Guide to Buying in a Competitive Market

The Newsletter

A Home Buyer’s Guide to Making It in a Competitive Market
In hot real estate markets, buying a property may feel like a nearly impossible feat. Skyrocketing prices, low inventory, and bidding wars can make a prospective buyer feel dejected.

But becoming a homeowner in hot cities can happen, if you employ the right techniques. A recent article in RISMedia outlines tactics for buyers to use when shopping for a home. For example:

Don’t be naive. Understand the market realities. Instead of obsessing over prices, value, and comparables in the area you’re considering, focus directly on what it will take to get the home you want.

Work with someone you trust. It may pay to find an agent who is sufficiently skilled to develop a rapport with sellers and their listing agents. Or you may need a superior number-cruncher to get you the best deal. But whatever the agent’s strengths, ensure he or she is a person you feel comfortable working with; the journey to finding a home can be long and arduous. You’ll need a friend.

Be realistic. Be very realistic. If you’ve only seen one home in your desired market that fits your budget, then that market probably isn’t in your price range. Accept that and either pick another area or be prepared to boost your budget.

Finally, try to relax. Expect that all will not necessarily run smoothly, particularly in a highly competitive market. Don’t get worn down by the process. You can become a homeowner if you relax and go with the flow!

It’s October 29 … Happy National Cat Day, Fluffy!

They entertain us with crazy antics. They keep our windowsills warm. They rid our homes of mice (at least, some do – others are too busy with their demanding nap schedules). They even lower our blood pressure. Our feline friends do so much for us, and it’s time to honor them. This October 29, make your cat’s day special. Here are some ideas:

  • Give your cat a toy packed with catnip. You’ll enjoy watching his excited play as much as he enjoys playing.
  • Watch a cat movie with your cat. Maybe you could let her choose which one. Their favorites are usually the ones where the cat outshines a dog.
  • Tuna. Need we say more?
  • The Internet explodes with cat videos on Cat Day. Do some random viewing … with your cat. Who knows? He might find the antics of other cats and kittens entertaining too.
  • Maybe it’s time to give your cat her own social media presence. Perhaps she’d like a Facebook page to connect with other kitties around the world. Maybe she has insights she wants to tweet about. (She would definitely like the Twitter logo.) With the right following, your pet could gain a social media presence like Larry – the resident cat at 10 Downing Street – who stays despite the turnover in British prime ministers. (Larry The Cat Stays Put Amid Upheaval Of British Politics)
  • Too much? At least give your whiskered friend an extra snuggle on October 29 (and maybe an extra treat or two).

And if you don’t already have a purrfect pet, it’s a great day to adopt one!

Not Up for Carving? Paint Your Pumpkin!

Don’t panic if you didn’t have time to create elaborate costumes for Halloween or turn your yard into a haunted house or showcase of fall beauty. There are simple things you can do to prepare for October 31, with materials that are easy to access.

Pumpkins don’t have to be jack-o’-lanterns – smaller ones can be displayed on a tray with jars of jam or colorful plants. But if it’s all about the jack-o’-lantern for your family, at least eliminate the mess and the concerns about using sharp knives around the kids: turn your pumpkins into chalkboards with chalk paint.

After thoroughly scrubbing your “canvasses,” cover part of the pumpkin with chalkboard paint. Make sure you apply several coats of paint and let it dry between coats. Once dry, use your “pumpkinboard” to draw family caricatures or scary faces, or write messages for trick-or-treaters. You can use pumpkins of various sizes and shapes, and white pumpkins with black paint will lend a ghostlike presence to your Halloween décor. And, if you’re missing the flickering candlelight in carved pumpkins, use a small electric candle to shine on your artwork.

The ghosts and goblins will love it!

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!

Thoughts on Homeyness and the Home in 2016
A home is so much more than just a shelter, according to the most recent Life at Home report.

The 2016 report, which is published annually by the IKEA global home furnishings company, says a home is defined by what inhabitants experience through their senses: sight, smell, taste, sound, and touch. Together, these five senses make a house feel, well, homey, and create happy memories.

After surveying thousands of people around the world, the Life at Home report found that a whopping 63% of respondents said they cook to feel at home, while 59% attributed their home’s comfortable vibe to music. Interestingly, when the sensation is not a pleasant one – too bright or too noisy – that homey feeling is challenged. And, thanks to a society that prizes outdoor kitchens and living rooms, some 42% of individuals say they now feel more comfortable outside their homes.

The home is now a place of relationships and connections, both personal and virtual; the report found that 48% of respondents described their home as the “place where they have their most important relationships.” However, 23% noted that having Wi-Fi is more important in their homes than having a gathering space to bring family together. It makes a strange sort of sense: Loved ones can move away, but, realistically, they’re as close as the nearest Internet connection. A wired home is a happy home.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the report found that people highly value their “tchotchkes”: 53% suggested the objects in their homes hold memories and/or reflect who they are, while 43% said they assigned importance to objects that facilitate meaningful activities – for example, the kitchen island is where the kids do their homework, creating daily memories.

The report concluded that, no matter who we are or where we live, our feelings of home are all remarkably similar (if clichéd): we love our homes because “home is where the heart is.”

SA Realty Watch Group
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Should You Sell Your Home Yourself? Get These Essential Tips
Did you know that fewer than 10% of homeowners who try to sell their homes themselves are successful?

Call now to get my free guide “Should You Sell Your Home Yourself?” Discover how you can avoid FSBO pitfalls, and enjoy the sell!

Just reply to this email and I’ll send it right out to you.

Quick Quiz
Each month I’ll give you a new question.

Just reply to this email for the answer.

Which of the five senses is sharpened by a radial keratotomy?

Recipe: Halloween Roasted Sweet Potatoes
The kids will love this scary dish!
Serves 4
1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, unpeeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 to 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme, or 2 sprigs fresh, leaves removed from stem
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the sliced sweet potatoes in a bowl with olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. Cover and microwave about 6 minutes or until slightly softened but not fully cooked, stirring halfway.

Using tongs, place slices on a cookie sheet and use a cookie cutter to cut out Halloween shapes or a paring knife to make jack-o’-lantern cutouts.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through and browned.

Place on a serving dish and top with crumbled bacon.

Ask the Agent: This Month’s Question
I’m looking to buy a new home. Do I go with a condominium or a traditional house?

There are pros and cons to each, but ultimately your lifestyle and budget will dictate the best choice for you.

Condos are perfect for busy urban-dwellers. Enjoy amenities like pools and gyms, and walk to restaurants, shops, and work. You won’t have to worry about maintenance, but you’ll have to shell out coin for association fees and share decision making with your neighbors.

If you want complete control over your property, a house is perfect. You’ll have total control, privacy, and a lot more indoor and outdoor space – perfect for families with kids and pets.

But there are downsides to a house, too. You’ll be responsible for all the maintenance on your property, which means you’ll have to invest in extra tools and equipment. You’ll also have to pay more on your utility bills – the drawback for having all that extra space.

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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