VARIETY OF LIFESTYLES
There is so much to offer in South Texas, The variety of topography, rivers, lakes, wooded areas and even Ocean locations. You can have everything from a beautiful downtown CONDO in Scenic Historic San Antonio to a 'Cape Cod' style beach house (only 2 hours away) in Ocean town semi-tropical Corpus Christi - or live 'in the woods' of the Hill Country where Artesian wells, falls, and lengendary Springs with Quaint old fashioned names, like "Jacobs Well" and "Hamilton Pool" still offer their natural charm and eternally lie in wait to be re-discovered by you - and everything in between. The growth and diversity amongst these Texas treasures makes it easy to buy or build a property with an eye to adapting it to your own unique lifestyle! This freedom to be this flexible is not very easy to obtain in other US Cities. If a second home here is not for you, then it certainly is for Investors! Lets talk about a few examples:
These days Multi-generarional living is a national trend. It isn't always easy but if Mom and Dad can live with their 30 something daughter, husband and the grandkids, it helps everyone in the family. But San Antonio makes ti work! You are not likely to get cabin fever when you have GREAT WEATHER and NATURAL RESOURCES to get out and discover all around you, even a bigger back yard. If you have ever considered living with your college student, daughter and son-in-law, or even disabled relative - There are homes that have an "apartment" built right into the side of the home that make for easy living for your loved one! - while you relax in the Privacy of your own big home. They don't have to fly half-way across the country to visit; The new couple can actually save up for a downpayment on a new house; and there is plenty to do in GOOD WEATHER, and NATURAL RESOURCES for backyard activities where lot sizes are bigger, rivers cleaner and more friendly, hiking, kid-friendly beaches, mini-golf, swimming, tubing, kayaking, fishing, crabbing, etc. The photo to the left is the exterior; the photo to the right is the private 'apartment' complete with small kitchen, dining area, living area, and bedroom(s) situated right behind the 1 car garage.
This lifestyle is one where a close knit family decides it is better to live comfortably with privacy yet be able to take care of a loved one because there is a genuine need to find that 'house -within- a house'.
THE RANCH LIFE
There are 10 or 20+ acre spreads that have a house or two and are already fenced for horses and cows, where you can get a very low tax rate, up to 50% off. We call it the Texas Agricultural exemption - or "Texas AG" exemption, which you can get even while you work a white collar job! Some properties already come WITH the Texas Ag, and others you must apply for.
You don't even have to own the animals, just rent out the grassy area to cattle owning neighbors for grazing (and keeping the grass down for free!). Also the farmers will find you - and ask permission of course. So if you want lots of privacy, independence, and the ability to raise vegetables, a bunch of beautiful roses, or animals (without having to own them) and also park your camper and your boat without bothersome HOA restrictions, maybe a "mini- ranch" is for you.
Have you have ever considered living on a golf course because you love the game? Or maybe you love the kind of classy people who enjoy the game? There are homes ranging from $200k to $1,000,000 in the San Antonio, New Braunfels area that might fit the bill.
There are probably Six Golf Communities in the whole San Antonio area and many are in areas where you have other amenities as well - such as a Community pool, Tennis, Weekly Events, even 'Pickle Ball' courts. Older subdivisions have some rather well built and upgraded Custom homes scattered about and the price tag is easy to digest. The older communities are sometimes more desirable than the new communities with a plethora of Live Oak, Ash, Crepe Myrtle and Magnolia trees and larger lot sizes.
Living 'the River Life' is a very popular Life style on the water hat has been embedded in the South Central Texas area for over 100 years. Back in the late 1930's the Guadalupe River was a Postcard picture of beauty, and even today it is popular for its beauty, with traditional architecture and 100 year old Cypress Trees. The recreational side has blossomed to very well-organized tubing, rafting, and whitewater sports for all ages as well. Here are a couple of my own photo's of the crystal clear Guadalupe, and Pedernales Rivers with views, Canoes, and rafting for the kids and the 'big kids'. Of course it wouldn't be fair to not mention that the Rivers occasionally flood over it's banks now and then.
TEXAS HILL COUNTRY LIFE
The thousand square miles that is the 'Texas Hill Country" are famous for Oak Trees and hills and rivers in absolutely beautiful country. The quaint little towns are filled with Deer, wild Turkey, Dove, Quail, and other wildlife and extends down to the northern, eastern and western areas of San Antonio. There are so many new homes and pre-owned homes to sell you may elect this kind of elegant country living to get away from it all. To see and live amongst the majestic Hills with the privacy and the views and the spaciousness of the land is a life-style.
Of course you've got your typical homes that you see in most major cities built by the same name brands: DR Horton, Meritage, Perry Homes, KB Homes, and a very big assortment of Custom Home builders who will build it anyway you like. Consult your Realtor as to which one fits your needs. Whether you buy brand new or pre-owned, and no matter how 'they' try to convince you otherwise, the Experienced Team that is 'Rick Clifton' - (I have 500 associates) who all belong to HOME TEAM of AMERICA (largest independent in San Antonio) will get together with you and present the best option.
