San Antonio, TX Real Estate News

By Judi Morgan, San Antonio, TX Real Estate
(RETIRED)
     If you're wondering what to do to keep the children and/or the Holiday visitors busy during the weeks prior to and after December 25th, here's a list of Light Displays, in and around San Antonio, TX.       Windcrest Light Up   If you enjoy Holiday Light Displays, you can't miss this one!  It's been going on since the 1950's and is listed as one of the best places in the country to enjoy Light Displays during the Holidays. Windcrest is adjacent to the I-35/Loop 410 interchange, about 15 minutes from downtown San Antonio.  The Windcrest LightUp begins on December 14th and runs thru New Year's Eve. The City of Windcrest holds a contest to select the most beautifully decorated homes within various categories.                        Christmas Lights in Downtown San Antonio   More than 2...
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By Rob and Camille Di Maio
(San Antonio Real Estate - Keller Williams Legacy)
I love old movies. I have Ginger Rogers, Cary Grant, and Doris Day Tivo-ed. My dream evening would be a frosty snow outside the window, a hearty fire keeping me warm, fluffy fleece pajamas, decadent hot chocolate in my mug, and a black-and-white movie on my television.One of my favorites is "The Shop Around the Corner" with the unmatchable Jimmy Stewart. Years later, it was remade into "You've Got Mail" with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. For once, a remake was at least as good as the original.In the movie, Meg Ryan plays a small bookstore owner that is in danger of being put out of business by a behemoth Borders/Barnes and Noble megastore progeny. She is counting on the depth of her knowledge of children's books and her passion for literature to triumph over the glitz and prices offered elsew...
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By Rob and Camille Di Maio
(San Antonio Real Estate - Keller Williams Legacy)
I love Mexican food. Every time I try a new Mexican restaurant, I order the cheese enchiladas. I'll diversify on a second visit, but somehow those red-colored tortillas and yellow cheddar cheese are my benchmark.The reality is, however, that many Mexican restaurants are created equal. There might be a variation in atmosphere or a menu change here and there, but overall you can expect to find many of the same selections, all served with rice and refried beans on the side.A few stand out in my mind for one reason or another - I like Karem's on Zarzamora, Mexican Manhattan downtown, La Fonda on New Braunfels, and Alamo Cafe on 281.This past year, though, we have been frequent visitors to Navarro Mexican Grill, and it is head and shoulders above the rest. Actually, it's an unfair competitio...
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By Rob and Camille Di Maio
(San Antonio Real Estate - Keller Williams Legacy)
I grew up with my parents wearing SAS shoes. They would travel frequently, and swore by them. My mother-in-law has the same addiction. I have always thought that they were meant for the people that had crossed over from the Fashion First/Comfort Second side of footware to Comfort First/Fashion Second side. I remember them being the shoes of choice of all of the nuns in my Catholic grade school.Recently, my children have become fans of the show "How It's Made" on the Discovery Channel. We've watched factories turn out everything from jelly beans to hockey sticks to contact lenses. As I am always looking for a great new field trip for us, I thought a factory tour would be an interesting one.I knew that SAS (standing for San Antonio Shoes) had a factory here, so I looked up times and booke...
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By Rob and Camille Di Maio
(San Antonio Real Estate - Keller Williams Legacy)
My first encounter with Nordstrom came in a college business class. We were talking about customer service, and the Nordstrom department store was held up as an excellent example. I learned that a man once returned car tires to Nordstrom, convinced that he had bought them there. In the spirit of customer service, they had obliged him.It sounded outrageous to me at the time, but a recent check on Snopes revealed that the story is, in fact, true. Once upon a time, Nordstrom had begun occupying a building that was previously leased by a tire store. The confused man was insistent, and they granted his request.While my own stories are not as dramatic, I have had some excellent experiences here. For example, when we lived in San Francisco, I treated myself to a very luxurious, plush robe. The...
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By Rob and Camille Di Maio
(San Antonio Real Estate - Keller Williams Legacy)
I played some word association with my 7-year-old daughter today.I said "cat". She said "dog".I said "book". She said "school".I said "TV". She said "cartoons".If you were to play this game with most people, and say "San Antonio" as the first word, most people would reply with "Alamo".Not to take away from our famous icon, but just steps away from the Alamo lies another historic treasure, often overlooked by locals.In the shadow of two towering Marriotts, and blocks away from the Westin and Holiday Inn, lies the Menger Hotel.Here is what Wikipedia says about its history:The Menger Hotel, located in downtown San Antonio, Texas, was built in 1859 (23 years after the fall of the adjacent Alamo). In 1898, Teddy Roosevelt used the bar to recruit Rough Riders which fought in Cuba in the Spani...
