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Jeffrey P. Dillingham
(Team Leader/Broker/REALTOR®)

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Featured Blog

San Antonio sees sizable gain in airport traffic

22 September 2021, 6:31 pm

New San Antonio International Airport data show air traffic continues to grow at a significant pace nearly 19 months after the pandemic brought travel...

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Featured Blog

How will San Antonio’s critical labor shortage impact your business?

22 September 2021, 4:40 pm

“The worker shortage is real—and it’s getting worse by the day.” – U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Suzanne Clark Following a year of COVI...

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Featured Blog

Development to bring 200-plus homes along Guadalupe River

22 September 2021, 4:35 pm

Hundreds of homes are on the way to a 155-acre riverfront property. Prices could start as high as $750,000. ...

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Featured Blog

San Antonio’s Achilles heel: that old Cowboys crutch

22 September 2021, 4:16 pm

It’s a tired narrative. The Alamo City, we hear and read time and again, will never get an NFL franchise because it’s too poor. And because it already...

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Featured Blog

Podcast: Facing lingering challenges, Michael Fresher launches The Tobin Center's fall season

22 September 2021, 2:12 pm

Michael Fresher was a recent guest on the Texas Business Minds podcast, where he discussed the challenges behind launching The Tobin Center, operating...

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Jeffrey P. Dillingham (Team Leader/Broker/REALTOR®)

Respected & Multi-Award Winning Services

Home Buyer(s) - Whether you are searching for a home via conventional needs (Cash or Mortgage) or an investor looking to expand your portfolio, let our award winning services guide you in the right direction. Click the link below for a search.

Alternative Financing - Unable to get traditional financing or tired of renting? Check out our owner financing and Creative Financing programs!

Home Seller(s) - Looking to upgrade? Downsize? or wanting to build your dream home? contact us for a free home evaluation. Trusted & Reviewed - with an "A" Rating on Angie's List and numerous happy client testimonials.



House of Your Dreams

Building a home may be your dream. Turning the dream into a reality can be challenging. Since it is a once-in-a-lifetime investment, there are many items that need to be checked and executed for it to become the home of your dreams.

Plans and permits

You may need to hire an architect or a licensed designer to draw up the plans. This plan will cover all that you wish to have in your home. These plans have to be approved with a seal from a licensed engineer. The permits include zoning, grading, septic systems, electricity and plumbing, and home construction.

Site preparation and foundation

Clearing and leveling the land would have to come first. A wooden template for the foundation may be needed before digging up the trenches and holes. Wells must be dug, if required. At this stage, plumbing drains and electricity chases must also be covered before the concrete is poured. Installing drains, sewers, traps, and all plumbing is addressed, and waterproofing is added to the foundation walls. At this time, an inspection is conducted to verify code compliance.

Rough framing

The skeleton of the house gets completed at this stage. It includes floor systems, walls, roof systems, and sheathing to the exterior walls.

Finished plumbing and electrical HVAC

At this stage, the installation of wires, pipes, swerve lines, vents, water supply lines, bath units, ductwork for HVAC, and HVAC vent pipes are completed. City inspectors inspect and give their stamp of approval upon compliance with building codes.

Insulation installation

Insulation is the key to building a comfortable indoor climate while keeping the home energy-efficient.

Complete drywall and interiors/ exteriors

Drywall is hung, taped, and textured. Contractors are ready at this stage to start on the exterior. Exterior walkways and driveway are also completed at this stage.

Hard surface flooring, countertops, mechanical trims, and bathroom fixtures

While carrying out these touches to your home, proper drainage will be ensured, HVAC equipment will be installed and checked, and all sinks, toilets, faucets, are installed.

Floor finish and exterior landscaping

The other interior items include mirrors, doors, floor finish. The exterior landscape is completed at this stage. The building-code officials will carry out a final inspection before you receive a certificate of occupancy.

While the listed stages of the building may not be exhaustive, it covers the essential steps before you can move into your new home. One of the most important steps a prospective homeowner must consider is finding the right builder who will execute their dream with a qualified and experienced crew.

Late Nights And Weekends

Late Nights And Weekends

Some of what you’ll see on our website, particularly testimonials from our past clients, will show what’s really important in working in local market such as the real estate market around San Antonio and the greater Metro area.


What you hear, time and time again, about Jeff and Cynthia and the team is that we make ourselves available to our clients when they need us the most.


That may not always be during regular business hours 9-to-5. It might be during a weekend, or on an evening where a counterparty, the buyer or seller, has finally relayed information to their agent, and that information needs to get you.


No one can magically be available to sit by the phone 24/7, but having that extra passion to really facilitate the deal gives those who are relying on us more of what they need to work toward success at the settlement table. That’s why some of the best praises that we’ve gotten from happy clients involve us being reachable and available when it counts.


Neighborhood Knowledge


We also know our San Antonio neighborhoods, which is an immense advantage in this local market. Like other markets, this one has been hot. Short time frames for sale agreements mean everybody needs to step up their game. We’ve heard some of the more mediocre offices having problems with timely communications and getting their clients front and center toward their dream home. But with our team approach, we’ve been able to navigate these challenges pretty well, and we’re excited about continuing to help our clients find the best San Antonio real estate for their needs.


Digital Resources


We’ve also put some effort into developing resources online for our prospective clients and those who need to think about certain considerations for shopping real estate markets in San Antonio, TX. For example, our “deciding to buy” page has a lot of vital information for first-timers and others, and we also offer a resource on owner-financed homes because this process tends to work a little differently from the average MLS listing.


