3 Real Estate Myths TV Has Taught Us

3 Real Estate Myths Television Has Taught Us
Jim and Suzy Homebuyer just found their dream property for $50K and fixed it up in three weeks.

Stories like this have skewed viewers’ expectations of real estate reality.

Shows about home buying and renovation projects can be fun to watch, but we may not realize that they often don’t depict the realities of buying, selling, and owning a home.

Here are three common myths popularized by today’s TV lineup.

“Three homes will do.”

On TV, a couple looks at three homes and is able to find the property of their dreams. This isn’t how things work in the real world.

The number of homes buyers must look at before finding the right one for them differs in each situation. It’s not uncommon to look at 20 homes. It may even work out that you look at just one (but it’s not likely).

“I can afford that.”

Shows that depict real estate purchases and renovations rarely reflect prices that are realistic for viewers. We may witness a bargain deal on TV and assume we could get something similar.

The fact is, markets vary greatly. The price of a home or a remodel in the area where the show is filmed may be completely different from what we can expect in our home town – either much higher or much lower.

“This will be a cinch.”

While some DIY projects can be completed quickly, the amount of time most renovations take is longer than TV would have you believe. Homeowners shouldn’t expect to dive into a basement remodel on Friday and wake up Monday morning with the project behind them. Even if you hire professionals, they may encounter unexpected delays or simply need more time to do the renovation right.

If you’re considering buying, selling, or renovating, the more information you have, the better prepared you can be. Contact me for some professional input – I’m happy to help.


Is Your Family History Preserved for Posterity?

It used to be that family histories, stories, and traditions got passed down orally from the older generation to the younger generation, to be continually preserved and shared.

Nowadays, in a world where life moves fast and almost everything happens online, that kind of oral storytelling happens less and less. But without it, the memories of our elders will disappear when they pass.

The solution: combine that storytelling with the power of technology to record those stories and make them permanent. Here’s how.

Get your elders on board. This could be your parent, grandparent, or even a neighbor whose stories you enjoy. Explain to them that you love hearing their life’s tales and want to record them so that you’ll never forget.

Choose your equipment. If your storyteller agrees, set up a camera or smartphone on a tripod so that you can capture their voice and their physical presence. If they’re nervous, stick with a recorder or app that does the same.

Use prompts. You’ll want to provide some direction to help inspire your storyteller. This could take the form of a stack of family snapshots, heirlooms, or a list of interview-style questions. (Where did you grow up? Tell me about your wedding day.)

Turn the recordings into a keepsake. This could mean editing your footage into a family movie, interspersed with photos and clips. Or you could create a scrapbook that includes transcriptions of your recordings, along with a USB key that can be popped into a computer to play the audio file.


Listen Up: Here’s How to Become a Better Listener

If you can believe it, listening is a complex process. It involves receiving information; taking meaning from it; recalling and sorting the information conveyed; evaluating its credibility, completeness, and value; and responding in both verbal and nonverbal ways.

Being a good listener is tougher than you might think. Consider that, when it comes to recall, we forget half of what we hear almost immediately. We lose another 15% within eight hours. And 24 hours later, we can barely recall 20% of what was said to us.

Still, it is possible to train yourself to be a better listener. Here are a few tips:

Lean in and focus attention on the speaker. Try to eliminate any distractions. Watch for visual communication cues, such as facial expressions and body language, that affect meaning. Paraphrase concepts to put them in your own frame of experience, and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or a re-explanation. Pause and think before responding or giving input.

If appropriate, offer verbal and nonverbal feedback to the speaker to indicate you are engaged. Verbal signals might be things like “oh,” “uh-huh,” or “right.” Nonverbal signals could be eye contact, forward posture, or nodding.

You can also train yourself to listen more critically so as to better evaluate the credibility and worth of the messages you receive. First, consider whether statements are facts or inferences. Then weigh the arguments and evidence presented. Try to be aware of any biases or possible feelings about the other person that might impact your judgment.


Wondering What’s Happening in Your Neighborhood?
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!


5 Things You Need to Know about Your Future Neighborhood
Are you currently on the home hunt? You probably have a list of needs and wants. Have you included anything about the neighborhood?

In addition to bedrooms, baths, and interior upgrades, it’s a good rule of thumb to ask a few questions about the potential neighborhood you may want to call home. When you’re thinking about buying, here are some questions you can ask to help determine if the neighborhood will be a good fit for you.

1. Is the area well-maintained? Take a walk around the block. Drive through the neighborhood. Are properties well-maintained? Are roads in good condition? The appearance of the lawns, homes, and public spaces can reveal a lot about the area.

2. Are there any rules and regulations you need to be aware of before you commit? Do you mind if your renovations and landscaping are restricted by homeowner association bylaws? Find out if the neighborhood has any rules and regulations, and what they are.

3. What is the reputation of the school district? Even if you don’t have children, the school district’s status can affect property values. Get the scoop on the district’s rankings in academics and financial stability.

4. What’s the crime rate? Oftentimes you can find maps provided by the city that show what crimes occur in the area and how often. The FBI may also have reports available for the area. Do a little research to make sure you’ll feel safe in your new home.

5. What amenities are nearby? For some homebuyers, access to public transportation is important. Others want to live near parks, shops, or restaurants. Find out what amenities the area offers to ensure that you choose a neighborhood that suits your lifestyle.

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How can you salvage a cake that is stuck to the bottom of the pan?


Cabbage and Pineapple Slaw
Here’s a new spin on an old favorite.
This tasty Hawaiian-style coleslaw is sure to be a hit at your next BBQ.
Serves 6
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups shredded white cabbage
1 cup julienned jicama or green apple
1 cup finely chopped pineapple
1/4 cup sliced scallions
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Directions
Whisk the mayonnaise, vinegar, pineapple juice, salt, and pepper together in a medium bowl.

Add the prepared cabbage, jicama, pineapple, scallions, and cilantro.

Toss well and serve chilled.


Ask the Agent: This Month’s Question
What can make my offer stronger?

To get the best response from a seller, you want to put your best foot forward.

This starts with a preapproval. Before you make an offer on a home (and before you even begin to look at homes), you should meet with a lender and get preapproved for a loan. Having this preapproval in hand to submit with an offer lets the sellers know you are a serious buyer who can afford their home. I have lenders that I work with regularly if you ever need a referral.

And, of course, price is important. In a hot market, you may be competing with multiple offers and need to come in at full price. In other situations, you may have more negotiating power. Your real estate agent will help determine a reasonable offer. We provide valuable insight to help you make the best offer.

Flexibility and a willingness to close whenever is most convenient to them are also nice perks that could put the cherry on top for the seller.

This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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