The Cost of Renting vs. Buying a Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

  • Historically, the choice between renting or buying a home has been a tough decision.
  • Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median-priced home today (29.2%) vs. the percentage needed to buy a median-priced home (15.8%), the choice becomes obvious.
  • Every market is different. Before you renew your lease again, find out if you can put your housing costs to work by buying this year!

This Content is provided by keepingcurrentmatters.com

This is a Blog provided by Tucker Haynes - Realtor® Buying or Selling Homes

Serving San Antonio New Braunfels, McQueeney, Marion and Seguin Area Real Estate Market

Specializing in Lake and Ranch Living @ www.tuckerhaynes.com

Lakes: Lake Dunlap, Lake Mcqueeney, Lake Placid, Lake Seguin and Meadow Lake

Ranch: Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, and Wilson counties.

 

October 14 & 15, 2017

Tamale Addiction is BACK this weekend!

Saturday and Sunday

Get them hot and ready to eat, or grab a frozen dozen to take home!

These are delicious and organic lunches for your work week,

or dinner for the family!

 


This Content is provided by New Braunfels Farmers Market

This is a Blog provided by Tucker Haynes - Realtor® Buying or Selling Homes

Serving San Antonio New Braunfels, McQueeney, Marion and Seguin Area Real Estate Market

Specializing in Lake and Ranch Living @ www.tuckerhaynes.com

Lakes: Lake Dunlap, Lake Mcqueeney, Lake Placid, Lake Seguin and Meadow Lake

Ranch: Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, and Wilson counties.

Hiring an Agent to Sell Your House May Cost You NOTHING!

There is no doubt that it is easier to sell your house when using the services of a local real estate professional. The agent will provide:

  • Greater exposure to more buyers
  • The skills of a professional negotiator
  • A layer of protection from possible legal liabilities
  • Professional guidance in navigating any pitfalls that may arise
  • A level of safety while showing the home

There is no doubt that these services are valuable to any family that decides to sell. The only question is – how valuable? One of the main reasons For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) don’t use a real estate agent is because they believe these services are not worth the fee an agent charges. But, what if those services didn’t cost the seller a penny?

A study by Collateral Analytics, however, reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save anything and, in some cases, may be costing themselves more by not listing with an agent.

In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets in 2016 and the first half of 2017. The data showed that:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.” (emphasis added)

Why would FSBOs net less money on their own than if they used an agent?

The study makes several suggestions:

  • “There could be systematic bias on the buyer side as well. FSBO sales might attract more strategic buyers than MLS sales, particularly buyers who rationalize lower-priced bids on with the logic that the seller is “saving” a traditional commission. Such buyers might specifically search for and target sellers who are not getting representational assistance from agents.” In other words, ‘bargain lookers’ might shop FSBOs more often.
  • “Experienced agents are experts at ‘staging’ homes for sale” which could bring more money for the home.
  • “Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.” If more buyers see a home, the greater the chances are that there could be a bidding war for the property.

Three conclusions from the study:

  1. FSBOs achieve prices significantly lower than those from similar properties sold by Realtors using the MLS.
  2. The differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales of similar properties is about 5.5%.
  3. The sales in 2017 suggest the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling, FSBOing may end up costing you money instead of saving you money.


This Content is provided by keepingcurrentmatters.com

This is a Blog provided by Tucker Haynes - Realtor® Buying or Selling Homes

Serving San Antonio New Braunfels, McQueeney, Marion and Seguin Area Real Estate Market

Specializing in Lake and Ranch Living @ www.tuckerhaynes.com

Lakes: Lake Dunlap, Lake Mcqueeney, Lake Placid, Lake Seguin and Meadow Lake

Ranch: Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, and Wilson counties.

 

10 Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger

Small bathroom spaces aren’t found just in apartments and condos – they’re in our guest bathrooms and powder rooms, too. Since no one likes feeling crowded, here are a few tips for making any small bathroom seem bigger – no wall demolition required.

1. Brighten the room

Bring in as much light as possible. Light, bright rooms always feel more spacious than dark and drab ones.

  • Wall color. Paint the walls and ceiling the same light color to make the bathroom feel double its size. Anytime an area of the room is a different color, it chops the room into different compartments, making it seem smaller.
  • Windows. If you have a window, use sheer window coverings to maximize the natural light.
  • Lighting. Install additional flush-mount wall or ceiling light fixtures to increase the light in the room.

2. Add mirrors

Install larger – and more – mirrors than you typically would in a bathroom. The reflected light will open your small space into one that feels more spacious.

Photo from Zillow listing.

3. Install a sliding door

Swinging doors can take up almost half the room, depending on how small the space is. A sliding barn door or a wall-pocket door won’t encroach on your bathroom’s already limited real estate.

Photo from Zillow listing.

