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What Exactly Will YOU Find on Our Blog?!

  • Market Reports and updates on the Local San Antonio Market
  • Helpful resources for home owners or people thinking of getting into the market.
  • Exclusive Interviews featuring Local Home Builders Throughout San Antonio.
  • Articles about living like a local in San Antonio.
  • Tips to save money and make the most out of your home investment.
  • and so Much more!! 

Dec. 10, 2018

Builder of The Week - Armadillo Homes

An Interview with Armadillo Homes in San Antonio, TX

In this exclusive interview you will learn what sets Armadillo Homes apart with John Giacobbe - San Antonio's New Construction Realtor & Richard Muzquiz from Armadillo Homes.

John: Hey everybody, John Giacobbe, I'm out here today at Armadillo Homes visiting my friend Richard Muzquiz. If you're looking for a brand-new home in the new year, you're gonna wanna see what Richard Muzquiz has to say. Come join me. Hey everybody, John Giacobbe, I'm out here today at Armadillo Homes meeting with my friend Richard Muzquiz out here. Wanted to share with you guys a little bit more about Armadillo Homes and what they have to offer. Richard, can you tell our audience out there a little bit more about yourself, what did you do before getting into new construction home sales?

Armadillo Homes - Cypress PointRichard: Sure, so before new construction home sales I was a realtor, I was a general real estate agent. I did that for a number of years, before that I was a loan processor and a loan officer, and also I was in the military, I was in the army.

John: Well, thank you for your service, we appreciate that. Now, we're out here today at Armadillo. Richard, I want you to tell our audience a little bit, or what would you say is the most unique value proposition or biggest selling feature about Armadillo Homes?

Richard: I think our biggest thing as Armadillo, as a company, is our motto of help, don't sell. So and for us, we're really big on listening to the customer, what their wants and what their needs are before making any recommendations. As the professionals, we need to step back, understand what our clients are wanting before we make any type of recommendation to them. Or try and offer them any type of home.

John: Awesome, well I really like that motto, help not sell, so that's a really powerful thing. Now, with Armadillo Homes Weston Oaks, we're a few miles outside of 1604. What would you say is the biggest draw or appeal to people who are looking at moving in this area?

Richard: I think the biggest thing, 'cause we get a lot of people from out of state movin' into this area, I think their biggest thing and what I hear most, most of the time is gonna be the fact that they feel that they're getting the whole country living being away from the city, but yet close enough to the city where they feel like okay, they're not too far out, where they're living in the middle of nowhere. But, again, we're only about 20 minutes away from downtown, so that's one of the biggest draws out here.

John: Now I know you've mentioned to me in the past, that the tax rate over here outside of Potranco and 1604, a couple miles out, is a little lower. Can you tell us what that is and why people should know about that?

Richard: Absolutely and it's something that's different about us out here, we are outside the city limits. So the tax rate out here is 2.2%. Also this area does qualify under the USDA programs.

John: Okay, so huge savings, you know, on a monthly mortgage payment, right. Now, why should a buyer decide to go with a new construction versus a pre-own?

Richard: I think one of the biggest things, coming from real estate myself, and always understanding what the clients are looking for, whether it's a resale or a new construction, most times people will chose new construction because of the fact that they're not coming in having to do any type of repairs, they're not coming into someone else's issues or problems, so I think with a new builder, you are getting a lot of warranties on the home that transfer with you or with the home, versus a resale where a lot of people come in having to do some kind of remodeling, repairs, things like that.

John: With builders I know the warranty is a big thing. Can you tell us a little bit more about the warranty that Armadillo Homes has to offer?

Richard: Sure, so Armadillo Home offers a three-stage warranty. We offer our one-year warranty which is kind of like a vehicle, it's a bumper to bumper, covers everything about the home. There is a two-year warranty on the structure of the home and then there is a 10 year warranty on the foundation of the home.

John: Okay, well it sounds like a great warranty. So everything is covered.

Richard: Sure.

Armadillo Homes - Saddle Creek Ranch Armadillo Homes - Weston Oaks

John: Now, if one of our viewers out there were interested in building a house from the ground up, what is that process look like with Armadillo Homes?

Richard: Well, the process with us, again, it's all about helping the customer find the right home and helping them choose the right home, not trying to sell them one of our houses or something that we have available or trying to push. We wanna make sure we understand what they're looking for. First, we start off by choosing the home site or choosing the home plan. What space, how much space they're needing, how many bedrooms, bath, then from there, if they have a home to sell or they're working, then we kinda plan, have them get together with an agent, kinda come up with a timeframe of how much time they need on their side. And then come up with a mutual plan to start building their home. Whether we're doing a delayed start on their home or starting immediately, it's all about their timeframe.

