Maybe that headline is a new word? Or, maybe not! Taking the Fear out of the Mortgage Process is today's subject. One of the reasons to work with professionals - a Realtor and a Mortgage Loan Professional is their experience and the guidance they can offer you throughout the entire process. After all, they do it very often and while each client is unique, the process is fairly routine. Check out today's article and when you are ready to go for it, call me and let's chat.

Scary Buying A New Home

Buying a Home Can Be Scary... Know the Facts It was actually a long time ago that I made the first leap of faith and bought a home. As I look back, one side of my family were home owners and the other side were perpetual renters. My folks went through life as renters. I was the rebel :-) (Actually, my father was not happy when I bought that first fixer-upper) But that's about me - let's talk about you! We can chat about all the reasons to do it but until you take that first step chances are the process will seem frightening. So, find yourself a qualified REALTOR to hep you through the process and guide you along the way. It is not unlike having a teacher or a coach to get you through something you have not done before. Try it! You will be glad you did. Your landlord can find someone else to pay his mortgage :-)

Homeownership Report

Percentage of Homeownership by Decade and by State. Take a look back at 130 years and even though there is a slight decline right now, the numbers don't look bad. We have such great opportunity in this country! If you have not yet owned and are ready to give it a serious look, let's talk. It is a way to improve your wealth and your security. It can be any price home - whatever you can afford - and it is still YOURS! And, that is a great feeling. Checkout more

The Home Inspection

What to Expect When Home Inspecting. Such an important part of buying a home! Most likely, you are making one of the biggest investments of a lifetime - so why not make sure it is everything you think it is. This is the time to hire a professional to inspect the home looking for potential issues that may cost you money in the future. These are trained professionals working in your interest. In case you are wondering - yes some folks decide not to spend the few bucks and go it on their own. As their agent, I cringe, then point out why I think they should reconsider and, if all else fails, I have them sign a form stating that it is their choice not to have an inspection. Have a look at today's article for more information about the Home Inspection

Owning For Less

Buying is Now 37.7% Cheaper Than Renting in the US - IMAGINE! Many years ago I visited the Soviet Union. Pictures were permitted only when they said OK, so that was a bit of a problem. But what clearly stood out was the lack of home ownership. I am speaking of Moscow right now. Anyway, there were apartment buildings everywhere. I remember thinking how said that people had no place to really call "their own". Later I found out it was much worse. Newlyweds could expect to live in a small apartment with mom and dad for 5 years before getting their own apartment. We are SO LUCKY to live in our great country of many freedoms - sometimes taken for granted. How does that apply to you? Well, look at these numbers. You can actually OWN for less than renting and you can build your wealth by owning. Quit making the landlord rich already. We do not know what the future may bring so we plan for a better tomorrow. Maybe it is time to make your plan. And, if you choose another REALTOR to help you, that's OK - just do it - for yourself - for your family. If you are not in my area, still contact me - I will get you a qualified agent. Read today's report

Distressed Properties Update

Sales of Distressed Properties Hit New Low! There are those who would view this as a negative - less bargains to be had. But, the truth is we are seeing an improved America. Less distressed properties means we are healing and recovering and that is a great thing for the nation. Let's hope it continues to improve - and I think it will. Have a look at the attached for a little more. And, about time I said thank you for following our blog!

7 Graphs

That Show the Real Estate Market Is Back! [INFOGRAPHIC]. This one pretty much speaks for itself. This is a GREAT time to buy. Whether you are looking at buying your first home or are ready to move to a new home - now is good and now is the time to lock in those wonderful mortgage rates! Check it out

About Rising Prices

‘Great News’ About Rising Prices.  We are certainly happy to see this. A couple years ago a well known billionaire suggested real estate was prime for investment - and he was right. Prices are climbing and the experts predict more growth next year. Some folks worry of a repeat of some very bad market experience but I don't think so - and I am agreeing with the experts this time. Prices adjust to market and as long as the same mistakes are not repeated, we should be good. There has been great effort to approve mortgages only for folks who have the ability to pay - this is a far more conservative approach than what was happening about 10 years ago. So check it out and see what you think.

The Grill at Leon Springs

The REALTOR lunch I mentioned in the previous post was catered today by Chef Thierry Burkle of the famed restaurant "The Grill at Leon Springs". The menu was a small sampling of a huge menu available at the restaurant. The food was off the charts in quality and presentation. It is possible that a new standard has been set by Chef Burkle. My only regret was not taking a picture or two to share with you. Then again, I was too busy enjoying the food. Whether catering an event, a nice dinner or even a day out to lunch, this one is worth the trip! 

Setterfeld Estates

Today was a visit to an amazing community of Fair Oaks Ranch in Texas Hill Country. Sadly, it was cloudy and a light rain so the pictures do not give justice to this beautiful community. The builders are Whitestone Custom Homes and Wall Homes. Either can build you a quality home with very modern features. Taxes in this community are extraordinarily low! If you are shopping, give this community a look. There is history to be discovered here. And, if you are not working with a REALTOR, I would be happy to help you choose your next dream home. Again, don't let the color in these pictures detour you - there is beautiful open sky there!