Get in touch with the team that values your goals and objectives. You can also browse the site to get more informed on how TX real estate works. We have property information here, too. Get the help you need to really explore these local markets, and we will listen and help you implement your plan in this area of the country.

Great Tips Designed to Simplify the Home Selling Process

In the past year, the value of residential real estate has grown substantially. Most real estate professionals will tell you that current housing prices make for a seller’s market. This means that if you have been thinking of selling your existing home, now is the time to make a move. Each year, millions of Americans decide to make a change by selling the home they currently live in. 

If this is the first time you are selling a home, you might be surprised to learn how complicated this process can be. Making this process simple and easy is achievable if you take the information below to heart. 

Working With Real Estate Professionals is Vital

Selling a home and using the profits from this transaction to fund the purchase of a new residence is a great idea. Maximizing the amount of profit from the sale of a home is a lofty goal that can lead to bad decision-making. There are many homeowners who think that selling a residence on their own is the best way to avoid paying a real estate professional for help. While this might seem like a good idea, it is a mistake that will come back to haunt you. 

Without the assistance of a real estate professional, the time it takes to sell your home will be increase substantially. You also run the risk of putting the wrong price tag on your home. If your home is priced too high, finding a buyer will be difficult. If the price is too low, you will lose a lot of money. 

Rather than making this mistake and dealing with the fallout from this bad decision in the future, you need to work with the team at Dillingham & Toone Real Estate. With our help, you can get a fair price for your home.

Keep Documentation About Recent Repairs

As you start to attract potential buyers, you will be bombarded with questions about your home. The average home buyer wants to know the ins and outs of a property before they make an offer. One of the main things that a potential buyer will want to know is how well-maintained your home is. While telling them about the repairs and maintenance you have invested in is beneficial, you can make a bigger impact on the buyer if you have concrete proof. 

If you have recently upgraded your residential HVAC unit or your roof, keeping the documentation from these repairs is wise. This documentation will show a potential buyer how recently these repairs were performed. 

Advertise Your Home Listing On Social Media

Attracting motivated buyers is something you need to work hard to accomplish. One of the best ways to inform the masses that your home is for sale is by using your social media accounts. Posting your home listing can help you garner more attention and get your home sold in no time. 

Are you ready to sell your existing home? If so, we are here to help. 


Knowledge Is Power, Understanding Types Of Real Estate Investment Properties

Knowledge Is Power, Understanding Types Of Real Estate Investment Properties

Real estate investment can be an excellent choice for people who want to generate income through investment opportunities. But like any other investment, knowledge is power, and in many cases, it means the difference between making profitable or costly decisions.

With the real estate market booming, investors are sorting through every available property type to find profitable investment possibilities. To make wise decisions, it is vital to know more about the types of real estate that exist to make your investment decisions that are right for your needs.

Residential Real Estate Property

Many different types of housing fall under the category of residential real estate property. Everything from single-family homes to multi-unit properties that can be rented out to tenants or sold to home buyers is considered residential real estate. This distinction includes apartments, duplexes, multi-family, and vacation homes. Tax benefits typically come with owning a residential real estate property, so you must look up your area’s tax benefits before making a property purchase.

Commercial Real Estate Property

Commercial real estate includes any business, industry, office space, or large living spaces and mixed-use properties. Some multi-unit residential complexes can fall under this category if they exceed the maximum number of units specified as residential property. This category can include hotels and motels, retail buildings, warehouses, apartment complexes, and land zoned for commercial buildings.  Tax incentives for owning commercial property exist, as well as the possibility of income from rental revenue.

Land Investment And New Construction

Raw land investment and new construction represent two different categories of real estate investment that can be used to diversify your investment portfolio. Raw, or vacant land, is most attractive to purchase in markets where growth is projected to be high. New construction is similar, except the property has already been build on the land. These types of investment properties can be from start to finish or held for long-term gains. The key to prosperous land and new construction investment is extensive market research.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

REITs own various commercial real estate types such as malls, restaurants, hotels, and multi-use properties that are almost always large in scale. As an option to owning the property in its entirety yourself, you can invest in a REIT by purchasing shares of these real estate companies on the stock exchange. In this capacity, the companies are required to return 90% of their taxable income to shareholders annually in dividends. You are also able to sell your shares of the company at any time.

Before you decide which type or types of real estate property are suitable for your investment purposes, familiarize yourself with the process of purchasing real estate by connecting to an experienced and licensed real estate agency in your area. You may also want to consult your tax accountant to ensure you are aware of the possible tax implications of your investments.

Three Tips For Navigating Hot Real Estate Markets


When you look at real estate trends around the country, and in some San Antonio neighborhoods, what you’re seeing is a high-demand market, where property doesn’t stay on the market very long.


This can cause problems for our buyers. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or someone looking at an investment property, if you don’t have your finger on the button all the time, you tend to miss out in high-pressure markets. It’s disappointing to people when they’ve put time into property showings or open houses, and want to make a move a little more slowly. But that’s some of the reality of a high-demand market. We want to help support our buyers, with practical tips on how to position themselves for success at settlement.


Figure Out Funding


In calmer times, people often look at houses, and then go to lenders to qualify.


These days, that seems a little bit quaint. Investors and others are making all-cash deals and doing business at light speed, so lending issues and qualification usually need to be figured out beforehand if you’re going to participate in these markets. That can be accomplished by talking to banks or credit unions at the very beginning of the process, and figuring out the ‘power of your purse’ before starting to view properties.


