Category Archives: Real Estate Insights

5 Smart Home Upgrades That Increase the Value of Your Property

5 Smart Home Upgrades That Increase the Value of Your Property
Authored by: Beth Kotz

 

Boosting the value of a property may conjure up images of backbreaking labor or $20,000 renovation bills, but the reality is that you need not put yourself in debt or work your fingers to the bone. In fact, modern homeowners now have an abundance of options for improving property values and creating a safer, more convenient and more efficient home. To make the process even simpler, let’s take a look at a few of the most popular and effective home upgrades and how they deliver a bang for your home improvement buck.

A Recipe for Higher Home Values

The kitchen has traditionally been a go-to option for cooking up higher property values, and the same is still true today. Kitchen renovations consistently bring a higher return on investment than most other improvement projects, and you don’t need to pay a fortune to make it happen. Just a few thousand dollars is enough to completely revitalize a kitchen that’s become stale and outdated. New appliances are always a hit, and outfitting your kitchen with complementary flooring and countertops is sure to create a stunning first impression on prospective homebuyers.

Cast Your Home in a New Light

Adding new windows to let more natural light into a room is a fantastic way to liven up and add value to a home, but it’s not the only way you can leverage the power of sunlight. Adding a roof-mounted solar panel system to your home is by far the most expensive venture on this list – costing about $12,500 on average – but it’s also among the most rewarding. A rooftop solar array can save $10,000 to $70,000 on utility bills over the duration of the typical 25-year warranty, and studies have shown that buyers are more than willing to pay a premium for a solar-equipped home. Depending on where you live, you may even be able to significantly reduce the total cost of installation through tax credits, rebates and other incentives.

An Efficient Home is a Valuable Home

Even if a solar array seems a little too ambitious, it pays to consider the overall efficiency of your home. Energy efficiency has become one of the hottest topics in real estate, and ignoring the trend is simply leaving money on the table when it comes time to sell. Adding quality insulation and installing ENERGY STAR windows and doors are proven value-boosting tactics, but it’s also worth considering more visible upgrades. Installing a new energy-efficient water heater can produce real savings and help prove your home’s efficiency bona fides, and high-efficiency LED lighting will also appeal to many buyers. To maximize efficiency, convenience and value, you may even wish to explore smart lighting options.

Keep Your Home Running Smoothly

The simple fact is that no one wants a home they feel requires excessive work to maintain. While things like engineered hardwood floors, stainless steel fixtures and freshly updated plumbing systems may seem like small details, you – and prospective homebuyers – will appreciate the smoother, worry-free living they provide. Investing in a high-quality central HVAC system is a great move as well, as it often comes with reduced energy use as well as fewer maintenance headaches. The same can be said of using smart products to inject a little intelligence into your home. A smart thermostat can optimize your HVAC system and shave 12 to 15 percent off your heating and cooling costs, and a few well-placed smart leak detectors can help you keep a better eye on your plumbing system without costing an arm and a leg.

 

Go Green to Get Some Green

The great outdoors is a wonderful place to play with your children, host gatherings or just unwind after a hard day’s work, but you may be losing out on a lot of money if your outdoors isn’t particularly “great.” There’s no need to spring for elaborate landscaping and lush greenery, but simply keeping your lawn well-maintained and planting a few tasteful shrubs may make all the difference when it comes to creating a stellar first impression. If your home is subject to water restrictions, installing a smart sprinkler controller bearing the WaterSense label can significantly reduce water waste.

 

No matter your budget or do-it-yourself abilities, there are plenty of avenues for giving your home value a boost. With today’s emphasis on technology and a growing awareness of climate and energy concerns, it’s no surprise that the real estate market is especially responsive to smart home tech and other upgrades aimed at boosting efficiency. Whether you’re just looking to add some value to your property or you aspire to flip your way into your dream home, the home improvement projects above are sure to put you on the right path.

 


Beth Kotz is a freelance writer and contributor for numerous home, technology, and personal finance blogs. She graduated with BA in Communications and Media from DePaul University in Chicago, IL where she continues to live and work.

Texas Land Loans Exclusively for Texas Veterans

Since Texas was a Republic, it always supported its Veterans in return for their military service.  Long ago, the Republic gave land for military service in the Texas Revolution.  In 1946, this tradition was formally recognized with the creation of the Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) to administer benefits for Texas Veterans.

 

The VLB Veterans Land Loan Program is the only one of its kind in the nation, and allows Texas Veterans to borrow up to $150,000 to purchase land with a minimum 5% down payment for 1 acre or more.

