I'll be using this space for updates, notes of interest and other things that catch my interest, that I feel may catch your interest too!  Spend some time looking around the page, and sign up for an email list.  You can get market updates, search for homes around Boerne, Fair Oaks Ranch and the San Antonio metro.  Let me know if I can do something for you anytime.  Just call or text me at 210-478-8555 or feel free to email me!  

July 6, 2020

Learn About Your Local Neighborhood -- Or One You're Considering

Welcome to Neighborhood360, a comprehensive research tool that gives you essential information about your neighborhood. Start by typing in the address, and you'll get a helpful report. 

But that's just the beginning! Here's a list of what you get with Neighborhood360:

  • A sampling of recent sales in the area.
  • Cost-of-living data.
  • The median income for the neighborhood.
  • Commuting info.
  • Detailed school reports.
  • A list of local restaurants.

With all this information, it's like having your own private team in the Census Bureau, town hall, and tourism office!

How does this work? Neighborhood360 uses software to access databases about the neighborhood you're living in--or thinking of moving to.

So write in an address below, and get started on your explorations.

 
SAVE

Select the type of report you wish to receive and then provide address and/or location details in the relevant form field

Learn the truth about an area or property

 
Posted in General Realestate
July 5, 2020

Houseplants to Create Serenity

Houseplants not only enhance a home’s décor but also can create a feeling of serenity in the home. Whether you’re just starting to decorate with plants or greenery already covers every square inch of your home, there is an ideal plant for you. The following are our favorite indoor houseplants. Some of these cactus-like plants make the perfect addition to any Texas home. 

Snake Plants

These tall, spiky plants are ideal for low-light environments. This makes them a great choice for beginners. Another feature is that this low-maintenance plant can be pretty much neglected and still look fairly hearty.

Spider Plants

Another low-maintenance houseplant is the spider plant. These plants are great for hanging in windows as new growth will fall from the mother plant like spiders from a web. If they have bright but indirect sun and well-drained soil, they’ll be very easy to care for.

Succulents

Nothing beats a succulent for ease of care. These plants, which are related to cactus, are great indoor plants for windowsills. They don’t require a lot of water and plenty of resources online can show you how to care for them properly.

Bamboo

Be careful not to plant bamboo outdoors where it can quickly get out of control, but an indoor bamboo plant will require little care. Bamboo was a popular indoor plant for a long time because it was so easy to care for. Outdoors, they can make great natural fences, but they do grow fast and are invasive.

Aloe Vera

Although we’ve touched on succulents, aloe vera deserves a mention of its own. This plant is not only easy to take care of indoors but also has a lot of household uses as well. Have you ever burned your finger on a hot pan? Cutting off a stalk of aloe vera does not hurt the plant and a squeeze of the gel inside will soothe the burn.

Call us today for more information about finding your next home to fill with houseplants- 210.478.8555

 

Posted in lifestyle
July 4, 2020

Happy Independence Day! Wishing You a Sparkling 4th of July

 

Happy 4th Of July
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday this 4th of July!

"Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of man, and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die." ~President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Welcome!

Posted in lifestyle
July 3, 2020

Property Estimates Plus a Lot of Extras with Online Program

Welcome to our interactive feature: an automated valuation model (AVM) tool. An AVM uses software to issue estimated values for a given property, based on the latest local data. The result is a mathematically generated home value range based on proprietary information. (More information about AVMs can be found online.) It's simple to use: Just type in the address, and you'll get a value range for the selected property.

But that's just the beginning! You get much more, such as:

  • The median income for the neighborhood.
  • A list of recent sales near the selected property.
  • Nearby shopping information.
  • School district information.

Fill out the form below to get started!

 
SAVE

Provide a valid home address and submit the form to receive a valuation report on this property. 

Learn more about the value of your property!

 
Posted in General Realestate
July 2, 2020

Buying Your First Texas Home

You’re going for it – you are finally ready to purchase your first home. So, what should you do to prepare? A year before you put down an offer on your first home, you’ll want to ensure that you have taken these four steps. From organizing documents to scoping out the neighborhoods you are considering, you’ll want to make the home buying process as easy as possible by being prepared.
 
Check Your Credit

Is your credit in tip-top shape? Do you need to pay a few bills down to increase your score? You should address this a year before you purchase your first home to make sure that your credit score is high enough to qualify for the interest rate you want. 

Your credit score is what determines if you qualify for a loan and what your interest rate will be. The better the credit score you have, the lower your interest rate on your mortgage will be. Give yourself a year to make sure that your credit score is in good shape.
 
Organize Documents

When you apply for a mortgage loan, you will need two recent pay stubs, your previous two W-2’s, your tax returns and your past two months’ bank statements. Purchasing a home can be a lengthy process, but you can make it easier and more efficient if you gather this information sooner rather than later.
 
