Expert Advice Part 2: Homes for Sale in Alpine, TX

Are you a first-time home buyer? Has it been a long time since you’ve looked at homes for sale in Alpine, TX? Whether the process is entirely new to you or you’re a little rusty on the workings of the real estate market, we’re here to help.

Use the following FAQs to guide your home search and your home buying process. Don’t be shy about asking the right questions that will properly prepare you and lead you to the ideal home for you and your family.

What can I expect during the home buying process?

Your realtor is an excellent resource. As you begin your search of homes for sale in Alpine, TX, sit down with a real estate agent to discuss the process. Your agent can walk you through what to expect as you search, make offers, negotiate, close and move. Don’t miss out on their valuable input that will make the entire process less overwhelming for you.

How will my real estate agent know what I’m looking for?

A real estate agent is not a mind reader. Communicate openly and clearly with your agent to let them know exactly what you’re looking for in a home. Then, the agent can apply their expert knowledge of the market and their access to available listings to connect you with suitable homes to view.

How much can I afford?

Obviously, your budget is key when looking at homes for sale in Alpine, TX. Don’t forget to include all of the costs in the equation. You’ll need a down payment, plus ongoing funds for taxes, maintenance and insurance, in addition to the mortgage payment. Don’t push your budget to the limit. Always allow for unplanned expenses.

Should I speak with a lender?

It’s always best to meet with a lender before you start looking at homes for sale in Alpine, TX. The loan officer will review your credit and available funds and can pre-approve you for the loan amount for which you qualify. This will guide your home search and prevent you from falling in love with something that it turns out you can’t afford. It will also strengthen any offers you make on homes for sale in Alpine, TX, as the sellers will know you are a serious, qualified buyer.

What should I look for during my home search?

As you look at various homes for sale in Alpine, TX, a few tips are helpful. Consider the neighborhood as well as the home itself. Research the school district. Visit the home at different times of day. Immediately following an offer acceptance, perform a home inspection to reveal any potential concerns. Before closing, always do a final walk-through. Again, your real estate agent will be with you to make sure you take these necessary steps that protect your interests and make the process as smooth as possible.

Ready to Shop?

If you’re ready to start shopping for homes for sale in Alpine, TX, contact the team at Carpenter Real Estate. We’ve sold over 1 million acres in Alpine and the surrounding area. An industry leader since 1947, Carpenter Real Estate specializes in residential properties. Our vast knowledge and experience make us the go-to source for all your real estate needs.

Expert Advice, Part 1: Buying Land for Sale in Alpine, TX

Do you have your eye on a piece of property? Are you looking for land for sale in Alpine, TX? Before you jump into the process of buying land, it’s important to understand a few things. You should know what questions to ask, how to prepare for land ownership and development and what to watch out for as you choose the land for sale in Alpine, TX.

Use the following guide to educate yourself on this topic. Armed with this information, you’ll be better equipped to purchase land for sale in Alpine, TX.

Consider Zoning

What are your future plans for the land for sale in Alpine, TX? While it may be possible to have certain properties rezoned, this isn’t always the case. If you hope to build a business on the property, make sure it is zoned for commercial use or that commercial zoning is a possibility. The same goes for residential. Keep in mind that rezoning can be a hassle, so it’s best to simply buy a property that is already earmarked for the use you have in mind.

Get a Survey

If you’re seriously considering land for sale in Alpine, TX, you should get a new survey. The current owner may provide one, but you should get your own. This will ensure the survey is up to date and accurate. A survey can provide the boundaries of the land, the topography and information about structures on the property. It can also identify any easements or encroachments that you should be aware of on the property.

Check for Risks

Due diligence is important to identify any environmental concerns on the property. Before you buy land for sale in Alpine, TX, be sure to order an assessment of the environmental conditions. You’ll want to know how the property was used in the past and perform all necessary tests to clear yourself of any liability.

