Category Archives: Newsletters

“Between Friends” Newsletter with house-to-home ideas, recipes, news and helpful real estate tips.

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 If your ceiling fans are outdated, replace them with something in the $400 range—it’ll make a big difference when it’s time to sell.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.

What to avoid before you buy a home

Even with the help of a trusted real estate professional, it’s easy to fall into some common traps when you’re buying a home. Here are some of the most common regrets from home buyers—make sure to consider them before you make similar decisions.

Using all of your savings
It can be tempting to throw all the cash you have into your down payment so that you can have a lower monthly payment. But keep in mind that there are several other costs on the horizon—closing costs, inspection, and more. There will also be surprise repairs, taxes, and home maintenance. It’s a good idea to keep some cash in reserve for hidden or unexpected costs.

Borrowing the full amount offered
Banks will often offer a bigger loan than you can comfortably afford. You may be able to pay the mortgage, but it’ll really tighten your budget. A good rule of thumb is to only take 80% of what’s offered. That’ll give you a lot more flexibility in the long term.

Assuming you’ll like the neighbors
Your neighborhood is part of the package when you buy a home, so it’s important to learn about your next door neighbors. Make an effort to do a little homework on the neighbors, and their history with pets, home maintenance, and general behavior. You don’t want to be stuck living next to someone who is rude or inconsiderate.

Thinking short term with your loan
An ARM with low introductory rate and mortgage payment can be attractive. It’s easy to think “I’ll be making more money when the rate gets adjusted.” But life can throw you some surprises, and there’s great security in knowing that your payment will be consistent for 15 or 30 years. If possible, go for the fixed-rate mortgage.

***

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

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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.

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!

Five ideas that can dramatically improve your living room

wet bar stagedCan’t seem to create a living room that feels quite right? Looking for some styling tips that will bring your living room up a notch? Here are five ideas that can dramatically improve your living room.

 

  1. Move the furniture away from the walls: The tendency is to place your furniture against the walls, but giving it a little room to breathe will make the seating area seem cozier while also making the room seem more spacious.
  2. Mix old and new pieces: Using the same furniture set to furnish an entire room can make it seem a bit sterile. Try mixing and matching different pieces and styles to give your living room a more eclectic feel.
  3. Keep everything low: Arranging photos and artwork lower on walls will make a room appear larger, and can also draw more attention to the pieces themselves.
  4. Place a bookshelf behind the sofa: It doesn’t have to be your entire personal library. Mix and match books with knick-knacks and other items to add some depth and texture to the space behind your sofa.
  5. Try a smaller coffee table: Your current coffee table is probably larger than it needs to be, and it may be dominating the room. Try downsizing to a table that can still hold magazines, a centerpiece, and a few drinks, but will also give you a bit more room to move around your furniture.

fam room

These are all great tips for staging a living area, too!
~Agent Val

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

4th of July GRAND SLAM – Missions Baseball and Kevin Fowler

*******2014 POST****** *******2014 POST****** *******2014 POST******

WE’RE LOOKING FOR TWO LUCKY WINNERS!

baseball fieldEach winner will receive FOUR TICKETS FOR LOWER BOX SEATS ($100 value) to watch our Missions Baseball Team play on the 4th of July!

But… wait… there’s more!  Country singer and songwriter, Kevin Fowler, will be in concert, on the field, after the game. YES!

happy-July-4

Oh, you want more? Ok…. your night will be topped off with a grand firework display to celebrate Independence Day 2014!

BATTER UP! For a chance to win a four-pack of tickets, simply post your favorite photo showing your 4th of July spirit, Missions Baseball spirit and/or your favorite Kevin Fowler fan photo onto Agent Val’s Facebook page.  Photo with the most “Likes” wins the #4thofJulyGRANDSLAM PRIZE (four front row seats behind the Missions’ dugout)!  For the runner-up prize (four 4th row seats behind the Missions’ dugout), simply post your spirit-filled photos for an entry EACH!  YES, IT’S THAT EASY!

SHOW YOUR SPIRIT FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THE #4thofJulyGRANDSLAM prize!