John: What is the building process take with Armadillo Homes? How long does it take?


Richard: Well the building process from start to finish is gonna be about, about five to six months.

John: Okay, now I notice some of the amazing selections you guys have on finishes with Armadillo. How does the design process work with making their selections?

Richard: Oh so, absolutely, one of the good things that we have here at Armadillo, is that we're not a custom home builder but we allow our customers to make, or our clients to make a lot of customizations to the home. So we actually do have our design centers in house. So when somebody comes in, a family comes in, wants to build a house, when they leave here they know exactly what they're paying for the home, what it's gonna look like, we're not sending them out to a design center to be upsold again or anything like, anything different. We have the design centers here. We let them know what's gonna be standard. And at Armadillo, so many things are standard with us that we're not having to upsell you with anything or upgrade you to anything else.

John: I think that's one of the really unique features about Armadillo is the fact that you guys are doing the design center in house. And from my viewpoint that would really save somebody a lot of time and they leave knowing exactly what they're getting.

Richard: Absolutely, and that's one of the things that people love the most about us.

John: Awesome, now if somebody were interested in buying a new house, when should they get started?

Armadillo Homes - The Ridge at Salado Creek Armadillo Homes - Stonecreek

Richard: I think they should get started according to their time frame, like I said, if they have a home to sell or whatever their living arrangement is, it's always good to come talk to us, let us know what you need and we will work around your schedule and kinda come up with something that works for you because as I mentioned before, if you have a home to sell, it's a good idea to get with an agent, come up with a plan of action, how much time that agent's gonna need to sell your home and then let us know so that we can all work together as a group and as a team to make sure that that family's experience is a smooth transition.

John: And I couldn't agree with you more, as an agent, it's really important that we look at what the market is doing, how quickly a house could sell, that way we can line up our timeframe, so that's an important thing that we need to look at to determine time frame for a new home buyer. Now, if somebody were interested in learning more about Armadillo Homes, where should they go to get more information or take a look at what is available.

Richard: Sure, you can always visit us at That takes you directly to our community here. You can also email me directly at Or reach my cell at 210-702-0119.

John: Very good, okay, well thank you so much Richard, I appreciate you coming on John Giacobbe's Builder of the Week and look forward to helping more families.

Richard: Thank you so much, good to be with you.


Interested in Learning More about Armadillo Homes? Visit our page to see all of the available Armadillo Homes in San Antonio.

Dec. 10, 2018

Builder of The Week - Meritage Homes

An Interview with Meritage Homes in San Antonio, TX

John Giacobbe is a San Antonio New Construction Realtor & Justin Cantu From Meritage Homes discuss what sets Meritage Homes apart from the competition in this exclusive interview session!

John:  Hey, everybody, John Giacobbe here. I'm out here today at Meritage Homes meeting my friend Justin Cantu. I wanted to take you guys in to see a little bit more about what Meritage Homes has to offer. Come on in, guys.

Meritage Homes - Trails at WestpointeJustin: Hey, John.

John: Hey, Justin, how's it goin', man?

Justin: How are you?

John: Hey, good to see ya.

Justin: Come on in.

John: Hey there, John Giacobbe. I'm here with my friend Justin Cantu out at Meritage Homes. We are here filming our Builder of the Week. Justin Cantu here. Justin, I wanted to meet with you and visit with you today and ask you a few questions about Meritage Homes, ask you about yourself, and that way we can share with our audience a little bit more about what you guys do out here at Meritage. You guys build a fantastic home. Justin, wanted to ask you, how long have you been in real estate, what did you do before real estate?

Justin: I've actually been in real estate for about two years, so I've been kinda blessed enough to take advantage of new home sales. But what I did before, I used to work at a dealership up in New Braunfels. Actually did some selling power sports up there, sellin' a different product, but it was definitely a stepping stone and it was somethin' that I've always wanted to do and had a passion for was real estate. So, I was able to take it...

John: You've been Meritage Homes for two years now. What would you say is one of the biggest selling features about a Meritage Home? What do you guys pride yourselves as a builder?

Justin: You know, with Meritage, you know, a huge staple for us, you know, in the production side of building is our spray foam insulation. The way we insulate our homes is a big deal on any clients that we have are taking advantage of our homes. We do it nationwide, it's a standard feature. Basically, cuts your utility bills in half, which is a big deal. You know, we're, you know, anything that goes along with building our homes, you know, to our Low E-3 windows that we use, they let a lot of natural sunlight to come into our homes. Kinda goes hand-in-hand with the spray foam insulation, but definitely is one of our big staples.

