Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Who Could Say 'No' to This?

Would $10 help someone get a home? Would $10 keep someone out of a home?

Seems like pretty silly questions, right? But the answers are a little more complex than that.

Would $10 keep someone out of a home? No, of course not!

Would $10 help someone get a home? Definitely, if Senate Bill 950 passes. Senator Royce West has sponsored a bill which establishes a $10 document recording fee on real estate documents that would generate $30-40 million annually for housing programs that serve low-income Texas families. These funds could mean the difference between low-income families owning their own homes or renting.

Currently the state contributes just under $6 million to its Housing Trust fund. This proposal would increase the fee for the current two page document which is filed when a home is sold to $20 which would go directly to the Trust Fund. I don't know about you, but when I bought my home, I didn't know I paid the first $10!

The Texas Association of Realtors is asserting that this paltry amount could keep Texans from buying a home - ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! You mean to tell me that if I go to the county clerk's office and have to pay an extra $10 for a document fee and I'm short $10, I would say, 'forget the whole deal!'. You know, I love Texas, but I really believe some of us sit up nights dreaming of nonsensical ways to say 'No' to anything we think will help someone who has less money than we do.

In a housing market that drastically needs home sales - and 3000 potential new homeowners who just happen to be low-income (i.e. working class); who would benefit from the housing programs funded by this legislation, this seems like a no brainer.

Unless, of course, you're just looking for a reason to say 'no'. Then again, no good reason is good enough, I guess...

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