SAN ANTONIO -

If you're thinking about sticking a for sale sign in your front yard, there's reason to be optimistic. Home sales rebounded in 2012.

Last year, 19,940 existing homes sold in the San Antonio area, a 10.5 percent increase over 2011. That's according to figures released by the San Antonio Board of Realtors.

Brisker sales pushed prices upward, too. The median price of homes that sold last year was $160,100, 5.1 percent higher than the prior year.

The reasons for the upswing include super low mortgage rates, job growth and general housing affordability, according to SABOR.

Credit card surcharges

If you use your credit card out of state, beware. 

Beginning Sunday, retailers will be allowed to add a surcharge to credit card transactions up to 4 percent of of the transaction. 

However, Texas is one state that bans such surcharges. 

One thing Texas consumers may notice is more retailers offering discounts if you use your debit card or cash. The surcharges stem from a lawsuit settlement between Visa and a group of retailers.

Reliable ranges

A Consumer Reports' survey about kitchen ranges purchased in the last five years found some brands more reliable than others. Among the brands that tended to be more repair-prone were KitchenAid and JennAir.

"While we don't have repair histories of individual models, we've found you're much less likely to need repairs if you buy from a brand with a good record of reliability," said Consumer Reports Celia  Kuperszmid Lehrman.

The most reliable electric ranges, according to the survey, were Hotpoint, General Electric and Whirlpool.   As for gas ranges, the most reliable were Hotpoint, General Electric and Kenmore, according to the survey.