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San Antonio, Texas: Great Food And Great Possibilities

SA TX Great FoodSan Antonio, Texas is one of the largest cities in the country (it’s in the top 10!), with a current population of at least 1.3 million people! Moreover, the U.S. Census and real estate agents reveal that people are moving there in droves. What’s so great about San Antonio, and why should you consider jumping on the bandwagon?

Sometimes, You Should Do Something Because Everyone Else Is Doing It, Too
San Antonio is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. (San Antonio homes spend an average of just 71 days on the market before they are sold, according to top real estate companies.) Forbes actually listed San Antonio as number one. “The list was based on different factors, such as job, population and economic growth rates, median salaries and unemployment data. It was compiled out of the 100 most populous U.S. metro areas,” the publication continues.

San Antonio: A Foodie’s Paradise
Travel and Leisure San Antonio (and conveniently located San Antonio real estate) as a foodie’s dream. The city placed in the top 10 foodie cities in the nation, thanks to its ethnic fare and barbecue. What should you try first?Travel and Leisure recommends”the queso- and chile-sauce-slathered Tex-Mex” or “the gastropub The Monterey or The Friendly Spot, an ice house with tamales, tostadas, and a dizzying long list of microbrews.”

San Antonio Residents Have A Pretty Good Track Record
In addition to some pretty promising real estate market trends, San Antonio residents have a long history of finding success in their careers and creative endeavors. “Millions of people have had longer lives thanks to Dr. Julio Palmaz, who while at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio invented the revolutionary balloon-expandable stent, which has become the standard for treating coronary artery disease,”San Antonio Magazine writes. One of the very first personal computers, as well as tried and true way of artificially aging whiskey, also originated in San Antonio.

A growing number of Americans are seeking out real estate agents and real estate in San Antonio, Texas — and with great results. Eat great food, and live in a city with a stable job market and some of the brightest minds in the U.S.

Is San Antonio, TX The Answer To All of Your Job-Searching Woes?

Is San Antonio the AnswerIn spite of the deluge of media coverage and less-than-positive projections, a new study suggests there is hopefor millennials, or young adults born between the years of 1980 and 2000. San Antonio, Texas is a mecca for young professionals, with a wealth of jobs, less competition, and plenty of fun to be had on the weekend. So why, exactly, are 20- and 30-somethings taking advantage of San Antonio real estate values?

A Less Volatile Job Market
“A recent survey of 18- to 34-year-olds in the four U.S. states bordering Mexico asked millennials which cities will be the best places for their generation to thrive,” The San Antonio Business Journal writes. “San Antonio ranked No. 1, beating out trendy Austin, L.A., and San Francisco.” Simply put, securing employment after college — especially in today’s job market — can be an incredibly daunting and challenging task. Millennials describe San Antonio’s job market as “less volatile” and “not as crowded.”

Culture, Dancing, And $.50 Draft Beers
Last year, San Antonio real estate agents sold 2,430 houses, but people are relocating to this city not only because of their careers. After work and on the weekends, aspiring professionals can relax in the many shops, cafes, and dive bars in San Antonio’s River Walk. Special events celebrate dancing styles native to Spain, Argentina, and Texas. Thanks to its notably younger crowd, local dive bars are incredibly inexpensive — with some even offering live entertainment and draft beers for only $.50!

Ghost Hunts For Thrill-Seeking Millennials
Just a few years ago, San Antonio earned the title of the fastest growing city in the U.S. from 2000 to 2010. The region also boasts five Fortune 500 companies in the country. Once they’ve gotten the job squared away and found their favorite inexpensive dive bars, millennials may be looking for that something extra or something that makes the city stand out — and San Antonio has it. San Antonio, according to locals, is one of the most purportedly haunted cities. Real estate companies may not brag about the fact, but you’ll find plenty of ghost walks and urban legends in San Antonio.

Millennials are crowding into San Antonio — and with good reason. San Antonio real estate values offer promise, thrills, and, most importantly, job security.

