Search

LisaLovesSanAntonio

You Will, Too!

Category

Uncategorized

Property Tax Bills in Texas

Did you buy or sell a house in Texas this year?

Your Texas property tax bill should arrive in the mail soon if it hasn’t already come.  Do some simple math and see if the credit was correct.

1. Take your current tax bill and divide it by 365. This gives you a per day rate.
2. Calculate the number of days between Jan 1st and your closing date on the settlement statement you have from your purchase.
3. Multiply the answer from #1 (what was actually owed)  with the answer from #2 (what you actually paid). This would be the tax proration based on current taxes.
4. Compare the answer in #3 to the credit or what you paid on the settlement statement.

If the current property taxes are higher than the proration done at closing, the buyer or seller may request the difference from the other party in writing per the paperwork you signed at closing.

If you bought or sold a house in 2018 check the new statement and compare what is owed versus what you paid or what you received.  If it is a substantial difference, contact the title company where you closed and ask them to verify what you have found and to help you contact the other party.  Remind them that part of the paperwork you signed when you bought or sold at the title company specifically states that if there is a difference the seller and buyer will work it out….but you need the title companies help to contact the other party.

Title companies use a third party company to order a tax certificate to determine what is owed when you sell a house but if the property value is a lot higher, exemptions are not transferred or calculated properly or if a mistake was made you can get assistance to ask for a refund.

We recently had a seller contact us because the settlement statement collected over $1500 in taxes that were not owed. Check your settlement statement.  It might be worth a few extra dollars in your pocket.

 

First Time Home Buyers

Schools

I’ve spent the last 30 days looking at houses for a first time home buyer….who is on a budget (aren’t most)?   We began by searching houses that had three bedrooms and two baths….and then quickly discovered that the elementary schools that matched up with those homes placed sometimes in the 4,000 range….out of 4,357 schools in Texas.  Should that matter?  Well….it might if you want your children to actually learn something while they attend classes….like this savvy Mom expected.

We then began searching for the best schools first….and quickly discovered that if you want to buy a house that has elementary AND middle schools that rank in the 500 or under range we had to spend more than she planned on spending…..AND be FIRST in the door with a strong prequalification letter in hand AND pray we were offering enough to get the seller to sign the offer immediately.

Of the 100 plus homes we viewed, took video’s of, FACETIMED and more…..days, weekends and nights consumed with searching for anything we might have missed…offers written on houses the seller’s assumed they didn’t need to repair to sell or homes out of state investors snapped up by taking them off the market for a week or so because they supposedly were buying with cash…we found success.

Even if the buyer hadn’t wanted good schools…..if you want a successful rental or a house that has potential to appreciate you should consider the schools.  Renters want great schools and will pay more rent for a school that ranks well….and homes tend to appreciate if they are located in areas with great schools.

One of the best sites I found for searching for school scores was SchoolDigger.  It also advertises homes on the site….but we found the homes they advertised were dated listings and not really available to buy….so use the site for school scores only.  A special note….new schools that were recently built might not show up on the site…..and a lot of new schools are being built in the San Antonio area.

If you’re considering buying a home to live in or for investment purposes, give me a call.  It’s hard work and long hours…….but I LOVE the end result…..finding the right house for YOU!

 

Towns Near San Antonio

Maybe you don’t want to live in a big city….even though living in San Antonio is like living in a small town to me since I seem to run into someone I know no matter where I am.  So many military folks like to retire here or maybe you’re finding the real estate seems to be getting too pricey in San Antonio proper and don’t mind a short commute, here are some possible choices:  New Braunfels, San Marcos, Floresville, Pleasanton, Boerne, Universal City, Schertz, Selma, La Vernia, Von Ormy, Castroville, Helotes, Canyon Lake, Spring Branch, Marion.

July 4th Fireworks

th1L5Q70UD

Still trying to figure out what to do on July 4th? Here is a list of things to do:

Woodlawn Lake:  The City of San Antonio is hosting this huge party that begins at 8 am with Zumba classes, live music, dancing, carnival rides, bull riding, food vendors and more!

El Mercado: Freedom Fest at Market Square!  Musical acts, dancers, arts & crafts, shopping, restaurants…..who doesn’t love Market Square?

Red, White and Blue at the Pearl: looking for a more hip vibe?  It’s always cool at the Pearl!

Independence Day at the Alamo: Where real independence begins…why not hit downtown and check out the Alamo?

