What to Know About Credit Scores

Credit scores range between 200 and 850, with scores above 620 considered desirable for obtaining a mortgage. The following factors affect your score:

Your payment history.

Did you pay your credit card bills on time? Bankruptcy filing, liens, and collection activity also affect your history.

How much you owe and where. 

If you owe a great deal of money on numerous accounts, it can indicate that you are overextended. However, spreading debt among several accounts can help you avoid approaching the maximum on any individual credit line.

The length of your credit history.

In general, the longer an account has been open, the better.

How much new credit you have.

New credit—whether in the form of installment plans or new credit cards—is considered more risky, even if you pay down the debt promptly.

The types of credit you use.

Generally, it’s desirable to have more than one type of credit—such as installment loans, credit cards, and a mortgage.

The length of your credit history.

In general, the longer an account has been open, the better.

How much new credit you have.

New credit—whether in the form of installment plans or new credit cards—is considered more risky, even if you pay down the debt promptly.

The types of credit you use.

Generally, it’s desirable to have more than one type of credit—such as installment loans, credit cards, and a mortgage.
Changing Real Estate Dreams Into Realty Since 1985
Christine Henderson - BH&G Bradfield Properties 210-827-2858

Questions to Ask When Considering Selling

These questions will help you decide whether you’re ready for a home that’s larger or in a more desirable location. If you answer yes to most of the questions, you may be ready to move.

Have you built substantial equity in your current home?

Check your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to find out how much you’ve paid down. Usually you don’t build up much equity in the first few years of your mortgage, as monthly payments are mostly interest. But if you’ve owned your home for five or more years, you may have significant, unrealized gains.

Has your income or financial situation changed?

If you’re making more money, you may be able to afford higher mortgage payments and cover the costs of moving. If your income has decreased, you may want to consider downsizing.

Have you outgrown your neighborhood?

The neighborhood you pick for your first home might not be the same one in which you want to settle down for good. You may have realized that you’d like to be closer to your job or live in a better school district. 

Are there reasons why you can’t remodel or add on?

Sometimes you can create a bigger home by adding a new room or building up. But if your property isn’t large enough, your municipality doesn’t allow it, or you’re simply not interested in remodeling, then moving to a bigger home may be your best option.

Are you comfortable moving in the current housing market?

If your market is hot, your home may sell quickly and for top dollar, but the home you buy will also be more expensive. If your market is slow, finding a buyer may take longer, but you’ll have more selection and better pricing as you seek your new home. Ask your real estate professional what they see happening locally.

Are interest rates attractive?

Low rates help you buy “more” home, and also make it easier to find a buyer for your current place.

Is the effort and cost of maintaining your current home becoming difficult to manage?

A REALTOR ® can help you decide whether a smaller house, condo, or rental would be appropriate.
Changing Real Estate Dreams Into Reality Since 1985

Christine Henderson   210-827-2858   
BGH&G Bradfield Properties

Setting a Budget to Buy a Home

WORKSHEET
Track Your Budget
The first step in getting yourself in financial shape to buy a home is to know exactly how much money comes in and how much goes out. Use this worksheet to list your income and expenses below.

Income

Expenses

Total Take-Home Pay

Total Rent/Mortgage

Child Support/Alimony

Child Support/Alimony

Pension/Social Security

Health Insurance

Disability/Other Insurance

Life Insurance

Interest/Dividends

Other Insurance

Other

Vehicle Insurance



Vehicle Payments



Vehicle Upkeep



Other Loans



Utilities



Credit Card Payments



Savings/Pension Payment



Groceries



Clothes/Personal Care



Medical/Dental/Prescriptions



Household Goods



Child Care



Education



Charitable Donations



Eating Out



Entertainment

Total Income:

Total Expenses:



Remaining Income After Expenses (subtract total income from total expenses): _______________________
Changing Real Estate Dreams Into Realty Since 1985
Christine Henderson - BH&G Bradfield Properties 210-827-2858

Redevelopment planned for San Antonio's Lone Star brewery

The redevelopment of the Lone Star Brewery into a mixed-use project along the lines of the Pearl is expected to break ground in summer of next year with a grand opening planned for late 2018.