Review Access

Can you access major roads from the property? How difficult will it be to install utilities on the land for sale in Alpine, TX? Keep these factors in mind as you weigh the price and location of the real estate. It might be priced low for a reason.

Work with a Pro

A real estate agent who is experienced in buying and selling land for sale in Alpine, TX can be a very valuable source during this process. Partnering with a professional realtor is ideal when you’re looking for land. This agent will help you avoid pitfalls and assist you in finding a piece of land that is ideal for your needs.

Let’s Get Started

Would you like to find out more about land for sale in Alpine, TX? If you’re ready to get started on your property search, contact the pros at Carpenter Real Estate. Since 1947, Carpenter Real Estate has sold over 1 million acres in Alpine and the surrounding areas. Our vast knowledge and experience make Carpenter Real Estate the first place to go to for any and all real estate needs.

Make Upgrades to Improve Home Value in Alpine, TX Before Selling

Like any homeowner, you want to sell your home for the best price possible. You know your home could use some updating and upgrading to fetch a higher price, but you’re not sure where to invest your dollars. What will provide the best ROI? Realtors in Alpine, TX specialize in answering these types of questions.

Use the following tips to improve home value in Alpine, TX and get the most from the sale of your home. For additional guidance on your home sale, consult with experienced realtors in Alpine, TX.

Kitchens and Bathrooms Sell Homes

These spaces top the list for buyers. If you’re going to invest your dollars somewhere, start here. In the kitchen, you probably don’t have to completely remodel the space to make it more appealing. A few minor changes can add to home value in Alpine, TX. If appliances are outdated, consider updating them. If cabinets are out of style or need some TLC, you can often replace just the doors, paint the cabinets or add new hardware to create a fresh look. New countertops can also change the entire look of a kitchen without requiring any other remodeling.

In the bathroom, look at what you can do to make the space feel sparkling clean. Make sure there is plenty of light. Consider replacing faucets or other fixtures if they are dingy and worn. Keep in mind that a fresh coat of paint can often work wonders for any space.

Buyers Like More Space

Another important aspect of adding home value in Alpine, TX is the square footage of the home. This includes the layout of those square feet—not just the total amount. Consider how you can make the best use of the space in the home. Finishing the basement or adding a bathroom can add value. Sometimes, simply labeling a room as a “flex space” can make the home more appealing. For example, a first-floor room could be a den, game room or guest room.

As you prep your home for sale, it’s also worth putting some effort into your storage spaces. This might not even cost you anything but time. Clear out all clutter to show off your home rather than your stuff. Make closets, pantries, basements, attics and other storage areas look as big as possible.

Fresh and Neutral Is Ideal

Is your favorite color orange? Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with you. If you painted your master bathroom in a lovely shade of “volcano burst,” you might want to repaint to increase your home value in Alpine, TX. Neutral shades of beige and gray are typically more appealing to more buyers.

Even if your paint choices are neutral, you might want to freshen things up. If it’s been a while since your walls saw a new coat, a fresh paint job can really brighten up the space and make it more inviting. Consult with realtors in Alpine, TX to determine which rooms might need repainting.

Boost Your Bottom Line

The best way to improve home value in Alpine, TX is to partner with a realtor for the sale of your home. Realtors in Alpine, TX can advise you about what upgrades make the most sense for your market. If you’re considering selling your home, contact the team at Carpenter Real Estate today for a consultation.

8 Things to Inspect When Buying a Home

Home Inspections in Alpine, TX and What to Look for When Buying a New Home

If you’re new to the home buying process, you might not be familiar with home inspections. This is an important part of the transaction. The home inspection should reveal any concerns that could prove costly down the line. It allows the buyers the opportunity to take a closer look at the property they are about to purchase, and negotiate with the seller to make repairs or provide credits to cover the costs of any work that will be needed on the home.

