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Friday, February 16, 2018

Why Buy

Buying More Affordable Than Renting In 54% Of US Counties

For most of us, the American Dream was a goal to work and save for. It still is.

However, something has changed. In many areas, it is actually more affordable to own than it is to rent – have a look at the report linked to this article.

So consider something…. If you buy now and get a fixed rate mortgage, you are protecting yourself from the inevitable rent increases and increases in the cost of buying a home. Let’s do that again. Prices for homes will go up. Rent will go up. Buy the house now, lock in your payment (PI) and you avoid rent increases of the future. You also increase your wealth as your equity in your home increases and your home appreciates. Seems like a good business decision – and a good personal one too!


Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

So, what holds people back from buying? A couple of absolute MYTHS actually.

Do you need a 780 credit score – NO. Do you need 20% down – NO.

There are all kinds of opportunities out there. If you truly want to be an owner and are motivated to be a homeowner – start the process – investigate what is out there for you. Waiting costs you money. Waiting is lost opportunity. Waiting may keep it from ever happening – I know people who have fallen into that trap.


Reasons Millennials Choose to Buy

There is no doubt that our future leaders – the millennials – are better educated than any generation before them. They have come of age and are buying.

There are reasons they are buying and there is much to consider. They are looking for control of their living space and a nicer environment. They are looking for security, flexibility, and more. They are looking to have more control over their own destiny. They are beginning to lead!


Millennials Deserve More Credit

Actually, the past few years have seen some very negative views about the millennial generation. Nevertheless, give them credit – they are saving, they are budgeting and they are investing. They are preparing for their future and the leadership role they will assume – as each succeeding generation does.

Hopefully, millennials do not lose sight that they can learn from the experience of the older generation and hopefully, the older generation will not lose sight of there is something new to be learned every day!


Benefits of Homeownership Beyond the Financial

Often we look at homeownership from an investment perspective. We look at the “forced savings’ concept, the locking in of a monthly payment rather than imminent rent increases and the tax savings – but there is more to it. Homeownership has many other benefits.

Homeownership has an impact on education, community involvement, health and freedom. There is a reason it is so often referred to as the American Dream – try it!


Renting or Buying, You’re Paying a Mortgage!

Besides the myths mentioned above, there are folks out there who are simply uncomfortable taking on a mortgage. But the thing is, unless you are living rent-free with family or friends, you ARE paying a mortgage – maybe not yours, but nevertheless a mortgage. Moreover, the person who has that mortgage is getting the benefits and the increased wealth.

Renting on a temporary basis is not bad – I am right now after XX years (I am not telling!) – but there are compelling reasons to be an OWNER. That does not mean you are destined to own a mansion – but you can own something that is affordable. Act on it!


Marriage or Mortgage?

It has been pretty much the tradition that marriage comes first and then the mortgage.

Last year, 57% of first time buyers were married couples. Yet, there is a significant number of unmarried buying for the first time – 16% of first time buyers is impressive!

Singles make up most of the rest of the first time group. It is all personal choice – whatever is right for you as a couple or a single. It gets back to the compelling reasons to buy – and invest in the future.


Wait Until Next Year Or Buy Now?

We have been so lucky that the buying opportunity has lasted this long. Nothing is forever.

Consider that home prices are going up. Interest rates have been moving higher. Both will probably continue.

So waiting until you have more money to put down is going to cost you and it likely will cost you more than you can save up! Think about that one. Saving at a loss – yikes!


Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed?

Where are mortgage interest rates going? No clue actually. However, the trend is UP. Historically – rates are low and I believe they will continue to go UP. Examine the details in the article associated with this post. See what you think. My money is on UP!


Why a Professional When Buying a Home

Of course, I am going to suggest that you work with an expert when you buy a home. That is what I do. It is also why I have secured all the credentials and continue to do so.

When sick, we go to a doctor. When we have legal issues, we go to a lawyer. When going on a safari, we look to a guide. You did not expect that last comparison – did you?

Well, I am here to be your guide on a safari to homeownership. When do we leave?

Friday, February 9, 2018

T-Mobile Rocks

So, this is a real estate blog and I am writing about a cell phone company. Yes – and for sure!

Whether you are looking to buy a home, sell a home or you are a real estate professional doing both of those, could you imagine doing it without your mobile phone? In our modern world, the mobile phone has become far more than something to talk on. We communicate by text, by email, we search for information and the list goes on.

