Mirabal Montalvo & Associates Blog

Top Five Mistakes Sellers Make

Finding the Best Agent


Finding the right agent can make or break the sale of your home and can make all the difference in your selling experience.  Be sure that the person is licensed by the state in which they work either as an agent, salesperson, or broker and that all necessary requirements are met.


Find an agent that you are comfortable working with that is honest, confidential, and pays close attention to detail.  Choose an agent that provides feedback on your home openly and honestly.  You should feel confident about trusting your real estate agent. Remember that you are paying your agent good money, so make sure they have experience in their field.  It would be in your best interest if you choose someone that works as an agent full-time.  Many real estate agents work part-time, but you should choose an agent that is fully committed to the real estate industry.


Mirabal Montalvo and Associates can offer you the best real estate agents in Corpus Christi.  Contact our team of agents today:




Questioning The First Offer


In most cases, a home’s first offer is often the best.  It is quite common amongst sellers to be insulted by the first offer made on their home, don’t be!   Many people believe that a better price will always come after the first offer. This initial offering price is usually not as insulting as you think; it often turns out to be the best price choice!  Informed buyers will seize a property they are interested in with a competitive bid as soon as your property hits the market.  You may see some low offers being made at times, but don’t assume that you’ll receive better bids the longer you wait around.  You don’t want your home sitting on the market unsold forever.  Listen to each offer and present a realistic counter offer.


False Advertising


Misrepresenting a home has been a growing problem amongst sellers.  The most common sources of falsely advertised home information include home descriptions and digitally-enhanced photos.  False information when describing number of bedrooms in a home attracts the most complaints.  Misled buyers will attend an open house to find that the four bedroom home they were expecting has only three bedrooms, the forth room being a basement or garage storage room.


Photo alterations are easy to get carried away with, as most computers come equipped with photoshop/photo editing programs.  Retouching a photo to add shrubbery in the backyard or editing the size of your neighbor’s home to make your home seem bigger will only disappoint your potential buyers.


Inadequate Listing Photos


The internet has become the most common place for interested buyers to begin their property searches.  The appearance of your home on the web is a crucial factor when marketing your home online.   The presentation of your home online should accurately represent how your home will look during an open house. The most common problem with online home marketing is that there are an inadequate number of listing photos presented.  Sellers should include as many photos allowed on the real estate listing server, don’t be skimpy! Highlight all of the major rooms in your home along with amenities and other attractive features.  The kitchen, bedrooms/bathrooms, and outdoor space are the most commonly photographed areas that could use a few more featured photos.


Home Proud


It is very common to get ‘home-proud’ of your property, leading to unrealistic views on the selling process.  You have to realize that your home is not the only one in neighborhood that is for sale.  The market is challenging and competitive, to say the very least.  With this in mind, make sure your home pulls in the right kind of potential buyers and stands out from the rest of the competition.  Just be sure not to get too ahead of yourself, it’s always positive to have confidence, but have the facts too!


To experience the best in Corpus Christi Real Estate visit mirabalmontalvo.com. Mirabal Montalvo & Associates is one of the top selling brokerages in Corpus Christi, Texas specializing in the residential and commercial South Texas real estate market.

Go Green to Save Money

Winter is just around the corner and Mirabal Montalvo would like to provide the best home improvement advice for our customers and clients for the upcoming cold months. There are many simple ways to save money on home expenses during the winter while simultaneously helping the environment.


Adjusting the Thermostat


Adjusting the thermostat at the appropriate time of day can lower the energy bills in your home. According to the U.S. department of Energy, efficient thermostat adjusting can reduce expenses 5%-15% every year. A programmable thermostat is highly recommended, so you can set temperatures once and not have to think about it each day. When you’re at home during the day program your thermostat for about 68-70 degrees. When you are away from your home for long periods of time (4 or more hours) or at night while you’re asleep, reduce the temperature to about 10-15 degrees cooler.
Proper Insulation


The most common place in the household for heat to escape is the attic. Hire a professional contractor to inspect the conditions of the attic insulation to prevent future energy loss.
Inspect windows and doors for air leaks and gaps. Sealing any leaks with silicone caulk or installing weather stripping around windows and doors are easy solutions for most air leaks. A quick and easy way to test whether a window or door has an air leak is to use a ribbon. Hold up the ribbon around the edges of windows and doors. If the ribbon flutters then there is a leak where air is getting in and heat is escaping.


Maintaining Air Filters


It is important to keep your air filters clean, and replace them when necessary. It is recommended to clean your filters every month, as dirty air filters obstruct air movement and can actually raise heating costs in your home. Consider replacing filters every six months. Electrostatic filters offer value and efficiency although they are a bit pricy. These kind filters are reusable and easily washable with water.

Servicing your Furnace


Consult a professional furnace technician every fall to have your furnace serviced. Be sure your professional adjusts, cleans, and lubricates your furnace along with the furnace filter. Maintaining a clean furnace can save you about 5% of your home’s heating energy.


