San Antonio 2011 Housing Forecast

Attended the San Antonio Board of Realtors annual Housing Forecast this week.  We had speakers who gave us their perspective on the national, state, and local housing markets.  Our San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro also spoke about what’s happening for the City of San Antonio in 2011.  The “big picture” take-away?  Texas in general and San Antonio in particular are in good shape and 2011 looks to continue that trend.

Texas is becoming a “magnet state” for business and families looking to relocate.  Here’s a statistic that impressed me–48% of all job growth in the entire United States took place in Texas in 2010!  All 4 major cities in Texas are in the Top 10 growth cities in the country–more than any other state! (Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio).  Bottom line?  We got it goin’ on around here!

2011 should see the beginning of a recovery in the San Antonio housing market.  It promises to be a good year, but not spectacular.  Rates are still low, altho they’re on the rise.  Housing inventory is still higher than we would like, but heading in the right direction.  We expect fewer sales overall in 2011 since  we are not expecting additional federal stimulus.  Yes, we have some foreclosure properties to deal with, but nothing like what some markets are experiencing.  In San Antonio, foreclosures are about 10% of our market, as compared with almost 50% in some parts of the country.

Builders, too, are looking for some slight improvement in 2011.  Their big challenge is lot inventory and financing.

All in all, 2011 promises to be a continuation of San Antonio’s slow but steady housing market.  We are entering a new decade that promises growth and great things for San Antonio!  If you’re not here, get here!  If you’re already here, congratulations!  And when you’re ready to buy or sell a home, please call me!

Back to the gym–I did it!

OK, had my first appointment with Claudia, my new trainer!  According to Claudia, she “took it easy” on me the first time–so I’ll come back for the next appointment!  It felt good!  I’m not too sore but there are a few muscles who “reintroduced” themselves to me–i.e. reminded me they were there since they haven’t gotten much use in the last couple of years!  Claudia woke them up and they let me know it!

Today, I went and swam laps!  Not like what I used to do–I only managed 4–but it felt good to get back in the water.  And the reward for all that?  A few minutes in the whirlpool!  Ahhhhh!  That felt really good!

Now comes the hard part–keepin’ on keepin’ on!!  The strategy I have found that works best for me is to work with a trainer.  If I have an appointment, I’ll get out the door and go.  If not, I can find a million excuses!  So that’s my plan!  And that’s my Christmas gift to myself!

Have a good week!  See you back here soon!


Making LocationSA better for you!

I’ve been told I need to shorten my posts and post more frequently!  So, I will do my best to keep this short and to the point!

Hope you’re helping the economy along by doing some holiday shopping.  I can’t believe it’s December already!  Where has 2010 gone?  Take a little time and think about goals and plans for 2011, and write them down!  I’ve heard this before and I think it must be true–a goal is just a dream without a deadline!  I’ve taken my first step–rejoined a health club and have scheduled 3 sessions with a trainer!   Also thinking about travel plans for 2011 and figuring out when/where I need to be for various real estate events and how I can combine those trips with some personal visits to family.

I challenge you to sit down with yourself and/or your significant other and put something on paper for 2011.  It’s the first step to success and it’s empowering!

Here’s to a great 2011 for us all!

Hope that was short enough!  Let me know!


Turkey Noodle Soup–a favorite recipe for leftover turkey

I’m so proud! For the first time, I managed to fix a small Thanksgiving dinner that did not leave me with enough leftovers to set another complete meal! Finally! Enough turkey left for a couple of good sandwiches. A serving or two of dressing and gravy and that’s pretty much it!

In celebration of my accomplishment, I’d like to share a recipe with you that has been a family favorite to use up left-over turkey.  I’ve also gifted the dry ingredients and the recipe to friends and colleagues over the years, with great success. It’s easy to assemble, requires little cooking, and tastes great!   It’s . . . .

