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Liz's Blog

By Liz Voss ABR®, GRI, MBA | Broker in San Antonio, TX
  • The Consistent Traffic of Properties in San Antonio

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Antonio, Home Selling in San Antonio, In My Neighborhood in San Antonio  |  February 2, 2012 9:39 AM  |  2,129 views  |  1 comment
    Properties in San AntonioIt might be nice to be in the middle of a market that is bursting at the seams, but properties in San Antonio can't be said to be going through the roof. As a matter of fact, there isn't anywhere in the country right now that can boast of having such a run on housing. While properties in San Antonio are selling, there are other parts of the U.S. where real estate is dormant.

    Smaller towns and cities across the country have seen real estate offices close with no plans to reopen. If it weren't for their ability to do appraisals for foreclosures, other agencies would have closed, too. Many agents are looking to locate jobs in other endeavors because they have become so disenchanted with the market.

    When you return to properties in San Antonio, you can see that things are not really that bad. In fact, the market was considered stable at the close of 2011. The San Antonio Board of Realtors published their end of year report using many of the words that define excellence in the real estate climate of today.

    "Firm, permanence, unwavering, and consistent" are what is reported regarding properties in San Antonio currently, and it is a far sight better than what other real estate boards have to report.

    Properties in San AntonioThe number of properties in San Antonio that sold in 2011 was almost 18,000, which matches 2010. As with the number of sales, the average selling price remained much the same. The average home sold for $185,516, with the median price experiencing a 1% rise from 2010. While some say this is not great, it is certainly an improvement.

    Another factor that enters the mix when looking back on 2011 is there were no tax incentives to make housing sales grow. That makes holding steady even more of a success. Instead of artificially inflated numbers, sales of properties in San Antonio can stand on their own, proving again that it is one of the most enduring cities in America.

    The simple fact that makes it all look favorable for 2012 is that properties in San Antonio sell because they are supported by the economy, which is the way it was intended. Other cities might follow the lead and work to improve incentives that attract business if they want to increase sales. At the end of 2012, being able to say that real estate was consistent might not be a bad thing after all.
  • What Makes the San Antonio Real Estate Market So Attractive?

    Posted Under: General Area, Quality of Life, Home Buying  |  January 16, 2012 10:08 AM  |  2,349 views  |  No comments
    San Antonio real estate market

    As in many other parts of the country, the San Antonio real estate market has been a buyers market for some time, but that doesn't mean that home prices are depreciating; in fact there has been some growth in value. What this means is the time is running out on those fire sale homes.

    Still, prices in the San Antonio real estate market are good from the standpoint of buyers and affordability comes in many of the areas of the city where homes are located. A city with such history and culture is a good draw for those choosing to relocate. The River Walk and the Alamo are two of the most famous city features that visitors and residents frequent.

    Things to Do and See in San Antonio

    A trip to the Alamo should include a journey down Mission Road to learn the history of this famous Texas town, but much of the wonder of San Antonio is in the present day. There are rodeos in February each year, followed by the Fiesta in April. June is the season for the Texas Folk Life Festival, and in November, the Holiday River and Lighting Ceremony is not something to miss.

    Military City U.S.A.

    A prime contributor to the San Antonio real estate market is the military and its families. San Antonio often receives the status of "Military City U.S.A." because of the presence of America's fine service men and women. Because of the mild weather and conveniences associated by the military, many of those retiring from service choose to return to make San Antonio their home.
    San Antonio real estate market
    Economic Strides in the San Antonio Real Estate Market

    The New Year seems to be kicking off strides in the economy for the area and the San Antonio real estate market. The city ranks #1 in the Milliken Institute's Best Performing Cities Index. Also contributing to the popularity of San Antonio is its number 2 ranking among the top 10 places for college graduates to locate, as assessed by Liveability.com.

    Kiplinger Magazine bestowed upon the city a ranking as a "Best Value City" because of the many positive attributes it has. A heavy weight among the prognosticators in the nation, Forbes Magazine places San Antonio as number four on the list of the next U.S. boomtowns.

    Now is the time to consider San Antonio as a place to live and it comes when real estate values abound. While prices are still low and opportunities are budding in the San Antonio real estate market, the clear choice is this wonderful location in the great state of Texas.
  • Tips for Purchasing San Antonio Real Estate

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Antonio  |  January 8, 2012 1:10 PM  |  2,457 views  |  No comments
    San Antonio Real Estate
    There are many appealing reasons to choose Texas as a place to live, and one area in particular that attracts many home shoppers is San Antonio. Here are a few tips to remember when you are in the market for San Antonio real estate.



