The Giacobbe Homes Real Estate BLOG and VLOG

Here at Giacobbe Homes San Antonio Real Estate is our passion so we are dedicated towards keeping our followers informed and up to date on the current trends of San Antonio's ever changing real estate market.  Over the last 10 years San Antonio has experienced tremendous growth from the development of the entire Alamo Ranch area to the constant redevelopment of the inner city and Southtown areas of San Antonio.  We hope to bring value to you our followers by discussing topics that are helpful and relevant to this ever changing market.  Please check back as we are constantly working to make improvements and add value to our San Antonio community.  If there are any topics that you would like for us to discuss please let us know. 

March 29, 2017

Walkability In San Antonio

Walkability in San Antonio is quickly becoming something that people look for when searching for a new neighborhood or a place to live.  There are lots of parts of San Antonio where the walkability is not so great but there are a few neighborhoods that have great walkability most of which are within the bustling growth of down town San Antonio.  Here are a few neighborhoods to keep an eye on if you want to find a place where you can ditch the car for a bicycle or get around on foot.

 

Downtown San Antonio- Remember the Alamo! There are tons of great restaurants, clubs, and bars in the downtown San Antonio area! Also there is the famous riverwalk, most of the residences you will find in the heart of Downtown San Antonio are found in luxury high rise condominiums- Such as the Alteza Residences and the Vidorra.  You can get to all areas of the city quickly but finding a home in the very heart of downtown is not something you will usually see.

Walkscore: 90

 

Tobin Hill- Located just north of downtown San Antonio.  You will find the St. Mary's strip a street full of restaurants and bars a great place to walk and spend an evening out.  This is also where you may want to consider if you would like to be close to San Antonio's Newest attraction the Pearl Brewery.  This is a great spot for any millennial homeowners that would like to be close to where everything is at!

Walkscore: 75

 

King William Historic- Right near the blue star art district just south of downtown near S. Flores you will find a section of San Antonio full of beautifully remodeled historic homes, there are tons of people who are out and about riding bicycles and going for casual strolls.  It is usually a quiet and safe neighborhood that is conveniently located just outside of the hub bub of downtown San Antonio.  The homes in this neighborhood are very classically style and are a pleasure to look at when you are going for a stroll.

Walkscore: 67

 

Lavaca- This neighborhood is located just south of downtown san antonio- it is full of great restaurants and eclectic people.  There are tons of local neighborhood bars, restaurants, and coffee shops that line the streets.  It is an up and coming part of San Antonio with lots of beautifully remodeled homes.  

Walkscore: 72

 

If you are searching for a home in a walkable neighborhood I would love to help you locate the perfect place! Feel free to browse through my website of all available homes for sale and if you see something you like reach out and I would be happy to schedule a private showing!

 

John Giacobbe- San Antonio's Top Realtor - Ultima Real Esate

210-857-6942

 

Posted in Useful Information
March 27, 2017

10 Steps for Building a Home

 

10 Steps for Building a Home

So you're interested in building your very own home.. It can be a bit of a daunting task and scary if you've never done it before but I've helped lots of families with the process of building their very own custom San Antonio homes.  So give me a call and I'd love to guide your through the process!  I would like to share with you some tips and simple steps to guide you along the process of building your very own custom dream home!

1.  First locate your lot- Some things to consider, what part of town are you looking to build? Are you wanting to build within a community or find raw land to build your home on? If you are building on raw land you have to make sure there is water, sewer, an utilities available on the property.. Most builder communities already have utilities on each available building site.

2.  Figure out which builder you will be going with.  Builders are all very different but the usual timeframe from permitting to final walkthrough typically can range anywhere from 4-8 months and sometimes longer depending on the size and complexity of the home you are building.  Figure out what you would like to spend and I can guide you to a builder that can provide the finished product at a price that is affordable for you.

3.  Select a Floorplan- Are you wanting a one story or a two story? Are you needing a 3 bedroom or a 4 bedroom, did you want an office room- a 3 car garage needed? Go through an inventory of everything you want and work with the builder to select the floorplan, size and upgrades that match your budget.

4.  Once you have selected a floor plan, lot, structural upgrades this is where the builder will provide you with a total price for the construction of your home.

5.  Make an offer- I will work with you to pull comparable sales of other similar new construction homes that are similar and help you determine the fair market offer to give the builder.  If you are buying a spec home 'one that has selections already made' you will likely get a better deal for your home.

6.  Deposit the earnest money with the builder- Builders will typically request anywhere between $500- 2% of the full construction of the home to get your project started.

7.  Permitting- Usually the first month of the construction process the builder is going to start gathering the building permits necessary for constructing your home.