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By Rob and Camille Di Maio
(San Antonio Real Estate - Keller Williams Legacy)
Scene: It's still dark outside, a little too early to be getting up for school. And yet my mom is waking me up. "Get up! We're going to Aspen today." Although born in San Antonio, I grew up in Colorado. We explored much of the beautiful state in the sixteen years that we lived there - Central City, Glenwood Springs, the Garden of the Gods - and many more.We were not a family of skiiers. My lone experience consisted of a push down a baby hill by a friend determined to make me love the sport. We visited ski resorts in the late spring when tourism was dead, prices were cheap, and the weather was sunny. I couldn't tell you a thing about Breckenridge and Winterpark when they're covered in snow, but I could tell you about how they are as quaint towns in the off-season.So, I knew a morning wak...
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By Robin Rogers, CRS, TRC, MRP - Real Estate Investment Adviser
(Robin Rogers, Silverbridge Realty, San Antonio, Texas)
 According to an October 1 Forbes.com article, San Antonio ranks 8th on the list of most stable housing markets, nothing new for a city that has placidly resisted the ups and downs of other Texas cities such as Houston, Dallas, and especially Austin. While those cities are also doing well compared to other, more expensive or more depressed markets, San Antonio continues to chug along its usual unexciting way. The median home price of $154,300 is 6.6% higher than last year's. Forbes projects it to increase another 5.35% to 2008, and expects the sales rate per capita to rank sixth in the nation next year.The foreclosure rate is high, at 4.5%, mostly affecting homes under $150,000 (of which there are a lot), but not as high as one might expect. The evaporation of subprime mortgage financin...
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By Judi Morgan, San Antonio, TX Real Estate
(RETIRED)
  As many of you already know, Don & I were married at Marriage Island on the San Antonio River Walk on Saturday, November 3, 2007.  I promised pictures. . . here they are.  Shortly after the ceremony and posing for photos, we and our wedding guests left the River Walk and drove north of downtown to The Scenic Loop Café.  It had been a beautiful day and the evening was just as beautiful.  The sky was clear and the temperature in the high 60's.  Our tables were set-up on the Arbor Patio, near the stage and waterfall - a beautiful setting.  The Bob Ford Band was performing that evening and the music was great!  Here are pictures of our evening there.                                 The Scenic Loop Café, located just a few miles west of IH-10 W on Boerne Stage Road, was opened in 1991 in t...
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By Judi Morgan, San Antonio, TX Real Estate
(RETIRED)
This morning, I read Mike Mueller's post I Love My Profession Because. . . and as usual was inspired by Mike.  Only this time, it was an easy challenge so I told him I would take him up on it.                                                                I love meeting peopleI love teaching people about real estateI love helping peopleI love First-Time BuyersI love Relocation BuyersI love Relocation SellersI love showing housesI love peopleI love talking to peopleI love meeting a new clientI love showing clients around San AntonioI love finding the right houseI love the way their faces light up when they find the right houseI love the kids choosing their roomsI love writing the offerI love negotiating the offerI love making the deal workI love the closingI love giving my clients the ke...
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By Judi Morgan, San Antonio, TX Real Estate
(RETIRED)
If you've ever been to San Antonio, TX,you've been to Paseo del Rio, the River Walk along the San Antonio River.  The River Walk winds through the heart of downtown San Antonio on both sides of the San Antonio River. The cobblestone and flagstone walkways and beautiful arched bridges and steps were completed between 1939 and 1941.  The blend of fine hotels, shops, cafes and restaurants, music creates a very romantic atmosphere.        Marriage Island is the most romantic spot on the River Walk.  The small Island was the location of San Antonio's first Catholic mass in 1691. It is now a popular spot for lovers to become engaged or exchange their marriage vows.  It is said if you become engaged or get married on the Island, you will have a long and happy marriage.  It's not unusual to hap...
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By Alamo City Homes Magazine
(Alamo City Homes Magazine)
Pretty much anything that you do these days requires a credit check. Whether it is buying a new car, car insurance, furniture, credit cards and a home. Unless you have the blessings of everything in cash, chances are you have to face this number often.  Typical credit scores can range from 400 to 800.  There are some that are lower than 400, and chances are it will be next to impossible to get them what they want.  We're often judged by our credit. Ways that will affect your credit score can be any of the following:Credit History. How long have you had credit? Lenders will look more favorably to ones who have had it longer, than those who do not.Payment History. Have you paid them on time? Have you paid them early? Have you paid them at all? Credit Owed.  You might have over extended yo...
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By Alamo City Homes Magazine
(Alamo City Homes Magazine)
You've entered your empty nest years.  Your youngest child has just disappeared down the street headed for that out of town university.  You notice that the five bedroom house is just too much now. So, you begin to ponder the pros and cons about selling the house your family has grown up in.  You hire a Realtor and sign all the paperwork. The sign is in the front yard, the keybox is on the front door. And you're just waiting for the house to sell. A few weeks go by and a few people come around. Some people are interested and some are not.  A month goes by and you don't understand. What is taking so long?  The truth is, many houses stay on the market for several months before they are sold. One way to make sure that your home is sold sooner than later is to look into "Staging." Staging i...