John: So, energy efficiency is a huge thing with Meritage Homes.

Meritage Homes - Harlach Farms Meritage Homes - Woodlake Meadows

Justin: Absolutely.

John: For our viewers out there, what can an owner of a Meritage Home expect to pay? Like say, a 2,500 square foot house, what would you say the utility bills are like? You know, we're here in San Antonio. It gets hot during the summer. How much can they expect to pay?

Justin: Yeah, you know, with Texas, you know, we always are just blistering hot and, you know, I feel like, you know, 90% of the time out of the year. You know, with our homes, we have, you know, a ton of floor plans to choose from, you know, but on a 2,500 square foot home, I actually live in a Meritage Home myself, which is about that size, and I, you know, the lowest that I've seen my bill, you know, and I've lived in it for pretty close to about a year-and-a-half, almost two years, is about 130, 140 bucks a month on the high side that I've seen. But yeah, definitely is a big deal for that size.

John: So huge savings there on a monthly basis for homeowners of a Meritage home. Also, we're out here today at The Landing at French Creek, that's your community here.

Justin: Yeah, yeah.

John: This is your baby, so.

Justin: Yeah

John: What is the best thing about your location out here?

Justin: You know, you know, this community's really stellar. You know, it's more of a boutique style community. Real, very private. You know, once of these things that I, you know, tell all of my clients out here, it's hard to find a location like this in San Antonio that's one road in and one road out. You know, I only have a total of 51 homes that are gonna be going in this community. We're getting close to the finish line, kind of on our exit, you know, train on out of this area, but, you know, definitely is, you know, what's another selling feature for this community it's just a smack dab in the middle of everything, really. We're located right off of Bandera and Prue inside the loop of 1604. Everybody that has taken advantage of this community is lovin' the conveniency of being so close to everything. You're really pretty much a hop and skip away to get a jump on any major highway to get to anywhere you need to be around San Antonio.

John: Well, it certainly seems like a very convenient location. You got H-E-B, what, like a mile down the road?

Justin: Yeah, you know, we have the biggest H-E-B in Texas that's literally in our backyard, you know, which is a huge thing for anybody, any homeowner for, you know, easy shopping, easy, you know, gettin' to point A to point B. But yeah, everything's really close.

John: Okay, and what do you see a lot of out here as far as buyers comin' out to your community? Are you guys getting a lot of military people or people from USAA, what do you guys cater to?

Justin: We have a lot of, you know, anybody, really, for diverse people comin' out here and takin' a look at this community. From military to young professionals to, you know, older citizens, things like that, you know. We have pretty much a good range, really, all over the spectrum, really, which I think is, you know, anywhere in San Antonio. It's just in real estate it's all about location as everybody always, you know, stresses on, or things like that. But yeah, we have pretty much a lot of diverse here.

John: Now, if somebody were to come in and they wanted to build their house from the ground up, what does that process look like with Meritage Homes?

Justin: With Meritage from start to finish we typically, on average, take about five months from start to finish to build a home. What that process looks like for any client comin' in, you know, they'll do anything as far as the structurals here with me in my office. When they go to the design center and start to pick out all the pretties and things like that, I don't do here. But what they'll do here is actually design the home with me on how they want it structurally. Pick a floor plan, kind of figure out what the family's needs are. But yeah, here in this location, I have eight floor plans that I offer. But yeah, that's pretty much how it would look like as far as construction.

John: So, it's about a five-month process. If they wanted to, say, customize their cabinet colors or the color granite or the type of flooring, is that somethin' that you guys do?

Justin: Absolutely. That's where the design center comes in. Once they've done visiting with me here in my office design center will reach out to them to set up that appointment with them after they proceed with the contract. That's when they get to go have some fun and have a time to go pick out all the pretties that they want, you know, cabinet colors, things like that. All the fun stuff. That's one of the fun parts of building is to go pick out everything in your home.

John: Absolutely. I know your neighborhood, you mentioned to me earlier that you guys are in a close-out mode. Do you guys still have lots available for somebody that's looking to live in this location here?

Justin: I do, I do. You know, the window's closing pretty quickly. I have two lots left here to build. They're gonna be around the model here. They're gonna be released soon. But I still have kind of a lot of other opportunities that are also still here in this community. They're gonna be quick move-ins for any families that don't have the luxury of maybe building from start to finish.

John: Sure.

Justin: But I do still have a little bit of flexibility here, but it's goin' quick.

Meritage Homes - Valencia

John: I know Meritage homes are available, you know, all throughout San Antonio. What are some of the locations that you guys are offering your product, and do you have the ability to cross-sell or...

