Videos and Webinars

How will Austin Solve its Housing Problem?

​This short video highlights are - 

  • Austin has long been trying to rewrite its building code to promote higher density living. It thought it had finally passed an updated version in early 2020.

  • Local homeowners then sued the City for allegedly violating Texas law on code change procedures. The district court agreed with them.

  • Austin still has a desperate need for increased density and more housing. With the Code rewrite stalled, it needs to look to alternative methods for increasing density.

Econ 101 - A Shortage of Supply

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  • There is a severe lumber and other building materials supply shortage in the US that has been ongoing for the last year.

  • This was caused by the increased demand during COVID for home repairs as well as a drastic decrease in supply when production was shut down.

  • As a result, lumber and other materials prices have skyrocketed. This, obviously, increases the cost of building.

The three different methods Texas Appraisal Districts use to appraise your property. Do you know?

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  • There are generally three different methods an appraisal district will use to assess the market value of your property.

  • For income producing properties, the most common is the income method.

  • The appraisal districts will likely artificially inflate the value of your property by not fully recognizing your lost income. Its important to be prepared to fight back.

Time for Austin to Help Our Homeless Population

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  • There are a number of propositions on the May 1 ballot in Austin.

  • For commercial real estate, the most important one is probably Prop B

  • Which would reinstate the citywide camping ban.

  • While I think that we should pass the Proposition to reinstate the ban, that cannot be the end of our activism. We must take the next step and help find housing for our fellow homeless citizens.

Winter Storm Could Provide Property Tax Relief. 

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  • After the Texas winter storm in February, Governor Abbott issued a disaster declaration for the state.

  • As a result, if you had significant property damage, you may be eligible for a temporary property tax exemption.

  • But do not delay – the deadline for filing the request is May 28.

Why a Title Attorney Makes Sense in a Real Estate Closing (Obviously)

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  • Texas law allows a title company and attorney to split title fees if both parties work on the transaction.

  • Hiring an outside title fee attorney can be very beneficial for buyers and lenders.

  • The attorney can often be a one-stop shop to smooth out any details that arise during closing and help make sure the purchase is completed.

Up, Up, and Away

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  • American Airlines and Delta Air have recently announced changes that will benefit Central Texans traveling throughout the country.

  • These are welcome additions because our airports have been insufficient to meet our growing demands.

  • With the great expansion and momentum the region is showing, its important for our infrastructure to develop with it.

Are You Not Entertained? Struggles ripple through Austin's entertainment industry.

​This short video highlights are - 

  • Some sad news this week as a great Austin entertainment company – Alamo Draft House – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

  • Its not surprising, though, as so many entertainment venues in Texas are struggling.

  • But its not too late to support the people and venues that provide us so much joy and entertainment.

Texas Strictly Regulates Insurance Company Behavior​​

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  • The Texas Winter Storm of 2021 will likely go down as the costliest winter event in Texas history.

  • As a result, you may have to file an insurance claim to get damage repaired at your commercial property.

  • Texas law strictly governs the behavior of your insurance company. If it does not follow the rules, Bukowski Law Firm can help.

Property Managers -

What can you do to help your residents?

In this video, Sean Bukowski discusses some options that property managers may offer to their residents during these winter storms. We are all going through this emergency situation – and our residents are suffering also. But there are plenty of charities and organizations out there for people to turn to in their time of need. For example, the food banks, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, warming centers – these all can provide relief to our residents. It may help to provide a list of these to your residents.

Emergency Funding for my commercial property -

Where to find short term funding for my investment.

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Sean addresses a few options: 

  • Advance from insurance company – sometimes an insurance company will agree that there are undisputed damages that they have to pay for. If they do, then relatively quickly you can get an advance from the insurance company to make those initial repairs.
     

  • Loan from bank – some lenders will give you a short term loan to get the initial repairs done. You can then pay it back when the insurance proceeds come in.
     

