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' Julie was outstanding to work with. We were in a situation where we had to move very quickly. She listened to our needs and pinpointed a house very ... more '
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' Wow, Julie was fantastic to work with. I was bidding on my first FNMA foreclosure home and Julie worked hard from start to finish. First she gave me ... more '
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' Working with Julie to purchase my property was a real blessing. She is so knowledgeable about the process and she is incredibly knowledgeable about ... more '
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' I could not have bought a house without Julie's help. Her calm spirit and professionalism made the Giant plunge into home investing a doable thing ... more '
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Land with Well in Place – Mobiles OK – $99,000

Hard to find lot with well in place just South of Comfort. Septic permit approved for conventional system. Ask for details. Ready to build or bring mobile home. House site is perched on highest point of the lot and has nice views. The lot is at entrance of the Apache Creek Subdivision (e.g., the bottom of the hill … so no steep climbing required). Nice grasses. Creek flows through the property during wet weather. Mobiles allowed. Horses allowed. Close to Comfort, Kerrville, Fredericksburg, Boerne.  For more information contact us at 830-995-2511.  Come take a look.

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Apacheria2

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7.45 Acres in Center Point – What a Deal at $55,875

Great price on 7.45 Acres with end of road privacy and no restrictions. Mobile or Modulars ok.  Needs some clearing but a number of nice home spots. Backs up to Twin Sisters in Center Point. Close to Kerrville, Boerne, Comfort, Bandera.  Give us a call at 830-995-2511 for more information.  Come take a look.

SpanishOak

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SPACIOUS HOME IN SOUTHERN OAKS – $319,900 Reduced!

Come see this spacious Hill Country Home on 3 acres just outside Boerne in the Southern Oaks subdivision community. Very large home priced at a bargain at $95/ft. Sellers have made substantial improvements: Fresh paint in and out, wood floors in living, new roof (2010) etc. Home is very large with 4 beds, 2.5 baths plus office + game room + bonus room that needs finishing touches (just needs texturing and carpet). Master and office downstairs and 3 bedrooms up. Spacious Kitchen + porch for outdoor dining.

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Ceramic Tile downstairs. Nice views. Decks on 2 levels. Fully fenced back yard. Shows well. Reduced!  Great place to call Home!   830-995-2511

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KENDALL COUNTY REAL ESTATE SALES SHOWING IMPROVEMENT – JAN-APR (2007-2011)

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Residential Real Estate Sales for the first 4 months of 2011 improved slightly over last year. 84 Sales vs. 81 last year. Also showing improvement was average sales price which increased from $314,055 to $319,152.

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2007 was the height of the market.  The market is currently down about 40% from that point.  Sales are taking more than twice the time to sell and are selling at a deeper discount from original list price than that time period.

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Thankfully, the sales curve is finally on an upswing. We have noticed that the number of distressed properties are decreasing. Inventory, however, is increasing daily.

It will be interesting to see how this year plays out … whether sales will grow stronger and eat up the inventory or whether inventory will not be absorbed and a “glut” by year end will create more distress situations.  We remain optimistic … but are ever watching the market to stay abreast of the situation.  For all of your real estate needs, give us a call.

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Comfort Wines are BIG winners!!

The 2010 Houston Livestock and Rodeo International Wine Competition has awarded Comfort’s own Singing Water Vineyard a Gold Medal for it’s 2009 Merlot.  The 2008 Texas Reserve, 2009 Pinot Grigio and their newest addition, the 2008 Freedom, all took home Silver medals. The 2008 Freedom also took home the Reserve Class Champion.  Make a trip to Singing Water Vineyards and try all the wines for yourself. We recommend  you bring a sack lunch and enjoy a picnic in the tree house.

www.singingwatervineyards.com/

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JANUARY TO SEPTEMBER SALES UP IN COMFORT, TEXAS

Increases in sales of Farm and Ranch and Lots/Acreage provided the stimulus for total real estate sales increases in Comfort, Texas so far this year. Looks like hill country land is coming back in vogue again!

On the other hand, residential sales are down so far this year. As I quickly look through the residential sales so far in 2010 (14 so far compared to 16 last year during the same time period), I am reminded that many of them were at deep discounts from original list price. The average list price to sales price ratio was 88.4%

ComfortJantoJune0910As for the outlook for THE ENTIRE HILL COUNTRY for the balance of the year, here are some things to consider:

Tax rates are set to increase next year. Current land owners: This year may be an opportune time to realize gains on real estate at lower tax rates.

There is currently a “glut” of residential properties on the market.  Since there is so much competition, homes that are “average” just aren’t selling.  Prices are being reduced time and time again in order to get market attention. As such, we believe that by end of year there will be some great “buys” on homes that need a little TLC.

