For a first time home buyer, there are many down payment assistance programs that are available. It is important for a buyer to select a loan officer and a REALTOR® who are knowledgeable in these programs so that a buyer can participate if eligible. Most of these programs do have income, credit and family size criteria and you usually will have to take a home buyer education course (either online or in person). The City of San Antonio’s Department of Planning & Community Development has a great Housing Incentive Program (HIP). They have just announced the maximum sales price for a pre-existing home has been increased to $150,000 and a new construction’s sales price has been increased up to $200,000! The home must be located in the City of San Antonio and meet some condition requirements. A buyer can get up to $12,000 in assistance!
Be sure to check with your lender or REALTOR® about qualification guidelines as program requirements and/or sales prices may change. For more info on HIP and other city funded programs, check out the City of San Antonio’s Affordable Housing Policy
As a proud San Antonian, I look forward to celebrating Fiesta each year like many others. Fiesta is typically a 2 week celebration dating back to the Battle of San Jacinto in 1891 composed of parades, food, and overall pachangas. We have our Fiesta traditions (such as sitting in the same spot each year for the King William parade, attending NIOSA on opening night, dancing crazily to the high school bands during the Fiesta Flambeau) and have just barely discovered another Fiesta tradition-MEDALS!
I have always seen medals on the Fiesta royalty and a few people with those sashes filled with them but thought you just had to “be someone” to get one or pay a small fortune. My husband is given a TMMTX medal each year and after 8 years, I figured that I had enough that I could start pinning on a sash. My medal obsession had officially begun. I went to Amols and made a $5 investment for a blue sash and starting pinning my few medals on.
Once I had decided to try and be on the lookout for them, I realized EVERYONE has a medal to give out! Corporations, individuals, non-profits, politicians and of course, Fiesta royalty. And a lot of them are FREE! Liberty Bar had an event where the first 100 people to come would get one. Pin Pandemonium, held on Fiesta’s opening day, is a day to grab some freebies and trade with fellow medal enthusiasts. I learned that many companies produce their own medals. Some are exclusive to employees such as TMMTX, Whataburger and HEB (I got my hands on 2 of the three). Other company/organizations use the medals to raise monies or bring attention to their causes such as the Canolli Fund and Beethoven Maennerchor.
I have to admit Fiesta has gotten a lot more exciting since I have been on the hunt for Fiesta medals. Here are some basic tips I have learned as a first-time collector:
1.Social Media. I was surprised at the amount of contests on instagram, facebook and twitter that are offered a medal as a prize. I posted a few pics of my medal haul and some of my thoughtful friends even got some for me.
2. If you get the opportunity to score duplicates, keep one and trade the others! Or just trade them all you are not particularly attached. Some of these experienced traders are specifically looking for the current year or certain themed medals.
3. ASK! I saw people wearing Fiesta medals and I asked if they had any trades. Some did and others just gave me some. It seemed like there were a lot of people whose sole job was to pass out their medals from their organization. It was fun to see everyone’s collections and hear the tale on their medal acquisition. At NIOSA, I saw a man wearing a Whataburger shirt and I asked if he happened to have any medals. Score!
4. Wear your medals proudly! I actually had people come up to me and give me a medal for my collection. Woohoo!
There are a few days left of Fiesta left which means more time to get more medals! What do you think of fiesta medals and are you collecting?
I love looking and selling historic homes. They just do not make them like they used to! Features such as hardwood floors, high ceilings, and built-in ironing boards are some of my favorite characteristics in older homes. Check out this 2 bedroom, 1 bath home in the charming Highland Park neighborhood. It was built in the 1940’s.
I recently found out that there are 5 dog parks in San Antonio. I gave myself the personal challenge of visiting each one to see which one Toby & Roxy liked best. Today, we ventured to the city’s southwest part of town and visited Pearsall Park. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. The sun was out but the cool breeze made it super comfortable to be outside. The park was clean and there were dogs of all shapes and sizes enjoying themselves with their owners. Roxy doesn’t always get along with other dogs so only Toby got to enjoy the park today. He had a blast. Dogs are so easy to please.
Wow, San Antonio’s real estate market is booming! The San Antonio Board of REALTORS® is reporting lower DOM’s (days on the market), higher prices and increased number of sales for March 2013. These stats are reflective of the increasing amount of home buyers deciding that now is the time to act. Interest rates are not going to be at these historic lows forever. This may be your time to buy too!
I had the honor of attending a wedding at the beautiful and historic San Fernando Cathedral over this past weekend. What made the wedding even more special was that my younger brother was the groom! My family has deep roots in San Antonio with my great great grandparents having been married in the same Cathedral in 1891.
Located in San Antonio’s Main Plaza, San Fernando is hailed as Texas’ oldest cathedral. Despite my frequent downtown visits, I have never ventured inside the Cathedral until the wedding rehearsal.
Opening the large wooden doors of this 18th century, Gothic structure, my mind immediately thought of all the masses, baptisms, weddings and funerals held over the years. In researching the Cathedral’s background, I have even read there are the remains of the Alamo defenders buried under the sanctuary railing. San Fernando exudes wonderful history!
During my brother’s wedding ceremony, the grand organ on the upper balcony filled the room with harmonious notes. The Cathedral’s high ceilings are breathtaking and the stained glass windows throughout allow the sun to brighten the room.
The walls are lined with prayer candles from both, the very active parishioners and tourists that come to visit. My brother and his new bride had married in one of the prettiest churches I had ever been to.
San Fernando Cathedral is nowhere near the size of Notre-Dame de Paris or St. Peter’s Basilica but it still has its own distinct beauty that is quintessential of Texas. Whether you are a tourist or a local, San Fernando Cathedral is worth the visit.
Thank you to the bride and groom, Carlos and Mari, for the opportunity to finally visit one of San Antonio’s treasures.
Wishing you both a lifetime of happiness
For more info about San Fernando, check out: