Home Ownership or Weddings?

Of all the purchases most people will make in a lifetime, two of the most significant—and most expensive—are weddings and purchasing a home.

Because they’re so expensive, it can be challenging for couples to save for both. According to a recent survey, it looks like the majority of couples are prioritizing homeownership over a fancy (and expensive) wedding.

According to a recent survey from Open Listings, 64% of couples said they would delay or downsize their wedding if it meant being able to purchase a home sooner, and when asked what big-ticket item they were currently saving for, 29% of couples said a home (compared to just 17% of couples who were saving for a wedding). And the reason? Owning a home is just more important to most Americans couples than dropping tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding—53% of couples and 65% of engaged couples claimed that home ownership was “very important.”

The Takeaway

If you’ve been putting off saving for a home in order to have a large, fancy wedding, you might want to reconsider. A big wedding is a great day. But buying your dream home? That can give you a great life.

Resources for first time home buyer

As a potential home buyer, it is important to be informed. In the latest issue of our Texas REALTOR® magazine there was a great resource to help you learn about the home-buying process. There are two courses available from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs that are free and available online. Here is some information that could be beneficial for those considering home ownership:

Begin a lifetime of homeownership through My First Texas Home. This program allows qualified Texans access to competitive interest rate home loans and down payment and closing cost assistance. Homebuyers who meet the following minimum requirements are eligible to apply for a loan under the program:

– First time homebuyer or a homebuyer who has not owned a home as primary residence within the past three years

– Homebuyer(s) income does not exceed program’s income limit guidelines

– Purchase price of home does not exceed program’s purchase price limit guidelines

– Credit Score/DTI Requirements

Government Loans (FHA, VA, USDA):
Minimum 640;
Max DTI – 45%

FNMA HFA Preferred Loans:
Minimum 640 for LTVs 95% or lower;
Minimum 680 for LTVs 95.01-97%
Max DTI – 45%

My First Texas Home also provides down-payment/closing cost assistance to eligible homebuyers.

As your REALTOR® we can help you understand just what the home buying process is all about! Call us today!

2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value: Less Is More

I thought this was an interesting article from Texas Realtor magazine from 2015. If you are preparing your home to sell, this gives some great insight!–Katie Clark, Corner Post Real Estate, LLC

Smaller replacement projects, particularly those that enhance curb appeal, remain the most cost effective way for sellers to improve value.
JANUARY 2015 | BY STACEY MONCRIEFF

With home price gains slowing in most parts of the country, sellers will be looking for ways to get top dollar for their listing. Cleaning and staging make a big difference. But for some sellers—such as investors seeking to bring a property up to neighborhood standards before the sale—remodeling work may be the ticket.

What Is the Cost vs. Value Report?
The Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, produced by Remodeling magazine in cooperation with the National Association of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Magazine, provides estimated costs for 36 midrange or upscale home-improvement projects, along with the percentage of cost that owners can expect to recoup when they sell. Projects range from a new garage door to a master suite addition.
Project costs for the 102 markets surveyed for the 2015 report were provided by RemodelMax, a publisher of estimating tools for remodelers, using Clear Estimates remodeling software. NAR members provided the expected value of the projects at resale.
To learn more and see all 36 projects broken down by region and market area, visit Remodeling at CostvsValue.com.
Remodeling magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, ©2015 by Hanley Wood LLC. Republication or re-dissemination of the Report is expressly prohibited without written permission of Hanley Wood, LLC. “Cost vs. Value” is a registered trademark of Hanley Wood LLC.
As the 2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report makes clear, large-scale jobs aren’t likely to return sellers their full cost. But there are improvements worth doing in anticipation of an upcoming sale. Some will return almost 100 percent of their cost. Others may not have as great a payback, but they can improve the market position of the property in relation to the competition. (Think about the impact of beautiful kitchen photos on online home shoppers.) In addition, several pricier projects can provide owners with a few years of enjoyment while still offering a decent payback down the road.

