San Antonio is the second-largest city in Texas and one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas
in the United States. It's home to the historic Alamo, a blazing symbol of the independent Texas spirit. It's also the location of the picturesque River Walk. This meandering path follows the eponymous river past charming shops and eateries, creating a lively, bustling atmosphere in the heart of the city. The city also has a thriving arts scene, with numerous museums and galleries filled with local and internationally renowned artists. The city is now home to nearly 1.5 million residents
, and more are moving to the city daily
With so much cultural heritage and modern innovation, the city and surrounding Hill Country are extraordinary places to call home. Are you thinking about making it your new home? Get answers to some of the most-googled questions about real estate in 2023 from real estate agent Denise Graves.
1. Should I buy or rent in San Antonio?
The answer to this question will largely depend on your circumstances. Buying a property gives you more housing stability and allows you to build equity in your property over time. You can also stabilize your monthly payments through fixed-term loans, so you always know what you will pay each month.
However, renting has its advantages, too. You can be more flexible with your housing situation, which may be beneficial if you don't plan on living in the area for long or are still deciding where you want to live. Renting means you are only responsible for minimal property maintenance and can call the landlord when something breaks.
Buying a property in San Antonio
makes a lot of sense if you want to live in the area for a long time. If you still aren't sure which is right for you, talk to a financial advisor for more advice tailored to your situation and finances.
2. What's the best time to apply for a mortgage in Texas?
Lenders are always available to talk to you about a mortgage. The best time to apply for one is when you feel prepared to start the process and before you've started looking for a home. Applying for a mortgage early in the process allows you to get pre-approved, which has several advantages:
- It can help you organize your paperwork for the purchasing process.
- Pre-approval can show you how much house you can afford and give you a budget to stick to.
- Pre-approval can make you a more appealing buyer and give you an advantage in a bidding war.
You may be ready to apply for a mortgage when you have a stable income, your credit is in good shape, and you've saved a down payment for a property. If you've done all that, it's a good time to start a conversation with a lender.
3. Do I need a real estate agent to buy a home in Hill Country?
You can buy or sell a home in Hill Country without using a real estate agent. However, you'll probably spend more money, time, and effort if you don't. Real estate agents are well-versed in the legal and financial aspects of buying a home and can help you avoid common pitfalls. They can also help ensure the process moves forward quickly while protecting your rights as a buyer, saving you time and money in the long run.
4. Is the San Antonio housing market slowing down?
It's not slowing down as much as it is stabilizing
. The San Antonio real estate market has experienced a wild couple of years, with massive demand throughout the pandemic, then a drop off last year as interest rates increased. What we're seeing in the market now is housing prices stabilizing to where we'd expect them to be pre-COVID. It's become a buyer's market, too, with more properties than there are buyers. If you are interested in buying a San Antonio-area home, now is the time to be looking.
5. How can I determine the local amenities in my desired location?
The best way to check out your desired location is to visit it in person! There is no better research than walking the streets of a neighborhood yourself. It's the best way to get a feel for a place and see if it has the amenities and vibe you want. If you can't make it there in person, though, you have a few excellent options to put to use instead:
- Take a deep dive on Google Maps. Google Maps is great for exploring a neighborhood virtually. You can virtually walk the streets using Street View while clicking on local businesses and reading their reviews.
- Put social media to work. Join pages and groups serving your desired location and see what's happening there. It's a great way to get connected to a new community. Other members are often eager to share what they love (or don't love!) about the area.
- Ask your real estate agent. Real estate agents are local experts who can tell you more about what's in the area or help connect you with your desired amenities. Put their expertise to work for you!
6. How much should I put on a down payment for a home in San Antonio?
The fast answer is as much as you can. The more you can put down on a home, the better deal you will get from a lender. If you put less than 20% down, your lender may require you to pay mortgage insurance, increasing your monthly payment obligation. If you can put down more than 20%, you can unlock offers with lower interest rates, thus decreasing your monthly payments.
However, getting a mortgage with a lower down payment is possible. Some special mortgage programs for first-time buyers or veterans allow you to put down as little as 5%. Talk to your real estate agent, banker, and mortgage broker to learn more about the programs available.
7. How do I figure out how much my home is worth?
The best way to determine the value of your home is to have it professionally appraised. Your real estate agent can value your home and tell you what it's likely worth on the market. They'll have expertise in the subject and can tell you what homes in your area similar to yours have sold for recently. This can give you a good idea about how much you might get from a buyer. This valuation doesn't replace an official appraisal, which your buyer's lending company will require.
Looking for more answers to the most Googled real estate questions in 2023?
We love answering your real estate questions! If you need more information about the San Antonio market or how to buy or sell your home, call the Graves Group
. Denise Graves and her team are here to support you throughout your real estate journey and ensure you have the information you need. Call us today to discuss buying or selling a San Antonio-area home.