Year End - New Beginning

This is our final post for 2018. If you have been a regular here, thank you for following the blog. If you are new to the blog or have not signed up to follow us, we would be happy to invite you to today. There is no spam, no pressure - just a lot of information and we are here if we can help you. You do not need to be local to San Antonio or Texas. No matter what part of the country you are located in or planning to move to, we'll help you find a professional licensed in that area through our network of agents.

Our last post is more visual. We are going to share 7 videos from this past year - each only about one minute long. You may already own your own home and understand and are enjoying the benefits of home ownership. You may be on the fence and have not purchased your own home yet - don't let 2019 get away from you. Perhaps there is someone or some family you know that has not made the jump to ownership just yet. Pay it forward - share this with them. Together we can make 2019 the year of the American Dream.

Why Buy Your Home

Myths To Be Ignored

Think About Tax Savings

Millennials Are Buying

Marriage or Mortgage First

Home Owner Extra Benefits

FREE Buyers Service with a Professional

We've Been Seen

If you scroll to the bottom of the blog page - bottom right column, you can see the number of views at any time. This is a snapshot of where we are today! Thank you to all our followers and viewers. We appreciate your visits. From an old movie line... "Y'all come back now"

Home Ownership For Millennials

This is our 3rd and final day (this year) for sharing downloadable guides. In the last two blog posts we have shared the Home Buying Guide and the Home Seller Guide. Today, we are sharing special guides for Millennials. Whether you are a first time buyer just beginning that journey or an experienced home buyer or seller, we would be glad to help you achieve your dream. Let's do it! Just Call Me - Al.

English Edition

In Spanish

Selling Guide - Winter Edition

Yesterday we released the Home Buying Guides as free PDF files. Today, we are giving you the Winter Edition of the Home Selling Guides - no registration required. Share as you wish. Thank you for following our blog.

English Edition

In Spanish

Buying Guide - Winter Edition

Normally, these guides require registration to access. But I am sharing links here which will take you directly to the guides. You can download and save them as a PDF if you choose. No matter who your agent, we hope these buyer guides will help you - and by all means, feel free to share.

English Edition

In Spanish

Merry Christmas

Thank you for following our blog. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Christmas Around the World

We first did this in 2010. It is a pleasure to share it with you again.

Are You in Love with Your Home?

You may be surprised by how many folks love their home and plan to stay. Do you have your forever home?

Housing Market Stats

We have been pretty lucky with mortgage rates. That cannot last forever. We see upward movement. So, if you are thinking about moving - no opportunity like the present.

This is a snapshot Q3 for all of Texas. If you would like San Antonio Market Stats - we have a page for that: San Antonio Real Estate Market Statistics

And finally, this is a look at what is going on in new construction in Bexar County. New homes are a great opportunity!

When Is The Best Time To Sell Your House?

Many folks believe that the holidays is not a good time to list a home for sale. Check this out and see what you think! If you are ready to list, Call Me - Al

Apartment Stats - San Antonio

This chart is a quick look at the stats on apartment rentals in San Antonio - and the price increases. Ready to make your move into a house of your own? Call me - Al

Selling During the Holidays

Yes you can sell during the holidays. It is a surprisingly great time of year to list your home. The video is real short!

FREE Annual Credit Report

It is a good idea to make certain you have good credit. At least once a year, it is worth checking your status. HINT: You can spread your coverage by ordering a report from one credit bureau to start, 4 months later order from another and 4 months after that, order from the 3rd. The following year, begin and repeat again monitoring your credit all during the year!

If you are a resident of the United States:

You may obtain a copy of your credit report, free of charge, once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies using this resource:

FREE Annual Credit Report, visit or call toll free at 1-877-322-8228.

Should you need to contact the credit bureaus directly, contact information for the three nationwide credit reporting companies is as follows:

Equifax, PO Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374 1-800-685-1111

Experian, PO Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013 1-888-397-3742

TransUnion, PO Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016 1-800-916-8800

Sharing Recipes

It is that ime of year when we like to share the recipes so generously granted by family and friends. Enjoy!

