Tuesday, September 28, 2021

If You’re a Buyer, Is Offering Asking Price Enough?

If You’re a Buyer, Is Offering Asking Price Enough? | Simplifying The Market

In today’s real estate market, buyers shouldn’t shop for a home with the expectation they’ll be able to negotiate a lower sales price. In a typical housing market, buyers try to determine how much less than the asking price they can offer and still get the home. From there, the buyer and seller typically negotiate and agree on a revised price somewhere in the middle.

Things Are Different Today

Today’s housing market is anything but normal. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes today are:

  • Receiving an average of  3.8 offers
  • Selling in just 17 days

Homes selling quickly and receiving multiple offers highlights how competitive the housing market is right now. This is due, in large part, to the low supply of homes for sale. Low supply and high demand mean homes often sell for more than the asking price. In some cases, they sell for a lot more. Selma Hepp, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains how these stats can impact buyers:

“The imbalance between robust demand and dismal availability of for-sale homes has led to a continual bidding over asking prices, which reached record levels in recent months. Now, almost 6 in 10 homes listed are selling over the asking price.”

You May Need To Rethink How You Look at a Home’s Asking Price

What does that mean for you? If you’ve found your dream home, you need to be realistic about today’s housing market and how that impacts the offer you’ll make. Offering below or even at a home’s asking price may not cut it. In today’s market, the highest bidder often wins the home, much like at an auction.

Currently, the asking price is often the floor of the negotiation rather than the ceiling. If you really love a home, it may ultimately sell for more than the sellers are asking. That’s important to keep in mind as you work with your agent to craft an offer.

Understand An Appraisal Gap Can Happen

Because of today’s home price appreciation and the auction-like atmosphere in the selling process, appraisal gaps – the gap between the price of your contract and the appraisal for the house – are more frequent.

According to data from CoreLogic:

“Beginning in January 2020, nationally, 7% of purchase transactions had a contract price above the appraisal, but by May 2021, the frequency had increased to 19% of purchase transactions.”

When this happens, your lender won’t loan you more than the home’s appraised value, and the seller may ask you to make up the difference out of pocket. Buyers in today’s market need to be prepared for this possibility. Know your budget, know what you can afford, and work with a trusted advisor who can offer expert advice along the way.

Bottom Line

Bidding wars and today’s auction-like atmosphere mean buyers need to rethink how they look at the asking price of a home. Let’s connect so you have a trusted real estate professional who can advise you on the current market and help determine what the market value is on your dream home.

Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters

* This article was originally published here

Monday, September 27, 2021

The New Homeowners

There is nothing like the feeling of moving into your new home - a home that you own. Well, OK, the bank may be holding a mortgage, but it is yours! It is an investment. That monthly payment is going toward your investment - not your landlords! Ready now?

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Time for a New home

Growing family? Downsizing? Need a change? Whatever your motivation, right now is a great time to act on it. Let's talk about your personal needs for a home and explore all the options available today!

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Holy Cross - Mother Guerin High Schools

This is one of those stories not directly related to real estate. Though, on the fringe I suppose it is. It is not related to San Antonio either, but rather a step back in time when I lived in my birth city of Chicago.

Taking you back to the beginning of Holy Cross High School, River Grove, IL….   It opened in 1961, I was in the next class 1962-1966 and was excited about the new school as it was less than 2 blocks from my house. Before it opened, I was destined to go to St Pats a moderate bus ride down Belmont Avenue. 

The land for the new school was undeveloped and heavily wooded. It was by no means "citified". The development was the biggest “news” in the neighborhood that was typically Chicago Northwest residential. As kids we played at the construction site on weekends. There was a huge hill perfect for bike riding, no brakes! One of the guys did get hurt going downhill, no hands.  That challenge proved not to be a good idea. However, following a few stitches, we all went back and played on the site until we were chased away…  and then they added that darned fence!

Finally, the school opened its doors. After years of Catholic education under the guidance of nuns, it was quite a shock to be taught by brothers. It was all part of growing up in that era. The school was considered a prep school for future college attendees. It was not a school that offered shop or trades. We had intramural and competitive sports, but never a swimming pool. There were efforts made to fund raise for a pool, but never enough money – a minor downside of a private school. No pool did not seem much of an issue as we still had a swim team – they just had to go down the street to St Pats. We survived.

In those days, tuition was less than a thousand dollars, actually I think it was around 5 or 600 dollars. My parents struggled to afford it as did many others but they got it done. The annual enrolment was around 400 and the school prospered. Everyone looked forward to new education and building a future, after all, we were Holy Cross Crusaders. I can honestly say that during the years watching the school being built, attending for 4 years and even after, never once did I think about them shutting the doors – and later being torn down.

Once Holy Cross was up and running they started construction of our next door neighbor Mother Guerin High School. It opened in 1963. There was a time the girls shared some of our facilities – like the athletics and gym. And there was a time when one of our coaches forgot what day it was and who was in the facility. That is a hilarious memory – but not one for sharing here. Eventually, the girls school was completed and Mother Guerin along with Holy Cross were the pride of the neighborhood.