Get Good at Spotting Property Issues


Another interesting side effect of high-demand markets is that buyers are suddenly willing to waive aspects of the inspection process. You might not see them waiving the entire professional home inspection, but you may see buyers overlooking small items on seller disclosure sheets, or waiving environmental hazard tests for radon or lead or asbestos.


With that in mind, if you know how to analyze a property at walk-through, and you can match these high-speed buyers, you’re less likely to have significant problems getting your hands on your dream property. However, it’s not good to pursue a strategy that you are uncomfortable with in any way, because this is a major investment! 


Targeting Neighborhoods and Property Results


Another way to go is to get detailed neighborhood data, to be able to navigate the market and go where you can move at your own pace. If there is a tremendously hot market that’s pricing you out, or you can’t move fast enough, consider looking at adjacent territories, or finding specific market niches where property stay on the market longer. Just one example is settling for a property value a bit higher or lower than what you were looking at – you may have to change your financial strategy a bit, but your real estate time frame will slow down so that you can do the necessary work and evaluate your investment the way you want to.


That’s just a bit about how we support our clients! Get excellent help from qualified people with real estate acumen and knowledge of local markets. 


Advantages of a Commercial Build-to-suit Property

Commercial property is 100 percent different than private use property and sometimes a build-to-suit (BTS) option is the best way to go for business. Build-to-suit properties offer distinct advantages that can help increase profit margins when you partner with a professional who understands your goals and dedicates themselves to helping you reach them. The build-to-suit process is an incredible collaboration between many parties who play a vital role in the finished project. While it is an intense journey, it’s important to understand the major advantages of building a commercial property to suit your specific business before taking the plunge.

Advantages of a Commercial Build-to-suit Property

Capital Advantages

As the name suggests, a build-to-suit commercial property is designed and constructed to meet your specific needs as a business. You’ll get to offer input into the design of the building to make the most efficient use of space, which impacts your profit margin. Since you get to research and choose your ideal location, foot traffic isn’t an issue either so you should have plenty of business. Build-to-suit properties typically have lower operating costs because they are constructed using the latest technology and energy efficient materials. Lower overhead equals higher revenue. This saves some capital that you can re-invest into operations for long-term growth or a smooth opening. You can also incorporate extra space to can be rented to other businesses or used for future growth. If you happen to be working with a developer, the rent is deductible over the full term of the lease you put in place.

Physical Advantages

One major plus for build-to-suit arrangements is that you can incorporate your brand into the building. You get to select colors and finish materials that reflect who you are as a company while ensuring the design is meets market standards. Build-to-suit properties are typically erected in growing areas that are bustling with activity. This means better roads, convenient access, and plenty of business. Plus, you know everything is up to code. There are no hidden surprises or costly issues that must be corrected. You can rest easy knowing that your business will comply with all state and local ordinances. One of the best parts is that you can plan for growth and expansion with your design, but you should have clearly defined long-term goals going into the process.

If you’re considering a build-to-suit property in San Antonio, the professionals at Dillingham & Toone Real Estate can help you through the process. We understand how confusing it can be and how important it is to find the perfect space for your growing business. We know the San Antonio area well and understand the local market fluctuations. Our goal is to simplify the process while helping you reach your immediate and long-term goals. Build-to-suit commercial properties can be a wonderful investment for your business, so partner with the experienced professionals at Dillingham & Toone Real Estate.

How to Maximize the Profit Your Rental Property Generates in the New Year

Did you know that over 90% of the rental properties in the United States are owned by individuals? If you own a rental home or apartment complex, your main priority should be making these investments more profitable. Over time, rental property owners get tired of the constant grind that comes with maintaining a home or apartment complex.

Becoming detached from the day-to-day management of your investments can have dire consequences. Are the profits from your rental property investments starting to decline? If so, it is time to turn things around. Here are some things you can do to maximize the profit your rental property generates.

Let Professionals Manage Your Rental Property

The individuals that own rental properties in the United States usually have full-time jobs. This means they have a very limited amount of time to handle things like property maintenance, tenant issues and background checks. Rather than allowing your rental properties to fall into a state of disrepair, you need to seek out some professional help. Hiring a property management company can be extremely beneficial.

With the help of these professionals, you can find top-notch tenants and keep them happy for years to come. If you need help managing your rental properties, you need to contact the team at Dillingham and Toone Real Estate. With our help, you can maximize the profit that your rental property generates in 2021.

Make Sure Your Rent Prices Are Competitive

The people who rent homes and apartments are always looking for a great deal. If a person can find lower rent prices at a home/apartment in the same condition, they will probably pursue this opportunity. When tenants start to complain about high rent prices, you need to pay attention. Taking the time to research your local home/apartment rental market is crucial when trying to keep your investment profitable.

If you start to see that similar homes/apartments in your area are far cheaper than your property, you have to lower your prices. However, if you see that your rent prices are drastically lower, you might want to raise them a bit. By performing this type of market research on an annual basis, you can keep your rent prices competitive.

Increase Energy Efficiency

Some rental property owners make bad decisions in the name of saving a few dollars. If tenants are complaining of high energy bills, then it is time to perform a thorough energy audit. During this audit, you might find that some windows and doors need to be replaced to fix draft issues.

You should also consider buying new energy-efficient appliances for your rental property. While these upgrades will cost money initially, they will save you much more over time. If you are unsure about how to perform one of these energy audits, hiring professionals to help out is a wise move.

Check Out Our Property Management Services!

If you are struggling to keep your rental properties maintained, you need to let Dillingham and Toone Real Estate help you out.

