Texas Homeowners Come Out On Top Following Successful Legislative Session
There were several homeowner-related victories during the regular session of the 85th Texas Legislature, including bills that will enhance disclosure, restrict fees on new construction, and give voters a way to increase access to the equity in their homes.
Home equity will be on the ballot
Home equity protections have been in the Texas Constitution since 1997. However, the lending market has changed and some homeowners may not be able to fully access the equity in their homes.
On November 7, Texas voters will have the chance to allow more homeowners to access the equity in their properties, thanks to an amendment to the Texas Constitution that will be on the ballot. If voters approve the amendment, it will take effect Jan. 1, 2018 and will apply to new home-equity loans made on or after the effective date and existing home-equity loans refinanced on or after the effective date.
More disclosure for real estate consumers
On June 15, Gov. Abbott signed a bill that will protect real estate consumers from misleading real estate advertisements and require disclosure from real estate wholesalers. The legislation takes effect Sept. 1, 2017.
Gov. Greg Abbott also signed a bill that puts a mechanism in place to provide real estate buyers disclosure about the impact of potential aircraft noise and other activities from nearby military installations. This legislation also takes effect Sept. 1, 2017.
Prohibiting fees on new construction
The governor also signed a bill that prohibits cities from imposing California-style linkage fees on all new residential and commercial construction.
These fees would raise costs to real estate consumers and harm economic growth and expansion in Texas.
The bill took effect as soon as he signed it on May 29.