By Lisa Harrison Rivas
So, you have a pre-approval letter from your lender and you’re ready to go house hunting.
Now, you must decide if you want to buy an existing home or have a house built. If you choose to build, will it be a tract home from one of the well-known builders or will you choose a custom home?
A custom home is built to the specifications of the buyer, while tract homes feature similar styles and floor plans. Tract homes are what you see in most subdivisions.
As a Realtor, I can help guide you through the process for buying any of these types of homes.
But if you are considering a custom home, you’ll need land and design plans. Your lender can provide information about home construction loans.
The San Antonio area has numerous custom home builders including Abraham Solis, chief of operations for Future Tech Custom Homes. Solis says his firm can offer construction loans at 4 percent interest and provide help with design plans.
“We have three designers that you can work with each with different price ranges from low to high,” he said. Future Tech Custom Homes start at $250,000.
Solis now runs the business that began with his father’s framing business 30 years ago. He and I recently talked about some basics of custom home building.
Q: What surprises people most about the process?
A: I think for us it was the timing. People were surprised at how fast we were. And surprised with how we work with them and how everybody treated them.
Q: How long does it take?
A: For a big home, a million-dollar home, it generally takes about eight months.
Q: How does the process work?
A: I have a little system before we even start. When we get the initial commitment contract signed, they put down a deposit and from there, I give them a checklist. They have to go and get all the materials for the flooring, everything, you name it. So, before we even begin anything, they already start doing that checklist. So right before I break ground, on day one, I’m already ordering floors, countertops things like that.
Q: Do you help clients order the materials?
A: We have vendors that we have been working with, so we can send them to our vendors. If they have vendors, that’s fine too.
Q: Where do you build?
A: We mainly build in the north area. We’ll go as far as Austin.
Q: How would you describe Future Tech Custom Homes’ style?
A: It’s Hill Country meets modern contemporary. You still have your metal roofs, the colors outside are the light beiges and on the inside, it has a Spanish feel.
Q: Why is Tech part of the name?
A: The smart homes. There’s a crew that we work with, they fully automated one of our homes. Apple watches can be used to turn on lights and appliances. People really like that.
Q: How much would that technology cost?
A: A good setup would cost about $10,000 or $15,000 for a fully-automated home.
Q: Do most people want one or two stories?
A: One story. People just don’t like to go up the stairs. Another thing that I also heard is that they like to do away with dining rooms as well. They want a nook, that’s it. An open floor plan and a little nook on the side.
Q: Any unusual requests?
A: One couple had a foyer with a dome ceiling and the woman wanted gold flakes up there. They ended up going with this copper type paint. It shined, it looked beautiful.
Q: Why would someone have a custom home built?
A: I’ll say it the way my dad would say it. In a custom home, you get what you want. Everything is pretty much beefed up on a custom home. You’ll get your bang for your buck.
Lisa Harrison Rivas is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Don Johnson Realtors. If you are planning to buy or sell, feel free to contact her at 210-380-9006 or firstname.lastname@example.org
1st African American USAA Chairman to Retire
Retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Lester Lyles has announced the next USAA’s membership meeting in August will be the last as chairman.
Since 2004 General Lyles has been on USAA’s board of directors. He told members that he deeply appreciates their trust and thanked them “for your loyalty through the years” in a recent letter that was part of the annual membership report.
Born April 20, 1946 General Lyles is a former United States Air Force general, Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, and Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. After retirement from the Air Force in 2003, he became a company director for General Dynamics, DPL Inc., KBR Incorporated, Precision Castparts Corp., MTC Technologies, Battelle Memorial Institute and USAA. Lyles is also a Trustee of Analytic Services and a Managing Partner of Four Seasons Ventures, LLC.
In 2017, Lyles earned $461,034 from his role as board chairman, up from $449,910 in 2016. In 2018, Lyles earned $458,499 in salary for the role, records show.
Botswana’s First Skyscraper and Tallest Building
Located in the capital city of Gaborone, Itowers is an establishment comprised of three buildings in total, with the tallest South Tower rising 28 levels above the ground – making it Botswana’s tallest building, an iconic landmark in the city. Located in the center of the city’s vibrant new Central Business District just 20 minutes away from the airport, this complex of condominiums, apartments, office and retail space is perfectly suited for businessmen, diplomats and tourists seeking comfortable temporary accommodations.
It’s also in close proximity to all major government offices, shopping malls, and tourist attractions including the Square Mart Shopping Centre (just 1.2 km or 3/4 mile away), and the Three Dikgosi Monument (also just 1.2 km or 3/4 mile away).
Itowers has 54 outstanding apartments comprising of: 36 Standard rooms, 6 Premium rooms 12 Premium Plus rooms, with balconies opening to city views. They have 2 paraplegic friendly rooms and 12 family rooms.
In addition, Itowers features an on-site stylish and contemporary restaurant called Table50Two, located on the 28th floor of the south tower. The beautiful outdoor setting is set in a loft-life lounge ambience with lounge sofas and breathtaking views of the city. The unique and world class menu is complemented by a comprehensive choice of wine and beverages. It is the highest dining venue in all of Botswana.
When built, the project not only made an impact on the city of Gaborone, but also to the livelihoods of everyone involved in this multi-million dollar project. A total of 4.8 million man hours, 3.5 million bricks, 28 400m3 of cement and millions more hopes and dreams went into designing, erecting and completing the landmark towers.
Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth in 1966. Since then, it has been a representative republic, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the best perceived corruption ranking in Africa since at least 1998. It is currently Africa’s oldest continuous democracy.
Beyonce Reportedly Made $300 Million From Her Uber Investment
Uber went public last week and their shares have been plummeting ever since. Despite this, singer Beyonce has still managed to score a $300 million profit from her investment. Many are wondering how this is possible since Uber’s shares plunged during the first week, closing as low as 17% below its IPO price!
Well, according to The New York Times, Beyonce received $6 million in restricted stock units (RSUs) from Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick to perform at a private company event in Las Vegas in 2015.
Here’s a little bit of information about restricted stock units (RSU). It’s compensation issued by an employer to an employee in the form of company stock that are assigned a fair market value when they vest. Upon vesting, the stock units are considered income, and a portion of the shares is withheld to pay income taxes. The employee receives the remaining shares and can sell them at his or her discretion.
So, Beyonce, although not a regular employee of Uber, was in fact “an employee” temporarily when she performed at the company’s private event. While the exact value of the shares at the time is not known, it can be assumed that the value was around $20 to $25 per share.
But when Uber’s IPO initially debuted, it started trading at $42 per share. So, if she sold her shares immediately despite the IPO plummeting, she could have easily made $300 million or more from her shares.
Another win for the Beehive!