Of course, you must first know what to look for during the home inspection. Use the following guide to ensure your inspection is thorough. Realtors can also assist you with setting up the inspection and following up on any concerns it reveals:

  • Top: Your inspection should include an overview of the roof. What is the overall condition of the roof? How old is the roof?
  • Bottom: The inspection should include the foundation of the home. Look for cracks, shifts and any potential issues with trees. Be sure to check both inside and outside.
  • Sides: What is the general condition of the walls of the home? Check the drywall for large cracks and any signs of leaks. Do the same for the floors.
  • Below: If the home has a basement or crawl space, it is essential that the inspection include a thorough review of these areas. Look for dampness, proper insulation and cracks in walls.
  • Above: You may never use the attic, but it’s important to check it out anyway. Look at the roof structure from here. Check for leaks or pest infestations.
  • Inside: All interior systems should be checked during home inspections. Look at plumbing, electrical, HVAC, appliances (if they are being sold with the home) and windows. Check all systems for proper operation. Confirm when the HVAC system was last serviced by a qualified technician.
  • Outside: Check gutters and downspouts for proper attachment and flow. Look for any areas on the exterior that need repair. Be sure to review the condition of the lot as well. Does the landscaping provide proper drainage? Are there any safety concerns? Look at the condition of any outdoor structures, such as fences, sheds, pools and decks.
  • Within: In addition to inspecting the major structural components and systems of the home, examine the various features and fixtures. Look at the condition of cabinets, counters, vanities, light fixtures, fireplaces and any other amenities that are featured in the home. While the inspection does not encompass style and aesthetic choices, you should note whether there are any safety or repair concerns with any of these items.

Partner with a Pro

Buying a home is one of the most significant purchases you will ever make. It’s important to have a professional in your corner to help walk you through this process. When it’s time for home inspections in Alpine, your expert real estate agents at Carpenter Real Estate provide the insight you need. Since 1947, Carpenter Real Estate has sold over 1 million acres in Alpine and the surrounding areas. We are your go-to real estate agency in Alpine. Reach out to us today!

When Can I Back Out if I Change My Mind About Buying a House?

If you are planning on buying a home soon, or are already in the process of buying one, then it is natural to feel a bit of trepidation. After all, buying a home is the biggest purchase that most people will make in their lifetimes, so of course you are going to wonder whether you’ve made the right decision.

If you put a lot of thought into the decision before beginning the process of purchasing your home, then you probably do not have anything to worry about. While you may experience some last-minute anxiety, those fears will soon fade away once you move into your new home and fall in love with it.

But sometimes, you might have a legitimate reason for wanting to back out of a real estate deal at the last minute. As a real estate agent in Alpine, TX, we have seen it happen before. Here is an overview of some reasons why people need to back out at the last minute, and how it works.

Why you’re backing out

When people need to back out of buying a home, their reason usually falls into one of two categories: either their life plans or situation has suddenly changed, or something is wrong with the house.

That first category can include things like the death of a loved one, a sudden unexpected breakup or divorce or a change in your job or income level. When one of these things occurs, most people are willing to part with a bit of their upfront cash to get out of the larger responsibility of buying a house.

When it comes to the second category, final inspections can sometimes reveal problems with a home that were not already evident. In this case, there might be a chance you can walk away from the deal without losing a dime.

Contingencies and loopholes

When backing out of a real estate deal during an escrow period, you will probably lose some of the “upfront money,” generally equal to two or three percent of the total home value. But if a final inspection brings new, negative information about the home to light, then there will likely be a contingency in your contract that you can use to get rid of any obligation on your end.

“Subject to appraisal” is another contingency you ought to put in your purchase agreement. If a bank or other lender does not determine that the home is worth what you initially agreed to pay, then you might be able to get away scot-free.

Ask your realtor

At the end of the day, the process for backing out of a real estate deal will depend on your unique situation. That is why it is so important to have a real estate agent in Alpine, TX whom you can trust to help you through every step of the process. Realtors know to expect the unexpected, so they are always prepared to deal with curveballs as they come up.

