Val on Vacation

Dawn Patrol, Albuquerque, NM
Dawn Patrol: First to Ascend for Safety

I placed my business on Auto-Pilot and took a little vacation!  Thanks to my Assistant, I was able to keep my laptop in my suitcase!

Our destination… Albuquerque, New Mexico.  We loaded the Hummer and spun our wheels for twelve hours!  Our main target was the annual Balloon Fiesta… the spectacular sight of hundreds of Hot Air Balloons over head.

Our first night in New Mexico, our friends treated us to authentic New Mexican food.  “Red or Green?” is the question asked with every order.  Red Chile or Green Chile… known for their Green Chile, I tried it with almost every meal!  (That heart-burning story might end up in another blog!)

Our dinner and evening walk took place in “Old Town.”  A fantastic little plaza with shops, restaurants and VERY strict parking regulations!  Eighteen inches away from the curb?!?  You’re welcome, New Mexico… we just donated $40 to your City’s finest!

Red Ford Truck
Old Ford Truck… I noticed HE didn’t get a ticket!

Old Town Shopping
Old Town Shopping – Chili Peppers Everywhere!

Morning Sun Balloon

Our first morning waking up in Albuquerque… we were greeted with the bright morning sun!  Not even at the Balloon Fiesta yet, the balloons hovered all around us.  The special shapes of each aircraft totally blew my mind!  The details, the colors… the physics!  All I could say was, “WOW!”

Being the house and architecture fan that I am, I was also intrigued by the homes in the subdivision we were visiting.  Adobe-style homes with Stucco exteriors matching the hue of the surrounding desert land.

Albuquerque Homes
Stucco Homes in Albuquerque

Tomato Plant
Tomatoes sprout from desert land

The yards were xeroscaped and held so much beauty in their simplicities.  The fences between the yards were short stucco structures allowing such openness between neighbors.

The “Lawns”… No grass; just graveled yards with easy-maintenance plants and trees.  Needless to say, I was surprised to see sprouting tomatoes in a garden of pebbles!


One thing about this trip… which is VERY unusual for me… not much was “planned!”  The ONLY thing planned (to some extent) was our visit to the Balloon Fiesta.  I knew we would pay for parking, hunt for parking, pay for entry and find our way to the balloons.  We really didn’t plan beyond that.

So, we were pleasantly surprised with the V.I.P. treatment we ended up with.  We were invited to join a Balloon pilot and his crew.  Our visits to the Balloon Park included free parking, free entry and a personal escort to the Balloon Field!  The “green acres” of land was the backyard of the Balloon Museum.  The field was rimmed with large tents of Turkey Legs, Funnel Cakes, Donuts, Coffee, Hot Cocoa, Souvenirs and much more.  One area of the tents was reserved for a Wood Carving Competition.  Tree trunks and chain saws… rugged, manly men carving magnificent rustic creations.

Carving Competition
Wood Carving Competition – Balloon Fiesta

During our first visit to the Balloon Fiesta, the air was chilly and the wind was gusty.  The evening “Balloon Glow” was canceled because of the strong winds.  But, we did enjoy a great display of fireworks.

The second evening’s visit we FINALLY witnessed the Balloon Glow up close and personal.

Ahh-mazing!  The envelope of each balloon was inflated with a large shop-type fan.  Once the opening was large enough, the burners were ignited for the flaming heat inflation.

During the dawn of our third trip to the Balloon Fiesta, we witnessed an enormous Sponge Bob, a threatening Darth Vader, a spooky Haunted House Balloon and a buzzingly beautiful Bumblebee family!

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

A “Lot” to Invest: For the Next Generation

Once upon a time, loving and thoughtful parents used part of their savings to invest in Real Estate so that one day their children could build their own dream homes.  But lately, I’ve been listing those pieces of land handed down from one generation to another.

Just recently, I met a retired Military man who purchased one of my lot listings.  It was his second Residential Lot purchase in one week.  He shared a little piece of his story with me saying that he was buying the land so his kids, “will always have somewhere to come back to.” In my mind I was thinking, “sir, they’re just going to sell it!” Of course, I refrained from speaking since I was representing the Sellers.  But when I left the buyer, I couldn’t help but think about his noble intent.

Later these “children,” who grow into adults, will sell the property with no intention of building on that piece of land their parents sought out for them.  A part of me feels bad for the parent, because I know how much effort goes into investing for the future.  Of course, I also hold sentimental value when it comes to a gift from a parent!

The truth is, the land-purchasing parents are on the right track! The parents and grandparents who place their hard-earned money into real estate, are the people who earn great equity in their investment!  Nowadays, a Savings Account or a Mutual Fund might yield a 1.20% – 17.00% return (respectively) annually.  In other words, deposit $1,000 into a regular savings account, and you MIGHT earn about $12.00 by the end of the year. Hmm… ok?!?  Deposit and save $5,000 into a Mutual Fund and (if you’re lucky) you may earn about $8,500 in ten years!

WHAT’S THE RATE OF RETURN ON REAL ESTATE? Well, many brilliant parents who spent $5,000 on a piece of land ten years ago have earned more than four times their initial investment (regardless of what the stock market did)!  That’s $20,000 in ten years!

So what does this mean for their “children?”  Looks like the new generation of home buyers are selling their inherited properties and profiting from their parent’s humble investment.  AND THE GOOD NEWS IS… With the money they are making, they are paying off debt, helping their parents and YES… they are building their dream homes after all.  It may not be on that piece of land Mom and Dad bought, but it’s close by!  🙂

…and they ALL lived happily ever after!


P.S.  I don’t feel bad for the parents anymore!  They knew what they were doing… they are wise and their children are ever so grateful!

————- PAY IT FORWARD———–>>>

Want to invest for your next generation?  Here are a few links to help get you started.

Land in Elmendorf, TXLand in Downtown San Antonio, TXLand in the State of Texas

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

Hard Labor–Day

Because I LOVE what I do:

During the season of the “$8000 Tax Credit,” I became a permanent fixture in my own vehicle.  My Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer “travels” consisted of San Antonio’s Loop 410, Loop 1604 and hundreds of streets in between.  I was a regular patron of Starbucks where the cozy club chair and side table became my “office!”  My pit-stops and sight-seeing consisted of peeks & valleys of roof tops on single-story and two-story homes all over the city!

Families and Clients use their off time to house hunt.  So… for us (Realtors)… true “Holiday Seasons” are busy times for us… well… at least it is for me.  Now that the “$8,000 Tax Credit” season is over, the real estate business is back at a steady pace.  As we make our way into the Labor Day Weekend, I look forward to reuniting with family and friends.  Of course, everyone knows my cell phone is always on & within an arm’s reach away.  I am always, “On-Call,” and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I hope everyone enjoys their well-deserved breaks!  Stay safe and have fun.

~Agent Val~

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

“Offering valet real estate service around the clock.”

Hello world!

If I’m at a party, the best way to break the ice with me is to tell me you’re “thinking about buying or selling a house”… EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT!  Be careful with the information you share with me, though… If you give me your address, you may end up with a For Sale sign in your yard the next day!  😉


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

“Offering valet real estate service around the clock.”

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