Hire a Professional

5 Reasons to Resolve to Hire a Real Estate Professional [INFOGRAPHIC]. Well, that is my job so I am going to say that. But, the truth is that I did not become a real estate professional until 2005 and before that, when I was doing a real estate sale or purchased - I hired a professional. The point it, I practice what I preach. It took many hours for me to earn the title "professional" or "REALTOR" to be more accurate. There was much to learn and we still have to earn additional credit hours to maintain a license - like lots of professionals. Checkout today's report

Move up, move down - move around

Start 2017 Off Right… List Your House for Sale! If you have any thought on moving in the next year or two, then early 2017 is a great time to list your home and move on. Why? I am still convinced interest rates are headed up. As mentioned in some of the previous articles, rates go up and buying power goes down. Locking in a rate on a long term note is a good strategy to get the best value now! That decision is yours. If you would like to find out what your home is worth, with no strings attached - let's talk or meet. Meanwhile, checkout today's article for more ideas on why the time is right

Where do you stand?

You Need an Agent Who Will Put You First! It is our job to place the client first. We work to help you achieve your goal whether buying the first time or selling the last time - or anything along the way. Where ever you are on the journey, your needs are our top priority. We never try to up-sell when buying and we do everything we possibly can to help you realize the most money when you are selling. It's simply good business - and the right ethics. And, that is why we recommend using a licensed real estate professional. If you are not in our area and you need help finding someone, call us - we will help you find someone locally. You can read more in today's article

THE most important post of the year!

Homeowner’s Net Worth Is 45x Greater Than A Renter’s - let's do that again - Homeowner’s Net Worth Is 45x Greater Than A Renter’s. That is all I am going to say on the subject other than - read more about it

FSBO - not!

Top 5 Reasons You Should Not For Sale By Owner. There are a few success stories out there - very few. DIY is good for some things, but real estate transactions is not up there on the list. Doing it wrong can cost you a lot of money. Statistics supplied by the experts say that about 90% of those who give it a try eventually come to a real estate professional to handle the transaction. You can read the reasons in today's article - but seriously consider that the buyer who comes to the seller doing a FSBO figures you are saving the commission - and they want a price reduction because of it. It can get dicey. Check out today's article for more on the five

Rising Interest Rates

The Fed Raised Rates: What Does that Mean for Housing? Well, if the experts are correct and rates remain below 5% for 2017, then that is a good thing and will help housing recover. But two things to remember - no guaranty that rates will stay that low and, even marginal increases impact the amount of house you can buy. Those incremental increases plus rising home prices affect your buying power! The sooner you can make the move to becoming a home owner or move up to another home, the sooner you can lock in the 30 year fixed payment. Read more about it

Not enough homes to go around

Existing Home Sales Surge Through The Holidays [INFOGRAPHIC] - sales up, inventory down, what's next! The experts seem mostly on the side of a good 2017 market and that means higher prices along with higher interest rates. Are we thinking buy now rather than later? YES! New government administration taking hold soon and that could impact the market either way. But, bottom line - you need somewhere to live and that home is best when it is your own. Be sure to check out today's article.

About Student Loans

Student Loans = Higher Credit Scores... Well folks, this one surprised me - until I started thinking about it. According to the experts and their studies, those with student loans tend to have higher credit scores than those who do not. Perhaps the better education helps. The downside is that those folks having student debt may put off the home buying decision. Read more details in today's article

Winter Rerun

Sure, we have shared this before, but it is important and some of you may have not seen it the last two times:-) Whether You Rent or Buy: Either Way You’re Paying a Mortgage. At the end of 30 years you could have a paid up mortgage and a great investment or you could have a stack of receipts and a payment due for next months rent. Why not avoid rent and enjoy a 30 year fixed rate payment? It is fixed with the exception of property tax and insurance but renters insurance will go up too! Your living cost can be an expense - or an investment. Your landlord chose investment. You are making the payments. If something does go wrong along the way, you can sell the home. You cannot sell the rent receipts. That is a cold hard reality. Folks, owning your own home is a way to increase your wealth. Check this out