Determine Your Down Payment

You’ll need to determine how much your budget allows for a mortgage and how much you can afford for a down payment. By determining this a year ahead of time, you have time to save for the down payment and potentially be able to put even more down. The more money you can offer upfront, the better interest rate you’ll receive as well. This shows the bank that you are a serious buyer.
 
Scope out Neighborhoods

Do some research to determine which neighborhoods you may want to live in. Which are located in the best school districts? Is the neighborhood close to amenities and convenient for transportation? Are your neighbors too close for comfort? Is there an HOA fee? What is the crime rate in the area? Make sure to answer these questions beforehand so that you can focus only on homes that are in the neighborhoods you want to be in. As they always say…location, location, location.

For a detailed run-down of all the items and logistics you must consider before purchasing your first home, please do not hesitate to give me a call- 210.478.8555

July 1, 2020

Home Office Deductions: A Refresher on the Rules

The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) allows taxpayers to claim a business deduction for expenses arising from the qualified use of all or part of a residence, as long as certain conditions are met. This deduction can be a particularly attractive tax planning tool for those who meet one of the following requirements:

  • The home office is the taxpayer's principal place of business. A home office must be used regularly and exclusively to conduct business. Consequently, working on the kitchen table (which is also used for purposes other than work) doesn't qualify, but a desk set up in a bedroom might.
  • The home office is where the taxpayer meets patients, clients, or customers in the regular course of business. This can be difficult to assess if the taxpayer operates out of different locations. In such cases, the IRS will look at things like the amount of time spent at the location. To assess where the principal place of business is, if a taxpayer has multiple work locations, consider the relative importance of the activities conducted in each location, the amount of time spent there, and whether another fixed location might compete as the principal place where work is done.
  • A separate structure not attached to the dwelling and used in connection with the business may qualify.
  • If the dwelling is the only fixed location of the taxpayer's business, a space within it that is used regularly to store the business's inventory or product samples may qualify as a home office.

These considerations generally apply to the self-employed, because employees who work from home are not entitled to claim a home office deduction even if the employer requires the employee to maintain a home office. (The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated employees' ability to deduct unreimbursed job-related expenses paid with personal funds as miscellaneous itemized deductions.)

The following is something of an exception to this rule: if the employer sets up an "accountable plan," which reimburses workers for business expenses, that reimbursement is not counted as income, and it is not subject to withholding or reported on the employee's W-2. When setting up the plan, the employer must (1) ensure that reimbursed expenses are business-related, (2) substantiate the expenses within a reasonable period and (3) make sure that any unspent funds are returned to the employer within a reasonable period.

This means that to avoid raising red flags for the IRS that can result in the plan being treated as a nonaccountable plan, the business owner must set up the plan carefully, fully document all associated expenses and comply with any limitations or restrictions associated with deductible expenses.

Ultimately, the point is that an accountable plan is a simple way to shift the deductibility of business expenses from the employee to the employer and offers the ability to mitigate tax liability by allowing business owners to choose which expenses are reimbursable and which employees will be eligible to submit reimbursements. These rules can get complicated, so be sure to work with a professional on these, and all home office tax issues. Call us today- 210.478.8555

Posted in lifestyle
June 30, 2020

Home Office Design Trends for a New World

Home office design trends continue to grow and develop as the work-at-home trends themselves change. Home offices are no longer the exclusive domain of the fortunate few. The pandemic forced countless office workers into home offices, and for many, the change will become permanent, especially with many Texas cities creating new stay at home orders. 

Personalized setups for home productivity zones can vary from a laptop on an upcycled occasional table with a vintage overstuffed chair to an elaborately devised schematic with multifunctioning components for storage and display spaces.

What is right for your situation? Consider some of the ideas below.
 
Personalizing Productivity
 
Before adopting any of the latest buzzwords of design like "shedquarters" or "homework bars," we advise that you set the overall intention for the workspace. Will it be a dedicated industrial section of the home or will it have multiple uses?
 
Once the definition of the quarters takes shape, you can structure the appointments accordingly.
 
For digital natives, physical storage might not be a requirement thanks to scanning and cloud space. Those who deal in tangible products might want product organizers or a visible timeline of current or past offerings.
 
In those instances where the room works before and after the sun sets, furniture might need to perform as functional as well as welcoming.
 
Clearing the Decks
 
Renovating is the ideal excuse to make a decision on everything in the current configuration. Do you need those seven empty bookshelves? Is it time to replace the chair with only three wheels? Act with the goal of minimizing for the present in mind, as clutter is the antithesis of performance.
 
Space is a valuable commodity; make sure your furnishings are contributing and not simply collecting dust. Look around and see how you can increase productivity by improving functionality. A highly operational space will naturally lead to a better-flowing working environment. 
 