    Tip #1 - Loan Pre-Approval

    Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan is a fast track method in the home buying process when shopping for San Antonio real estate. Getting to the closing table takes much longer if you have not gone through the loan pre-approval process. You also don't want to find out after you put on a contract on a property that you cannot qualify for the loan amount required to purchase it.

    Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan also helps San Antonio real estate shoppers look for properties that are within their budget. Loan pre-approval helps your San Antonio real estate agent pinpoint properties that are right for you, speeding up the home buying process.

    Tip #2 - Use a San Antonio Real Estate AgentSan Antonio Real Estate Agent

    There are many horror stories out there from both buyers and sellers seeking to purchase San Antonio real estate without using a real estate agent. Benefits of using a real estate agent are numerous, and it is for your own protection whether you are a buyer or a seller.

    First, finding properties on your own outside of the multiple listings can be difficult. Secondly, realtors are professionally trained and licensed; they know how offers, contracts, etc. should be handled so they are legal and above board. It is a major protection to use a realtor in any real estate transaction.

    A San Antonio realtor knows the right questions to ask the seller, the disclosures that have to be made on a property, and they help protect the legal rights of their client. If you want to find all available properties, especially those that fit your "wish list" as closely as possible, plus avoid costly legal proceedings that may result from going it on your own, save yourself the hassles and use a San Antonio real estate agent.

    Tip #3 - Shop Conservatively

    Remember there are other costs involved in home ownership besides just the monthly mortgage payment. You want to purchase a home with a payment that doesn't leave you strapped each month so you can pay other expenses. In addition to the mortgage payment, you have the expense of homeowners insurance and property taxes.

    You should also leave some surplus funds for landscaping, maintenance, and emergency situations that may arise such as a refrigerator going out or other major appliances.

    Shopping for San Antonio real estate doesn't have to be a huge chore when you go about it the right way, which includes involving a real estate agent from the beginning. The entire process will go much smoother if you take advantage of the knowledge and experience of someone familiar with San Antonio real estate.
  • Tips for Finding the Best Properties in San Antonio

    Posted Under: General Area in San Antonio, Home Buying in San Antonio, In My Neighborhood in San Antonio  |  December 23, 2011 9:10 AM  |  2,934 views  |  No comments

    Properties in San AntonioIt is considered a buyer's market in the current economy with historically low interest rates and so many foreclosures and short sales available. Additionally even as property sales have picked up in 2011, there are still so many incredible homes on the market in just about every price range, you can easily find the home of your dreams AND within your budget!

    For those wishing to invest in real estate in Texas, now is the prime time to investigate properties in San Antonio. First a shopper for properties in San Antonio must determine what type of property they plan to purchase and establish a budget. Getting preapproved for a loan is a great way to help your realtor isolate potential properties for you to view.

    Home Shopping Tips for Properties in San Antonio

    Finding the perfect properties in San Antonio that meet your specific wants and needs requires some input from you for your real estate agent. Here are some of the most popular considerations:

    Location - Home shoppers have different reasons for targeting specific areas for properties in San Antonio. It may be advantageous for them to locate near their work or business. It may involve specific school districts for their children. They might want to be located outside the city limits, or in the city near certain shopping districts. Make sure your realtor helping you find properties in San Antonio knows of any location specifics that are important to you.

    Yard Preferences - There are some who prefer plenty of yard space and don't mind cutting grass. Then again, there are some who want to have as little lawn as possible so they don't spend every summer Saturday behind the lawnmower. Be sure to inform your real estate agent helping you shop for properties in San Antonio about your preferences in this regard.

    Neighborhood Amenities and Covenants - When shopping for properties in San Antonio, it is important to consider what different structured neighborhood communities offer in the way of amenities. Some have swimming pools, neighborhood watch, gated entrances, designated bicycle paths, and sidewalks.

    Having defined covenants can prevent certain situations that may lead to declining home values, giving you added protection for both living comfort and peace of mind that the neighborhood homes will increase rather than fall in value.

    Future Plans - Another important consideration when shopping for properties in San Antonio is your plans for the future. Perhaps you have children already or plans to have them soon. Your realtor will help you choose a home within your price range that offers the most possibilities for your family's future plans.

    List Home Features Important to You

    Make a list of everything important to you in a home to help isolate the best potential properties in San Antonio. Arming your real estate agent with as much information as possible, and even prioritizing as to what is most and least important, will help them find the most suitable property for you. After all, that is exactly what they do! They match home buyers to the right properties.

    A home is an important investment, so you want to give it the time and consideration it deserves; your realtor is there to guide you through the entire process of finding the right property in San Antonio for you.

