Texas Real Estate Market Update – August 2020

 

San Antonio Real Estate
In the New Normal

COVID-19 has affected virtually every aspect of our lives. There are some important changes in how escrow agents handle real estate transactions that you should know about before you buy or sell property. On another note, there’s a lot cooking in San Antonio!

Business Re-opening Status

At this time, all types of businesses are allowed to be open to the public. However, there are some guidelines, restrictions, and exceptions. For example, if there is an outbreak of COVID-19 among employees at a restaurant, the restaurant must close for two weeks and undergo sanitization before reopening.

The overriding requirement that applies to all businesses and public places is that everyone wears a face-covering. Most businesses are required to do temperature screening checks at the door, before allowing people inside. This goes for everyone – staff, customers, delivery people, or others who need to enter the building.

Examples of Business Openings

Most restaurants have set up processes for takeout or delivery. Although some restaurants are open for dining in, takeout is still the safest option. When dining in a restaurant you may remove your mask while you are seated in a restaurant to eat and drink. However, you have to put it back on before you leave the table for any reason.

Church services are handled on a church-by-church basis. Churches are asked to do a careful safety assessment and put a plan in place for public worship. Plans may include multiple, staggered services to accommodate worshipers with 6 feet of social distance, outdoor services with prescribed one-way foot traffic, and more. Each church is responsible for its own safety plan, so you should check before you go.

The businesses we love – dry cleaners, barbershops and hair salons, fitness gyms, yoga studios, toy stores, and department stores are open. For the most part. You must wear a face covering and be screened at the door. Businesses are responsible for requiring face coverings, creating social distancing by limiting the number of people inside the building at any given time, sanitizing surfaces regularly, and providing a contactless way for customers to pay.

The bottom line – business is back, in a “new normal” sort of way. Things move slower, so pack along your understanding and patience when you go out. Business owners and employees are in a tough spot when enforcing some of these requirements, so we should make their jobs easier by complying with their requests and directions. 

Check out COVID-19 Information For Businesses on the City of San Antonio website for more information.

Business is back, in a “new normal” sort of way. Things move slower, so pack along your understanding and patience when you go out

Expect Delays in the Escrow Closing Process

In many aspects of our lives, things move slower since the COVID-19 pandemic began. We stand in line, 6 feet apart, to get into Wal-Mart.

Sitting in long lines at drive-thru restaurants is more common now, because – even if they are fully open – most people prefer to get takeout rather than waiting in line for the reduced number of seats in the indoor dining area.

We have to wait for our favorite products rather than the instant gratification of going to the store, picking something up, and taking it home – because the supply chain has been disrupted and various items appear and disappear from the shelves.

Real estate contracts may now include a COVID-19 addendum that allows the escrow closing date to be postponed…

The same is true when it comes to real estate transactions. Escrow agents are anxious to get their clients’ closings completed, but they face delays for a number of reasons, including:

  • Reduced work hours in title companies, banks, credit unions, and government offices
  • Reduced availability of support staff including messengers and notary publics
  • The growth in activity related to COVID-19, such as Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans and mortgage payment delay requests
  • The slowdown caused by re-tooling  to move traditional, face-to-face activities to contactless, online systems
  • Last, but not least – widespread staffing problems due to quarantine, illness, and layoff.

Most real estate contracts now include an addendum that allows the deadline for the escrow closing to be postponed for up to 30 days, if there are COVID-19-related delays beyond the control of the buyer and/or seller.

New Takeout Sensation – Delia’s Tamales

Delia’s Tamales is a small but growing operation, with 7 locations in the South Texas area. With a selection of tamales ranging from bean tamales, to Veracruz style, to cream cheese and jalapeno, they’ve turned the city upside down with the recent opening of their first location in San Antonio. Delia’s is so popular, 3-hour wait times have been reported.

The newest location of Delia’s Tamales, here in San Antonio, is so popular that 3-hour wait times have been reported!

Back to School?

School has begun in 3 school districts in the San Antonio area; the rest of the districts will launch the new school year by August 25. All will begin with online classes until at least September 7, when the safety of in-person classes will be re-evaluated.