A Quick and Easy Guide to Moving with Pets

Having pets makes buying and selling homes in San Antonio just a little more complicated, but with a bit of planning, you can make the move to your new home a smooth one – for you and for your pet. The important thing is to make sure that your dog, cat, bird or other pet does not feel any kind of stress or pressure because of the move. We explain how in this quick and easy guide to moving with pets.

Ask your current vet for advice and fix an appointment with a new vet

If your pet hates traveling, your vet may suggest medications that can calm it down during and travel. Your vet would tell you about behavior modification techniques that will make traveling less stressful for your pet. If you haven’t micro-chipped your dog or cat as yet, this is the time to do it.

Also, ask your current vet for a recommendation for a new veterinarian in your new area. Perhaps there is someone they might know. Visit the new vet with your dog or cat as early as you can after settling into your new home.

Your new vet will ask for the pet’s medical records. Have you got them in order? Keep the contact number of the nearest animal hospital with you; this can be of great help during an emergency.

Find out about the pet rules in your neighborhood

Make it a point to talk to your HOA about the pet rules in the neighborhood before making the move. Some homeowners’ associations may require pets to be given specific vaccinations and medications. In some cases, such as purchasing a condo, you should check pet rules before making an offer!

Micro-chip the Pet and Update the Address in the Database

It is always better to get your pet micro-chipped. Micro-chipping can be a life-saver especially when you move with your pet to a new location. Dogs and cats sometimes find it hard to adjust to a new place initially and some even wander off, trying to get back to their old haunts. That’s why it is important to update your contact information in the database before the move. If your pet hasn’t been micro-chipped yet, alternatively you can update its identification tags with your new address.

Make It Appear Like Everything’s Normal

It’s important that you shouldn’t get too stressed before the move, because your pet may pick up on it from you and get nervous. Start preparing for the move well in advance so that your pet thinks that it’s normal.

Keep the Pet’s Food, Medication, etc. With You

It is very important that you should keep your pet’s medication, food, bowls, or its favorite toys with you during the move. Your pet would be lost without them, so don’t pack it off with the moving truck.

Prepare the Pet for the Travel

If you’re moving to a new home in San Antonio, your pet will probably travel by car with you. You can prepare it for the trip by taking it on drives around the city. This would help your pet become more comfortable in the car. Also, you may want to invest in a special seat belt for your dog.


Introduce your new neighbors to the pet so that they know what your pet looks like and can inform you if they spot it wandering around. Walk your dog around the new area until he or she becomes familiar with the new environment. Maintain a regular walking schedule for your dog.

Hope the information given here has been useful to you. Do get in touch with us if you have any queries on buying or selling homes in San Antonio.

Purchasing Power

How Historically Low Interest Rates Increase Your Purchasing Power. So what is Purchasing Power? Best to think of it in simple terms. Let's say your monthly budget allows for a payment of $1000 toward renting or a mortgage payment. When you shop for a house, your price range will be something that generates a monthly payment around $1000 including interest and taxes. The lower the interest rates, the more you can spend on a house and still stay within the desired mortgage payment. When interest rates go up - the payments on that very same house would be higher and to stay within your budget, you would need to finance less - or buy a lower priced home. You could also put down more money if you are able - and that could keep your payments lower. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to do that. Now is the best time to buy - low rates unlikely to last for ever. Great opportunity!

Wants vs. Needs

Starting to Look for a Home? Know What You WANT vs. What you Need. Sounds rather basic doesn't it? It is SO easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying your first home or even upgrading to a new home. I think this is especially true when buying a new builder home (and I am a huge fan of new homes - I'll tell you about that in another post). But, lets face it - new model home has all new everything usually and it looks so - well, new! But, overbuying is not a good idea - it can come back and haunt you later. So, the best is decide what the "must haves" are - check the budget - work with a mortgage professional first - and once you know all the facts - go shopping. Call me, i'll go with you!

FICO Score Under 750?

Over Half of All Loans Approved Have a FICO Score Under 750. Are you thinking that you cannot qualify to get a mortgage and buy your own home? Time to change that thought! Today! Seriously, perhaps it is "old school" but you have heard "if you don't try you will never know"? Well, that is true. The important part is getting approved first. Hold off on the home shopping. Instead, work with a professional and find out how much you qualify for - or, worst case, what you have to do to get the approval. Then time to house shop - with confidence. Now is probably a good time for me to mention one more thing and that is once you start the process - don't buy anything on credit. That is SO important as a credit purchase can change you scores and that could potentially wreck the deal. Read more on getting that mortgage for your new home.

