Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Property Tax Time!

In the next several weeks, home owners will be receiving their property tax bills. New homeowners, before you flip out and go all anti-government, remember that unless you chose to waive escrows at closing (which usually will cost you an added fee) your mortgage company has been collecting an extra amount every month along with your regular principal and interest payments.

Taxes are paid at the end of the year so they will escrow your tax (and property insurance) money every month and they will pay it for you. If there is a remaining balance because they estimated too much, it will either roll-over into the next year or they'll refund and start afresh. If you've escrowed property taxes and received a bill, just forward it to your mortgage company and THEY will pay it. Those who have waived escrows or who have no mortgage will have to pay the bill on their own.

Remember to file your Homestead Exemptions at the County Appraisal District! This will deduct several thousand off of your taxed amount saving you a nice chunk of change. DO NOT hire those people that send you a letter offering to do it for you. This may as well be a scam. The homestead exemption is a one page document that takes approximately three minutes to fill out. The service just prays on people's lack of knowledge and they assume it's a hefty paperwork process. It's not. Go here to see the forms:

Williamson County: Homestead Exemption Form (PDF)

I hope this message is getting out to my first-time home buyers before they show up at my door with pitch forks and torches thinking that I failed to inform them of a massive cost around every bank account-draining Christmas. I wouldn't do you like that! I'm your friendliest friend and wisdom provider.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Madden Noha Matthews 9/19/10 - 9/24/10


The concept for this entire blog was outlined with how you would change not only my career, but my life as well. You have succeeded in that. The moment we saw you when you were born we knew we would love you for the rest of our lives, fully expecting you to outlive us. It turned out your life was cut short, but I want you to know that we will never forget you or ever stop loving you. Our hearts will cry for every day you aren't in our arms. We will smile and continue living our lives, but only because we have to. Deep inside we will never be as happy as we could have been because we couldn't watch you say your first word, go off to your first day of school, take you to a baseball game, have your first girlfriend, get into you first-choice college, get married to a special lady, and give us our first grandchildren.

We understand this must be part of God's plan... that something so horrible couldn't happen for no reason. We may not understand it now, but we will eventually. God knows that his course for our lives may encounter obstacles of tremendous hurt and suffering, but out of that comes a greater glory. We will soon be aware of what the purpose for this tragic event was, but that does not mean that you leaving us cannot strike at the core of our existence as human beings. Every time I think of the last touch of your warm, glowing soft skin a lifetime of tears burns my eyes. I'll miss your round cheeks, your cute lips, your tiny eyelashes, your chubby feet, every roll in your arms, and the intense light in our life you created when you opened your eyes wide to say "Hi" for the first time. You are the most beautiful person, place, or thing I have ever laid eyes on. I'd give anything just to hold you again in my arms and to tell you "I love you." 

We miss you Madden. We know you're in a better place, but the world will never know what it has missed without you here. We only knew you five short days, but you have given us a lifetime of inspiration. We think about you every day and will never ever stop thinking about you until the day we can see your shining, pudgy, beautiful face again. We will love you and miss you for an eternity Madden. 

Love, Mommy & Daddy