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Welcome to Global Realty Group, LLC

Your San Antonio and Surrounding Area Property Management and Realty Company

We specialize in full service property management and real estate services to fit your needs as a home owner or investor and tailor our solutions to ensure that you have the highest level of service for your home. Focusing on developing long-term relationships is our way of doing business along with listening to our prospects and clients to assess their needs and desires before recommending solutions. We trust that this is the reason our clients continue to come back to us for their real estate needs and recommend others to our team.

Whether you are looking for a home or have a home to sell, fast dependable service is most important. Having a wide variety of homes to choose from, working with a company with experience that you trust, and realtors who listen to your needs, is the right combination to help you make the right choice.

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What Is Escrow? How It Keeps Home Buyers and Sellers Safe

Web Admin - Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Buying a house can involve big and scary terms, and “escrow” ranks near the top. So what is escrow, anyway?

The good news is that escrow is not as ominous as it sounds. In the home-buying process, escrow is a financial tool that allows you to set aside important items such as the buyer’s earnest money check and purchase agreement document in an impartial holding area, where it will stay until all of the details are worked out between a buyer and a seller, says Andy Prasky, a real estate professional with Re/Max Advantage Plus in Twin Cities.

The escrow officer is a third party—perhaps someone from the closing company, an attorney, or a title company agent (customs vary by state). How much does escrow cost? That varies too—as well as whether the buyer or seller (or both) pays—with the fee for this service typically totaling about 1% to 2% of the cost of the home.

How escrow works

The third party is there to make sure everything during the closing proceeds smoothly, including the transfers of money and documents. Escrow protects all the relevant parties by ensuring that no funds and property change hands until all conditions in the agreement have been met.

Along the way, proper documentation is filed with the escrow officer as each step toward closing is completed. Contingencies that might be part of the process could include home inspection, repairs, and other tasks that need to be accomplished by the buyer or seller. And every time one of those steps is completed, the buyer or seller signs off with a contingency release form; then the transaction moves on to the next step (and one step closer to closing).

Once all conditions are met and the deal is finalized, the money due to the sellers is transferred to them. Meanwhile an escrow officer clears (or records) the title, which means the buyer officially owns the home.

How escrow protects buyers and sellers

Escrow may seem like a pain, but here’s how it can work in your favor. Let’s say, for example, the buyer had a home inspection contingency and discovered that the roof needed repairs. The seller agrees to fix the roof. However, during the buyer’s final walk-through, she finds that the roof hasn’t been repaired as expected. In this case, the sellers won’t see a dime of the buyer’s money until they fix that roof. Talk about a nice safeguard for the buyer!

Sellers benefit from escrow, too: Let’s say the buyers get cold feet at the last minute and bail on the deal. This may be disappointing to the seller, but at the very least, buyers have typically ponied up a sizable chunk of change for their earnest money deposit. This money, often totaling 1% to 2% of the purchase price of a home, has been held in escrow. When buyers back out with no legitimate reason, they forfeit that money to the seller—a decent consolation for the sale’s failure.

Escrow, in other words, is the equivalent of bumpers on cars, keeping everyone safe as they move forward in a real estate transaction. Odds are, no one’s trying to swindle anyone. But isn’t it nice to know that if something does go wrong, escrow is there to cushion the blow?

By: Cathie Ericson

Finding a New Home after Downsizing

Web Admin - Friday, August 19, 2016

Once you’ve made the decision to downsize, the next step you need to make is to decide where you want to go and what kind of home you want.

The location you choose will depend on several factors.

  • Do you want to be near family?
  • Do you want to reduce your work commute?
  • Do you prefer a city, a suburb, or a rural environment?
  • Do you want to move to a location that has a lower cost of living?

Depending on where you choose to live, you might not actually be saving money. A large house in an area with a lower cost of living might actually be a better financial position for you than a small house in an area with a higher cost of living. Working out a budget at this point is pretty critical.

Very often, downsizers want a smaller home but with no less luxury. For example, if your larger home has granite countertops, most downsizers choose to have granite in their next home, and sometimes even use some of the extra cash they have to upgrade the kitchen appliances as well. Larger master suites are also a common feature downsizers want, and often are willing to sacrifice larger guest suites.

The type of home you choose will also depend on several factors. Some of your options are:

