On the move: Questions arise when buying real estate in Houston

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When moving to a new city like Houston, home buyers typically rely on the expertise of their Realtor to help them become better acquainted with the city, its areas and neighborhoods, the local real estate market, and to show them properties that meet their specific criteria. The federal Fair Housing Act and the Texas Fair Housing Act encourage equal housing opportunities for everyone, and thus prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability. People who are moving to Houston often ask Realtors to tell them which neighborhoods are the best or safest, what the ethnic make-up is, and which schools or school districts are best. In real estate, steering is defined as the illegal funneling of home buyers to a particular area based on the desire to keep the makeup of that neighborhood the same or intentionally change it. According to Furst, home buyers who are new to Houston often have questions about how their property taxes are assessed and why they might be comparatively higher than the amounts paid in another state. [...] Furst emphasized the importance of working with a Realtor, and the fact that not all real estate practitioners are Realtors.

view Houston Chronicle (Chron.com)