8.  Go through the phases of construction- From roughing in the pipes and electrical, slab pour, framing stage, sheetrocking, and finish outs.. Keep an eye on your home to make sure things are being done right!

9.  Once the home is complete we will schedule an independent inspection and walkthrough the property checking for any flaws or imperfections that you would like to have fixed prior to closing.

10.  Final Walkthrough and closing day! 

Congratulations!! You are now the proud owner of your very own custom dream home!!

Interested in building your very own home.. Contact John Giacobbe- San Antonio's Top Realtor, John has helped guide many many families through the process of building their very own home.. I am available any time to answer your questions and help make you a homeowner!! 

Call John Giacobbe TODAY!  210-857-6942 or visit http://www.ghsanantonio.com/new-construction to get started!!  

 

Posted in New Construction
April 9, 2016

Giacobbe Homes Books

10 Books I personally recommend by John Giacobbe, San Antonio's TOP Realtor

I wanted to share a list of books that have helped contribute towards my success in real estate sales.  ENJOY and leave a comment of others that you like or recommend!

1. The Compound Effect- Darren Hardy

2.  Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill

3.  10X Rule- Grant Cardone

4.  Crush It- Gary Vaynerchuck

5.  The Success Principles- Jack Canfield

6.  Rich Dad Poor Dad- Robert Kiyosaki

7.  21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership- John Maxwell

8.  The Sell- Fredrik Eklund

9.  The Power of Broke- Daymond John

10.  The Slight Edge- Jeff Olson

 

John Giacobbe is San Antonio's Top Realtor, Helping families throughout San Antonio buy and sell residential real estate. Please take a moment to visit my website Http://www.GHSanAntonio.com and browse for real estate here.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Useful Information
Nov. 12, 2015

Helpful House Hunting Tips

Don't Shop for Home Hungry and Other Helpful House Hunting Tips

So you've just been pre approved, lined yourself up with a buyer's agent and are excited about finding your new home!  Here are a few tips and questions to ask when you are searching for your next home.

1.  Setting your search criteria- Some important questions you should start with are: What part of town do I want to live by? What sort of financing will I use? What is the maximum budget for the home? Do I prefer a one or two story home? Do I want a home with 3 or 4 bedrooms? Do I need a garage? How many bathrooms do I need? Do I want a covered patio or a fireplace? Is the year the home was built important? Pre owned or new construction? Be as specific as you can be when it comes to what your needs and wants are and that will help you narrow down your options.

2.  Set a limit on the number of homes you visit in a day- I've often worked with clients that want to spend an entire day going from house to house looking, but I would encourage my clients to limit the number of homes that they visit to 4-5 in a day.  If you see to many homes in one day they all start to look alike! You start to forget what makes each home unique and it can make things difficult to narrow down a decision to a single home that you like the very best.

3.  Never Shop for Homes on an empty stomach- Selecting the perfect home is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make and that is hard to do when you're hungry.  Make sure you start your home search outing by eating a good healthy meal first before getting started and pack some snacks and water along for the ride!

4.  Late morning & Early afternoon is the best time- San Antonio is a huge city with lots of traffic, if you can make time to do your showings from 10:30 AM-3:30 PM you will save yourself the time and frustration of fighting traffic as you make your way swiftly from showing to showing.  

5.  Print the MLS sheets & Take notes on the back-  If you notice something unusual at a house or stumble upon a question, write it down.  When you are ready to make an offer on that home your agent can get you an answer from the seller on anything you might want to know so you can feel comfortable with moving forward.

6.  Ready, Fire, Aim- Be ready to pull the trigger on your perfect deal.  The very best deals come and go within a matter of hours so be confident and ready to make your move when you find a home you love and a home that works!

About the author- John Giacobbe is San Antonio's Top Realtor- He's helped over 100 families throughout San Antonio buy and sell their homes if you know someone who wants to buy or sell visit GHSanAntonio.com, or call 210-857-6942  

Hey, please comment and share my article, i'd like to meet more people who are interested in San Antonio Real Estate!

Posted in Useful Information
Nov. 10, 2015

8 things to consider before becoming a San Antonio Real Estate Agent

8 Things To consider before becoming a San Antonio Real Estate Agent 

Throughout my 4 year real estate career here in San Antonio i've had tons of people approach me with the desire of becoming a Real Estate Agent.  They are attracted to the idea of being able to set their own schedule and work in the exciting job of selling homes.  Being a Realtor in San Antonio can be very rewarding, but there are a lot of things that I would urge the newbie Realtor to consider first before making the plunge into the world of selling homes.  Here are a few things to consider before getting started.

1.  Getting licensed-  First things first if you want to sell real estate you're going to need to get licensed with TREC (Texas Real Estate Commission)! There are two real estate schools in San Antonio.  SABOR and Champions School of Real Estate.  I always recommend Champions because their classes are twice as fast.  The requirement is to pass all 6 classes required by TREC and passing a state and national exam.