Choose San Antonio – Here’s Why

San Antonio homes for saleThere are plenty of reasons to move to San Antonio, Texas — with its thriving job market probably leading the bunch. (It is no surprise, then, that San Antonio is also one of the top 10 fastest-growing cities in the U.S.) Let’s be honest, however. Jobs may draw Americans to the area, but it’s the quality of living that keeps people rooted in a community. San Antonio is one of the most exciting places to live — and here’s why.

Don’t Miss The Alamo
Living in San Antonio or purchasing one of the many homes for sale in San Antonio without visiting the Alamo is shameful. The Alamo is the largest tourist attraction in Texas, and it is located right in San Antonio. “Once a Franciscan mission, it was here that 189 Texans fought and lost their lives in 1836 during a 13-day siege by Mexican ruler, President General Antonio López de Santa Anna,” U.S. News explains. “The Alamo stands as a tribute to these men, displaying artifacts belonging to some of the Alamo’s most famous defenders, including Davy Crockett and James Bowie.”

Go On A Ghost Hunt
San Antonio realtors may not tell you that ghost hunters and the curious flock into the region to explore the many San Antonio homes and buildings that are allegedly haunted. What is one of the most famous ghost stories in San Antonio? The former Bexar County Hospital is haunted by the so-called angel of death. According to the stories, several patients died after being visited by the angel of death. What was most unusual about these deaths, the accounts continue, is that they occurred sequentially by hospital room.

Explore Some The Strangest Museums In The U.S.
It is wise to consider the Texas housing market as an opportunity and property as an investment. Even the most practical buyer, however, needs to have fun. According to locals and tourists, Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium is one of the best places to do it. The San Antonio located houses the largest tire in the world and Lee Harvey Oswald’s car.

Homes for sale in San Antonio are not just located in the midst of a booming job market. Locals can also explore the regions many attractions, including haunted buildings, the Alamo, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium

Looking for a Home? Move to San Antonio

Looking for a HomeEverything is bigger in Texas, or at least that’s how the saying goes. When it comes to San Antonio, at least, that statement is true: this southwestern city is one of the 10 largest cities in the United States, and according to the Census Bureau, has a population of 1.3 million people. For this reason, if you are interested in moving to Texas, you should consider San Antonio, a city of opportunities, culture, and a growing real estate market for potential residents to take advantage of.

From 2000 to 2010, San Antonio was considered the fastest growing large city in the United States. While that growth has abated slightly, an estimated 2,430 homes were sold in San Antonio in July of 2013 alone. During that summer, homes for sale in the city spent an impressive average of only 71 days on the San Antonio real estate market before being purchased.

There are a variety of options when it comes to buying homes for sale in San Antonio. More often than not, people buying in this housing market are military families looking for housing off-post, as the base houses in the area are often full. However, there are a variety of choices around the city that will appeal to civilian buyers searching for San Antonio homes. One way for prospective buyers to find a house, for example, is to search the foreclosure housing market: as of September 2013, 3.4% of San Antonio real estate listings were distressed properties, including foreclosed houses and short sales. Foreclosure sales allow home buyers to purchase property at as much as 40% of its original value. This is just one of many facets of the San Antonio real estate market that appeal to potential residents.

San Antonio has a number of benefits that make it attractive to both current and new residents. Not only is it a big city with large military and civilian populations, but it also has a culture all its own: one of the most popular destinations in the city is the San Antonio River Walk, a public park open 365 days of the year and lined with restaurants, hotels, attractions, and more. If you’re thinking of relocating to Texas, consider San Antonio. Contact a real estate agent to discuss San Antonio real estate listings today.

How to Stage Your San Antonio Home for a Quick Sale

Stage for Quick SaleSan Antonio, Texas is a prosperous and family-friendly area that is home to five Fortune 500 companies. Many people are flocking to the area due to its prosperity, and home sales data reflects this. Between the months of June and July in 2013, home sales increased by a whopping 27% — and during the entire summer of 2013, homes only sat on the market for an average of 71 days. 
The brisk housing market in San Antonio means that if you have been waiting to sell your home, now might be an opportune time.