4. Think pedestal sink

The added bulk of a full vanity takes up valuable space, so try a pedestal sink instead. You may not have a place for soaps or towels on the vanity, but there are plenty of wall-mounted solutions perfect for bathroom accessories.

Photo from Zillow listing.

5. Streamline storage

Keep all storage as flush with the walls as possible, because anything that sticks out will chop up the space and close it in. Install recessed shelving and medicine cabinets instead.

6. Choose light-colored flooring

Even if your walls and ceiling are light and bright, a dark floor will negate their effect and close the space in. Keep the flooring light to create a space with a bright and open flow.

Photo from Zillow listing.

7. Eliminate clutter

Nothing crowds a space faster than clutter. A good rule of thumb: If you don’t need it there, store it elsewhere. Pare what you keep in the bathroom down to the bare necessities.

8. Hide the bathmat

Having a bathmat on the floor all the time can make your bathroom feel smaller. Put your bathmats away when you’re not using them to expose the flooring and make the space appear larger.

9. Raise the shower curtain bar

Raising your shower curtain bar all the way to the ceiling draws your eyes up and makes the ceiling seem taller, creating the illusion of a larger space.

Photo from Zillow listing.

The same goes for any window treatments. Raising sheer curtain panels to the ceiling also creates the illusion of a larger window, making the small bathroom seem larger.

10. Go frameless, clear, and cohesive in the shower

Clear glass shower doors make the room appear larger, while frosted glass breaks up the space and makes it seem smaller than it already is. The same goes for a frame around the glass. A frame can make the area seem choppy rather than smooth and open.

Additionally, install the same shower tile from floor to ceiling. The seamless look from top to bottom adds cohesion and openness.

Just a few changes to your small bathroom can make dramatic differences in how open it feels. Once you’ve tried these tips and tricks in the bathroom, apply them throughout your home! It’s all about creating the illusion of space.

Top photo from Zillow listing.

Related:

This Content is provided byZillow Blog

This is a Blog provided by Tucker Haynes - Realtor® Buying or Selling Homes

Serving San Antonio New Braunfels, McQueeney, Marion and Seguin Area Real Estate Market

Specializing in Lake and Ranch Living @ www.tuckerhaynes.com

Lakes: Lake Dunlap, Lake Mcqueeney, Lake Placid, Lake Seguin and Meadow Lake

Ranch: Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, and Wilson counties.

Moving-Up to a Luxury Home? Now’s the Time!

If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying a luxury home, now is a great time to do so! We recently shared data from Trulia’s Market Mismatch Study which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control.

The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds those searching to purchase these properties in many areas of the country. This means that homes are often staying on the market longer which can eventually lead to a price change.

Those who have a starter or trade-up home to sell will find buyers competing, and often entering bidding wars, to be able to call your house their new home.

The sale of your starter or trade-up house will aid in coming up with a larger down payment for your new luxury home. Even a 5% down payment on a million-dollar home is $50,000.

But not all who are buying luxury properties have a home to sell first.

In a Washington Post article, Daryl Judy, an associate broker with Washington Fine Properties, gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do:

“Some high-earning millennials save money until they are in their early 30s to buy a place and just skip over that starter-home phase. They’ll stay in an apartment until they can afford to pay for the place they want.”

Bottom Line

The best time to sell anything is when demand is high and supply is low. If you are currently in a starter or trade-up house that no longer fits your needs and you are looking to step into a luxury home, now’s the time to list your house for sale and make your dreams come true.


This Content is provided by keepingcurrentmatters.com

This is a Blog provided by Tucker Haynes - Realtor® Buying or Selling Homes

Serving San Antonio New Braunfels, McQueeney, Marion and Seguin Area Real Estate Market

Specializing in Lake and Ranch Living @ www.tuckerhaynes.com

Lakes: Lake Dunlap, Lake Mcqueeney, Lake Placid, Lake Seguin and Meadow Lake

Ranch: Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, and Wilson counties.

 

Buying Remains Cheaper Than Renting in 39 States!

In the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia, they explained that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

The updated numbers show that the range is an average of 3.5% less expensive in San Jose (CA), all the way up to 50.1% less expensive in Baton Rouge (LA), and 33.1% nationwide!

A study by GoBankingRates looked at the cost of renting vs. owning a home at the state level and concluded that in 39 states, it is actually ‘a little’ or ‘a lot’ cheaper to own (represented by the two shades of blue in the map below).

Buying Remains Cheaper Than Renting in 39 States! | MyKCM

One of the main reasons owning a home has remained significantly cheaper than renting is the fact that interest rates have remained at or near historic lows. Freddie Mac reports that the current interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is 3.91%.

Nationally, rates would have to reach 9.1%, a 128% increase over today’s average of 4.0%, for renting to be cheaper than buying. Rates haven’t been that high since January of 1995, according to Freddie Mac.