Choosing to Buy or Build: Important Considerations

Homeownership is a big deal that involves a lot of decision making. It’s an often coveted rite of passage into adulthood that you can’t wait to share with friends and family. You’ve increased your credit score, passed on that new car, and studied the home-buying process to prepare for your big purchase. You’ve budgeted and saved, looking forward to the moment of the big close when they hand over the keys to your new home. Now you just need to decide whether to buy a home or build one. There are potential advantages to both options. It’s important to consider all the variables when choosing which may better suit your lifestyle and your budget.

Choosing to Buy or Build Important Considerations

Potential Advantages of Existing Property Purchase

Purchasing an existing home can offer many attractive advantages for first-time homebuyers or those looking to make a seamless transition. One of the more appealing benefits of an existing home purchase is that they are often more affordable, potentially offering immediate savings and a lower monthly payment. You’ll get to see exactly what the home looks like, right down to the landscaping outside. Being able to visualize your family living in the home with your belongings in place can help simplify the decision-making process.

If community is important to you, an existing home in an established neighborhood also allows you to get to know your new neighbors and verify property values early on. Many times, you can also move in right after closing, eliminating the need to find short term housing and store your belongings. Partnering with an experienced real estate agent who knows the area well is the easiest way to start shopping for existing homes near San Antonio, Texas.

Potential Home Building Advantages

Building a new home offers the exciting opportunity to customize features and design space to your personal preference. You’ll likely work alongside a builder with a design team to choose a homesite and get things just like you want them. Aside from deciding on a floor plan and color scheme, you’ll also have a say in the landscape materials and their placement in your new yard. 

Another potential advantage is that newly constructed homes often incorporate the most current materials and processes, making them more energy-efficient. This can make newly built homes more environmentally friendly meaning potentially lower monthly utility costs for you. Another huge advantage of building a new home is that just about everything, including major appliances, will be under warranty upon closing. You should be able to anticipate less maintenance and virtually no repair bills in the immediate future.

Whether you decide to purchase an existing home or build a custom home, working with the right real estate agent can help streamline the process and make it a positive experience. When you’re ready to become a homeowner near the great city of the San Antonio, Texas, contact the experienced team at Dillingham & Toone to get started.

Three Stages of Commercial Real Estate

How is the commercial real estate process different from residential? There are quite a lot of ways that commercial real estate is its own market, and requires different kinds of workflows. Commercial real estate agents need to be prepared for the unique challenges and competitive opportunities that arise in this market. Here’s some of what they deal with on a regular basis.

Doing Market Analysis

There’s no Zillow for commercial real estate. Instead, commercial real estate agents do significant amounts of work figuring out roughly what a commercial property is worth, and what kind of baseline to set as they move toward price negotiations with buyers.

Also, unlike the residential market, commercial real estate values can to some extent reflect the value of an existing business or business opportunity. It’s not just a case of calculating square feet and numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms.

With that in mind, this detailed work is a major part of the typical commercial real estate process.

Marketing for Commercial Real Estate

There’s also the phase of the process that you might call ‘finding a buyer.’ Here the commercial real estate agent typically has to be proactive in marketing the property and creating visibility in order to get a competitive buying pool.

There’s a lot of work involved here, too, and that’s why the idea of exclusive listing is so important in commercial real estate. (In fact, some agents would say that a seller who wants to buck exclusivity is not serious about selling!) You’ll find a lot of agents requiring some measure of exclusivity in a contract, in order to invest the time and effort in doing the right kinds of marketing for sellers.

Performing Price Negotiations

When there’s an initial interest, the process moves into the phase of price negotiation. If this is based on a solid market value research model and the right foundation in terms of early work, it may be easier to close the deal, or there may be less ambiguity on negotiated pricing.

These are just some of the things that commercial real estate agents know as part of their jobs. At Dillingham & Toone Real Estate, we offer commercial real estate services as well as residential and relocation services. We also provide for property management and more, to help our clients to keep on top of everything that is required at any stage of a real estate process. Let us help you to manage your assets in an optimal way – to get more out of the hard work that you’ve put into your properties.

3 Things to Consider before Buying a Piece of Residential Land

There is nothing quite as exciting as buying your first home. If you have trouble finding a pre-existing home to purchase, having one built from scratch is advisable. Over 170,000 new homes are constructed in the United States each year. Before you can start designing your new home, you will have to find a piece of land to purchase.

In most cases, you will have many plots of lands to choose from in your area. Getting the help of an experienced real estate professional is vital when trying to find and purchase a quality piece of land.

3 Things to Consider before Buying a Piece of Residential Land

1. Find Out About Zoning and Utilities

When trying to narrow down the pieces of residential land at your disposal, you need to dig deeper to find out more about the zoning and utilities offered with each plot. Just because a piece of land is zoned residential doesn’t mean everything around it is zoned the same. Buying a piece of residential land that is surrounded by land zoned as commercial can be problematic.

The last thing you want is to have your new home surrounded by large commercial buildings. You also need to avoid buying a piece of land that is surrounded by plots zoned for agriculture. When researching a piece of land, you also need to find out whether or not utilities are already in place. Having to run new water, gas or electricity lines can be very expensive. This is why finding a piece of land with utilities already in place is advisable.

2. Invest in a Buildable Lot

Whether you are buying a piece of land to build a home on or as an investment, getting a lot that is easy to construct a residential structure on is wise. Buying a piece of land that is basically one big hill can present lots of problems when you try and build a home. Not only will you need to assess the lay of the piece of land in question, you also need to find out more how easy it will be to get approved for building a home on it.