Paying your landlords mortgage

Do You Know the Cost of Renting vs. Buying? [INFOGRAPHIC] This graph shows the clear opportunity to become a home owner rather than a renter. There is still no better time to make the leap of faith and just do it. The stability, the tax benefits, the chance to improve upon wealth - so many reasons to become a home owner. Have a look at this

What is my home worth?

Appraisers & Homeowners Don’t See Eye-To-Eye on Values. At times the two sides are closer in how they value a home, but given many external variables - including lender pressure and insurance considerations - the gap widens. Working with a real estate professional and following a good market analysis can reduce the chances of a huge variance on how much a home is valued at. Why is that important? Well, the most obvious is how much you will get for the sale of your home. On the buyers side, it is how much will be paid for the home. If the sale transaction was for all cash and the buyer and seller both agree on price - then a deal can go forward. When there is financing involved the lender is going to be loaning money secured by the property value.

Suppose a lender is asked to approve a loan on a house with a sales price of $100,000. The buyer has $10,000 and the lender is in for the remainder ($90,000). If the lender were making loans at this ratio, the lender is taking on the risk and counting on the value of the home being $100,000 in case of default. That means the lender would have $10,000 to work with to cover the cost of reselling the home and repossession expenses. Now suppose the homes market value is only $95,000. If the lender had loaned $90,000 and could only expect to resell the home for $95,000, the amount left to work with on a default is considerably less. Appraisers are cautious to protect the lender's interest and face a tremendous challenge as market prices shift either way. Read more


The Role Access Plays in Getting Your House SOLD!  First impressions really do count. It starts when a perspective buyer pulls up in front of your home. That first image sets the mood and feeling. A nice lawn, great landscaping all matter. Then - the front entry (or whatever door they walk thru that first time) is going to have an affect. What you want to try for is a very positive affect - a feeling that yours is a quality home, clean and in great condition. What you don't want is a negative impact as that perspective buyer begins exploring. Then there is the question of availability. Having the lockbox makes it easier for agents to show your home - with an appointment of course! Not placing extreme conditions on showing times and access all help insure that your home will be sold in the shortest time possible. Read more in today's post

San Antonio Real Estate Website

We have prepared a brief introduction to our website. Looking for San Antonio MLS listings? We feature them. Looking for a Walk Score? Got that too. And we feature much more information about San Antonio and Texas. We do this without commercials or forcing you to register. It is all free. For now, here is a quick look:

About Home Prices

The Past, Present & Future of Home Prices! Interesting subject - two are readily available, but - the future? The future prices are better called projections. Many factors are taken into consideration and trends are developed by comparing historic prices to current prices to see which way the market is moving. Positive numbers are good. A low and steady appreciation rate is a sign of a stable market. Rapid run up in pricing could be a precursor of a correction in the future. Check the list to see the numbers in your area. Remember, markets are local.

What to ask when buying?

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home. There are many questions and hopefully, once you have decided that it is time to buy, you have reviewed or even made a list of the questions to ask. Everyone has concerns over making a purchase - and rightly so as a home purchase is often your largest financial investment on the road to increased wealth. We'll give you three main questions to consider and the recommendation to work with a REALTOR professional who can guide you along the way. For the first three, start here

Mortgage Rates by Decade

Mortgage Rates by Decade Compared to Today [INFOGRAPHIC]. It is an interesting look back in time, but if history really does repeat, are we looking for similar rates hikes in the future? Personally, I am amazed that rates have stayed this low this long. Back in the 80's we were actively pursuing the purchase of a 10 unit apartment building. Rates were high but we figured a 5 year balloon would allow time for appreciation and hopefully lower finance rates. For sure, it was a calculated yet high risk. As it happened rates got even worse. as a matter of fact, rates went to 18% (sound like a credit card rate today?). We walked away from the deal. Read more about the rates by decade

New Construction

Why We Need More Newly Constructed Homes. I am very excited to help clients choose a new home and all that goes with it. I have bought a new home (practice what I preach) and have taken courses to earn the credentials in new construction. It is a different experience as it lets you personalize options and colors - and if you shop a custom builder there are so many more things that you can choose. If you have not look into new construction I would be happy to talk with and and explore some options. Find out more about why we need newly constructed homes.

Supply and Demand Again

Strong Buyer Demand Continues to Outpace Inventory of Homes for Sale. How many times do we hear about supply and demand. It affects so many things in the sale and purchase of homes and most other parts of our life. In housing, it would be nice to see the market move again and rev up the economic engine boosted by home sales. If you are considering a home purchase and the home you want is not available in a resale home - consider buying a new builder home! It can be a great experience. It worked well for us and for a number of my clients. Read today's article


Think You Should FSBO? 5 Reasons to Think Again! Negotiation can be tough - finding a qualified buyer (can the buyer afford the home) - following all the laws - and the list goes on. Sure, you may know someone with a success story but the playing field has changes - so much so that over 90% of folks do not FSBO. so many that do eventually hire an agent to do the job. The reasons are compelling. Check it out