(sharing our 700th post on this blog)

After many years of providing real estate services at, we have a new, easier to remember website, It is fast, it is mobile and it is a secure site. It works on the internet device of your choice. (did we mention no ads!) Feel the difference at a San Antonio hometown site for residential real estate.

Who Is Saying Don't Buy?

They Are All Wrong If They’re Telling You Not to Buy

Some folks suggest that because home prices have risen they are no longer affordable. That is so NOT true. The percent of median income to purchase the median priced home is lower today at 21.4% vs 1995-1999 at 24.2% or 2000-2003 at 26.2%. Checkout today’s report and see the 47 out of 50 states where home affordability is better today that it was in the 90’s.

Mortgage Interest Going Up… Should I Wait to Buy?

Some folks are also concerned that the 3.5% mortgage is not available and homes are unaffordable. Too low, too long has confused the situation. Checkout the link to today’s report – rates remain at historical lows (get them while you can). The charts in the report show only as high at 12.7% - I remember as high as 18% and I was right in the middle of buying an apartment building at the time. Markets adjust and people adjust. Still best not to wait when you can get a bargain today!

Interest Rates Have a Big Impact on Your Purchasing Power

If all things are equal in terms of how much you have to put down and what you can afford monthly, then the higher your interest rate, the lower priced house you can afford. So, the kneejerk reaction is a plan to wait and “save more” and that can be a big mistake. While you are saving, prices are going up, rates may go up – and, oh by the way – you helped your landlord pay their mortgage by how many dollars?

We have an expanded page on Purchasing Power - check it out!

Cost of NOT Owning Your Home

So why help the landlord? There are cost to not owning your home – very simply, money you will never see again. And, even worse – a new bill next month when the landlord expects payment again.

Consider that “owning” is a forced savings plan. It allows fixing your monthly cost and provides tax savings. You can live in your investment – you cannot live in a bank or in the stocks and bonds. The experts say that a homeowner’s net worth is 44x greater than a renter. Which do you prefer to be?

Cost of Waiting Until Next Year to Buy

So, you are still thinking next year? Next year just happens to be next week. Hopefully, you are thinking 2018 and not 2019. In the last 12 months, home prices have risen around 7% (averages) – but whatever the number – use your choice. At 7%, a $100,000 home is about $107,000 (think about that each year). Therefore, if you wait – your cost goes up. If you wait, your interest rate may go up. If you plan to wait until you can save up enough – can you keep up with that? You can go the other way – buy now and if you can make extra payments on your mortgage, your mortgage will be paid sooner or you will achieve greater equity sooner, which you may use to purchase your next home!

The Truth about Home Affordability

On this one, I am just going to ask you to go directly to the link above and checkout the charts. In the very first paragraph today, we discussed home affordability. You will find the truth in these charts.

Making Your Dream Home a Reality

It is sometimes said that perception is reality. That does not apply here. Either you buy a home or you do not. You can make your dream of owning a home come true with some planning and some sacrifice. It may mean giving up a few things you would like to do and learning to live on a budgeted amount of money. It is temporary to achieve your goal. Have a look at today’s report for finer details.

Getting Pre-Approved Should Be Your First Step

Ever hear the phrase “Information is Power”? Getting preapproved gives you the power and confidence knowing that you can afford a mortgage and knowing how much you qualify for. It avoids shopping for homes that you cannot afford and the disappointment that would follow. Homeowners will know you are a serious buyer and they can negotiate in confidence with you.

Why Is There So Much Paperwork to Get a Mortgage?

Regulations, regulations, regulations. If there is not a regulation to cover something, someone will invent one. Government safety controls, bank safety (they want to be paid back) – but the bottom line, it is all your best interest. You are making a huge investment and better safe than sorry. The best is to work with qualified mortgage professionals and a REALTOR that can guide you through the process.

Housing is NOT Heading for Another Crash

Earlier we said, “Knowledge is Power”. Well, here you can be an informed evangelist and spread the word on why housing is NOT headed for another crash. Sure, home prices are increasing – there was a lot of recovering to do from the great crash. And, now look at today’s report and the chart showing the increase in the four years prior to the crash and the most recent four years. Pre-crash were almost double the increase of today!

