Category Archives: San Antonio

Budget friendly projects with a big Return of Investment (ROI)

crop_sm_Remolding

Not all home improvement projects are created equal. Some renovations may cost a lot but not add significant value to your home. This list goes in the opposite direction: Here are some inexpensive home improvement projects that will not only increase your enjoyment of your home, but will also increase the home’s value.

  1. High quality ceiling fans: In a recent National Association of Home Builders survey, ceiling fans ranked No. 1 as the most-wanted decorative item. If your ceiling fans are outdated, replace them with something in the $400 range—it’ll make a big difference when it’s time to sell.
  2. Trees: Mature trees can be worth as much as $10,000 toward the value of your home. Trees also protect your home from the elements and prevent erosion.
  3. Energy efficiency: Buyers are increasingly interested in saving energy, so any efficiency update is worthwhile. Switching from a wood to gas fireplace is a great start.
  4. Outdoor lighting: Exterior lighting is great for highlighting the accents of your home, and you can typically expect a 50 percent return on investment.
  5. Molding: You can finish a room with crown molding or railing for as little as $1.50 per foot if you take a DIY approach, and it’s extremely desirable among prospective buyers.

Are you thinking about selling soon but are not sure if your house is “ready”? Since each listing should showcase its own personality, it helps (and it is encouraged) to have a Professional tour your property for advice on how to properly and effectively prepare your listing. A professional Property Stager, a Certified Home Marketing Specialist (CHMS), and/or a REALTOR® can create a custom list of “to-dos” to help dress your house for a successful sale. Having a pre-listing walk-through with a Pro can save you from spending money on the wrong home improvements.

An experienced local REALTOR® is likely to have a team of people who can assist you with listing preparations. Make one call and get it all done – call your favorite REALTOR® first!

We know what it takes to get a house sold the quickest and for the most money. Let our experience help get you the biggest bang for your buck!  ~Agent Val, metro realty

Have Questions? I’m here to help. Send a quick message for a FREE CONSULTATION:

Val-A-Homes

Val J Aranda, REALTOR® & Certified Home Marketing Specialist

“Coaching Texas Home Buyers and Sellers”

Metro Realty Logo

4007 McCullough Ave, Suite #477
San Antonio, TX 78212 | Call/Text Val: 210-378-5987

The advice and opinions expressed and shared on AgentVal.com are the sole opinions and advice offered by Val J Aranda, Metro Realty. This is not intended to solicit business from consumers under a Buyer/Broker Agreement or Listing Agreement with another Real Estate Firm.

How Veterans and First-Time Home Buyers can find the best Home Loan in Texas

mortgage options fha va 203k arrowsDID YOU KNOW you have options when applying for a home loan?

DID YOU KNOW most big banks and credit unions DO NOT offer FHA, VA, Texas Vet and/or USDA loans? What are all those acronyms, you ask? They’re your link to zero-down or low down payment loans for Veterans, First-Time Home Buyers, and/or Buyers who haven’t purchased a home in the past 36 months.

It’s already a little confusing, right? That’s why you want to speak with someone who works with mortgage banks and mortgage brokers EVERY DAY. Just because a TV ad sounds appealing, or a local credit union swears on their service, don’t feel like it’s your only option.

It’s okay to apply with your financial institution if you’re curious about qualifying. But go to a trusted source for a second or third opinion. You’ll be surprised at the different options, the difference in the cash needed to close, and the difference in FEES, FEES, FEES!

LOOKING FOR GUIDANCE?
NEED SOME DIRECTION?

Call/Text/Email us. We’ll help you find the BEST loan for your BUCK!

We work for Y-O-U.
~Agent Val

***

Val-A-Homes

Val J Aranda, REALTOR® & Certified Home Marketing Specialist

“Coaching Texas Home Buyers and Sellers”

Metro Realty Logo

4007 McCullough Ave, Suite #477
San Antonio, TX 78212 | Call/Text Val: 210-378-5987

The advice and opinions expressed on AgentVal.com are the sole opinions and advice offered by Val J Aranda, Metro Realty. This is not intended to solicit business from consumers under a Buyer/Broker agreement with another Real Estate Firm.

New Listings in Real-Time! It’s finally here in San Antonio, TX

HAS THIS HAPPENED TO YOU?

