Tag Archives: houzz

2018 Mid-Year Housing Market Update

8.28.17

We’re already over halfway through the year, if you can believe it!? School’s about to start up again, and the holidays seem right around the corner. We decided it was about time for an update on the housing market. If you’re considering buying a new home, here are some things you should know.

We’ve been saying for a while now that there’s no better time to buy a house than right now, and that statement has never been more true. According to the San Antonio Business Journal, home sale prices in San Antonio are still on the rise.

The good news is if you’re looking to sell your current home, before investing in your new dream home, it’s currently a seller’s market. The average sales price per year is increasing by approximately 6 percent. Primarily, homes being sold range from $200,000 to $500,000.

With the market being so hot right now, it makes even more sense to invest in building a home designed specifically for you and your family’s needs – one that will last a lifetime. At Stone Creek Custom Homes, we also go above and beyond to help you find just the right property. Why not start from the ground up, instead of moving into a pre-built home made for somebody else’s family, where you don’t really know what you’re getting into?

With us, you will know exactly what’s going into your home, from the quality of the materials to the expertise and dedication. We work with our customers every single step of the way, so there are no surprises.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, builders aren’t constructing enough homes to keep up with the demand – yet another reason to work with a personalized company such as ours. You’re not just a number in a long line of home owners.

On a national scale, U.S. house prices are expected to rise at twice the speed of inflation and pay, according to a Reuters poll. House prices have been rising more than 5 percent over the past few years – driven again by the shortage of affordable homes in the U.S.

It’s clear San Antonio will continue to grow as well. It’s already considered one of the best places to live in America for a variety of reasons, and we agree. When you’re ready to bring your dream home to life, you know we’ll be here for you! For a consultation, please call at 210-494-5400, or fill out our online form.

Life Gets Sweeter with Local Honey

Holdman Honey

Holdman Honey

Local beekeeper, Gary Rankin of The Bee Place, teaches us that bees can do far more for us than make delicious honey. Gary’s primary focus is on supplying new beekeepers with the education and tools to help take care of the bees. Perhaps more importantly to homeowners or property owners, Gary can show you how bees can save you a substantial amount on property taxes. He offers a service for folks who want to lease honey bees from him for the purpose of qualifying for ag valuation on their property. To qualify, you must have 5 to 20 acres of land (minus a house). With a house, you must have 6 to 21 acres of property. Gary was able to save one of his customers in Lockhart over $10,000 in taxes a year. While there is a fee for Gary’s services, you can bet it’s worth it! Still, there’s no denying that there’s nothing sweeter than Texas honey. Although Gary’s mission isn’t to harvest and sell honey, he works with a guy who does! Introducing David Holdman of Holdman Honey. Located in Seguin, David and his family manage 800 hives around Texas. He sells several different kinds of honey, which are named after the counties the bees live and thrive in: Guadalupe, Bexar, Wilson, Medina, Gonzales and Atascosa. “Our honey is local, raw honey, which means it’s just pure honey God gives us through the bees,” said David, humbly. The flavor of the honey depends upon the types of blooming plants and trees in the area, and interestingly, there are seven different colors of honey. “Out in Medina, the honey is a lot lighter and has a smoother finish versus the Atascosa and Bexar county honey, which are a little stronger,” explained David. Perhaps one of the best things about eating local honey is the benefits it offers people who suffer from seasonal allergies. It’s no myth that eating honey on a regular basis that is harvested (not processed) from bees within approximately a 100-mile radius will help those who suffer from dreaded allergies, such as cedar fever. David’s own son, who had allergies when he was quite young, kicked those allergies by eating delicious peanut butter and honey sandwiches for lunch every day. Although you can find Holdman Honey in stores all over Texas (see their website for details), our favorite place to find them is at the Pearl Farmers Market on the weekends. You can meet the beekeeper himself and learn all sorts of sweet stuff! For more information on beekeeping classes and “bee leasing,” email Gary at beekeeper@thebeeplace.com. Of course, if you’re looking to build a gorgeous custom home to make your bees happy, call us a call at 210-494-5400.