We’d love to serve you whatever your real estate needs are.  We work from Leon Springs to Mountain Home, Bandera to Johnson City.  Give us a call!

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BOERNE SALES UP FOR JUNE, SLIGHTLY DOWN FOR JULY

Boerne Real Estate Sales are up for the Summer so far.  Total Sales for June & July were $29.9 million as compared with $25.7 last year during the same period.

JuneJulyBoerneThe number of total sales for June & July was up by 7; however, days on market increased  from 138 to 200 from July, 2008 to July, 2009 reflecting increased inventories.  Pending sales as of August 3, 2009, total just over $11.2 million.

We watch the Boerne market daily.  If you have something specific that you are interested, we’d love to help you find what you are looking for.

Recently, we were contacted by a gentlemen.  He had previously been in contact with a listing agent on a property, tried to make an offer, but did not get the property as there were competing bids.   The moral of the story (as he found out) is that Buyers need their own representation.  It eliminates conflicts of interest and it provides you, the buyer, with the best market information possible.

Our goal is to EXCEED YOUR EXPECTATIONS BY GIVING YOU ABOVE & BEYOND SERVICE.

We’d love to visit with you.  Call us at 830-995-2511.

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OUR REAL ESTATE STRATEGY: CONNECTING BUYERS & SELLERS FOR A WIN/WIN RESULT

What separates a good real estate agent from a really GREAT one?  I am an observer by nature and I am always observing agents to determine who the good ones are and who are not.  Quite honestly, there are times when I look at listings that I am about to show to a client and I cringe after I notice who the listing agent is.  I do that because, as in all businesses, there are real estate agents who are not pleasant to deal with, who aren’t very efficient at doing their job (my #1 pet peeve), and, in terms of their negotiating techniques on behalf of their clients, they are operating at a 2 or 3 year old level.  “This is MINE and you can’t have it!”

Our tag line for our business is:  “Connecting Buyers & Sellers for a Win/Win Result.”   It pretty much sums up who we are and how we do business.  First, our belief is that the real estate business is about matching willing buyers and willing sellers.  We’re not trying to convince anyone to do anything they don’t want to do.   Secondly, we believe that we can do that that in a win/win way for all.

There are some in the real estate business who would take exception to our strategy about the win/win aspect and say that representation is exclusively about getting your client the very best deal (e.g., it’s not a win/win, but a win/lose, with the “win” in favor of MY client and the lose in favor of  YOUR client).  Another way of saying it is, “We absolutely won’t leave anything on the table.”

winner-themeWhile it certainly IS our goal to get our client the very best deal possible (and we really are quite good at it), the problem with the Win/Lose approach is that it creates an adversarial relationship between the parties.  Win/Lose negotiators often have strong egos and they have an extremely limited view of what the client’s REAL interests are.  To say it a different way, they are negotiating based from their own ego, not in the true interest of the client.  Even though the strategy sounds like a good idea for the client, quite often the results are less than what you might expect.  The problem is that adversarial negotiating quite often ends up in compromise in order to get the deal done and so …  sometimes they win, sometimes they lose.  And sometimes the adversarial relationship continues … even into the courts.

The alternative way of negotiating is based on interests. It’s a bigger picture view and it provides for many more possible solutions.  The truth is that people and situations are complex and every transaction has multiple factors that influence whether a person is getting a good deal or not.  For example, who wants a great price on something that doesn’t interest them? or work for their family?

What we are trying to do is match interests and so we we feel like it is our job (and we spend most of our time observing and anticipating) what the changing interests of both parties are so that we can create a contractual agreement that both parties want to live up to.   Sometimes, the hardest task is getting people to “see outside the box” … that their interests truly are being served with the creative solution that we are offering.  See future articles with the keyword, “Interest Based Negotiations” for further elaboration the subject.

Connecting Buyers & Sellers for a Win/Win Result:  It’s what we do. It’s who we are.  And, it takes advantage of what people truthfully want to do.  It is our feeling that if we are creative in putting deals together, we will get much better results than the next guy … and those results will be win/win for all!

If you are looking for win/win results, give us a call at 830-995-2511.  We’d love to visit with you.

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BERGES FEST IN BOERNE THIS FATHER’S DAY WEEKEND

bergesfestJune 19-21 is Berges Fest Weekend in Boerne.  Here’s the lineup:

Friday evening:

Berges Fast Pageant from 6-8 with music extending later

Saturday morning:

10-12 Parade (Starts at North Main at Frederick by the Fire House and Ends at River Road)

Weekend Festival Hours (at Herff Park):

Saturday 10-4 with music extending into the evening hours,  Sunday 12-? with music also extending later.

Special Events:  Lawnmower Races, Washer Pitcher Tournament, Egg Toss, Balloon Stomp, Tug of War, Dachshund Races, Horseshoe Pitching Tournament, Little Tractor Races.