As a general rule:

Simpler, lower-cost projects tend to return greater value. The national average cost for a steel door replacement was $1,230, for example. That’s the least expensive project on the list, and it ranks highest on the payback scale, returning 101.8 percent nationally on average. In fact, in 43 of the 102 markets surveyed, REALTORS® said the new door would recoup more than 100 percent of its cost. Other projects expected to top 100 percent payback in multiple markets: the midrange garage door replacement, the upscale garage door replacement, the midrange wood window replacement, and the minor kitchen remodel. Notice a pattern? With the exception of the kitchen job, they’re all replacement projects. In general, replacements cost less and provide a bigger payback than remodels or additions.
First impressions are important. The replacements that offer the greatest payback are the ones that are most obvious to buyers when they first view a house in person or online, such as new door or garage door. Siding replacement also provides great value at resale—particularly this year’s one new project, manufactured stone veneer, which is expected to recoup 92.2 percent of its cost nationally on average.
Kitchens still offer the most remodeling bang for the buck. The only remodeling job breaking into the top 10 in terms of payback is the minor kitchen remodel with a national average cost of $19,226 and a national average payback of 79.3 percent.
Top 5 projects nationally in terms of cost recouped:
1. Entry door replacement (101.8%)
2. Manufactured stone veneer (92.2%)
3. Garage door replacement—mid-range (88.5%)
4. Siding replacement, fiber cement (84.3%)
5. Garage door replacement—upscale (82.5%)
Expect bigger payoffs in the West. In addition to reporting national averages, Remodeling magazine breaks down Cost vs. Value data by Census region. In the Pacific region—which includes Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington—six projects are expected to top 100 percent payback. The nearest competitor is the East South Central region—Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee—where two projects are expected to top 100 percent payback.
Just how much sellers can expect to recoup from home improvements depends on the job and the region of the country they live in. There are also factors that vary from house to house and sale to sale, such as what updates are typical for the neighborhood, the quality of the work, and how important the improvement is to a particular buyer. And while you can’t apply this data directly to any specific house or neighborhood, you can use the Cost vs. Value Report as a starting point in discussions with buyers and sellers about the cost and value of remodeling.

Myths about Real Estate

I love trivia… he’s useful information that helps understand some myths about Real Estate posted from NAR website on 2/26/15

Myth Article

Navarro Crossing

Things are still growing in Seguin. Below is the article Seguin Economic Development posted today…. Enjoy!!!!

Navarro-Crossing-to-bring-duplex-condominiums-to-Seguin–Texas.html?soid=1107990347452&aid=axwy10YJSds

To Stage or Not to Stage…

Thinking of Selling? Have your house Listed? Staging a home is recommended by Realtors often; some clients choose to and some don’t. Does it help? Here is an article posted by NAR on the Texas Association of Realtors on February 16, 2015…you decide…

Does Staging make a home sell for more?

01/29/2015 | Author: Editorial Staff

If you want to increase the price that buyers offer for your listing, staging the property might be the way to do it. According to NAR’s recently released 2015 Profile of Home Staging report, 32% of buyer agents surveyed said staging a home can increase the amount buyers are willing to offer by 1% to 5%. Sixteen percent said it could increase offer prices by 6% to 10%.

According to the report, the median dollar value to stage a home is $675, and 62% of seller agents offer the service to their sellers. If you want to give staging a shot, but do it on a budget, start with these five tips:
1.Try a theme for each room, like a reading nook or movie theater.
2.Remove personal items so buyers can picture themselves in the home.
3.Rework items a homeowner already has rather than making new purchases. This could be as simple as rearranging the furniture to highlight a room’s feature, or using old frames to display new artwork.
4.Paint the walls neutral colors.
5.Get a third party to suggest changes if you’re concerned about a seller having a negative reaction to your ideas.

Selling Steps

The Market is moving quick and things are about to get busier!!!! Here is the process your will be guided through with a licensed Realtor.
Give us a call and we would be honored to help you out.