26364 Romance Point

We are featuring a great lot for sale in Timberwood Park.

Buy and build your own custom home or buy and know that your lot is ready to build on when you are ready.

Checkout the virtual tour for more information and photos. Drive by at your convenience and call if we can help you!

Cost of NOT Paying PMI

What is The Cost of NOT Paying PMI

This is SO IMPORTANT, we are posting it as a standalone article which I hope you will read AND SHARE - nationwide. There must be someone you can help to get a home of their own.

There is a common and major misconception that saving enough of a down payment to avoid PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) makes financial sense. It does not.

Checkout today's report and find out why it is OK - make that encouraged - to take advantage of a low down payment to buy a house now - and make it your home. If you are ready to look at this option to buy your first home - or if you have any questions, call me - AL

Happy Thanksgiving 2018

Wishing you and your family the very best. So much to be thankful for in America!

Investment You Can Live In

Real Estate Best Investment for 5 Years Running!

Americans - across generations - agree that real estate is the best investment! It is as simple as that.

So, you can move up, you can move on from paying rent, you can start buying rent homes and let folks pay your mortgage. It is all up to you and we are here to help. Let's just do it.

REAL Reasons Why We Buy A Home!

Owning does offer stability. Whether you are going it alone or have a family, owning simply has a different feeling - it is yours! It is a way to increased wealth. Generally, you have more space. And, finally, you are in control. Are you ready to make it happen - for you?

The Difference 5 Years Makes on Home Prices

Appreciation has multiple meanings. You can express appreciation for something done or given to you, you can express appreciation for the life and all you have - and then there is appreciation on an investment - in this case, your home.

Have a look at the chart and the impact of only 5 years of pricing. Notice that the greatest appreciation is in the lower price, starter home category. If you are renting and you want to break free - seriously, have a look at becoming a homeowner. A favorite thing of mine is helping people get there - folks just like you, my readers.

Cost of NOT Owning Your Home

Studies show that a homeowner's worth is 44x greater than that of a renter. AGAIN - Studies show that a homeowner's worth is 44x greater than that of a renter. There is more good information in today's report, but first let that sink in. Whether you are a first timer, or looking to move up and reinvest the value of your present home - are you ready to move on it?

5 Home Building Tips

Ever bought a brand new home?

It can be a totally different experience. Depending on your timing and need, you can select a builder home that is ready to go - or - you can order a home and make it custom to your liking. Either way, you will have a home nobody has lived in before - all yours!

If you have the time to order a home from the ground up, the level of customization will vary based on home price and builder. The experience is amazing - and so is living in it on completion. I would love to help you with the project and that is why I earned the new construction certification - 2 of them actually!

The Rental Trap!

Don’t Get Caught in The Rental Trap!

On average, nationwide, owning is 26.3% LESS than renting in 100 of the major US metro areas. You read that correctly - ownership is less than renting. Remember, real estate is local. The difference between renting and owning in your metro area may be more or less. The differences recorded vary from 2% less in Honolulu to 48.9% less in Detroit.

For the newbies who have joined us - another way to look at this is you can make 360 rent payments and another will be due next month and the following months - or, you can make a mortgage payment 360 times and own your home. It is money in the bank!

Housing Is Still Affordable

On this one, I am going to point you to today's report. Get the details there by clicking on the link above.

You Do Not Need 15-20% Down to Buy a Home

Some myths just will not go away. The fact is, you can buy a home with good credit and very little down. Exploring the option cost you nothing but a little time. We are here to help.

The First Step in Buying a Home

If you are thinking of making your first home purchase, the first thing to do is get pre-approved. You will know not only IF you qualify, but how much you qualify for. If for some reason you do not qualify at the present time, you can find out what you must do to change that. It is not as difficult as a lot of folks think.

Once you are pre-approved, you know the price range to shop in (or under) and any offer that you decide to make has credibility. The seller will have a greater level of confidence in your ability to complete the purchase. If you have any questions about this, call and let's talk through it. Once upon a time, I bought my first house!

Veterans Day 2018

Future Home Prices

What Does the Future Hold for Home Prices?

