The Year Ahead. What 2017 might mean to you, your home and your other real estate investments.

What are the experts saying about the new year and what you can take away from it.

First of all, let’s take a look at the value of your home. Now there, I have some good news for you. Prices in most parts of Texas and America are expected to keep rising in 2017. The reason is that there aren’t enough homes for sale. But there are still plenty of buyers out there. So the laws of supply and demand are in your favor if you own a home or plan on selling one. Now, it won’t be a huge increase. The National Association of REALTORS believes that by this time next year the median price of a home in the United States will go from its current point of $232,200 to $241,250. That’s an increase of 3.9%. Now it’s not a spike, but after all, up is up. That’s good news for owners who have even greater equity in their homes and investments. Also for sellers, who will see those profits at the closing table.

Now, that low inventory and rising prices are expected to create challenges for home buyers. Especially first time buyers. But, those buyers do have factors in their favor. For one thing, most mortgage lenders are allowing lower credit scores and lower down payments. Up to now, home buyers have enjoyed record low interest rates. Well that’s about to change. Interest rates have started to rise. Not by that much, but they are on the way up. They’ve gone up about half a point since the summer. By the end of 2017 they’re expected to be a half point higher than that. The days of record lows may be behind us, but even so, the rates will continue to be incredibly low and not a barrier to home ownership.

Experts believe there could be some really good news for buyers coming down the line in 2017. And that is more homes are expected to come on the market. That means more choices, less competition, and all that added inventory should help curb those rising prices. You see, the nations home builders are predicting that in 2017 they’ll finally be on tract to build more than a million new homes. That’s up there from after the slump they had after the downturn. Not up there all the way since the home builders ordinary would put up a million and a half homes. But again, up is up and new home construction is headed in the right direction.

So buyers who hang in there might do okay. Especially if they end up getting a home of their own. That would make 2017 a great year. And even better if they are moving from renting to buying because rents are expected to continue to rise throughout 2017.

So, what’s the bottom line? Well in prices, interest rates, mortgage rates, mortgage availability, and inventory we’re seeing positive changes on the horizon. Not massive, epic changes, but slow, steady movement back to be what could be considered a normal market. A balanced market in which buyers and sellers are on more equal footing without either being at a big disadvantage. You could call that a healthy real estate market. And that’s a pretty great outlook as we approach 2017, the year ahead.

Homestaging Tips to get your Home Sold!

 
 
 
Hello Everyone,

The most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. Make a house rule that for every new item that comes in, an old one has to leave. One of the major contributors to a cluttered look is having too much furniture. When professional stagers descend on a home being prepped for market, they often whisk away as much as half the owner’s furnishings, and the house looks much bigger for it. You don’t have to whittle that drastically, but take a hard look at what you have and ask yourself what you can live without. Here are some tips.

 
1.) Furniture Groupings

There’s a common belief that rooms will feel larger and be easier to use if all the furniture is pushed against the walls, but that isn’t the case. Instead, furnish your space by floating furniture away from walls. Reposition sofas and chairs into cozy conversational groups, and place pieces so that the traffic flow in a room is obvious. Not only will this make the space more user-friendly, but it will open up the room and make it seem larger.

2.) Musical Furniture

Give yourself permission to move furniture, artwork and accessories among rooms on a whim. Just because you bought that armchair for the living room doesn’t mean it won’t look great anchoring a sitting area in your bedroom. And try perching a little-used dining-room table in front of a pretty window, top it with buffet lamps and other accessories, and press it into service as a beautiful writing desk or library table.

3.) Room Transformation

If you have a room that serves only to gather junk, repurpose it into something that will add to the value of your home. The simple addition of a comfortable armchair, a small table and a lamp in a stairwell nook will transform it into a cozy reading spot. Or drape fabric on the walls of your basement, lay inexpensive rubber padding or a carpet remnant on the floor and toss in a few cushy pillows. Voila – a new meditation room or yoga studio.