 

The program is easy to use and offers Texas Veterans financing towards the purchase of their own piece of Texas.  To be eligible for VLB financing, the land must:

  1. Be wholly within the state of Texas.
  2. Contain at least 1 acre, excluding any portion beneath a dedicated public roadway or navigable waterway or subject to frequent inundation or otherwise unusable.
  3. Have legal, usable access to a public road.
  4. Not be zoned strictly for commercial use.
  5. Not been owned by the Texas Veteran or spouse within the previous 3 years.

 

VLB provides financing on tracts up to $150,000 with a minimum 5% down payment and a fixed-rate 30-year loan.  A $325 appraisal and contract service fee is due at the time of application.

 

Once a Veteran, or successor, successfully paid off a VLB land loan, then another loan application may be completed for another VLB land loan.  All VLB programs are self-funded, using no public taxpayer funding.  VLB programs are financed with bonds, which are serviced by loan payments from Veteran participants.

 

To be eligible for VLB programs, Veterans, military members, and their spouses must be:

  1. At least 18 years of age.
  2. A bona fide and legal resident of Texas on the date of application and meet one of the following service criteria:
    • An active duty military member.
    • A member of the Texas National Guard.
    • A reserve component military member that completed 20 qualifying years for retirement.
    • A Veteran having served at least 90 active duty days unless discharged sooner due to service connected disability and not dishonorably discharged.
    • A surviving spouse of a Veteran listed as missing in action or whose death was service connected.

 

All this information came from the Texas VLB website and be sure you visit it for more details:  www.glo.texas.gov/vlb/index.html or call the VLB at 800-252-VETS (8387).

 

 

Thank you to Kyle Cornell, REALTOR® of Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® who brought us this article. Kyle has lived in Texas and the San Antonio area for many years. He is very familiar with the local community and offers a very flexible schedule to assist clients who are looking for that perfect Texas home.

 

Kyle Cornell, REALTOR®
Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTOR®
18756 Stone Oak Pkwy., Ste 101
San Antonio, TX 78258
(210) 483-7014 office
(210) 870-0747 mobile
kcornell@cbharper.com

Property Management Insights

Over the summer San Antonio Business Journal reporter, Kim Hernandez interviewed several top executive in the San Antonio property management industry. This includes our own President of Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS®, Leesa Harper-Rispoli.

Among the questions Leesa explains some of the major service provided by our Property Management Division, Harper Property Management.

“Marketing the property for lease, securing a well-qualified tenant, move-in, move-out, collecting rent, accounting fund, sending owner funds and documenting everything on the property and accounting,” says Leesa Harper-Rispoli.

Leesa mentions the benefits os using a property management company, “A property management company should provide the expertise, knowledge of code compliance to the owner and manage the property according to Texas Property Code.”

Read the story in its entirety here.

On August 26th, 2016 the San Antonio Business Journal published the list of Residential Property Management Firms. Harper Property Management powered by Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® ranked number 1 on that list. Read the full story here.

Celebrating Success, Purposefully

 

Thank you to the San Antonio Business Journal for recognizing our pursuit of excellence. We are both humbled and honored to serve our real estate community.

 

 

Real Estate Insights: Unique Real Estate Words And What They Mean

When it comes to home features and advertising them, it is important to utilize the power of words. Buyers consider many factors including school district, size of the lot and, of course, location. Some discerning buyers insist on a home that offers those truly unique features. Maximizing interior and exterior features in a well phrased description can be the deciding factor on whether a potential client chooses to give you a call.

For instance, we’ve come across a handful of definitions that it’s worth adding to listings with exceptional features. Specific words will showcase a home the way that traditional adjectives cannot.

 

Texas Cantilever

 

Cantilever Balcony. A structural element, a balcony, that is anchored only at one end to the support from which it is protruding. Can be constructed with trusses depending on the structural load. Allows for dramatic overhanging of balcony without external bracing you might typically find in decks. Pictured example above is from a home in Austin.

 

Gabriel Builders

 

Coffered Ceiling. A coffer (coffering) in architecture, is a series of sunken panels in the shape of a square, rectangle or octagon in a ceiling, soffit or vault. This can also apply to the interiors of domes and vaults.

 

11th Street Residence

 

Chamfer Walls. To chamfer means beveling or rounding off of a right angle corner. Not typically used in descriptions but as you can see in the above example it might be just the right term to accentuate this unique feature.