Public Schools in the San Antonio area are beginning to open for online-only classes

Blood donation is more important than ever, and if you have recovered from COVID-19, your plasma could really help in the fight against the virus!

Donating Blood & COVID-19 Recovery Plasma

Now – more than ever – blood donation is critical. The daily news about the coronavirus has taken center stage in our collective consciousness, and we may be forgetting medical problems that require a blood transfusion – emergency surgery,  car accidents, and other injuries with bleeding are still going on. And blood banks around the world are desperate for donors to step up and help.

If you have had COVID-19 and recovered from it, you should have anti-bodies in your blood to fight the virus. Donating your plasma means that these life-saving anti-bodies can be pulled from your bloodstream and transfused into a person who is critically ill with the coronavirus. The results have been very positive, but there is not nearly enough of this “recovery plasma” to help all of the folks who will die because they don’t have a strong enough immune system to create their own anti-bodies.

Blood and plasma donations may be made at the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center. They have five locations in San Antonio, one in New Braunfels, and one in Victoria. Visit their website for more information:

Volunteer Opportunities at Meals On Wheels

Meals on Wheels provides an important service – especially during the pandemic – and they can always use an extra pair of hands!

If you are looking for a great place to volunteer your time or donate, Meals on Wheels may be a great place to start. The organization provides meal delivery service to a sobering number of people in need, and we’re not talking about cold lunchboxes.

They prepare and deliver full meals that are hot and carefully prepared, right into the hands of folks who have trouble getting out to shop for food or standing up to cook it. For more information, visit their website:

Meals on Wheels provides an important service… and they can always use an extra pair of hands!

Home sales are increasing slightly while mortgage interest rates keep dropping – great time to buy!

Key Metrics
to Consider

During the second quarter of 2020, the number of homes sold in the San Antonio area has risen a little – which only slightly reduces the competition sellers face in finding buyers. Our local home price index has also risen compared to the first quarter, but not by a lot. 

The good news – these increases are small, and we still have a wonderful buying opportunity right now in the San Antonio real estate market. Mortgage rates are the key.

Interest rates are at record lows – around 2.88%, according to Freddie Mac – making it more affordable for you to buy property than ever before. Mortgage interest rates are a major factor in the size of your mortgage payment, so the lower the interest rate, the lower your payment will be. Check out the post, Mortgage Rates – Lock & Load NOW to learn more.

The affordability of a home or office comes down to your monthly payment more than the initial purchase price. We don’t know if interest rates will continue to drop, but they are so low right now, you owe it to yourself to talk to a realtor® today.

The
Upshot

To sum up all that we have discussed, there are two takeaways:

  • It’s a great time to buy a home or office!
  • The secret watchword is patience; everything takes longer than it used to – including real estate deals.

Great time to buy a house but expect delays due to COVID-19…

San Antonio is a strong community, and if you live in the area, you know how great we are; if you are considering relocating to San Antonio, welcome! You’ll love it here – as long as you activate your patience and hire a great realtor® to get you through the process of buying a home.

Let’s Get
Started!

Click below to get a feel for the current San Antonio real estate market, but keep in mind that searching for the perfect house is a big deal.

Step up your game by having me monitor the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for you, so you can react quickly when a great property becomes available.

Reach out to me to challenge my commitment to be your mentor and partner every step of the way. See what it really means to have…

Search Listings

Call, text, or send a message – I’m happy to help!





Andrew Barlowe Realtor Vortex Realty

Andrew Barlowe

2241 NW Military Hwy STE 302
San Antonio, TX 78213
210.420.8420

Sources & Links:

Chester County Food Bank: chestercountyfoodbank.org/meals-wheels-ccfb-serving-neighbors/
Delia’s Tamales: deliastamales.com
Freddie Mac: freddiemac.com
KSAT Television Station: ksat.com/news/local/2020/06/29/san-antonio-area-school-districts-tentative-start-dates-for-2020-2021-school-year/
Meals On Wheels San Antonio: mowsatx.org/volunteer
National Association of Realtors: nar.realtor
South Texas Blood & Tissue Center: southtexasblood.org/give-now
Texas A&M University: recenter.tamu.edu

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