Frequently asked questions
This sounds like a cliché, but there is never really a bad time to buy the right home. Oftentimes, this reflects a concern about market timing or market conditions.
The short answer is yes, but there are some conditions to meet before you can see a property in San Antonio. The first criteria is that you cannot see a property if you have recently traveled internationally or if you have a fever or are experiencing any symptoms. You must wear a mask at all times and not touch anything. Children are not allowed at showings and there may be a request that only one or two of the buyers be present. Other restrictions may be required by the seller for their personal reasons and a COVID-19 form may be required for you to sign acknowledging certain guidelines. There are other solutions that make the process a little easier, for example, virtual showings can be done via Skype or FaceTime and the REALTOR® can even take a video of the property with narration so you can view it when it is convenient for you. Rules and guidelines change often, so be flexible.
The truth is we are never in a balanced market, at least not for very long. We are either on our way from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market, or vice versa.
There are loan programs out there that do not require a 20% down payment. A trusted lender can review the different options that are right for you. Your local REALTOR® should be able to recommend a lender.
There are two numbers you should keep in mind to find an acceptable price range for your home purchase. The first number is what you qualify for and the second number is what fits into your budget. Once you determine your monthly budget, then the sales price range of the home can be calculated.
Ask that question again in a week and that number may be different. What can be said for certainty is that interest rates are still at historic lows and there are certain factors that depend on your individual situation that will dictate the rate you will qualify for.
A lender would be better qualified to answer this question, but here are a few things that can affect what interest rate you could qualify for. First, a good credit score is important and shows the lender that you are serious about your finances. But don’t let what you think is a low score keep you from talking with a lender, you might be surprised at the rate you could get. Second, is something called a Debt to Income Ratio. This is how much debt you have compared to how much you make. There are different ratios depending on what loan type you get. If you have a good credit score and a low Debt to Income Ration, you could be on your way to a better interest rate.
Not all third party sites update their information from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in a timely manner. A REALTOR® can recommend reliable websites for your searches or he can automate property searches from the MLS database directly to your inbox, based on the criteria you give him.
This depends on a few things. The lender will advise on their average time it takes to close. Some are 30-35 days and others are 45 days. If repairs are needed, they are usually done before the closing date. But if the seller needs more time, an extension would have to be agreed upon, for example, extend the closing for 15 days until repairs are completed. Just keep in mind that these are extraordinary times, so again, be flexible.
Real estate is very localized and what may be true for other parts of the country may not be true for the San Antonio area. Especially if they are using an average of all states in their calculations. Your REALTOR® can tell you about local market statistics (see San Antonio Area Market Statistics at the top of the Home page).