2.  Start up expenses-  Be prepared to invest in your business up front! I would recommend setting aside $2-3k at a minimum to get started.  You will need to pay an array of start up fees including: Tuition at real estate school, application fees, fees to join the board of Realtors, money for head shots, business cards, etc etc etc.. You need to be ready to make a substantial investment in yourself to give yourself all of the tools you need to be successful.

3.  Selecting a broker-  There are a number of brokers in San Antonio to pick from but a couple things that are important when selecting a broker are knowing what are the total fees you can expect to pay with the broker, how convenient is the broker's office to where you are located, will you be working from home or in the office.  The internet has helped to level the playing field for all brokerages small and large- It comes down to building a personal brand for yourself.

4.  Building your online brand-  The new way of doing business is online.  You need to establish yourself relentlessly within your sphere as the one and only go to person for their Real Estate needs.  San Antonio Real Estate can be incredibly competitive with thousands of competing agents in the market it will take work to establish yourself as the go to expert.  Reviews and referrals are the way to go so focus on these from the beginning!

5.  Learning how to use MLS-  The San Antonio MLS where agents go to search for real estate can be a very powerful tool, but also very complicated for new users.  Take lots of time focusing on learning all of the countless features this software has to offer.  You will need to learn how to set up automatic drip campaigns, write custom email content, and most importantly how to locate the perfect home for your first client!

6.  Making the right connections-  Every Realtor needs a team of help to get some of the deals done.  The most important person you'll need first is a good Lender.  A good lender can mean the difference between closing a deal and letting it flop and letting your clients down.  Also every realtor needs a Title company, a contractor, a surveyor, a maid, a photographer, a tax accountant, an attorney, a stager, a graphical designer, and the list goes on.  Align yourself with the best in the business and you will produce excellent quality work.

7.   Marketing for success-  I get at least 3-4 calls a week from different companies trying to sell me the latest and greatest marketing for my business.  It's really important to think very carefully about the marketing dollars that you are spending because it is easy to spend all of your earnings/commission on ineffective marketing.  Make sure you track the expenses that are going out and focus your marketing dollars on what works!

8.  Become a Jack of all Trades-  As a Realtor I often feel like I play many roles- we have to know a little bit about everything, knowing the neighborhoods, about construction, about contracts and negotiations.  As a successful real estate agent you need to have an open mind and learn as you go.  Never let the fear of getting started stop you from making actions in the right direction!

John Giacobbe is San Antonio's Top Realtor- He's personally helped over 100 families throughout San Antonio buy, sell, and invest in residential Real Estate.  His passion is in helping San Antonio families achieve the dream of becoming a home owner! If you or anyone you know wants to buy or sell a home contact John today!

Posted in Useful Information
Nov. 5, 2015

San Antonio Programs

San Antonio Home Buyer Programs

 

Here at Giacobbe Homes we specialize in helping first time home buyers realize the American Dream of owning their first home! There are a number of programs available to help families achieve their goal of owning a home.  We want to keep our clients informed of what all is out there!

Texas Down payment assistance bonds for First Time Home Buyers

If you want to purchase a home have good credit, stable work history, but don't have the 3.5% down payment saved. There are a couple options here to help you get qualified! Our preferred lender has access to all of the tools to make home ownership a reality.

TSHAC Bond- (Texas State Housing Affordability Corp) Has a program available to help first time home buyers- TSHAC provides fixed-rate mortgage financing, down payment assistance grants and mortgage credit certificates for teachers, police officers, corrections officers, fire fighters, EMS personnel, veterans and low and moderate-income households. Home buyer programs and existing homeowners.  See if you qualify!

 

SETH Program- 5 Star Texas Advantage Program- Seth has a mortgage loan program that provides assistance to home buyers in the form of a gift.  The assistance provided by the program can be used to cover the buyer's downpayment and closing costs.  There is no repayment or recapture period for the assistance provided.  And they offer several options depending on the amount of assistance that the borrower needs up to 6% of the purchase price of the home.  Buyers must be income eligible and purchasing a home in one of the designated area (San Antonio included!)  For more information and to see if you qualify visit their website! 

 

Local City of San Antonio Programs

Here in San Antonio there are three main programs that are available to help families get into a home.  The three main programs available are the HIP, HAP, and HOPE programs.  

San Antonio HIP (Housing Incentive Program)- This program assists eligible persons who are buying a new or existing home with up to $12,000 for down payment assistance and closing costs.  Buyers must have stable employment, good credit, and afford a mortgage payment.  This down payment assistance is in the form of a forgivable loan.  75% of the loan is forgivable over a 10 year period of ownership and 25% is due if the property is every sold. This program requires that you attend a mandatory home buyer class.  Check their website to see if you can qualify! 

