Resolution 2011

A new year… a new beginning… a new home?


New Year Resolutions are promises to ourselves to do something different.  Whether it’s cutting the diet down from four slices of pie to two, buying only ONE “Coach” purse in a year or committing to keeping the office organized so it’s easier to find that one sticky note with that extremely important phone number!  But, judging from the phone calls and recent text messages, it appears that some Texas Tenants are making resolutions to STOP PAYING RENT and to invest in their first home.  WHEW!  Now THAT’S a New Year Resolution!

Here are a few “Fear Factors” when considering a home purchase…

  • Do I qualify?
  • Will I find the right home?
  • When is the right time to buy?
  • How do I make an offer?
  • What if I change my mind AFTER I make my offer?
  • Am I buying a “Money Pit?”
  • Am I offering too much for the home of my dreams?
  • What if I don’t have thousands of dollars for closing?

First, welcome to Val-A-Homes and Metro Realty! We are here to help.  My name is Val Aranda, REALTOR® and I’m here to answer your questions and address your fears!

NEXT… Let’s start with “Do I qualify?

Texas law requires all real estate license holders to provide the Information About Brokerage Services to all prospective clients. TREC’s Consumer Protection Notice.

CHRISTMAS CONTEST 2010

To help spread the Holiday cheer, I held a Photo Contest on Facebook to showcase family’s Christmas Lights and decorations!  We had THREE gorgeous entries and ONE lucky winner.

Battista Family Home | 2010

WINNER OF THE $50 VISA GIFT CARD… Just in time for Christmas!  Congratulations.

The Battista family graced us with a festive light display.  Santa is patiently waiting on the roof, while his reindeer have a brief conversation with Frosty in Candy Cane Land!

The photo contest was fun to watch as the deadline grew closer.  Votes were coming in from loyal friends of the contestants!  It was a twinkling competition… the Battista home won by a doorknob!

Wiggins Family Home | 2010

In a VERY close second, this home gained lots of popularity during the competition!  The Wiggins family worked diligently getting this home ready for Santa’s arrival.  It was a great pleasure to have this home featured in our contest.  The fine details and elegant touches did not go unnoticed!

Quiroga-Maldonado Family Home | 2010

With a company name like, “Own a Piece of Texas,” I have to say I was extremely pleased to receive this entry!  This fine country home is obviously waiting for Cowboy Kringle!  I sure hope Mr. Kringle’s spurs don’t get caught in the tinsel!  (Oh, by the way… if you love this home… IT’S FOR SALE!  This fantastic Floresville home can be yours at a price WAY BELOW market value!)

————–

Although we only had ONE grand prize winner, I am happy to announce that ALL THREE ENTRIES have been featured on our web site!  Congratulations, everyone!

Texas law requires all real estate license holders to provide the Information About Brokerage Services to all prospective clients. TREC’s Consumer Protection Notice.

Aranda Family Vacation

In the early 1970’s (not THAT long ago), my parents packed the car and loaded my brother and I for a family road trip.  We paved the roads from Texas to New Mexico to Arizona and back.  We visited the Hoover Dam, we took photos with Fred Flinstone (at the Bedrock campground), we braved the Grand Canyon and made our way to Circus Circus in Las Vegas.

Here we are, almost 40 years later… I am the oldest of four (and yes, the shortest)  😉

In this photo, I’m standing with my parents and two of my three “baby” brothers.

It was our turn to load up our vehicles for a Family Road Trip.  It was special to see how our family has grown over the years.  A sister-in-law, three nieces, two nephews (who couldn’t join us), and significant others.  Not everyone could make this journey, but they were with us in spirit!

Our final destination… MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit Depot) in San Diego, California to visit my baby brother #3.  Brother #3, Diamond Justin, was graduating from Marine Corps Boot Camp… this was a trip we would NOT miss!

The road trip from Texas to California wasn’t really planned out.  The only thing “planned” was our arrival in San Diego.  We wanted to check-in by Wednesday and prepare for graduation on Friday.  No plans… no itinerary.  All we had was a GPS!

We left on a Sunday night and on our way to California, we decided to detour through the Grand Canyon.  In route to the Canyon, I caught a quick glimpse of Fred Flinstone waving at me!  I kicked my heels through the floor board and stopped in my tracks… I made a U-turn (probably illegally) and drove straight into the campground.  WOW!  What a flashback!

I stood still… I was in awe… I pictured myself holding my kid brother’s hand.  I couldn’t keep my jaw off the ground.  My parents had taken us to this very spot over 30 years ago.  They photographed us with Fred, Dino and the gang.  We still have those photos somewhere… we’ll have to compare pictures!

We hit the road again and made our way to the Grand Canyon State Park.  We bunked for the night and waited anxiously for the crack of dawn!  While the sun peeked over the walls of the canyon, we flashed our cameras like paparazzi photographing every moment!

The Canyon was a magnificent sight!  I realize it’s so cliche to ask “with something so large, how does God remember me?”  But it’s exactly what I was thinking!  There is so much beyond our scope of understanding.  There is so much to be thankful for.