Live Smarter with SmartHauz!

Courtesy of SmartHauz

Courtesy of SmartHauz

We are thrilled to now showcase the first Apple HomeKit “smart” model home in Texas! We recently partnered with Austin-based company, SmartHauz.me, to install smart features, something more and more of our customers are requesting. In fact, we are now offering core smart features for our clients with options to upgrade, depending on how smart you really want to be.

We interviewed Founder and CEO, Sunny Sneckner, to get some more insight into what he does. Sunny worked for Apple on the Austin campus for 6 years, which is where he first saw the opportunity to provide service for people who wanted the convenience of on-site support. SmartHauz was formed in January of 2017.

“I wanted to work with builders to integrate the cost of smart technology installation into their new homes. People can roll the cost into their mortgages, so that they’re paying just a few extra dollars a month,” explained Sunny. “This is the true state of luxury. There’s nothing luxurious about walking around your house and turning off all the lights.”

Our Stone Creek Custom Homes’ model home, located at 1225 Vintage Way in New Braunfels, is equipped with the basic necessities, including lights, locks, environmental controls and doorbell.

“The majority of the house is now controlled with smart switches and smart dimmers on the lights, two smart thermostats, which can save you about 20% on cooling/heating costs and a smart lock equipped with a video doorbell that allows you to use your phone instead of a key to let people in and out, say to drop off packages or for maintenance.

If anyone comes up to the doorstep, you’re alerted before they even press the button, and you can communicate with them over video remotely,” he said. “These features are what make a smart home really functional. They save time and energy and offer you peace of mind. If you’re laying in bed at night watching TV, you don’t have to get out of bed to lock the door and turn off the lights.”

Sunny also loves to use his smart technology to automatically turn the ceiling fan on and off while he’s sleeping, to help control the temperature in the room, and keep him cool. Customers also dig the smart garage door, leaving you never to wonder again if you remembered to close it. Now you can use your phone to find out and close it from wherever you are in the world. They also offer smart sprinklers, which can reduce water consumption by a whopping 50 percent. Smart technology isn’t just about convenience, it’s about sustainability and cost efficiency in the long run.

New home buyers can rejoice that we are now offering a variety of smart home packages, as part of your build. There’s also the option to have a design consultation with Sunny and his team to custom tailor your smart features. “Just like picking out marble for your counter or wood for the floors,” said Sunny.

It’s all surprisingly easy to use, and Sunny makes sure he or a team member personally walks you through set-up on your iPhone, iPad, or whichever technology you prefer to use. For more information on Smart Hauz, visit https://smarthauz.me/.

If you’d like more information or to set up a consultation or tour, give us a call at 210-494-5400.

 

Tips from an Urban Farmer

Photo by Koen King Stokes

Koen King Stokes of Veg’d Out Urban Farms, a new urban farm just 15 minutes south of downtown San Antonio that grows using organic and sustainable practices is trying to prove that putting plants in the ground can be, not only functional, but pretty darn easy.

“If you’re wanting to connect with nature again, you don’t have to go to a park to do it. You can put the essence of nature in your yard. Not only can it be less maintenance than your turf, it can also be productive, as long as you know what to put in the ground and when,” said Koen, who offered a few easy tips.

Kill Your Grass

This might sound a little scary at first, but according to Koen, grass is the #1 weed for urban farms, and completely useless. “I know it’s radical, but I like being radical,” he said. You can kill your grass either quickly or passively. He recommends getting a digging fork or broad fork to break up and aerate the soil afterwards, so that the roots of the new plants can breathe. You want to go down about 6-8 inches.

Learn Your Landscape

This is nothing more than simple observation. Study your planting area. Where are the shady spots? Which spots get the most sun? “These are called microclimates,” said Koen. You might find a section that’s already sheltered from a northern wind. If you’re going to plant something more susceptible to frost, for example, you’ll want to put it on a Southeasterly exposure. “That’s why I have bananas and lemons over here and not over there,” he explained.