The Selling Process Shared from TAR website 2/13/115

Selling a home can be complicated—you’re not only selling one property but likely trying to find a new place to live. Here are some steps to take to ensure you’re prepared.

Find a Texas REALTOR®

Why? A Texas REALTOR® will save you time and money by setting the correct price for your home, marketing and showing your property, advising you about the pros and cons of offers submitted for your home, helping you negotiate favorable terms, and , and negotiating on your behalf. Ask your friends and relatives for their recommendations, or use the Find a Texas REALTOR® search.

Sign a Listing Agreement

The listing agreement allows the Texas REALTOR® to sell your home during a given period and compensates him when your home sells. The amount of compensation, the length of the listing period, and other terms in the agreement are negotiable.

Set a Price

If you ask too much, you may not find a buyer. If you price the home too low, you’ll cheat yourself out of money. Websites with quickie value estimators aren’t the way to determine the value of your home. Go to the only people with the data and the expertise to accurately read your market: Texas REALTORS®.

Market Your Property

In preparing your home for viewing by prospective buyers, remember that people buy on emotions. Your home has to feel right, or buyers will look elsewhere. Look at your home objectively and listen to suggestions from your agent about ways to make your home more appealing, such as cleaning, de-cluttering, removing personal items like pictures, making cosmetic repairs, etc. And talk to your Texas REALTOR® about his or her plans to advertise your listing and show your property.

Consider Your Options

When a buyer makes an offer, what do you do? Your Texas REALTOR® will help you review it and understand the pros and cons. If you’re lucky enough to have more than one offer, he or she will discuss your options to do what’s best for you. Once an offer is accepted by you and the buyers, the buyers will perform inspections and finalize the deal.

87% of all homes qualify for some sort of down payment assistance program and over 90% of all DAP’s across the country are funded

Check out the link below to see if you qualify. Then give us a call. The market is active and moving out there!!!!!

Qualifying Programs

New HEB to be Built!!!!

Howdy! I get stopped quite a bit and asked how the economy in Seguin is looking and every time I go to answer; I have an addition to add to the growing opportunities come to this area…..

Shared from the Seguin Economic Development Page 1/28/15

Grocery store to provide new jobs, economic bonus for Seguin

(Seguin) — The construction of a new HEB store in Seguin is apparently more than just expanded products and more elbow room.

HEB General Manager Danny Crowson says the construction of the new store is in response to a growing customer base.

“I’ve been in this store for 14 years and felt like I knew just about every customer that came in here, but in the last six months, it’s been unbelievable to me. I go down on the sales floor on Saturdays and Sundays. I see new faces. I see younger people, a lot more younger folks are coming through the store than what they used to. When I came to this store 14 years ago, I believe our customer count was somewhere around 20,000 customers a week and now, we’re in excess of 30,000 customers a week (that) come through this store — 31,000 sometimes and as many as 32,000 customers in a week’s time come through this store. This town is growing and certainly things are changing,” said Crowson.

Crowson says the growing pains and changes in customers, however, aren’t only limited to Seguin. He says the local store attracts customers from all over.

“We have a lot of folks that travel 30-35-40 miles to shop in Seguin. Obviously, there’s other reasons to come to Seguin other than just groceries but we have a lot of customers in the Nixon, Stockdale area, Gonzales even though there is a new HEB there, there’s still lots of folks that come in here form Gonzales, Luling and San Marcos. We have a lot of folks that live right outside of San Marcos that come here and shop in this store and of course, it gets difficult to get around in New Braunfels during the summer time when all of the river people show up. There’s lots of folks that really live closer to New Braunfels, but don’t like the hassle and come into Seguin as well,” said Crowson.

Crowson says the new store, of course, will also mean\ the need for more employees at the store.

“One of the things that we will be doing is obviously — we’ve got about 249 — what we call partners — working at HEB today. We will be well in excess of 300 partners whenever the new store opens. So lots of new opportunities for jobs,” said Crowson.

A variety of positions are currently available. However, a large number of employees are expected to be hired during the summer. Those wishing to apply for a position are asked to submit their information to www.heb.com