No matter which way we go, build new, buy a spec, or buy a pre-owned, we always recommend getting your house inspected by an Independent 3rd Party Inspector. As mentioned under the New Homes' tab these homes are all built by "crews" many of whom do not speak english and too often the left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing or after the big 3 day holiday! It always pays to have an advocate/realtor on your side at no charge to the buyer. This is an idea that was approved by the State of Texas to prevent abuse and to ensure that the buyers best interests as a consumer are being protected.
These days more and more people are finding Movie theatres, Laser Tag facilities, Outdoor sporting events, fast food Restaurants, Music events, etc popping up in the suburbs and moving away from the city. Much of this new growth is being built up along the I-H35, I-10 where there are older Walkable Communities. Various subdivisions like this have Dog parks, Swimming Pools, Nature walks, Natural areas, and Stadiums. They also have quaint little communities within them called "Old Cibolo', or 'Old Schertz' or 'Old Boerne' and this brings a little bit of history - and stability to the suburbs. 'Walkable' is a rating of what stores and services you can get to by walking or bicycling vs having to drive and it is not the most accurate rating, but most people can judge for themselves by driving through the community. If you would like walk to your clubhouse in 5 minutes; or 8 minutes to the convenience store 3 streets down and 200 yards to where you can buy stamps and a dozen eggs that constitutes a walkable community to most people.
The most desired properties in South Texas are The big 1/4 - to 3 acre Suburban Mini-estates. They embody all the things people move to Texas for and for that reason they are scarce to find: Lower price for a 3,500' sq foot home, larger bedrooms, larger lot size, upscale construction, and more.
the GardenHomes, the Town homes, 1 story homes, 2 story homes, and of every style and color. San Antonio rivals Chicago, New York, San Francisco, San Diego - for these sized homes, yet within 1/2 hour away lies the Beautiful City of San Antonio with it's river walk and famous restaurants, convention centers and Athletic complexes, Zoo and Seaworld, Museums and Historical monuments(The Alamo), and more.
But despite all the similarities with every other City in the US and Canada, there is One major difference:
The San Antonio area exudes a friendliness and openess to all ages - young and old, amongst it's citizens that comes from our culture of Military people. When I was in the military I was taught to respect all American citizens regardless of age or ethnicity. That is why many retired people live here, and especially Disabled people. You can see it on our License plates! For every 5 people that live here, there is 1 disabled. The next time you go the supermarket here check out the parked cars and see how many have the 'wheelchair' symbol on their plates. Of course their are a lot of active duty sprinkled around the neighborhoods as well.
This friendship also exists with our close international neighbors and the Hispanic culture that has embraced the American Military Bases. As my wife said when she first moved here from Los Angeles with me. "This feels like an International City..".and we could both feel it.
If you came from the California coast - or the Eastern Shore and you feel that 'call of the ocean' - Please try to remember on those hot summer days in San Antonio that you're only two hours away from the Blue and Refreshing Ocean that is our Gulf Coast. So make a day of it. Take the Ferry Ride to Port Aransas, and do some walking in the cool breezes and on sand so soft that it doesn't hurt your feet (or your knees!) like they did mine at Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and many other California Beaches. Texas beaches such as the beaches at Port Aransas and further south are very popular for this reason and because of that, they are gathering places. Then as you leave, hit one of the many popular little local fish restaurants privately owned for a Fish dinner and the short 2 hour trip back.
If you like to hike and really see nature you are also less than two hours from Hill Country trails, streams, waterfalls, and bat cave evening flights (Hamilton Pool, Marble Falls, etc) fantastic caves (Natural Bridge Caverns). Right in the very middle of the City of New Braunfels is also the Spring Fed Comal River - 15 minutes from Schertz - the shortest river in Texas. And for climbing afficionados a 2,000' 45 minute climb up Enchanted Rock (ask for directions). Of course if you are a real hiker, think 4 hours west of here to Guadalupe Peak, which is close to 8,000' elevation with spectacular views. Then there is always the spectacular and colorful Big Bend country, 4 hours South-west of San Antonio.
San Antonio is the home of the World Champion NBA Team, San Antonio Spurs. If you ever wanted to see great basketball, put in early for tickets at the AT&T Center (off the I-35) before the basketball season gets too hot! If you like Hockey, the Rampage plays at the same Center.
Learn about how realtors can help enormously when you buy a BRAND NEW home. New homes are not built by 'builders', they are built by 'crews', and the more I sell them the more I find out every day. Not every Pre-owned home can be found on the internet: some are not listed. Some are on the internet but they are not accurately placed or priced. They may have sold 3 days before you started your search, and by the time you have your heart set on it, it's already under contract. That's because the Internet site you are using (Realtor.com, Trulia, Bing,etc. are not always up to date some times. SEND US YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS and I will enroll you in my HOME TEAM OF AMERICA (HTOA) UP TO THE MINUTE SEARCH that delivers homes timely to your IN-BOX. Call me for details. A Buyers agent is used for when you buy, and I'll find the homes that are ready for sale. A Sellers agent can be the same Realtor, but only to be used when you sell. This process guarantees that each party to the transaction will be honestly and fairly dealt with.
Also certain loans are available to certain people. Are you a Union Member? Are you a veteran? A city employee? There are some little known loans we know of for the military where if you buy land, it is not reported on your credit report! I find hard-to-find homes for sale because I am an ABR (Acredited Buyer Represenative) but there are very few selections of homes these days and you need to jump on one quickly. Also we are in a Sellers Market. Using me and Castle Haus Group at HOME TEAM of AMERICA Realty, you won't be disappointed looking for a house. And I and my advice come free if you are using me as a Buyers Agent.
Selling a Home? When you advertise your home with Rick Clifton of Home Team of America you get the Best Real Estate Agent and individuals and vendors I have worked with for the past 10 years who will get the job done perfectly! You need the most striking pictures that 'POP' when you put your Home on the Internet! My photographer will make your home for sale look like a Castle and you can be sure you will want our help if you want to stage it correctly. Our listings sell fast because I've had 10 years of experience with other brokers doing it. Don't fall for that "well sell your house, or we'll buy it" routine. Those who make a business out of the practice of buying your house 'for cash' are usually NOT realtors and are in business to make a quick sale for those desperate enough who want or need cash immediately - and are willing to pay the steep price for that convenience. The Cash buyer will fix it up, power wash the driveway etc. resell it (flip), - and sell it for a good price - which has been known to break the hearts of some home sellers and even make some cry.
Will you get your money's worth? A resounding no. The difference between the cash offer you get versus what we listed it for (and you prepared the house yourself with my help) is very significant. Most sellers are not aware of how fast their house can sell and how much they can make with just a little bit of sprucing up in this market, especially if your home is in the median price range of $235,000. I use the same tradesmen, painters, foundation repair, plmbers, etc as they do. Just ask me for a "NET SHEET", of what they quoted on your property vs. what I can do and I will email it to you.
Also, conversely Staging a home effectively and not marketing at a price that is overly higher than it should be marketed at, will get the most buyer response the fastest. Don;t be fooled by those who say your house is worth more just so they can get a quick listing over a more honest realtor.
Look at our "Pre-Listing Packet" under the SELLERS TAB up top.. Always INSIST on a CMA. Although they are time-consumng I give CMA's to every seller who is genuinely interested in knowing what the value of their property is. For those who are seriously interested in selling and want to Stage their property to get maximum price,you might just as well make it smell really nice by microwaving some vanilla. If the house has been smoked in, then you need more serious treatment. Call me for details. Then post the finest looking pictures of each room of the home as if it were a work of art. We use a professional photographer and video with professional grade cameras utilizing the best natural lighting techniques and camera angles that will make you proud to list your home with my company. Many times the quality of the Photographs make the difference, especially when viewed on the Internet..
FLEXIBLE FINANCING NEEDED?
Experienced San Antonio and New Braunfels Realtors who have lived in the San Antonio/New Braunfels area for some time and have had experience working/financing everything from custom home building as an alternative to buying from a stock builder, ov even buying a Manufactured home on some land, etc. are your best bet for comparing the advantages/disadvantages of each and quickly narrowing the field down to finding exactly what you want and can pay for. Often this means some kind of creative financial solution. Again experience is the best teacher. Use an experienced Realtor who knows about you and about Texas financing and Texas laws.
While on the subject of 'experience' those of you who have used Realtors before already know this - but for new buyers the myriad of real estate experiences a Realtor has had, counts for a lot. There are so many parts to a real estate transaction these days, that a small change in any one of the processes can have a multiple staccato effect on the rest and only an experienced realtor can foresee the 'end game' coming that leads to certain disaster - and can warn and make certain adjustments ahead of time so everything goes down smoothly. That takes time - and experience. Ask your new Realtor on the Phone how many Years of Experience he /she has had as you go through your decision making process. The experienced realtor typically saves a buyer or seller $25,000 on average in a real estate transaction according to a Wall Street Journal article that came out about 8 years ago.
Relocating? Military Rotation?
If you are Military and PCS'ng to the San Antonio area, I can help. I am a certified relocation expert (CNAS) and can provide you with useful information - everything from VA or TEX VET loans - to temporary housing - to kennels to board your pets, to nearby storage. I have experience moving military families along with references they have provided to me. They've told me many times they would not consider either buying or selling without me. Most of them love my energy - and ever since my kids grew up and went to college in California, we decided to have some fun-and start this Real Estate business 11 years ago! I may not have young children to slow me down anymore, but it doesn't mean I can't make friends with yours! I love children and young families! I have been known to work an entire weekend non-stop to get the job done. Even picking you up at your hotel and making the process into "a military campaign". I am a former Loan Officer and know how financing the deal can separate me from the competition (many times its a new Builder!). How to negotiate with old owners and home builders to get the best loan and the best deal, and leave no stone unturned such as that house the builder won't tell you about that they're saving for someone else! Did you know that many times a pre-owned home that has been thoroughly RE-MODELED and has had generous TLC is often a far better deal than a brand new home. I'll explain when we get to meet someday! I'm listing one this week! .