New Property Appraisal Laws in Effect in Texas

Posted by James Brinkman on Saturday, March 13th, 2010 at 7:56pm.

Several new laws affecting homeowners went into effect on January 1 of this year. Although there are numerous new laws that Texas residents should learn more about, those that specifically affect homeowners include new laws that are meant to lower property taxes as well as those that are meant to improve the home appraisal process.

Several new pieces of legislation related to property taxes were passed by lawmakers last year. One of these includes legislation that will limit what is known as a "comparable sale" as well as creating a new arbitration process. Additional legislation establishes new requirements for requesting to increase the amount of a property appraisal after successfully completing an appeal.

According to an Austin Biz Journals report, Texas Governor Rick Perry hopes that the new legislation will improve both the accuracy and the fairness of the appraisal process. Furthermore, the governor hopes the new legislation will help ensure that districts implement uniform procedures and practices.

With the implementation of House Bill 1038, which was implemented by Rep. Ken Paxton, appraisers will now be required to consider all comparable properties when completing a property appraisal. This includes considering those homes that have decreased in value as well as those that have recently been foreclosed upon.

Propositions 2 and 3, which were passed by Texas voters in November of last year, will also require additional accountability and transparency throughout the entire appraisal process. Under Proposition 2, appraisals of residential properties will be based completely on the homestead rather than on hypothetical alternatives. With Proposition 3, legislators will be free to adopt uniform standards throughout the state, which should ultimately make it easier for homebuyers, sellers and real estate agents to complete the appraisal process smoothly and effectively.

By adopting more uniform measures, Texas legislators and voters hope to prevent a repeat of the housing market fall out that the country is still working toward overcoming. By preventing appraisals from being inflated, prospective homeowners will be less likely to pay more than the true value of a home. As a result, they will be less likely to find themselves in a situation where the value of their home is less than what they owe, which has been a common problem for homeowners around the country throughout the recession.

To see a full list of new Texas laws that went into effect on January 1, 2010, visit the Texas legislature's Website at

Leave a Comment