Parking $5.00 per car.

For more information, go to the BergesFest website.

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TIPS FOR INCREASING YOUR CREDIT SCORE

We have had several clients of late who are “on the edge” of the score needed to obtain financing and needed some tips to increase their points by anywhere from 10-50 points.  We found this entry on the website, Bankrate.com and thought it was helpful.  It was written by Pat Curry.  For the full article, go to Tips For Boosting Your Credit Score. Hope this helps!

What you’re looking for on your report are factors that could be affecting your score. Look for errors in the report, such as accounts that aren’t yours, late payments that were actually paid on time, debts you paid off that are shown as outstanding, or old debts that shouldn’t be reported any longer (negatives are supposed to be deleted after seven years, with the exception of bankruptcies, which can stay for as long as 10 years).

After repairing errors, the fastest route to a better score is paying down balances on credit cards, says Watts.

Though it’s not an instant cure, paying down credit lines over a two month period can boost your score a substantial amount, and may be enough to put it over the edge if you’re lurking just beneath the next tier of loan pricing.

Had a few late payments in your past?
Even if you’ve paid your bills late in the past, you can improve your credit score by paying every bill on time from now on, says John Ventura, a consumer law attorney and author of “The Credit Repair Kit.”

“Forget about grace periods,” he says. “If you want to have a really good record with the credit agencies, pay your debt before it’s due and keep your balances low.”

A big no-no
One thing you shouldn’t do if you’re just trying to boost your score is close unused accounts, Watts says.

“If someone tells you to close unused accounts to improve your score, they’re pulling your leg,” he says. “It won’t help you and it can hurt you.”

Closing unused accounts without paying down your debt changes your utilization ratio, which is the amount of your total debt divided by your total available credit.

“You appear closer to maxing out your accounts,” he says. “That’s why your score can drop. It doesn’t mean people shouldn’t close them, but don’t close them to improve your score.”

If you do cut up cards, though, leave the oldest one open, says Steve Rhode, former president of Myvesta.org, a national nonprofit financial crisis center.

The length of your credit history is another factor in your score. If you close the account of the credit card you got when you were a freshman in college and leave open the ones you just got within the last couple years, it makes you look like a much newer borrower.

“Keep a couple of the oldest open; I don’t care what the interest rate is,” he says. “Creditors don’t care what the rate is.”

Working with credit card balances
Another strategy for bringing up your score: Transfer balances from a card that’s close to being maxed out to other cards to even out your usage, says David Chung, managing director for Maryland-based CreditXpert Inc., which provides credit tools to lenders. Or just spread out your charges between a few cards.

“Try to get the usage on all of them at 20 to 30 percent instead of a bunch at zero and one at 80 percent,” Chung says. “You’re not spending less, you’re just shifting it around to different cards.”

It could work, Watts from FICO says. “Transferring the balance to a card with a lower utilization could help,” he says, “but it’s much better to actually pay down the debt if you have the cash kicking around.”

If you’re really into finessing the system, check your credit report to see what day of the month your creditors send updates on payments to the credit bureaus, Chung says. They’re rarely on the same cycle as your payment due date. That’s why you can pay off your card every month and your credit report will show you carrying a balance. Then, make your payments several days before the reporting date.

All of these strategies generally take at least 30 days because lenders don’t report payments more than once a month.

Rapid rescoring
If you’re in the throes of qualifying for a mortgage and need a score boost in a hurry, you can speed the process along with rapid rescoring. If you’ve got legitimate negative information on your credit report, such as late payments or accounts in collections, you’re out of luck. But the process of rapid rescoring can help increase your score within a few days by correcting errors or paying off account balances.

You can’t do this one yourself; you’ll need a lender who is a customer of a rapid rescoring service. Generally, the service will run roughly $50 for every account on your credit report that needs to be addressed, but it could save you thousands on your loan.

If a consumer can find a lender who is a customer of a rapid rescoring service, new information can be posted within 72 hours, Watts says.

Some nifty online tools are available to find out which strategies could have the most impact on your score. Fair Isaac’s www.myfico.com site offers a credit score simulator when you purchase a credit score. It offers seven simulated scenarios, such as how paying down your account balances — or not paying any of your bills on time this month — would affect your score.

CreditXpert’s “What-If” simulator lets you play with several variables, such as buying a car, paying off a student loan and opening a department store account, all at the same time. They don’t sell the simulator directly to consumers, though. You can get a list of places that do sell it on the consumer page of its Web site.

The bottom line, the experts say, is that you’re not powerless when it comes to your credit score.

“There are a lot of things you can do to improve your score,” Chung says. “You need to understand what your credit is like now and what’s influencing your score today. Then you can take an objective look at the different options available.”

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