THE GAME RULES:

  • Two winners will be selected and announced on Agent Val’s Facebook Page on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 between 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm.
  • GRAND PRIZE [Four Lower Box Seats, front row – $100 Value]:  Photo with the most Facebook “Likes” wins!
  • RUNNER-UP PRIZE [Four Lower Box Seats, 4th row – $100 Value]: Facebook Friends can post as many photos as possible.  Every photo equals one entry into a drawing!  One winner will be picked randomly.
  • The tickets are for the San Antonio’s Mission Baseball game and Kevin Fowler concert being held on July 4th, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Nelson Wolf Stadium)
  • Game and/or concert are subject to cancellation (or change) due to weather or other unfortunate circumstances.
  • Participants must be at least 18 years of age and U.S. Residents.
  • Winners MUST respond via email to Val@val-a-homes.com within 24 hours of Facebook announcement to claim their prize.  Failure to do so will result in a new winner being picked.
  • Prizes will be delivered in person to San Antonio residents.  Out-of-town winners will receive prizes by mail.
  • BOTH PRIZES ARE SPONSORED BY YOUR REAL ESTATE TEAM:

 

This contest/giveaway/promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.  All participants release Facebook from any liabilities related to the giveaway.

BACK-TO-SCHOOL SWEEPSTAKES BY AGENT VAL

*******2013 POST****** *******2013 POST****** *******2013 POST******

ImageWHO WILL BE THE ONE LUCKY WINNER?

Here’s your chance to win $100* for your Back-to-School shopping!  The Facebook giveaway is just in time for the TAX FREE WEEKEND (August 9th-11th, 2013)!

~~~~~~~~~~~

~THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO ENTER THE SWEEPSTAKES~

OPTION #1:  Fill out the short entry form below.  Your email address is your golden ticket!  (Email must be valid).  Winners will be announced via eMail.

OPTION #2:  GO “LIKE” MY FACEBOOK PAGE then enter to win using the link pinned on the top of my Facebook “wall.” –> Val-A-Homes.com on Facebook.  DON’T WORRY!  I’m not trying to trick you into buying anything.  My Facebook page is all about house-to-home ideas, tips and advice.  Yes, I’m a REALTOR®, so from time to time, I will post new listings and secret listings not yet in MLS.  (My Facebook Friends find out first!)

One entry per option (Yes, you may do both).  Want more ways to win?  The Facebook link will tell you how to get bonus entries.

*The $100 VISA® Gift Card can be used any time, anywhere** and on anyone! If the winner is in San Antonio, TX, the gift card will be hand-delivered on Friday, 09 August 2013.  If the winner is an “out-of-towner,” the gift card will be mailed via U.S. Mail (please allow 7-10 business day for delivery).

**Anywhere VISA is accepted.

NOTE:  Sweepstakes sponsored by Val J Aranda, REALTOR® and Certified Home Marketing Specialist
(metro realty)

For contest rules visit: http://tinyurl.com/ValsContestRules

Open House Timeline: Countdown to a Successful Sale

  • Curb Appeal[Article 2 of 6]

    NEW SERIES FOR SELLERS:  Helping Owners Get Ready To List Their House

  • Open houses:  Not every REALTOR® holds open houses, and there are different reasons why.  When interviewing agents, ask about his/her marketing plan.  If an open house isn’t brought up, don’t hesitate to ask why.  Experts in your area will be happy to explain whether or not an open house would benefit your listing.
  • Statistics show that houses are sold more through MLS, other REALTORS® and the internet.  So, I’ll focus my marketing dollars on Broker-to-Broker advertising and online marketing.  However, if a listing is a great candidate for an open house, it needs to be done RIGHT!

Not only does a listing broker have a lot of preparation to do, but the seller does, too. Since the first impression can make or break a deal, it’s imperative that a house is in tip-top shape and ready for prime time showings! 

For a successful Open House, here’s a “countdown” to help get things in order.  Keep in mind, people will judge a book by its cover.  ~Agent Val

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2013 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

METRO REALTY | Val J Aranda, REALTOR®

“Coaching first-time Texas Home Buyers and Sellers”

4007 McCullough Ave, Suite #473
San Antonio, TX 78212 | Call/Text Val: 210-617-3011
*At your service*

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