However we use the mobile phone, we expect it to work – seamlessly. When it does not, we may utter a few words, reconnect and go on with the task at hand. Somehow, the issue magically resolves itself. When the interruption continues we call the phone service provider for help (hopefully calming down before we do). That is when everything becomes mission critical. That is when the kind of customer service you receive is paramount.

Continuous issues happened to me recently and I want to share the story with you. It all started when I moved. Most of us have relationships with a mobile phone company. Sometimes, for whatever the reason, those are short-term relationships – other times, much longer. T-Mobile and I are somewhere around 15 years now. That is fantastic ‘eh? There are reasons why I stay.

After I moved, I began experiencing call drops and folks not hearing me. I assumed the issues would remedy themselves and just go away. They did not. I made the typical calls to T-Mobile customer service and chatted with a few different folks – all of whom listened and tried their best. This went on for a while and elevated to higher levels, but the solution to the problem eluded us. The amount of attention I received was way more than expected and yet the problem continued.

Then one day, I had a serious medical issue and the phone acted up. My doctor was frustrated and so was I. I did not take time to calm down before calling. Actually, that day I was more in “bear” mode. Anyway, I connected with a young man named Joshua. He was very empathetic and went into immediate action. I will not make this any longer with the details, but a day later, he actually called to check in and find out if I was OK (I still have his voicemail on my phone).

Josh had to elevate it further and Justin was assigned to resolve whatever was going on. Justin is tenacious in his resolve to make everything work – and work correctly. When he said he would call back he did. He followed up with engineers and tower folks, he consulted with others and we tested a few things. He got it done – everything works. I am again a happy T-Mobile customer.

I had a list of the folks that helped me along the way, shamefully I misplaced it. I thank the T-Mobile Solutions Group – Justin, Josh, Vanessa and a bunch of others on the team. You all do a super job! There are great phone companies out there and we all have our favorite – mine is chosen for service, over the air when I use my phone and in real time with support staff when I need to call in. GO – TMO!


Tax Reform Video


A great big THANK YOU to our friends at KCM - this is a very short video presentation about the new tax law's impact on housing. Worth 4 minutes of your time - seriously!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Reports of Death Greatly Exaggerated

Homeownership is NOT Dead! The AMERICAN DREAM is Alive and Well!

Americans are fighters when we need to be. Something like a recession may kick butt a little, but housing has kicked right back. Americans have turned it around. Renting had a brief surge most likely due to circumstance, but the American Dream of owning a home lives on.

Less than 10% of Americans think homeownership is not important. When that many of us actually agree on something, it is a statement on who we are! Are you ready to buy your first home or move to a new one? For more on this, checkout today's article.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Anthony At Canyon Springs


Several months ago, I mentioned that I moved into an apartment in Stone Oak. Some would argue that ditching the house and opting in for apartment complex would be a terrible decision. However, that is not always the case. Even though I am a staunch advocate of home ownership, there are reasons that apartment living may be the right choice at the right time. The choice of WHICH apartment complex to call home however is of the utmost importance.

The Anthony at Canyon Springs is a living community where there is attention to detail and a focus on comfort and enablement of the residents.

It’s a pretty neat community, clean looking with garage facilities available and different size apartments to suit your needs. The best part is, the surroundings kind of take you back to nature, as trees and nice views abound.

Generally speaking, the whole area looks much more tied together than many residential communities I have visited before.

If you are a fan of golf, there is the Canyons Spring Golf Club, a resort level swimming pool and a secondary pool, a fitness center, a sauna, playground and BBQ facilities, basketball court, and more.

How good is the place for pet owners? The Anthony allows pets including cats and dogs but you must pick up after them and respect the other residents. You may want to ask the management for more details if you have a pet alligator or something on the exotic side. Other than that, if you’re a pet owner, you’re good to go.

It’s great living in such a community where it is nice and quiet; tons of things to do, beautiful apartments, and great views all around.

As my regular readers know, I am a REALTOR and not an apartment locator. I know someone who can help you if you are apartment hunting. But, if you want to live in a great Stone Oak community, I can help you with this one. Visit the staff at The Anthony and they will show you around and give you pricing for what is available. Be sure to let them know Al sent you and as long as you register under my name, once they give me a referral bonus – I will share it with you. That is on top of any bonus offers they having going when you move in! Just call me – AL.

Y’all come and visit now:

THE ANTHONY AT CANYON SPRINGS
24245 Wilderness Oak (Wilderness Oak at Canyon Golf)
San Antonio, TX 78258
210-591-7847