If you need a realtor’s expert advice, get in touch with Carpenter Real Estate today!

How Much Do I Need to Do to Prepare My Home Before Putting It on the Market?

Are you planning to put your home on the market sometime in the near future? Whether you are moving to a new town, upgrading, downsizing or moving in with your partner, a change in where you live is an exciting time—and it can also come with a lot of questions. If you are one of the millions of Americans who will sell a home this year, you might be wondering just how much you need to prepare it—and what exactly those preparations ought to entail—before you put your home on the market.

As a realtor in Alpine, TX, we know that selling a home can be overwhelming to many people, which is why we are here to help you as much as we can. To that end, here is an overview of how to prepare your home before putting it on the market.

Cleaning and arranging

When it comes to preparing your home for the market, you might be under the impression that you need to make it completely spotless and perfectly arranged. But that isn’t necessarily the case! In fact, depending on how desirable your home is, and what your current living situation is, you might be able to leave it more or less as-is while a realtor shows it to perspective buyers.

Of course, that is not going to be the case for everyone. If the home you are selling is more of a fixer-upper, then you might want to do what you can to encourage potential buyers to see the best aspects of it. This is where cleaning and staging come in. Consider hiring a cleaning service to get your home tidied up before you begin showing it. And if you aren’t sure your furniture is right for showing buyers, ask your realtor for help with staging it. A quality realtor in Alpine, TX will know exactly what needs to be done to get your home into buyer-ready shape.

At the end of the day, every home is different in terms of how it might look to potential buyers, and what can be done to spruce things up. If you are concerned that your home needs a lot of preparation, ask your realtor for advice—that is what they are there for!

Ask a realtor

Now that the time has come to put your home on the market, chances are you have a lot of questions about how the process works and what you need to do to prepare. Fortunately, you will not have to go through the ordeal alone—a realtor in Alpine, TX will be by your side every step of the way, helping ensure the process goes smoothly.

If you are looking for a quality realtor in the Alpine, TX area, then we invite you to get in touch with the team at Carpenter Real Estate. We take pride in providing our clients with helpful advice, and in being able to make any home look its best before it goes on the market. We look forward to helping you as well!

What Should I Look for in a Plot of Land for Sale in Alpine, TX?

Are you considering a property investment? Perhaps you dream of developing some farm land. Maybe you envision a home on a private plot in the country. Whatever your plans, it’s important to know what to look for as you consider land for sale in Alpine, TX.

As you search, negotiate and purchase, keep the following in mind. If you have any additional questions, reach out to your local real estate agent for assistance:

  • You’ll need some cash: Are you hoping to finance your land purchase? Keep in mind that banks typically aren’t interested in lending money for vacant land purchases. If you have a good relationship with a bank, you might be able to get around 40 percent of the value financed. It’s more likely that you will have to come up with the entire purchase price. However, if you plan to build on the land, you might have better luck obtaining a construction loan for the future structure.
  • Your surroundings are important: If you want to build your dream home on a plot of land, you have to consider where that land is located. Are the neighboring homes similar to what you hope to build? For loan approval, appraisals and future salability, you’ll want to keep your property in the same price range as its neighbors.
  • You should check out the condition: Don’t assume just because the view is pretty that the land is in good shape. Order environmental tests to check the soil for contaminants. Research the area for flooding history. Ask a surveyor to identify the boundaries to prevent surprises—encroachments are more common than you might think.
  • Your access matters: Does the land for sale in Alpine, TX offer access to roads and utilities? As you consider the price of the land, be sure to keep this in mind. Adding infrastructure can be a significant cost. Check to see if the property offers access to sewers, running water and electricity, as well as public roadways. You might decide that the remote location you valued for its privacy doesn’t have quite as much access as you desire.
  • You can’t always rezone: Are you hoping to rezone the land for sale in Alpine, TX? Before you dream too big, confirm whether or not you can use the land for the purposes you have in mind. Local ordinances and zoning laws may prohibit you from rezoning to your desires. Check all codes before you choose a piece of property, to ensure you can use it as you hope.

