10999 W IH10 Ste 175
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First impressions count. So if your home isn’t looking its best, you could fail to get the best price for it.
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Each month I’ll give you a new question.
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What do they wear in Italy on New Year’s Day to bring luck?
Recipe: Mexican Beef and Rice Casserole
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons Mexican seasoning blend
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 4 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 1/4 cups canned black beans
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/4 cups shredded melting cheese
- 1 bunch cilantro, sliced
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat oil in a large pan. Add garlic, onion, and spices. Stir until combined and softened. Add meat. Break it up with a spoon until cooked through and lightly browned. Add tomatoes, spinach, beans, and water.
Cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir into rice. Add 1/4 of the cheese. Add cilantro, reserving some for the garnish. Season to taste and transfer to a baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Place in oven. Bake 15 minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbly. Garnish with remaining cilantro.
Ask the Agent: This Month’s Question
What are consumers looking for in a home today?
Potential buyers, particularly millennials (ages 18 to 34), are looking for more these days. If you want to sell quickly at top price, consider the following: If you’re going to buy new appliances, consider those with the Energy Star designation; these can use between 10 and 50 percent less energy and make life easier as well.
According to a recent article in RISMedia, “white ice” and “slate” finishes are cropping up as popular alternatives to stainless steel appliances. Also popular are “smart” appliances-some refrigerators, for example, have apps that help track expiration dates and even access meal plans.
Cosmetically speaking, feature walls in bright colors are popular now, and this is an inexpensive fix. Many buyers are looking for remodeled garages; these and bonus rooms or FROGs (finished room over garage) may not make the sale, but they could mean you’ll get a higher price.
||Buyer Beware: There Are Downsides to Buying a FSBO
Purchasing a property for sale by owner (FSBO) may make sense to many; because the seller doesn’t pay real estate agent commissions, the price should be lower. However, buyer beware. There are downsides to purchasing an FSBO. According to research conducted by the National Association of Realtors®, fewer than 10 percent of FSBOs are actually sold.
Why? There are any number of reasons, ranging from sellers not knowing how to price the property to potential problems with the condition of the house.
For example, without the advice of a real estate agent, the seller could overprice the home. So when your lender has the property appraised (which you will pay for), you may find that the appraisal comes in lower than the seller’s asking price. And because the lender is only prepared to lend against this appraisal value, not against the price the seller is asking, you may come up short.
A home inspection is always advisable, but with an FSBO, it’s essential. Even with an inspection, the seller may refuse to fix the items identified in the inspection and the deal may fall through.
In purchasing an FSBO, you will need your own real estate agent to represent your interests-even if you pay his or her commission yourself. Your buyer’s agent will evaluate the property in the light of current local market conditions, negotiate on your behalf, ensure that the transaction closes seamlessly, and more.
Your home is the purchase of a lifetime; if it’s an FSBO, make sure it’s done right.
Forget Rushing: Make Time to Slow…Down…in 2016
The year has just begun, and your 2016 calendar is already booked. Each weekend is packed. Every day is filled. It’s another year of rush, rush and do, do.
Daily, we hit the ground running. We travel at breakneck speed through a dizzying list of appointments and commuting. We’re always checking our devices; sometimes without even taking in what we read.
This can’t be healthy. Why are we in such a hurry? Let’s…slow…down.
Just as we recognize the frenzied lifestyle we’ve created for ourselves, we also recognize the need for a few slowdowns. These may be drastic changes or simple daily pleasures. If you’re looking for a few ways to slow down, try the following, courtesy of www.Houzz.com:
- Adjust your commute. Ride your bike, work from home, take the train and read, listen to an audiobook in your car. Make a change that reduces commuting stress. Perhaps even consider changing jobs to be closer to home.
- Allow children unstructured time. Don’t schedule activity every moment of the week. Have available art supplies, building blocks, and the great outdoors; let kids find their own things to do.
- Take time for a hobby. One evening a week, remove all your screens. Instead of watching sitcoms or checking social media, spend time on something you are passionate about.
- Get bored. Now and then, be okay with a few moments when nothing happens. Simply sit. Take in your surroundings. Watch the clouds. Watch people. Resist the urge to constantly DO and just BE.
Builders Tweaking Retirement Communities for Boomers
More baby boomers are reaching retirement age and, as one might expect, they’re not content to settle for their parents’ retirement; boomers are instead looking for retirement communities that will cater to their active lifestyles and foster their sense of community.
Developers are noticing this shift and tweaking their communities to better suit the needs of boomers, who now number some 75 million individuals-currently representing one-quarter of the U.S. population and exceeded only by millennials.
Retiring boomers are specifically looking for communities near city centers, in part because many are still choosing to work in some capacity after retiring-not for them the bucolic retirement communities miles from town that were so admired by their parents’ generation.
Personal fitness has emerged as another top priority for today’s seniors, with more of them opting for indoor group fitness classes and hiking rather than more leisurely activities like golf-their parents’ game.
Group fitness classes might be popular because the need for community is important to this demographic, especially for those who live alone. In fact, some baby boomers are creating their own retirement communities with an emphasis on mutual sharing and caring. Resident-created retirement solutions can take on many forms-from shared homes to co-housing communities, where people settle in one neighborhood and agree to care and watch out for each other.
Finding the home and community of your dreams isn’t easy, and for some it may take a lifetime. But with these new possibilities, baby boomers will have choices that fit their specific needs and lifestyles.
Wondering How Much Your Home is Worth?
How has the price of your home changed in today’s market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for?
If you’re wondering what’s happening to prices in your area, or you’re thinking about selling your house, I’ll be able to help.
Click the market report below or select
San Antonio Real Estate Market and complete the requested information about your home!
TRID Designed to Ease the Mortgage Process
Landmark legislation that overhauled the documentation that mortgage consumers receive throughout the finance process and at the closing table was implemented on October 3, 2015.
The TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules were designed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to make the mortgage process easier for consumers.
The last significant change to this documentation occurred in 2010, as real estate and mortgage industries were swimming in the wake of the real estate and economic meltdown that had started several years prior. Since then, the CFPB, as directed by Congress, has further revised mortgage-related documentation.
Homeowners who previously financed homes will likely notice the difference with TRID. Those who are doing it for the first time will hopefully find the documentation clear and easy to understand.
When you apply for a mortgage or shortly thereafter, you will now receive what is called the Loan Estimate, which replaces two previous documents. This will clearly list all costs -be it fees or other expenses-for you.
Another part of this implementation that has changed the process will take place at closing. Prior to this new set of regulations, closing documents were able to be prepared and finalized literally minutes before closing. Now all finalized documents need to be prepared at least three business days before closing. Whether it is a home purchase or a refinance, the borrower now has adequate time to review all the details with whomever they need to, be it their mortgage professional, attorney, etc.
This is likely a relief for many borrowers, who may have found this last stretch of the process stressful and confusing, and who may have felt there wasn’t sufficient time to read and understand the documents they were signing.
Now that they have the time to consider, the expectation is that the closing process will proceed more smoothly than it did in the past.