Seguin Real Estate

Location! Location! Location! Seguin has it!! Logistically, Seguin is sitting pretty for well planned growth as a hub of some of Texas’ famous highways. With its small town atmosphere, friendly people, excellent schools, and proximity to great jobs, Seguin is a great fit for all ages.

Seguin is home to a variety of real estate. . .farm & ranch living close to amenities; historical homes rich in history; gated communities; waterfront living on Lake McQueeney, Lake Placid, Lake Seguin, and Meadow Lake; new and established garden homes and residential communities close to shopping and Guadalupe Regional Hospital; and fantastic opportunities for commercial growth near I-10, Hwy 46, Hwy 123, and SH130. The diversity of Seguin Real Estate is what is often most surprising. The Seguin Board of Realtors is here to welcome you and help you find the right home or investment to meet your needs!

Katie Clark
President
Seguin Board of Realtors

Get The Biggest Bang For Your Remodeling Buck

It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived in your home for 15 years or 15 minutes, there’s something about it you want to change. Maybe you want new appliances in the kitchen, or perhaps you dream of a 1,000-square-foot addition. Whatever your remodeling fantasy, certain projects offer bigger payoffs when you sell your home. You may not think you’re selling any time soon, but who can say how your life will change in a few years? Here are some things to consider when planning your home improvements.

Survey says?
Remodeling magazine publishes an annual “Cost vs. Value Report,” which compares the cost for popular remodeling projects to the value those projects retain when homes are sold. Keep in mind that almost all remodeling projects offer less than a 100-percent return; however, some improvements come closer to paying for themselves than others.

Don’t go for sexy
By far, the projects that retained the most value in Texas in 2012 were replacing entry doors (116 percent) and garage doors (99 percent). While those may not fit your idea of an exciting remodel, they are projects that hold their value at resale. Replacing a home’s siding also scored high (83 percent for fiber-cement, 76 percent for vinyl), as did replacing windows (75 percent).

Keep the budget down
Generally, low- and midrange projects hold their value better than upscale remodels. For example, an upscale, major kitchen remodel (with an estimated cost of more than $100,000) returned only 65 percent in the “Cost vs. Value Report,” while a $15,000 minor kitchen remodel returned 75 percent.

Space is in the eye of the beholder
I’ve never heard of someone remodeling his house in order to decrease its square footage. However, when contemplating a project, consider how it will affect the perceived amount of space. Taking part of a large bedroom to create a home office may work for you, but will it make both rooms seem small?

Don’t be odd
The value of improvements can vary from city to city and even neighborhood to neighborhood. One constant, however, is that odd projects won’t ever increase your home’s appeal in the minds of most buyers. If you plan to stay in the same house for years to come, go ahead and turn your living room into a replica of Kyle Field. Be aware, however, that if you do have to sell, many potential buyers — even Aggies — will see that as a drawback.

There isn’t one right answer
Sure, the data says that you won’t get much return on your investment from adding a sunroom (53 percent), but what if you really want a sunroom. Or what if most homes in your subdivision have sunrooms, and you think you’ll be at a disadvantage competing against them if you sell?

The report from Remodeling magazine is a good place to start, but for specific advice about how a room addition or other improvement may affect the resale value of your home, ask a Texas Realtor®. If you’re already planning a move, a Texas Realtor® can even help you choose projects that might help your home sell faster. To learn more about selling and owning homes in Texas, visit TexasRealEstate.com.

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Tax Incentives For Homeowners Sweeten The Deal For Buyers

Of the many advantages granted to homeowners, one of the most popular is the list of tax breaks they receive. As a new homeowner, you may be able to deduct some of the costs related to your purchase if you itemize your deductions rather than use the standard deduction when filing your taxes. These costs can include mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and private mortgage insurance premiums you’ve paid.

While the IRS can best explain what you can and cannot deduct, your Texas Realtor can answer your initial questions about tax incentives during your homebuying process. Here’s a closer look at some of the deductions that might apply to your situation.