Agent ValI am thankful for my family.  I am thankful for my health.  I am thankful for the world around me.

After our chilly 28 degree morning at the Canyon, we hit the road again.  Next stop… San Diego?  NOPE… we broke away from the map, again!  Dad and I (with just hand gestures and facial expressions), signaled for another detour.  Next stop… LAS VEGAS!

“SURPRISE!  We’re in Vegas!”  We checked into the Excalibur Hotel & Casino.  I walked the Casino floors with amazement.  I was mesmerized with the sounds of slots and the smell of money… it was spectacular… it was overwhelming!  Of course the “smell of money” was my dollar getting swallowed by the machines!  🙂

All-in-all, this trip was just what I needed.  I spend so many days working and concentrating on other families (clients) that I tend to unplug from my own.  During this trip, I fell in love with my family all over again… I reconnected.  I didn’t realize how unplugged I was until I plugged myself back in.  Thank goodness for LONG extension cords!  😀

My greatest memory during this road trip is how we ended up on the same route we drove back in the 70’s.  We re-visited the Hoover Dam, we high-fived Fred Flinstone, we stood on the Grand Canyon and we walked the streets of Las Vegas!  This venture was “accidental,” but not.  It was unintentional, but perfect!  I don’t think we could have planned it any better.

— OUR FINAL DESTINATION —

We arrived in San Diego just in time for “Family Day” with our new Marine!  I’d like to introduce to you… PVT. D. J. Aranda, USMC.

My dearest brother Diamond, the world awaits you.  You have such a journey ahead of you.  Thank you for your sacrifice… we are so proud of you!  Semper Fi!  ~Your Sis~

Texas law requires all real estate license holders to provide the Information About Brokerage Services to all prospective clients. TREC’s Consumer Protection Notice.

RENT-VS-BUYING

The end of the year is near.  Many of us will be making new resolutions for 2011.  This next year, I’m going to focus on home maintenance!  My little “to-do” list is getting a little too long.  Power-washing, paint touch-up, new bedroom set and maybe a new refrigerator!  I love my home.

Around this time of year, I also receive several inquiries about home buying.  It seems that a lot of single folks, young couples and growing families make HUGE resolutions for themselves… they set their fears aside and go for the plunge… they make their decision to STOP RENTING!     Everyone knows renting is pretty easy… it’s safe… and it comes with only a 6-12 month commitment.  Not much maintenance, not much “ownership” … trust me, I understand COMPLETELY!

Home ownership, on the other hand… there’s nothing else like it!  Continue reading “RENT-VS-BUYING”

Giving Thanks

The Thanksgiving Holiday seems to refresh my spirit with “thanks,” with “love,” with “forgiveness” and much more.  Although I try to renew my spirit throughout the year, there’s something spectacular in the air this time of year.  I’m sure the early Christmas music has something to do with it!

This festive holiday season had an unusual start, though… a sad start.  I read a post from my Aunt on Facebook… she was going to head home from the hospital in “just a few days.”  Recovering from a foot injury, no one was prepared for the phone call just hours later announcing that she had passed away.  My darling Aunt Nina, who was only 51, had a cardiac arrest and died with no one by her side.  Her sons (my cousins) live out of town and her beloved husband had been waiting for her at the pearly white gates.

The Ancira boys (my three fairly young cousins) rushed into town with their families.  We all shared tears, tight hugs, stories and laughter.  We brought them into our home and catered to their every need.  These fine young men have always had a special place in my heart… and without thinking twice, we made sure to tell them they have a a special place in our lives!

This Thanksgiving Season, I’m thankful to have been given the opportunity to give back.  I’m thankful God provided us with just enough to give to those who walked through our door.  I’m thankful for my family and for my friends.

FROM MY FAMILY TO YOURS… HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

——— Val J Aranda (ever so grateful) —————

Texas law requires all real estate license holders to provide the Information About Brokerage Services to all prospective clients. TREC’s Consumer Protection Notice.

Real Estate MOVIE TRIVIA

Does this home look familiar?

Can you guess the movie?http://static.animoto.com/swf/w.swf?w=swf/vp1&e=1289413943&f=6Wb1i7oHl1i8pNyjLuq1wA&d=34&m=b&r=w&i=m&options=

(click on the link for the Animoto Slideshow of this home for more clues)

Texas law requires all real estate license holders to provide the Information About Brokerage Services to all prospective clients. TREC’s Consumer Protection Notice.

HOME MAINTENANCE: Fall Tips

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2010 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®


Texas law requires all real estate license holders to provide the Information About Brokerage Services to all prospective clients. TREC’s Consumer Protection Notice.

The Texas Renaissance Festival

TX Ren Fest
“Dragon” me far, far away…

I put down my pen and I picked up my sword…

I traveled to Sherwood, where no one is bored!

Magnificent trees and cool Texas breeze…

Too bad the pollen made some of us sneeze!