There is a prediction of a recession during the next 24 months - but, what exactly is a recession and how does it impact home prices. As we have shared previously, a recession does NOT mean lower home prices. A recession is simply a fall in GDP for two consecutive quarters. History teaches us that home prices during the last 5 or so recessions have gone up - yes, up!

While many believe a recession is imminent, those same folks believe home prices will continue to rise - just not at the same rate. Does a home sound like a good investment to you? You can live in your investment!

How Will Supply & Demand Determine Future Home Values?

What is the number one regulator of price? It is supply and demand. The population is growing and there are only so many homes available for sale. The lack of properties for sale has been ongoing and is expected to continue into next year - and perhaps beyond... which we will look at in a future report.

What’s Happening With Home Prices?

As the market returns to a more "normal" state of supply/demand, the appreciation rate will likely slow down. Is that a bad thing? No! A nice steady and reasonable rate of appreciation is a sign of a balanced market. It serves us well.

Will Home Prices Keep On Increasing?

Right now, the laws of supply and demand are working as they should. The lack of supply causes prices to increase. As we stated previously, when demand softens we will see price appreciation slow - not stop, just slow to a lower rate. That is a good sign and an opportunity for market adjustment allowing affordability to stabilize.

Get in there now and let your home investment work for you.

2008 vs 2018

Housing Market Difference Between 2008 and 2018

The primary difference is the loose lending habits of 2008 compared to today's controlled financing options. Secondary, the runaway building that created huge inventory issues to today's housing shortage. There is simply no comparison. Have a look at today's report for more details.

3 Myths About Today’s Real Estate Market

The first myth is a pending housing bubble. Solid reasons for calling this a "myth" are in the paragraphs immediately above. The second myth is that a recession will cause another crash. This is a common misconception based on misinformation. A recession is simply a fall in GDP for two consecutive quarters.

Historically, the last 5 recessions caused home prices to INCREASE. The third myth is that housing will enter an affordability crisis. In historical terms, homes are cheaper than before and interest rates would need to rise to over 6% before buying a home would be less affordable!

Housing Not a Victim to the Next Economic Storm

Experts seem to agree; a housing crash will not repeat any time soon. I am going to point you to today's report to read their comments.

New Home Sales Up Almost 13% From Last Year

New home sales in reported August were up 12.7% from last year! The report shows builders are ramping up construction to fill the demand. But, a housing shortage of homes still exists. This is a great time to sell if it is time to move on and a great time to buy before higher prices and/or interest rates impact your buying power.

Millennial Generation

Owning Your Home Can Help You Retire Sooner

There is so much speculation about the adequacy of Social Security and the age of eligibility for future retirement, giving yourself an edge makes sense. In a lifetime of renting, you can collect receipts and next month, look forward to another payment and another receipt - forever.

Or, you can invest in a home and use that next egg any way you choose when the time comes. Checkout today's report and see what a millionaire has to say to millennials.

Millennial Homebuyers Continue to Increase In Number

Are we in an "Age of Millennials"? Without a doubt, they are coming of age and they are the best educated, most able generation ready to invest in a home of their own. In the right column of this blog, there is a link to our special publication dedicated to Millennials. Check it out.

Myths About Home Affordability

The truth is - homes are more affordable today than 25, 20 or even 11 years ago! That is a bold statement, so I am going to suggest you click through to today's report and read it in detail (it's a short read).

The Cost of Waiting to Buy a Home

Waiting costs money. The cost is added year after year for 30 years. Today's chart is a quick look at the impact of rising interest rates.

For something more in depth, checkout our blog page on how interest rates affect your buying power:

Buying a Home In The USA Is Now 26.3% Cheaper Than Renting

In the six years that Trulia has conducted a cost of rent vs cost of buy study, this is the first time that two metro areas were cheaper to rent than to buy. Both cities are on the West Coast (San Jose and San Francisco). That does not signal a trend - real estate is high in both cities.

The remaining 98 metro areas in the study remain cheaper to own that to rent. That is pretty solid!

Spooked by Real Estate?

The right agent matters. It really matters!

