| Homebuying | Apartments | Section 8 | Insurance | Foreclosures (in Houston area) |
As of September 1, 2008, residential inspections in an unincorporated area [and in other areas not subject to municipal inspections] are required by the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC). (Property Code, Title 16, Subtitle F, Ch.446.)
Here is more information about these inspections: "The three required minimum inspections are a foundation inspection, a framing, mechanical and delivery systems inspection and a final inspection....The new county inspection requirements apply to new construction or remodeling projects that begin on or after September 1, 2008." [FROM: County Inspections FAQ (TRCC)]
What are the code requirements for these required inspections?
Every city in the State of Texas is given authority to adopt building codes, make amendments, and/or adopt ordinances to meet local concerns to the adopted building codes for their own city and its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). The law provides that in unincorporated areas of the state, the IRC and the NEC as adopted by the municipality that is the county seat of the county in which the construction is taking place, including any amendments or ordinances by that municipality, apply to the construction of the unincorporated areas of that county. The code that applies to an unincorporated area is the same code adopted by the county seat including amendments. If the county seat has not adopted a version of the code, then the 2000 International Residential Code (IRC) and the 1999 National Electrical Code (NEC) apply.
The county seat for Harris County is Houston, Texas. Therefore, the unincorporated area of Harris County uses the following:
The current Houston Building Code [which is called "Houston Amendments to the 2006 International Building Code, effective December 31, 2010"].
The City of Houston currently enforces the 2006 version of most construction codes, and has begun the process of preparing local amendments to the 2012 codes. The Building Code Enforcement Branch is currently reviewing the 2012 series of model codes for possible amendment and adoption in the City of Houston Construction Code. The Construction Code updates will include the following codes:
2012 International Building Code (IBC)
2012 International Residential Code (IRC)
2012 Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC)
2012 Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC )
2014 National Electrical Code (NEC) - Adopted on September 24, 2014. [AS OF 4/19/2015 Web page access]
"Harris County has only one building code that relates to fire and does no inspections except those relating to fire.
Harris County does NOT have its own building code.
In general, the unincorporated area of Harris County is under state law.
In particular, there is an state energy use building code for passed in 2005 which utilizes the 2003 International Residential Code with 2005 Texas Revisions. [NOTE: The Texas revisions do NOT apply to Harris County.]
The City of Houston, on the other hand, does have ordinance-making power and has its own building code.
NOTE: The Houston Chronicle Home Price Survey has been moved to the premium site http://www.houstonchronicle.com and so you have to have a current subscription to see this.
New federal legislation: Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 (signed into law 11/6/2009)
Making Home Affordable.gov
Tax Credits for homebuyers (IRS Press Release)
Homebuyer tax credits (White House Press Release)
Homebuyer tax credit blog entry
Texas First Time Homebuyer Program | First-Time Homebuyers (HUD) |
City of Houston Good Neighbor Program (Discounts for teachers, firemen, police, etc.)
Fannie Mae Community Solutions (See program for teachers)
Gimme Shelter newsletter (Texas A&M Real Estate Center)[See program for teachers]
Home Improvement with David Yates
eHome.com | eRealty.com |
Houston Assn of Realtors | UrbanRealtors.com |
Texas Real Estate Commission | Real Estate Center (at Texas A&M) |
Home Front (Houston Chronicle)
HUD Home Buying Guide | HomeSteps (Freddie Mac) |
Mortgage 101 | E-Loan | Fannie Mae | Amortization Formula |
Reverse Mortgages (AARP) | Reverse Mortgages (NCHEC) | Reverse Mortgages (Calif. Dept. of Real Estate) |
Harris County Appraisal District (Real Property appraisals) | Homestead Exemption (HCAD Forms) |
Real Property Database (Harris County Clerk's Office)[Click Search Databases]
Greater Houston Builders Assn | HomeBuilder.com |
Foreclosures (in Houston area)
Trulia (Foreclosures, price reductions, open houses, etc.)
HUD (Houston) | VA (Ocwen VA contract) |
Homesales.gov (Single family homes for sale by US govt.) | Houston Real Estate |
Foreclosure Listing Service (Pay Site) | Harris County Auctions |
Apartments (Renting Apt/Condo/House)
Finding an Apartment to Lease
Top 15 Most Popular Real Estate Websites, June 2016
Zillow.com (Apartments, houses, townhouses, any & all real estate!)
Trulia.com (Apartments, houses, townhouses, any & all real estate!)
Houston Apartment Association | Texas Apartment Assn |
Texas Tenant Advisor
Real Estate Center (Texas A&M)
State Bar of Texas |
Texas Attorney General
What is Section 8? | Housing Choice Vouchers [Section 8] Fact Sheet | Housing Choice Vouchers (HUD) |
Search for housing which accepts Section 8 vouchers [using Go Section 8.com]
Harris County Housing Authority
NOTE: Harris County's waiting list is currently CLOSED. The county last accepted applications for Section 8 vouchers Monday October 31, 2016 at 9 AM through Wednesday November 2 at 5 PM.
The county accepts new applications ONLINE ONLY.
Please note that HCHA offers a residency preference to persons who reside in the unincorporated areas of Harris County or who are working or have been hired to work in these areas.
City of Houston
NOTE: City of Houston's waiting list is currently closed. The city last accepted applications for Section 8 vouchers ONLINE ONLY September 19 at 8 AM, 2016 to September 25, 2016 at 11:59 PM.
Please note that this only adds your application to the waiting list (does not guarantee you a voucher).
Anyone may apply no matter where they currently live.
After the waiting closes, a random lottery will determine which families will actually receive vouchers. So it does not matter who applied first or who applied last.
HealthCare.gov (Affordable Care Act)
HelpInsure.com (TX Dept. of Insurance) | Texas Dept. of Insurance |
Office of Public Insurance Counsel |
Medicare/Medicaid/Children's Health Insurance Program [CHIP]
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Last Modified: 11/3/2016