Real Estate Information

Mary Ann's Blog

Victoria, Texas


Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 62

311 Whitechurch Ln. Victoria, Texas

by Mary Ann Sawyers

 Click Here to view this fabulous 4-5 Bedroom, 3 1/2 Bath Beauty in Estates of Colony Creek. Home has been updated top to bottom with finest, top of the line  finishes and details. This is the home you have always dreamed would come on the market - A MUST SEE!

What Not to Do as a New Homeowner

by Mary Ann Sawyers

Mary Ann Sawyers Victoria Texas Real Estate - South Texas New HomeownerWe know so well the thrill of owning your own house — but don’t let the excitement cause you to overlook the basics. We’ve gathered up a half dozen classic boo-boos new homeowners often commit — and give you some insight on why each is critically important to avoid.

1. Not Knowing Where the Main Shutoff Valve Is

Water from a burst or broken plumbing pipe can spew dozens of gallons into your home’s interior in a matter of minutes, soaking everything in sight — including drywall, flooring, and valuables. In fact, water damage is one of the most common of all household insurance claims.

Quick-twitch reaction is needed to stave off a major bummer. Before disaster hits, find your water shutoff valve, which will be located where a water main enters your house. Make sure everyone knows where it’s located and how to close the valve. A little penetrating oil on the valve stem makes sure it’ll work when you need it to.

2. Not Calling 811 Before  Digging a Hole

Ah, spring! You’re so ready to dig into your new yard and plant bushes and build that fence. But don’t — not until you’ve dialed 811, the national dig-safely hotline. The hotline will contact all your local utilities who will then come to your property — often within a day — to mark the location of underground pipes, cables, and wires.

This free service keeps you safe and helps avoid costly repairs. In many states, calling 811 is the law, so you’ll also avoid fines.

3. Not Checking the Slope of Foundation
The ground around your foundation should slope away from your house at least 6 inches over 10 feet. Why? To make sure that water from rain and melting snow doesn’t soak the soil around your foundation walls, building up pressure that can cause leaks and crack your foundation, leading to mega-expensive repairs. 

This kind of water damage doesn’t happen overnight — it’s accumulative — so the sooner you get after it, the better (and smarter) you’ll be. While you’re at it, make sure downspouts extend at least 5 feet away from your house.

4. Not Knowing the Dept of Attic Insulation 

This goes hand-in-hand with not knowing where your attic access is located, so let’s start there. Find the ceiling hatch, typically a square area framed with molding in a hallway or closet ceiling. Push the hatch cover straight up. Get a ladder and check out the depth of the insulation. If you can see the tops of joists, you definitely don’t have enough.

The recommended insulation for most attics is about R-38 or 10 to 14 inches deep, depending on the type of insulation you choose. BTW, is your hatch insulated, too? Use 4-inch-thick foam board glued to the top.

5. Carelessly Drilling into Walls

Hanging shelves, closet systems, and artwork means drilling into your walls — but do you know what’s back there? Hidden inside your walls are plumbing pipes, ductwork, wires, and cables.

You can check for some stuff with a stud sensor — a $25 battery-operated tool that detects changes in density to sniff out studs, cables, and ducts.

But stud sensors aren’t foolproof. Protect yourself by drilling only 1¼ inches deep max — enough to clear drywall and plaster but not deep enough to reach most wires and pipes.

Household wiring runs horizontally from outlet to outlet about 8 inches to 2 feet from the floor, so that’s a no-drill zone. Stay clear of vertical locations above and below wall switches — wiring runs along studs to reach switches.

6. Cutting Down a Tree

The risk isn’t worth it. Even small trees can fall awkwardly, damaging your house, property, or your neighbor’s property. In some locales, you have to obtain a permit first. Cutting down a tree is an art that’s best left to a professional tree service.

Plus, trees help preserve property values and provide shade that cuts energy bills. So think twice before going all Paul Bunyan.