Some people make the mistake of buying a piece of land based on price alone. While price is an important factor to consider, you need to avoid making rash decisions. In some cases, a low-priced piece of land can turn into a money pit. Seeking out the guidance of building professionals is a great way to assess how easy it will be to construct a home on a particular piece of land.

3. Where is the Land Located?

Before you go out in search of land, you need to figure out what your needs are. Do you want to live in a subdivision or would you rather be in the country? Having this information can help you narrow down the selection of land plots in your area. Meeting with a real estate agent is a great way to get a feel for what your options are and the going price on residential land in the area.

Start Your Home Building Journey Today!

If you are ready to start building a dream home, contact Dillingham and Toone to find out how we can help.

Ready to Build: How to Choose the Right Location for Your New Home

Building a home in Texas is a popular option for real estate buyers and something that continues to gain traction. There are many areas in this state that are experiencing ongoing and consistent growth. Recently, the Wall Street Journal even stated there was a “land rush,” pointing out that purchasing land in the Texas Hill Country for building custom homes is one of the latest and hottest trends in the luxury real estate realm.

However, before you can put down roots and enjoy all the benefits of a custom-built home, you have to choose the right home site. This is something that can be quite challenging. You must put in time and effort to ensure your land search is successful.

Choose the Right Size

While there is a motto in Texas – “Go big or go home,” when it comes to land, this isn’t always the case. For example, that amazing 20-acre property you were considering buying may be a maintenance nightmare.

Consider what you will use the property for, carefully. Do you want somewhere to keep your horses? Do you want a retirement home? Make sure you keep in mind what you really want so you don’t get sidetracked and wind up buying a property you will regret.

Consider the Location Carefully

When you are ready to purchase land anywhere in Texas, you have more than a few options to choose from. For example, you can go with rural land that is removed from the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities to home locations in more master-planned communities with a lot of amenities for residents and located near the bigger cities.

Thinking about how you want to live will help you determine where you want to live. Sales agents who are in the areas where you are interested in should be able to help you by letting you know about the communities where the people are near your life stage and where the commute will be the easiest. They can also point you in the right direction to find areas that have the amenities you are searching for or that offer more privacy than others.

Discuss Your Options with a Lender

The process involved with purchasing land to build a custom home is much different than if you were to buy a pre-built home. Loan terms and down payments are often surprising and there may be requirements and details related to the home you want to be built that you must work through. Understanding the process upfront and getting approval for the amount needed to purchase the land and build the home you want is essential.

When you are ready to begin the process of selecting the location where your custom home will be built, get in touch with the professionals. They can guide you through this process and help ensure you find the location that meets your needs, wants, and most importantly, your budget for the purchase.

Pitfalls Of Managing Rental Property

Whether you have become a landlord out of necessity or have chosen to purchase properties intended to rent out, owning rental properties does not come without its own set of challenges. 

While the economic opportunities may be exciting, managing rental properties can become overwhelming for owners who may live out of the area or have other full-time work responsibilities. Like any other business, proper management of a rental property requires time, commitment, and dedication. 

Understanding that there will be challenges that come with owning rental properties is vital in helping you head them off before they become problems. Identifying these areas where pitfalls can quickly arise helps to create a profitable and less stressful experience. 

Unpaid Rental Payments

One of the most common areas in which landlords experience challenges is dealing with tenants that do not pay their rent. This challenge is part of the nature of rental properties, and unfortunately, there is no way to eliminate it completely. Even the most financially sound tenants can experience difficult times, causing them to get behind on their payments or simply stop paying altogether. 

Proper Precautionary Prospective Tenant Screening

You can lower the risk of renting to unstable tenants by taking some precautions during the initial screening process. Careful screening of each prospective tenant can immediately weed out those who have a history of defaulting on financial obligations. Making sure to contact references, employers, and past property managers can assist you in gathering a better picture of who you are screening.

Adding clauses into the lease agreement that specify additional charges and fees that the tenant will be responsible for in the event rent is not paid on time is also helpful in protecting your interests as it provides a clear deterrence to getting behind. 

Keeping A Tenant In Your Home 

It is also important that you keep the screening process managed quickly so that your home does not stay vacant for long periods of time. The idea is to get great prospective tenants to want to move into your home, screen them effectively, and finally sign a lease agreement to keep cash flow from experiencing too much lull. 

Dealing With Property Damage

Maintaining a rental home that is attractive to good tenants is important to increasing your investment return. Unfortunately, rental properties can also fall victim to property damage. Of course, these damages may be weather-related, age-related, or tenant-related, but all of it must be dealt with quickly to maintain the property’s value and keep worsening conditions at bay. 

Property Managers Can Make Life Simpler

Property managers can be lifesavers for people who need someone to manage their rental home needs effectively and efficiently. At Dillingham & Toone Real Estate, we treat your rental property as if it were our own, giving you expert service that provides you peace of mind and less hassle.

Let us help your rental property work for you without you having to do any work. Call Dillingham & Toone Real Estate today and find out how easy owning rental property should be. 

Plan For Your Perfect Home Purchase

For most, purchasing a home is the biggest investment they will make in their lifetimes. It stands to reason then, that if you are in the market for a new home, you want to be confident that you are choosing one that will meet your needs and bring your joy.

There are many different things to consider when looking for your next home that it can become overwhelming to gain a clear idea of what you even want to look for. Questions of how much money you can afford to spend, what type of home you need, areas of town in which to look are only the tip of the ice burg when it comes to beginning your real estate search. 