Holy Cross floundered in 2004. Enrollment was down and expenses up. Tuition was unbelievably expensive and for many, unaffordable. Talks took place and an agreement was reached to merge Holy Cross with Mother Guerin, the new name taken was Guerin Prep. A great resource for more information can be found at:  http://www.illinoishsglorydays.com/id426.html 

As I was researching some facts for this article, I stumbled on something that has totally shocked me. Earlier I mentioned St Pats. Turns out St Pats is one of the oldest continuously run high schools in Chicago – going all the way back to 1861 (that is NOT a typo). More on that here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Patrick_High_School_(Chicago) . My god – the great Chicago Fire did not happen until 1871. It is going to take me a few minutes to continue writing this story.

It seems the destiny of Guerin Prep was the same as that of Holy Cross. Following low enrollment of the 2019-2020 academic year, history repeated and a decision was made to close the school. The end of an era had come. The land was sold and the buildings torn down. I am told the approximate 20 acre site will be redeveloped into townhomes and condos. 

New generations will not know the history of that land, nor the adventures and experiences of the thousands of students that passed through those halls for decades. But, those who had the good fortune to attend those two schools will carry the memories and no doubt pass along something they learned in those formative years – and life will go on. It is an interesting life experience to have watched your school be built – and then torn down. The circle of life is more than just a movie.

I understand the mosaic originally from Mother Guerin has been rescued and may one day have a new home. Let us hope so.


Thank you to my cousins Lee and Kathy, and Kathy’s friend Mary Lou for making these photos available. 

If anyone wants to post a memory or share a story about either school you are welcome to do so. Either use the comment feature or write your own article and I’ll create a new post for you – follow this:  https://www.sanantoniorealestate.blog/p/guest-articles.html   (we’ll share stories under rule #11)

And, finally a school video:

Friday, September 24, 2021

Tips for Todays Sellers

Getting ready to sell your home? Thought we would share some seller tips with you today!

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Is a 20% Down Payment Really Necessary To Purchase a Home?

Is a 20% Down Payment Really Necessary To Purchase a Home? | Simplifying The Market

There’s a common misconception that, as a homebuyer, you need to come up with 20% of the total sale price for your down payment. In fact, a recent survey by Lending Tree asks what is keeping consumers from purchasing a home. For over half of those surveyed, the ability to afford a down payment is the biggest hurdle.

That may be because those individuals assume a 20% down payment is necessary. While putting more money down if you’re able can benefit buyers, putting 20% down is not mandatory. As Freddie Mac puts it:

The most damaging down payment myth—since it stops the homebuying process before it can start—is the belief that 20% is necessary.”

If saving that much money sounds overwhelming, you might be ready to give up on the dream of homeownership before you even begin – but you don’t have to. According to the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median down payment hasn’t been over 20% since 2005. It may sound surprising, but today’s average down payment is only 12%. That number is even lower for first-time homebuyers, whose average down payment is only 7%.

Based on the Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report from NAR, the graph below shows an even closer look at the down payment percentage various age groups pay:Is a 20% Down Payment Really Necessary To Purchase a Home? | Simplifying The MarketAs the graph shows, the only groups who put 20% or more down on average are older homebuyers who likely can use the sale of an existing home to fuel a larger down payment on their next home.

What does this mean for you?

If you’re a prospective homebuyer, it’s important to know you don’t have to put the full 20% down. And while saving for any down payment amount may feel like a challenge, keep in mind there are programs for qualified buyers that allow them to purchase a home with a down payment as low as 3.5%. There are also options like VA loans and USDA loans with no down payment requirements for qualified applicants.

To understand your options, you do need to do your homework. If you’re interested in learning more about down payment assistance programs, information is available through sites like downpaymentresource.com. Be sure to also work with a real estate advisor from the start to learn what you may qualify for in the homebuying process.

Bottom Line

Don’t let the myth of the 20% down payment halt your homebuying process before it begins. If you want to purchase a home this year, let’s connect to start the conversation and explore your options.

Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters

* This article was originally published here

Top Reasons to Own Your Home

These are some of the reasons for owning your own home. Have you considered your own personal reasons? How would owning your home change your life?

Monday, September 20, 2021

An Agent Will Be Your Expert Guide Through Your Home Sale

Many hours of training followed by continuing education are required to hold a real estate license. Let us use our expertise to help you through the process of selling your home and reducing stress from the home sale transaction. Call us today.

Have You Ever Seen a Housing Market Like This? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Have You Ever Seen a Housing Market Like This? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Have You Ever Seen a Housing Market Like This? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights

  • Whether you’re buying or selling – today’s housing market has plenty of good news to go around.
  • Buyers can take advantage of today’s mortgage rates to escape rising rents and keep monthly payments affordable. Sellers can reap the benefits of multiple offers and a fast sale.
  • If this sounds like good news to you, let’s connect today so you can capitalize on the unique opportunity you have in today’s market.
Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters

* This article was originally published here

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Friday, September 17, 2021


Time can get away from us with our busy lifestyles. Are you ready to make the time to become a homeowner?