Article From via National Association of REALTORS®
By: John Riha

Meet Tater At Adopt-A-pet

by Mary Ann Sawyers

Mary Ann Sawyers Victoria Texas Real Estate - Tater st Adopt-A-Pet"Tater" is all decked out for Halloween in his Frankenstein costume. This Halloween give the treat of a furr-ever home to this adorable, sweet, Pomeranian / Chihuahua mix. This little fella weighs only 7 pounds and is anxious to meet his new family.  Someone found this little guy running the streets and brought him to Adopt-A-Pet.

Visit Adopt-A-Pet and Tater at 8215 Houston Highway. He’d love to see your smiling face.  But be forewarned, he’s determined to steal your heart!

Dine with your Dog - Adopt-A-Pet (a no-kill facility) participates in fun activities to help pay for the many services they provide to the animals.  Join Adopt-A-Pet and your neighborhood dog lovers at the Pumphouse - Riverside Restaurant & Bar, 1201 W. Stayton  Monday, October 24 from 6-8 pm. They will be serving a 3-course meal for you and a 3-course meal for your dog. Hurry! You must purchase in advance.  For more information call Carol at 361-676-7441.

How To Save A Bundle On Your Home Energy Bill

by Mary Ann Sawyers

Mary Ann Sawyers Victoria Texas Real Estate - South Texas Energy Savings

Have you ever conducted a “Home Energy Audit” on your home?   It could save you a lot of money by lowering energy costs.  A home energy audit evaluates how much energy your home uses.  Though a professional audit is a good idea, here’s how you can conduct a personal walk-through assessment of your own to help cut costs.

  • Seek out air leaks or drafts.  Look for gaps along baseboards, on the edge of flooring, around outlets and switches, and where walls meet the ceiling.  Anywhere two different building materials meet is a potential place for leakage.  If there are cracks or holes, seal them (depending on where they are, use caulk or weatherstripping. You can search for those products to learn how to use them).
  • Evaluate insulation.  Insufficient insulation contributes to heat loss, especially in older homes, but it’s inexpensive to fix.  Find out how much insulation is recommended for homes in your area, then go into your attic and measure the depth of your home’s insulation.  To measure insulation in the walls, you’ll need an infrared thermometer, which can usually be rented from stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s.
  • Assess heating and cooling features.  Furnaces, air conditioners, and other similar features should be inspected annually or as recommended by the manufacturer.  Check and replace filters as needed, and make a note to keep them cleaned and changed on a regular basis (usually monthly).
  • Identify energy-sucking appliances and electronics.  Even if you aren’t using them, anything that is plugged in to an outlet may be consuming standby power.  Common culprits include office equipment like printers and kitchen appliances such as coffee makers.  Unplug these items when they aren’t in use, or plug them into a power strip that can be turned off.

207 Canyon Creek Victoria, Texas

by Mary Ann Sawyers

207 Canyon Creek Victoria, Texas Property Tour - Home For Sale
***Just listed!
 Cool down during these hot summer days in this 4 bedroom home with 
in-ground pool in great neighborhood of Eagle Creek. Click Here to view more on this property.



402 Charleston Dr. Victoria, Texas

by Mary Ann Sawyers

402  Charleston Dr. Victoria, Texas  Video Tour - Home For Sale

402 Charleston - Former "Parade of Homes" with recent updates.  This stunning home is located on the 16th green, 17th T-box.  Outdoor kitchen and in-ground pool & spa are yours to enjoy and entertain. Click Here to view the video.

Meet Tipper At Adopt-A-Pet

by Mary Ann Sawyers

Tipper from Adoopt-A-pet - Coldwell Banker The Ron Brown Co - Mary Ann Sawyers Meet Tipper - a white haired Yorkie mix.  This is just the cutest young man approximately 2 years old!  Tipper was found wandering around Tipton's gas station on the Houston Highway.  A good Samaritan brought him to Adopt-A-Pet.

Adopt-A-Pet is a no kill facility which has been saving fur friends for over 20 years.  Their purpose is to rescue, rehabilitate and find loving homes for homeless animals.  Because they do not euthanize animals to make room for others, an active adoption program is vital for the organization.  Pay a visit to Tipper.  I promise he will steal your heart!

Adopt-A-Pet participates in fun activities to help pay for services they provide to the animals. Enjoy the Scott Taylor Band August 18th for a street dance downtown at the Deleon Plaza.