Create An Outline As A Pre-Home Search Plan

Having a plan in advance is a great way to streamline your thoughts and give you a more focused approach on the quest for your perfect home. Doing this prep work before contacting a Realtor will provide you with a baseline and a starting point from which to proceed. Once you reach a Realtor, you will be able to use this outline as a means by which to convey your initial thoughts and needs to help them develop a tailored approach to house hunting. 

Set A Budget

The basics of this pre-home search outline are typically the easiest and the first aspects to list. Securing a pre-approval for a home loan is the best way to being the process of setting your budget for purchasing a new home. Your budget is important as it will determine how every other need and desire is met, or not, within the framework of how much money you will be able to spend. 

Needs, Wants, & Some Of Both

Once you have a target amount you’d like to spend on the home listed in your plan, you can begin to write down your list of needs and your list of wants. These two categories can be arranged, rearranged, and ultimately listed in ranking from most to least as desired. Time and thought should be put into this effort as having a clear understanding of what you need in a home will help you make the best decisions when it comes to making a purchase. 

Enlisting The Help Of A Realtor

Your Realtor will be able to take your pre-purchase plan and work with it and you to develop a search criteria in which to begin. Your Realtor can also advise you as to options that you may not at first have been aware of, developing a relationship with you that will bring you one step closer to finding the home of your dreams.

If you are thinking of beginning your search for your new home, begin by creating a plan that will bring into focus the aspects of your new home that will fulfill your needs and meet your desires. Contact Dillingham and Toone Real Estate to help you find just what you are looking for in your new home.

Tax Deductions Every New Homeowner Should Know

If homeownership is a new thing for you and your family, there may be some tax write-offs that you are unaware of. If we helped you to find a home this year, make sure to help yourself out when it comes to tax time. Proper care and attention when it comes to filing your return can help to save you thousands of dollars. 

Mortgage Interest

This is usually the biggest one for homeowners, and it is essential. Throughout the year, mortgage interest can add up really fast. You can deduct the interest on up to $750,000 of mortgage debt. If you took out your mortgage before 2017, you could deduct the interest on up to $1,000,000 of mortgage debt. Regardless of the origination of your loan, this deduction will likely knock thousands of dollars off of your tax requirements this year. 

Property Taxes

Some people don’t realize that as hard as that property tax bill can be to pay, it is a tax write off. This can make the sting just a little bit easier. Property taxes up to $10,000 can be deducted. 

Mortgage Insurance

If you are a homeowner that needed mortgage insurance to purchase your home, you can use that as a deduction on your return at this point. Mortgage Insurance premiums are only deductible if you make less than $109,000 per year. The year 2020 will be the last year for deducting these premiums, so make sure to take advantage of this benefit while you can. 

Home Office

Are you self employed and running a small business or sole proprietorship out of your home? If you are, then you are entitled to write off expenses related to your home office. You must be using your office regularly and be a registered business to claim these deductions.

Medically Necessary Home Improvements

Although most home improvements are not deductible because they increase the value of your home if you had to make any accommodations to make the home safer or more accessible for a disabled individual that is fully deductible. If you installed an entrance ramp or railings or had to make adjustments to the safety of a bathroom, you can fully deduct those expenses. Typically speaking, adding a ramp to your home does not increase the value, and that is why these things can be used as deductions. 


With all of the expenses incurred in buying a new home, don’t miss out on any of the money you can put back in your pocket. If you have questions about what things may not be tax-deductible, it pays to ask a licensed accountant or accounting firm before filing your return. If you spend a little money having a professional look at your tax return this year, it could end up saving you thousands of dollars. 

As always, if you have any questions about real estate or property management, we are here to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us today. 

The Benefits of Professional Property Management Services

Owning one, or more, rental properties is a great way to earn extra income. However, this ownership also comes with additional responsibilities. Managing properties involve an array of costs, including making repairs, maintenance and upkeep, marketing when you need tenants, and more. If you are wondering if you should hire a property manager, it may help to get to know some of the benefits these professionals have to offer. 

Screen Out Potentially Problematic Tenants 

One of the biggest advantages offered by property management services is that the property manager is going to handle all of the tenant screening processes. An experienced property manager will see many applications throughout the years. This means they can easily notice any possible problems or potential red flags when they are going through the paperwork provided by applicants. They can also spot potentially quality tenants – these are the ones that will pay their rent on time, take care of your property, and more. By allowing someone else to handle the tenant screening process, you can increase the likelihood that you will find a reliable renter. 

Serve as the Point of Contact for Tenant Problems or Concerns 

If something stops working properly or breaks at your rental property, it isn’t always possible or convenient for the owner to drive over to the location and inspect it – especially if they live out of town or out of state. A property management service can address issues that arise at all hours of the day and arrange for someone to come and make repairs or replace what the issue is. If you have a tenant who is always seeming to complain about something – regardless of if it is a dog or a noisy neighbor – you can feel confident the property manager will handle all the problems. 

Marketing the Rental 

A property manager is skilled in the rental market, which includes writing rental ads, taking quality photos, and hosting open houses. They also have knowledge of the local real estate industry and can help you establish a competitive rental price. 

By hiring a property manager with prior marketing experience, you will be able to get someone in your property faster and reduce the amount of time it is vacant. If you are planning to market the property on your own, there are options, but it will be much easier if you use the services of a pro. 

Reduce Tenant Turnover 

Any quality property management company will know what needs to be done to keep their renters happy. They are available and responsive, and they can take care of issues when they occur. When your renters are happy, this is going to reduce the likelihood that they leave and search for somewhere else to live. When it comes to property management companies, there is no question they have a lot to offer. Finding the right company for this job is going to pay off and provide you with all the benefits listed here, and more. Putting time and effort into this decision is recommended.

