Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Series: Why Would I Want to Live in...SCHERTZ, TEXAS!

No one knows San Antonio, Texas real estate like the Claus Team! To help you benefit from our market knowledge, we're starting a new blog series called, "Why Would I Want to Live in..." The series will explore the pros and cons of suburbs, cities, and even individual neighborhoods in San Antonio's Northest I-35 corridor. To kick things off, lets talk about "Why Would I Want to Live in SCHERTZ, Texas."

A major suburb of San Antonio, Texas, Schertz is a premier Texas community nationally recognized by U.S. News and World Report for its family atmosphere, foresight, and commitment to economic prosperity. With a population of approximately 35,000 residents, Schertz median household income is close to $60,000.

The BEST Thing About Schertz, Texas: (In Our Opinion) Schertz has some of the best schools in the state. It is a close knit community with community cornerstones like a gorgeous, modern library, huge, newly constructed YMCA facility, several parks, jogging and walking trails, and more. When you live in Schertz, you can take advantage of community parades and festivals, local and national dining options, easy access shopping (Schertz's Walmart and HEB are both very nice), as well quick access to I-35 and Randolph AFB, and did we mention the new Baptist Emergency Hospital. Oh, and Amazon has come to town, too--opening their new distribution center in 2013.

The WORST Thing About Schertz: (In our opinion) Schertz is growing quickly, and that means there's construction to deal with, especially around I-35. Also, buying real estate in a popular area can be tricky--when homes in Schertz go on the market, you have to act fast if you want to get them!

Schertz, Texas Links: Here are some places you can go to get more info about the City of Schertz, Texas...

1. www.schertz.com. City of Schertz's official website. Lots of interesting information about community events and more.
2.  http://www.city-data.com/city/Schertz-Texas.html. All the facts, figures, and statistics about the City of Schertz your little heart desires.
3. http://www.scuc.txed.net/. The school district website.
4. www.theclausteam.com. Our company website has lots of articles and general info about Schertz.

For more information about buying or selling Schertz, Texas real estate call the Claus Team at 210.566.6355!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

SABOR 2014 Housing Forecast Makes It Official...San Antonio is a Seller's Market!

Every year, the San Antonio Board of Realtors (SABOR) brings together industry professionals at its annual Housing Forecast to discuss the previous year's state of city real estate and to provide insight into current and future market conditions. 

Something special happened at the January 2014 SABOR Housing Forecast, and the Claus Team was there to see history made. San Antonio is now considered to have entered into its strongest Seller's Market since 2006. In December 2013, San Antonio had 4.2 months of available home inventory. Anything less than six months of available home inventory is considered a Seller's Market. Low inventory, combined with a 17 percent increase in sales in 2013 over 2012, means that it's official. It's a seller's market in San Antonio. 

According to Mario Hernandez, President of the Economic Development Foundation, that wasn't the only exciting statistic in San Antonio's real estate market. In November 2013, San Antonio's unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 percent, nearly a percent and a half lower than the national average. 

For more information about the 2014 Housing Forecast, including a list of speakers who presented at the event, check out SABOR's official recap of the event here on SABOR's website.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014 Real Estate Resolutions for BUYERS

Between low home inventories and historically low-interest rates, 2013 was a good year for real estate sellers in the San Antonio area. According to Realtor.com, some of those positive trends are expected to continue in 2014. This means that serious 2014 buyers need to keep the state of the market in mind as they go about making their home ownership dreams come true.
If you've promised yourself you'll become a homeowner for the first time in 2014, the Claus Team has a few easy-to-accomplish resolutions to help get you there.
1. Boost Your Credit Score
Your credit score will play a key role in your mortgage approval and rates. At the beginning of the year, order your credit reports from an outlet like AnnualCreditReport.com, a free service authorized by federal law. Go over each report, dispute any errors, and pay off old debts. And even if you aren't buying tomorrow, avoid big-ticket items such as cars or furniture and don't apply for new credit. 
2. Save Up to Put Down
In a perfect world - which means the best mortgage rates - every buyer would bring to the table a 20 percent down payment to qualify for the best mortgage rates. Even if that isn't feasible, 3 to 5 percent down home programs require a chunk of money at closing. Its important that you keep the final goal in mind and save appropriately. 
3. Find the Best Real Estate Agent
Finding a great real estate agent takes time but will pay off in the end. One way the Claus Team likes to recommend people choose a buyer's agent is to make sure you partner with someone you mesh with personally and to ask for client testimonials and referrals when evaluating your choice. 
4. Get Pre-Approved
Knowing what you can afford, what you qualify for, and what type of loan you want can help you find the best deal when you're ready to apply for a mortgage. To get started, let the Claus Team connect you with our preferred lender. When it comes to home buying, knowledge is power, and they'll help you fully understand your finance options. 
5. Find Your Dream Home
You don't have to wait until you're ready to shop to start looking at homes. Start early by researching neighborhoods in your target area and viewing homes online to get an idea of pricing. We can also set you up on an automated MLS search to bring listings straight to your inbox. Once you're ready to shop, you'll have a much better idea of what you want and what you can afford.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 Real Estate Resolutions for SELLERS

Experts agree that 2014 is looking very good for real estate, but even in a positive-outlook market, challenges to selling exist. In 2014, mortgage interest rates are at least one percentage point higher than they were a year ago, and with fewer homes on the market, home prices are higher.

So with low inventory, still low mortgage interest rates, and modestly rising prices, here's what we'd suggest potential 2014 home sellers resolve to do this year if they're SERIOUS about selling:

1. Overcome any objections a buyer might have.
Buyers are always looking for a reason not to buy your house. Your job as a seller is to eliminate any potential objections that would stand in the way for a buyer to make an offer. If you really want to sell quickly, you'll work hard to exceed the buyer's expectation of your home as well. If your home is competitively priced, and your home's condition exceeds a buyer's expectations based on other homes in the neighborhood, you'll get an offer.

2. Get your home into selling shape.
Cleaning your home is a must. After that, stage your home so it has the television-worthy polish so many buyers expect today. (Yes, they want your home to look like something they'd see on HGTV.) Assess what other sort of work needs to be done, such as fixing things that don't work, touching up paint, or cleaning or replacing your carpets. And if you're going on the market in January, clear out the holiday decorations as quickly as possible.

3. Invite at least three agents to create a comparative marketing analysis (CMA).
Sound strange for a Realtor to suggest this? Well, at the Claus Team, we know we're the best there is at what we do, so we invite competition. Every agent will bring different ideas to the table about how much your house is worth and what kind of marketing plan will work, and its important for you as a seller to see why you're going to choose to work with the Claus Team.

5. Understand what it will take to sell your home and be realistic about the market
A CMA will help you find out what types of properties are selling in your area and how many days they're sitting on the market. Accept the reality of your local market and make sure you price your home aggressively but REALISTICALLY. In this real estate market, one of the worst things you can do is overprice your home from the start. The more realistic you are, the better off you'll be.

6. Consider property management if you can't sell and buy at the same time.
If it's time to move but not necessarily the right time to sell, keep an open mind to the idea of using your home as an income property with our property management services.

We think 2014 has the potential to be an excellent year for sellers in our market, so above all, resolve to be reasonable and informed if you decide to sell your home this year, and the Claus Team will be there to help you every step of the way!