If you are considering the purchase of land for sale in Alpine, TX, don’t dive in alone. Your local real estate agent can help you find the best land for your needs and help you get it for the best price. Carpenter Real Estate has deep roots in the surrounding communities and three generations of experience to help you with your real estate transaction. As members of the Alpine Chamber of Commerce, the Texas Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors, we are your go-to source for real estate. Call us today for a free consultation!

Alpine, Texas Real Estate Forecast

2019 Real Estate Forecast from Your Real Estate Broker in Alpine, TX

If you’re considering buying or selling a home this year, you probably have your ear to the ground for any news pertaining to the real estate market. You want to know what you can expect regarding pricing, housing demands and interest rates. Your real estate broker in Alpine, TX can provide this information for you.

With a trained eye and ear, realtors can provide an overview of how the market is doing and what trends you are likely to see next. Following is an overview of the current forecast for Texas. For more details, contact your local real estate broker in Alpine, TX.

Housing Supply

The basic principle of supply and demand holds true for the housing market. When there aren’t enough houses to go around, prices increase. Looking at construction activity in Texas, we see that current construction activity hasn’t been higher since before 2007. However, this trend may take a slight dip by the end of the year, due to rising interest rates and the issuance of fewer multi-family permits at the end of 2018.

Housing Demand

Texas has seen several consecutive years of explosive housing market growth. Based on current demand, you can expect a flatter trajectory for 2019. The affordability of homes and rising interest rates have lessened the demand for homes under $300K. However, houses priced between $200K and $300K are still seeing significant activity, and homes under $200K are experiencing the shortest market time.

For market time, homeowners can expect an average between 40 and 60 days if a home is priced under $300K. Homes above $500K are experiencing market times of closer to 90 days.

Interest Rates

Texans are currently seeing the highest interest rates in seven years. These rates are affecting refinancing options and slowing new-purchase mortgage applications. However, compared to last year, the number of applications is higher.

Prices

Typically, the top question on the minds of both buyers and sellers is: “How much?” For housing prices in 2019, real estate brokers in Alpine, TX are seeing small rates of increase. These percentages, varying from 2.6 percent to 5.2 percent, are different throughout the state, with Dallas-Fort Worth leading the pack and Houston bringing up the rear.

For those focused on more exact dollar amounts, you’ll be interested to know that the median Texas home price is just over $235,000. Across all metropolitan areas of the state, median price per square foot has risen since last year. Thus, the trend for buyers has been moving toward smaller homes to adjust for this rising rate.

Learn More

If you’d like to discover more about your local real estate market, contact your real estate broker in Alpine, TX. At Carpenter Real Estate, we’ve been specializing in residential properties, commercial properties and ranches for three generations. We’ve sold over 1 million acres in the Alpine area. Our vast knowledge and experience make Carpenter Real Estate the first team to go to for any and all real estate needs in Alpine, Texas and the surrounding areas. Reach out to our experienced team today!

Do Houses Sell in the Winter? Here Are Some Tips to Help You Succeed with Your Sale

It’s no secret that winter isn’t the best time of year to sell your home. Buyers tend to purchase real estate in the spring and summer, when the weather is more favorable and there is less interference from the holiday season. However, while you might have a more difficult time selling in the winter, it’s not impossible. In fact, by learning a little bit more about winter real estate listings in Alpine, TX, you can ensure a successful selling experience.

