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How is the market? This is, of course, the question we get asked the most often. Thankfully, since we are in South Texas, our answer is...It's strong.

Inventory is up (hallelujah), and buyers are starting to see that not only are home values not declining, but in most cases, they are still gaining value steadily. Additionally, we see no signs that point to interest rate reductions, which means that the longer a buyer waits, the more expensive a home or its equivalent will be. From our perspective of representing both buyers and sellers, we see that our buyers expect turn-key homes or a discount on the price. The homes that need work or are priced incorrectly are not moving and will experience price reductions to find the balance point at which a buyer is willing to pick it up. The same goes for our listings. All of this is dependent on location and neighborhood, but generally speaking, our sellers are still cashing in some excellent profits while our buyers can afford to be a bit more discerning.


Keep reading below for some official stats and some other cool info!

If you know of anyone who is looking to buy or sell, please send them our way!

STATS: According to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Report from the San Antonio Board of REALTORS® (SABOR), which reports all areas contained within the MLS, the market has remained resilient with stable prices despite total sales experiencing a slight 4% year-over-year (YoY) decrease “The average number of days on the market increased significantly by 81% YoY, reaching 56 days,” said Sara Briseño Gerrish, SABOR's 2023 Chair of the Board. “The market continues to favor sellers, with 3.9 months of inventory, suggesting a competitive environment for buyers. While the YoY decrease in total sales and increased days on the market suggest a market in transition, the stability in average and median prices indicates a balanced environment that continues to provide opportunities for real estate investors and homeowners alike.”


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Hello! As many of our clients are preparing for a sale, we thought it would be wise to share our insight as to what it takes from a seller's standpoint in a post-20-22 era. We have now moved back into a market where buyers have options, and are paying a premium for interest rates. Because of this, the requirements for our sellers have definitely changed.

Gone are the days (at least for now) when buyers had to accept no inspection period, as-is sales, and uncompleted home repairs to compete with other buyers. Higher interest rates for our buyers who need loans means less buying power, however, since homes aren't getting cheaper and prices remain stable, it also means they usually have less cash for out-of-pocket updates.
This recipe means that if they are still paying top dollar, and are also paying high interest rates, they expect the home they are purchasing to be turn-key and ready to go.

So what does this mean for our sellers?

There are a couple of scenarios and they are extremely important. Heed our advice, we have been doing this for a long time, long enough to know that as the markets change, our strategy needs to change too.

Here's what you can expect us to recommend when getting your home ready for the market:


1. If you can't make repairs/updates, don't sweat it! However, please know that you will need to be priced APPROPRIATELY. Be ready to work with the buyer on repair requests. If cash is tight, we usually have crews who will accept payment at closing. Don't worry, we have you covered!

2. If you are expecting TOP DOLLAR the home has to be top dollar worthy...

This means recent (and professional) updates, (outdated homes will likely not move if priced too high) all maintenance items taken care of, and newer systems such as HVAC, Water Heater, Appliances, etc.



We are always happy to recommend our contacts, who can help out with getting your property ready.


Keep reading for a quick checklist of what can help you get your home ready for the market!



1. Have your home professionally cleaned.

2. Fresh Paint where needed- Knicks and dings, dingy doors, scuffed baseboards, or rooms that need to be neutralized, etc.

3. Tidy yard and curb appeal. Freshen up your welcome mat, hang a pretty wreath, and add a couple of low-maintenance potted plants.

4. Declutter. Pack away items that are on the bathroom and kitchen counters, only the necessities should be left out during photography and during showings. -Think “lightly staged”.

5. Neutralize- Put away any décor that can take away from the home's features. Brightly colored décor and knick-knacks should be put away.

6. Have a pleasant scent, but don't go overboard!

7. We love our furry pets, but we don't want to smell them! Make sure litter boxes are out of the way and clean, and double-check that you haven't gone nose blind to them!

8. Have your systems serviced, air filters replaced, and any obvious repairs completed prior to showings. Sometimes it can be a good idea to get a pre-inspection so you can potentially get ahead of any lengthy repair requests.

We hope this is helpful!


As always, if you know of anyone looking to buy or sell, please share our info with them, we would love to help!


Best,

Pam & Matt

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Recently I was researching the best investment strategies to plan for our retirement and the kids' futures. I came across an article titled "Your Landlord Might Be a Baby. " It was a catchy title but lacked helpful info regarding financial benefits. After a little more research, I came up with my own list. So here is some valuable information that might be worth considering whether you are planning for yourself, your children, or your grandchildren.

Considering that homes have gained significantly in value over the years, I often think of what our kids will be able to afford when it's time for them to buy a home.
In the 1970's, in San Antonio, the average home price was in the 40's. Today, the average home price in SA is in the $300s, which covers a broad spectrum of price ranges averaged together. I don't have a crystal ball, but if I do some quick math, I can assume that prices will be pretty high in 15-20 years between regular value increases and inflation. OUCH. (Legal disclaimer- they could go down, they could.) With that being said, the long-term trajectory has only gone up.

How and why to buy an investment property:


Why-


  • Someone else is paying the mortgage/taxes and ins. In 15-30 years, the gain is all yours.

  • Take out equity when/if needed- this could be for college tuition, weddings, down payments for other homes, investing in the stock market…you name it.

  • They can be great tax write-offs.

  • Financial Security

  • Grow generational wealth

  • You are providing a home to someone who, for whatever reason, is not ready, can't, or doesn't want to buy their own.



How-


So how do you buy a property that you intend to use as a rental? It is pretty simple, and there are certainly more than a few ways. Keep reading, and I will briefly describe the two most common ways.


Option 1: Buy a home intending to live in for just a bit and then rent it out. It's best to go with a conventional loan with as little as 5% down. You will likely need to stay in the home for 12 months…some loans differ, and sometimes it's shorter or longer. You will want to start saving for your next down payment to do it all over again!

You can use an FHA loan, but keep in mind that you can only have one FHA loan (in most cases) at a time. The benefits to this are you have a minimal down payment, typically 3.5%, and the barrier to entry is lessened. If/when rates go down, you can refi to a conventional loan, stay in the house a bit longer to save for the next house, and so on.


Option 2: You are either wealthy or have saved a nice chunk of money to bypass all of the above. Yay for you!

It's a pretty simple setup- a 20% down payment will open the door to an investment property with the intent to rent it out immediately.


*Both options above will require you to pay closing costs- typically 2-3% of the purchase price, but in today's market, in most cases, sellers are happily (maybe not happily) paying buyers closing costs.

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