Make Mulch Your Friend

Koen encourages any interested urban farmers to fall in love with compost and mulch. “When you apply compost to any soil, it brings it back to a conducive environment for plant growth,” he noted. When you apply mulch on top of compost it helps to maintain that environment. Mulch, which can be made up of anything from leaves to wood chips, pine needles and coffee grounds, is a shelter for compost.

What & When to Plant

You know what vegetables and herbs you like to eat, right? The big questions are if the things you like to eat will grow well in a South Texas climate, and what season is best to plant in. Koen suggests starting with something simple like perennial herbs which, once established, can go virtually unattended. He likes thyme, oregano and mint varieties, although he’s currently growing about 50 different kinds of herbs. Herbs can also be as decorative as they are delicious, therefore a great introduction for a new urban farmer. Koen recommends shopping at Fanick’s or Shades of Green to get your herbs and other plants. He also suggests exploring online resources for more information, such as Texas A&M’s planting calendar.

However, if you prefer to just eat the veggies and herbs, rather than grow them, you can check out Veg’d Out Urban Farm’s delicious produce on Sundays at the Pearl Farmer’s Market. If you need a beautiful dream home to build an urban farm around, just give us a call at 210-494-5400.

Spruce Up Your Home for Spring

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Spring has finally sprung in San Antonio, and now it’s time to start sprucing up your home to reflect the blossoming surroundings. If you’re needing some inspiration, we’ve got you covered!

Spring Cleaning:

First thing’s first, before you can even think about adding something new to your home, you’ve got to get rid of the old. It’s time to go through your closets, garage, spare bedrooms and even kitchen cupboards and toss or donate what’s not working for you anymore. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it in the last 6 months then it’s likely (unless they’re holiday knickknacks) that you’re not going to use them in the next six months either. Here are a few tips to help get rid of that winter funk:

  • Air out your pillows, blankets and comforters by hanging them on a clothesline for a day. That Spring scent on your pillows will do wonders for a good night’s sleep.
  • When’s the last time you cleaned your ceiling fan? We know… we can’t remember either. Now’s a good time to clean them off and give them a nice coat of furniture polish. Spinning all that dust around does nothing but kick up your allergies.
  • Likewise, we often overlook window and door screens. Use a scrap of carpeting to easily brush off all the built-up winter residue. This is a great job for the kids!
  • For cleaning the refrigerator, everyone’s favorite chore, go green by using a combo of salt and soda water to get it spick and span in a jiffy.

Spring Décor:

Now, for the fun part! Who doesn’t want to spruce up their palace with all of the Spring-inspiring colors and infinite décor and design ideas that abound, but let’s start small.

  • The easiest way to bring Spring into your home is to fill it with beautiful plants that do well indoors. We suggest some vibrant purple or indigo violets that will make you smile every time you walk into a room. African violets are some of the easiest houseplants to manage, which is good when you’re on the go. You might also consider hydrangea, hibiscus, a shrimp plant, flowering maple or peace lily, which also flourish indoors. Simple green, leafy plants are all the rage this season so now blooming required to give your house a touch of lushness.
  • Since Fiesta is upon us, why not adorn your front door with a festive wreath of colorful ribbons and cascarones? If you want to be more Spring-centric, consider a beautiful floral monogramed wreath that will last well beyond the fiesta madness.
  • Macreme is back in style, as well as fringing, tassels and feathers on all things from throws to rugs and wall hangings. They give your home a cozy rustic quality with just a few simple accessories.
  • If you’re looking for a more permanent change, consider the trending fashion-forward gelato colors – think orange and raspberry sherbet – to liven any room. Add these pretty colors to a single wall for a touch of Spring shine, or more if you’re in the mood to be bold. Accessorize with some pastel colored vases, dining chairs and plates. We like Fiestaware, which is elegant yet colorful.

Finally, if you’re ready to really go bold, let’s get started on your new dream home! Schedule a free consultation using our online form  or give us a call at 210-494-5400.