 

Richmond Hill -designs/patterns

 

Parquet Floor. Any intricate pattern or design laid in small rectangular or square patterns, not in long strips. Smaller patterns may feel dated but larger patterns are viewed as classic and custom.

 

Bathroom

 

Joshua Nimmo

 

Terrazzo Floor or Fixtures. Comprised of marble, quartz, granite, glass or other material that has been chipped and bound in place or precast. Once it is cured, the surface is then polished smooth or finished to produce a uniform texture. Created by Venetian construction workers as low cost flooring, this style was popular from the 1400s through the mid-1970s. Reinvented today, it can be surprisingly stylish.

 

Charmean Neithart Interiors, LLC.

 

Lake County Builders

 

Corbels. Corbels provide support and act as brackets to reinforce other architectural elements while adding visual interest. Versatile in its use, corbels can be used in shelving, porch design and entryways.

What are some of your favorite architectural home features? Is there a particular home element that you think is uniquely Texas? Tell us about it via email PR@CBHarper.com

Misconceptions About Social Media, What You Need To Know

While there have been plenty of debates both for and against social media, what ultimately determines its viability is HOW you use it. If you post every thought, Starbucks drink or selfie that one has in any given day – you might not have the business lead generation system you desire. Of course this is one of the main misconceptions about social media. Surely if all social media contained only food and fragmented thoughts then it would not have grown to nearly 1.5 billion people as of December 2015.

Just a few stats to give you an idea of the audience you might be missing out on if you’re not utilizing social media outlets.

Facebook: 1.59 billion users (December, 2015)
Instagram: 400 million (September, 2015)
Twitter: 320 million (March, 2016)
Google+: 2.2 Billion profiles (January, 2015)
LinkedIn: 100 million (October, 2015)
Pinterest: 100 million (September, 2015)

Should you actively use all these outlets? Ideally, yes. However, even if you just pick 3 and use them consistently with good content to promote your business, the results will be worthwhile.

Misconception: All my information will be “out there” on social media.
Worried about your privacy?
Of course, we all are. It wouldn’t be prudent to overlook the issue of privacy. Keep in mind that social media outlets only share the information YOU GIVE THEM. In other words, if you set up a “personal page” it does not need to include all your personal information. With the exception of your name, social media outlets compile only that which you wish to share. So if you are using it for business, then only post listings, marketing insights or the local real estate marketing and then your audience need not know anything else.

Misconception: Social media takes so much time to figure out.
Does social media take a large portion of your time?
In short, no. Certainly at first becoming familiar with it can be a process, but it doesn’t need to consume your day. Enlist the help of your office resources, friends or colleagues. Sending out a “tweet” or “re-sharing” a post is not something you need to take time off for. In as little as 10 minutes or over your (quick) lunch break you can post or re-share across a variety of social media outlets.

Misconception: Social media like Twitter doesn’t make me money so it’s not worth it for my business.
It is really worth it, what if I just talk to people the traditional way? It is all about staying relevant. We certainly lead busier lives and as the way people communicate changes, the way we interact should change as well. With a consistent social media marketing plan you are staying in front of online audiences. So the next time they think about a REALTOR®, it might be those memorable positive posts that convince them to call you.

Misconception: There is just too much information.
Think of the internet as similar to a library. There is a vast amount of information in a library – reference materials, fiction and non-fiction. One would not tackle the internet like a library – by trying to consume as much as possible. Instead, focus on your area of interest and then grow your knowledge base from there. Start small and browse a little keeping an open mind. Do not be quick to dismiss something because it is unfamiliar.

Have additional questions you would like to see answered about social media marketing? Email us at PR@CBHarper.com and we would love to feature it in our next article of real estate insights.

 

Real Estate Insights: Managing Your Brand

What is a “brand”? Ultimately, it is all about repetition of a design theme presenting yourself or your business to make it known, ideally memorable. A good brand means good business. Done correctly, and consistently, you will gain the reputation you desire. It is who you are and how you want your business to be represented.

Developing a trustworthy, recognizable brand will likely bring you loyal clients. With some set-up work and dedication early on, your long-term marketing plan with flourish. Starting with a few basics will gain you the foothold to expand outward.

While these outlets can vary based on your target demographic, here are the top outlets we recommend and how to tackle each:

coldwellbanker-dann-harper_preview

Coldwell Banker logo, design background, color theme and tagline.

Logo and Theme: This can be just your name and tagline, or it can be an icon. Both would need a coordinating design in which to display your business. Here is a sample of what the Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® logo theme looks like. Part of determining this means understanding what you wish to be known for – what are you areas of expertise?

Develop this by asking questions like;
1.) What is the “one thing” you truly enjoy or excel at?
2.) Will you still be interested in this 6 months to a year from now?
3.) How has this been developed in my market currently? How will I be different?

Perhaps there is a play on words or type of imagery that highlights your particular area. Brainstorming and planning in this stage is the foundation.

Online Presence: Ensure your name, profile design and other imagery look consistent across your social profiles. Do you need accounts on every social media platform? No.
It is worth noting that if you have accounts with the main social media outlets it will significantly increase your online audience and social media lead generation network (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+).

Examples of consistency and digital profiles:

Facebook Profile:

facebook-profile

Facebook profile, complete with logo and online source where more information can be found, in this case the website.

 

Twitter Profile:

Twitter profile with account name that is easy to find and remember - @CBDHR - also relevant to business name.

Twitter profile with account name that is easy to find and remember – @CBDHR – also relevant to business name. Consistent artwork on profile image with logo and website as well.

 

Pinterest Profile:

Pinterest profile, using the available customizable space logo, website and business description are added.

Pinterest profile, using the available customizable space logo, website and business description are added.

Google+ Profile:

Google+ profile, while this can be the most challenging to setup and manage it is by far the most rewarding in terms of "search-ability" improvement and gains.

Google+ profile, while this can be the most challenging to setup and manage it is by far the most rewarding in terms of “search-ability” improvement and gains.

Additional notes on social media:
1.) Reserve your name on all social media channels, ie., there is a site called Knowem and you can check availability of your name on social networks you’re using currently or might use in future.

2.) Use a consistent name and profile image across all social media outlets.

3.) Have a unique blurb or “about me” write up to copy and paste for your bio section on social pages. It is worth the time to have it saved under a “branding folder” reserved for your business planning information.

Printed Materials: This can very depending on what marketing strategy you have employed. For the purposes of providing an example, we’ve listed the most commonly used printed items you might be utilizing. Add your logo and design theme along with tagline to the following items as a final step to remaining consistently branded across both digital and print.

1.) Brochures and flyers, again consistency in color theme and logo. Using the same profile information and photo.

xnet-example5

2.) Business cards and signature artwork. Check your brokerage guidelines, but adding a logo and using the same profile pictures are key here.

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-10-42-25-am

3.) Direct mail, thank you cards or other printed items should also have the same layout. If you have the resources it is worth it to have this setup ahead of time. Expanding on a solid foundation is much easier than reformulating your ideas to each effort.

justlistedverbfront

Final Notes:
The most important thing however, is to know what tools you have available. Fortunately, our agents here at Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® have access to a vast network of branding tools. Our internal systems and marketing professionals provide many if not all the items above. If you have questions on how to employ a branding strategy email us at PR@CBHarper.com

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-10-43-30-am

 

Smart Homes, defined. Does your home qualify?

Smart home technology it seems is everywhere. Entering the mainstream much like social media communications, it leaves both sales agents and clients asking themselves – what does it all mean’?

Coldwell Banker, CNET and a helpful article by Lindsay Listanski, the Senior Manager of Media Engagement for Coldwell Banker Real Estate, joined forces to answer those questions. With this we hope to put the debate to rest and truly define the modern Smart Home.

In Back to the Future II, Marty’s future kids wear headsets at the dinner table to make and receive calls and watch TV. With the introduction of Google Glass in 2013, and gaming headsets like Oculus Rift in the works, virtual reality is not far off, and Microsoft's recently announced Hololens bears more then a passing resemblance to Junior's goggles.

In Back to the Future II, Marty’s future kids wear headsets at the dinner table to make and receive calls and watch TV.

If you wondered what a smart home might mean, perhaps you reflect on that scene in “Back to the Future” where Marty’s kids (Michael J. Fox) wear headsets at the dinner table to make and receive calls. With things like Facetime and Skype, the face-to-face video chat of 1982 is now a reality. Hands-free gaming, tablet style technology and fingerprint recognition are all common place. Not convinced? How many folks to you know with iPads or use their thumbprint to unlock phone features?

So Coldwell Banker and CNet, the world’s largest and most trusted online source of consumer technology news and reviews, collaborated to create the first-ever smart home definition. This is designed to help sales agents as well as home buyers make informed choices and accurately pinpoint a smart home.