4.) Home Lighting

One of the things that make staged homes look so warm and welcoming is great lighting. As it turns out, many of our homes are improperly lighted. To remedy the problem, increase the wattage in your lamps and fixtures. Aim for a total of 100 watts for each 50 square feet. Don’t depend on just one or two fixtures per room, either. Make sure you have three types of lighting: ambient (general or overhead), task (pendant, under-cabinet or reading) and accent (table and wall).

5.) Make It Bigger

To make a room appear to be bigger than it is, paint it the same color as the adjacent room. If you have a small kitchen and dining room, a seamless look will make both rooms feel like one big space. And make a sunporch look bigger and more inviting by painting it green to reflect the color of nature. Another design trick: If you want to create the illusion of more space, paint the walls the same color as your drapery. It will give you a seamless and sophisticated look.

6.) Neutral and Appealing

Painting a living room a fresh neutral color helps tone down any dated finishes in the space. Even if you were weaned on off-white walls, take a chance and test a quart of paint in a warm, neutral hue. These days, the definition of neutral extends way beyond beige, from warm tans and honeys to soft blue-greens. As for bold wall colors, they have a way of reducing offers, so go with neutrals in large spaces.

7.) Vary Wall Hangings

If your home is like most, the art is hung in a high line encircling each room. Big mistake. Placing your pictures, paintings and prints in such stereotypical spots can render them almost invisible. Art displayed creatively makes it stand out and shows off your space. So break up that line and vary the patterning and grouping

8.) Three’s Company

Mixing the right accessories can make a room more inviting. When it comes to eye-pleasing accessorizing, odd numbers are preferable, especially three. Rather than lining up a trio of accessories in a row, imagine a triangle and place one object at each point. Scale is important, too, so in your group of three be sure to vary height and width, with the largest item at the back and the smallest in front. For maximum effect, group accessories by color, shape, texture or some other unifying element, stagers suggest

Whethere you are selling your home or thinking about selling please remember to give one of our Agents a call to set an appointment to stage your home today!

Sincerely,

Scott Myers, Century 21 Scott Myers Realtors

(210) 479-1222

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

5 Things to do on the Riverwalk

Hello again,

Today I want to share some great information with everyone and some of the things to do in San Antonio & the Riverwalk.

San Antonio is one of the top tourist destinations in the country because of our rapid growth and our diverse culture. There are many exciting things to do while visiting the Riverwalk downtown from Entertainment to Fine Dining. The riverwalk offer a unique and fun prospective for all age groups.

Here is a list of top 5 things to do at the Riverwalk,

1.) Eat, Drink & Be Merry
Over fifty restaurants, bistros, cafes, clubs, bars — most with quaint outdoor patios — line the River Walk as it meanders its way through downtown San Antonio. There is everything from stellar Tex Mex to haute cuisine and locally-owned spots as well as popular international names like the Hard Rock Cafe. Find the right spot to eat.


2.) Land & Art Scapes
Few visitors venture beyond the downtown River Walk but it’s well worth it. Explore the Museum Reach, north of downtown, and watch for the  twelve art installations on the river banks. Stop along the way at  the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Southwest School of Art, then the boat ride ends at the 125-year-old Pearl Brewery complex, now home to restaurants, an outdoor amphitheater, a Saturday farmers market, eclectic shops and the Culinary Institute of America — San Antonio. If you go south from downtown, the south fork of the river meanders through the stately King William Historic District  all the way to the Blue Star arts complex, an eclectic enclave of creative souls, unusual shops and galleries, public art scattered about, and a brew pub.


3.) Sunset Cruise
Lots of folks take a tour of the River Walk aboard a river cruiser, but few know that you can take asunset taxi ride from downtown, along the Museum Reach, to the Pearl Brewery. Only in the dark will you be able to appreciate the full impact of  the art installations that line the banks, all of which use light in creative ways. They were created by some of the most interesting names in the art world. Museums, schools, residences and commercial buildings often are lit in startling and unusual ways.


