Archives for October 2014

Don’t Get a Ticket!

See if you know the answers to these five questions about Texas traffic laws.

  1. True or false     It’s OK to use the center turn lanes for merging into traffic.
  2. True or false     You’re allowed to turn left on red.
  3. True or false    If you get a speeding ticket in Louisiana, it won’t be reported in Texas.
  4. True or false    Texas law prohibits parking within 30 ft. of the approach to a stop sign.
  5. True or false     Red-light cameras can also be used to enforce other types of traffic violations.

  1. False. The center turn lane is reserved for left turns and is not to be used as a waiting area to merge onto a roadway.
  2. True. If the intersecting streets are both one-way streets and a left turn is permissible, you may turn left on a red light after coming to a stop.
  3. False. Texas and 44 other states, including all states bordering Texas, are part of the Driver License Compact. Members of this group pass along information about a non-resident’s traffic violations to the driver’s home state.
  4. True.
  5. False.

 

SOURCES: Texas Driver’s Handbook, Texas Department of Transportation, American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators

 

Home Financing, by Generation

  • 88% of buyers financed their home purchase, including 97% of generation Y
  • YOUNGER BUYERS PUT LESS MONEY DOWN: Generation Y put down an average of 5% and generation X put down 10%, compared to the silent generation who put down an average of 23%

 

12% of buyers thought that saving for a down payment was difficult .


 

SOURCES OF DOWN PAYMENT

  • 64% of buyers dipped into their savings or a gift from a relative or friend
  • 31% of buyers used the proceeds from the sale of a primary residence
  • Older buyers were more likely to use the proceeds from their home sale

EXPENSES THAT IMPACTED SAVING

  • 42% said student loans, which was cited by more than half of generation Y buyers
  • 38% said credit card debt, which was cited by almost half of Baby Boomers and generation X buyers
  • 31% said car loans

Thanks to Holly Schuler at Gracy Title for this information!

Home Mortgages: Should You Buy or Sell This Year?

Although interest rates are slightly higher than they were last year, they are still at historically low levels, and buyers are eager to lock in before they increase. Nearly half of Americans feel that interest rates will increase in the next 12 months. Here’s an overview of the mortgage market:

MORTGAGE RATES ARE STILL LOW.

30-year fixed rate – 4.20%

15-year fixed rate –  3.31%

5/1-year ARM – 3.05%

Adjustable – 2.40%

MANY AMERICANS ARE MORE CONFIDENT THAT THEY WOULD QUALIFY FOR A MORTGAGE TODAY.

49% said that it would be easy for them to get a home mortgage today, up 4% from last fall.

$154,365 – Average mortgage debt.

Mortgage interest rates averaged 4.36% on a 30 year loan in Q1 2014.

 

3 Reasons to learn more about the mortgage market:

1. If you’re buying a home, knowing more about the mortgage market can help you lock into lower interest rates.

2. If you’re a homeowner, learning more about the refinancing options available can help you lock into a lower interest rate.

3. If you’re thinking about buying a home in the future, you can find out about the financing options available to get an accurate picture of how much you’ll need to save to buy a home.


 

Thanks to Holly Schuler at Gracy Title for this information!
 

National Night Out 2014

Tuesday, October 7 marks the 31st annual National Night Out. Neighborhoods are encouraged to lock their doors, turn on their porch lights, and gather with their neighbors and public safety personnel to show unity against criminal activity. The purpose of National Night Out is to build strong partnerships between the police and communities and to promote crime awareness programs such Neighborhood Community Watch groups. It’s also a fun way to get to know your neighbors and bond so you can look out for one another. A close-knit neighborhood is a safer neighborhood.

nationalnightout

National Night Out is fun! It’s a great excuse to have a block party. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Offer Refreshments

o   Bring your favorite snack

o   Coffee, tea, or dessert

o   Cookie exchange

o   Fruit and cheese plates

o   Grill hotdogs

o   Ice cream/make your own sundaes

o   Lemonade and cookies

o   Potluck

 

Group Activities

o   Create a Block Email List

o   Plan an icebreaker activity

o   Talk about area crime concerns and keeping an eye on each other’s houses

o   Ride bikes in the street

o   Scavenger Hunt

o   Show a movie using a projector

 

Contribute to Your Community

o   Beautify a common area

o   Collect for local food pantry

o   Plan a fall clean-up or bulb planting

 

If you’re interested in heightening drug and crime prevention by strengthening neighborhood spirit and sending a message to criminals that your neighborhood is organized and fighting back then sign up today! To register your neighborhood block party with the Police Department and have an officer attend your event, visit the NNO website here or contact:

Georgetown: Sgt. Erik Grasse (512) 930-2594 or erik.grasse@georgetown.org

Round Rock: Joseph Claypool (512) 671-2871 or jclaypool@roundrocktexas.gov

Pflugerville: Cpl. Dan Griffith (512) 670-5514 or dgriffith@pflugervilletx.gov

Leander: Community Service Officer (512) 528- 2821 or communityservices@leandertx.gov

Cedar Park: Sgt. Hazen Lango (512) 260-4784

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