Archive | San Antonio Real Estate

Real Estate Market Trends to Expect in 2015

real estate marketing trendsAs the housing market recovered following the Great Recession of the mid 2000s, home prices and real estate values in several areas the United States increased. In fact, according to RealtyTrac, the average sale price of single-family homes and condominiums in October were at the highest they have been since September 2008.

The temptation of the foreclosure housing market in addition to price appreciation created ideal real estate market trends for investors willing — and able — to pay cash. This made it difficult, if not impossible, for traditional buyers to compete.

According to real estate experts, that will soon change. 2015 is slated to be the year of affordable and balanced real estate market trends across the country as the real estate industry as a whole makes a return to post-recession normalcy. predicts home value growth will slow from 6 to roughly 3% per year, making real estate less appealing to investors.

“It’s been a tough market for buyers,” Stan Humphries, chief economist for said. “I think it’s going to get easier in 2015. Negotiating power will move back to buyers and away from sellers. It will be a much more balanced market.” For example, too many buyers and not enough inventory, or vice versa, creates an unbalanced housing market.

The option-filled real estate market trends for 2015 means real estate agents will be busy. With more available inventory and less competition from large investors, traditional home buyers may become pickier and more willing to pass on a property they feel isn’t the best fit for them.

Also, it’s predicted that millennials (generation Y) may enter the housing market foray. Many millennials (largely college graduates between the ages of 25 and 34) have chosen renting over home ownership due to hefty student loan payments and poor credit. However, Gen Yers yearning for the stability that comes with “settling down,” may become the largest group of homebuyers in the new year, surpassing Generation X.

3 Steps to Help You Find the Best Real Estate Agent for Your Needs

real estate agentPurchasing a home is perhaps the most significant financial decision you will make in your lifetime. Buying in this housing market can be tricky and requires expert knowledge in understanding real estate market trends. As such, finding the right real estate agent who will truly empathize with your needs and is knowledgeable regarding real estate values in your area is paramount in finding your dream home. In many ways, the relationship between potential home buyers and real estate agents is similar to a romantic one in that open communication and chemistry play an essential role; home buyers and Realtors should “click” and develop a solid professional relationship.

Wouldn’t it be nice to cut through all the hype and advertisements in order to find the right real estate agent? It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the number of real estate advertisements online, in print, and on television. Luckily, there are a few helpful tricks of the trade. Read on to determine how to pick the best Realtor.

Speak with recent clients
Whether they’re a family, friend, co-worker, or perfect stranger it’s extremely beneficial to get an insider’s opinion of the Realtor in question. Getting a personal recommendation is perhaps the best way to determine if a Realtor is right for you. Don’t hesitate to ask agents for a list of properties they’ve sold and listed in your area within the last year including contact information. If you’re selling your home, ask the agent if they have prior experience selling properties that are similar to yours in terms of price and location. You want an agent who is knowledgeable in your specific market.

Do some homework
Many states have boards that both license and discipline Realtors and real estate agents. Check with your state’s real estate regulatory boards in order to find out if the real estate agent is not only licensed, but if they have had any previous complaints and disciplinary action taken against them. Some states may have this information available online in the form of a searchable database. Also, pay attention to peer-given awards. An example is the “Realtor of the Year” awarded by the local or state branch of the National Association of Realtors. The agents who receive this prestigious award are judged by their peers.

Review current listings
Most buyers and sellers begin their search for an agent online. Begin by reviewing the social media pages and website of the real estate agent in question in order to get an idea of the types of properties they specialize in. Just as doctors specialize in certain areas of medicine, so do real estate agents specialize in certain form of real estate. Be sure to carefully evaluate how closely the Realtor’s listing align with the property you’d like to buy or sell. Also, look for an attractive web presentation and a strong online presence.

Last but not least, remember to go with your gut. Clearly communicate your expectations and goals, and be equally receptive to feedback.

The 9 Steps of Closing and How to Find the Right Guide Through Them All

real estate companies

If you’re looking to buy a home, you’re in good company. About 63% of Americans believe that buying is better than renting, and owning your own home has long been part of the American Dream. With the market beginning to stabilize (meaning that listing prices and sale prices are closer together) as of 2013, many prospective homeowners are hoping to buy before prices go much higher. But far fewer people actually know how to wisely navigate the buying process.

