge and apply it to their buyer’s needs, helping to make the confusing and sometimes difficult process just a little bit easier.

2. Resources

A Texas real estate agent will have many more resources available to them than simply what can be found in the newspaper or on the Internet. While these are excellent places to look or advertise for homes and property, knowing other real estate agents in the area, information on Texas real estate land value, or certain permit restrictions in a given area is an invaluable asset that will save buyers and sellers time, research, and headaches. Agents are usually able to make showing appointments on their client’s behalf and attend these viewings with them. Having an agent means quicker access to lockboxes, and absent homeowners tend to feel better letting strangers in their home with an agent present.

3. Finances

Real estate agents are also good for helping buyers and sellers work within the price range that they can afford. Working within a reasonable price range will narrow down the housing search for buyers and keep the selling cost competitive for sellers. A real estate agent will be able to explain and advise the client in safer purchasing options. They will also make clients aware of all the costs, not just the numbers that appear next to the paper listing. There are closing costs, inspection costs and fees, potential repair costs, gated community costs if applicable, and escrow costs. Financial guidance in Texas real estate is an important part of an agent’s service to their client.

4. Negotiation

Once that house or property has been found, it is time for the real estate agent to begin the negotiations in your favor. Agents will negotiate everything from termite inspection payments to closing costs, and they will do it with their client’s best interests in mind. If problems with the buyer or seller arise, the agent is there to step in on the client’s behalf and attempt to work out the problem. Many times this can happen between two real estate agents over the phone, and the homeowners and homebuyers never have to speak a word to each other. A good real estate agent will keep their client well informed as these occur and progress.

It is important to have a real estate agent when buying or selling in Texas because they can help the process go smoother and catch any problems that the client might otherwise miss. A real estate agent is a friend in the world of real estate, someone who understands the lingo, numbers, and negotiations that will get the best deal.

TREC Contract Software and Savings For You

‘Tis the Season for TREC Contract

It is difficult not to be grateful during this time of the year. However, with how warmly we have been received by the Texas Real Estate community we are feeling a bit extra grateful this year.  Within 6 months thousands of Texas Real Estate professionals signed up for our service to easily generate TREC contract online! To show our customers how grateful we truly are, we are currently offering a 33% discount on an annual subscription to BULL Forms Texas. During this promotion an annual subscription will  be discounted.  Act quickly as this discount will expire on December 31st. To take advantage of the savings enter the coupon code HOHOHO at checkout.

TREC Contract

photo by Mark Moz

Wow this is easy

  • Signing up is all online?
  • No long term contracts?
  • E-files with unlimited storage and unlimited e-signatures are included at no extra cost?
These are the most common questions asked by individuals interested in signing up for our product. The answer to each of these questions is YES!
We have created a comprehensive package that makes creating TREC Contract easy and makes it even easier to send them out for e-signatures. Sign up now!

What are other agent’s saying about BULL Forms?

“I signed up online, created my contracts and sent them out for e-signatures within 10 minutes! Thank you for saving me so much time!”

Its no wonder so many users have seen the benefit of our new TREC contract form software and how it can easily help you save time on your real estate transactions.  Stop trying to print and fill out the texas sales contract by hand and see how you can store and work on all of your real estate transactions from one central location.  Save them online and work on them from any computer with internet access.

Happy Holidays from BULL Forms Texas!  Hope to make your TREC Contract life easier.

10 Tips for Selling Texas Acreage

Selling Texas Acreage

Selling Texas AcreageIt is important to take a number of factors into consideration when considering selling Texas acreage properties.

Tip #1: Research

Do some research on the best ways for advertising and selling Texas acreage properties. Are all of the properties advertised in the MLS, or is there another listing service that most of the properties are listed in.

Tip #2: Presentation

Often investors are looking for a home so emphasize the house when marketing Texas acreage listings. Ensure that the home is clean, well presented, properly maintained, clutter-free and depersonalized before listing. Any money spent doing this should be seen as an investment as it will help gain a speedy sale at a better price.

Tip #3: Property Lines

All property lines should be clearly marked and all border fencing should be properly maintained. Potential buyers will need to be clear as to exactly what the agent selling Texas acreage is offering for sale.

Tip #4: Law

Make sure that all applicable bylaws that could influence selling Texas acreage is known. Both buyer and purchaser should fully understand any laws that may influence the purchase.

Tip #5: Advertising

Make use of the wide range of free services available online when selling Texas acreage. Sellers using agents can ensure that the agent makes good use of the internet so that the property can be seen by viewers living around the world. A great listing on Multiple Listing Services (MLS) can draw potential buyers to a property and should is great for marketing Texas acreage.

Tip #6: Water Supply

If the land has a water supply, have a chemical test done and provide potential buyers with the results. Sellers who can demonstrate knowledge of water flow rates, the age of the well and quality of the supply will have an edge over those who don’t when selling Texas acreage properties.

Tip #7: Local Knowledge

Be prepared to provide information on everything from local road quality to available amenities and services when selling your Texas acreage. This may not always be necessary but it is better to be prepared.

Tip #8: Investment Potential

Offer good reasons why a potential purchaser might want to buy in Texas. Land and property prices in Texas continue to increase and this could offer buyers considerable investment opportunity. Make sure they are aware of this when listing or marketing Texas acreage properties.