Revamping With Purpose
 
Now that the slate is clean and the objective is clear, it's time to begin determining the "what and where" for your home office. One trend in domestic commerce that translates regardless of personal taste is the modular component.
 
Contemporary furniture designers are moving away from built-ins and whittling their way toward utility-plus-versatility construction. Home office occupants can assemble shelving, desk space and cabinets that all fit together in one command center or disengage to fulfill an on-demand project.
 
Multitasking With Fixtures
 
Electronics are shrinking thanks to efficiencies in technology, but their sphere of influence is expanding. Now you can have a computer monitor double as a television, rule your empire from a laptop and cut all cords (literally going wireless) when printing out professional materials.
 
Arranging the decor of your new home office can follow suit in efficiency as mobility is as useful as a charging station. Give some thought to your situation, your space, and the technology you will need--and plan accordingly.

Posted in lifestyle
June 27, 2020

The Arbors at Fair Oaks Ranch Model Home

Video tour of the beautiful Coventry Homes Model Home in the new Fair Oaks Ranch neighborhood, The Arbors. Contact Charley Wasson for a tour! Browse other Boerne homes at www.myboernehomes.com 210-478-8555

 

June 26, 2020

Kitchen Layout Trends for Today

You’re probably familiar with the traditional “triangle” layout. You want the things you use in your kitchen to be an easy reach. The sink, the stove and the refrigerator have long made up this triad of important kitchen locals. But you can pursue other options. Consider some of the following popular layout trends.

Reduce Traffic

Because most people tend to congregate in the kitchen, it’s important to create a space that reduces rather than exacerbates traffic. If the kitchen is the main entry point for the home, ensure that it has a dedicated space, like a mudroom or even a corner, where your family can remove shoes and hang up coats, so things don’t become cluttered.

Kitchen Islands

The kitchen island remains a popular trend for many homes, especially those with an open concept. If you have space for one, an island can increase the efficiency of your kitchen — but only if used correctly. Ample space is needed between the island and the countertops to allow for a person to use both spaces comfortably.

Sink Placement

Where you place your sink is a huge consideration for your kitchen design. Whether it’s on the island or the center of your counter, you will spend a lot of time at the sink. Ensure that it is easy to access from your cooking triangle. If it's not on an island, the most common location for a sink is in front of a window.

Keep Storage in Mind

Your kitchen, more than anything, needs to be functional. This can’t be done without ample storage. When designing your kitchen for the perfect layout, consider small appliance storage, a pantry and access to dishes, cutlery and pots and pans. How you organize storage space is as important as how much of it you have.

Call us today to talk about your dream kitchen layout.

Posted in lifestyle
June 25, 2020

Need Help Staging Your Home?

Home staging is one of the most cost-effective tricks to selling your home faster. It helps prospective buyers see the home's potential. Many buyers find it hard to see the bigger picture if they are touring a home that is empty, which is why home staging has become so popular when selling homes. 

Check out these five best practices for home staging to help you sell your home quicker.
 
Remove Your Personal Items 
 
There shouldn't be any personal items out when a buyer comes to view your home. Remove photographs, calendars, children's artwork, and so on. Having these personal items out indicates that the house belongs to someone else and makes it harder for buyers to envision themselves living in the home. You need buyers to be able to see themselves living in the property, and this is tough to do if there are constant reminders of another family living in the home. Make it simple – remove your personal items and give buyers a clean slate.
 
Clean Often
 
A part of home staging is ensuring that your home is pristine. Think about the model homes you have viewed and how clean they were – your home should look the same. Your potential buyers will want to look at every part of your home closely to make sure that rooms such as the kitchen and bathrooms are gleaming. Clean your windows regularly and hire a cleaner to keep your home clean while your home is on the market and people are viewing it.
 
Maximize Space
 
Space is a huge property seller. The more spacious and open your property feels, the more buyers are going to like it. Professional stagers suggest removing 50% of the furniture in each room along with de-cluttering your home. Clutter just crowds the room and makes it appear smaller. Remove any rugs as well, as they break up the floor area and make it look small. Less is more when it comes to furniture in your staged home.
 
Add Plenty of Light
 
Natural light is a key feature many buyers look for in a new home. No one wants to buy a home with dark and dingy rooms, because it will make the house appear smaller and dull. If you don't get a lot of natural light flowing in, you'll need to add lamps and light fixtures to brighten up your home. Even if you are showing your home during the day, leave the lights on to heighten the brightness. Placing mirrors on walls opposite of windows will also help reflect light throughout the room.
 
Stage Minimally
 
You don't need to stage every bedroom in your home. The key rooms to stage are the kitchen, bathrooms, living room and the master bedroom. Guest rooms don't need to be staged, as buyers are specifically looking at the rooms that will get the most use.

For help getting your home stage-ready, call or email me today.