4.) Secret Places To Shop
Don’t leave without a pink cowboy hat of course — pick one up at any of the River Walk curio shops. Less obvious but also right on the River Walk:  La Villita Historic Arts Village;  The Pearl BrewerySan Antonio Museum of Art Store and Southwest School of Art Gallery Shop. For major mall goers, the Rivercenter Mall— with over 60 stores — hugs the banks of the River Walk lagoon.


5.) Run, Walk, Hike, Bring Your Dog
The River Walk is a long linear park, beautifully landscaped, with great sidewalks. The less congested places are perfect for serious exercising or romantic strolls. The River Walk is eight miles long. In a few years, it will be a 15-mile masterpiece that weaves the city’s past and future together, starting north of the city at Brackenridge Park (San Antonio’s Central Park) and traveling south all the way to the four Spanish colonial missions south of downtown.

ImageScott Myers

Broker/Owner of Century 21 Scott Myers

(210) 479-1222 or Toll-Free (888) 868-1222

email: Scott.Myers@Century21.com

A Great Downtown San Antonio Museum and Restaurant

One of my co-workers recently told me about a Saturday that he and his wife spent downtown playing tourist, and he reminded me about a great museum I haven’t been to in several years, as well as one of my favorite downtown restaurants. I asked him to contribute a guest post to my Blog, and here it is:

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Submitted by Richard House (Guest Blogger)

My wife and I recently decided to spend a day downtown playing tourist, and we ended up spending half of it at the Institute of Texan Cultures. The museum was originally part of HemisFair ’68 as the Texas Pavilion, and is one of the few exhibits from the 1968 fair that has remained as a permanent fixture on the former fair grounds. When I think of Texan Cultures, I recall my middle school Texas history class and think of the six national flags that have flown over what is now the state of Texas, but this museum reminds me that there is a lot more cultural diversity in the state than just the familiar “Six Flags Over Texas”.

The main exhibits of the museum are all on one floor, which is divided into sections for the various cultures that have influenced the development of the state. Each area is filled with artifacts, photographs and narrative discussions of the history of the immigrations and contributions of the various cultures and individuals.

The first exhibit you encounter on entering covers prehistoric humans that are thought to have inhabited various parts of what is now Texas, followed by the several Native American tribes that were encountered by the first European settlers. Other exhibits describe the many cultures that have come together to make Texas what it is today, including: English, Irish, Scotch, Hungarian, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, African-American, Jewish, Czech, German, Wendish, Italian, Swiss, Japanese, Chinese, Polish, Belgian, Dutch, Greek, French, Lebanese and Tejano.

After several hours at the museum, it was time for lunch so we took a 10-minute walk to Schilo’s Delicatessen at the corner of Commerce and S. Alamo St. If you are a visitor to San Antonio and have had your fill of our famous Mexican Food and Bar-B-Que, give Schilo’s a try. I had a cup of split pea soup, wiener-schnitzel and German potato salad, and my wife had a pastrami sandwich. Shilo’s is also famous for its homemade root beer. Everything was freshly made and delicious, and a great example of the influence of German immigrants in Texas.

 

 

Scott Myers

Broker/Owner of Century 21 Scott Myers

(210) 479-1222 or Toll-Free (888) 868-1222

email: Scott.Myers@Century21.com

A Great Bar-B-Q Find

One thing San Antonio is famous for is great Bar-B-Q. On a recommendation from a friend, my wife and I recently tried out a new place, and what a find! It is a small, family-owned restaurant just inside Loop 410 on the northeast side of town called The Big Bib. It is located at 2427 Austin Highway, and if you’ve never been there, drive slow or you’ll miss it. It is a tiny place, but it’s big on flavor at very reasonable prices. They only have about six tables, but also do a lot of catering and have a lot of take-out customers. Everything we ordered was terrific, and they kept bringing samples of things we didn’t order – I think they want us to come back and try the rest of the menu. Make sure you save room for dessert – the peach cobbler is some of the best I’ve ever had.

Scott Myers

Broker/Owner of Century 21 Scott Myers

(210) 479-1222 or Toll-Free (888) 868-1222

email: Scott.Myers@Century21.com