Retired couple encounters realities of SA’s hot housing market

‘It is literally crazy,’ says prospective buyer from Kingsville

SAN ANTONIO – Felix and Rosalinda Reyna had been warned before leaving Kingsville, where they’d lived and worked most of their lives. San Antonio is a seller’s market, they were told, and be prepared to pay well over the asking price.

Ironically, they said their home in Kingsville sold above their asking price.

“We had it for ($220,00), and they offered ($240,000). We’ll take it!” Felix Reyna said.

For the first time in San Antonio, the San Antonio Board of Realtors reports the median home price has soared over $300,000, an 18 percent jump.

But being retired and on a fixed income, the Reynas said they’re willing to make a higher offer, to a point.

“We don’t want to, but if push comes to shove -- if we have to, we have to,” said Rosalinda Reyna. “But it’s crazy. It is literally crazy.”

Her husband said, “I never expected it to be this way. It’s horrible.”

Of the 20 to 30 houses they’ve been shown by their realtor Jozannah Quintanilla, the Reynas said they lost out on all of them.

As an example, by the time they got to see a house within hours after being listed, Felix Reyna said, “They already had 16 families gone to go look at it.”

Unable to find a house in the price range they wanted, Reyna said he had to call their banker to tell him, “Might have to get some more.”

His wife said even houses in need of cosmetic repairs, “You would think that they would lower the price to help us. Instead, we have to pay them.”

Fortunately, they said they’re in no rush since, in the meantime, they’re staying with family in San Antonio.

Quintanilla said she advises clients like the Reynas to be prepared.

“They have to be pre-approved,” Quintanilla said.

Although, even those with VA or FHA loans may have trouble competing with other buyers with conventional loans or paying cash.

“They must know when they get out there what they’re going to be dealing with,” Quintanilla said.

She said they’ll be competing with multiple offers.

Quintanilla said realtors like herself want to ensure their clients can compete and win out over other buyers.

“We do not want our clients to end up out in the cold,” she said. “It can be very devastating.”

Quintanilla also advises sellers who are eager to cash in on the hot housing market.

“I have to know you have somewhere to go because I don’t want them to end up without a home,” she said.

About the Authors:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

William Caldera has been at KSAT since 2003. He covers a wide range of stories including breaking news, weather, general assignments and sports.