There’s More to a Bubble Than Home Prices

And, it is not just home prices that create a bubble. So much more affects the housing market. In the article today. The experts discuss fundamental value versus speculative value. Folks were buying and flipping like crazy before the crash – it was viewed as an easy way to make a fast buck. Today, flipping is down and so is speculative investing. The market is more stable.

Top 4 REAL Reasons We Buy a Home

Finally – we all have reasons to buy our home and, frankly, at some point in life renting MAY be a better option albeit temporary or longer term. But if you are just beginning life’s adventure and you want to increase your wealth, perhaps have more space and privacy and certainly more control over your environment, a home wins every time. Maybe that is the key to everything we write about here – there IS no place like HOME – your own!

Thanks for reading and hopefully subscribing by email or a feed. We hope you will stay with us – or join – and that next year will be YOUR YEAR!

Our 2017 Christmas Video

Merry Christmas To All

(This is the 2017 version of the video we first made and shared in 2010)

First Time Buyer

Create a Brighter Future

Are you ready to begin living the American Dream - a Home of Your Own? Are you ready to stop paying your landlord's mortgage?

One of the biggest road blocks is the idea that you cannot get a mortgage. Maybe you can't - but, what if you could? As a REALTOR we cannot decide that - but we work with mortgage folks that can. And they look at ways to help you. If you don't qualify now, maybe they can look at how to get you there in the shortest possible time. If you can be qualified - the journey to being a Home Owner is about to begin.

But How Do I Know If I am Doing The Right Thing Right Now?

There is a first time for everybody - once. If this is your first time buying a home, just call and request "first time buyer coaching". You will receive specialized services and explanations for the new buyer. We will get you in touch with mortgage professionals who know how to get things done!

Maybe you have actually done this before? Did you know that some programs classify anyone who has not owned a home in the last 3 years as a first time buyer. Things change often - but it is a consideration that should not be overlooked! Call me - let's begin.

San Antonio Seniors REALTOR

Specialist Serving the Senior Community

Perhaps you are thinking about selling your home. Maybe retiring, downsizing or perhaps a major life event has made you consider move.

A REALTOR with special training understands that selling a home can be an emotional time, potentially involving other life decisions. A specialist understands the issues facing older adults. By taking a no-pressure approach, we can help you navigate your choices and may be able to suggest alternatives that help you stay in your home.

As we age, we demand professionals that specialize in our health needs, so why not in our housing and equity needs as well? We offer you a customized approach and work to fit your living situation in with your overall life plan. We bring expertise and patience throughout the transaction.

We patiently support you through each step. We will take the time needed to make you feel comfortable with the complex selling process and work hard to minimize the stress involved. We will tailor the marketing process to your specific needs and be there when you need us. We are interested in your best interests through all aspects of your transition not just the sale of your home and we can draw upon a network of other professionals focused on 50+ clients if you’re planning to move outside the area.

By the way, I have been asked about the picture above much more than expected so I'll share this with you. That picture used to be on our real estate website. And, yes that is my hand on the left and a friend's hand on the right. We are at my kitchen table. She is wearing a ring that used to belong to my mom before she passed in 2012. The young lady wearing the ring and now owner of it is in her 90's!

Call today and let's talk about your special situation. There really is no obligation just to chat.
Have you visited yet? Have a look: (not an old fashioned dot com!)

Change in the Wind

After roughly 12 years, it is time for a new and modern logo. We have kept two hearts, kept the SA for our wonderful city of San Antonio and included a very subtle 2 representing our 2nd generation logo..... AND, we are moving from to a very simple - come visit our new, easier to navigate and faster site on your choice of mobile, desktop or any other internet connected device.

More to come - so if you are not already a subscriber, sign up for email or our news feed - find it at the top right of this page!

Feeling Stuck?

Frustrated? Feeling ‘Stuck in Place’?

It was not that long ago that folks stayed in their homes maybe 5 years and then moved on – those were the numbers when that type of data collection started in the ‘80’s. Now the number is around 10 years – double! We have gone through a market adjustment where homes prices fell radically, a market where many homes owners went upside-down, and now a market where supply and demand is radically out of sync. Many folks hesitate to move on or move up for fear of not being able to find a new home that meets their needs if they sell. So people are staying in place longer!