Justin: Yeah, absolutely. With our team, you know, we're definitely have the blessing to cross-sell, you know, if a client's, you know, if this community's not the right for 'em we have plenty of 'em around San Antonio. I'm more than happy to stay along the journey with them if they want me to continue doin' the home search with me. But yeah, I can absolutely help them at any other community, it's just the home has to be at a certain stage for me to kinda stay along with them, or completed. That would be the process. But yeah, absolutely. You know, with our locations around San Antonio, we have quite a few, you know. It just depends on where you wanna be.

John: Okay, so, you guys are located all throughout San Antonio. Maybe a few out by Alamo Ranch and...

Justin: Mm hmm, yeah.

John: What are some of the other parts of town that you guys offer the product?

Justin: We have a ton of communities out towards Alamo Ranch area. We have off of Potranco, off of Wiseman. We have a couple more communities that are on close-out in that area. Also some other opportunities that are opening up. That location, too. We have three locations that are inside the loop of 1604, including myself. Everything else pretty much are on the outskirts. We have some that are out towards, you know, Universal City. We have one that's just a grand opening off of 281 in Redland, which is a big property that we are very proud of on that one, which is called Sienna. But yeah, but we're expanding, so we're excited.

John: So all throughout the city. Okay. Now, if somebody, one of our viewers was interested in working with you or looking at some Meritage homes, what's the best place for them to go to start their home search?

Justin: I mean, you can go to, you know, visit our website, you know, It's got a lot of information on there. They're able to, you know, kind of play with some things on there tryin' to look at some communities, some floor plans, what's available now, what's up and coming. Our contact center is doin' a great job on kinda filtering anybody looking for a specific location, and they'll set up an appointment with us through, you know, digitally, you know, through our email. Or you can go, you know, contact me at my email's the best way to get ahold of me. We do walk-ins, too. We highly recommend that for people to come take a look in first hand and take a look at our product, absolutely.

John: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Justin. I appreciate your time today. Looking forward to working with you

Justin: Yeah.

John: and taking a few clients out here to Meritage Homes.

Justin: Absolutely.

John: Again, I wanted to thank you so much being part of John Giacobbe's Builder of the Week.

Justin: Yeah.

John: So I appreciate it, and looking forward to...

Justin: Doin' some business, yeah, absolutely. I appreciate the opportunity and we'll hopefully do some business soon.


Interested in Learning More About Meritage Homes? Visit our page to see all of the available Meritage Homes in San Antonio.

Dec. 9, 2018

Ultimate Guide to 'For Sale by Owner' Success in San Antonio

So you are interested in selling your house, maximizing profits by saving on commissions, and make the very most amount of money out of your home sale.  Well, look no further Mr. or Mrs. FSBO! We created this guide to help you make the very most out of selling your San Antonio area home as a For Sale by Owner.  Here you will find everything you should know to pull off doing a FSBO like a PRO.  We have over 7 years of experience helping San Antonio area families, just like yours, sell their homes for top dollar and you can learn how we did it with this easy to follow guide! 

Ultimate Guide to 'For Sale by Owner' Success in San Antonio

Your 8 Step Guide to 'For Sale by Owner' success in San Antonio

Here's a brief overview of what we will cover:

  1. Create an Action Plan- Failure to plan means planning to fail.
  2. Research the Market- What to research and where to look..
  3. Know your numbers- How to calculate seller's net and more..
  4. Prepare your home for the Market- Resources to stage and present your home well..
  5. Marketing your Listing- Ideas to get your FSBO listing out there!
  6. Coming to an agreement- What to keep an eye out for
  7. From contract to close- Keep your deal afloat and look out for these things
  8. Closing on the Sale- What to expect at closing, tips to know..

Step 1: Create an Action Plan

As the saying goes when you fail to plan you are planning to fail.  Creating a solid plan is the first step to pulling off a successful home sale whether you are selling it yourself or working with an agent.  Here's a list of questions you should start with to get your plan started.

  • What is your time frame for getting it sold?
  • Do you know where you will move after it's sold?
  • How much do you currently owe on the mortgage?
  • Are there any outstanding repairs needed at this time?
  • How much cash will you need for your next house?
  • Are you able to get pre approved for a new mortgage?

Pull out a pen and paper and answer these important questions first before moving on to step two.

Step 2: Research the Market

Although we can never time the market exactly you should start your 'For Sale by Owner' process with a bit more research about the local market first.  Here's a few resources to help you along the way.

When doing research on what to set the price for your home at you'll want to look for a few things.  First start by looking for similar homes within a 5 mile radius within the last 6 months.  You will want to note a few bits of information down about each house. 