San Antonio HAP (Homeowner Assistance Program)- HAP program is a local program that allows income limits slightly higher than the San Antonio HIP program.  These are for specific homes that are designated for HAP.  Homes are completely redone with new appliances and listed on the MLS.  Prices for homes are up to $120,000.  These homes are available with 0% interest and the borrower must have half of the required down payment plus any eligible closing costs.  For an inventory of homes contact John Giacobbe 210-857-6942

San Antonio HOPE Program- This is a program designated for city of San Antonio employees.  Must be a full-time city employee and there are no income limits or sales price limits with this one.  This provides $5k-$10k in assistance in the form of a forgivable loan over 5 years.  It is for eligible first time home buyers only! Contact John Giacobbe for more details! If you are a city employee than I recommend asking about this program when starting your home search.

At Giacobbe Homes- San Antonio we always make sure that our clients take advantage of any opportunities available when buying their first home.  We keep up with all of the latest programs available to first time home buyers! If you are thinking of buying your first home we can help you get more from your experience! Call us Today!!

Posted in Useful Information
Oct. 29, 2015

San Antonio Market Update

San Antonio Area Third Quarter Home Sales Up from 2014 San Antonio

First a word from John- Before presenting SABOR's Quarterly Market update for the 3rd quarter 2015 I wanted to discuss my observations regarding the market.  This summer's real estate market has been outrageous and has experienced incredible growth! Over the last few years our San Antonio market has been on a steady incline and prices are on the rise.  I believe as long as the interest rates hang low the market will continue to increase rapidly into 2016.  After the peak of the summer there was a brief lull in the market, a short time when the people from the summer who were going to buy already bought, but now as we go into November and the holiday months I see that the flow of leads and interest has already started an early increase.  If you are looking to invest in real estate San Antonio is a great a place as the cost of living in South Texas is good, our economy is stable, jobs are available, and home values continue to increase!

Home sales during the first three quarters in the San Antonio area finished strong with 11 percent more sales than this time last year, according to the Multiple Listing Service Report from the San Antonio Board of REALTORS® (SABOR) which reports on all areas contained within the MLS. The average price for the first nine months of 2015 was $232,931, a seven percent year-over-year increase while median price shot up eight percent to $194,100. Days on market remained low with just 59 days and the price per square foot climbed six percent to $105.

“Sales and price growth continue to show increases in the city of San Antonio as well as in surrounding areas,” said Mary Ann Jeffers, SABOR’s 2015 Chairman of the Board. “In San Antonio alone during September, sales increased five percent while the number of sales in Boerne, Helotes, Leon Valley and Terrell Hills increased at least 50 percent year-over-year.”

For the month of September, days on market in the San Antonio area were 52 and months of inventory remained low with 4.0 months. More than 97 percent of homes sold for list price and the month ended with 1,979 sales still pending.

Homes priced under $200,000 accounted for 53 percent of the sales in September in the San Antonio and surrounding areas. Homes priced between $200,000 and $500,000 made up nearly 42 percent of sales and homes priced over $500,000 accounted for nearly five percent of the month’s sales, with 13 of those priced over $1 million.

Of the 1,086 homes sold in just the city limits of San Antonio during the month, 1,022 were existing homes while 64 were new construction. The average sales price of an existing home was $198,331, a 9.6 percent year-over-year increase. The average sales price of a new construction home was $293,358, a 25.7 percent increase from 2014.

In Bexar County, 6.7 percent more homes sold over September of last year with median price in the county increasing 5.3 percent. Meanwhile, Kendall County reported a 44 percent increase in sales and Wilson County also reported an increase in sales in September with 4.8 percent more than last year.

“Our summer buying season was one of the most active we’ve seen and now it’s starting to wind down,” said Angela Shields, SABOR’s President and CEO. “Nevertheless, there is still plenty for buyers to choose from and the good news for sellers is buyers during this time of year are typically more serious about making a purchase.”

Texas as a whole also experienced several increases in sales and prices. A total of 25,975 homes were sold in the state during September, an 8.6 percent increase from 2014. Median price rose six percent to $196,000 while average price reported a 3.4 percent year-over-year increase to $248,329.

 

 

SABOR Multiple Listing Service Report: Home Sales Recap

                                 September 2013               September 2014              September 2015

Total Month Sales-   2,005 (20% Increase)        2,245 (14% Increase)      2,413 (7% Increase)

Average Price-        $205,359 (7% increase)    $220,583 (7% increase)   $233,218 (6% increase)

Median Price-         $168,800 (7% increase)     $185,000 (9% increase)   $191,700 (4% increase)

Posted in Market Updates