Trip to San Francisco!

golden

Hello Everyone,

Our blog usually consists of great information about real estate such as lending and other great information about San Antonio. Today I would like to share a little bit about Joan’s and my recent visit to California. We made several stops in our adventure starting off in San Francisco, California.

Our first stop was in San Francisco on July 17th. 3 Nights later, we had a beautiful night stay in Healdsburg in Sonoma County know as (Wine Country) 3 Nights after that we had another wonderful 3 night stay in Mendocino.

On Our first night in San Francisco, we stayed at a lovely hotel in Union Square called the Hotel Monaco a (boutique hotel). It was very nice and personalized and we received great attention. From there, Joan and I took a taxi up to the North Beach area of San Francisco and stumbled upon a wonderful Italian Restaurant called the North Beach Restaurant. We were actually in the area to see a stage show that our friends recommended and we were in luck because the food was great.

The show that we moved on to see was called Beach Blanket Babylon, which has been showing for 40 years at the same location at (Club Fugazi). I personally have to say that the Stage Show was one of the most fun, and exciting entertaining shows I have ever seen. It was a topical show featuring funny acts and making good fun of politicians and other various acts. The thing to me that stood out were the unbelievable costumes that the performers were wearing and the head dresses were outlandish. The hair dresses were many times 2 to 3 feet high, the whole show was very fast moving and entertaining.

The following day Joan and I walked around Union Square at took a look at all the fashion stores and all the activity of every day life. We stopped and had a cup of coffee at the local and I might add very busy Starbucks coffee house.

I would also like to mention that San Francisco in the Union Square is very reminiscent of New York City in Manhattan, lots of excitement, people on the streets , very fast paced environment. It was nice to get away from the south Texas heat for a while and was quite refreshing in San Francisco because the weather was usually between 55 to 65 degrees.

The following 2 days of our trip we took 2 different tours on the Hop On Hop Off bus which is very nice and is a Double Decker Bus and it allowed us to stop wherever we wanted and visit the shops and boutiques and gave us a chance to walk around a while, but not to worry – about every 20 minutes another Hop On bus would come around and pick us up again which was very pleasant for us.

One our favorite highlights of the trip was being able to go over the Golden Gate Bridge and stopping at an incredible spot called “Vista Point” just over the bridge which was very photogenic and we were able to take plenty of beautiful pictures from up there. I might add that it was very cold and windy up there as well.

The 2nd night in Chinatown we ate at a very tasty restaurant called the House of Nanken which was recommended by a friend of mine. It was very delicious food but had a little trouble communicating because of the language barrier but overall it was very good. It is nice to see all the blocks and blocks of Chinatown which is pretty incredible. Also some of the various neighborhoods that San Francisco has like Chinatown, Nob Hill, Fishermans Wharf, and Japan Town and many other neighborhoods dominated by certain nationalities. That was pretty interesting to see all the diverse areas.

On the 3rd Night we ate at a place called Pharinon right in Union Square close to the hotel. One of the nice things about San Francisco is that it is very walkable and is actually 7 miles by 7miles. Pharinon’s was delicious even though we did not have reservations we had some great food at the happy hour they had. Overall it was a great decision.

The following day we rented a car and left San Francisco to drive to Healdsburg.

Thank you for letting me share this wonderful exciting experience and in my next blog I will be sure to talk about the rest of our trip in Healdsburg.

Sincerely,

Scott Myers, Century21 Scott Myers, Realtors

(210) 479-1222

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Signs your in a Sellers Market

Are you hoping that the dreadful buyer’s market is finally behind you? If things still seem tough, here are eight early warning signs that your buyer’s market is about to disappear and that a seller’s market is around the corner.

1. The most important predictor: months of inventory
Of all the factors that you could use to predict what will happen in your market, months of inventory is the most accurate. The amount of inventory will begin to decline six to 12 months prior to the time that people first begin noticing that the market is improving.

In terms of where you are in your market, if you have six or fewer months of inventory, you are in a seller’s market. If there are seven or eight months of inventory, you are in a transitioning market. If there are more than eight months of inventory, you are in a buyer’s market.

An important point to note is that when you track how much inventory is available, do it by specific area and price. It’s common for the same market to be experiencing a strong seller’s market in the lower price ranges while having a buyer’s market in the upper price range.

2. Builders eliminate incentives
Generally, builder behavior is an excellent barometer as to what is coming in the general resale market. When the market activity slows down, builders increase their incentives and often increase the commissions they pay to cooperating agents. When demand increases, the incentives go away. In many cases, so do commissions to cooperating agents. In extremely strong seller’s markets, it’s common to see lotteries for new houses.