  1. How much did they sell for?
  2. How long was it on the market for?
  3. What was the sold price per sq. ft?
  4. Was the house in better or worse condition than yours?
  5. Did the seller pay any additional closing costs for the buyer?

Next.. You will what to research what your competition is.  Each home buyer will only pick one house so at the end of the day selling a home is going to be a combination of a price war and a beauty contest.  So you'll want to price and present your home to be competitive.  Find out which homes around you are for sale, what are they asking, how do their photos look, how long have they been on the market for? Because you won't be paying commission you may be able to beat the competition when it comes to price.

Step 3: Know Your Numbers

So by this point if you have followed the first two steps you should by now roughly how much your home should sell for but this next step will let you know what you can anticipate walking away from the sale with.  Here's a video where I show you exactly how to calculate out seller's net. 

Keep in mind you will want to put in some breathing room with the numbers to account for negotiations and any closing costs you will very likely except to incur when you are coming to an agreement.

Step 4: Prepare your Home for the Market

One of the keys to success for a successful FSBO home sale is in the amount of time and attention spent in preparation.  Here's a few things to get you on your way.

  • Consider getting a pre-list home inspection done- When a buyer comes along they will very likely have an inspection done here's a way to get one step ahead and avoid the deal going south.
  • Clean and Declutter- Take time to clean your house, put away personal photos, and clear the surfaces.  Remember, you want the buyers to see the house and not the stuff inside of it.  
  • Consider an Interior Design Consultation- As much as we all think our houses are perfect you may be able to gain professional insight on furniture placements, or updates that can make the most impact to the buyer's eye.  The idea is to maximize your profits and compel buyers to make the drive out for a showing.  Here are two local interior design companies that we recommend checking out..
  • Use Professional Photographs- Here is one step that you shouldn't cheap out out on, although it can be tempting to skip this step it is a critical piece that should always be done.  Real Estate photography takes a bit more skill to be done properly and by using a professional photographer you are making the very best first impression on your buyers.  Here are 3 San Antonio area photographers that we recommend.

Step 5: Marketing Your Listing

So by now you should have photos ready and now this is where the fun begins.  Start by writing a listing description that highlights the best features of your home.  You will use this description on a number of websites that you will need to post your home on to help get it seen.  Determine in advance if you are able to pay a buyer's agent a commission if they have a buyer that is interested in buying house.  

  • Place a sign out- Make sure your number is visible.  Are there any busy intersections nearby that you can add a directional sign at? You can find 'For Sale by Owner' signs at your local hardware store or even purchased online.
  • Lockbox or No Lockbox- If you will be home for each and every showing this may not be necessary, but if you're at work than consider using a lockbox to allow showings on the fly.  The more people who see the house the higher your likelihood will be for finding a buyer.  One of the benefits of hiring an agent is that they use Supra EKEY lockboxes that can only be accessed by other licensed agents.  Either way, please make sure you practice caution when allowing people in your home.
  • Post your Listing Online- Most home buyers start their searches online.  Post your list on these site.
    • Don't forget to share your listing with friends and family on facebook, instagram, youtube, and more, the more places you can post it the better shot 
  • Schedule an open house- Open houses are a great way to get the buyers out.  The best times to hold an open house is typically on the weekends.  Make sure to advertise your open house online so buyers can find it.
  • Create a video walkthrough- Make sure to include lots of video content when advertising your listing.  Video helps people to see and learn more and you will have better quality buyers that show up.

Step 6: Coming to an Agreement

So now that all of your marketing efforts have paid off and you have an interested buyer and an offer in hand now what? If the offer is a great offer you may consider accepting it right away, but if the buyer came in low you will want to negotiate and come to an agreement that everyone can live with.  Start by reviewing the terms and time frames in the offer and prepare another net sheet.  

At this point you should also ask a title company to help make sure everything on your contract is filled out correctly, or contact us if you need help with preparing a contract, we do offer a flat-fee service to help manage the escrow period. Here are 3 San Antonio title companies that have been our go to for escrow services.

Title companies will not be able to provide advice on negotiating, but you will still have the confidence to know that your contract is filled out correctly and they can also provide you with more exact figures on what you will net from the sale.

NOTE: Always ask to see a pre-approval letter or proof of funds before executing a contract with a prospective buyer.  If the buyer needs a pre-approval here are a 3 local lenders that we recommend sending them to first.

Step 7: Contract to Close

You did it!! You NOW have a contract and it's all smooth sailing from here... NOT!

There are a number of pitfalls that can derail a home sale after you have already gone under contract.  Here are a few of the main ones you should know about.

