Monday, September 18, 2017

The UNthinkable Happened - RENTING an Apartment!

Well, for those of you who are regulars here, you know my preaching about ownership vs renting - and all the reasons why! Last month I became an apartment renter. Yeap -for real. This is the first time I am renting an apartment since ____ (a long time ago - I think dinosaurs might have been running around outside). The house went faster than expected and I needed somewhere to live. So, we will try apartment living and report on it during the coming year. It is a different lifestyle and critics will no longer be able to say I have not done it. So, stay tuned for more posts right here at the San Antonio Real Estate Blog.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

It's About Your Dreams

Hearth just released their 2017 State of the American Dream report.

Overwhelmingly, the statistics validate that across generations and demographics, Americans hold homeownership near and dear to what has become known as the "American Dream". We are a country of many freedoms - the right to own a home and the opportunity to own a home is not guaranteed in many nations. I personally hope America never changes. Have a look at today's report

Happily Ever Homeowner

Would you give up the big wedding in favor of a nice down payment on your own home? Many couples do that to leap ahead of the rental years and begin building the nest. That is a personal choice only you can make! The greatest number of first time buyers are married couples and that is pretty much the norm. But many unmarried couples are also buying as are singles and for good reason. Homeownership offers tax savings and increased wealth. It is a savings and investment plan that you can live in! Women are in the lead on singles who are buying (men, what are you thinking?). More Happily Ever

Know What You Want vs. What You Need

A Dream Home can be defined in many ways. Your perception of a dream home may clash with the reality of the pocket book. Dreams and goals are good. But, reality is an affordable home that does not break the bank! When buying, whether it is a first home or a new home for experienced buyers, the majority of us have a budget. Plan the budget and find a home with the basics or "must haves". Then consider the "nice to haves" and even the "wish list" and if you find a home with some of the extras and still within budget - go for it! Some years ago America learned its lesson about over buying. It is an important lesson to keep in mind. No need to keep up with the Joneses. Enjoy your own Dream Home

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Your Home’s Value

How Your Home’s Value Grows Your Family’s Wealth

The experts predict that home values will increase around 18% by the end of 5 years from now. Have a look at the numbers - but in simple terms, a home of $250,000 in 2017 is expected to be worth around $298,000 in five years! Let's suppose you purchase that home in 2017 with 10% down (not necessary, just keep the math here simple). So, you invested $25,000 - had a nice place to live - and in 5 years you make almost $50,000 on your 25,000. Not a bad deal. Ready to buy now? Call me - Al

Do You Know Your Home’s Value?

Home prices have rebounded - big time! Have you checked with a real estate professional recently? You may be surprised at how much equity you have. Almost 80% of the US homeowners have significant equity and home prices are about 50% higher than the lows of 2011. If you are ready to make your next move, now is a great time to look at the numbers. Have a look at today's report

How Supply and Demand Impacts Real Estate Home Values

Anytime there is less than a 6 month supply of homes on the market is considered a seller's market. If you are a regular reader, you know supply has been hovering around 4ish! The demand during a period of short supply pushes prices up. Check it out

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Millennial Homeownership

Somehow Millennials have come to be known as the “renter” generation. But the facts are the homeownership rate for American households age 34 and under is now over 35% and homeownership numbers are expected to increase.

Millennials are clearly the most educated generation to ever exist in the United States and indications are the higher the education, the increased likelihood of ownership. Earnings typically associated with higher education makes homes more affordable. We can expect great things from this generation as they come of age. Recent headlines exclaimed the homeownership rose in the second quarter of 2017 and Millennials proved to have the highest increase of any age group! Read more

Some Millennials became homeowners years earlier and - It May Be Time to Sell

Imagine that - the young generation ready to move on to their next home, perhaps larger or more upscale. These folks bought at the right time to enjoy the increased appreciation of the housing recovery and now may likely have an equity sufficient enough to make that move up. And, now is the time to do that. Home prices are looking to move up and interest rates are too. That means higher payments or less house in the future. Read more about why now is a good time to sell

For more on purchasing power, check out the charts

Where Are Home Prices Heading in The Next 5 Years? simple - UP!

The expectations are reasonable, not crazy inflation. A survey of over 100 leading economist projects growth of 3% to 5% yearly. That means your investment is expected to grow and equity increase. But if you are not a homeowner it will make an eventual purchase more expensive! Have a look at today's report

We have special guides for Millennials - have a look

Disaster Preparedness & Recovery

Be sure to check out our brand new page in this blog:

Disaster Preparedness & Recovery

Monday, September 4, 2017

All About Selling

14,904 houses sold yesterday, 14,904 will sell today, and 14,904 will sell tomorrow.