You see a “New” listing you like and ask your REALTOR® to show it to you. After you walk through the home, you say, “let’s make an offer!” Your REALTOR® gets in his/her car, calls the listing agent immediately and hears, “sorry, we JUST accepted an offer.”

It’s happening OVER and OVER and OVER again. If you and your agent are acting quickly to see new listings, the “timing” is not your fault nor your agent’s. In the Greater San Antonio area, specifically, we are experiencing a shortage in housing inventory. Basically, there are more buyers than homes for sale. Low supply and high demand.

Today, when a new listing hits the market, every buyer looking for that type of house is making arrangements with their REALTOR® to tour it right away. If a buyer is touring the home in the morning, they are probably making an offer while the 8 t0 5 folks are on their lunch breaks. By the time daytime workers see the home at 5:45 pm, there could be an accepted offer or multiple offers by then.

In this scenario, it doesn’t matter how fast you get “New” listings in your inbox. If you can’t see the home right away, you may miss out on it.

But, if you have a day off, a weekend off, or you’re available during a holiday, an instant and REAL-TIME MLS Alert could mean the difference between a lost deal and a done deal!
REAL TIME LISTINGS-fb postIf you are working with a San Antonio REALTOR®, today’s your lucky day! Overnight last night and into the wee hours of this morning (5/3/2016), our San Antonio Board of REALTORS® (SABOR) revamped our Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to offer our clients REAL-TIME MLS ALERTS! YES!

So, if you don’t mind multiple emails from MLS, contact
your REALTOR® and request REAL-TIME MLS ALERTS. When a new listing hits the market, you will receive the listing information INSTANTLY!

SERVICE AREAS INCLUDE BUT NOT LIMITED TO: San Antonio Board of REALTORS® (SABOR) listings in and around Leon Valley, Helotes, San Antonio, Shavano Park, Hollywood Park, Timberwood Park, Stone Oak, Castle Hills, Balcones Heights, Alamo Heights, Windcrest, Wilford Hall USAF, Brooks AFB, Fort Sam Houston, Randolph AFB, Converse, New Braunfels, Cibolo, and more.

*Don’t have a REALTOR®, yet? Scroll below to enroll today!*

 

NOW AVAILABLE - REAL TIME LISTINGS

Don’t have a REALTOR®? Give me a call. I’d love the opportunity to assist you with your home buying process. We’ll take care of you from our first handshake to closing day (and beyond).

~Agent Val

*** *** REAL-TIME SABOR MLS ALERT SIGN-UP *** ***

If you are a customer or client of Val J Aranda, Metro Realty, and would like REAL-TIME MLS ALERTS of New Listings, please fill out and submit the form below. Your information will be kept confidential. NO WORRIES – NO SPAM – NO OBLIGATION (EVER)!

 

The advice and opinions expressed in this graphic and on AgentVal.com are the sole opinions and advice offered by Val J Aranda, Metro Realty. This is not intended to solicit business from consumers under a Buyer/Broker agreement with another Real Estate Firm.

WHICH WEBSITE IS THE BEST AND MOST ACCURATE FOR LOCAL HOME SEARCHES?

In short, there are NO PUBLIC SITES who can publish listings in real-time. Real-time listings are limited to REALTORS® who are members of their local Board and who are subscribed to the Board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

The closest to “real-time” you can get today is from REALTOR.com. REALTOR.com updates every 15 minutes. All other public websites update so sporadically that it’s difficult to know what’s current. Some sites are even known to throw in some OLD & SOLD listings just to generate business. So, be careful where you register your personal information.

For THE MOST CURRENT listing data, you can rely on your REALTOR®. Not only do we have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), but we can and will contact listing agents for the most updated listing status, current offer situation, and/or showing availability.

REAL TIME LISTINGS.jpg


REAL-TIME LISTINGS FOR CLIENTS COMING SOON!

If you are a customer or client of Val J Aranda, Metro Realty, and would like REAL-TIME LISTINGS when they come available, please submit the form below. Your information will be kept confidential. NO WORRIES – NO SPAM!

Home staging: Does it make a difference?

It seems to be universally accepted that home staging will help your home sell faster or for the best price—it’s been the common practice in the real estate business for a long time, and on the surface it seems like a no-brainer. Of course potential buyers will be more interested if a home is properly decorated, right?