Turkey Noodle Soup

1/2 t. black pepper
1/4 t. dried whole thyme
1/8 t. celery seed
1/8 t. garlic powder
1/8 t. dried basil
1 bay leaf
1-1/2 T. chicken bouillon granules
1 c. fine egg noodles

(Note:  the preceding ingredients may be packaged for gift-giving.  I usually put the dry noodles in a small zip bag and make a separate small pouch of the spices wrapped in plastic wrap.)

To make soup:
Add dry ingredients to 6-8 c. water.  Add 1 c. each cut-up carrots, celery, onion.  (You can buy these already chopped at HEB and other stores!)  Bring to boil & simmer 15 min. or until veggies are done.  Add 3c. cooked, shredded turkey.  Serve hot!

I hope your family enjoys this as much as mine.  Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your taste and preference.  Enjoy!

Memories and Musings

I cleaned my house over the weekend.   It really needed it!    I have raised my tolerance level for floors, bathrooms, etc., but this weekend, I finally reached my limit.  And the fact that my son is coming in for Thanksgiving on Wednesday gave me the motivation I needed!

So, I spent part of Saturday and part of Sunday cleaning.   While I was engaged in all this activity, my thoughts strayed back to earlier years when I had young kids at home, a messy spouse, and parents who were only a half day’s drive away and liked to come visit for holidays and when they could get away for a long weekend.  The day before parents’ arrival was always chaotic and stressful for me.  As an overachieving only child, I always had to prove to them that I could “do” the house thing!  So the day before they came was cleaning time for me.  Everything had to be clean and sparkly and look like perfect people lived in my house.

Then the hard part–KEEPING it that way once kids came home, hubby was there, living happened!   My poor family had to put up with my obsession to keep it looking nice until my parents walked through the door!  If they were lucky, it was only half a day, at most.  Once Mom and Dad came inside and got a look at everything, then I could relax and everyone could get back to normal!
Now, I find myself doing the same darn thing when my kids come to visit!  What’s up with that???   Trying to set a good example, and hoping they follow it when I come to visit them?  So far, that part’s not working as well as I’d hoped!   But I will give credit to my son–he cleaned his whole apartment before I visited him a couple of months ago.  I was touched–and so proud!!  At least one of my children appreciates the virtues of a clean domicile!!

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We all have a lot to be thankful for!


The Big 5-0!

Recently, a friend of mine classified a group of us as Boomers-in-Denial!  A perfect label!!  I admit I’m finding a few (only a few!) advantages to getting older, but it’s hard adjusting to the reality!  And, in the past couple of weeks, I’ve discovered 3 things from my childhood that are turning 50 right about now!!  And since I remember them well, that makes it even harder to accept!!

One I just heard about on a news show  is The Flintstones!  Yabba Dabba Doo!!   I loved the show when it first came on, and I still think it’s fun.  I especially liked the way the writers took familiar things and characters and “retrofitted” them to fit in the Flintstones’ world!

Happy 50th Birthday, Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, Pebbles, Bam-Bam, and Dino!

The next thing I discovered reading a magazine was that John Wayne’s movie, The Alamo, is 50 years old!  Wow!  I remember seeing that movie and then trying to find all the rooms in the real Alamo!  My first clue that Hollywood does not always represent real life!  Still, it was a great movie about a San Antonio/Texas icon and I still like to watch it when it pops up on cable every once in awhile.  It’s always crazy to try to picture the Alamo as it was then when it’s sitting in the middle of downtown San Antonio!

Thanks for the memories, John Wayne!

The 3rd San Antonio icon turning 50 this year is North Star Mall!  Malls are so common now that it’s hard to remember what a new concept North Star was when it opened.   I didn’t grow up in San Antonio, so coming to see it was a very big deal.  And it was sooo far from downtown!  It’s grown and changed a lot in 50 years, but still a destination of choice for many shoppers!  And still boasts the world’s largest pair of cowboy boots!

Happy 50th, North Star!  I promise to come visit soon!
It’s hard to stay in denial when the evidence is around you is so strong!  And let’s not even think about the evidence that stares back at me in the mirror every day!!  That’s the real denial!!  Ahhh–to be 50 again!