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Record-Breaking Numbers at SA Airport

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San Antonio International Airport (SAT) continued its trend of record breaking growth in August, with 881,896 passengers making their way through the airport, or a 17 percent increase over the same time last year.

This increase is the largest monthly growth in nearly 16 years. The unprecedented growth continued to boost calendar year-to-date totals by 10.4 percent. Passenger growth is expected to climb with the 11 new flights that began during the month of August.

The August growth from 2017 to 2018 is mostly due to new routes on American, Frontier, and Southwest Airlines. The trend continues internationally with with year-to-date totals up 14 percent, or 278,142 passengers.

“This is our best period in more than a decade. Passenger totals for 2018 are approaching 10 million and the demand for air travel continues to increase,” said Russ Handy, aviation director for the city of San Antonio

The continued growth at SAT reflects an ongoing trend of progress at the airport that has now stretched to more than two years of consecutive monthly growth and passenger records. The airport team continues efforts to attain and retain air service, with multiple routes added in the past two years.

Just two months ago, Frontier Airlines, a low-cost carrier, announced in May it would be offering new non-stop flights to 11 destinations, which includes service to Orange County, Jacksonville, Omaha, Charlotte, Tulsa, Cleveland, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, Columbus and Salt Lake City. The San Antonio Airport has 12 different airlines that provide service to passengers.

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Considering a Home Loan?

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By Lisa Harrison Rivas

If you’re thinking of buying a home soon, now is a good time to get your financial house in order.  But where do you start?

Understanding what is required to obtain a mortgage can be confusing and overwhelming, especially with so much information available on the internet.

Maurice Matthews, a loan officer with Gold Financial Services at 2822 N. Loop 1604 in San Antonio, suggests prospective homebuyers sit down with a lender before house hunting.

Matthews, who has been a loan officer for 14 years, discussed his job and what people should know about the mortgage process.

Q: When people find out you’re a loan officer, what are some of the first things they ask?

A: The first thing they ask is what is the interest rate. And the interest rate is determined by a lot of different things. A lot of times, people just don’t understand the depth of what the interest rate is determined by. It’s determined by the credit score and the loan amount size. People also ask what their payment might be.

Q: Do you specialize in a certain type of loan?

A: Being prior military (Air Force), I specialize in VA loans. I can do all loans, but I guess I’m sort of partial to military loans. This is a military town. I love my veterans. The VA is probably the best loan out there because it requires no down payment and there is no mortgage insurance on the loan.

Q: What should people know before applying for a home loan?

A: Before you have your Realtor run you around, you need to know where you stand with your credit score and with your debt ratio.  You need to know if you qualify, if you’re a qualified buyer, that’s what a Realtor wants.

Q: How long does it generally take for an applicant to find out how much he or she is qualified for?

A: I can tell them the same day. Once I see where their income is, I can have a really good idea of if they’re qualified or not.

Q: Which type of home loan do most people get?

A: In San Antonio, most of them are VA. But people are hedging toward FHA loans. An FHA loan allows them to get a bit more buying power as compared to a conventional loan. FHA allows them to put 3.5 percent down and the debt to income ratios are not as stringent which again allows people to have more buying power. (FHA guidelines recently changed allowing some applicants to borrow more.)

Q: What do you consider a low credit score?

A: The low on the FHA is about 580. Now if you do what we call a non-qualified loan, which is anything outside of your standard loans such as FHA, VA or USDA, lenders can go a little bit lower than a 580 credit score. But with that there are a few more hurdles that borrowers might have to climb. They might have to put more money down. It’s a case by case basis.

Q: What are some of the financial mistakes prospective homebuyers make during the loan process?

A: Going out shopping. I tell clients not to spend or look at anything until you close.

Q: Can you share an unusual scenario you’ve come across in your career as a loan officer?

A: Man, I’ve seen it all. But when it’s all said and done my objective is to help people. For some it might be immediately, some a year from now. My goal is to help in every single scenario, regardless of what it is.

Lisa Harrison Rivas is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Don Johnson, Realtors. Contact Lisa at 210-380-9006 or lhrivas@realsa.com

Maurice Matthews is a loan officer with Gold Financial Services, a full-service mortgage banker. He can be reached at 210-366-1070 or mmatthews@goldfinancial.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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San Antonio City Manager Announced Retirement

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During the mid-term election, Bexar County voters told the San Antonio City Council very loudly through a 59 percent vote on a proposition that a city manager should be limited to eight years and caps future manager’s pay to 10 times the lowest paid city employee.

Today, San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley announced her retirement next summer. Sculley has been in her position for the last 13 years and is one the highest paid employees in the city. In her tenure, she has served four mayors and oversaw a multi-billion city budget.

Sculley said in a video that it has been a “fabulous experience and a wild ride from time to time.”

Councilman Rey Saldaña said Sculley’s announcement comes after a successful career of working under the hood of San Antonio’s major operations for 13 years.

He added as any athlete knows, one day you’ll throw your last pitch or make your last pass, the question will be if your team will be stronger in your absence. Having witnessed the team Sheryl has put together, I’m confident that we will be a stronger city because of what she has built.

“From filling potholes to creating nationally recognized Pre-K centers, her leadership guided the team that has made it possible,” Saldaña said.
“We are hiring more police officers, graduating more fire fighter cadets, building more streets, increasing pay for city employees, and enhancing our parks/library system since she arrived in 2005 – all without increasing taxes.”

San Antonio is in a better place because of her professionalism, experience, and management, Saldaña added.

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East Side Development Group Selects a New CEO

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San Antonio for Growth on the East Side, one of the leading economic generators for development on the East Side, has selected Tuesdaé Knight to be its new CEO.

SAGE’s Board of Directors selected Knight, who was formerly vice president of Membership and Business Development at the San Antonio Chamber of commerce for the last eight years. Prior to that she worked in marketing and communications for the YMCA both in San Antonio and in Houston. Knight received an MBA from Texas A&M International University.

SAGE started the holiday season a little rough. First, its longtime CEO Jackie Gorman departed in late September. And in early November, interim CEO Akeem Brown also resigned.

As a 501(c)3, SAGE receives funding from both public and private sources, including the city of San Antonio. According to its website, SAGE identifies the needs of the Eastside business community and provide assistance to businesses that already have a foothold in its commercial corridor.

The recent turnover in executive staff at SAGE raised questions of who will lead the organization forward especially during a time when many investors are looking at the area for redevelopment. In 2014, a portion of the East Side was designated one of the nation’s first “promise zones,” which made it eligible for millions in federal grants.

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