Beware of Scammers

Don't let the bad guys get your downpayment. Let the Title Company and your Agent help guide you along the way.

Included in the Sale of a House

Both the Seller and the Buyer need to know about this one. What stays and what goes when selling and buying a house. It matters.

Home Pricing Mistakes

Pricing your home correctly is critical. Mistakes can slow the process - and cost you!

Reasons to Sell Your Home in Spring

Spring is a Great Time to sell your home. One of the reasons is almost everybody expects that spring is the best time to buy or sell. Give it about a minute and find out more in today's video!

Selling? Call. Buying? Call. Thinking on it? Call too!

Common Seller Mistakes

Working with a real estate professional helps get past these common errors. It is all about selling your home in the shortest possible time for the most you can reasonably get as a return on your investment. Ready to sell? Call me.

Meet Your Home Selling Goals

Once you have decided to sell, there are important considerations to getting the best price you reasonably can from your investment. Do the things mentioned in the list above and show the best that you can show!

What to Know About Home Inspections

Of course you want to get a home inspection. You are hiring a pro to tell you about the condition of the house you are buying. Surprises may be nice sometimes - but not when you just bought a house!

Boost Your Credit Scores

It is always a good idea to strive for the highest and best credit scores that you can earn. Having said that, don't let lower scores keep you away from buying a house. Get with a mortgage professional and get reviewed. You would be surprised at scores that can qualify. In the worst case, a mortgage professional can give you suggestions to get you on the road to qualify for a home of your very own. You have heard the expression - TRY ME - well... try me. Let me get you together with a mortgage person so we can figure it out. Don't house shop without doing the mortgage check first!

About Fair Housing

Over the next week or so, we are going to be sharing important information from the Texas Association of REALTORS. Fair Housing for all is a core belief.

Dragon Slayer

Regular readers know I would never hurt an animal but this dragon is a mythical creature that we shall slay with words!

Seriously folks, there are a lot of myths floating around out there keeping folks from taking that first step in buying a home. I bought my first in my early 20's - almost no money down and definitely a fixer upper - a real fixer upper. My parents were renters and school did not offer shop courses - so I bought a book (today, you have the internet and videos!).

Checkout today's report for details - and a larger visual than what you see here. Then don't let another summer go by without owning your own home. By the way, the first one I bought we sold 13 years later for a little more than 2 1/2 times what we paid for it. Never a guaranty that anyone will get results like that - but it can happen. Why not to you?

6 Tips for Selling Your Home

Once you have made the decision, the question becomes "what to do now". There are some suggestions in this video but the top priority is meeting up with your real estate agent of choice. You can learn more about what to do to bring your house p to speed for the current market. Call your favorite REALTOR® today.

How Do I Pay for A Fix and Flip Property?

By Nick Disney (guest poster)

As you begin investing in real estate, finding financing for your properties can be one of the key hurdles you have to overcome to be successful. The type of investing you are going to do, and your personal financial situation, can greatly affect your options when it comes to financing investment properties. Loans on any investment property are almost always more difficult to get and will be more expensive than a primary residence. In this article we are going to focus on financing for single family fix and flip properties.

Fix and flip loans are short-term loans that usually last from six months to one year on properties that you intend to purchase, repair, and then sell for a profit. Most traditional banks are not interested in these types of loans because they are so short and are generally for properties that need a lot of repairs which makes the loans riskier in the eyes of the bank. So, if traditional banks are not the best choice, then where else should you look:

Hard Money Loans

Hard-money lenders provide financing designed for investment properties. Hard-money loans are short-term loans that last from 6 months to two years. Each hard-money lender will have their own criteria for the types of properties that they will lend on but all of them will loan on properties that need expensive repairs. If you have not researched these types of loans, be prepared that they will have much higher costs than owner-occupied properties. Hard-money lenders typically charge between 10-14% interest and 2-5 points because these are shorter term loans so the lenders will have less time to collect interest and because these loans carry greater risk. Hard-money lenders will typically loan up to 65-70% of the after-repaired value (ARV) of the property so if you purchase the property for less than that amount you can use the remainder to finance the repairs on the property.