There are a number of things that you can do to improve the appeal of your home on the market, but it’s important to keep in mind that you are unlikely to get as many offers as you might if you listed your home in the spring or summer. Unless you live in an especially popular neighborhood with a major demand for real estate, you will almost certainly receive fewer offers—and less competitive offers—in the winter than you would in the spring. If you need to sell quickly and you can’t wait for the spring, it’s important to invest some extra time and energy into creating an appealing listing for your home. Here are some tips:

  • Choose marketing photos carefully: If you have photos of your home from the spring or summer, it’s better to use those in your listing. Real estate listings in Alpine, TX with photos from springtime tend to perform better than those with photos from fall or winter.
  • Invest time into your home’s exterior: Your home’s exterior can make a powerful first impression on a prospective buyer, so make sure it’s a positive one. You should mow your grass and keep leaves raked up so that buyers can see your landscaping unhindered by debris and overgrowth.
  • Maintain your home’s systems: Furnaces and water heaters often break down during the winter months, so be proactive with your maintenance. Make sure that all of your systems are cared for and tuned up to avoid a maintenance disaster during an open house or showing.
  • Be prepared for less foot traffic: You are likely to get less attention from prospective buyers during the winter months. While you can still get an offer near your asking price during the wintertime from the right buyer, you shouldn’t expect the kind of competitive offers that are more common during the spring and summer.

At Carpenter Real Estate, we understand that it can be difficult to sell your home during the winter months, and that’s why we’re here to help you with effective real estate listings in Alpine, TX that can get your house the attention it deserves and help you close on a sale. No matter what the specifics of your property may be, our team would be happy to walk you through the listing process and ensure that you receive the best offer possible for your property. Learn more about all of our services and get started with your real estate listing by giving us a call today. We look forward to working with you soon!

4 Winter-time Alpine, TX Home Selling Tips

Tips from a Realtor in Alpine, TX for Selling Your Home in the Winter

Most buyers prefer to purchase their new homes in the spring and summer months, when the weather is bright, warm and sunny. However, just because winter isn’t always the best time of year for real estate doesn’t mean you can’t still successfully list and sell your home by taking the time to prepare accordingly. Winterizing your home allows you to ensure that your listing makes a splash on the market, even during the fall and winter months. Here are some tips from an Alpine Realtor:

  • Clean your home’s exterior and interior: First impressions are very important when it comes to selling your home, so make sure that your house is as appealing as possible to potential buyers. Wash your windows, clear leaves and debris off your roof and consider pressure washing your siding to scour away dirt and grime. You should also take time to clean inside your home. Sweep, mop or vacuum your floors and lay out a rug by the door to prevent guests from dragging outdoor debris through your home.
  • Keep things cozy: Nobody likes dealing with skyrocketing heating bills, but it’s worth it to splurge on a little extra energy to keep your home warm and inviting during open houses and property tours. You should make sure that any prospective buyers who visit your home are as comfortable as possible. Offer warm baked goods for guests, spread some extra throw pillows and blankets on your furniture and light some seasonal candles (or your fireplace, if you have one) to give your home a cozy atmosphere.
  • Stay on top of your landscaping: As leaves fall from trees and windy conditions start to pick up, it’s important to keep your landscaping under control. Rake up your leaves and invest in professional tree trimming to prevent falling limbs over the winter months. There should be a defined walkway for your guests so that they can safely access your home without stumbling over debris or slipping on fallen leaves. It’s a good idea to consult with your real estate agent to help you determine whether your home is accessible enough.
  • Bring in some light: Since the winter months tend to be a little bit darker than spring and summer, it’s important to keep the inside of your home as bright as possible. Open up your curtains, wash the insides of your windows and keep the lighting turned on inside your home to make things as bright as possible. You can increase the effect of natural light by strategically placing mirrors throughout your home to reflect light.

Find out more about how you can get your home sold this winter by reaching out to Carpenter Real Estate. If you’re looking for a realtor in Alpine, Texas whom you can trust to get you the best results possible, we are the team to call. We have sold over one million acres of property in Alpine since 1947, and we continue to develop an outstanding reputation among our clients. We are proud to be a family owned and operated business with extensive experience in the real estate industry. Contact us today to find out more about what we can do for you!