Perch Launches in San Antonio to Transform Home Buying & Selling Experience

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SAN ANTONIO, June 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Perch announced today the launch of its home selling and buying marketplace in the San Antonio market, making it easy for local homeowners to sell their home without the hassle and uncertainty of a traditional home sale.

"We are excited to introduce the Perch home selling and buying experience to the San Antonio market," said Perch CEO Court Cunningham. "We’ve set out to transform the way Americans buy and sell their homes by making the process simple, certain and convenient. We spent months meeting with homeowners in San Antonio before launching and it became clear through countless conversations that there was a need for an easier customer experience when it comes to buying and selling a home in San Antonio."

Currently, when a homeowner decides to sell their home, they can expect a 4+ month process from start to finish. San Antonio residents can expect to list their home an average of 80 days on market and another 45 days to close. The process requires a number of nuisances and costs for home sellers to manage; including making repairs and improvements before selling, giving an average of over 1% to buyers in concessions at closing, and managing overlapping mortgage and tax payments on two properties due to the inability to line up the home sale with the home being purchased.

In an industry that has been resistant to change, Perch is providing a modern alternative to the traditional home selling process. By harnessing the power of data science, technology and human-centered design, the company has developed an innovative digital seller experience that is simple and convenient. Perch provides sellers with a market-price offer in 24 hours, with the ability to close at a time of the seller’s choosing – any weekday over the next 14 – 60 days. The process removes the inconvenience of multiple home showings, repairs, and contingencies. It also gives control to the seller to line up the timing of their new home purchase with their current home’s sale, saving homeowners thousands of dollars in interim housing costs and reducing stress.

For home buyers, Perch is pioneering a new category of homes – Certified Pre-Owned homes. These homes are newly renovated, move-in ready and include a warranty. All Perch homes are vacant making them easy for home buyers to tour and schedule for closing.

Founded in 2017, Perch recently secured $30 million to power the company’s growth in San Antonio. The Series A funding round was led by FirstMark Capital, with Juxtapose and Accomplice also investing. Perch plans to use the money to accelerate product development and scale its home-buying and selling marketplace.

Perch has assembled a strong leadership team for its San Antonio venture. Before founding Perch, Cunningham was CEO of Yodle, an Internet marketing company, from 2007 to 2016, growing the business from 15 people to 1,500 employees. Joining Cunningham on the Perch executive team is Phil DeGisi, who serves as head of growth and was most recently CMO at the consumer lender CommonBond. Aaron Altom, Perch’s director of real estate, brings in-depth residential real estate experience, having served as regional director for Waypoint Homes and as AVP of acquisitions for American Homes 4 Rent, overseeing the purchase of 5,000 homes in Texas.

"Our team is bringing decades of real estate experience and consumer technology experience together to build a world-class home sale experience. Selling and purchasing a home is the biggest financial decision a person will make. What makes Perch unique is the way we combine technology to simplify the process with high touch customer service that gives customers confidence every step of the way. We look forward to serving the residents of San Antonio for many years to come," added Cunningham.

About Perch
Perch is the marketplace for buying and selling homes. Perch helps customers sell their home on their schedule without the hassles, at market price. Perch enables home buyers to choose from an inventory of Certified Pre-Owned houses, making it easy to discover and close on a move-in ready, quality home. For the average American, the home purchase and sale process takes months, creates anxiety and is filled with uncertainty and hassle. Perch offers a modern alternative, making one of life’s biggest decisions – the sale and purchase of a home – less intimidating. Perch’s services are currently offered in San Antonio, TX. The company is headquartered in New York with offices in Texas. For more information, visit www.perchhomes.co.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Lynn Darden (lynn@theprboutique.com)
The PR Boutique
512.363.5160

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Realtor Shad Bogany Hosts Summit on Affordable Housing in Houston

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HOUSTON, June 7, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Realtor Shad Bogany will be hosting an affordable housing summit on June 20 at the Buffalo Soldier National Museum, 3816 Caroline Street, Houston, TX.

"The purpose of this summit is to have a rap session on affordability and understand what it takes to increase homeownership in minority communities," said Bogany.

The goal of the summit is to discuss how to create more affordable housing in Houston. "I want to bring stakeholders to the table and have a rap session about how we can move forward and discuss what these barriers are to making Houston affordable, which was once the bastion of affordability for years among large metropolitan areas," noted Bogany.

The effects of "not in my backyard" and how it has stopped affordable housing will also be discussed. "It is important to discuss what the avenues are and why is it so important for the city to continue to be affordable," concluded Bogany.

About Shad Bogany, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate
Shad Bogany has been a radio talk show host on the real estate industry for the last 28 years on Real Estate Corner, every Tuesday from 6.15 to 7.15 p.m. on KWWJ 1360 or 96.9 FM. He is the past Chairman of the Houston Association, past Chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, past Chairman of the Houston Area Urban League Community Development Corporation, and past Board Member of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. He is the current Vice Chair of Fort Bend Housing Finance Corporation, and one of the top local real estate agents in Houston. He provides superior real estate services to buyers and sellers located in and around the greater Houston area. For more information, please call (713) 667-1000, or visit http://www.shadboganyteam.com.