Benefits of Owner Financing for Sellers

Benefits of Owner Financing for Sellers

If you own property that you’ve been trying to sell but need to transfer ownership of it fairly quickly, selling it with owner financing may work well for you. My Home SA can help you set up the arrangement so that you can sell your home quickly and effectively to a motivated buyer. There are numerous benefits to setting up an owner financing arrangement, including, but not limited to, the following:

Monthly Income
When you decide to offer your home with owner financing, typically you gain access to a monthly mortgage payment from the buyer, instead of a full lump sum for the house at one time. This income can then become part of your ongoing income, helping increase your overall budget and turning your house into a liquid asset.

Faster Sale
If you want to sell your home more quickly, owner financing may be the way to go. Often this type of sale can attract more motivated buyers who are willing to purchase a property that may have some minor flaws, and they may be willing to pay a higher price for it. When you need to get your home sold and move on, quickly, owner financing can be a great way to do so and My Home SA can assist you through the process.

Sell Property “As Is”
It can be difficult to sell an older home without renovations or to sell a home that needs some upgrades or that isn’t perfect. However, offering a house with owner financing may mean that you can obtain a buyer, even if the home itself is less than perfect. This means that if you still need to paint, redo carpeting, or make other small repairs and it’s been holding you up as you prepare to sell your home, it may be time to move ahead with the process.

Instead of waiting until you have time to handle all of the remodeling that you’d like to be able to do, work with a company that will help you sell it with owner financing, instead. You’ll gain freedom and liquid cash, and the buyer will gain access to a home that they can fix up just the way that they’d like. It winds up being a win-win situation for everyone involved.

When you own property that you need to get onto the market and sold, but you’d like to do so quickly and effectively, owner financing is often the best way to go. If this is an option for you and you’d like help setting up the sale and finding a motivated buyer, contact My Home SA to learn more about the process. We’ll help you get started with all of the necessary paperwork so that you can get your home on the market and move on to the next phase of your life.

How to Get a Custom Home Built in San Antonio, TX

How to Get a Custom Home Built in San Antonio, TX

Moving to a new part of the country can be tricky when none of the houses in the area have what you want for your family. Instead of finding a home where your family can move into quietly, you’re stuck with a situation where your family is forcing itself to fit into a living space that’s too small, too old, missing modern features, and other potential problems.

While some real estate services would recommend you keep looking until you find a house that’s good enough, there is a more comfortable option. At Dillingham & Toone Real Estate, we recognize these cases as the time for someone to planning a custom home be built in the area. Having a custom-built home has benefits for the house owner.

When you have a custom home built, you have far more control over the individual elements of the house. For example, buyers can choose more eco-friendly materials when manufacturing their house. This makes the home better suited for the changes in the environment that San Antonio experiences throughout the year.

To get started with a custom home, buyers need to look for local contractors that can handle designing and building a custom structure. At Dillingham and Toone, our agents will help you determine the best builder to fit your family’s needs, as well as help you decipher the builder’s contracts.  When it comes to contracts, we always recommend having an attorney review the contracts. Building contracts can be complicated, and our agents are not allowed to give legal advice or change the conditions of a contract.

Having a custom home built requires the buyer to search for a spot with ample land to cover the construction. This is another place where our agents can help. Our agents will communicate with the builder to ensure the property that is purchased, if needed, will accommodate the floor plans you’ve selected. Some builders will have lots available to buy with the new build, and others will build on the property you choose.  We will also help coordinate financing if needed.

While the home is being constructed, there are many decisions about the style and color that need to be considered. Deciding on what tile to choose, colors of countertops, paint, lighting, and all the other details can be exhausting, but your Dillingham & Toone agent can be an extra set of eyes for you. Their guidance will ensure you have all the choices made and that your options create a solidify your design choices.

During the construction of the home, there will be multiple chances took over the building process at various stages. Since many custom homeowners don’t know what to check for during this process, your Dillingham & Toone agent can help during the different steps to ensure the construction is on time and that the builder is meeting your needs.

Dillingham & Toone is here to help eliminate some of the stress of building a custom home.  We are knowledgeable in the custom build process and will communicate with the builder on your behalf.

If you’re interested in getting a custom home built in San Antonio, contact us for more information today at 210-504-4800 or send us a message online using the form on our custom home page.

Home Seller Tips

Home Seller Tips

Selling your home isn’t the simplest task, but with the right help, it doesn’t have to be the most difficult thing you’ve ever done, either. There are numerous ways that you can make the process easier, including working with a skilled real estate agent. When it’s time to consider listing your house, consider utilizing these tips to make the process as simple as possible:

Focus on Curb Appeal: The first impression a potential buyer will have of your home is when they initially park and see it from the curb or the driveway, so it’s important to make sure that the house looks appealing on the outside as well as the inside. This means that you’ll need to keep the lawn maintained, keep weeds to a minimum, and make sure that the exterior paint and trim are in good condition. If it’s near a holiday, put up small, seasonally appropriate decorations. Be sure that the house numbers can be clearly seen from the street and that there is no clutter in the yard, driveway, or on your porch. Keep the front area of your home well lit, as well, so that it’s easy for potential buyers to see.

Deep Clean: Spend some time going through your house and cleaning it as thoroughly as possible. Make sure to change the air filters in your HVAC system, clean the baseboards, and have the carpets shampooed. If you lack the time or physical capability to clean the building in this manner, it may be time to reach out for professional help. A skilled cleaning company can assist you as you get your home ready to sell. These agencies can help carry out the tasks that you may not have time to manage so that the home can look it’s absolute best when you put it on the market.

