“If it were not for injustice, men would not know justice.” -Heraclitus


BEST PLACES TO LIVE – In a recent US News ranking of the best places to live in 2018, Austin, Texas came in at the #1 spot out of 125 of the study’s most populous metro areas in the United States. Killeen was ranked at #90, Dallas#19, and Houston at #26. Criteria for the study included place value, desirable place to live, strong job market, and high quality of life.

BACK FROM THE BORDER – Of the approximately 700 Fort Hood soldiers that were deployed to the South Texas-Mexican border last November, nearly all of the 297th Inland Cargo Transfer Company’s (part of the 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade) troops have returned home. These soldiers were part of the 7,000 military personnel that were sent to secure the border late last year.

LOAN LIMITS INCREASED – The conforming loan limit for VA loans in 2019 has been increased to $484,350 in most US counties, an increase of $31,250 from last year. The conforming loan limit for FHA loans in 2019 has been increased to $314,827, which is an increase of $20,312 from last year. The new loan limits are even higher in some areas where homeownership is more expensive.

CREDIT REPORTS – Experian, one of the largest credit reporting agencies in the nation, recently announced that it will soon allow consumers the option of having their cell phone bills and utility payments factored into their credit scores. This move could allow approximately 46 million consumers with limited credit data to instantly increase their credit scores.  A recent REALTOR® Magazine article mentioned that Fair Isaac Corp., the creator of the FICO credit score, will soon be initiating a new credit score with Experian that will look at a consumer’s history of managing their savings and checking accounts. This could boost the credit scores of consumers that maintain several hundred dollars in their accounts and don’t go into overdraft. Negative information, such as tax liens and judgments, have already been removed by Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion in an effort to boost the credit scores of consumers.

SINGLE-FAMILY RENTALS – Now the largest source of rental housing in the United States, single-family rentals make up about half of the overall rental market according to Freddie Mac in a recent REALTOR® Magazine article. Single-family rentals provide housing to 25 million Americans and this particular market is primarily driven by small investors, according to Steve Guggenmos, Vice President of Multi-Family Research and Remodeling. These small investors have portfolios consisting of anywhere between one to as many as fifty properties and are in a market that has the potential for growth over the next few years, according to Freddie Mac.

David Gerke


Posted by: juliem on January 9, 2019
Posted in: Uncategorized