2 Tips to Get the Most Money

2 Tips to Ensure You Get the Most Money When Selling Your House. Both of these tips seem counter productive to getting the most money - but the bottom line is how quickly you want to move and how aggressive you want to be. If you are ready to explore the possibilities, call and let's have the discussion. Read more

No Secret - It's Buy Now

The Impact Your Interest Rate Has on Your Buying Power [INFOGRAPHIC]. Folks, if you follow me regularly, it is not secret that I am an advocate of BUY NOW. And, a strong believer that rates will go UP - and they have! Now, perhaps more than at any other time in recent years, I think rates will be going up. How high no one knows. But remember, each incremental move up is less buying power on the amount borrowed. An opportunity not to be missed. More in today's article

Don't Do It

Why You Shouldn’t Take Your House Off the Market During the Holidays. Seriously folks. If you are selling right now - you have the home advantage! It is just more about the law of supply and demand and the state of the market right now. If you are listed, best to stay listed. If you are not listed, now would be a great time to jump in. For a greater explanation, read today's article

Sell Now… Not Spring

The #1 Reason to Sell Now… Not Next Spring... is all about supply and demand. Right now, supply at this time of year is less than typically on the market in spring (when way more folks list their home for sale). Buyers that are looking now - are typically very serious buyers. So folks - now is a great time to list your home for sale! Checkout today's article

The NEXT 5 years

Building Your Family’s Wealth Over the Next 5 Years. Wouldn't it be great if we could know where housing will be 5 years from now. For that matter, it would be great to know where the stock market might be - and many other things too. Can't do that. But the bottom line is when it comes to housing, you either pay rent or you own and 5 years from now you will have nothing more than receipts if you rent - and a pretty good chance that you will have increased wealth by investing in your own home. If you are ready to take that bold step and to begin to increase your wealth - with no hype - reach out to me and let's talk about your future. More in today's article

5 Years Forecast

Home Prices: Where Will They Be in 5 Years? If we only knew! There are bulls and bears looking forward. But, the experts who take many things into consideration are looking to a bright future for home prices. Lower but steady growth means less chance if a bubble. It makes for a more solid America. It gives more confidence to homeowners. Read more on the look forward 5 years

Where are Americans moving

Americans Are on The Move [INFOGRAPHIC] Checkout today's report - people are on the move. If you are ready to relocate to San Antonio, we are ready to help you. Call us and find out more!

Mortgage Rates - Home Prices

Will Increasing Mortgage Rates Impact Home Prices? History says probably not. What higher rates will do is to reduce the amount of house you get for your money. When the rates move up, the monthly payment moves up if everything stays the same. But, in order to keep your payment where it would have been you either need more money down or buy a lower priced home. No one knows what will happen. No matter what, it is informed speculation. If you are thinking of buying, and you agree that rates are likely to move up, then this is a good time to buy! Read more in today's article

Serious Buyers

Selling in the Winter Attracts Serious Buyers. That's a given. The cold weather is less likely to attract browsers and tire kickers. This is especially true during the holiday season when there is so much more to do. If there is a need to move - whatever it may be- then folks are out there and looking! If you are a seller never hesitate to list your home at this time of year. Many folks do not list so you have reduced competition and a better opportunity. If you would like to discuss it, please call - there is never an obligation. Meanwhile, here is today's article on the subject

Rent or Buy? Why?

When Is a Good Time to Rent? Not Now! IMO - almost never! Take a look at today's report. In simple terms, if you get a 30 year mortgage with a fixed rate, your payment is fixed (with the exception of taxes and insurance). Your monthly expense (rent) becomes an investment (Ownership). If you rent, your monthly payment will likely rise and you will pay the landlord's mortgage and get to do that month after month. So - the answer is - BUY!

4 Reasons to Buy

to Buy Your Dream Home This Winter... It is an opportunity that we may not see again for some time. We all know what happens once rates start to climb so now is the time to lock in that 30 year low interest rate mortgage. Prices are good and buying power is strong. Have a look at today's article - and then call me!

