Two Scams To Avoid When Buying A Home

Dated: 10/06/2015

Views: 445

Source: TAR website/Author: Ward Lowe

A new family moved in next to us, and my wife and I stopped by to welcome them. They asked us when trash pickup is (Friday), if the city will fix the broken streetlight next to their driveway (yes), and if the guy who “walks” an imaginary dog through the neighborhood is dangerous (no).

Then they asked a strange question: They wanted to know how much we paid to file our homestead exemption.

A scam that’s been around for years
They received a letter in the mail containing lots of data about their property from a company offering to file their homestead-exemption paperwork—for the low, low price of $35. Being first-time homebuyers, they didn’t know that there is no fee for filing your homestead exemption in Texas. You download the form from the state and file it with your local appraisal district; it doesn’t cost anything.

But wait … there are more
I’d heard about that homestead-exemption scam; we received a similar letter when we bought our house. Lucky for us, our Texas REALTOR® had explained how to file the exemption. She also said to call her if we received any other official-looking letters asking for fees for anything related to the sale of our house. That came in handy when we got an invoice a few days after closing from a deed-retrieval service, charging us $87 for a copy of our deed. She told us to throw away the so-called invoice—we would be getting a copy from the title company.

As far as real estate scams go, these may be small potatoes, but when you’re buying a house, every dollar helps.

Blog author image

Chip Franks

The Supreme Commander of The Real Estate MarketPlace and A Good Guy, In General! Ron "Chip" Franks was born in 1972 in the thriving metropolis of Killeen, Texas and makes his profession there as on....

Want to Advertise on this Site?

Latest Blog Posts

9 MoneySaving Tips That Grandma Never Told You About

Your grandma and her ma before her knew how to pinch pennies. Bet they knew where every dime of their household income went. Do you? Don't kick yourself if you don't. It's tough in this day and

Read More

5 Painting Mistakes Thatll Show

 5 Painting Mistakes That’ll ShowPainting can be one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce up a listing. But homeowners can also make a lot of mistakes with this common DIY job. 

Read More


I realize that you may not know where I am. I am the owner of The Real Estate Home Team which is in Copperas Cove, TX. I have been helping people buy and sell homes in the entire Fort Hood area for

Read More

Good News About Financing

Even though rates are on the increase, credit is not as hard to come by as it was just after the recession, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced it will increase lending limits for

Read More