3. Multiple offers
The hallmark of a seller’s market is multiple offers, often with the seller obtaining more than the asking price. If you have been in a market where there have been virtually no multiple offers, take note when you start hearing regular stories about how an agent lost out during a multiple offer. As multiple offers increase, prices normally start to increase as well. Consequently, if properties are selling at close to asking price or more, your seller’s market has arrived.

4. Decreased days on market
A quick way to spot market shifts is to track days on the market. Check this number at least monthly. If there is a major shift in this statistic, determine whether a change in strategy is necessary. Decreases indicate a trend towards a seller’s market where there will be less inventory and higher prices. If you haven’t yet seen a full-blown seller’s market in your area and you observe that days on market is dropping dramatically, it’s time to start calling all those potential sellers from over the last six years and to persuade them to list now.

5. Decreased commissions
When there are too many buyers, properties often sell so quickly that some sellers decide that paying an agent a full commission is unnecessary. After all, the agent didn’t have to work that hard to sell the property. Agents become aware of this trend and often begin cutting commissions as a way to close sellers on listing with them. This trend also results in more for-sale-by-owners as well as more flat-rate and limited-service real estate companies who hope to capitalize on the commission-cutting trend.

6. “Flipping” makes a comeback
Flipping (buying a property, fixing it up and selling it for a profit in a short period of time) once again becomes irresistible, especially when prices are rising rapidly. This trend is another harbinger of a seller’s market, with the trend normally peaking just prior to the next downturn.

7. Foreclosure rates decrease
The decline in the foreclosure rates began in earnest in many areas back in 2011. The flood of foreclosures has dropped to a trickle in many areas. Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the California Association of Realtors, noted that the California market began its upturn in 2009. In other words, the raging seller’s market that state is currently experiencing has been in the works for almost four years.

8. Second-home sales increase
The second-home market has been languishing since 2006 in most areas. This is a part of the market that can expect explosive growth for two reasons. First, the overall market improvement will drive demand for these properties as well as possibly resulting in some appreciation. More importantly, the peak of the baby boom generation occurred in 1960. The statistics show that the prime time that people purchase second homes is when they are between the ages of 50 and 60. This means the largest age cohort within the baby boom generation is at the age where they are the most likely to purchase a second home.

Again, be sure to track the specifics of your local market, especially in the price ranges and areas where you specialize. If you see a major inventory drop, get on the phone and contact all those potential past sellers who couldn’t sell in the previous market. Chances are that if you’re in a seller’s market, they will be able to sell now!

Just remember to contact our office about a free evaluation of your neighborhood.

Sincerely,

Scott Myers, Century 21 Scott Myers, Realtors
11830 Wurzbach Rd. San Antonio, Tx 78230
(210) 210-479-1222 Office

Sincerley,

Getting your home sold

 

Hello Everyone,

 

In a declining real estate market where supply outstrips demand, a person can generally sell a house faster by lowering the price. But there are other ways to enhance a home’s attractiveness besides lowering the asking price. If you’re looking to sell your home in a cooling real estate market, read on for some tips on how to generate interest and get the best price possible.

Differentiate From the Neighbors

In order to attract attention and to make your home more memorable, consider custom designs or additions, such as landscaping, high-grade windows or a new roof. This can help improve the home’s aesthetics, while potentially adding value to the home. Any improvements should be practical and use colors and designs that will appeal to the widest audience. In addition, they should complement the home and its other amenities, such as building a deck or patio adjacent to an outdoor swimming pool.

However, while it can pay to spice up your home, don’t over-improve it. According to a 2013 article in Realtor Magazine, some renovations, such as adding a bathroom or putting new shingles on a roof, might not always pay. The data suggests that the nationwide average amount recouped for a bathroom remodel is about 58%. For a new roof, it’s even less. If you’re going to invest in home improvements, do your research and be sure to put your money into the things that are likely to get you the best return. In addition, if you have added any custom features that you think buyers will be interested in, make sure they are included in the home’s listing information. More than ever, in a down market you should take every small edge you can get.

Clean the Clutter

It is imperative to remove all clutter from the home before showing it to potential buyers because buyers need to be able to picture themselves in the space. This might include removing some furniture to make rooms look bigger, and putting away family photographs and personal items. You may even want to hire a stager to help you make better use of the space. Staging costs can range from a couple hundred dollars for a basic consultation to several thousand dollars, particularly if you rent modern, neutral furniture for showing your home. Many people feel that stagers can make a home more salable, so hiring one deserves some consideration.