A partnership between Aqualand Development of San Marcos and CBL & Associates Properties of Chattanooga, Tenn. is leading the project, which will likely end up costing more than $300 million. It will be built in phases, with the first phase spanning the northern half of the site.

The project will have more of an entertainment focus than the Pearl, with more outdoor space and a cultural connection to the Southtown community, said two members of its development team, Adam Schneider, Aqualand's president, and David Neuhoff, vice president of development for CBL.

"We see ourselves as kind of anchoring Southtown," Schneider said.

It will likely include a food hall, a movie theater and a bowling alley with a restaurant and bar. The retail will be a mix of local, regional and national brands, the developers said – another differentiation from the Pearl, which focuses on local businesses. The pond will serve as the centerpiece of a park connected to the River Walk that could be used as festival space, and renderings show a cafĂ© along the water.

The partners plan to bring in other developers to build multi-family housing and a hotel. Neuhoff said the hotel will likely be a boutique brand with around 135 to 140 rooms.

The project will include large amounts of creative office space with open floor plans, Schneider and Neuhoff said. The developers have been in talks with Lone Star Brewing Company, which now brews its products in Fort Worth, to have a presence at the site, which has been vacant since around 1996.

The old brewery site will retain much of its gritty appearance – docks will be turned into seating areas for restaurants, and old metal will be repurposed as canopies. Old silos will be preserved, possibly as space for art displays.

Source: RWebner@express-news.net

Agency & Agency Relationships

The term “agency” is used in real estate to help determine what legal responsibilities your real estate professional owes to you and other parties in the transaction.
The seller's representative (also known as a listing agent or seller's agent) is hired by and represents the seller. All fiduciary duties are owed to the seller, meaning this person’s job is to get the best price and terms for the seller. The agency relationship usually is created by a signed listing contract.
The buyer's representative (also known as a buyer’s agent) is hired by prospective buyers to and works in the buyer's best interest throughout the transaction. The buyer can pay the agent directly through a negotiated fee, or the buyer's rep may be paid by the seller or through a commission split with the seller’s agent.
A subagent owes the same fiduciary duties to the agent's customer as the agent does. Subagency usually arises when a cooperating sales associate from another brokerage, who is not the buyer’s agent, shows property to a buyer. The subagent works with the buyer to show the property but owes fiduciary duties to the listing broker and the seller. Although a subagent cannot assist the buyer in any way that would be detrimental to the seller, a buyer customer can expect to be treated honestly by the subagent.
A disclosed dual agent represents both the buyer and the seller in the same real estate transaction. In such relationships, dual agents owe limited fiduciary duties to both buyer and seller clients. Because of the potential for conflicts of interest in a dual-agency relationship, all parties must give their informed consent. Disclosed dual agency is legal in most states, but often requires written consent from all parties.
Designated agents (also called appointed agents) are chosen by a managing broker to act as an exclusive agent of the seller or buyer. This allows the brokerage to avoid problems arising from dual-agency relationships for licensees at the brokerage. The designated agents give their clients full representation, with all of the attendant fiduciary duties.
A transaction broker (sometimes referred to as a facilitator) is permitted in states where nonagency relationships are allowed. These relationships vary considerably from state to state. Generally, the duties owed to the consumer in a nonagency relationship are less than the complete, traditional fiduciary duties of an agency relationship.
Changing Real Estate Dreams Into Reality Since 1985
Christine Henderson   210-827-2858   
BGH&G Bradfield Properties

Home Prices Continue Moderate Growth in the San Antonio Area in July

Home prices in the San Antonio and surrounding areas continued their steady growth in July with both the average and median sales prices reporting moderate increases, according to the Multiple Listing Service Report from the San Antonio Board of REALTORS® (SABOR) which reports on all areas contained within the MLS. The average price increased three percent from July 2015 to $246,032 and the median rose six percent to $211,900.