Tip #9: Land Surveys

Before embarking on selling Texas acreage, it’s wise to have a land survey conducted. This will ensure buyers know exactly what they are buying and prevent any legal issues later on. Hire a professional to survey the land and register it with the relevant authority.

Tip #10: Social Media

Consider using social media and Google Maps when selling Texas acreage. This will ensure that viewers can find the land if it’s out of the way and will further promote the land.

It’s important to consider all of these factors when selling Texas acreage properties. It is wise to work with professional real estate agents and ensure that they are fully equipped to answer any questions that may arise when dealing with potential purchasers.

What is going on with Texas Foreclosures?

Texas Foreclosures

Texas ForeclosuresIn layman’s terms, foreclosure is the act of legally terminating a mortgage. Texas Foreclosures are filed when a homeowner fails to keep up with payments on his or her mortgage. In this day and age, this is a common occurrence. The current economic situation in the U.S. has affected the ability of loan holders to maintain their schedule of payments, which directly influences the Texas real estate foreclosure rate.

Foreclosure Basics

Real estate is often purchased through means of a loan, which is borrowed money; this borrowed money is often provided by a bank or loan company. The money is granted to the owner of the property by the financial institution. Until the loan is repaid, the financial institution has the legal power to claim ownership of the property listed on the loan documents. If payments, which include monthly installments and property taxes, aren’t made by the person(s) to whom the loan was given, the financial institution has the legal right to foreclose on the property.

Recent Trends in Metropolitan Areas

Although the business of real estate is unpredictable, various trends can be seen throughout the Texas housing market as it relates to foreclosure. One such trend that is quite alarming is the increase in the Texas foreclosures rate in some of the state’s largest cities. Cities such as Dallas and Austin showed a significant increase in the texas foreclosure rate in the last half of 2010. The Dallas-Fort Worth area showed a 25.36% increase in foreclosure rate from that of 2009. In Austin alone, the foreclosure rate rose 7.5% in the first quarter of 2011; meaning nearly 1 in 200 homes were foreclosed upon.

Recent Trends in Rural Areas

The increase in the foreclosure rates in large cities, when paired with the trend seen in small cities and rural areas, gives the Texas foreclosure rate some stability. While the larger cities have shown a recent increase, rural areas have shown a significant decrease in foreclosure rate. When the statistics of both metropolitan and rural foreclosure rates are added together, the real estate market in Texas is shown to be improving, which is something that can’t be said for most states in the US.

Texas vs. Other States

Texas is the second-largest state in the U.S., behind only Alaska in land size. In 2010, more than 25 million people were registered as citizens of Texas in the official census. Nearly 90% of Texans live in a metropolitan area. In other words, many residents of Texas live in or near a big city. Although the heavily populated larger cities in Texas are showing an increase in foreclosure rate, the overall Texas foreclosures rate is among the lowest in the nation. (Arizona, California, and Nevada have the highest foreclosure rates in the U.S.)

Although the current market trends show improvement in the Texas foreclosures rate, this may not last long. The real estate market is constantly changing, and, along with it, so will the Texas foreclosures rates.

Generate your Texas Sales Contracts online with BULL Forms now.

TREC Contracts Clause Library

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As of last week BULL Forms Texas enabled a clause library available for all TREC Texas Contracts. As with most features, we try to make them as easy to use as possible. Let’s take a brief walkthrough of the feature.

You can use the clause library to insert your favorite clauses in any field where you see the green + next to field label, like this one:

Texas TREC Forms clause library icon

When you click on the green + button, the clause library will open:

Texas TREC Forms clause library main

From within this window you can create, edit, delete and insert clauses into your TREC Texas Contracts. To add a new clause click on the add new button near the top right corner of the window:

Texas TREC forms clause library main add new

When adding a new clause, you select a title for your clause and enter as much text as you like into the content. If you are inserting a long clause into a small field the text will cut off, so please ensure you pay attention where you are inserting your clauses.

Texas TREC Forms clause library add new view

Once the new clause is added it will appear in your main clause library window. When you are ready to insert a clause into the TREC Texas Contract, select the clause you would like to insert and click on the “insert clause” button as illustrated below:

Texas TREC Forms clause library insert

The clause will automatically be inserted into the field.  If there is text currently in the field, the inserted clause is appended to the end of the current text.

Thank you,

BULL Forms

E-sign TREC Real Estate Contracts

We are excited to announce that we have launched an upgraded version of our e-signature feature for TREC contracts.  In addition to being able to upload any PDF documents and send them out for signature you also have much more control over the entire e-signature process.  TREC Texas contracts still have all of the signature and initial locations pre-mapped, so you do not have to spend any time configuring the locations.

Please check out our introductory video below:

Thank you,

BULL Forms Team

Six New TREC Contract Forms Approved

The Texas Real Estate Commission published notice of the following revised standard real estate contract forms effective August 24, 2011.  All of the forms are available from the Texas Real Estate Commission’s website, and of course within BULLFormsTexas.com.

If you haven’t already, sign up for our free product here.

The reason for the update is the removal of subparagraph 15B, which required a party to the contract to file suite for specific performance within 45 days of the closing date of the contract. This subparagraph may conflict with 16.070 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, which precludes parties to a contract from agreeing to shorten the time period in which to file suit to less than two years.

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Additional thanks to Black | Mann & Graham LLP for the press release.