4th of July Jubilee in Schertz:  9 am to 10pm in Pickrell Park with live music at 5, food, vendors, games, rides, watermelon and pie eating contests….a true down home party! Schertz, Texas

Red, White & Buda: begins at 5 pm with fireworks at 9:30, Buda Sportplex, Buda, Texas

Kyle Independence Day: 6pm with fireworks at 9:30.  Plum Creek Golf Course, Kyle, Texas

July 4th Frontier Days:  10am parade, Fireworks at dark.  Old Settlers Park, Round Rock, Texas

Shopping in San Antonio

It’s no secret that I LOVE to shop….so here’s my list of where to spend your money when you visit beautiful San Antonio.

Downtown:

Shops at Rivercenter:  Enjoy a drink outside while others hit the pavement and SHOP!  Unique shops and high end shopping….something for all.  10AM to 9PM and 12AM to 6PM Sundays

Pearl Brewery: 200 East Grayson, 78215 Absolutely one of the coolest places to visit and includes the Culinary Institute and an Aveda School where you might be able to book a haircut and look even cooler when you leave!
My Favorite: Hotel Emma…..a fantastic spot for a cool drink!

LaVillita:  if you’re downtown, be sure to stroll through the cute shops in La Villita off the River Walk!  10 AM to 6PM and 11 AM to 4 PM Sundays.

My favorite: BesArte…..eclectic collection of American made crafts, jewelry and cool stuff! Super friendly staff and fabulous collections of fun stuff at great prices.

The Shops at La Cantera, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, 78256  An outside mall with lots of choices for food and drinks and upscale shopping.

My favorite: Neiman Marcus:  totally Texas upscale and fabulous with all the bells and whistles.  LOVE all the high end brands that include LOUIS VUITTON.  The make up counter has choices you wont usually get to see in person and the make-up professionals know their stuff.  10AM to 9PM and Sundays 12PM to 6PM.  Be sure to visit Mariposa, their restaurant with upscale cuisine served by a warm and welcoming staff.  Perfect for a light snack.  Restaurant hours:  11AM to 4PM and Sunday from 12PM to 4PM.

North Star Mall, 7400 San Pedro, 78216 This was the first place I learned how to drive my car to when I moved to San Antonio at 16….still a fabulous mall with lots of shops to get lost in.  It’s worth going to just to see the largest Cowboy Boots in Texas.  It’s indoors…so if the heat is getting to you, it’s a great spot to cool off and buy some new clothes!  10AM to 9PM and Sundays 12PM to 6PM

Artisans’ Alley:  555 Bitters Road, 78216  I fell in love with this spot at 18 when my best friends sister opened a shop in the alley…..its full of quirky shops including an antique shop with lovely treasures and even has a Painting with a Twist shop for painting fun.  Open 10AM to 6PM and Sundays from 1PM to 4PM.  My favorite:  Rhonda J’s Shoppe which features my favorite Annie Sloan paint and really cool Consuela bags that are a must have if you visit our city!

Homestead Handcrafts, 21518 Blanco Road, 78260 Love this place…..looking for unique gifts, handmade clothing, shabby chic furniture….they have it all.  It’s worth me visiting at least once a month to see what’s new.  10AM to 6PM and Sundays 12PM to 5PM.

SteinMart:  my favorite location is at 18134 San Pedro, 78232.  It’s hard to pass up their bargain priced high end shoes and clothing….and don’t forget the “bling” in the costume jewelry as they have some of the best finds in the city.  10AM to 9PM and Sundays 11AM to 6PM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distressed Pantry Door

 

Call me crazy…. I took a brand new door and made it look old!

I painted the outside with Annie Sloan Burgundy paint (3 coats) and the inside top panel was painted with black chalkboard paint.  David sanded it with an electric sander to make it smooth and to distress the edges….and then we wiped it down with Annie Sloan dark wax.  Online I found the Pantry Door stencil….and the door was rehung!

It seemed a little strange to take a brand new door and make it look old….but I love it.  And that’s all that matters, right?  What do you think?

 

Signs

Exit Sign

 

 

We’ve become a world full of signs…inside and outside OUR homes.

This is a sign we put on our gate that leads from our backyard to the tennis courts, pool and park. A reminder to us that we need to make sure we use all the wonderful facilities our beautiful neighborhood provides. Oh how blessed we are to live in Encino Park and the beautiful city of San Antonio.  Tennis, anyone?