To experience the best in Corpus Christi Real Estate visit mirabalmontalvo.com. Mirabal Montalvo & Associates is one of the top selling brokerages in Corpus Christi, Texas specializing in the residential and commercial South Texas real estate market.

Relieving the Common Stresses of Buying a Home

A home purchase will most likely be the largest financial investment you will make. The pressures of this life-changing decision can cause stress, anxiety, for the home buyer. Mirabal Montalvo would like to help you put your ‘buyer discomforts’ at ease.


Choosing Trustworthy Professionals


Your advisor might be a real estate agent, real estate lawyer, or possibly your tax attorney. For the best experience, make sure you are explicit with those you are working with to get exactly what you’re looking for, don’t settle for anything less! If you have a friend that works in your area of interested business, keep in mind that friendship alone isn’t enough to establish a professional’s credentials. Set your standards high when choosing a trustworthy professional. Mirabal Montalvo firmly believes that the client comes first and every step must be taken in order to get their home sold. Here at Mirabal Montalvo we guarantee that all of our real estate professionals will provide our clients with exceptional service, honesty, and commitment. Contact Mirabal Montalvo today for all of your real estate needs including buyer and seller services, and commercial and residential listings.


Keeping Credit Clean


As you are getting ready to close your home purchase transaction, do not make large financing purchases or decisions. These large investments may work against your credit. You want to keep your credit as clean as possible, especially if you loan underwriting conditions have not yet been approved. Find out exactly what your credit report says about your credit history before you apply for a home loan, Do your homework to fully understand your credit score.


Is this the One?


Choosing your dream home isnot an easy task, make sure you are not overlooking anything as you get ready to make an offer or close on your home purchase transaction. Does this home fulfill all of your desired living requirements and personal preferences? Consider all of the amenities in both your dream home and neighborhood that you can’t live without. Create a list that conveys the minimum requirements (things you can live with and others you can’t live without), or even a pros and cons list if you’re highly considering two different properties. Buying a home usually implies a long residency, even permanency for some, so you have to be completely sure about your final home decision. Mirabal Montalvo realtors can help you make the best choice for your dream home!


To experience the best in Corpus Christi Real Estate visit mirabalmontalvo.com. Mirabal Montalvo & Associates is one of the top selling brokerages in Corpus Christi, Texas specializing in the residential and commercial South Texas real estate market.

M Magazine Fall 2011 Issue Release

Mirabal Montalvo & Associates is pleased to announce the release of our Fall 2011 ‘M-Magazine’. We are collaborating with some of the best businesses and organizations from the Corpus Christi area to make M-Magazine a resource that will bring togetherness to our community.


Many great articles are in store for our readers this upcoming issue, including ‘An Afternoon at River Park’ where models Michelle, Nora, and Amanda show off the exquisite design and functionality of their 5,866 square foot Wood River Home.


Mirabal Montalvo is honored to have a featured article in partnership with The American Diabetes Association to spread the word about their sixteenth annual Gala, “All In for A Cure,” on October 22, 2011.

For those that live in the Southside region of Corpus Christi, a new fine dining bar and restaurant, Katz 21, is a new attraction in the restaurant spotlight. Mirabal Montalvo is fortunate to give a preview of this up and coming restaurant bar and lounge which will include a full sushi bar, banquet and lounge areas, and fine spirits and cocktails.


For more information and an exclusive preview of our featured articles in the Fall ‘M-Magazine’ issue, please visit our website for a full interactive preview, available now at: http://mirabalmontalvo.com/m-magazine/


Please contact Mirabal Montalvo & Associates for further inquiry for subscribing to ‘M-Magazine’ as it is available online or at select locations.


To experience the best in Corpus Christi Real Estate visit mirabalmontalvo.com. Mirabal Montalvo & Associates is one of the top selling brokerages in Corpus Christi, Texas specializing in the residential and commercial South Texas real estate market.

Common Home Inspection Problems

1. Drainage/Grading Problems


Improper drainage and grading are the most common home improvement problems and are encountered by about 36% of home inspectors during the inspection process. These problems can lead to damp or wet footings and basements. The installation of new roof gutters and downspouts and the re-grading of lawns and areas surrounding the home will channel surface water away from the foundation


2. Excesssive Air Leakage


Sealing and insulating the “envelope” or “shell” of your home is the most cost effective way to improve energy efficiency, comfort, and prevent excessive air leakage. These areas include the home’s outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors, and floors. To prevent air leakage, add insulation to block heat loss in winter and heat gain in the summer. A poorly fitting door, deteriorating caulking, poor attic seals, and old or un-updated windows are the most common sources of air leakage. Generally, these repairs are simple and inexpensive and should be done immediately to improve energy efficiency.


3. Improper Electrical Wiring


Improper electrical wiring includes situations such as insufficient or undersized electrical service to the house. Many of these problems have to deal with aluminum wiring, inadequate overload protection, improper grounding and amateur distribution systems. Consult a professional to carry out the inspection as well as the necessary repairs. Immediate action should be carried out by an expert as electrical problems are considered very serious safety hazards.