Inspection Periods- In San Antonio most home buyers will ask for 7-10 days to have the home inspected.  The buyer will have the right to terminate the contract during this period.  Get a head start by knowing potential problems beforehand and disclosing the known issues up front.  You can always offer money in lieu of repairs versus fixing issues.  Every situation is different but as long as the deal is fair most objections can easily be overcome.

Appraisal Issues- As part of the buyer's loan process their bank will order an appraisal.  If the sales price is to high the buyer can often renegotiate or walk away without penalty.  Do your research up front and price accordingly.

Buyer Gets Cold Feet- Unfortunately this does happen and there is nothing you can do about it.  To keep the buyer engaged make sure you are openly communicating with them on a weekly basis.

Financing Issues- Keep in close communication with the buyer's lender throughout the process.  It is important that buyers are pre-approved upfront to avoid this as an issue 2-3 weeks into the process.  When dealing with financing review the third party financing addendum and give the buyer no more than 2-3 weeks to obtain full approval from the lender.

Although these are only a few of the potential pitfalls to look out for these are also some of the most common ones that can be avoided when you know about them before entering into a contract.

Step 8: Closing on the Sale

Congrats you made it!! Closing day has arrived and you SOLD it yourself! Schedule your closing times in advance.  Bring your ID card to closing and a voided check.  Funds will usually hit your account within 24 business hours of your sale.  If you are purchasing a new home consider doing a leaseback with the buyer for a few days so you can finish making your move.  

For sale by owner sold sign

We hope that this article is a helpful resource to get you on your way to 'For Sale by Owner' success in San Antonio.  If for any reason you get stuck on one of the 8 steps our team will be here to answer any questions you may have and provide guidance to you along the way.

Not sure where to get started? Give us a call TODAY and simply let our TEAM handle everything for you! We have a proven track record of helping sellers like you net the very most for their homes.  We also have several move up programs to help you save money and time when selling your home.  

John Giacobbe Head Shot

About the Author: John J. Giacobbe is one of San Antonio's Top Real Estate Agents- since 2011 he has helped hundreds of families throughout San Antonio buy and sell residential real estate.  Recently awarded as a Platinum Top 50 Agent he is a proven leader in the industry.  John is a team leader for The Giacobbe Group, Realtor, writer, content creator, and family man.  He has lived in San Antonio most of his life and understands what it takes to get homes sold in this market.

Need Advice on Selling your San Antonio Area Home?

Call John TODAY at 210-857-6942

Posted in Useful Information
Nov. 25, 2018

10 Most Expensive Homes Sold in the Last 30 Days

AMAZING!! See the 10 most expensive homes that just sold in San Antonio!

You will be amazed by these luxury properties.  Thinking about buying or selling your next home? Let be your LOCAL San Antonio resource!

10 Most Expensive Homes Sold in the last 30 days in San Antonio, TX


Samantha Giacobbe Blogger

About the Author: Samantha is a SA lifestyle blogger for  Originally from San Antonio she specializes in local focused design and content creation for our visitors, clients, listings, homes, and more.  Check back regularly and find up to date advice for San Antonio living here with Samantha!

Nov. 23, 2018

San Antonio Q3 Real Estate Market Report

At Giacobbe Homes San Antonio we strive to keep our local communities informed about the current state of the San Antonio real estate market.  This will be our first of a series of quarterly market update and reports that we will provide for you.  Our intention is to inform and educate homeowners throughout San Antonio about current trends in the market that will help as indicators on BEST times to buy and sell real estate. 

Market activity slowed in Quarter 3, but started picking up in the end..

Currently we feel that the market is still in a good position overall, after reviewing research provided by the Texas Real Estate Center's Quarterly metro housing report on the ground we have experienced a short slow down in market activity for quarter 3, but have seen an uptick in market activity in the beginning of quarter 4.  We believe that the slight slow down that we recently experienced in the $150-300K price point may have been caused by a number of local factors.  We have seen an unprecedented period of growth. 

Quarter 3 market report

Chart on Quarterly Sales Volume by the Texas A&M Research Center

This is the first time we have seen rates climb in to the 5% average cost range since 2010.  Every year since my first year selling real estate in 2011, we have had mortgage interest rates in  the 3-4% range, but now with interest rates today a lot of first time home buyers are starting to feel the pinch.  On a home priced at $225,000 the difference between an interest rate of 3.75% to 5.25% means an adjustment in payment of almost $200 a month.  With rates on the rise, most will continue to move out of necessity vs want.  