     ARV = $100,000 * 65% = $65,000

     Purchase price = $45,000 + $20,000 for repairs = $65,000

Why would you choose to use one of these loans? Because for most investors they will be one of the few choices for financing on fix and flip properties… but also because you will not have to put down 25% as a down payment and can use them to finance the cost of the repairs. Don’t ignore these lenders just because they come at a higher price; take a look at your entire investment and if you calculate that you will have to pay these lenders a total of $5K-7K but you could still make $15K-20K and the end, they could be a valuable partner for your house flipping business.

Private Money Lenders

Private money is a loan from colleagues, friends, family members, or other investors. These loans usually come from personal relationships that are developed over time and there is a high level of trust between the investor and the lender. The terms of these loans can be anything that is agreed upon between the two parties. Private lenders will either ask for a return such as 8-10% or they may want to be an equity partner where they will invest their money in return for a share of the profits. Finding people with a lot of money who are willing to lend to you on an investment property is not easy but will usually be much less expensive than borrowing from a hard-money lender. I have worked with many private lenders and I have partnered with them to help finance my business and provide solid returns to these investors, but please take a moment to recognize the responsibility that you are taking on when you accept a loan from a private lender. You are borrowing a large sum of money that someone else has worked very hard for and that should not be done without the experience and skills to keep their money as safe as possible throughout the entire investment project.

Cash from Personal Savings

If you are fortunate enough to have enough money saved up to purchase and repair a property for sale, then this can be another option to finance your investing. Financing the project yourself will obviously save you the most money as far as financing fees and lending costs and therefore leave you with a larger profit at the end but it does mean having a lot or all of your available cash tied up in a project for a long time. If you are only ever planning on doing one project at a time and are comfortable with having your money invested in something that is not immediately liquid, then this can be a solid approach to financing your fix and flip properties. In my business, I am working on multiple properties at a time, so it becomes a good investment for me to pay a partner to utilize their money in order to allow me to fund multiple projects and keep cash liquid for any of those things that might come up.

To Sum It All Up…

There are several options to obtain financing for your fix and flip projects. Take the time to research the different options and really understand the pros and cons of each one. Make sure that you understand the costs, responsibilities, and risks associated with each one. As you learn how to work with different types of lenders, they can play a vital role in the startup and expansion of your investment business.

Nick Disney, Sell My San Antonio House

$72 BILLION Spent on Pets 2018

Not everyone likes, appreciates or wants to be around pets.

It's true - I have met folks with all different kinds of views. Some of us treat them as family members, even as children, some believe pets belong outdoors and some want nothing at all to do with an animal. I am one of those who have always treated my dog and as a family member, child.

Have a look at today's report for the details. The take-away is pets matter! Actually, besides the fact that most folks would never give up their pet for a place to live or they want a place where their pet can be safe - Americans spend a fortune annually on their pets - over $72 Billion dollars in 2018 and more is forecast for 2019 (sounding like a business opportunity!).

Twelve years ago today, I brought my past dog to Texas - he was born in Maine. Josh was family for 10 years. For the first time ever, giving him the header slot on the SanAntonio.Homes Facebook page Check it out!

House Honey Do List - Spring

A home requires maintenance!

It is Spring - time to enjoy better weather, look forward to summer and vacations and the like. But, best to get a jump on the list of chores to properly maintain your home.

For a larger view on what you see to the left, have a look at today's report.

Together – they spell HOUSE

An institution that dates back to 1828 – Merriam-Webster Dictionary offers a wealth of information.

I recently looked up two words in their dictionary – savings and plan. SAVINGS is “money put by” and PLAN is “a method for achieving an end”. And together, they spell HOUSE. OK, Merriam-Webster did not define that last part – I did. And, what I am hoping my readers take away with that is simple – a house (your home) is very much a PLANNED SAVINGS account – one might even call it a forced savings account.

Don’t let that last part scare you. Forced has a softer meaning if you apply simple logic. You need a roof over your head – yes? Typically there are two options – either a rented roof or your own. If you are a renter, you can look forward to rent increases and higher rents year after year. Once you become an owner with a fixed mortgage, you look forward to your principal remaining the same year after year and 30 years later, no more payments. Your very own SAVINGS PLAN.

How much can you afford to put into a savings plan?

If you have a great paying job and low expenses, perhaps a great deal. But, for most folks, saving is a challenge. Wouldn’t a monthly contribution to your savings be nice? Your monthly rent won’t do that. Paying your very own mortgage will. And, as your mortgage matures, more and more of your payment goes toward principal – your savings plan.