“The San Antonio area continues to be one of the most affordable markets in Texas,” said Bob Jacobs, SABOR’s 2016 Chairman of the Board. “For example, the median sales price of a home in Bexar County in July was $200,000 while the median was $335,000 in nearby Travis County and $219,250 in Harris County.”

About half the homes sold in July were priced between $200,000 and $500,000 while homes priced under $200,000 made up 45.3 percent of the market. Homes priced over $500,000 made up 4.53 percent of the market, with 15 of those homes priced over $1 million.

July reported just 3.9 months of inventory, consistent with previous months. In fact, months of inventory in the San Antonio and surrounding areas has remained at or below four months for nearly two years and was last at six months of inventory in November 2012. Months of inventory is an indicator of where the balance of the market lies.

“Typically, inventory below six months favors sellers while inventory between six to eight months is considered balanced. We’ve been experiencing a seller’s market for nearly four years in the San Antonio area,” explains Angela Shields, SABOR’s President and CEO. “With such a tight market, it’s important those looking to buy a home work closely with a REALTOR® to make sure they stay informed of the latest listings and find a home that suits their needs.”

In Texas, a total of 28,546 homes were sold last month, a 7.5 percent decrease from the amount sold in July 2015. The average price of a home sold in Texas increased 2.7 percent to $268,418 and the median rose 6.8 percent to $219,000. SABOR Multiple Listing Service Report: Home Sales Recap July 2014 July 2015 July 2016 Total Month Sales 2,482 (3% increase) 2,908 (17% increase) 2,850 (2% decrease) Average Price $228,957 (5% increase) $239,222 (5% increase) $246,032 (3% increase) Median Price $187,000 (6% increase) $199,800 (7% increase) $211,900 (6% increase)

*Percentage increases are based on a year-over-year comparison.
The San Antonio Board of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in San Antonio
Here's some helpful hints for your back to school shopping!


How to Prepare to Buy a Home

When you're ready to buy, start with these tips.

Talk to mortgage brokers.

Many first-time home buyers don’t take the time to get prequalified. They also often don’t take the time to shop around to find the best mortgage for their particular situation. It’s important to ask plenty of questions and make sure you understand the home loan process completely.

Be ready to move.

This is especially true in markets with a low inventory of homes for sale. It’s very common for home buyers to miss out on the first home they wish to purchase because they don’t act quickly enough. By the time they’ve made their decision, they may find that someone else has already purchased the house.

Find a trusted partner.

It’s absolutely vital that you find a real estate professional who understands your goals and who is ready and able to guide you through the home buying process.

Make a good offer.

Remember that your offer is very unlikely to be the only one on the table. Do what you can to ensure it’s appealing to a seller.

Factor maintenance and repair costs into your buying budget.

Even brand-new homes will require some work. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.

Think ahead.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in your present needs, but you should also think about reselling the home before you buy. The average first-time buyer expects to stay in a home for around 10 years, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

Develop your home/neighborhood wish list.

Prioritize these items from most important to least.

Select where you want to live.

Compile a list of three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in, taking into account nearby schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety.
Changing Real Estate Dreams Into Realty Since 1985

Christine Henderson - BH&G Bradfield Properties 210-827-2858

Questions to Ask a REALTOR® When Listing your Home

How long have you been in residential real estate sales? Is it your full-time job?

Like most professions, experience is no guarantee of skill. But much of real estate is learned on the job.

What designations or certifications do you hold?

Real estate professionals have to take additional specialized training in order to obtain these distinctions. Designations and certifications help define the special skills that an agent can apply to your particular real estate needs. One designation sellers might for is the CRS®, or Certified Residential Specialist, but there are also specialists for military customers, seniors, and those who are considering a short sale, among others.