There are several factors that keep our local market strong though and make San Antonio real estate still a great place to own and invest in a home.  The city continues to expand outwards and have seen continuous growth in Northwest San Antonio, biggest zip codes for growth and activity are 78245, 78253, and 78254.  The area between Potranco & 1604 up to Bandera & 1604.  The Texas Real Estate market as a whole continues to see lot of migration from several other states due to our boisterous economy and continuous supply of jobs. The 4 biggest states that are moving in to San Antonio are California, Florida, Oklahoma, Louisiana.

'I believe that in quarter 4 we will see a steady amount of sales in San Antonio continue to happen.' -John Giacobbe.  There are several factors that will continue to keep our city thriving in growth.  We are still among the most affordable markets within the United States.  And our inner city continues to see revitalization and the outer parts of the city continue to see tons of activity by new home builders. 

Here are a few key take aways for 2019

  • You may find increased competition as a seller from new home builders.
  • Get your house in great condition before selling.
  • Price slightly ahead of the market
  • Find out what you can afford and run your numbers carefully
  • Don't try to time the market

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, make sure you are consulting with a trusted professional.  Presentation of your property and modern day marketing is important to your success.  Also, If you are in the market for new construction, consider a spec home, you will have a better chance to negotiate terms with the builder and research San Antonio programs available to take advantage of. 


About the Author:

John Giacobbe head shot

About the Author: John Giacobbe is a local leader in the San Antonio Residential real estate industry.  He has helped hundreds of families buy and sell new & pre owned homes throughout the city.  A Platinum Top 50- Semi-Finalist for 2018 John is a coach and mentor to new real estate agents and operates The Giacobbe Group at EXP Realty.  For questions regarding this article or buying or selling in San Antonio email John at

Nov. 16, 2018

Home Insurance and New Homes in San Antonio

Did you know that the age of your home is one of the Top 3 factors that determines the cost of your homeowners insurance every year! Did you know that insurance helps determine your monthly mortgage payment? It’s true, your monthly mortgage payment will go up or down, depending on your annual homeowners insurance premium.

Knowing this valuable information, it’s impossible to shop for a home without discussing “Year Built” or “Age of Home” with your professional Realtor.  In fact, one of the first things your Realtor should do is discuss the advantages of “New Home Construction”.

“So what are we talking about Phil, saving a few bucks on insurance with a new build?” Let’s take a look… at the time of writing this blog the last “New Construction” home I insured just a few days ago cost the buyer $691 for $230,000 in coverage with just $500 deductibles.  Compare this to the last “Gently Used” home I recently insured, built in 2000 which cost the buyer $1,448 a year for $240,000 in coverage and $1,000 deductibles.

That’s nearly $800 a year difference! Multiply $800 times your 30 year mortgage, and your have $24,000 reasons to consider “New Construction” when shopping for the next home of your dreams!

Why the price difference?Did you know that prior to insuring ANY home over 40 years old, many insurance companies will REQUIRE proof of updates for: 1) Electrical; 2) Plumbing; 3) Roof; and 4) Heating & A/C? Some of the wiring and electrical breaker boxes used in the past are no longer considered safe today.Over the years, homes have been built using various types of pressurized plumbing lines with connecting joints and couplers that can be affected by age.  One of the most common causes of home insurance claims is wind & hail damage to roofs.  Today’s roofs are constructed using the best quality materials and processes to better withstand “Mother Nature”.  Lastly, today's heating & a/c units are fitted with the best plumbing connectors, pressure relief valves, safety controls, switches, and connectors.

Talk to your Realtor today and ask him or her what other money-saving features are unique to “New Construction” homes.  I’ll bet energy efficiency and upkeep and maintenance costs aren’t the only other reasons to shop New Construction.  Ask your Realtor TODAY, to teach you something you didn’t know about New Construction homes.

Phil Delgado New Home Insurance

Phil Delgado is a Top 10, licensed Insurance Broker with Goosehead Insurance and specializes in adding value to Real Estate transactions using knowledge of the housing industry, multiple insurance products, and the highest level of customer service.  Feel free to reach Phil and his Team at 210.899.3800.

Phil Delgado Goose Head New Home Insurance


Nov. 10, 2018

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!

Join our Real Estate Team

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!

Online Real Estate School

John Giacobbe is San Antonio's Top Realtor with EXP Realty- He's personally helped hundreds of 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 have any questions about getting licensed or need advice to get started contact us today!

Posted in Useful Information
Nov. 7, 2018

Should I buy a new or preowned Home?

In San Antonio, there are several options for home buyers to go with either a new or preowned home.  There are pros and cons to both that you should consider when making your decision, I wrote this article to inform the reader on a few of the differences and what to expect when deciding which route to go.  