About the NALA™
The NALA offers small and medium-sized businesses effective ways to reach customers through new media. As a single-agency source, the NALA helps businesses flourish in their local community. The NALA’s mission is to promote a business’ relevant and newsworthy events and achievements, both online and through traditional media. The information and content in this article are not in conjunction with the views of the NALA. For media inquiries, please call 805.650.6121, ext. 361.

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San Antonio Luxury Real Estate for Sale: 128 Turnberry Way – Inverness – San Antonio Business Journal

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Phyllis Browning Co. Contributing Real Estate Firm

By Judy Dalrymple, REALTOR®

VIEW GALLERY

Timeless architecture and regally proportioned rooms combine at this Jerry Hawkins custom-built home in the guard-gated community of Inverness.

Home of the Day is presented by the San Antonio Business Journal with Phyllis Browning Co.. This is your invitation to view some of San Antonio’s most-luxurious properties. Come inside and take a look around. Click on the gallery image to view today’s featured property.

Inverness
128 Turnberry Way, San Antonio, TX 78230 | $1,850,000

Timeless architecture and regally proportioned rooms combine at this Jerry Hawkins custom-built home in the guard-gated community of Inverness. A brick path paves the way to the grand double-door entrance. Stepping inside, exquisite mouldings crown the ceiling and walls and the dazzling pool is on full display. Multiple sets of French doors fill the living room featuring a marble fireplace with abundant light. Open to the well appointed island kitchen, this is a fantastic backdrop for large-scale entertainment. Fit for formal or casual occasions, the floor plan includes an elegant dining room with an adjoining wet bar as well as a separate breakfast room with a fireplace. The handsome study is cloaked in rich wood paneling and offers a private balcony. Sleeping quarters include the luxurious master retreat, as well as three guest suites, each with a private bath. In the back yard, serene outdoor living spaces are set against lush landscaping. A covered patio, outdoor kitchen and glistening pool accommodated a myriad of events.

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TX: Baboon Caught After Escape at San Antonio International Airport

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May 21–An escaped baboon caused a hairy situation at a Texas airport.

Police and San Antonio Zoo officials worked together for nearly two hours to corral a baboon that escaped from its crate at San Antonio International Airport on Monday before being shot with a tranquilizer, according to reports.

The animal escaped from its carrying cage after its American Airlines flight landed at the Texas airport from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, "en route to a local animal sanctuary and refuge in the San Antonio-area (when it) inadvertently became free of his cage," according to a release from airport officials.

"We are working closely with the San Antonio Aviation Department and officials from the San Antonio Zoo," the statement said. "Officials from the zoo are now onsite to ensure his safety and wellbeing as he continues his journey to his new home at the primate sanctuary."

Tha animal found itself in an "isolated " area outside the Terminal B baggage claim, away from the general public, ABC reported. No flights or passengers were affected but some customers may have to wait to collect their bags.

This is the second time this year that man’s closest relative in the animal kingdom was able to escape its human-made enclosure in Texas. Four baboons in a San Antonio research facility were able to make a makeshift ladder to bust out of their open-air, zoo-style habitat.

___ (c)2018 New York Daily News Visit New York Daily News at www.nydailynews.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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The Green Boy from Cancún and his luxury homes in San Antonio

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The Green Boy, career politician.

Almost 25 years of experience as an elected politician without ever having to run a personal political campaign: check.

A member of the family that has practically been the owner of Mexico’s Green Party since its foundation: check.

Caught up in a scandal involving the death of a 25-year-old Bulgarian woman in Cancún: check.

Currently building four luxury residences with his family in a wealthy neighborhood in San Antonio, Texas: check.

Jorge Emilio González Martínez, commonly known in Mexico as “El Niño Verde” (the green boy), can tick all those boxes and more in a scandal-plagued political career that has included stints in both houses of federal Congress as well as the Mexico City legislature.

All of the elected positions González has held have come via his nomination by the Ecological Green Party of Mexico (PVEM) as a plurinominal— or proportional representation— candidate, meaning that he hasn’t had to directly contest any of the elections which led to his appointments.

Homes the Green Boy’s family is building in Texas.

The senator — currently on leave of absence — will seek to extend his political career beyond a quarter of a century on July 1 when the PVEM contests the July 1 election as part of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party-led “Everyone for Mexico” coalition.

Once again, it has included González on its list of proportional representation candidates for the lower house.

As he awaits the outcome of his sixth plurinominal nomination, construction of the four homes in the upmarket San Antonio neighborhood of the Dominion continues. Yesterday, the newspaper Reforma published a report detailing the family’s United States real estate interests.

The lots where three of the four houses are being built belong to companies owned by González’s mother and two sisters, while the fourth is registered in the name of the wife of his former personal secretary. Seven years ago the secretary allegedly acted as a prestanombre or front person for González in the much-talked-about scandal involving the model Galina Chankova Chaneva, who plunged to her death from an apartment the Green Boy allegedly owned.