If you’re considering selling, you might have received the advice that you need to stage your home. That can be an important step to help make your home more attractive to buyers, and therefore to sell it faster and for a higher price. However, there are many aspects of the home selling business that you need to consider, in addition to staging.

1. Home buyers want to see your property as an investment. This means your home must appear as though it is well cared for. First, evaluate the outside of your house, or its curb appeal. Are you lawn and any gardens attractive and well-kept? Does the exterior perhaps need a paint job? Obviously, any glaring problems such as broken shutters or missing roofing shingles need to be fixed up ASAP.  Repeat this process inside.

Identify all the cosmetic problems within your home and make appropriate fixes. Look for small nail holes, missing trim, loose cabinetry hardware, and chipping paint within your house. Fill in holes with spackle and replace trim; replace the hardware and consider having the interior painted. Ask a friend or family member to tour your home looking for problem areas once you have completed cosmetic fixes.

2. Consider removing the majority of personal items from your home before you start to show it. This helps potential home buyers to imagine themselves living within your home. Pack away photos, family heirlooms, mementos, calendars, and any personalized artwork. Box items and place them in the basement, or consider renting a storage unit. Storage units are a good idea to ensure the safekeeping of belongings while people tour your home.

3. Think about organizing kitchen cabinets, closets, and other storage spaces in your home. People look for homes for sale that have a great deal of storage space. Consider adding organizers in closets and arrange your clothes, shoes, and accessories. This informs home buyers that an entire wardrobe fits in the closet space. In a child’s room, place organizers for toys and other items. Consider arranging pots, pans, spices, and foods in kitchen pantries. Try to push the foods to the back of cabinetry to give the illusion of space.

4. Stage extra rooms wisely inside your home. Potential buyers look for homes for sale in San Antonio with playrooms, recreation spaces, guest bedrooms, and offices. These added rooms are extras that make your home stand out. Rent furniture for the space, or move furniture around that indicates how the room can be utilized. Ask your realtor for suggestions if you are unsure about staging ideas.

Top Best-Kept Real Estate Agent Secrets

San Antonio Real Estate SecretsReal estate agents are often glorified salespeople, experts warn. But, a REALTOR® can be a helpful asset and invaluable tool — if you choose the right one. Certain things make selling a home much more difficult, and even the most honest realtors may be tempted to skirt around them. Here’s what realtors aren’t telling you, and what you can do to unearth the truth:

Open Houses Benefit Real Estate Agents
Most real estate agents frame open houses as a key opportunity to sell your home — and only as a key opportunity to sell your home. That’s not necessarily true. Open houses can also serve as an important networking event for realtors, especially ones working in large cities, such as San Antonio. “Only 11% of homes are actually sold through these events, according to a National Association of Realtors study. Some agents like to have open houses simply to generate new business,” Woman’s Day reveals. San Antonio realtors are no exception. If you like your real estate agent and want to learn more about the selling and buying process, an open house can be mutually beneficial.

Inspectors May Not Be Altogether Honest
Many Americans purchase property as an investment. It is crucial, then, to buy a home in top condition. Unfortunately, inspectors may not be as thorough as you’d like. “They’re only obligated to check for defects they can see –- i.e., no looking for leaky pipes, termites, and warped floor boards,” MSN Real Estate explains. When looking for homes for sale in San Antonio, team up with a real estate agent you can trust — and ask direct questions about termites, insulation, and other essentials inspectors may miss during a visual inspection.

Rates Are Negotiable
If you are purchasing property as an investment, the last thing you want to do is needlessly waste money. San Antonio real estate agents will work for lower fees, if you approach them in the right way. Offer to host an open house in a high-traffic area, or commit to buying and selling with the same agent for lower commission rates.

Selling or buying a home can be challenging, particularly in large cities like San Antonio. Carefully team up with a trusted real estate agent and host open houses for the right reasons.

Three Common Mistakes People Make When Buying Short Sales

Financing Mortgage - House and MoneyIf you’re buying your first home, you might have read about the all the benefits of buying home foreclosures, or how you should buy while interest rates are low, or even about the importance of choosing a realtor. Yet, you might not have heard about the potential mistakes many first timers make when going after real estate short sales.

