The San Antonio Housing and Real Estate Market: January 2022
The last couple years have been a whirlwind it feels like. Of course it’s no secret that the real estate market in San Antonio and the rest of the country has exploded, in no small part due to COVID-19, but the market was on an upswing regardless. As a home inspector in San Antonio, I do feel that I have a unique perspective on housing in the South Texas area due to my profession. I’m not inspecting homes with any bias or subjective measure, nor do I care about the cosmetics of a home. A home inspection is a structural performance and water penetration inspection, with a dash of safety thrown in for good measure.
Here are my 3 observations about the real estate market in San Antonio as a home inspector:
Option Periods are getting very short.
The option period is an amount of time that home buyer “buys” in order to get all their ducks in a row before making a final decision of whether to move forward with the purchase of a home. It is the point of time from when the buyer signs the purchase agreement to when they can no longer back out for whatever reason they want without losing their “earnest money”, or the money they put down in order to attempt to buy a home. Pre-COVID, the average option period was easily 7 days, ideally 10, which left plenty of time to schedule for inspectors and other professionals to provide the homebuyer with the necessary information. Now, I find the option periods are getting very short: sometimes as short as 3 days. This leaves very little time for the homebuyer to decide if they want to move forward with the home, especially if the inspection report reveals some major defects and cost estimates are necessary.
As a home inspector, I strongly recommend any perspective homebuyer request at least 7 day option periods in order to ensure they have adequate time to address deficiencies outlined during the home inspection.
The average condition of the homes on the market has gone down. Property owners are unloading their less desirable inventory.
This may be controversial, but it is actually very sensible. The market is red hot and housing prices are rising every month. There is just not enough supply to meet demand. So, what if you had a less-desirable property, such as a very old and rundown rental, or a home in a bad area that has been neglected and mistreated? There has not been a better time to sell in at least a decade. And investors / property owners are doing just that: dumping their inventory on desperate homebuyers.
How does this affect my business? It means more work, basically, in the bad sense. Older homes and poorer condition homes take more time to inspect and document the findings of, but our fees have not been increased as much as added work has. So we are working harder for less money to inspect these old, rundown properties. These properties inevitably turn up major deficiencies that require correction, such as roof replacement, foundation repair, old / defective plumbing and electrical, etc. and all of these things can cost big money.
That doesn’t mean that their aren’t great houses on the market, its just that I am seeing way more clunkers and money pits than I used to, and these homes are NOT priced like fixer-uppers; the sellers want full retail to sell you their problems.
EVERY HOME SALE needs a home inspection!
I’m seeing more and more “BACK ON MARKET” homes, which are commonly money-pits.
Now, real estate transactions fall apart for numerous reasons. Maybe the house didn’t appraise. Maybe the homebuyer loses their job or has a family emergency or a change of heart. Just because a house is “back on the market” does not inherently mean there is something wrong with the home.But often it does. Most of the back on market homes I inspect now come with an inspection report from a previous home inspector, outlining some significant deficiencies. Why get the home inspected if their is already another inspection report though? Because inspectors miss things all the time, especially cheap home inspectors prevalent in San Antonio.
If you have a prior inspection report from a property you are purchasing, be sure to provide it to your inspector for them to review. Sometimes a home is actually in pretty good condition, but the first home inspector raised the alarm on a bunch of things that are relatively minor or not that costly to repair. Get the best home inspector in San Antonio to inspect the property and give you their report and consultation.
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Home Inspector Kyle D. Scott
TREC # 23813 - TDA # 819063
Ensure Home Inspections provides thorough inspections, detailed reports, and personalized consultations at affordable prices in San Antonio, TX & surrounding areas to Homebuyers, Homesellers, and their realtors. WDI/Termite Inspections, Thermal Imaging, Pool / Spa Inspections, Foundation Elevation Survey and more!
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