The Daily Update: Tuesday, May 3

May 3, 2011 by · Comments Off 

The Daily Update: Tuesday, May 3 from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

The Dallas Love Field airport is getting a face lift. Education budget cuts may cause more students to apply for student loans, and The Daily Campus and The Daily Mustang are merging. Find out all this and more on your Daily Update.

The Daily Update: Thursday, April 28

April 28, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Obama released his birth certificate after rising criticism from “birthers.” Coverage for the Royal Wedding starts at 3 a.m. CDT tomorrow, and Ke$ha performs at Moody Coliseum tonight. Find out all this and more on today’s Daily Update.

VIDEO: Dallas Housing Market Sees Slow Decline in Sales

April 26, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Video By Meredith Carlton
mcarlton@smu.edu

Many areas have continued to struggle with the state of the economy and the housing market is no exception. According to the National Association of Realtors, previously occupied home sales have decreased since February 2010. On average, sales fell an estimated five percent across the country but Dallas has seen something different.

“We only had like a 2.8 percent decline,” Pixie Young, an Ebby Halliday realtor, said. ” I think a lot of that is because we didn’t have the inflated prices that a lot of the other parts of the countries had.”

Although Dallas did see a minimal decline in sales, some homeowners that were wishing to sell their properties had to make some changes.

“We started at a certain price, and it needed to be adjusted,” Samantha McVey, a Park Cities resident, said. “Then we started getting more people looking at it.”

Not all homeowners had the flexibility to adjust to the market.

“If they bought in the peak pricing period which was 2008/2007, maybe the house has gone down in value,” said SMU real-estate professor Bill Brueggeman. “They chose to rent.”

However, people who are in search of a house are said to be in a good position.

“From a buyers perspective it’s great,” Brueggeman said. “I mean if you have a good solid credit rating and you can qualify for a loan, mortgage rates are really low.”

Dallas has more to offer homebuyers than an attractive housing market.

“Texas is leading the nation in jobs, so there’s a lot of relocation coming into texas,” Young said. “That means our home sales should remain at a pretty decent level.”

Although Texas does have these benefits, homeowners said homebuyers should choose to look at one specific factor before they finalize a sale.

“Location is so, so important, wherever you are,” McVey said. “That really is an attractive selling point to any buyer.”

The Daily Update: Friday, April 15

April 15, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Why are people in Japan receiving compensations? What damages were caused by the storm last night? And see how SMU is celebrating its 100 anniversary! All this and more on your Daily Update!

Daily Mustang: Friday, April 8

April 8, 2011 by · Comments Off 

The votes are in! Find out who’s representing you in SMU’s 2011 Student Senate. Also where is it illegal to wear a seatbelt? And why was the Campus Carry Bill temporarily suspended by the Senate?

Daily Update: Friday, April 8 from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

VIDEO: Free Professional Tax Help for 75 Percent of Americans

April 5, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Bridget Bennett
brekow@smu.edu

Untitled from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

With less than two weeks until tax day, many Americans may be scrambling to make the deadline.

Options for tax help include tax preparation services like H&R Block or Hewitt Jackson can cost around $150 for a non-complicated tax return. Do-It-Yourself programs like Turbo Tax are another option, but can cost around fifty dollars.

But free help is available for senior citizens, military personnel and anyone who makes less than $49,000 a year—that’s roughly 75 percent of Americans.

College students and other first-time filers often qualify for this free assistance.

University of North Texas student Brigitte Kong says she pays enough for school bills, that she did not want to pay for help on her taxes, but didn’t want to risk doing her taxes on her own.

“I’m not good with numbers, so I prefer it someone does if for me just in case I mess up or loose a few numbers,” she said.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, or VITA, is one option for free help. Certified volunteers assists qualified filers in finding tax breaks and filing their tax returns.

Many VITA volunteers have years of experience working in the tax industry. They also pass a VITA certification program before they are able to help with the program.

Diane Blankenship is one such volunteer. She ran her own H&R Block franchise in New Mexico for 35 years. Now that she is retired, she is volunteering at VITA and AARP clinics throughout DFW.

“It gives you a good feeling that you’ve done something for somebody and that they show that they appreciate it,” Blankenship said.

Some of the same volunteers help with the AARP tax assistance program. The AARP primarily assists senior citizens; however, volunteers will help anyone seeking assistance on their taxes.

Assistance from AARP and VITA volunteers can be found at public libraries, senior centers, and other public facilities. Qualified individuals can also get free help filing from an IRS agent. Local IRS offices take appointments and some walk-ins starting in February each year; an IRS agent will go over financial documents, tax forms, and help file a tax return in their office.

Getting your taxes prepared by an IRS agent or volunteer does not avoid a possible tax audit. VITA volunteers say they are available to help make corrections if necessary.

Officials at these free help facilities suggest seeking help early to avoid long lines as tax day approaches.

Daily Update: Thursday, March 31

March 31, 2011 by · Comments Off 

How could a vote from the Texas Senate end lives? What improvements have been made to the Texas Rangers stadium? And have any states in the country felt the effects of radiation? Find out all this and more on your Daily Update!

Daily Update Thursday, March 30 from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Daily Update: Tuesday, March 22

March 22, 2011 by · Comments Off 

What men’s basketball record got broken? Are the attacks on Libya having any effect? And what marathon runner broke a world record? Find out all this and more on your Daily Update!

Daily Update: Tuesday, March 22 from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Daily Update: Thursday, Feb. 24

February 24, 2011 by · Comments Off 

What can you expect to pay at the pump for gas? Learn the latest on the Wikileaks founder trial and did the Mustangs basketball team won the game against state rival, the Rice Owls? Learn all this and more on your Daily Update!

Daily Update: Thursday, Feb. 24 from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Daily Update: Tuesday, Feb. 22

February 22, 2011 by · Comments Off 

A deadly earthquake in New Zealand leaves 65 dead and hundreds injured, 53 people have been killed in Juarez, Mexico, and protests continue in the Middle East. Also, a proposed bill may allow Texas college students, faculty and staff to carry concealed weapons on campus. All this and more on your Daily Update.

Daily Update: Tuesday, Feb. 22 from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

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