New or preowned home

First let's examine total overall cost of ownership.  Sure, buying a new home will usually cost you more buying a preowned but price of the house is only one factor when it comes to total cost of ownership.  When you purchase a new home everything on the house is brand new and today's standards that means more efficiency.  Also repair costs are going to be much less because everything is warranted on a new home.  Sometimes your actual cost of ownership between the two can be about the same because of this factor.  The main thing that can tip the scale for a preowned home to actually cost you more in the long run is the cost of repairs.  When the cost of repairs start to stack up on a preowned home this can sometimes tip the scale and cost you more cash out of pocket.  

There are however some great benefits to buying preowned vs new.  I've heard several clients tell me "They just don't build them like the used to." If you're searching for a house that is unique or has lots of character then a preowned home may be the way to go.  Unless you are going with a higher dollar builder several of the new home options today are seen as "cookie cutter" houses.  Many newer homes today are built in subdivisions.  When you start to look, many of the new homes you see can be similar to each other in structure.  So if you're wanting something completely unique then a preowned home may have the charm or character that you are looking for.  

One thing that I've heard several buyers ask for is a home with more land.  Most new construction homes in San Antonio are built in neighborhoods, the developers who put in the infrastructure for the neighborhood are always seeking to maximize their investment in the land.  So what you will usually see is several homes with smaller lot sizes.  Having a smaller lot works for some people and others prefer a bigger property.  If you are looking for something that is easier to maintain and less upkeep then a new home may be the smarter option for you.  

Which ever way you decide to go, either new or preowned, The Giacobbe Group specializes in both new construction and resale properties.  Please feel free to reach out and ask any questions you may have.  Depending on what your needs are we can always help you find the right option for you.  Contact John Giacobbe today with any question you may have 210-857-6942 or email

About The Author: Since 2011, John Giacobbe has helped hundreds of families throughout San Antonio buy, sell, and build their dream homes.  His TEAM was founded on 3 core principles: Expansion, Expedience, and Expertise. 

**Click for Details on our Builder Move Up Programs**

Nov. 27, 2017

YOU were meant to be GREAT!

Dear Family, friends, & Clients,

I am writing you today to share with you a letter from my heart.  To inspire you to be the greatest version of yourself and to remind you to NEVER let anyone hold you down from achieving the goals you have set for yourself and the vision you have for your own life. 

Six years ago (Pre-Realtor John) I was working as a personal trainer at a large gym here in town.  I enjoyed my job immensely because in my heart I felt that I was making a difference in the lives of my client by helping them achieve their goals of being stronger and healthier versions of themselves.  I was a beacon for change and helped motivate my clients to make a change.

After 4 years working at the gym I knew that I had more to offer and I wanted to further my influence help more clients and our team.  I knew that If I could work my way up the ‘Corporate Ladder’ into an assistant manager or team lead role I would make a bigger impact.  The moment an opportunity came up for a position I was the first in line to apply.  If I could just get a chance I would prove my worth.  So, I applied for the position-  After going through the process and the paperwork and the interviews I felt confident that I was the right guy for the job.  WRONG- I was turned down for that opportunity.  A bit disappointed I kept my hopes up and would try again the next time a position came up.  I would remain hopeful.

When the next advancement opportunity finally came available I went through the hiring process again and unfortunately, I was denied for the promotion a second time. Now a little more frustrated and a little more discouraged I continued with my job training clients until another opportunity came up.  Finally, when an opening came up I tried again, third times a charm Right?! WRONG- I was denied for the promotion a third time! I was done!

After being denied over and over for advancement I decided to switch gears and redirect my focus towards a business in Real Estate.  I knew that in the Real Estate business I would have nobody to prevent my growth, and that I could work as hard as I needed to, and ultimately make a bigger impact by helping more families reach their goals in a different way.

Looking back on the experience I realize today that the denial for growth I had in my professional career as a trainer worked out at a blessing in disguise and I am happy to look back and reminisce on that experience.  Even to think that many of the same people who denied me an advancement opportunity are still in the same place today as they were back then.  Today- because I refused to give up my business and influence continues to grow! I am happy to announce another record year in sales again.  I am blessed to have an opportunity to have helped over 50 families buy and sell homes this year alone.                                                                          

With this story, I urge you to never give up on your dreams and passions.  Never let anyone discourage you or put a glass ceiling on your potential and never stop dreaming about doing and being more! If you believe in yourself I believe in you too!


Your Friend in Real Estate,


John Giacobbe, Realtor


P.S.- If you have any family, friends, or coworkers who are in the market to buy or sell a home please refer them my way! I am here to listen, advise, and help you be successful.  

September 2017- At the closing table with my son J.T. My favorite closing for 2017!


- Back In my personal training days (6 years ago)- Competing in the Ironman Triathlon


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



Posted in Useful Information