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 email@example.com
Get In the Mix
The world is back open for business and it’s time for all to get back to the grind. Maybe you’re looking to start a new career, get some fresh ideas, find some partners, boost your own business, or just want to meet some great people, The Mix: Business Culture is the perfect opportunity to get out of the house or office. Saturday, July 10th Blackbook Studios is hosting a mixer featuring several business owner’s, author’s, financial specialists, vendors, and entrepreneurs. It’s a great time to network with businesses that survived the pandemic, are braving new start-ups, and those who’ve been in business for some time. There will be a live Dj, food, business showcases, and presenters in the building to offer best practices and more. Goodie bags and an opportunity to win some prizes is also available.
The cost is just $10. Tickets may be purchased online via Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-mixx-business-culture-tickets-157444742463?aff=ebdssbdestsearch or at the door. For more information or to reserve a vendor space call (210) 226-1939.
City Budget- Your Input Is Important
City of San Antonio invites residents to participate in virtual FY 2022 budget telephone town hall meetings
The City of San Antonio will host two virtual telephone town hall meetings to inform the public about the Fiscal Year 2022 budget development process, answer public questions and gather input. The virtual meetings will include telephone town hall features, which allow residents to register in advance and receive a call when it’s time to join the event. City Manager Erik Walsh, Deputy City Manager Maria Villagomez and Budget Director Scott Huizenga will lead the public meeting.
The meetings will be held Tuesday, June 22 and Wednesday, June 23 at 6 p.m. Residents can register here to participate at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FY2022telephonemtg. Registration closes three hours prior to each event.
“Telephone town hall meetings are a convenient way to hear directly from our residents, from the comfort of their homes. Each of our residents leads a busy life, whether that’s tending to their families, commuting to and from work, balancing schoolwork, or other priorities. These telephone town hall events allow the public to participate wherever they are,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “The annual budget process sets the framework for our work in the community and our strategic goals.”
The City also opened a brief budget survey, which will remain open through June 21, 2021. The survey gives residents the opportunity to weigh in on their service priorities, as well as share their thoughts on restoring programming from budget cuts made in FY 2020 and FY 2021. City residents can take the survey on www.saspeakup.com or by texting SASpeakUp to 55000 to take the survey on their mobile devices.
More information about the telephone town hall meetings and survey are available at www.saspeakup.com.
City, partner agencies prepared to provide shelter to homeless during cold night
SAN ANTONIO (February 10, 2021) – The City of San Antonio and its partner agencies are prepared to provide access to shelter and services to those experiencing unsheltered homelessness as the National Weather Service expects much colder conditions across the region beginning tonight and into the upcoming weekend, as an arctic airmass moves south into Texas.
There are chances for showers and even thunderstorms on Thursday as an upper-level disturbance moves over the region. Best chances for wintry mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow is likely to be late Sunday into Monday, according to the National Weather Service.
“The City’s Department of Human Services and its partner agencies in homeless services assist individuals facing homelessness by providing outreach, developing a relationship, and offering services daily,” City Manager Erik Walsh said. “In critical situations like severe weather, the City and our partners work even harder to reach those who are unsheltered and direct them to a safe and warm shelter.”
Haven for Hope is open for all individuals experiencing homelessness. All clients sleep indoors and are given cold-weather clothing, including warm jackets.
New clients should present to Haven for Hope’s Intake (currently operating out of the Donation Center at 1 Haven for Hope Way) between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Households with children are welcome at Haven for Hope any time of the day or evening, 24/7.
After hours and on weekends, individualized services are available, to include cold-weather sleeping accommodations and cold-weather kits (sleeping bags, hand warmers, snacks and hygiene products). With the imminent cold weather, after hours sleeping will be expanded.
In addition, the Salvation Army Dave Coy Men’s Shelter provides overnight shelter at 226 Nolan St. Nightly enrollment begins at 3 p.m. daily through 8 p.m. Individuals will have access to restroom and shower facilities, hygiene products, a bed with clean linens and meals. Individuals must be 18 years or older and provide a picture ID at the time of enrollment.
The South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless (SARAH), in partnership with the City of San Antonio Department of Human Services, organized a collection drive for cold weather materials, including jackets, blankets, socks, and more. These items are available for street outreach workers and those in need at the San Fernando Homeless Resource Hub located at 319 W. Travis St. Community members wishing to donate new cold weather gear can drop off donations at the San Fernando Homeless Resource Hub from Monday to Friday between 1 and 4 p.m.
The City of San Antonio Department of Human Services’ Homeless Division, Haven for Hope’s Outreach staff, and other street outreach providers, offer assistance that includes encouraging clients to access shelter services, coordinating transportation to shelter intake, and distributing cold-weather gear such as warm jackets and sleeping bags.