Brown Sugar Bacon

Well, this post is a far departure from the usual here - but something I want to share with you. Yesterday, Perry Homes at the Ranches at Creekside hosted a special luncheon for REALTORS. As usual, Perry Homes did a fantastic job and the catered food was delicious. On this occasion there was a special treat and my first time with brown sugar bacon, and I understand it is sometimes called Christmas bacon. As I was looking around for a recipe to share with you, I also found chocolate dipped bacon (and it looks pretty good too!). Here is a picture from yesterday and a couple links. Enjoy

New Home Sales

New Home Sales Race to Keep Up with Demand [INFOGRAPHIC]. Have you ever purchased a brand new home? It is an exciting experience and an adventure. You get to make choices from colors, to fixtures, to doors, to windows, carpet, tile and the list goes on. It is also your home where no one has lived before. Age does not matter. I helped a retired couple who relocated here in San Antonio and had a paid off older home where they moved from. They never thought "new construction" but I was able to show them how - and the advantages for them. I have gone the new home route and have earned the credentials of Residential Construction Specialist - because I believe in the advantages of "new". Either way, when you are my client, whether we look at new or preexisting, it's up to you! Read more on the subject

Homeownership = Investment

5 Reasons Why Homeownership Is a Good Financial Investment. The best reason is "it's yours". 30 years seems like a long time but there is one thing hugely different between paying the mortgage for 30 years and paying the rent for 30 years. Pay off the mortgage and "it's yours". You can live there, you can borrow on it, you can sell it, you can leave it to someone. Then, 30 years of paying rent means - you keep on paying rent. Your landlord loves that. You paid the landlord's mortgage. Which do you prefer? Read more

Getting a Home Mortgage

Is Getting a Home Mortgage Still Too Difficult? There is an old saying that applies - "Never say never". Are you ready to buy a home? Then get the right folks on your side and guidance on HOW to get a mortgage. What is the worst that can happen? If the answer is no, then the question changes to "what to do to make it happen?". If we accept the idea that there is nothing like owning your own home and set the goal as getting there, then the mortgage process follows. The mortgage market has been tight but I think we will see that change - again. If you are ready, let's just do it. More in today's article

Rates gone up

Mortgage Interest Rates Just Went Up… Should I Wait to Buy? No one really knows where rates will be next year. But - once they go up your buying power goes down. Home prices go up - your buying power goes down. Paying rent while you wait does pay off a mortgage - just now yours. So - ready to buy? Bottom line - the waiting game is gambling that a rate or price move will go your way. It can be a pretty expensive loss if it goes wrong. I would be glad to talk with you on the subject, meanwhile - checkout today's article

Reasons to Hire a Professional

5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying & Selling! Of course you would expect a real estate agent to agree with that - it is our job! But, for whatever it is worth, I believed in that before I became a REALTOR. Yeap - for real. I bought and sold homes and never did it on my own. I figured there are many areas where knowledge is power and where I could get into serious trouble not knowing what I am doing. For me, same with selling my cars - I don't. I trade them and avoid the potential headaches. Anyway, that is off subject. Checkout today's article and see what you think. I am here and ready to help you when you are ready.

We Welcome Everyone

Outdated Kitchen

Thinking of Selling? Don’t Overlook an Outdated Kitchen, Buyers Won’t. I have seen it many time - houses that sit because of a kitchen - or prices eventually lowered - because of a kitchen. You have competition when selling. The new home builders have professionals designing and marketing and your neighbors have updated (and enjoyed the new kitchen while they lived there) and when buyers are looking - impressions count! I remember our first home - a couple years before we sold we completely remodeled the kitchen. As the story goes, the first couple that visited bought - and she loved the kitchen! More in the article today

Existing Home Sales

Existing Home Sales Surge Forward Through Fall [INFOGRAPHIC]. First, my usual reminder - real estate is local. These reports are not. Always best to check with a local real estate professional in your neck of the woods or cal me if you need help finding someone local. IMO, there is still a pent up demand that will take the market to new heights. The seesaw over the election is behind us and we know who the next President will be. So here we are - and it is a great time to buy the first home and become an owner and a good time to sell/buy and move into your next home up or down. It is just a great time for real estate! Checkout today's infographic and more

Interest Rates Increasing

Why Are Mortgage Interest Rates Increasing? Essentially, it is the law of supply and demand. No, not the supply of homes on the market. It is the supply of money and where investors are placing (or moving ) their money. Read more in today's article.