Say you’ve done your research on buying in this housing market, identified real estate market trends and real estate values, and even vetted real estate companies for a real estate agent who knows your preferred location. These are all important steps. But in your focus on finding the perfect home, have you neglected to inform yourself on how to actually buy it? As Time Warner Cable News reported Oct. 26, closing is actually the most important — yet least discussed — part of buying a new home.

The Major Steps

There are many steps to closing, and they generally happen in this order:

  • Opening an escrow account
  • Waiting for a bank appraisal
  • Agreeing on financing with a lender
  • Approving seller disclosures of property concerns
  • Obtaining various inspections
  • Buying insurance
  • Doing a final walk-through
  • Reviewing the final statement
  • Wiring a down payment, signing escrow paperwork and paying closing costs

These steps are regulated by various laws and are designed to ensure a fair and transparent transfer of property.

Choosing the Right Guide

If all of those steps look daunting to you, don’t worry. One of the major reasons people work with real estate companies, aside from getting help in finding properties, is that closing can be confusing. The key is informing yourself as best you can and then working with the right agents to guide you through the process. There are a few things to consider:

  • How Communicative Your Agents Are
    One of the best indicators of whether a real estate company is right for you is whether you feel you can ask questions and receive clear, helpful answers. The process of buying real estate is confusing, and your agent’s job should be to provide you with all the necessary information, educating you without expecting you to learn all the minutia.

  • The Type of Sale
    While there are fewer foreclosed properties on the market now than there were just a few years ago — the foreclosure inventory dropped by over 450,000 properties nationally in the year between August 2012 and August 2013 — there are still many foreclosed properties that offer great deals, especially to first-time homebuyers on a budget. But if you’re looking to buy a foreclosure, it’s wise to search out real estate companies experienced in dealing with them, since the closing process is often somewhat different from a traditional sale.

  • Special Circumstances
    If you have special concerns, such as finding a home and closing as quickly as possible (a frequent concern both for military personnel and civilians relocating for work), ask real estate companies if they have experience in expediting the home search and closing process. There are many factors your agents won’t be able to control, but certain agents may be more adept than others at pushing things through quickly.

Do you have any other advice to share on the closing process? Join the discussion in the comments.

Three Reasons Americans Are Moving To San Antonio, Texas

luxury real estateSan Antonio, Texas is home to one of the fastest growing job markets in the U.S., and it is also one of the 10 biggest cities in the nation. Five of the most lucrative businesses in the U.S. (five Fortune 500 companies) are located in this city as well. It’s not all about work and money, however. More Americans are choosing to purchase luxury real estate in San Antonio, Texas — and it’s not always the jobs that are motivating their decisions. In fact, many people are drawn by San Antonio’s one-of-a-kind attractions, nation-famous River Walk, and family-friendly atmosphere.

San Antonio Announces The First Book-Free Library
According to Discovery News, this one-of-a-kind library looks like the Apple Store and offers patrons the opportunity to rent various e-readers for up to two weeks at a time. County Judge Nelson Wolff is not worried about theft, either: “We do have your name, we do have your address. You check it out for two weeks, just like a library book. In two weeks, your e-book goes dead, so you won’t have anything worth keeping.”

The San Antonio River Walk: Something For Everyone
Local real estate agents listing homes for sale in San Antonio, Texas always remind would-be residents about one thing: most luxury real estate in the area is located just minutes away from the nation-famous San Antonio River Walk. The River Walk has several small specialty shops, local souvenir shops, top quality restaurants, and treasured local haunts, including pubs and bars.

Kids Will Love These Local Caverns And The San Antonio Zoo
Adults and kids alike will love exploring Natural Bridge Caverns, “a rocky underground wonderland of stalagmites and columns, shimmering calcite and slimy-looking flowstone,” according to The Travel Channel. If you want to stay above ground, the San Antonio Zoo houses 750 different species — and more than 3,500 animals in total.

Many prospective home buyers view property as an investment. Make it a wise one — by choosing homes located near The San Antonio River Walk, one of the nation’s only book-free libraries, and thousands of animals that your kids will love.

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.