How many days does it take you to sell a home? How does that compare to others?

The REALTOR® you interview should have information about their performance on hand and be able to present market statistics from their local MLS to provide a comparison.

What’s the average variation between your initial listing and final sales price?

This is one indication of a REALTOR®’s pricing and negotiating skills.

What specific marketing systems and approaches will you use to sell my home?

Your agent should have an aggressive, innovative plan and understand how to market property online.

Will you represent me exclusively, or might you also choose to represent the buyer?

While it’s usually legal to represent both parties in a transaction, your REALTOR® should be able to explain his or her philosophy on client obligations and agency relationships. 

Can you recommend service providers who can help me obtain a mortgage, make home repairs, and so on?

Practitioners should be able to recommend more than one provider and let you know if they have any special relationship with any of the providers.

How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction?

The best answer here is a question. A real estate agent who pays attention to the way you prefer to communicate and responds accordingly will make for the smoothest transaction.
Changing Real Estate Dreams Into Reality Since 1985
     Christine Henderson   210-827-2858  
BGH&G Bradfield Properties

How To Prepare for House-Hunting

Know that there’s no “right” time to buy.
If you find the perfect home now, don’t risk losing it because you’re trying to guess where the housing market and interest rates are going. Those factors usually don’t change fast enough to make a difference in an individual home’s price.

Don’t ask for too many opinions.

It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs of the people who will actually be living in the home.

Accept that no house is ever perfect.

If it’s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go. Also, accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will most likely pass.

Don’t try to be a killer negotiator.

Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price or refusing to budge may cost you the home you love.

Remember your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

Don’t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself that you forget about important issues such as noise level, access to amenities, and other aspects that also have a big impact on your quality of life.

Plan ahead.

Don’t wait until you’ve found a home to get approved for a mortgage, investigate insurance, or consider a moving schedule. Being prepared will make your bid more attractive to sellers.

Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation.

A home is still considered a great investment, but its most important role is as a comfortable, safe place to live.

Changing Real Estate Dreams Into Realty Since 1985

Christine Henderson - BH&G Bradfield Properties 210-827-2858

I am a Texas Realtor and Why that Matters

REALTORS® aren’t just agents. They’re professional members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. This is the REALTOR® difference for home sellers and buyers:
  1. An expert guide. Selling a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved, so you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.
  2. Objective information and opinions. REALTORS® can provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information about each property. REALTORs®can use that data to help you determine if the property has what you need.
  3. Property marketing power. Property doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. A large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts with previous clients, friends, and family. When a property is marketed by a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
  4. Negotiation knowledge. There are many factors up for discussion in a deal. A REALTOR® will look at every angle from your perspective, including crafting a purchase agreement that allows you the flexibility you need to take that next step.
  5. Up-to-date experience. Most people sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each sale. Even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS®handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their career.
  6. Your rock during emotional moments. A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most people, property represents the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you.
  7. Ethical treatment. Every REALTOR® must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a REALTOR®’s client, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. 
REALTORS® aren’t just agents. They’re professional members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. This is the REALTOR® difference for home buyers:
  1. An expert guide. Selling a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved, so you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.
  2. Objective information and opinions. REALTORS® can provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information about each property. REALTORs®can use that data to help you determine if the property has what you need.
  3. Property marketing power. Property doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. A large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts with previous clients, friends, and family. When a property is marketed by a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
  4. Negotiation knowledge. There are many factors up for discussion in a deal. A REALTOR® will look at every angle from your perspective, including crafting a purchase agreement that allows you the flexibility you need to take that next step.
  5. Up-to-date experience. Most people sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each sale. Even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS®handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their career.
  6. Your rock during emotional moments. A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most people, property represents the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you.
  7. Ethical treatment. Every REALTOR® must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a REALTOR®’s client, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. 
Changing Real Estate Dreams Into Reality Since 1985
Christine Henderson   210-827-2858   
BGH&G Bradfield Properties