Bottom Line

Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. If you are one of the many renters who would like to evaluate your ability to buy this year, let’s get together and find you your dream home.


This Content is provided by keepingcurrentmatters.com

This is a Blog provided by Tucker Haynes - Realtor® Buying or Selling Homes

Serving San Antonio New Braunfels, McQueeney, Marion and Seguin Area Real Estate Market

Specializing in Lake and Ranch Living @ www.tuckerhaynes.com

Lakes: Lake Dunlap, Lake Mcqueeney, Lake Placid, Lake Seguin and Meadow Lake

Ranch: Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, and Wilson counties.

 

Is Your Bathroom a Total Snooze Fest? (It Doesn’t Have to Be)

The current trend of turning household bathrooms into spa-like retreats isn’t a bad one, per se.

Whether waking up with a hot shower or relaxing before bed in a soothing bath, everyone appreciates a crisp, clean palette and great lighting for getting prepped. And neutrals make sense for installed features like bathtubs and sinks – things that are difficult and expensive to change.

But a bathroom has the potential to be so much more than just a white box. The bathrooms we’ve designed, both for clients and in our own homes, have been spaces for color, personality, and a little bit of that sometimes dirty word: whimsy.

Giving the bathrooms in your home more character makes for a quick, inexpensive, and exciting transformation. Here are a few of our favorite decorating tricks. Perhaps they can work in your home, too.

Paint it black. Or blue. Or how about pink?

While your bathroom’s tile and fixtures may be neutral, there’s no reason the walls should be. In fact, you can get away with bold, high-contrast colors in bathrooms precisely because there’s so much white to balance it out.

Concerned that dark walls will make the room gloomy? Worry not – you’ll be safe thanks to the gleaming white tile and countertop.

You can go particularly bold with color in powder rooms. These small spaces generally have little in the way of architectural details, so high-impact paint will go a long way, making them memorable at minimal expense.

One thing to remember: Exercise caution when selecting hues, as the paint color will bounce around the room and onto your skin.

Acidic green can make you look sickly, orange will give you an artificial tan, and a bright blue will drain color from your face. Besides making that first glance in the mirror a bit jarring, the wrong color can cause makeup application challenges.

Get that paper

What if you’re totally over paint? It’s time to graduate to wallpaper.

The wide range of styles and patterns gives you remarkable freedom to redefine your bathroom. Wallpaper works particularly well in small spaces, where the color palette is tightly controlled, and the walls may be at least partially covered with built-ins, mirrors, or tile.

The right pattern can make the room feel more cohesive and, in some cases, help raise the ceiling height to reduce claustrophobia.

Use linear patterns – stripes, plaids, checks – to establish structure in rooms that lack architecture or have low ceilings. Organic patterns, like overscale florals or abstracts, can soften a room that has a busier floor plan or feels unwelcoming.

 

While you have quite a bit of flexibility in wallpaper composition for powder rooms, bathrooms with showers are a good fit for vinyl papers and their moisture-resistant properties. As always, installation matters, and working with a professional paper hanger will give you the longest-lasting results.

Furniture for function and fun

In larger bathrooms or combined bathroom and dressing rooms, you may have a chance to introduce free-standing furniture.

Built-in vanities and storage pieces can overwhelm a bathroom and make it a bit monotonous. To combat this with a little style, we’ve used  small dressers to add enclosed storage space, and bookshelves or smaller tables create a space for towels and toiletries.

While bathrooms are frequently where we get dressed, many of them lack a place to sit down when doing so. Adding a small chair or stool – even a funky old armchair – improves function and style.

When bringing furniture into the bathroom, keep scale in mind. Even in relatively large rooms, open wall space may be in short supply, and there’s the real risk of creating unnecessary obstacles. For best results, prioritize a tidy footprint.

Make bold statements with artwork

Sticking with neutral colors? Wallpaper not for you? No room for a funky armchair?

OK, last chance: Give your bathroom some punch with great art.

We’ve found that most people play it safe in bathrooms with small, framed prints or skip the art entirely. Nonsense! Go for impact with larger pieces – integrate something sculptural or even cover a wall with paint-by-numbers.

Also, it goes without saying, but yes, your most precious pieces should stay in drier spots.

Get more bathroom design inspiration on Zillow Digs.

Related:

This Content is provided byZillow Blog

This is a Blog provided by Tucker Haynes - Realtor® Buying or Selling Homes

Serving San Antonio New Braunfels, McQueeney, Marion and Seguin Area Real Estate Market

Specializing in Lake and Ranch Living @ www.tuckerhaynes.com

Lakes: Lake Dunlap, Lake Mcqueeney, Lake Placid, Lake Seguin and Meadow Lake

Ranch: Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, and Wilson counties.

Thinking of Selling? You Should Do It TODAY!!