To help keep you from making these real estate short sales mistakes, here are a few common examples and what you can do to avoid them!

1. Forgoing Extra Research.

Typically, disclosure statements indicate whether a house has had unpermitted renovations or if it’s at risk of a natural disaster, but many real estate short sales don’t have to disclose such information. This means that you’ll have to do a little bit extra research on the home to ensure that you’re not buying property that’ll spike your insurance rates or receive a citation from the city.

2. Ignoring the Problems.

Homes up for real estate short sales often sit empty for weeks, months, or maybe even years. This can lead to neglect issues, like growing mold, inviting squatters, or becoming infested with termites. What’s worse, some real estate short sales were foreclosures that forced the occupants out unwillingly. In such instances, the property must be taken as is, so vengeful evictees will take a sledgehammer to the wall or maliciously ruin parts of the house on purpose. The sellers will try to remedy this issues, but they may not have been properly resolved, so the property may need additional maintenance or repairs.

3. Forgoing the Home Inspection.

Tagging along on the home inspection and asking questions can actually bring the price of real estate short sales down, believe it or not. Some potential buyers might not like to clear their schedules to make time to tag along on the inspection, but if you were to go and ask about possible repair estimates, the seller may be forced to lower their price to accommodate for these extra expenses.

If you’re interested in real estate short sales, you’ve got to be sure not to make these mistakes. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

Five Benefits That Come with Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Hire a San Antonio Real Estate AgentIf you’re not entirely sold on the prospect of building a home, you may want to consider buying an existing one. If you’ve decided to go in that direction, you’ll want to hire a qualified real estate agent, rather than attempt to do it all on your own. The benefits of using a real estate agent are truly far-reaching. No matter where you’re looking to go, or what kind of home you have in mind, you’ll want to take finding the right real estate agent seriously. It’s worth keeping in mind that the following benefits of using a real estate agent will come in handy whether you’re thinking about buying or selling a home.

  1. Ethical Considerations – If the real estate agent you hire is a member of the National Association of Realtors, they are required to abide by a strict code of ethics. This code requires them to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own, while also disclosing any and all problems with a particular property.
  2. Pricing Expertise – Seasoned real estate agents can accurately judge the price of a property the instant they look at it. Those who are experienced with the local market will also be able to anticipate whether or not the neighborhood will hold its value as well. Hiring a good agent is the best way to make sure you don’t end up paying too much.
  3. More Homes to Look At – While almost anyone can find houses for sale online, a real estate agent could go one better. Because of their connections, they may find houses for sale by owners who aren’t especially wild about having their name and address all over the internet. The more options you have, the more informed your final decision will be.
  4. Tough Negotiation – When people negotiate on the price for a house, they may let their feelings get in the way. A real estate agent will have the advantage of approaching the negotiations without any emotional attachment. The best estate agent can voice your concerns and write your requests down in an objective manner, and forward them to the seller without losing their cool.
  5. Lots of Paperwork – Have you ever seen the amount of paperwork that comes with buying a home? It’s not for the faint of heart. The paperwork that is needed to successfully buy a house is so detailed that it becomes almost impossible do to it all correctly on your own. Thankfully, that’s what an experienced real estate agent is for.

The benefits of using a real estate agent will make the entire process simpler and less stressful for you. After you finish choosing a Realtor who is capable of taking all of the heavy stuff off of your shoulders, you’ll be able to focus more time and energy on looking forward to your new home, preparing and organizing your move, and spending time with your loved ones.

What You Need to Know About Building vs. Buying a New Home

Building a home in San AntonioBuying your first home is often one of the most stressful life experiences a person can endure. It’s also, however, one of the most exciting. When you’re beginning the search, there is a multitude of factors to consider, not least of which is determining if you want to buy a home that’s on the market already, or start from scratch and build one from the ground up. Here are a few key points every prospective home buyer should keep in mind when it comes time to decide on building vs buying a home.