5 Reasons to Sell Now

Winter Is Coming… 5 Reasons to Sell Now! Well, winter is not all snow and ice in different parts of the country. In San Antonio I believe I have seen snow twice - maybe. The first time it was more like a loose salt shaker sprinkling here and there. But, it does get cold here - and folks still buy and sell homes! Right now is a great opportunity to sell - fewer available homes means less competition. And buyers - now is the time. Rates have moved up a little, prices are moving up - and, if you are thinking 30 year mortgage (or even 15 year) now is the time to get the rates that make a newer home affordable. Read today's report


Today the new domain ".blog" became available to the general public. We are pleased to announce that our blog formerly published as  www.cannistra.com  is now  www.SanAntonioRealEstate.blog

If you have followed us by RSS, you do need to resubscribe. That's it - we will continue to bring you the latest in real estate in San Antonio and from around the country.

Thank you for your visits and for following us on RSS or by email.  Al

Homes Sales

Homes Across the Country Are Selling Fast! [INFOGRAPHIC] - and my usual reminder, real estate is local - very local. Best to work with a REALTOR in your area. If you need help finding one, I will use our network to find someone for you. There is no cost to you for this service. Let me know how I can help. Meanwhile, checkout today's report

Empty Nest No More

From Empty Nest to Full House… Multi-generational Families Are Back! And, personally, I like that. Actually, it was quite the norm in my family both as a child and later years as an adult with roles reversed. A popular new home feature - and request - is an extra bedroom for a parent,  parents and even the grands! Sometimes, even a 2 or 3 room suite is the request. Whatever the need, there are builders who can work with you and our residential construction expertise facilitates a cost effective build for your new home. Have a look at today's multi-generation family

Singing Hills

Visited a great area today up in Spring Branch just off 281 and North of 46. The Developer and the Builders did a great job informing real estate agents about the community and it's development. We toured two new homes today by Jeffrey Harrison Homes / Ashton Woods Homes. If you are interested in buying a new home, call me - I would be happy to show them to you. Here are a few pictures from today's event.

Do you have TMI?

You Can Never Have TMI about PMI. OK - in English - Too Much Information (TMI) about Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). Today's buyers and sellers are more informed and have access to much more information than only a generation ago. But, there is usually more to learn and that is why working with a professional has it's benefits. Check out today's article for more on this

Housing Sales

A Lack of Listings Remains 'Huge' Challenge in the Market. More sellers are needed as buyers step up and want to buy. It makes sense to sell and buy right now. Prices are good - and the low interest rates may not be there tomorrow. Who knows what will happen. Now is the time to buy and lock in low rates - or sell and buy your next home for the same reason. Have a look at today's article

6 Reasons to Sell During the Holidays

Why Waiting Until After the Holidays to Sell Isn’t a Smart Decision. Checkout the report of the day - there are actually compelling reasons why it is smart to sell during the holidays. They may surprise you!

Veteran's Day

We thank you for your service and your sacrifices. And we thank your family.

The Whole Truth And

The Truth About Housing Affordability... "From a purely economic perspective, this is one of the best times in American history to buy a home." Seriously folks, I do not know that there has been a better time - and the question is, when will it turn. Of course, by the time we all realize it has turned, it will become more expensive and the opportunities change. Realistically, not everyone can be a homeowner but we are the USA and it would be nice to see a higher number of folks enjoying the American Dream. Checkout today's article and then Go For It!

Do you believe?

The Dangers of “Tight Mortgage Credit” Headlines -  "Did you know that the average down payment among first–time homebuyers is 6% and it's 13–14% for repeat buyers…It's possible to put down even less." Of course, we all trust the news media - NOT.  So it is important to spread the news about the real options and if you or someone you know is thinking about buying, have no fear. Work with professionals and give it a try. You will have a monthly note to pay of course - but the alternative is a rent payment which typically goes up and at the end of 30 years provides you with a stack of receipts - and the rent due again next month. Read today's report

Marry first or Buy?