Those numbers come from the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latest Existing Home Sales Report which also revealed that there is currently only a 4.2-month supply of inventory available for sale (6-months inventory is considered ‘historically normal’). This IS a great time to be a seller! But, if your home has not sold ask your agent representative to go over the many reasons you are still on the market. Most often, price is one of those reasons

96% of buyers who used the internet when searching for homes purchased their homes through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent.

Everyone wants the "best price". Think about it - if you are the seller, you want to receive the best price you can for your home. If you are the buyer, you want to buy the home for the best price you can. It is the agent who brings the two sides together with the minimum of hassle. Achieving the best deal is a win-win for both sides. Read more on that

Top 5 A+ Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Pro

It is about the professional training, the licensing requirements, the ongoing education, and the experience. Find out about the 5 reasons

FSBOs Don’t Save Real Estate Commission.

If you are a regular follower - how many times have we discussed this one? It may seem logical that eliminating the real estate commission is a way to pocket extra cash, but it is proven not to work. A few lines above we discussed that both sides want the "best price". So the buyer thinking you are saving the real estate commission wants it "since you are not paying it" and you think the very same thing. Maybe the thought is split the savings - and, everyone will have thoughts on how that should work too. And, even if all that worked - did you price your home right? There a reasons to go to a specialist. Some of them were stated above. Check it out

20 Tips for Preparing Your House for Sale

Not all of these tips may apply to you but the objective is the same. If you are selling, your real estate professional will guide you toward preparing your home for the market. Seriously - appearance is important starting with the first impression when folks pull up or drive by the very first time. For more on those 20... some really great ideas

Empty Nesters - Remodel or Sell? I am going to call this one a very personal decision. And I am going to share the reason why.

If the decision is simply a financial one, it is relatively easy. To cut expenses, downsize - or possibly relocate. If the cost of staying is not an issue, the decision gets a little more complex. Stay because of emotional attachment and family history, changing nothing or stay and remodel?

It is a very personal decision. If I had this discussion with my grandparents, they would choose to stay put. They would not remodel - they would hold on to family memories of their children and their grandchildren. They might change colors when painting, but not much else outside the comfort zone. Often, the home would be passed on to the next generation with the expectation that it would remain in the family.

In our more modern culture there is less attachment. Families are more mobile and often relocate moving on an average of 8 years. So when the nest is emptied decisions are influenced by other personal choices and there is no right or wrong. If you do decide to stay, there may be a temptation to remodel. One must be careful to not remodel "beyond the neighborhood" and be prepared to get a return of about 64 cents on the dollar spent on remodeling. Not a good return financially - but if you really WANT TO! More on the report

Friday, September 1, 2017

Watching My Investment - uhm, GROW!

OK - so I ordered a beanbag - simple, inexpensive "furniture". Ever see the episode of "I Love Lucy" where Lucy baked bread and it grew and grew and grew.... the beanbag instructions said cut and release from the plastic bag and it will grow - they were right, it grew

Buyer Guide - Seller Guide Fall 2017

Well, they are not officially released yet, but if you would like a pdf copy now, email me. Be sure to let me know which one (s) you want - or all of them if you wish and in English or Spanish. Get 'em while they are hot

Monday, August 28, 2017

52% of Approved Loans Have A FICO® Score Under 750 - Don’t Disqualify Yourself...

Take a look at today's report and see how many borrowers do not have the highest credit scores. The only way you will know for sure if you qualify - or what adjustments you need to make in order to qualify - is try! Why wait? Mortgage rules change - Lenders change - and uh oh, prices change (usually UP). So by waiting to apply, your borrowing capacity may go down rather than improve. Questions on that? Call me Al

Homeowner’s Net Worth Is Still Greater Than a Renter’s and that is not likely to change any time soon!

But, did you know The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400). Let that sink in a minute. The have a quick look at today's report

Home Prices Up Over 6.5% Across the Country!

Waiting may end up costing you more! Yes, waiting to have more money down, waiting for prices to come down, waiting for interest to come down - all likely to cost you. It is actually a double hit - we have mentioned before prices are going up, interest may follow and then there is the matter of the rent you are paying. Don't forget to add in the cost of an extra year or two - or three - in rent to your cost of "waiting". Don't lose the opportunity - read more

If you are a regular follower, we have been saying that there is a shortage in home inventory - and now More Boomerang Buyers Are about to Enter the Market!