Some may challenge this reasoning and ask if you have to pay other expenses when you own? The answer is – of course. Taxes, insurance and maintenance. But look at the numbers a little more carefully. You get offsetting deductions. Property taxes are deductible. So are ALL those interest charges included in your mortgage payment. Both deductions lower your income tax. Think about that. Instead of paying more in taxes, you are offsetting expenses and putting more into your savings plan. Run it past your tax service and see what they have to say. Ask your banker.

Did you know, In many cities it is cheaper to OWN rather than RENT. But, let’s suppose it is just “close”. Suppose you pay $1300 in rent. You buy a starter home and target your payment at $1500 (maybe less). In a few years your rent will get there. A few years more and your rent will be – who knows? Income tax time changes because you have the benefit of some major deductions. You do not have those deductions when you rent.

If you would like to see “how much house” you can buy, use the mortgage payment calculator on my website. You may be very surprised! Best is to be realistic and buy what you can afford. If you wait to “save” more, consider it a loss. If house prices go up only 4% or 5% that increase is on the ENTIRE house value. A house that is $100,000 goes up $4000 - $5000. Can you save up that much extra – while you are paying your rent? Get in – be an owner. Get help finding a low down payment that is affordable and never ever lock yourself into a mortgage payment that you cannot afford.

By the way, those increases in home prices that I just mentioned…. If you OWN the house, those increases translate into VALUE and that value is automatically added to your SAVINGS PLAN! For sure, if you are paying rent, your landlord thanks you.

Finally – I often hear “what if I lose my job”. OK, suppose you are renting and you lose your job? If I am going to be blunt, it takes longer to throw you out of a house with your name on a mortgage than it does to get you out of a rental. And, if you ask for help early on – you might even be able to stay in the house and protect your SAVINGS PLAN.

I know this post was a bit longer than usual – but it is quite important and it is for YOU! Your opportunity to Live the American Dream. Your opportunity to have the security of your very one SAVINGS PLAN (spelled house).

Extra Home Costs

Yes, there are "extra" home costs that one needs to consider. But don't let that scare you as there are offsetting benefits too. We'll be posting more on that shortly. Come back soon.

Reasons Renters Want to Be Owners

If you want to be an owner, contact me.

If you are in another city and just want to talk it through, call me - there is no charge and chances are I can help you connect with a local professional in your area.

Instant Offer

You may be reading more and more about the revolutionizing of the real estate business and how instant offers are the holy grail. Do I favor the change - generally, NO. However, I am open minded and fully agree that in some circumstances instant offers may be a viable option.

So - why am I generally not in favor. For those who do not yet know my background, mine was a high-level corporate career. I understand business - and making money. Think about it - a house is worth X. These instant offers are not going to equal X or the companies would make no profit. So they buy for less than X - and then they still have the expenses of selling your house - they are not looking to live there. And, who do you think they hire to sell the house for them - and list it in the MLS?

Now they have to cover the investment time of holding the house and the cost of selling it. And, they are not likely to want to hold on to it a long time or that will cost them. They consider all of that when making the offer. Oh - wait - besides all those expenses they have to cover - they want to make a PROFIT. So, go back and start with X. Then subtract all those things just mentioned. Who do you think pays for it?

They convince you that you will have no worry or headaches. Pack the truck and the car and just go. At what cost? Yes, REALTORS do charge a fee. But, our job is to get you the MOST money for your house.

Above, I said I was open minded - and I am. If you do not need to maximize what you walk away with on your house - fine. If you do not want the most earnings on your investment - fine. If you inherited Aunt Susie's old house and don't care because it is just extra money you would not have had anyway - fine.

The choice is always yours.

Secrets for a Stress Free Transaction

Licensed REALTORS® spend many hours in first getting licensed and then maintaining that license. There is a reason for that - they are Professionals properly trained to act as your representative in a real estate transaction. Consider always letting a professional help you.

Millennial Mythbuster

A famous Henry Ford quote - something like: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't – you're right.”

Homeownership is still the American Dream. The choice of paying your landlord's mortgage or your own is yours. You are the most educated generation and at the beginning of the adventure. Live it. Prove the naysayers wrong. Let's find a way to get you in a home of your own. We partner with mortgage specialist who can help make that happen. If you really want to do this - let's do it.

This is an original blog post of April 1st, 2019. But, by no means is it an April fools joke! It is real. You can do this.