It’s Not Always Marriage Before Mortgage. Interesting situation - spend money on a wedding or use it for a down-payment?  Spend money on the wedding and the honeymoon or keep it close and buy the house? Or, one buys the house with the other to move in after marriage. Or, both buy the house together and marry later. Whatever works for you is the answer! Checkout today's article


Sometimes I think the real estate market sounds just like the stock market. We hear buy or we hear sell - the bulls and the bears. Well, from the experts - NAR Reports Show Now Is a Great Time to Sell! If I had to define the timing by market, I go with "it's local" - so get you a REALTOR professional in your market to guide you. But, any time is the right time if you are ready. Even as we move into the holidays many arguments can be made for listing now! And, before I got into real estate, I thought holidays were a bad time (it's that parental influence thing). Anyhow, checkout today's report and see what you think. Call me if you would like to discuss it.

It's about TIME

The Difference an Hour Makes This Fall [INFOGRAPHIC] - OK, just having  a little fun with today's title. But, the  good news is we get back that one hour of sleep we gave up this spring! Time has many meanings actually. And the "right" time is something only each individual can decide. Deciding where to live - or whether to rent or own - all at the right time. Making that decision is your call but if I can help provide the information to help you get there, then we are doing good. I would like to see everybody own their own home (sorry landlords) and if you follow my blog here you will find many reasons why. So, for now - if this is your time and you need help, call me. If you prefer to work with another REALTOR professional, don't pass up the opportunity to be an "owner". Go for it and drop me a note and let me know how it feels to have your own place.

Elder Fraud

Today I had the privilege of attending a presentation by Joanne Woodruff, a prosecutor with the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. The presentation was hosted by the folks at Independence Hill in Stone Oak. Bexar County has amazing community outreach and today's presentation did not disappoint. It is sad that there are crooks out there deliberately targeting seniors but they exist. We are fortunate that our county provides prosecutors who specialize in Elder Fraud and you can read more about it here:  Elder Fraud Bexar County   and at the TDCAA journal. If you are a senior or know someone that is and are in need of real estate assistance, I have experience with my own mom and a special place on my website talking more about it. You may be surprised at just who is the new owner of my mom's ring - the story is on the website!

Millennial Living

Think All Millennials Live in Their Parent's Basement? Think Again! Well, for one thing, we don't have many basements in this part of the country....   OK, back to the point. For many reasons millennials may have stayed in the nest longer than their previous generation but what is wrong with that? It might even be retro actually. Like all generations there comes a time to move on and begin the adventure - and more millennials are now doing just that. Their move changes the housing market creating the need for more rentals and for more homes and condos. We have seen a huge jump in first time buyers entering the market and that means a boost to the economy benefiting all of us. Personally, I look forward to helping first timers (it's a specialty of mine) and helping them through the process and eventually seeing the joy when walking through their new home that first time! Checkout today's article


Late night blog post...   It has been 108 YEARS since we could say the CUBS are World Champions! And, we are proud to say it. (I was born and raised in Chicago)

Own and Move?

How Long Do Families Stay in a Home? Of course there are averages - and then the anomalies that we have all seen. I had a long time friend who stayed 63 years in the family house and a client who stayed less than a year! The bottom line is whatever is right for you and your family works! Many things happen along the way such as change in family size, relocation, etc. When it happens to a great number of folks at the same time we see an impact on the housing market. It could be good or bad and it may create opportunity along the way. Today's report gives an expanded explanation on that. Check it out

Buyer's Agent

Buying a Home? 4 Demands to Make on Your Real Estate Agent. Some agents focus on buyers only. Other agents prefer to work with sellers. Then there are those, like myself who prefer to work with both. In my opinion, working with either gives me a better understanding the needs of both and better serving my clients. Each is an opportunity to continue to learn and experience! But, today we are talking about the needs of a buyer. The brief article explains the basics that you should expect from the REALTOR you will be working with. We do it that way! Check it out and call me when you are ready to talk about your new home!