Blog Archives

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


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!*



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


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 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.

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.

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.

(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

—- - by Agent Val – 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

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

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?

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”



I hadn’t even THOUGHT about selling my house, but after the month I’ve had, I’m thinking about it!  ~Agent Val


It’s a bidding war!

The market started brewing at the beginning of the year, and it’s only getting HOTTER!

Listings are flying off the shelves!  If you happen to have a house for sale and you’re not getting any bites, you’re probably just priced too high.  If you’re still on the fence and waiting for the “right time to sell,” maybe these stories will push you off!


My San Antonio first-time home buyer was recently engaged to get married; we’ll call him Mr. Green (for the sake of privacy).  Mr. Green is ready to buy a home for himself and his bride-to-be.  One afternoon, I had arranged two showings for that same evening.  By 8:00 pm, we were touring house #2.

The house was in impeccable condition, priced within their budget and in an area they wanted.  In my book, that’s a grand slam!  I saw the stars twinkling in their eyes and knew I had to give them their fair warning,

“I know it seems quick guys, but if you want this home, we need to make an offer tonight!”

I saw their hesitation, so I shared the one common mistake many first-time home buyers make:

First-time home buyers are often surprised to find “the one” so quickly that they choose to “look at a few more, just to make sure.”  More often than not, that extra time results in a missed opportunity.  It’s during that “loss” when a buyer realizes just how much they wanted that home.  The side-effects of this mistake result in deep regret along with the buyer comparing every home thereafter to, “the one that got away.”  (It’s painful to watch.)

I gave them a brief moment to soak in the information and then I asked the million dollar question:

If I call you tomorrow to tell you this home is already sold, how would that make you feel?

I explained that I’d be in their corner regardless of their decision.  They glanced at each other, gave each other an accepting nod and gave me the green light.  “Let’s do it!”

I rushed to my home office to start the paperwork; it was almost 9:30 pm.  I pulled up the listing in MLS to gather information and guess what?  The new listing status read, “ACTIVE OPTION.”  It was under contract.  It was gone.  TRUE STORY.  I called the buyers to let them know right away.  Of course they were disappointed, but I hope there was a sense of peace knowing they acted quickly.  If they had waited, they would have regretted it.



I showed them two more homes.  Mr. Green loved one and she loved the other.  Even after experiencing their first home “loss,” they still decided to wait and take the night to think things over.  I was behind their decision 100%.  I believe they should both fall in love with the same thing (or at least feel they can compromise).  Mr. Green called me the next morning to say he was ready to make an offer.  By the time our offer got into the hands of the listing agent, two other offers were already there.

I advised Mr. Green to make his best offer upfront.  At this point, trying to “wheel and deal” would not get the house.  Sellers are not required to counter all of the offers.  They usually pick the best one and decline the others.

“If you really want this house, show them you’re serious.  Make an offer so strong that if you still lose this house, you know you gave it your best shot.”

We lost.  The offer that gave the seller the highest net profit won.


REAL SCENARIO #3 – We’ll call this buyer, “Mr. Red”:
Mr. Red is a little more experienced and has watched listings quickly disappear online.  We saw a listing in his area and in his price range.  There was a particular feature he wasn’t crazy about, so we kept house-hunting.  The “feature” was probably one reason the house had been on the market a little while.  After seeing what else was out there (for about 2 weeks), we noticed that the “feature” house had a price reduction.  Mr. Red decided to make an offer.  We offered full price (at the new price).

Lo and behold, by the time our offer got into the hands of the listing agent, THREE other offers had been submitted.  This situation created quite a stir and a “bidding war.”  I alerted Mr. Red immediately and asked if he wanted to make any adjustments to his offer, to place him in a better position.  He decided to offer the original list price (before the price reduction).  We STILL lost.




How can someone improve their chances during a bidding war?

Don’t ask for too much – limit contingencies.  If you’re making an offer below list price, asking the seller to pay some of your closing costs, and needing two months to close (for example), you’re weakening your leverage.  If you give full asking price and ask for little to no closing cost assistance, your offer will show you’re serious.  If you REALLY want that house, offer a little more than what the seller is asking for and eliminate contingencies.  You’ll definitely grab some attention!

Are you a home owner who just got the itch to sell?  Are you ready to see a bidding war on your house?

Contact your local REALTOR® today!  Why wait?  The market hasn’t been this HOT in almost 10 years!  Don’t have a REALTOR®?  Contact me using the form below.  I’d love to help you.  If I’m not in your area, I’ll find someone who is!

~Agent Val


A Certified Home Marketing Specialist
coaching first-time Texas Home Buyers and Sellers.