For quite a while now, I have been recommending new construction. I have personally gone that route and I believe in it as a viable option. There are so many advantages, not the least of which is getting what you want in your area of choice. Of course there will be a wait of maybe 5 months or more but, that gives you plenty of time to prepare your home for sale in order to get the best price. We’ll talk about the best renovation options in the next section

4 Home Renovations for Maximum ROI

Sometimes, homes have not been upgraded in years. Listing and selling a home that is out of date impacts the sales price – and can dramatically reduce the price that the house is ultimately sold for. Investing in certain renovations can turn the table and result not only a higher sales price, but a home that sells in a shorter amount of time. Properly done, it gives a competitive selling advantage and makes your home more desirable. The question becomes which renovation choices bring the best return (ROI). Have a look at the chart and the linked report for more on this subject

Real Reason Home Prices are Increasing

I am going to suggest you click through the link to see two graphs associated with this posting. The graphs are about the supply and demand of resale homes on the market. It is suggested that a 6 month supply of existing homes is market neutral. A shift in either direction tilts to a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market. Given that there is a shortage in homes right now, this is a sellers’ market and that tends to push prices up.

There are varying theories on why home prices continue to rise, but I strongly believe it boils down to the shortage of resale homes and that new construction has not been able to keep up. Take a look at any type of market – outside housing – same story, supply and demand affects prices. Will we see a dramatic shift soon? I doubt it. It is a great time to buy and invest – and a great time to sell, take your profits and reinvest or, if it is time for a lifestyle change, to use the investment proceeds to do that as well

Bubble Alert!

it is much easier to get a mortgage today that it was just a few years ago. Is it as easy as it was a decade or so ago - no way! Lots of folks got burned when credit was too easy. Safeguards have been put in place and the decision making is more rational. But, for a viable housing market and a strong economy, an easing of credit restrictions had to happen. More buyers today put down less than 20% to finance a home. The credit scores necessary for approval are lower than they were. And, there are an increased number of low down payment programs available.

Some folks are interpreting these relaxed changes as a road to another bubble. Fear from the last time adds fuel to the theory that we are headed in that direction. I think not. Better monitors are in place today as are standards that are incredibly different. We do not see irresponsible lending. We do see tighter standards and better judgment

4 Tips for Success - Before You Make an Offer!

So how do you prepare to deal with a tight market when you are looking to buy a home?

First, make that an absolute first – is find out how much you can be approved for. That means looking at your budget and deciding what you can afford and then talking with a mortgage person who will work with you to qualify you for a certain amount. And, let me add an additional thought here – just because you are qualified for X does not mean you have to spend that amount. I find this true for first time buyers especially. Your lifestyle is important and having enough money to live it at the end of the day may be best served with a lower mortgage!

Back on track. Once you are approved then time to shop and decide what house works for you. When you find that house, be ready to act. If you don’t someone else may! Working with your agent, make a good offer – and still be ready to negotiate. You may make a very good offer – and the seller may want something else. It is a sellers’ market. Best to decide in advance how much you are willing to negotiate – and react fast – if you really want that home

THE ANTHONY - The Day After

Yesterday, I promised to share photos of the morning after the snowfall. There is something special about the sun rising and the new day beginning and life awakens once again. Have a look


A couple months ago, I mentioned that I moved to an apartment in Stone Oak. Well, I have been working on a video introduction and planned that to be the first video that I shared about The Anthony. Then snow happened. So much for planning. In San Antonio, snow like this happens every 30 years or something like that and there is an opportunity to seize the moment. Here is a look at The Anthony the night the snow came down. I am working on a sequel made the morning after - come back soon

Conforming loan limits to increase in 2018

By Luly Shannon (Guest Poster)

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2018 will increase.

In most of the country, the 2018 maximum loan limit for one-unit properties will be $453,100.00, an increase from $424,100.00. At Movement Mortgage, we believe this will be most beneficial since the average home price in San Antonio continues to rise.

In higher – cost areas, higher loan limits will be in effect putting these homes in the Conforming Jumbo Bracket. The new ceiling loan limit for higher-cost areas, which applies in areas with the most expensive homes, will be $679,650.00 on up.

The new conforming loan limits will apply to loans delivered to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on or after January 1, 2018.

(210) 408- 2600 * (210) 232- 5896