Rehab or Rent Out? Real Estate Investment Tips for Beginners

by Mary Ann Sawyers

With mortgage rates still hovering near historic lows, more people are turning to real estate investments as a way to build and preserve wealth. Whether you start fixing and flipping properties or buying and renting them out for monthly cash flow, either investment style can make your money work harder for you.

Before you start investing in real estate, it’s important to line up professionals to help you make offers when you find them. Among your team members, you will want to include:


  •     • A savvy, local real estate professional
  •     • A mortgage broker or banker to help you get financing
  •     • A real estate attorney to write and reviewing contracts
  •     • An appraiser who knows the market and will help you get a correct property appraisal
  •     • An accountant who is well versed in real estate investments
  •     • A good contractor, for rehabbing or repairs

Then, you’ll need to determine your real estate investment style.

Rehab or wholesale properties for short-term ROI

The advantage of flipping properties is that you can end up with a good return on investment (ROI) in the short term. For example, you buy a property for $100,000, and invest $50,000 into repairs. Once it’s rehabbed, your property is valued at $200,000, and you sell it for a $50,000 profit.

Once you know where to find rehab opportunities, you can easily repeat the process by reinvesting proceeds from a previous flip into the next property. This is where working with savvy real estate professional can help. They can help you find the right fixer-uppers that may be under market value. A Realtor will have access to many properties that may not be publicly available.

When you are evaluating a property, you will need to look at the whole picture to ensure it will bring you a profit once you resell it. Beyond the actual purchase price and rehab costs, your budget should include carry mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, and insurance. If it looks good on paper, you can get your real estate team to help you quickly make the offer.


Buy-and-hold rental properties for monthly cash flow

If you find the right long-term buy-and-hold rental property, you can earn consistent cash flow each month. However, you’ll need to carefully review the operating expenses on the property and what tenants are willing to pay for the space to know if you’ll make or lose money each month.

Does your long-term investment make sense on paper? In other words, you will need to understand if your monthly cash flow will be positive or negative.

For example, say your total costs to buy a duplex was $20,000, including down payment and closing costs. You can rent each of the units for $600. Assuming your building is 100% occupied, you’ll make $1200 per month in income. Your expenses include mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, utilities, and management fees, and you want to set aside some cash each month for capital expenditures and routine repairs. You calculate that your expenses add up to $1100 per month. Once you subtract your expenses from your income, you’ll have a positive cash flow of $100 per month.

You can also add amenities, such as coin laundry and vending machines, to increase your potential monthly income. If your property has space to add a billboard, you can earn advertising revenue from renting that space, too. And when you decide to sell, your property’s value will likely have increased both from the overall rising property values and by the improvements you made to increase the cash flow.


Where should I start investing?

Contact me if you want to learn about investment properties in your local area. My team and I can help you find the right properties that will fit into your budget and your overall goals. 

Mary Ann Sawyers
Coldwell Banker The Ron Brown Co




319 Silverado Trail, Victoria, Texas

by Mary Ann Sawyers

Click Here to view a video of this 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in the great neighborhood of Silverado!


183 Kendal Rd. Victoria, Texas

by Mary Ann Sawyers

You deserve it - Peaceful Living on 1 1/2 acres only minutes from town! Click here to see this home with all the amenities you expect in new construction.  Mom will adore her modern kitchen and Dad will love his oversized 3 car garage for all his boy toys.  Evenings on the large outdoor patio call for serious stargazing.  Priced right, This is a MUST SEE!

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 62


  • Click to Subscribe

  • I'll send you up to the minute info on price trends, supply & demand, and reading indicators to help you make educated real estate decisions.

Contact Information

Photo of Mary Ann Sawyers Real Estate
Mary Ann Sawyers
Coldwell Banker The Ron Brown Co.
2505 N Navarro
Victoria TX 77901

Quick Search

Listing Alerts

Be the first to know what's coming up for sale in the Victoria Texas real estate market with my New Property Listing Alerts!

Just tell me what you're looking for and I'll email a daily update of all homes listed for sale since your last update. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Get Notifications

Contact Me

My office is located at:
2505 N Navarro
Victoria, TX 77901


Contact Me Online