  • Funding from financing company – finally there are some companies out there that will give you an advance on an insurance claim. But you want to be careful – their terms can be onerous.

What are rights of commercial tenant?

In this video, Sean Bukowski addresses any issues that a commercial tenant may have if its building/property is damaged during the storm. Obviously the business wants to get back up and running as quickly as possible. But what happens if it can’t because of the extensive damage?

 

First, its important to note that the lease will govern. So the commercial tenant only has the rights that are stated in the lease. It will control. Its important, therefore, to read your lease. See what your rights are and who has to pay for the repairs. Its probably the landlord but that may not be a guarantee.

 

In general, you probably have to continue to pay rent. But there may be an Act of God clause that lets you out of the lease or relieves your necessity to continue to pay rent. But once again – read your lease to know what your remedies are.

Boulevard of Broken Pipes -

Austin's devastating winter storm damage.

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  • Texas had a devastating winter storm and resultant power outages the last week.

  • As a result, many businesses or homes have suffered significant damage.

  • You want to be prepared and provide your insurance company extensive documentation of the damage that you have sustained to maximize your claim.

 To learn more click here to read our latest blog post

How Much does a Microchip Cost? $1 billion in tax incentives....

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  • Central Texas is in the running for another exciting corporate expansion. Samsung has proposed building a chip factory that could create 1800 new jobs.

  • In exchange, Samsung has asked for more than $1 billion in tax incentives.

  • While we DEFINITELY want Samsung to come here, its not clear to me if incentives that large are a good idea.

 To learn more click here to read our latest blog post

Commercial Real Estate -

Update on COVID's Effect on Office Space

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  • After almost a year of the coronavirus pandemic in the US, we take a look to see how how it is affecting the office space market.

  • The US as a whole and, Texas specifically, has seen a large increase in the amount of space available to sublease.

  • It’s likely too early to tell if this is a permanent trend or the market will rebound.

 To learn more click here to read our latest blog post

Finding a Good Solution for Austin's Homeless Population.

​This short video highlights are - 

  • There has been little to no improvement for Austin’s homeless population since I last wrote about Austin’s homeless situation.

  • Governor Abbott has recently threatened to reinstate Austin’s camping ban.

  • The City Council and Mayor recognize its current efforts are not working and are purchasing more hotels to house some of our homeless population.

  • It’s not clear to me what the solution is, but we should demand more from our local leaders to resolve this problem.

 To learn more click here to read our latest blog post

Guess What's Back? Back Again. PPP is Back. be quick. The deadline is March 31st 2021!

​This short video highlights are - 

  • In December's stimulus, Congress earmarked money for a second round of PPP loans.

  • You can qualify if you are did not take a PPP loan the first time around, or if you are a second drawer. But there are different qualifications for each.

  • Contact your lender to find out how to apply - but be quick. The deadline is March 31.

 To learn more about the latest PPP Loans Click Here

How to lower tax bill without waiting until next year. 

The Appraisal Districts have more information than ever before. You have to be prepared. Retaining competent council is the first start.

 

Property taxes can kill your property investment if the appraisal district continues to raise the appraised value of your property, it can sink your return.

 

Why Bukowski Law Firm?

We bring experience and strategies that work to lower your assessed property values. Our firm has over 10 years of experience protesting property tax assessed values in Texas.

 

We regularly protest all types of commercial properties – including multifamily, retail, office, etc. We work on a contingency – if we can’t lower your assessed value, you do not have to pay anything.

Our strategies make us determined and aggressive – we will push the appraisal district as far as we can to try to get the lowest assessed value we can. As a one stop commercial law firm – if the appraisal review board does not grant us a fair assessed value, we will file a lawsuit on your behalf.

 

What is important about property tax protests ?

The Appraisal Districts are very aggressive. It’s in the assessors best interest to raise your taxes as high as possible every year. High taxes can ruin an investment’s rate of return. Make sure the protest of the assessed value on both a market value and an equal and uniform basis. Know your property. Know the analysis. Be prepared.