The idea of a dream home

This is what most home buyers chase, isn’t it? When you work with new home contractors to build your next dwelling, you really have the ability to customize every inch of it. That means you end up with something closely resembling a true “dream home,” but of course, it comes at a price. It typically costs more per square foot to build a new home than simply to buy one already on the market. Although, you could say that you get what you pay for.

Saving money on monthly energy costs

The more places you can cut your monthly costs, the better. Sure, you’ll likely be paying a higher mortgage on a home you’ve built for yourself. But you can also outfit that home with the most energy-efficient appliances and lighting in order to cut down on your energy costs. Older homes, after all, tend to have outdated equipment that often costs homeowners plenty more to operate. Building a home allows you total creative control over your bills.

The need for more repairs

Here’s an important question to ask yourself in the building vs buying a home debate: What kinds of repairs are you looking at down the road? If you bought a home on the market, you likely got a proper inspection before you closed. What did the inspector say? Are there leaky pipes, faulty water heaters and renovated roofs to keep an eye on? Ask yourself a big-picture question: Will these demands drain your money in the end? Building a brand new home, when done right, typically won’t.

How much money you actually have available to spend

Of course, building your own new home can be more expensive. If this is the only factor you’re worried about, though, you might want to look into finding the right real estate agent to review your home-buying requests. These agents tend to know the inside opportunities that you, as an independent buyer, might not be privy to. One of the biggest benefits of using a real estate agent is that it just might help you land the biggest deal of your life on a new home.

Aesthetics and playing the waiting game

This one is secondary to your financial needs, but it’s still an important factor in the equation. New homes tend to have freshly planted grass, which means you likely have a few years to wait before you can actually tend a viable lawn. These new developments also tend to be further out in rural settings, meaning you might be dealing with a longer commute. The winner of the building vs buying a home battle depends a lot on your particular needs and answers to these types of questions, so think about them.

Five Steps to Follow When Choosing a Realtor for Buying or Selling

Hire a San Antonio Real Estate AgentFinding the right real estate agent takes time, patience and plenty of conversation. As someone looking to buy an entirely new home, you’ll want to find a broker who can give you the best deal when you decide to close on the property — and usually, that’s a professional skill that comes only from experience. It’s important to shop around for the best investment when choosing a REALTOR®, but it might become a bit overwhelming at times. You want to make sure you’re making the right decision, after all.

Follow these five quick steps to keep it simple.

Visiting Open Houses

Choosing a REALTOR® really begins with testing the waters in the market. Checking your local listings for upcoming open houses is a great way to see what kind of property is available as well as to make contact with some local agents. Even if you’re not interested in that particular home, by visiting an open house, you can meet some prospective agents and exchange information with them. They’ll remember you in the future if you choose to call.

Asking Your Friends

Simply put, blindly choosing a REALTOR®, especially when you’ve never done it before, can be stressful and frustrating when you’re looking into buying your first home. You want the best service and you don’t want to be let down at the end of the deal. That’s why you should talk to you friends and family members who have gone through the home-buying process for tips, pointers and even recommendations of particular agents to help facilitate the process.

Going Mobile

When meeting with real estate agents, you should always make sure they’ll be easy to get in touch with. After all, nothing’s worse than a flaky REALTOR®, especially one who makes promises he or she can’t keep. This is the 21st century, so your agent should be available via text message as well as by phone and email for when you’re desperate to get in touch with him or her. Of course, you should realize that agents are people, too, and they have lives, so it’s probably best to limit your inquiries to business hours only.

Weighing All Your Options

Many agents make a lot of promises, but it’s important to never simply pick the first one you talk to, no matter how good his or her plan sounds. Choosing a REALTOR® is a labor of love and should get you deeply invested in finding the home of your dreams, so shop around a bit before locking in a decision. The right REALTOR® might tell you to buy while interest rates are low, and another might say the exact opposite. Always weigh all your options before signing on the dotted line.

Determining Who They’re Working For

Since agents can work for either the buyer or the seller (and sometimes both at the same time), you need to figure out exactly where their loyalties lie before officially choosing a REALTOR®. If your agent is indeed offering a “dual agency” service, find out up front. Otherwise, you might be stuck dealing with someone working toward getting you to pay more to the folks selling a home.