That supply shortage of homes available is about to get worse. And, that adds to price pressure. And, that means now is good if you are ready to buy - or sell if you are ready to move into your next home

What State Gives You the Most ‘Bang for Your Buck’?

Some folks get all bent out of shape when I share something that does not feature Texas as number one. Well, Texas cannot be number one in everything. We are neither the highest nor the lowest - and that is OK. Nothing wrong with being GREAT and SOLID. Texas has a HUGE economy - larger than most countries around the world. Did I just say COUNTRIES. Yes! Have you heard about the TEXAPLEX? That link will take you to my site where you can watch the two videos on the Texaplex. It is worth it

Thursday, August 24, 2017

NO FSBO (at the advice of 2 Dr's)

I share many things on social media that I do not post on this real estate blog. This time, I am making an exception and sharing something I think is so very, very important to folks considering selling their home. Often you will hear a REALTOR advise against doing a "For Sale By Owner" (FSBO) and often the response is said to be self-serving as commissions are how REALTORS make a living. Even though the statistics confirm year after year that somewhere around 80 to 90% of those who try going it on their own eventually engage the services of a real estate professional.

You have heard that before so let's get to the news today. The challenge "FSBO sales will, on average, sell for something less than comparable regular sales when markets are in equilibrium."

NAR has shared the short version here: Study: FSBOs Net ‘Significantly’ Lower Profits

And you can view the in-depth report by Dr. Michael Sklarz and Dr. Norman Miller | August 16, 2017 here: Saving Real Estate Commissions at Any Price

58% See a Drop Coming

58% of Homeowners See a Drop in Home Values Coming! What a statement. I hope you keep reading to find out why that is believed WRONG.

Today's market is not like it was during the crash. Back then getting a mortgage was simple - all you had to do was be breathing (OK, not THAT simple, but you get the idea). Today, that is just not going to happen. There are rules designed to protect everyone - even the buyer! Even though we see some loosening of the overly tight restrictions, it is far different today that it was back then. Builders too have gone more conservative. New homes on the ground and ready for the next person that happens along is just not happening. Actually, Builders are struggling to keep up with demand. Read more on the subject

Actually, Homes Are Selling Quickly Nationwide!

In June, over half the homes sold were on the market for less than a month! You read that correctly - more than 50% of the homes listed were sold in less than 30 days. That says demand is there - a backlog of folks looking to buy a new home is out shopping - and it is a seller's market. More on that

Your Home is an Oasis in an Inventory Desert

The comparison to an oasis in the desert in an interesting analogy but not far off. Your home can be a welcome relief for the buyer who just have not been able to find what they are looking for. And yet a lot of folks who are thinking about selling hesitate thinking they can find themselves in the same position - a buyer who cannot find a home. Scary thought - and a realistic one! However, some research beforehand, a possible move to new construction or a move up to a higher value and you may find surprising opportunities. This concept is one you want to discuss with your REALTOR professional. Don't let fear hold you back. You can do it

Housing Inventory Hits 30-Year Low

Housing could be better! So what's wrong? People have jobs, homes are affordable, and interest rates are still low and housing keeps chugging along. The missing item is inventory. Very simply there are not enough available homes to meet the demand of available buyers. Of course that is expected to shift one day - the market works in cycles. But, we are here and this is now and it is time to seize the moment! If you perfectly satisfied with your present home - don't do anything (other than make sure you have the best possible mortgage) - but if you have ANY reason to move up, or down, or around - now is good. Check it out

The fact is 93.9% Of Homes in The US Have Positive Equity!

Significant Equity Is On The Rise. Did you know that Homeowner equity increased by $766 billion over the last year? That is a staggering improvement in wealth. Your improved equity position can pave the road for a new home and an opportunity to increase your base for an even greater accumulation of wealth. More stats for you in today's report

Keeping up with the Joneses? Now's the Time!

Actually, who cares what the Joneses are doing? Seriously! What matters is your own need and how it fits your situation. But the analogy is not bad - it is just to stress that there is opportunity out there. Opportunity to move up, move down, relocate or even a lateral move to something new and fresh. Maybe a new neighborhood - or maybe a new home of your own. I have clients that I met when they were just about to make their 360th mortgage payment - imagine! They were relocating and never thought they could afford "new". I showed them how to do that and about 5 months later they moved into a brand new home that nobody had ever lived in before. It was all theirs - new everything including energy savings, etc. (another day's discussion). So have a look at the Joneses report and let's talk about what your needs are (and if your name is Jones would you like to be a featured article?)