So you’re a buyer in San Antonio...congratulations! As one of the fastest-growing real estate markets in the country, San Antonio is an amazing place to own a home. Whether you’re new to the city or simply switching neighborhoods, there are a few things you need to know about San Antonio’s unique buying culture. Don’t start the process without these key insights!
1. What do home prices look like?
If you’re a buyer in any market, it’s important to know the average and median home prices so you can know where you stand in relation to other buyers. Since every city is different, maybe you can afford luxury in San Antonio when you couldn’t before. On the other hand, you might be forced to downsize a bit to accommodate big-city prices. In May of 2015, the median price for a San Antonio home increased above $200k for the first time, resting at $202,500. The average price last month was recorded at $246,772. About 49% of home sales were under $200k, approximately 45% were between $200k-$500k, and just under 6% were above $500k.
2. What is a title company?
Texas is one of the 19 states in the US that requires the use of a title company in a real estate transaction. Many states require or allow an attorney to oversee the transfer of a property title; however, if you’re buying a home in San Antonio, you’ll definitely need to know the role of a title company. Title companies ensure that the home you’re buying is clear of anything illegitimate or unpaid. This process is important as it will catch any remaining mortgages, etc. The title company will be with you every step of the buying process up through closing paperwork.
3. What’s a seller’s market?
In real estate, the market is usually classified as either a buyer’s or seller ’s market. These two terms simply indicate who has the advantage in the current market. For example, in a buyer’s market, there is more supply than demand...and vice versa in a seller’s market. In March of 2014, Forbes named San Antonio the #3 top seller’s market in the US…and it has only grown stronger in the past year! As more and more people join the housing market, interest rates go down for buyers and prices become more favorable for sellers. For the buyer, this means that competition is greater for each house. This is a good thing because it means that the city’s real estate market is thriving, and people want to live in San Antonio!
4. Where is everyone buying?
The most important part of real estate is location! So, where is the market trending? Where is everyone buying? Currently, northern San Antonio is booming with new, up-and-coming neighborhoods, along with some established, thriving areas. The Northwest side in particular is expanding at an exciting rate. Below are some of the bestselling communities in the city.
1.Alamo Ranch | Northwest | $150k-$575k
2.Canyon Springs | North Hwy 281 | $129k-$800k
3.Fair Oaks Ranch | North I-10 | $146k-$600k
4.Northwest Crossing | Northwest | $117k-$178k
5.Sonoma Ranch | Northwest | $244k-$659k
5. What to look for in a REALTOR®
When buying a home, it’s important that you find a knowledgeable, reputable REALTOR® specific to your needs and personality. You’ll want to ensure that your agent is certified in all the necessary areas. For example, if you’re working with luxury real estate, you might want to check and see if your REALTOR® has experience with upper-tier home sales. Your agent should know the San Antonio area very well so that he or she can help you find the right neighborhood for you. Since San Antonio is quite spread out, there is a lot of ground to cover. If you choose a REALTOR® who isn’t familiar with the city, there’s a real chance you could miss out on the best home for you and your family. Locally sourced realtors will also have connections with local lenders, builders, or others who might need to be involved in your home buying process.
6. How fast are homes selling?
Because the demand for housing in San Antonio is so great right now, the San Antonio Board of Realtors reported that homes sold in May 2015 only stayed on the market an average of 59 days! Homes are selling quickly right now. This means that, if you’re buying a home in the San Antonio real estate market, you might want to act fast. Know what you want and be ready to start the buying process if you feel the time is right. That being said, remember to stay calm and not rush into such an important decision...one of the reasons it’s important to have an experienced REALTOR® on your side who is knowledgeable about the San Antonio area!
7. What do interest rates look like?
Seeing as it’s a seller’s market, interest rates in San Antonio are currently on the low side of the spectrum. According to the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, these low interest rates have continued to drive forward San Antonio’s real estate market! Each dollar you spend as a buyer goes further than ever before. This only further confirms that your decision to buy a home in San Antonio is a good one.
As a buyer in the San Antonio real estate market, you have an exciting season ahead of you! The city is in the midst of its best real estate season in the decade. Hopefully, with the tips we’ve given you, you’ll be able to navigate through the process smoothly and without confusion. Talk to a REALTOR® for more information and to start looking for your new home!