Pocket Listing

pexels-photo-823301.jpeg

I had the opportunity to visit with an old friend who shared with me her most recent real estate transaction/experience. She needed to help her daughter sell her daughter’s condo in Colorado. None of the Realtors she knew responded to her emails requesting they contact her…..I didn’t press to find out how many Realtors she emailed or if she called any of them…….but she shared that her next step was to complain to another friend about how none of the Realtors wanted to help her sell her daughters condo because none of them responded to her emails (shame on them)……..so the friend recommended a Realtor to help.
The Realtor referred to her was young, innovative, aggressive and had an idea that she had never heard of…..he would sell the condo for only 3.5%! He told her to think of ALL the money she would save by only paying 3.5%! He also told her that if he sold it himself….he was only going to take THREE percent! AMAZINGLY…..he sold it himself in just a few months…..so “THEY SAVED TONS OF MONEY by only paying 3 PERCENT”!
What this “innovative, aggressive and young” agent did to sell her daughter’s condo wasn’t anything new….but I didn’t burst her bubble by explaining why. She is a friend and thinks she got a fantastic deal. It’s called a “pocket listing”.
MANY years ago….before the internet…..no one had a chance to know when a new house or condo went on the market unless the agent that listed the property shared the information with others in their office. When a property doesn’t go into the multiple listing service I always wonder….if buyers from all over the world knew about this property….what would it sell for? Would it sell for more if more people knew about it or just the handful of people that found out? Who was the “young, aggressive, innovative agent” really representing? His paycheck or the sellers bottom line?
The ONLY times I recommend a “pocket listing” ;
Celebrity owners…..lots of real estate agents wont be able to resist showing their friends and family homes of the rich and famous……..selling your home does not mean part time agents or new, inexperienced agents should be allowed to waste your time and mine.
Your home is considered a “luxury” home……again, part time agents or new, inexperienced agents might enjoy showing friends and family a home that they might never get to see in their lifetime and wasting your time and mine.

My out of state friends daughter was NOT a celebrity nor was her condo considered a luxury property…..It will probably take a few lawsuits to occur before sellers that tried this “innovative and aggressive new idea” realize they might have sold in less time and at a higher price if they had put the property in the MLS system and let the world know about it….nothing drives up price better than having millions of buyers view your photos and wonder if another buyer might also be considering buying your home….but until then….PLEASE don’t suggest that this is a “new idea”…..we quit doing things that way when we began putting homes on the internet with photos. And if you are a celebrity or have a home that would be considered a “luxury” home…you can count on me to keep your information private and get it sold quickly and for top dollar.

San Antonio Fiesta Events

IMG_1936

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Fiesta officially begins April 19 to April 29th….but before and after can be a whirlwind of free and non-free events that are sure to make you smile.

A few of my favorites and must attend events are:

April 20-22:  Taste of New Orleans

I love Zydeco music and have been known to dance in front of the band more than once….this is a FUN event.  It have a ticket price and you can get a discount if you buy your ticket in advance:  $12 advance, $15 at the door.  Kids are FREE.  Food and drinks are extra.  It is located in the Sunken Gardens…so expect NO breeze and dress accordingly…preferably in cotton.

April 25:  5:30pm  to 10:30pm  Taste of the Northside

This is a pricey event at $85 for an advance ticket, $100 at the door….but it includes food and spirits!  We usually walk to this event from my office.  The bands are fantastic and the location is the Sonterra Country Club grounds.  The costly ticket price helps keep the crowd well behaved.

April 27:  9:30am  to 2:30pm  Battle of Flowers Parade

The oldest event and largest parade attracting sometimes over 350,000 people…..this is just an exciting event to be near!  It’s all volunteers and includes marching high school  bands and plenty of excitement and sounds.  It is a free event…but if you want a seat…you probably should buy a ticket months in advance.  I love to head downtown and find a restaurant to sip a frozen margarita (or two) and then wonder the streets to watch all the merriment!  Lots of kids, street vendors and excitement.  If you like people watching, this is your event.

April 28:  9 am to 6 pm:  King Williams Fair and Parade

The parade gets a little x-rated at times….so you might consider missing the parade if you have children with you.  Shopping is what attracts me….I love walking the closed off streets of the historic King Williams district and finding neat art work, cool clothing and jewelry.  I bought an antique restored 1950’s Arvin clock/radio over 15 years ago for $160….pretty pricey but it was restored beautifully and it still sits in my kitchen and is working perfectly so I can consider it a bargain.   We also like finding Moon Dog shirts for my hubby….”shirts with an attitude” and they are very well made.   If you are looking for the unique or just like walking beautiful streets and window shopping this is the event for you.

For a full list of Fiesta events visit www.Fiesta-SA.org

 

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