4007 McCullough Ave.  #477
San Antonio, TX 78212
*At your service*


Growing up with three younger brothers, pranks were not limited to April Fool’s day!  The worst prank was when my brother popped out from behind the shower curtain just as I was about to use the “facility.”  I was so startled, I quickly hunched over as if to hide between the commode and the sink!  He laughed so hard telling everyone I tried to hide behind the toilet.  “WHAT-A-DORK!”

Don’t worry, I don’t have pranks today.  As a matter of fact, I’m probably going to hide in my home office to avoid pranksters!

Today, especially for you, I have a special offer instead.  It’s a free “Home Scouting” smart phone application.  It’s designed to help Home Shoppers in and around the San Antonio area.  Whether you have an Android Phone or an iPhone, the app can be found in your Google Play/App Store.  (Also available on tablets and iPad).

HERE YOU GO – Start finding homes near you in just FIVE EASY STEPS:


FREE APP for Smartphones

FREE APP for Smartphones


2.  USE MY VIP ACTIVATION CODE TO ENTER (shown on the screen below).  

FAQ:  Why do I need a VIP Code?
ANSWER:  The VIP code will personalize every customer’s private Home Scouting account  by linking directly to San Antonio’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

USE MY VIP CODE starting with 210...

USE MY VIP CODE starting with 210…

3.  CREATE YOUR PASSWORD PROTECTED ACCOUNT by completing your private registration.

FAQ:  How much information do I need to give for my new account?
ANSWER:  To register for your private Home Scouting account, all you’ll need to enter is your first name, last name, email address and password.

4.  Accept the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Disclosure Agreement.

5.  Tap “START SEARCHING NOW” to find active listings right now!


  • “Find Homes Near Me” uses GPS to scout homes around you.  This is extremely helpful if you’re parked in front of a home with a For Sale sign in front of it.
  • Access 100% of our MLS listings!
  • “My Saved Searches” allows you to have multiple search options.  Debating between a condominium or a single-family home?  Want to search for raw land AND single-family homes?  You can create as many search types as you need to.
  • NO THIRD-PARTY ADVERTISEMENTS!  Your account is so private, “Home Scouting” does not allow third-party advertisers to promote themselves on the application.  What does this mean to you?  Unlike other real estate web sites, Home Scouting will protect your personal information and will not sell your contact information to third-party businesses.
  • The “CALL MY AGENT” button links you to ONE PERSON — me.  This special feature eliminates having to call multiple real estate offices and REALTORS® about their listings.  With just one call, I can provide you with all of the listing details for any MLS listing.
  • The “CALL MY LOAN OFFICER” button links you to my preferred Loan Officer, Daylon Brady of Castle & Cooke Mortgage.  Although you are not obligated to use his services, he will still offer free credit and financial advice to help qualify you for a mortgage.  He will also provide you with a copy of your credit report with notes on how to improve your FICO credit score (if needed).

If you have any questions about the application, feel free to reach out to me.  I’ll be happy to help and guide you.  I started referring my clients to this app for two reasons:

1.  HOME SCOUTING and the “Sold Home Alert” helps sellers stay on top of the market until they’re ready to sell.

2.  HOME SCOUTING allows buyers to house-hunt on their own time 24/7.  They can even “Schedule a Showing” with a touch of a button.

Metro Realty Logo


In case you haven’t heard, I’m running a Thanksgiving Giveaway titled, “Agent Val Gives Back-2012!”  It’s just my way of giving back to folks who follow my social sites and support my business efforts.

Once upon a time, about three years ago, I closed my eyes and took a dive into Facebook.  I wanted to use the social diving board to splash the news about my Real Estate business.  With social-network-floaties securely in place, I doggie-paddled most of the time.  Through trial and error, I learned what fellow Facebookers liked to read and DIDN’T like to read.

What I learned (real fast) is:  I’m not the only one who can’t stand sales pitches!  So, I’ve dedicated my Facebook page to house-to-home ideas, random real estate advice, occasional property listing updates, and home-tour awkward moments (to name a few topics).  Of course, once in a while, I’ll post a reminder that I coach first-time Texas home buyers and sellers.

I appreciate that Facebook gives us a choice to follow a page or not.  So, when I notice a new “friend” following my posts, I still feel excitement, and I work even harder to keep the page friendly and pressure-free.

Now, with all of these other social networks to use, I’m testing the waters.  I’ve recently dipped my toes into Instagram.  I love the simplicity of it.  And Pinterest?  Shoot… I think I did a belly flop into that one.  Not in a bad way… I had child-like bravery and just jumped in from the deep end!

As my “Thank you” to the friends, family, colleagues, and clients who’ve supported me throughout my social-site-swim, I hold Giveaways and contests on my’s Facebook Page.  This Thanksgiving Season, I’ve partnered with my preferred lender and “Thirty-One Gifts” consultant to bring you a SHOPPING SPREE!