4. Outdated or Damaged Roofs


Roof leakage caused by old or damaged shingles or improper flashing is a frequent problem. Generally, asphalt single roofs last about 15-20 years and should be inspected after this duration of time. It is difficult to determine the roof age from the ground. It is wise to investigate how many layers are under the roof to determine if the roof needs to be completely replaced before installing the new shingles.


5. Stucco Repairs


When applied correctly, exterior stucco walls can last a lifetime. However, a common flaw to stucco walls is that water can easily penetrate the stucco through cracks, around unsealed light fixtures, and exterior outlets. Excessive exposure to water can significantly decrease the quality of stucco. Stucco is water resistant but not water proof. Damaged or cracked stucco must be repaired through patching before the damage becomes more serious. Do-it-yourself repairs are also an option for stucco damages.


To experience the best in Corpus Christi Real Estate visit mirabalmontalvo.com. Mirabal Montalvo & Associates is one of the top selling brokerages in Corpus Christi, Texas specializing in the residential and commercial South Texas real estate market.

Updating Your Garage Can Increase Home Value

A garage door can offer more to your home than just a storage space. It is one of the most prominent street-facing sections of a home, and is commonly overlooked as a place where the curb appeal can be enhanced. Garages are rarely considered when it comes to home improvement upgrades. Garages can either add or subtract value to your home, and simply updating your garage can add more than 5% to the overall value of your home.


The Door


The garage door plays a critical role in the appeal of the home exterior as it almost always faces the street. When upgrading aspects of the exterior of the home, garage door improvements will contribute to a more attractive outer appearance. The door itself is considered as part of the “face” of the home. Garage doors come in a variety of different materials and styles that of course vary in price range. If you are looking for an easy, inexpensive way to improve the look of your garage door, a fresh coat of paint can make a dramatic difference to the exterior finish of your home.


The Interior


The installation of shelving, cabinets, and other storage containers will enhance the visual appearance and functionality of the garage’s interior. Home organization is always a plus. Garages are a storage place for toxic and hazardous chemicals, so be cautious when organizing the space. Good lighting in the garage is greatly beneficial, so if you are replacing the garage door, consider one with windows.


The Technology


Over the years garage door technologies have greatly improved, and a more modern garage system will add value to your home. New entry methods can range from latches, to remotes, to multi-code keypad entry, and on the rise are finger print scanners which provide optimum security.


Adding a Garage


If your property does not have a garage and you live in a neighborhood where garages are not common, adding one can increase your property value dramatically. Consider all of your options and home improvement budget.


To experience the best in Corpus Christi Real Estate visit mirabalmontalvo.com. Mirabal Montalvo & Associates is one of the top selling brokerages in Corpus Christi, Texas specializing in the residential and commercial South Texas real estate market.

Choosing the Perfect Neighborhood

When in the market for buying a new home, consider the location for each property of potential interest. Remember that when you buy a house, you’re also buying a neighborhood. Location can make all the difference when buying a home. The surrounding neighborhood can often be overlooked, so it is important to take these tips into consideration before making your final decision.


Proximity to Amenities


Be sure that essential services in your neighborhood are easily accessible. Close proximity to community amenities are a bonus for most people. It would be ideal if your home was local to grocery stores, schools, post offices, etc.


It would be wise to take into account your personal needs lifestyle when choosing a home. If you have an interest in nightlife, consider moving to an upbeat urban city rather than a residential community. If you cannot go a week without golfing, make sure there is a course nearby. The surrounding community should appeal to you just as much as your home.


Commuting Costs


Commuting costs are often overlooked when considering a neighborhood. Think about the traveling distance from your neighborhood to your work office. Consider all of your traveling options, including public transportation, biking, and walking. If you are in doubt about the ease of the commute, try it a couple of times. Make the commute after work to your potential home and imagine doing it every day.Money spent on gas and transportation should be calculated in addition to the mortgage of every property to accurately calculate the cost of living.


First Impressions Aren’t Everything


If you are considering a property be sure to visit the home at different times of the day, including the night time. Visit the neighborhood on more than one occasion to get a more accurate feel of the neighborhood traffic and residents lifestyle. Remember, a home’s first impression could greatly change if you were to visit the property at night versus the daytime.


Interact with Residents


Talk to your neighbors and ask for their opinions. Most residents will offer honest opinions about neighborhood safety, noise levels, traffic, and other residents. Don’t be shy! Gathering more accurate information directly from your neighbors can help you determine the pros and cons of each community.


Do Some Research


Utilize the websites that offer information on neighborhood characteristics and statistics. Look into neighborhood safety and research recent crime rate around the area. Academic performances and rankings of local schools should also be investigated if you have children. Research price records of the homes in your area to gauge the relative value of your considered property.


Work with Mirabal Montalvo


Always communicate your neighborhood needs to your agent. All Mirabal Montalvo agents do everything they can to help you find the neighborhood that will fit your needs.


To experience the best in Corpus Christi Real Estate visit mirabalmontalvo.com. Mirabal Montalvo & Associates is one of the top selling brokerages in Corpus Christi, Texas specializing in the residential and commercial South Texas real estate market.