Mortgage-interest deductionIf you took out a loan to purchase your home, you may be able to deduct from your taxable income the amount you paid in interest on your mortgage. This mortgage-interest deduction is especially valuable for new homeowners since the majority of your monthly mortgage payment will go toward paying the interest on your loan for the first few years. Your lender will send you a Form 1098 that lists how much you paid in interest.

Real estate taxesIf you paid real estate taxes assessed on your property to a local or state taxing authority such as a water district, city, county or school district, you may be able to deduct this cost. This information will also be on the Form 1098 from your lender.

Private mortgage insuranceIf you made a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price on your home, you are probably paying private mortgage insurance. But you may be able to deduct some of the money you paid for these PMI premiums, if you meet certain qualifications. This amount will be listed on the Form 1098 from your lender.

Let the record show
Keeping accurate records is important for properly reporting your deductions as a homeowner. The IRS recommends keeping your purchase contract and settlement papers and any paperwork such as receipts or canceled checks. Staying organized will save time when you sit down to file your taxes, and it’s good to keep your paperwork handy in case you’re audited.

Just remember that everyone’s situation is different, so the best way to determine what will apply to you is by consulting a tax professional who can help you find out what items are deductible.
To learn more about buying or selling homes in Texas, visit TexasRealEstate.com.

Make Your Offer Stand Out

You found a house you love in the neighborhood you want. It’s in your price range. Time to celebrate, right? Not quite. The way you draw up your offer will determine whether you and the seller agree on a deal and move toward closing the transaction.

Is the price right?
You’ll have to decide on an offer amount. Is the home worth the asking price? You might choose to make a full-price offer, or you can offer a lower amount if you think there’s some bargaining room.

You’ll also want to consider whether we’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market. In hot seller’s markets, bidding wars and offers above asking price are not uncommon. Finally, factor in how willing you will feel if your offer isn’t accepted. There’s always another home, but if you have your heart set on this one, you may not want to haggle over what will amount to a few dollars a month on your mortgage payment.

Show them you can get the loan
Certainly, the bottom line plays a huge role in the seller’s decision to accept, counter, reject, or ignore the offer. But you also want the seller to know you’re actually qualified to purchase their home at that price. Even before you start looking at homes, it’s a good idea to secure a letter of prequalification from a lender—or better yet, a pre-approval letter.

How earnest are you?
Earnest money is an amount you put towards the sale in advance of the closing to show you are entering into this transaction in good faith. The earnest money check is applied toward the downpayment if the transaction closes. If the transaction does not close, in certain circumstances, the seller keeps the earnest money. In other scenarios, the earnest money is returned to the buyer. (Your Texas Realtor® can discuss more details about how earnest money works when a transaction does not close.) The higher the amount of the earnest money, the more serious—and attractive—your contract offer.

Timing plays a role
The time frame for closing the transaction can make or break an offer. Or the closing date may be fine but the date of possession of the property poses a problem. If you have constraints related to selling your existing home, your offer will not be as enticing as someone who does not. The more flexible you are, the more the seller will be inclined to accept your offer.

Look at your options
Most buyers include a provision in the contract to purchase an option to cancel the contract before a specified date. This gives you a chance to have the property inspected, which may influence you to exercise the option to cancel the contract. But inspections are not the only reason you can pull out during the option period. In fact, you can walk away for any reason whatsoever.

You want an option period long enough to make good decisions about the home. Keep in mind, though, that longer the option period, the less favorable it is to the seller.

Weigh the pros and cons
You can see there’s much more to an offer than purchase price. Other factors could include items that convey with the property or items you’d like repaired by the seller. Your Texas Realtor® can help you sort through all these variables and devise the best strategy for making an attractive offer. For more information about buying, selling, and leasing real estate in Texas, I invite you to visit TexasRealEstate.com.