Smart Home defined

Smart Home defined

Smart Home: (noun) A home that is equipped with network-connected products (“Smart Products” that connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth type functions) for controlling, automating and optimizing functions such as temperature, lighting, security, safety or entertainment, either remotely by a phone, tablet, computer or a separate system within the home itself.

Must Have:
Internet Connection, ie., cable, satellite or DSL

Must Have At Least Three:

* One of the categories must be security or temperature

Category:
• Appliances – example: Smart refrigerator, smart washer / dryer
• Entertainment – example: Smart TVs, TV streaming service
• Heating / Cooling – example: Smart HVAC system, smart fans or vents
• Lighting – example: Smart light bulbs, lighting systems
• Outdoors – example: Smart plant sensors, smart watering systems
• Safety – example: Smart fire / carbon monoxide detectors, nightlights
• Security* – example: Smart locks, networked security cameras
• Temperature* – example: Smart thermostats

back-to-the-future_3354058bWhile we haven’t perfected the hover board, we do know that over the past couple of years, demand has increased significantly for smart homes in the real estate market. This standardized definition gives all of us the opportunity to correctly market and pinpoint exactly what constitutes a smart home for buyers and sellers. When we’re informed everyone wins.

Coldwell Banker is following up with an education course for its agents, and an icon on www.coldwellbanker.com for property listings that meet the definition.

You can also browse smart homes currently on the market here.

Why San Antonio is a Great Place to Buy

Why San Antonio is a Great Place to Buy

By Jennifer Riner, Trulia

 

Buying your first home is complicated, especially when you realize a smaller budget may not buy the necessary square footage. Trulia found that 43 percent of Americans wish they had a larger home, with more than 60 percent of millennials desiring more living space.

 

Luckily for buyers in Texas, the Lone Star State offers the largest entry-level price point homes compared to out-of-state listings. In addition, Texas trade up homes and even high-end properties tend to be more spacious than those found in other parts of the country.

 

San Antonio, in particular, offers more seasoned buyers a chance to size up the second time around. Trade up homebuyers gain 579 square feet, or 51.7 percent more space, when seeking out a new property.

 

Is everything really bigger in Texas?

The median square footage of starter homes in San Antonio is 1,121 for an affordable $83,563 median price. At just $75.90 per square foot, San Antonio’s first-time homebuyers get the most out of each dollar compared to buyers with bigger budgets.

 

For $152,700, second-time homebuyers in San Antonio can find homes offering around 1,700 square feet. Homes for sale in the trade up category cost $88.08 per square foot, on average.

 

At $116.75 per square foot, premium homebuyers in San Antonio can sprawl out across 2,556 square feet. The median price of top-tier homes remains relatively affordable at $274,151.

 

Buyers trading up from a starter home can expect to find a 51.7 percent increase in square footage in their second property, while buyers switching between trade up and premium gain slightly over 50 percent more space.

 

Texas cities permitting room to grow

Nearby Austin affords first-time homebuyers an average of 1,428 square feet, which is the most space for the entry-level home price category than any other metro offers. Houston’s first-time buyers face slightly smaller – albeit spacious – homes around 1,320 square feet, making Space City the fifth best locale for entry-level buyers looking to sprawl.

 

Second-time homebuyers also might consider Houston, where trade up homes average 1,997 square feet. In addition, Austin’s trade up house hunters can look forward to around 1,893 square feet. Dallas, too, ranks no. 3 for second time homebuyers prioritizing space at an average of 1,900 square feet.

 

Meanwhile, upscale homebuyers looking for room to sprawl might consider house hunting in Dallas, where premium homes average approximately 2,945 square feet.

 

Living in San Antonio isn’t just about stretching your legs at home. Top-rated schools, including Stone Oak Elementary and the Young Women’s Leadership Academy, offer unparalleled education opportunities for families. With a 65 percent homeownership rate, the San Antonio real estate market is both strong and accessibly priced, no matter how many square feet you prefer.

 

Turn Your Customers Into Friends

Guest writer, Chad Rueffert, President of Braintree Marketing, Inc., and the creator of the “From Your Friends” relationship marketing program.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 4.25.23 PM

Do you spend more time trying to attract new customers than you do working to retain the customers you already have?
It may be time to consider a relationship marketing strategy.

The term “relationship marketing” is not a new one. Marketing professors at leading universities coined the term in the early 1980’s and it’s been a staple of big business ever since. Put simply, relationship marketing is a strategy for DECREASING customer turnover and INCREASING customer loyalty.

