Archive | San Antonio Real Estate

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.

Make Your Next Home in Texas

San Antonio, TexasDid you know for 2013, four of the top 10 metropolitan regions expected to show job growth are in Texas? Whether your reason is employment, a military move, the climate, or family, if you want to move to Texas, then there are two perfect locations to consider. In terms of attractions, and real estate, you should consider making your new home in either Boerne or San Antonio.

Homes for sale in Boerne TX

If you are looking for a city that has a wider range of other attractions, then consider San Antonio, which was the fastest growing of the top 10 largest cities in America between 2000 and 2010.

Homes for sale in San Antonio TX

San Antonio may be best known for being the home of the Alamo, but the city is also home to the San Antonio River Walk. Not only is it a public park, open throughout the year, but it is host to restaurants, hotels, businesses, and other attractions. When looking for homes for sale in San Antonio Texas, you may find several foreclosed and short sale homes, as about 3.4% of listings in September of 2013 were considered distressed properties. Real estate agents in San Antonio were responsible for selling approximately 2,430 homes in July of 2013, and can help you find just what you are looking for.
Boerne, pronounced like “Bernie,” was settled more than 150 years ago by immigrants from Germany. Any fan of the outdoors should consider homes for sale in Boerne TX, as it is considered to be in the very heart of Hill Country. The Boerne City Lake Park has more than 300 acres of land to explore through biking, hiking, and water sports. You would also be close to the Guadalupe River State Park, another natural attraction for outdoor enthusiasts. Contact a Boerne TX real estate agent if living in a beautiful part of the country sounds like perfection to you.

Those that love the outdoors may prefer Boerne, and those that want to take their pick of shopping, landmarks, and a big city would do well to look in San Antonio. Whether you choose to look at homes for sale in Boerne TX, or San Antonio, a good real estate market and an exciting city await you.

San Antonio Market Trending for a Stong Finish in 2011

San Antonio Real Estate SecretsFor the first half of 2011, the numbers for the San Antonio real estate market have largely been lower than expected. Luckily, the statistics from August and September have signaled a small resurgence in the area housing market. With the winter months often turning buyers away, the San Antonio market could follow up a strong early fall with steady numbers in November and December. At the very least, the numbers from September show appeal to prospective buyers who are weighing factors in deciding to buy a home.

Prospective buyers are often clouded with the decision of whether to keep renting out an apartment or to make the big step into buying a home. In the second half of 2011, San Antonio apartments have seen increasingly high rent rates, including a 2.5 percent jump from the rates of 2010. Prospective buyers and renters in the San Antonio area are also forced to choose from apartment listings at a 93.5 percent occupancy rate, making the choices very slim.

Because the rent prices have continued to jump, many of these prospective buyers are weighing harder on the option of buying a home. Another major factor for prospective buyers is the bottom line price. For the same reason rental rates may drive them to buy, they could also be attracted by declining sale prices in the San Antonio area. A median average of $183,762 for single family residential homes in September represents a three percent drop from the same time in 2010.

One of the big attractions to buying right now is the continuous dropping of mortgage rates. Right now, a 30 year, fixed rate offering has fallen to 3.94 percent, going lower than any rate in recent memory. Along with the higher rental rates, falling mortgage rates and lower median price, the San Antonio real estate market experienced a year increase in sales of nearly 8 percent in September. While the first nine months have been largely behind the 2010 rate, the big jump in September could be telling.

With the increase in sales and lower prices, the inventory in the San Antonio area has gone down a small amount. The average time on the market has increased, however, giving prospective buyers more time to make decisions during their own housing search. The September numbers have continued to cap what has largely been a very steady year for the San Antonio market. Unlike many of the real estate markets around the country, the area has used a better than normal employment situation to help keep real estate somewhat steady.

With the figures from September being particularly inviting for home buyers in San Antonio, the area market could close its sales gap by the end of 2011. The overall pace remains a little behind the nine month average for 2010, however the jump in September is encouraging. The low mortgage rates and high rental rates in the area should bring some prospective buyers into the housing market, either as the year closes or near the beginning of 2012.