That’s not necessarily true, according to a recent academic study. The study surveyed 820 homebuyers by showing them one of six virtual tours of the same property. In some instances the home was decorated with traditional furniture and color schemes, while in others more eccentric furniture and colors were used. In other tours there was no furniture at all, just empty rooms.

The overall results of the study were that staging is unlikely to increase a home’s sale price, and that staging isn’t quite as important as everyone believes.

Of course, real estate trends vary greatly from market to market. If you have questions about staging, talk to your trusted real estate professional.


A Special Note from Agent Val: In many neighborhoods within the greater San Antonio area, staging is extremely helpful. Want to know what’s best for your property? Contact me today. I’ll be happy to preview your property and offer a free no-obligation consultation.


HAVE GENERAL REAL ESTATE QUESTIONS?

At your service!

~Val~

——————————-

Val-A-Homes

Val J Aranda, REALTOR® & Certified Home Marketing Specialist

“Coaching Texas Home Buyers and Sellers”

Metro Realty Logo

4007 McCullough Ave, Suite #477
San Antonio, TX 78212 | Call/Text Val: 210-378-5987

1st TIME BUYER NEEDS A HOME

AgentVal.com | Metro Realty, San Antonio

AgentVal.com | Metro Realty, San Antonio

Three ways to ease your fears about making a move

With low inventory in many markets throughout the country, many homeowners are afraid to sell their homes because they’re concerned that they may not be able to find a new one. This can be a real problem, but if you are seeking to sell—whether to upgrade or find a new neighborhood—there are a few ways to combat the low inventory.

Look to buy first In most markets it is a real mistake to put your home up for sale before you start looking for your new property. Identify the geographic area where you are interested in buying. Even if you don’t see anything on Zillow, it doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t find the right home.

Think outside the box Be proactive! Keep in mind that there are probably many people like you who want to make a move but are afraid as well. Have your real estate agent send a letter to the neighborhoods in the geographic areas where you want to live. The letter should be heartfelt and personal while announcing that you are ready to buy a home in that neighborhood. You could find a home to buy that may not even be currently listed or for sale.

Protect yourself legally Each state varies in how the purchase process is conducted. Talk to your real estate professional about adding a clause in the purchase contract for the home you are selling that will enable you to not sell the home if you cannot find a suitable home to buy.


Have questions? Send a message or feel free to comment.

Refinancing: The Right Move?

yay or nay to refi

The federal reserve recently raised interest rates, and if you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), it may be a good time to consider refinancing your home. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to whether your should refinance, so here are a few of the main considerations.

How long does your introductory rate last?
Most ARMs have a fixed rate for the beginning of the mortgage. This is an introductory period (usually 3-10 years) when your rate will remain constant before it can be adjusted. If you have several years left in your introductory period, you can monitor interest rates for a while before making a decision. But if the intro rate is ending soon, it’s a great time to explore refinancing at a fixed rate.

How long are you staying?
If you plan to sell your home soon—especially if you’re still on a fixed introductory rate—there’s not much motivation to refinance. But if you’ll be at your home indefinitely, you should consider your refinancing options. You could eliminate the stress of not knowing what your future mortgage rate and payments will be.

What’s your loan balance?
The change in your mortgage payment will of course be determined in part by your remaining balance. If you owe $100,000-$200,000, a new interest rate may not greatly affect your monthly payment. On the other hand, if you owe $500,000, a change in interest rate could lead to a much higher payment.

Other factors
The previous items are just a few of the factors that should go into a decision about refinancing. Changes in income and your current credit score should also be considered, so be sure to weigh your options and make an educated decision.

Have questions? Send a message or feel free to comment.

Val-A-Homes

Val J Aranda, REALTOR® & Certified Home Marketing Specialist

“Coaching first-time Texas Home Buyers and Sellers”

Metro Realty Logo

4007 McCullough Ave, Suite #477
San Antonio, TX 78212 | Call/Text Val: 210-378-5987
*I’m ALWAYS on-call*

HVAC – DIY Preventive Maintenance

I’ve toured and sold miles, and miles, and miles of homes. Most contracts start with a home inspection, and on almost every home inspection, the HVAC System needs to be serviced.  And if you don’t know by now, the HVAC system (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning), is one of the MOST EXPENSIVE items to replace in a home.