Search Alexa for Homes

If you are ready for a new way to search, a new way to call your agent, a new way to book a showing, a new way to list your home - visit our site www.SanAntonio.Homes - under "Search" click "Voice Search" - try the app. AI is here and it is going to get better! (That AI sometimes looks like AL - and, while Artificial Intelligence is developing rapidly, AL remains here for you too!)

If you do not have Alexa in your house, you are missing out on a lot of fun. Just last night I asked her to turn off the television. She said we don't have one. We argued (yeap, me and a machine argued). She won - I must call it a TV and THEN Alexa will turn it on or off.

Oh lordy! Here I go explaining again. AL does NOT stand for Alexa. AL is ME, your licensed human real estate professional. UGH!

60 is the new 85

Are Home Prices Softening or Are They Falling?

Sometimes, use of falling prices and softening prices get confused. Falling prices is pretty much self-descriptive, but softening prices simply means that home prices are not appreciating as fast as they were.

As an example, appreciation was running around 6% the last few years. Prices reached a point with that rate and have not rolled back. But, going forward, the rate of housing price appreciation is predicted by some to be only around 4 or 5% or "softening" from what they were. Returning to a more normal market is not a bad thing.

Real Estate Market Finally Getting Back to Normal?

So what is normal? As the supply side increases and demand is better fulfilled, price pressure drops. It does not mean prices roll back. It simply means prices are not appreciating as rapidly as they have been recently.

If you are a driver, experience has taught you that is you have been driving at 85 and suddenly slow down to 60, then 60 "feels" slow. 60 is not slow. A normal market is not "slow".

Competition Is Coming!

Housing market relief! As more homes come on the market and close the gap between housing inventory and buyers out there shopping, the market pressure adjusts. Not a bad thing to have a fairly balanced supply and demand - and a normal market.

Price Reductions

What is the impact of the recent rash of home price reductions?

Most price decrease are at the higher end and simply a market correction. In earlier posts, we mentioned that there was a "buyer market" in upper end homes. There were more homes for sale than buyers looking for them. That is a direct opposite of what we were seeing in the lesser priced market. As of now, there is still a shortage of homes and buyer demand cannot be met.

Human nature being what it is, folks were testing the market to see if they could get a higher price for their home - have a look at today's report and the example of the $300,000 home that really was not was worth $325,000 to begin with. The sky is not falling.

No housing bubble expected.

There is no crazy bubble forming. Things are very different than a decade ago. Home prices are actually BELOW value after adjusting for inflation (have a look into today's report and data provided by Corelogic.

Mortgage standards have been much tighter than a decade ago - foreclosures are far less. AND - homes are more affordable thanks to lower interest rates. No market is "perfect" but we are certainly in a good one right now.

2019 is looking good for home sales increasing.

That forecast is not to be taken lightly. Freddie, Fannie and the Mortgage Bankers association are looking for a good year in 2019. I hope you will join in and let the opportunity work for you.

The Future

Have your say in the future tomorrow will bring!


Growing pains? Time to move on from your first home?

It is really OK to admit that your starter home no longer fits your needs. We all start out with dreams and goals and, at the time, your purchase fulfilled your need - and now those needs have changed. It is a part of life - one constant is change.

Is your current home the best for you in your retirement years?

We all have to deal with change at various times in our lives - we cannot escape it. Perhaps you had a need for a large home, a luxury home, space that you no longer need - and many other reasons for living where you live now. But priorities change!

Maybe that extra space means empty rooms, more to clean and higher taxes to pay. Maybe the the executive luxury home is no longer needed because you do not entertain as you once did. Maybe the yard has become too much work - or too expensive to have maintained. Many things change - it is personal! But, you are living in an investment and have the opportunity to repurpose your savings and appreciation.

You have so many options - whether move to another climate or stay local with something smaller - or whether to buy a mobile home and hit the road for a few years - and any variation in between. You have options - the choices are yours!

Home values have recovered! Do you know how much your home has?

Got to love the automated systems that tell you what your home is worth. Their creators try hard - sometimes they get it right or at least close. This is especially an issue in Texas as we have non-disclosure.