Remove Clutter:  As you prepare to sell your house, spend some time removing clutter, photos, and personal belongings. Set your house up with neutral yet attractive items so that it has a pleasant appearance, but individuals who are interested in purchasing it can walk through and picture their family in the home. If you need help with this process, ask your real estate agent for their best tips about staging a house.

Handle Small Repairs: Spend some time going through the house and making a list of small repairs that need to be completed. If you’re consistently bothered by a squeaky hinge, a broken light switch plate, or a loose floorboard, spend a weekend fixing these issues. Small repairs may be easy and inexpensive to fix, but dramatically impact the amount you’re able to ask for your house overall.

When you’re ready to put your house on the market, reach out to our skilled real estate professionals today to learn how we can assist you. We’ll help make the process as simple as possible, so you can sell your home quickly and easily.

3 Real Estate Trends to Watch For in 2020

3 Real Estate Trends to Watch For in 2020

The real estate industry a dynamic system that’s always changing. Every year, new locations become the hot spot for the industry, and new trends affect what buyers are looking for in homes they find on the market. Whether you’re looking to buy a home or sell your property, it’s important to have an idea of the trends that will shape the market you’re entering. At Dillingham & Toone Real Estate, we work with clients to help them make sense of an ever-changing, so they get the best value for their transactions. With a new year just a couple of months away, here are three real estate trends to watch for in 2020.

An Increase In Investment Property Buyers

Under most circumstances, real estate is a safe investment because the value of property tends to rise over time. Even if there’s a slight downturn in the market, the property will return to its original value, so long as the person didn’t pay too much for it in the first place. In 2020, fears of a global economic downturn could make real estate investments in the U.S. a safer bet for people with capital without a place to invest it. This would be great news for sellers because the increased market activity will lead to better deals for property owners who wish to sell.

Higher Prices for Houses in Tourist-Friendly Areas

One of the most significant disruptions to the traditional housing market has been the introduction of apps like Airbnb. A person with a house in an area that’s convenient for tourists no longer has to sell their home to someone who wants to live in a high-traffic area. People will pay top dollar for a home they never intend to live it because the house can be rented for far more money on Airbnb. While there are conflicting opinions on whether this is a good or bad thing for society at large, it’s great for property owners. Selling a house amid a busy tourist district can be tricky. Many people don’t want to deal with heavy congestion all year round. However, vacationers love being in the thick of the action for a few days. Investors who want to make money on Airbnb rentals are willing to raise the price for these locations to levels that would be too expensive for locals.

An Increasing Focus on Technology

Smart homes that use internet technology to make life better has gone from being something rare to something more commonplace. For people that want to sell an older home in 2020, they may want to consider some technological upgrades to go along with curb appeal improvements. A lot of the most commonly requested smart home features are expensive to install, but make your home stand out against the competition. For example, a smart thermostat is quick and easy to have installed; it makes the house more modern and can lower energy costs when used correctly. Similarly, internet-enabled locks and security are features that many house hunters like to see when searching for a new home. Compared to other potential renovations, making your home a little smarter with technology is inexpensive and can have a considerable impact.

If you’re looking to buy or sell property in the near future, Dillingham & Toone Real Estate is here to help. We have years of experience assisting people to get the best deals on real estate transactions in Texas. Send us a message online to discuss your real estate needs.

Owner Financing in Texas

Owner Financing in Texas

An important bucket list item for many Americans is to own their own home. However, many people are finding that it’s more challenging to obtain a mortgage and purchase a home today than it used to be. It can be difficult to achieve this lifetime goal, and this is often complicated by previous generations, not understanding that the process of purchasing a home has changed dramatically.

Before 2008, the real estate market simply didn’t have as many regulations as it does now. It used to be very easy for sellers to offer financing programs that were a bit more creative. This process made it far easier for buyers to obtain the mortgage they’d always wanted. However, those easy mortgages built up and brought on the real estate market crash of 2008, in which many individuals lost their life savings, and some lost their homes.

Sellers who are attempting to sell their homes to buyers who have credit that is less than perfect may decide to finance the purchase on their own. Owner financing is a valid method, but sellers who want to go this route may want to contact a Real Estate Broker/Realtor with experience, and a skilled attorney to help draw up the paperwork.

If you’re selling your home and would like to consider owner financing in Texas, there are a few things to keep in mind:

The SAFE Act – If a seller engages in more than five owner-financed transactions in a year, they now have to have a Residential Mortgage Loan Originator License, according to the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) for Mortgage Licensing Act. This helps keep individuals from financing many properties in a row and possibly not doing so ethically. There are some legal exceptions to this Act, such as providing mortgages to family members or selling your primary residence. It is wise to work with an attorney in these specific situations.

Dodd-Frank/TitleXIV – The Mortgage Reform and Anti Predatory Lending Act went into effect in 2014 and states that sellers must determine if a potential buyer can afford the house before they set up a contract. This law originated to eliminate finance deals to sell homes that more unfortunate borrowers couldn’t reasonably afford but signed contracts for anyway. The law prevents balloon payments as the mortgage matures, as well as penalty fees for pre-payments.

If you’re a Texas buyer and are interested in purchasing a home, you must be aware of the changes to the real estate market over the last decade. If you’re planning to owner finance your home, speak to a real estate attorney or qualified real estate professional to learn more about details for funding. These skilled professionals can help ensure that you manage your legal liabilities appropriately as you put your property on the market or purchase an owner financed home.