So… before the A/C or heating system freezes up and/or gives up – change your air filters every 30-days! It’s one of the most important (and least expensive) preventive maintenance tips you can follow. When you change your air filter, go ahead and pour about a cup of vinegar into the drain line of your interior A/C system. It’ll help clear up some of the goo and gunk that builds up in your drain line. Vinegar is said to be better than bleach since it’ll end up in your yard. Vinegar is less harmful to the kids and pets playing around in your yard.

DO-IT-YOURSELF HVAC PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE:
(as recommended by many HVAC Service Technicians)

STEP 1: Find your A/C drain line. Remove the plastic cap with a simple twist and pull.

STEP 1: Find your A/C drain line. Remove the plastic cap with a simple twist and pull.

STEP 2: Use about 1-cup of vinegar to pour into the drain line. (I use an empty water bottle).

STEP 2: Use about 1-cup of vinegar to pour into the drain line. (I use an empty water bottle).

STEP 3: Slowly pour the vinegar down the drain line. (I use a funnel for less mess).

STEP 3: Slowly pour the vinegar down the drain line. (I use a funnel for less mess).

STEP 4:  Check the drain line outside. Chances are it sticking out of your foundation. Make sure the vinegar is flowing out.

STEP 4: Check the drain line outside. Chances are it’s sticking out of your foundation. Make sure the vinegar is flowing out.

If the vinegar does not come out or if it’s a very slow drip, you may need servicing.

If you have a Home Protection Plan, but NEVER try these preventive maintenance tips, it’s very likely that your plan will not cover repairs and/or maintenance if your system breaks down. IT’S BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY.  There’s nothing worse than 105 degree TEXAS weather without an A/C!

If you need a local HVAC Technician who’s licensed, bonded and affordable, I recommend Frank Garcia, owner/operator of “Air Strike: Air Conditioning and Heating.”  He’s quick to respond and services the Greater San Antonio area.

Air Strike AC & Heating

Frank Garcia

Phone: (210) 639-9054

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http://val-a-homes.com - by Agent Val

http://val-a-homes.com – by Agent Val

Brought to you by- Val J Aranda, metro realty – “Coaching Texas Home Buyers and Sellers”

San Antonio, TX

The hard truth about Renting versus Buying

rent-vs-own for fluffy

I recently had a conversation with a very intelligent young man who was SO convinced that renting was better than buying, his “wall” of judgement was too thick to penetrate. He wanted to “be convinced” otherwise. Look… there’s no other way to put it:

– a recent buyer-client moved into his new home around Christmas 2009
– mortgage payment:  roughly $1100/mo
– by late 2013 the home owner had about $15,000 in equity

Example:
Purchase Price December 2009:  $125,000
Market Value December 2013:  $140,000
Equity (profit):  $15,000

– mid-2014 his equity has jumped to about $25,000

Example:
Purchase Price December 2009:  $125,000
Today’s Market Value (July 2014):  $150,000
Equity:  $25,000

RESULTS – the renter versus the buyer:

– Ownership: $25,000 PROFIT accrued in 55 months (approx.)
– Renter: Just LOST $1100/month for 55 months totaling $60,500 (and that’s not taking rent increases into consideration after every lease renewal)

What do you think? Rent or buy?

No matter how you slice it, owning real estate can be much more profitable than playing the stock market. Where else can you get a +/-20.00% rate of return in less than 5 years?

THE TRUTH
I can’t guarantee these results with everyone, but I can stand by the value of real estate. The longer you own it, the more value it can have. Afraid of commitment? I’d be more concerned about never seeing $60,500 again.

This is a true story.


Yes, buying a home can be scary and intimidating, but don’t let the fear of the unknown keep you in the dark.  We can shine the light on the pros and cons of home-ownership.  If buying is a right fit for you, FANTASTIC!  We’ll guide you EVERY step of the way.  If renting is better for you right now, we can help with that too.  Rent or buy – as long as you know what your options are, we are here to take care of your needs. 

 

Val J Aranda, REALTOR® and Certified Home Marketing Specialist
“Coaching first-time Texas Home Buyers & Sellers”

METRO REALTY – SAN ANTONIO
http://www.facebook.com/agentval  -or- http://www.val-a-homes.com

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