What to do? You can hire an appraiser - or you can call in your friendly real estate professional. It is sort of like checking your bank balance!

NAR says it is a great time to sell. I agree!

There has been a housing inventory shortage for quite a while. That shortage impacts sales (not enough supply to meet demand).

It is still a seller's market but that will not last forever. Take a look at the opportunity - it just might work for you!

By the Numbers

Home Equity is like "money in the bank" - and you get to live there!

Build Family Wealth

Let rising home prices help you improve personal and family wealth. Check out this short video.

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters - not something you just see on the news - it can affect any of us at any time. This is a very short video - some points to ponder when a natural disaster strikes.

CRS - Sellers Representation

CRS - Certified Residential Specialist - another level. If you are looking to sell your home, find out what a CRS can do for you!

CRS - Buyers Representation

CRS - Certified Residential Specialist - another level. If you are looking to buy a home, find out what a CRS can do for you!

What is a CRS?

Like many other careers, there are various levels or specialties that one can work to earn. CRS is a Certified Residential Specialist. This video gives a brief description. For more, call me and I'll be happy to explain.


Seems to be pretty solid - ALL generations have the desire to own their home. Rent works in some cases and for some reasons - I am renting right now. But, the bottom line - and not just in America - people of all ages - all generations - clearly prefer to call a home their own!

Pillow Fight

Those were the good old days!

If you have little ones now, remember - it is sort of a right of passage. I do not know anyone who never experienced a pillow fight at some time in their life. Some still do - as adults!

Home is a "feeling" - not a place - pillow fights and more! When you are ready for your new - or first - home, we are ready to help you. Even if you are not ready now, call and let's get to know one another. We do not send junk mail and we do not hound you to death. We will try to answer your questions.

If you are a regular subscriber, the video does not travel with the email. Visit the blog to see our videos!

Alternative Home Search and Financing

Looking for a foreclosure, government owned, auctions, and other alternative ways to find your home? While, in most cases, I cannot help you with these, I am open to sharing the resources to facilitate your search. If anything here works out for you, please let me know and share your experience. This blog is all about helping folks get a home of their own.

In no particular order:

Fannie Mae Homes

Fannie Mae Financing HomePath Financing

Freddie Mac Homes

Freddie Mac Special Offers Search Homes Real Estate

Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America Getting a Mortgage

As always, this information helps others only if it is working. If you find a broken link, please let me know.


Fannie Mae vs Freddie Mac Diffen


What is with this country these days?

This group of photos got my hand slapped by Facebook today! The almighty gods at FB scolded me for not being within their standards of nudity. WHAT? The holier-than-thou Puritanical attitude that prevails today is getting ridiculous. Boys will be boys (and girls will be girls) - they did not used to be ashamed of their bodies. They were not told to hide themselves.

What happens if someone posts a photo of a naked baby on a bear skin rug today? Facebook does not like such things? Why? There are many reasons for sharing such pictures far outside lust or porn.

It has gotten so ridiculous that today, you go to the changing room at the health club and see late teens covering themselves waist down with a towel while they slip off their gym shorts! They have never been in a school locker room? What is THAT like today? I have no clue about high school locker rooms today or the ladies locker rooms at schools or gyms. But I do know that if these kids later join the military, they will be very unprepared!

I have traveled the world. In many places, locker rooms are co-ed - and NO ONE CARES! Admittedly, that was a challenge for me to get used to (I am an American after all) - but, I got over it. When in Rome.... actually, I think it was Germany - the first time!

OK - so this post is highly unusual for me - perhaps the first real RANT but.......

20 Loans - 19 Countries

I have written about Kiva previously. Today (well, actually yesterday) was 2 years with their program thanks to PayPal. If you have not had a chance to check it out yet, please do.

Did 2 more loans today to folks in 2 more countries - up to 20 loans and 19 countries (including one in the USA). The fun is helping someone help themselves! You can get started building your portfolio with as little as $25.

I am working toward their Ambassadors level to take this up a notch - joining through the link here will help that effort. Nothing in it for me financially, but as I understand the program - they will help make more loans available to folks in need.

Thanks for reading!