Sweeten the Deal

Another way to make the home and deal more attractive to buyers is to offer things or terms that might sweeten the pot. For example, sellers that offer the buyer a couple of thousand dollars credit toward closing costs, or offer to pay closing costs entirely will in some cases receive more attention from house hunters looking at similar homes. In a down market, buyers are looking for a deal, so do your best to make them feel they’re getting one.

Another tip is to offer a transferable home warranty, which can cost $300 to $400 for a one-year policy and will cover appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, that fail. Depending on the policy, other appliances and house gadgets may be covered as well. A potential buyer may feel more at ease knowing that he or she will be covered against such problems, which could make your home more attractive than a competing home.

Finally, it’s important to note that some buyers are motivated by the option to close in a short amount of time. If it is possible for you to close on the home within 30 to 60 days, this may set your deal apart and get you a contract.

Improve Curb Appeal

Sellers often overlook the importance of their home’s curb appeal. The first thing a buyer sees is a home’s external appearance and the way it fits into the surrounding neighborhood. Try to make certain that the exterior has a fresh coat of paint, and that the bushes and lawn are well manicured. In real estate, appearances mean a lot. What better way to set your home apart than to make it attractive at first glance?

Get Your Home in “Move In” Condition

Aesthetics are important, but it’s also important that doors, appliances and electrical and plumbing fixtures be in compliance with current building codes and in working order. Again, the idea is to have the home in move in condition and to give potential buyers the impression that they will be able to move right in and start enjoying their new home, rather than spending time and money fixing it up.

Pricing It Right

Regardless of how well you renovate and stage your home, it is still important to price the home appropriately. Consult a local real estate agent, read the newspapers and go to online real estate sites to see what comparable homes are going for in your area.

It’s not always imperative to be the lowest priced home on the block, particularly when aesthetic and other significant improvements have been made. However, it is important that the listing price is not out of line with other comparable homes in the market. Try to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and then determine what a fair price might be. Have friends, neighbors and real estate professionals tour the home and weigh in as well.

The Bottom Line

Selling a home in a down market requires a little extra work. Do everything you can to get the home in excellent shape and be prepared to make some small concessions at closing. These tips, coupled with an attractive price, will increase the odds of getting your home sold.

Sincerely,

Scott Myers, Century 21 Scott Myers, Realtors

(210) 479-1222 Office

Maintaining a good credit history

Century-21-logo

 

 

Hello,

In todays market having a good credit score is crucial in obtaining a mortgage. Its very important to take the right steps in getting your credit on the right track.

Repairing a shoddy credit report requires time, but there are few steps you can take to expedite the process. Here’s what to do if you’re hoping to give your credit score a boost in a short period of time.

Pay down credit card debt.

One of the only surefire ways to give your credit score a quick boost is to pay down any existing debt you may be carrying on a credit card. This will have an immediate (and positive) impact on your credit utilization ratio, which essentially involves how much credit you are using versus how much is actually available to you.

Keep in mind, the move will only work if you pay down the debt then refrain from running up a big balance on the card. Issuers report current balances along with your payment status on a monthly basis so it won’t take long for these new charges to catch up to you.

Check your credit report.

Errors on credit reports are actually more common than you may think so combing over your credit report can benefit your score if it is indeed being pulled down by someone else’s negative information. If it isn’t, the exercise can be instrumental in illustrating what you need to do to improve your creditworthiness. Most versions of reports point out what items are particularly detrimental to the person’s score.

Everyone is entitled to a free credit report from one of the major bureaus — Experian, Equifax or Transunion — each year, which can be obtained by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. You can also monitor your score for free and get advice on what might be pulling your score down with the free Credit Report Card.

Commit yourself to making all your payments on time.

A first missed payment can cause a great credit score to fall 100 points or more. The good news is, so long as you don’t follow up this misstep with an even bigger one, you won’t feel the full effect for the entire seven years it takes the line item to age off your credit report.  Begin to undo the damage by getting current on your payments and re-committing yourself to making all future ones on time.

To avoid unconsciously missing a due date, enroll in auto-pay by linking your credit card and debit card accounts. You also might be able to do enroll for these options via your issuer’s iPad or mobile app.

Following good credit habits will be beneficial for you in the future. Remember to pull and review your credit report at least every 6 months.

Sincerely,

Scott Myers, Century 21 Scott Myers, Realtors

(210) 479-1222 Office