Buyer’s Still Picky in Seller’s Market

ImageEven though we are in a “seller’s market” does not give a seller a free pass not to prepare their home for sale. Buyer’s learned early on the importance of getting the maximum value for their home investment and won’t settle for less than perfect.

A buyer’s list of features such as  “must haves” and “would love to have” will still position a house to sell more quickly and closer or above the list price.

With a high demand and less inventory, if you’re selling your home, it is to the seller’s advantage to know what buyers are looking for to ensure a faster, more rewarding sale.

In past years new construction has not been as aggressive with available inventory in certain locations. The tide has turned with an increase of new construction as well as dropping foreclosures and stabilizing home prices.

This makes selling existing homes even more of a incentive to have your house “shine” and be more appealing. It is important to remember real estate is localized and houses sell at different paces depending on the areas.

In San Antonio, the average price of a home rose four percent to $204,110 with the median price increasing five percent to $168,000. Of the 1,454 homes sold in February, 62.5 percent were priced under $200,000. Another 33.8 percent were priced between $200,000 and $500,000 and 3.6 percent were priced over $500,000. Of those sold over $500,000, ten homes were priced over one million dollars.

Some may feel since it is a “seller’s market” they have a better opportunity to sell their house on their own. In a year end report by the Texas Association of REALTORS® that is further from the truth. As the average For Sale By Owner (FSBO) home sold for almost $50,000 less than homes sold with the assistance of a Texas REALTOR® – $153,500 compared to $200,000.

So dust off the yard tools and get the yard in shape, dig out the paint brushes, and let your house to “shine”! The buyer’s are out there just waiting to buy your house.

 

 

 

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BUYERS: 4 Tips on Buying A Home This Spring

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 11.51.25 AMWith spring buying season right around the corner, I want to make sure you are ready for the home search. Take a look at these spring buying tips and please let me know if you have any questions. As an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®), I have a wealth of resources and professionals that can help at any point in the buying process. Please contact me if you have any  questions. I look forward to working with you.

  1. Hire a Buyer’s Agent to help you through the steps of locating the house, navigate through the paperwork, negotiate, keeping everyone on track, and handling any issues which may arise.
  2. Get a Pre-Qualification/Pre-Approval Letter from your lender before you begin looking at houses to ensure you are considering houses you can afford, there are no credit issues, the amount for closing costs, interest rate, type of loan, and what your monthly payments will be. As with any buying process we need to know how much we can spend and how much we can afford in order to buy. Purchasing a house is a “huge” investment and you will want to know how the purchase will effect you.
  3. Bidding Wars are on the rise with multiple offers coming in with fewer houses to select from due to lower inventory of homes on the market. The house that you looked at Today and want to think about it until Tomorrow is the same house somebody else looked at Yesterday and WILL BUY TODAY!
  4. Interest Rates are still low; however not forever.  Analysts predict the rates to increase by end of year to over 5%. With increased interest rates and home prices expected to also increase this equals less house you can buy or higher payments for the  house of your dreams. Buyers should get into the market NOW!
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Commercial Growth Continues in San Antonio

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As each day approaches closer to Spring in the Stone Oak area of San Antonio, signs of new commercial activity continues to increase.

HEB has christened their new location on the corner of Hardy Oak and Wilderness Pass with the errection of their marque. Construction on the building and grounds continue, with turn lanes continuing to be updated.

Just off the same corner Broadway Bank is opening a branch location for their old and potential new customers. This increases this corner’s commercial activity; so far, by three (3), counting the already standing CVS Pharmacy.

ImageHopefully the city will begin the next step of adding traffic lights soon, as the 4-way stop signs will continue to add more confusion as to who is to go next. Interesting, and dangerous, to watch how the rules we learned in driver’s education just goes out the window at a 4-way stop. In addition there are two (2) schools just down the street on Hardy Oak to add to the conjestion and requires safety for those children who walk.

It will be interesting to learn what type of HEB the communities will be able to enjoy as it seems this has not been revealed…at least I have search to find out with no success. 

 

 

 

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Save Thousands on Your Mortgage Payments

ImageA simple switch in how often you make payments on your mortgage can save you tens of thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your loan. You also can trim the time it takes to completely pay off your mortgage.

In a biweekly payment plan, you pay half your monthly mortgage every other week. With the biweekly plan, you:

  • End up making one additional full mortgage payment every year. That extra payment goes directly toward the principal of the loan.
  • Reduce the amount of interest charged over the life of the loan.

Be sure to check with you lender to make sure that it accepts biweekly payments and credit them immediately. If the lender waits until receiving the next patent before crediting both payments to the loan you won’t see the financial benefit.

Source: MortgageCalculator.org

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Will Your Roof Survive the Winter?

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 2.15.19 PMWinter months can be cruel to your roof. If your roof fails, it can cause great expense, significant damage and wasted time and money. With winter around the corner, give your roof a quick check-up to ensure that your home is protected.

Here are some warning signs that your roof may be costing you money and leaving you vulnerable.