  • Smaller house - The benefits of choosing to move to a house are many. Choosing a house means you’ll still have to do the maintenance and upkeep, however, even though it will likely be less time consuming and costly than in a larger home. A house will probably have more space than any other option, so if a guest bedroom or two is important to you, or if you want a formal dining room, this may be your best bet.
  • Condominium - Many downsizers choose condos not only because they are significantly less costly than a house but also because maintenance will be done for you. In many cases, condos are only one story so you can eliminate stairs if that’s an issue. Condo living sometimes comes with sweet amenities like clubhouses, pools, tennis courts, and so on. If you choose a condo, however, don’t forget that you’ll have to pay HOA fees which vary dramatically from place to place.
  • Rent - If you want to free up some cash, or move to temporary digs while your dream home is being built or while you’re waiting for retirement, renting might be a great option for you. The best part about it is that you are responsible for no upkeep or maintenance - even a clogged drain is fixed for you. Another benefit of renting is that you can stay in the same town without all of the expense associated with owning. The downside, of course, is that you aren’t building equity so it might not make sense financially.
  • Active Adult community - Sometimes known as “55+ Communities,” active adult communities are a great option if at least one person is 55 years of age or older. Active adult communities can be condominiums, cooperatives, single family homes, or even mobile home parks. The benefit of an active adult community is the opportunity to choose a community of people in the same stage of life. Many also offer amenities such as community swimming pools, clubhouses, tennis courts, and so on.
  • Continuing Care Retirement Community - A CCRC offers lifetime housing with advanced levels of care available as needs change. CCRCs also offer planned activities such as luncheons and parties for residents to get to know each other and socialize. Many offer bus trips to grocery stores and destinations such as the Jersey shore. CCRCs require an entrance fee and a monthly charge for care which is dependent on the level of support required.

When you decide where you want to live and the type of housing that appeals to you, it’s time to consider getting your current home on the market. At this point, you should contact a real estate professional who can help you determine what you need to do to prepare your home for sale as well as help guide you to finding your new dream home!

By Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl

Here’s What Can Go Wrong When You Don’t Get Renters Insurance

Web Admin - Wednesday, August 03, 2016

“You don’t really know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”

Wise words, certainly, but not something I took to heart until I found myself evacuating New Orleans because of an oncoming hurricane. Eight hours of gridlocked traffic gave me plenty of time to reflect on the value of my belongings.

But I will say this: My panic would have been way worse had I not taken safeguards to protect my possessions with renters insurance.

I got lucky that time and came through unscathed, but every day other renters aren’t so fortunate. Hurricanes, wildfires, robberies, tornadoes—you never know when something could go horribly wrong. And if you’re not covered (or don’t have enough coverage), the results can be simply devastating.

Chance of rain—inside your apartment

Imagine waking up to a downpour from your ceiling. That’s what happened in May to Danny D’Apuzzo in South Florida, who ended up soaked and feeling like he was caught in an “indoor hurricane,” D’Apuzzo told 7 News Miami.

The culprit? His overhead sprinklers had gone off accidentally, drenching his belongings. The good news? D’Apuzzo had renters insurance. The bad? His limit was $10,000, and the damage totaled $15,000.

Lesson learned: Even if you have insurance, make sure you have enough.

“Being underinsured is a big problem,” says Loretta Worters at the Insurance Information Institute. “We recommend people do a home inventory to make sure they have the right amount of insurance.”

The fire was the least of their problems

When a fire broke out in the second floor of an apartment complex in Kalamazoo, MI, in May, Wiley Gates and his girlfriend considered themselves lucky: Everyone got out safely, the fire was put out, and they were even able to go back inside their first-floor apartment to grab a few pieces of clothing before leaving for the night. However, the next day when they returned to get the rest of their stuff, they found nothing but a pile of rubble. According to WWMT, the fire marshal decided to bulldoze the building without notifying the inhabitants. Hey, couldn’t they have called first?

Lesson learned: Even if someone else’s wrongdoing destroys your stuff, no one is responsible for it but you—so it’s no use pointing fingers at the fire department or your landlord, either.

“Unless there was negligence, the landlord isn’t responsible for covering a renter’s belongings,” says Worters.

Teenage shenanigans gone wrong

In May, a group of teenagers in Tucson, AZ, stole an SUV and led police on a high-speed chase—then ended up crashing into a house that was being rented by the Burwell family. According to KVOA, the homeowners insurance covered repairs to the home, but it did not cover anything inside—and the Burwells didn’t have renters insurance. That left the family with the costly recourse of suing the offending teenagers’ families in the courts.

Lesson learned: If you’re renting someone’s home, don’t assume the homeowner’s insurance covers you. Renters need their own separate policy, and should take heart that teenage shenanigans are covered as well as tornadoes. Without it, “the injured party would have to seek damages against the thief in court, since it was the thief’s negligence that caused the accident,” says Worters.

‘We figured federal aid would be all we’d need’

A family in The Colony, TX, lost their rental home and belongings to a tornado in May, but that turned out to be just the start of their struggles. After the twister passed through, the family called the Red Cross, which paid to put them up in a hotel for a few days. But after that? Nada.

Erica Whited contacted a total of 275 organizations looking for help, including FEMA, Health and Human Services, the IRS, CCA, and the governor’s office. Their response? The storm didn’t do enough damage to qualify as a disaster, and as such her family did not qualify for relief.

“There wasn’t enough widespread damage or financial loss,” Whited told The Colony Courier-Leader.

Lesson learned: Typically, in large-scale natural disasters, federal programs can step in and provide aid. But it’s by no means guaranteed and likely won’t provide everything you need. To be fully protected, start an emergency fund and insulate yourself with insurance.

By Angela Colley

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