If there is a secret to building trust, generating customer loyalty, ensuring repeat business, and creating referrals, it’s to stop thinking about your buyers as “customers” and instead, turn them into “friends.”

There is a big difference between a “customer” and a “friend.” Customers shop around for the best price or respond to the latest marketing lure. Friends remain loyal. Customers are skeptical of your claims and question your motives. Friends trust speak out about your product or service only when dissatisfied. Friends actively promote your success.

So how do you turn a customer into a friend? Try these four simple steps.

Show appreciation.
As a kid, every time you complained about
having to write a thank you note to your aunt
or uncle or grandmother for a present, your
mother would ask a simple question, “Do you
want them to stop sending you presents?” It’s
the same with customers. You must quickly,
constantly and genuinely say “thank you”
every time you have the opportunity.

Stay in constant contact.
A salesperson who disappears after the
sale is made proves that she was only in it
for the money. Follow up and continued
communication after the sale shows a genuine
interest in your customer’s satisfaction.

Talk about more than just business.
To turn your customer into a friend, you must
of your transaction. If all you ever talk about is
business, then you’ll never be more than just
another salesperson or vendor to that customer.
You need to created shared experiences that go
beyond the exchange of money for services.

Reward your customers for their
relationship with you.
Friendship is a two-way street where both partners
bene t. You customer helped build your business.
What have you done to help build theirs? Beyond
the assistance you gave them in their transaction,
have they received anything of value from you?
Relationship marketing is especially important
in industries like real estate with long gaps
between purchases and a high value on
referrals. Creating an ongoing relationship
with your customers ensures you’ve laid
the groundwork for future sales success.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 4.45.14 PM

The From Your Friends relationship marketing program is exclusive to Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® and is designed to help you build referrals and repeat business. Each month your sphere of influence is sent a new and personalized offer at a local restaurant, attraction or merchant. If you would like more information on enrolling in this innovative program – email us at pr@cbharper.com or visit: www.fromyourfriends.com

Mortgage Questions Answered: Getting A Guarantee

While many homebuyers understand that contacting the right mortgage lender is important, some of the other details however, become foggy. The mortgage process has many layers and often includes quite a bit of paperwork.

Before the “fun part” of delving into a home search takes place you will need to prove that a bank will lend you the funds needed to purchase a home – or in some cases how much that is. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is designed to help buyers understand their loan options and shop for the best mortgage. In their “Know Before You Owe” initiative to make the mortgage process easier, a website with full information was designed for reference. That website can be found here:
www.consumerfinance.gov/know-before-you-owe

PRE-APPROVAL. Once you have selected a lender you can trust the next step is the Pre-Approval process. A loan officer will require documentation to determine qualification. This can include:
• Credit Report
• W-2’s
• Pay stubs
• Current Federal Tax return
• 2 months of bank/investment statements
At this point your credit will be reviewed. The loan data will then be put through underwriting. It can be a period of weeks or months from the time of pre-approval to an actual accepted offer. During that time the loan officer will (or should) address anything that comes up on your credit. (This would be a great time to AVOID large purchases or charging that new couch on your credit card).

Each situation is unique and requires experienced professionals. It is also worth mentioning that you should ask plenty of questions during the entire process.

Typically you will get a PREQUALIFICATION LETTER, this is when the interview and credit review are complete. As long as all the paperwork aligns with the lenders parameters this is the letter you will likely get. Several other types of letters are:

PREAPPROVAL LETTER. This happens when the lender takes an extra step in examining credit, assets and income. While many lenders use the phrase “preapproval” for letters, the most common type of letter is the prequalification mentioned above.

COMMITMENT LENDER. When the loan hasn’t received the final approval stage, the commitment letter shows that the loan is approved conditionally under the current circumstances. Basically, the underwriter is saying that so long as everything remains the same you qualify with the information provided. This would be the ideal situation, but given the timelines most sale agents work with, achieving those requirements can be challenging. Should you want to pursue this, it will need to be requested.

When you have one of these letters in-hand, then the home search can truly begin. Being one of the biggest investments you will make, keep in mind that the entire process will take time. It is best to go into this journey with patience and preparedness.

If you have questions and would like to discuss how you can start the journey to owning your next (or first) home, call Cathy Hernandez a licensed REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS®!

Cathy Hernandez

Cathy Hernandez, REALTOR®
18756 Stone Oak Pkwy., Ste 101
San Antonio, TX 78258
(210) 842-1860
chernandez@cbharper.com


(210) 483-4663 OR send us an email PR@CBHarper.com