  •  “Dirty-looking” areas on roof—possible cause: environmental pollutants; vegetation, fungus or algae; loss of granules due to shingle age.
  • Missing, cracked or curling shingles— possible cause: shingles at the end of their useful life.
  •  Leakage in attic after driving rain— possible cause: leaky or inadequate shingle underlayment or deteriorated flashing.
  • Blistering/peeling of outside paint— possible cause: excessive temperature or high humidity due to poor attic ventilation.
  • Stains on interior ceilings/walls or mold and mildew growth—possible cause: inadequate or faulty shingle underlayment allowing leakage or inadequate ventilation.
  • Excessive energy costs – possible cause; insufficient attic ventilation allowing heating/cooling system to run excessively.

If you notice any of these warning signs, consider using a professional roofing contractor. Many people neglect their roof or think roofing installation is simple. A well-installed, well-maintained roof is one of the most important things you can do for your home.

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Is housing demand in Texas still hot?

Are You Having Difficulty Finding That Perfect House? This may WHY!

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Texas Housing…HOT! HOT! HOT!

Screen Shot 2013-04-30 at 1.34.03 PMSurging demand for Texas homes in first quarter combined with rising prices and shrinking inventory signal a red-hot real estate market for the remainder of 2013.

Overall Texas, first quarter 2013:

  • 53,937 single family homes were sold, 17.53% more than first quarter 2012.
  • Median sales price was $158,000, which is 7% more than 2012-Q1.
  • Average sales price had a similar jump, up 6.87% from 2012-Q1, to $204,738.
  • The “months inventory” figure remained firmly in sellers’ market territory, landingat 4.2 months in 2013-Q1, which is 1.7 months less than 2012-Q1. The Real Estate Center cites 6.5 months of inventory as a market in which demand is balanced with supply, indicating that demand continues to outpace supply in Texas, which could trigger more homebuyer bidding wars this summer.

    These strong results were seen not only in statewide figures, but also broadly across nearly all of the 48 markets included in the report.

This is the 14th Texas Quarterly Housing Report issued by the Texas Association of REALTORS®, with MLS data compiled and analyzed by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. This report covers real estate sales statistics statewide and in 48 Texas markets for the first quarter of 2013 with year-over-year comparisons.

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It’s Grillin’ Time…Is your Grill Ready?

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 3.24.51 PMHere are some easy cleanup tips—plus a few more ideas for safe grilling this summer:

l. Take 15 minutes. To clean grates on a gas grill, first preheat the grill by turning the burn- ers to high. After 15 minutes, the grease on the grates will have softened. Brush them with a stainless steel grill brush. It won’t take long and you won’t need a lot of elbow grease.

2.  Show your lid some love. When the grill is warm but not hot, clean the inside of the grill lid with a damp sponge or, if it’s very dirty, a balled-up piece of foil or a brass brush. The most common question from consumers is why the “paint” is peeling on the inside of their grill lids. That isn’t paint. The lids are enameled, so they don’t flake. That’s accumulated grease and smoke that is flaking off. Scrub it off so it doesn’t fall on food or smoke up the grill.

3. Don’t forget the drip pan. After cooking, empty the drip pan when it’s warm, not hot, to prevent flare-ups the next time. If grease is too thick, use a plastic putty knife to scrape off as much as you can.

Want more tips?

Happy Grillin’ til next time…

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Master Bedroom “Nixed”!

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 2.37.16 PMJust how far do we have to go in order not to offend anyone? I would say most of us have no malicious intent when words come out of our mouths to be rude or insensitive.

According to some everything has to be “politically correct” or they are aghast! Take terms such these common and politically correct, respectively.

  • Maiden Name —  Family Birth Name
  • Pet — Animal Companion
  • Rude — Politically Correct
  • Prayer — Thoughts

I think you get the idea…but here is a new one for those in the real estate industry.

Major national home builders are now using the term “owner’s bedroom” or “owner’s suite” instead of the common term used for years…”master bedroom”.

What???, you say? It seems builders want to avoid negative connotations with gender, since “master” denotes men, and with race, because of the term “slave master.”  This enlightenment was brought to our attention according to The Washington Business Journal, which surveyed 10 major homebuilders.

One thing about this industry is to be flexible…so flexible we will be; even though sometimes it just doesn’t make sense. Even though most in the industry still refer to the “master bedroom” as that; we will “go with the flow” and be politically correct in order not to confuse our clients more than they may be in making the right decision in selling or buying their new house.

So long “master bedroom”…it was nice knowing you. I wonder what Christian Grey’s thoughts would be on this?

 

 

 

 

 

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Gone Fishing!

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 4.56.48 PMSummertime and Catfish Fry…what could be better than that!  There is nothing better than catching your own fresh catfish.

Not only is it great tasting; it is a great family outing for all ages.

Don’t know where to go? Don’t have any tackle? Don’t know the regulations? The Texas Parks and Wildlife can help you out. In April they begin frequent stocking of channel catfish in neighborhood lakes and continue throughout the summer.

So pack up your gear and “Let’s Go Fishing!”

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