  • Random winner #1 will receive a $100 Gift Certificate for “Thirty-One Gifts”
  • Random winner #2 will receive a $50 Gift Certificate for “Thirty-One Gifts”
  • Random winner #3 will receive a $50 Gift Certificate for “Thirty-One Gifts”

Today is the last day to enter the Giveaway.  If you’d like to participate, all you have to do is share a story and/or photo telling us what you’re most thankful for.  There’s four ways to enter!  You may post on my facebook page, Instagram, Twitter or on my WordPress Blog.


*The $100 Gift Certificate (sponsored by Val J Aranda, REALTOR®, Metro Realty) is good for purchases at “Thirty-One Gifts” by Laura Ramon Meza (

*The TWO $50.00 Gift Certificates (sponsored by Daylon Brady,  Senior Loan Officer, Castle & Cooke Mortgage) is good for purchases at “Thirty-One Gifts” by Laura Ramon Meza (

~Val J Aranda, REALTOR®, Metro Realty

Holiday Villages of Medina: FLEETWOOD HOME FOR SALE


Property details delivered to your cell phone.  Text “Agent114683” or “Property 456privateroad1507″ to 27126.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Whether you’re looking for your first home, your last home or an investment home, you will find that this property can fit your needs.  The Holiday Villages of Medina is a gated community just off Old Castroville Rd.

For photos and additional information:  Home in the Holiday Villages of Medina



Company Name:Metro Realty
Company Address:4007 McCullough Ave #473 San Antonio, TX
Fax :210-615-8940
Thursday September 13th ,2012




HGTV is my MTV and “House-Hunters” is one of my favorite “music videos!”

HGTV has been airing “House-Hunters” over and over and over again.  The scenarios with each couple are also repetitive.  On each episode, there are two people buying a home for the first time. They have THREE categories to seriously consider…

1. Price
2. Floorplan/Condition
3. Lot/Location

In the “House Hunter” episodes and throughout my career, I’ve watched buyers struggle with these three categories.  They eventually learn that of the three categories, ONE will have to be compromised (usually).  The tougher part about this situation (when there are two home buyers involved) is that each person will have two different categories as their preference.  For example, “Buyer A” will stand firm with Price and Lot/Location while “Buyer B” sticks to Price and Floorplan/Condition.  It’s very obvious that someone is going to have to give in.  The question is who and how long will it take?

How can buyers move forward when they are on two different pages?  Consider this…


“NOT FAIR!” Scenario #1

“NOT FAIR!”  Scenario #2

“CONGRATULATIONS!  We have two winners!”
There is more to house-hunting than buyers realize.  It’s an emotional experience and it can be stressful.  If you are stuck on a “dead-end-road,” determine your favorite categories and find the common denominator.  What can you both give up that will give you a fair compromise in the end?

“I’m a San Antonio REALTOR® coaching first-time Texas home buyers and sellers.  If I’m not house-hunting or consulting, I’m looking for house-to-home ideas.”  ~Agent Val, Your Trusted Real Estate Adviser


4007 McCullough Ave, Suite #473
San Antonio, TX 78212 | Call/Text Val: 210-378-5987

Can You Trust a REALTOR®?

When a new client chooses to work with me, I am presented with a new challenge.  Whether they are friends, family or complete strangers, I have a goal to earn their total trust and loyalty.  I know I have a level of trust and loyalty with friends and family, but when they are first-time home buyers, it really takes time for them to let go of their fear.  Fear is the first barrier I concentrate on.

My day-to-day activity isn’t just about showing homes. It’s about building relationships.  When I’ve reached the point where clients can have heart-to-heart talks with me, I know I have earned their trust.  Breaking through that ground is extremely important to me.  Once I’ve earned their trust, I have to work even harder to keep it.  In my practice, I cannot move forward comfortably if I feel a client is second-guessing their decisions.

I pay attention to people.  I listen carefully.  Over the years, I’ve learned that it’s more than the words that are being said… it’s the expressions.  It’s the body language.  It’s the connection people have.  When I commit my time to clients, whether they are single, married or with a partner, I pay close attention to the connection they have with each other and with the homes they walk through.  When a buyer finally makes a connection with ME, I know we are only steps away from making dreams come true.

Can you trust a REALTOR®?  Yes, you can.  But don’t just trust one because their marketing says you should.  Make us work for it.  It’ll be worth it in the long run.

I’m a San Antonio, Texas REALTOR® with a wide variety of interests. If I’m not House-Hunting, I’m hunting for great “House-to-Home” ideas! ~Agent Val, Your Trusted Real Estate Advisor~


4007 McCullough Ave, Suite #473
San Antonio, TX 78212 | Direct to Val: 210-378-5987

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