That headline might be a little aggressive; however, as August 2017’s housing market data begins to roll in, we can definitely say one thing: If you are considering selling, IT IS TIME TO LIST YOUR HOME TODAY!

In a recent article by CBS News, they explained that the number of existing home sales is shrinking, and Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors, said:

“There should be 3 million homes on the market right now…Yet, there are only 1.9 million.”

And this situation will be affected greatly by recent natural disasters. Yun continued by saying:

“Before the hurricanes I would have predicted 1.35 million in new-home construction in 2018…I’ll have to scale that down now.”

NAR, in their August 2017 Realtors® Confidence Index, indicated that:

“Amid sustained job creation and sustained historically low mortgage rates, REALTORS® reported…that buyer demand is stronger compared to conditions one year ago… and that fifty percent of properties were on the market for less than one month when sold.”

The only challenge to today’s market is a severe lack of inventory. A balanced market would have a full six-month supply of homes for sale. Currently, there is only a 4.2-month supply of inventory, which is down from 4.5 months one year ago.

Bottom Line

With demand increasing and supply dropping, this may be the perfect time to get the best price for your home. Let’s get together and discuss the inventory levels in your neighborhood to determine your next steps.


This Content is provided by keepingcurrentmatters.com

This is a Blog provided by Tucker Haynes - Realtor® Buying or Selling Homes

Serving San Antonio New Braunfels, McQueeney, Marion and Seguin Area Real Estate Market

Specializing in Lake and Ranch Living @ www.tuckerhaynes.com

Lakes: Lake Dunlap, Lake Mcqueeney, Lake Placid, Lake Seguin and Meadow Lake

Ranch: Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, and Wilson counties.

 

4 Reasons to Sell This Fall [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

  • Buyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes for sale! Buyers are often competing with one another for the listings that are available!
  • Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market.
  • Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

This Content is provided by keepingcurrentmatters.com

This is a Blog provided by Tucker Haynes - Realtor® Buying or Selling Homes

Serving San Antonio New Braunfels, McQueeney, Marion and Seguin Area Real Estate Market

Specializing in Lake and Ranch Living @ www.tuckerhaynes.com

Lakes: Lake Dunlap, Lake Mcqueeney, Lake Placid, Lake Seguin and Meadow Lake

Ranch: Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, and Wilson counties.

 

5 Reasons to Buy a Home This Fall

Real estate markets ebb and flow just like the seasons. The spring market starts hopping when the sun comes out, flowers bloom and winter is over. Conversely, fall signals the beginning of a slower market, which could be good for buyers.

If you’re in the market for a home, here are some reasons why fall can be a great time to buy.

Leftover spring inventory may result in deals

Home sellers tend to go on the market for the first time in the spring. They often list their homes too high out of the gate, which could mean that a series of price reductions follow during the spring and the summer months.

These sellers have fewer chances to capture buyers after Labor Day. By October, buyers are likely to find desperate sellers and prices that may, in fact, be below a home’s true market value.

Fewer buyers are competing

Families who want to be in a new home by the beginning of the school season are no longer shopping at this point. These families have exited the market, which means less competition. That translates into more opportunities for buyers.

Taking out an entire segment of the housing market provides millennial, single, and baby boomer buyers some breathing room. You’ll likely notice fewer buyers at open houses, which could signal a great opportunity to make an offer.

Motivated sellers want to close by the end of the year

While a home is where an owner lives and makes memories, it is also an investment – and one with tax consequences. A home seller may want to take advantage of a gain or loss during this tax year.

Buyers might find homeowners looking to make deals so they can close before December 31st and get that tax benefit. Ask why the seller is selling, and look for listings that offer incentives to close before the end of the year.

Homes for sale near the holidays signal a motivated seller

As the holidays approach, the last thing a homeowner wants is for their sale to be dragging on and interrupting their parties and events.

If a home has not sold by November, and it’s still sitting on the market, that homeowner is likely motivated to be done with the disruptions caused by their home being listed for sale.

Many homes don’t show as well once the landscaping fades

The best time to do a property inspection is in the rain and snow, because the home will be truly exposed for buyers. The same holds true for fall, when flowers die, trees start to shed their leaves, and beautiful landscapes are no longer so lovely.

Scratching the surface of the pretty spring home season and fall reveals home flaws, making it a great time to see each home’s true colors. It’s better to see the home’s flaws before making the offer, instead of being surprised months after you close.

Related:

Originally published October 19, 2015.


Content provided by Zillow Blog

This is a Blog provided by Tucker Haynes - Realtor® Buying or Selling Homes

Serving San Antonio New Braunfels, McQueeney, Marion and Seguin Area Real Estate Market

Specializing in Lake and Ranch Living @ www.tuckerhaynes.com

Lakes: Lake Dunlap, Lake Mcqueeney, Lake Placid, Lake Seguin and Meadow Lake

Ranch: Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, and Wilson counties.