The weather was fair despite the down-pour…

It lasted two minutes, no need for uproar.

Ded Bob” was too funny, he had a new song…

Rudolph the Reindeer… “Deer Soup”… SO WRONG!

We walked through the shops and followed our quest…

Looking for Puzzle Rings, put our friendships to the test.

Our pals were so helpful as we wandered the park…

I promise next time, we won’t get lost in the dark!  😉

Our tummies were happy with all the good eats…

Turkey leg, ice cream, “Kings Nuts”… WHAT A TREAT!

We saw a Magician who has a short fuse…Arsene Duprin

He doesn’t say much, but he’ll surely amuse!

If you are late, he will pick you right out…

He’ll steal your shoe & embarrass you, NO DOUBT!

His tricks are so easy; no need to ponder…

But how does he refill that pitcher, I wonder?

Dear Renaissance Festival, I give you the glory…

Can’t wait for next year, I’ll have a new story!

Texas law requires all real estate license holders to provide the Information About Brokerage Services to all prospective clients. TREC’s Consumer Protection Notice.

24-Hour Real Estate Advice

http://www.Val-A-Homes.com

Val-A-Homes San Antonio, TX

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I’m on the clock… even after everyone else, “clocks out!”

Texas law requires all real estate license holders to provide the Information About Brokerage Services to all prospective clients. TREC’s Consumer Protection Notice.

The Oldest Home in the United States

No matter where I go or what I do… in the back of my mind is Real Estate! I recently took a road trip from San Antonio to Albuquerque to Santa Fe then back home to San Antonio. While in Santa Fe, we came across “The Oldest House in the U.S.A.!”  This was the “Pot O’ Gold” at the end of the rainbow for me!  I was standing inside history, I walked through the oldest doorway framed by wood, clay and hay.  I walked through the rooms where stories were shared.

Oldest House
The Oldest House in the U.S.A.

The walls of the exterior were cool to the touch.  The adobe, the clay… I was able to see the hay still protruding from the structure.  The doorways were short and narrow.  I certainly felt taller than 5′-1″ standing next to them.  The single-story structure was once a two-story home for three families.  The rooms were tiny yet functional.  The fireplace had an opening too small for Santa Claus!

A TALE OF TWO WITCHES, A DESPERATE MAN AND A LOVE SPELL GONE BAD…

Much to my surprise, there was a coffin in one of the living areas.  It had an opening where you could take a look at its contents.  There appeared to be human remains and hanging above the eerie choice of decoration was a story… the tale of two witches, a desperate man and a spell!

The Coffin

Once upon a time, there lived a man… a man who was so in love with a woman, he was desperately seeking her affection.  In his attempt to capture her heart, he visited the “Brujas” of this De Vargas Street house.  The Brujas were witches who offered spells to their patrons.

With his bar of gold, the man (Juan Espinoza) made his request and purchased a Love Spell for the woman he was after.  The Brujas took the gold and worked up their magic.  Whether the stars were misaligned or the moon was not full enough, whatever went wrong… the Spell did not work.  This beautiful woman married another… and this man… this heart-broken, desperate man grew furious!

Displeased with the results and unhappy with his purchase, this fierce customer returned to the Brujas demanding a refund!  He wanted his gold bar back!  Well, it must not have been posted on the walls, but the policy was… NO REFUNDS!  NO RETURNS!

The Remains
The Remains of Juan Espinoza

The Legend
The Legend Of Juan Espinoza

The man pulled out his sword and lunged toward the Brujas.  One of the witches made a swift move and tripped him… he fell to the ground and lost grip of his sword.  A witch grabbed the sword and in self-defense, separated the man from his head!  They were never charged!

Moral of the story?  Ask about the refund policy ahead of time and get it in writing!  🙂  Another tip to grasp from this story… while it may make for an interesting story, a coffin in the living room may not be the best piece of furniture for staging!

THE OLDEST CHURCH – The Spiritual Side of the Road

Just across the street from “The Oldest House,” is “The Oldest Church.”  The San Miguel Chapel is said to be built around 1610 A.D.  The inside of the church is quaint with original artifacts and artwork.

The San Miguel Chapel
San Miguel Chapel in Santa Fe

San Miguel interior Balcony

The Altar

Now that my New Mexico journey is over, I can now announce that I’ve walked the OLDEST HOME and I’ve toured the NEWEST HOME in my twelve years of Real Estate!  From sticks and stones to bricks and limestone, I’ve seen an array of construction, design and architecture.

If you plan to build a home in Texas… if you plan to construct an Adobe in San Antonio, call on someone you can trust!  If you don’t have a personal Realtor, I hope my name pops into your mind!  I coach first-time home buyers and sellers and I’m always on-call.  Even when I’m on “vacation,” I’m just a call/text/tweet/facebook message away!

~Val J Aranda, REALTOR® & Traveler~

Texas law requires all real estate license holders to provide the Information About Brokerage Services to all prospective clients. TREC’s Consumer Protection Notice.

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