    Liz can assist with any needs you may have in your search for Helotes homes for sale and/or Boerne homes for sale.
  • How Do I Know If I'm Working With The Right San Antonio Real Estate Agent

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Antonio, Home Selling in San Antonio, Property Q&A in San Antonio  |  December 15, 2011 8:48 AM  |  2,835 views  |  No comments
          Everyone wants to know they are dealing with the right San Antonio real estate agent, however this may be difficult due to the fact everyone judges people differently.  Exactly what expectations  you set for your real estate agent are up to you. Ultimately there are certain characteristics you should look for, and ask about prior to selecting to work with an agent.  Deciding the pros and cons of each and every agent you meet can be a tedious task, but  one that must be done during the interview process in order to ensure that you select the correct person with whom you will be working with during your transaction.

         Whether you are looking at purchasing a property, or even selling a pre-existing home your real estate agent will need to be able to accommodate your needs.  Something to keep in mind, some real estate agents are better in certain areas over others so don't make the assumption that the  REALTOR you select will be the best for all of your real estate needs.  There are many tools available to assist you in selecting the right REALTOR.  Making a good choice when picking your real estate agent is important so take your time.

         When starting your research you may select an agent just because you receive something in your mail box, or see a local advertisement. Caution, this may not be your best option.  It would be prudent of you to carry out your individual analysis on several agents and not jump to a hasty decision, or opinion until you have interviewed several real estate agents.  Put everything in writing, and re-interview a second time if need be to complete your short list.    

         The ultimate way to become familiar with a real estate agent is firsthand experience, or by looking at their work.  One good example would be to go to an open house they're holding, or perhaps inquire with some sellers whom have listed with the agent.  This can be a easy way to find out how they represented the Seller, or well they represented a home buyer.

         Don't hesitate to question the REALTOR asking them how many San Antonio homes they sold in the previous year breaking out both Buyers, and Sellers.  You can also ask if they are a full time REALTOR, how long have they been in the business, and if they have any additional designations. You need a real estate agent who has had experience in the area of real estate that you will be dealing with.

         Normally testimonials are a fun way to get to know someone.  Finding a REALTOR through speaking with a buddy, family member or close friend is generally a excellent way to find  someone who will work nicely along side of you.

         Verify the REALTOR's on-line presence, the need for this is of utmost importance since the role of technologies has increased and people today want immediately.  Verify that your REALTOR lists all their properties on-line, the latest statistics reveal that 85% of all homes being purchased today originate from individuals who have found their houses online.  Look at some of the MLS listings to see how the listing agents properties show up.  Find out what type of pictures they used and the fine detail in which they described the house.


         Finally, keep the bar raised high.  Understand that ultimately the person you select will be working for you.  Once you choose a REALTOR ask them of their particular viewpoints in home loan providers, inspectors and contractors.  They should be able to provide you with some neutral thoughts and opinions which assist you with a greater sense in the whole overall process of buying, or selling your house.

    Liz also handles transactions for Boerne real estate, and in addition has articles relating to Helotes real estate as well.

  • Where to begin in selecting your Realtor

    Posted Under: Property Q&A in San Antonio  |  November 15, 2011 12:12 PM  |  2,355 views  |  No comments
         It's important that you know the Realtor you decide to work with has a good work ethic and high personal integrity. To be sure you, spend time and ask the right questions. All these issues should be thought through thoroghly prior to choosing a real estate agent since this is the person who is going to help you buy a property. It is important that you are happy with the Realtor you choose. 

         Remember, you will be depending on this agent to help you choose the correct property. You don't need an agent who is going to make you feel belittled, and not act in your best interest, not to mention the professional aspect. These issues will come in to play when negotiating the best price on your new property. If this is a decision that you make carefully, then you can rest assured you will enjoy your new home all the more. You should start by coming up with a short list of Realtors who meet your requirements, and make sure they answer all your questions. Don't skimp on the interview process, and make sure you get answers to all your questions. You can even ask for previous clients to find out how the Realtor will work with you after the sale.

       
      The Realtor needs to understand what your needs are in order to set expectaions. Upon choosing a real estate agent, make sure they work with you by explaining the process. As mentioned earlier, get references and ask if they would use the Realtor again. If the real estate agent can't give references, it's probably a good idea to keep interviewing agents. Follow these simple steps and you will have a much better home buying experience.



    Liz Voss is a professional Realtor for San Antonio Real Estate. To meet with Liz, or find out what San Antonio properties she can show you, call.
  • Looking For Properties in San Antonio, or San Antonio Real Estate?

    Posted Under: Property Q&A in San Antonio  |  November 10, 2011 10:59 AM  |  2,637 views  |  No comments
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