Thursday, February 11, 2016

Buying a Home with YOUR San Antonio REALTOR Rosa Thelma Garza

Selling your Home with YOUR San Antonio REALTOR Rosa Thelma Garza

4 Cleaning Solutions You Never Heard Of

4 Cleaning Solutions You Never Heard Of

As we become more and more aware about the effects of household chemicals on our health and on the environment, it is becoming easier than ever to find alternatives to using store-bought cleaning supplies. Most of the commercially produced products contain chemicals like ammonia and bleach, and even though they clean well they can damage the nervous and respiratory systems and be harmful to both your family and your pets.

With a few simple ingredients and a little time, you can make your own cleaning supplies that not only reduce the number of toxic substances in your home but will even save you money.

Most of the non-toxic cleaning supplies use the same basic ingredients such as castile soap, white vinegar, baking soda and essential oils. For baking soda and vinegar, consider stocking up on larger sizes of these items from either a restaurant supply store or a warehouse store — not only is it more economical, but once you start making your cleaners at home, you will want to be able to refill your supply easily.

1. Granite Cleaner

  • 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol
  • 3 drops of castile soap
  • 1 cup water
  • 5-10 drops of essential oils (for scent)
  • Put the rubbing alcohol into a 16 oz spray bottle. Add the soap, essential oil and water. Shake to combine.

2. Toilet Bowl Cleaner

  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 8 - 10 drops tea-tree or melaleuca essential oil
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • Pour the baking soda directly into the toilet bowl, then add oil, then vinegar. Let sit for 10 minutes and scrub with toilet brush.

3. Soft Scrub

  • Make this in small batches and store in an airtight container so that it does not dry out between uses.
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup castile soap
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Combine the baking soda and soap. Add the water and stir to make a paste-like consistency. Use a sponge to scoop out the scrub and use to clean tile, sinks and other hard surfaces.

4. Oven Cleaner

  • 1 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1/2 cup washing soda
  • Filtered water (to make a thin paste)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 10 drops melaleuca oil
  • Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature possible and then turn it off.
  • Mix baking soda, sea salt, and washing soda in a small bowl. Add melaleuca oil then add vinegar to the mixture — it will fizz a little. Slowly add water until you have a thin enough paste to spread in your oven. Leave the paste in the oven overnight and wipe it out in the morning.

With a few ingredients and a little ingenuity, it is inexpensive and easy to make at home a non-toxic version of these common (and most chemical-laden) cleaning products.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What People Say About Your Home When You're Not There

What People Say About Your Home When You're Not There

If you're putting your home on market, you're probably dying to know what home buyers will have to say as they tour your property. While you hope there'll be nothing but oohs and aahs, that's not always the case.

Just so you know what potential buyers are really thinking when you're not there, we asked Realtors to reveal some of the most noteworthy -- and cringeworthy -- statements they've overheard as potential buyers inspect the goods. Wince, take note, and act accordingly.

'What's that smell?'

When Heather Witt Leikin, a real estate adviser at The Partners Trust, was asked about a home's odor recently during a tour, she had what she thought was a logical answer: The smell was of carpet cleaner, because the owners had just cleaned the rugs for the showings. Sure they looked nice, but the smell was harsh, nasty even -- so much so that the buyer said, "I could never live here" and scrammed. Odious odors, by far, top the list of things home buyers comment on. Here are some of their favorite things to say:

Saturday, February 6, 2016

How much house can you afford? Two easy ways to tell.

How much house can you afford? Two easy ways to tell.

Buying your first home is an exciting process, but it’s not just about finding the features you want. If you’re like most people, price plays a major role in your decision. After all, even if you feel confident that you can afford a property, you’ll still have to convince a lender.
All lenders have unique lending guidelines, but they usually include some of the same key benchmarks. Here are two metrics they’ll use to decide how large a loan to issue you:

Top 5 Mistakes of Mortgage Shoppers

Top 5 Mistakes of Mortgage Shoppers


Mortgage shopping can be an overwhelming experience for first-time homebuyers, and is not a walk in the park even for the experienced buyer. As you go through the mortgage shopping process, consider these top five errors that can trip up any homebuyer:


1. Not Paying Attention to Your Credit Rating – A poor credit score can result in a higher interest rate, or perhaps not qualifying for a loan at all. Check your credit well before you begin mortgage shopping to allow time for you to fix any errors or repair your credit.

You are able to get one free credit report each year from each of the reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Check the report for any errors or false accounts that could be damaging your credit. However, the free reports do not give


It’s Finally Getting Easier to Get The Best Kind of Mortgage

It’s Finally Getting Easier to Get The Best Kind of Mortgage


That means cheaper rates

It’s no secret millions of millennials and Gen Xers are having trouble buying homes. But here’s some good news on that front: It just a got a little easier for these and other buyers to qualify for so-called prime mortgages, loans that go to the highest quality borrowers.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Millennials wanted in the housing industry

Millennials wanted in the housing industry

Housing market experts predict a rising number of millennials will buy homes in the coming years as their careers stabilize and more of them begin to marry and start a family.

Yet, according to the National Association of Realtors, the median age of its members is 57. The average age of a loan officer is 54, according to Mortgage Professional America, a news outlet that covers the mortgage and finance industry.


Six important things to know about the 2016 housing market

Six important things to know about the 2016 housing market

Buying a home is still part of the American dream.

According to a survey from Trulia, 75% of Americans dream of owning a home, up 1% from 2015. This dream is even more pressing among Millennials because 80% of those surveyed would like to buy a home — and 31% would like to do so by 2018.

Whether you're looking to buy a home this year or already own one, there are important factors that will affect your investment. Here are the six important things you need to know about the housing market in 2016.