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By Alamo City Homes Magazine
(Alamo City Homes Magazine)
In today's world, we have a barrage of information  being shot at us on a daily basis.  Sometimes we get overwhelmed on what to take in, what to pick up later, and what to let it pass.  A lot of questions come up in the Real Estate Market.  Is now a good time to sell? Is now a good time to buy? What is my home worth? What's the best place to buy an investment property?Well, that's why I'm here. My name is Eric D. Bolton and I'm a licensed Realtor in the San Antonio area who can help you answer those questions. All you have to do is email me at eric@ericdbolton.com , or call me at 210.918.0307 and I can do my best to get the answer to your question. I do look forward to hearing from you. Eric D. Bolton, REALTORwww.ericdbolton.com 
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By Judi Morgan, San Antonio, TX Real Estate
(RETIRED)
 It's been about 3 weeks now.  I'm now affiliated with Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper Realtors here in San Antonio, TX.  It's a large Real Estate firm with 6 offices and over 300 agents.   I've had my real estate license for 7 years but they wanted me to go through their training course.  I had mixed feelings about having to go through the entire course - I knew a lot of the course would be a review for me - information I've heard over and over and over again during the past 7 years.  But, at the same time, I know review is always beneficial. The training has been very thorough and yes I've learned and shared some personal experiences with the new agents.  And, they've pushed me to step outside of my comfort zone more than a few times.  I hate making cold calls and even warm calls - but w...
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By Lon Reed, We Buy Houses - Nationwide
(SwingSign Corporation)
Safety First Safe At Home For The FallDon't let your fall activities lead to accidents. Keeping you and your family safe is just a matter of following simple precautions. Here are some tips for ensuring your family's good times and good heath: · Beware of the cutting edge. Lawnmowers and other power tools can cause serious injuries. When you're mowing your lawn, keep children out of the area, and don't allow children to ride on a mower. · Before mowing, take the time to move outdoor furniture, toys, sticks or other obstacles out of the way. Especially if you have children or pets, you don't want to turn your back on an idling mower to move objects. · If your older child will be helping you out this fall by mowing the lawn and mulching leaves, make sure he or she understands how to safel...
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By Lon Reed, We Buy Houses - Nationwide
(SwingSign Corporation)
        Getting the Most Out of a Garage Sale A really productive garage sale takes a bit more than stapling up a sign and opening the garage doors. As long as you're holding a sale at all, make it as big as you can. If you can persuade neighbors to join you in a sale effort, so much the better. Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your efforts: Go through your whole house, sorting out items you can do without. Be ruthless. Plan for the sale to run at least two days; weekends are ideal. Advertise ahead of time: Place an ad in your local paper. Distribute fliers. Stick notices on store bulletin boards and street posts (where permitted). Tell your friends and neighbors you'll be selling your "dear old rocker," etc. Ask friends to come and assist you on sale days. Pric...
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        Do you know the best way to go about selling a home and buying a new one so that you won't get stuck with two mortgages? It's best, where possible, to put your home on the market early enough so that you won't be caught in a two-mortgage situation. That way, should you sell your old home before you locate a new one, you can:Ask your buyer to settle on a mutually-convenient closing date that allows you more house-hunting time.If an earlier closing date is unavoidable, you might be able to sell, then rent your home back from your buyer until you find a new home.If your buyer must move in before you find a new home, you can rent a home in the area where you're house-hunting. If, on the other hand, you must buy a new home before you've sold the old one, one of these interim methods ...
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By Lon Reed, We Buy Houses - Nationwide
(SwingSign Corporation)
        Do You Know How to Do Your Own Pre-Purchase Inspection? Buying your first - or any - home means taking a cool look at what you're about to invest in. Here are four major items to check out before you write your check. Sills, beams. Possible defect: Rot caused by moisture or boring insects. Check method: Poke wood with knife for spongy spots, especially near the foundation. Request certification of most recent termite inspection. Windows and Doors. Possible defect: Sticking, poor weather stripping. Check method: Try all openings and note kind and condition of weather stripping. Plumbing. Possible defect: Aging, leaking pipes; inadequate water heater or water pressure. Check method: Note kind of pipe (copper is best); compare heater's capacity with family needs; try faucets while ...
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By Lon Reed, We Buy Houses - Nationwide
(SwingSign Corporation)
        How Much Cash Should You Put Down? When you're buying a home, you can put as much or as little of your own money into it as your finances dictate - from no-cash to all-cash. It depends on your available money and the practices of different lenders. A 5, 10, or 20% down payment are typical, and if you're shopping for a mortgage, you can bet lenders will more readily commit their money when you commit a healthy portion of yours. Less than 20%, and lenders generally take a harder look at your whole financial situation. They are also apt to require either private mortgage insurance (PMI), or the government backing of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or the Veterans Administration (VA) - all good and available options for buyers who simply don't have the 20% cash. Under the n...
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