Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bexar County Property Appraisals Have Dropped for Many Homeowners

According to Jennifer Hiller with the Express News, "After years of steady price increases, in 2009, Bexar County property values dipped 2 percent. Prior to that, residential appraisals hadn't decreased in Bexar County since the savings and loan crisis of the early '90s."

The higher dollar neighborhoods like The Dominion, Alamo Heights and Terrell Hills have remained steady while the lesser expensive, more tract-home neighborhoods in other areas of town have sustained larger number of foreclosures which have brought those neighborhood appraisals down.  The average San Antonio home value in 2009 stood at $146,702, while in 2010 it is at $145,682.  

Not all homes are going down. Some have seen increases in their valuations, and have received notices from the Bexar Appraisal District. Only those properties with an increase of $1,000 or more will receive a letter in the mail with the information on how to file a protest. Meanwhile, property owners can check the appraised value online at to see if the values have changed. All owners can protest, even if the values have decreased and the owner hopes to lower the value further.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Phil Hardberger Park Celebrates its Grand Opening

Phil Hardberger Park is the largest public park San Antonio has opened since 1899 when George Brackenridge began donating land that eventually became a park bearing his name.  The 311-acre former Voelcker homestead between Shavano Park and Castle Hills was acquired by the city at a cost of nearly $47 million in 2006 and 2007.

The initial Phase 1A of the park development plan involves 1.5 miles of nature trails, picnic tables, parking space, drinking fountains, barbecue pits, a playscape, vehicular access off Blanco Road and a public dog park that is now the city's largest.  10 percent of the park land has been developed thus far. According to master plans, 75 percent of the land's total acreage will remain untouched by park development.

Preserving much of the land on the former Voelcker dairy farm has been vital.  Most of the land was originally a savanna, grassland marked by trees and small woodland features, primarily live oaks.  The parks and recreation department, with help from volunteers, last year started restoring the savanna by planting 50,000 native grass and wildflower plants. 

Park staff members have spread seeds of more than 60 species of native prairie plants meant to help support a wide range of insects, reptiles, mammals and birds.  Park officials have said they will consider future artificial structures such as bat or bird houses to attract additional wildlife species. 

Hardberger Park is located where the Edwards Plateau Savanna, Blackland Prairie and South Texas Plains converge, further supplementing the park's potential of detailed study and preservation of local plants, trees and wildlife. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Country Views in the City - 15114 Circle Oak

Want country views in the middle of the city?  Come take a look at this newly listed property at 15114 Circle Oak in San Pedro Hills.  This beautiful home is set on .23 acres with large oak trees that back to a greenbelt.  Two large decks, one covered and one uncovered, give you a place to relax and enjoy the views.  Watch the deer and other wildlife from your own back deck!

The home is a one story, with three sides brick, ranch style home.  There's a full two car garage, plus sprinkler system, a large utilty room, and is wired for a security system.

There's four bedrooms, and three full baths.  Two bedrooms can be the master, and are split on opposite sides of the home.  Perfect for in-laws or guests.  The masters are 17 x 15 and 14 x 13. 

The back yard slopes down to the large greenbelt that's filled with mature oak trees.   

Call today (210-884-2572) if you'd like to set up an appointment to see this beautiful home.  The home is priced at $189,900 and has 2130 square feet per the Bexar Appraisal District.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

10 Tips to Make Your Home Stand Out When Selling

Want your home to stand out to buyers?  Take the extra steps when getting your home on the market.  There's a lot of competition out there, and buyers are seeking those homes that are truely "move-in ready". 

So use this checklist as a way to evaluate your home, and see if there's things you can do to enhance your home and your chance of selling.

  1. Create an attractive entry -- both inside and outside.  First impressions are really important.
  2. Hardwood floors are "in" with buyers.  Replace that old worn carpet with nice hardwoods.
  3. Update and improve the little details like cabinet hardware, bathroom faucets, and doorknobs.
  4. Make your bathrooms more attractive to buyers by replacing the large sheet glass mirrors with elegant framed mirrors and updated lighting.
  5. Countertops?  Go granite, it might be more affordable than you think and it scores big with buyers.
  6. Replace old ovens, cooktops and dishwashers with stainless finishes. 
  7. De-clutter and organize clothes closets and kitchen cabinets.  No cost here, just a little effort.
  8. Make the yard attractive to families with kids.  The grass should be well maintained and healthy. 
  9. Don't overlook lighting.  The interior needs to be bright, so add lamps or improve fixtures to make the house well lit.
  10. Stage the furniture to show off the best features of the home.