Sources from the real estate industry told Reforma that, when completed, each San Antonio residence will be worth around US $2.5 million, raising questions about the source of the family’s wealth. The lots were purchased in 2013 for between US $475,000 and US $560,000 each.

While steering clear of making any allegations, the Reforma report highlighted that the PVEM — founded in 1986 by Gonzalez’s father, Jorge González Torres — has received countless millions of pesos in public funding annually.

In 2017, the party was the beneficiary of 357 million pesos (US $18.2 million at today’s exchange rate), while it will receive 578 million pesos (US $29.5 million) in funding this year.

González Torres was PVEM president for the first 15 years of the party’s existence until he handed over the reins to his son in 2001 for a stint at the party’s helm that lasted for 10 years.

The Green Boy left the PVEM presidency in 2011, the same year that Chankova Chaneva fell from a 19th-floor apartment in the luxurious Emerald Residential Tower during an allegedly wild party.

Despite documents showing that he was the owner, González asserted that someone else owned the 19th-floor apartment and that contrary to some reports he wasn’t present when the death occurred.

The woman’s death was ultimately ruled as a suicide and no charges were laid despite accusations that she was the victim of foul play and suspicions that she may have been murdered.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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Marathon to buy San Antonio’s Andeavor for $23.3 billion

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Marathon Petroleum is buying San Antonio-based Andeavor for $23.3 billion, moving away yet another local company and creating the nation’s largest refiner, the companies announced this morning.

The deal will pay Andeavor shareholders $152.27, a 24 percent gain over Friday’s closing price, or 1.87 shares of Marathon stock for each share of Andeavor, according to a press release announcing the merger. The merger, which was unanimously approved by both boards, is expected to close in the second half of this year. The total value of the deal climbs to $35.6 billion after taking into account Andeavor’s debt.

"This transaction combines two strong, complementary companies to create a leading U.S. refining, marketing, and midstream company, building a platform that is well-positioned for long-term growth and shareholder value creation," said Marathon Chairman and CEO Gary R. Heminger, who will lead the combined company. "It geographically diversifies our refining portfolio into attractive markets … enhances our midstream footprint in the Permian basin, and creates a nationwide retail and marketing portfolio that will substantially improve efficiencies and enhance our ability to serve customers."

Andeavor CEO Gregory Goff will serve as executive vice chairman and will get a seat on the board. Marathon’s home in Findlay, Ohio will serves as the headquarters for the combined company while it maintains an office in San Antonio, Heminger said on a conference call this morning.

The combination will create a company with an enterprise value of more than $90 billion and is expected to save $1 billion in "tangible annual run-rate synergies" within the first three years, according to the press release. Heminger also announced a $5 billion share buyback program, saying the board was confident the deal would generate "robust cashflow."

The two companies compliment each other with Marathon operating mostly to the East of the Mississippi River and Andeavor to the West, a point executives said would ease regulatory approval.

The combined companies usurp San Antonio-based Valero Energy Corp. for the top spot among U.S. refineries, Andeavor and Marathon said. Valero is currently the largest with a capacity of 3.1 million barrels a day between its 15 refineries in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

Formerly named Tesoro, Andeavor operates 10 refineries and has a capacity of about 1.2 million barrels a day, according to its website. Marathon is the nation’s second-largest refinery with a capacity of about 1.9 million barrels a day, according to its website.

Marathon-branded gasoline is sold in 20 states while its Speedway unit owns the second-largest convenience-store chain. The combined company will have about 4,000 company-owned stores and 7,800 branded retail locations, Goff said on the call.

The deal takes away another homegrown San Antonio company. C.H. Guenther & Son Inc. sold to Chicago private equity firm Pritzker Group earlier this month in a deal reportedly valued at as much as $1.4 billion.

Rackspace Hosting sold to New York private equity firm Apollo Global Management in a deal valued at $4.3 billion in late 2016. Convenience chain operator CST Corp. also sold that year to the Canadian owner of Circle K, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., for $4.4 billion.

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Sterling Construction Company, Inc. Awarded $60 Million Boerne, TX Project – San Antonio Business Journal

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THE WOODLANDS, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)

Sterling Construction Company, Inc. (NasdaqGS:STRL) (“Sterling” or the "Company”) today announced that its subsidiary Texas Sterling Construction Co. (“TSC”) was selected by the Texas Department of Transportation to reconstruct and widen a portion of Interstate 10 and its frontage roads near Boerne, TX. The $60.2 million project consists of 6.2 miles of new asphalt pavement, and the construction of bridge structures at South Main Street and West Bandera Road. Associated drainage, electrical and signage work along Interstate 10 will also be included. This particular project will require over 140,000 cubic yards of excavation and over 230,000 cubic yards of embankment for the walls and bridges as well as over 220,000 tons of asphalt paving. The project is scheduled to begin in early June, and is expected to take 30 months to complete.

Joe Cutillo, Sterling’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “The demands of this project align nicely with our core skills in the Texas market and is a great add to our overall backlog. TSC was selected for this project due, in part, to its versatility including asphalt work, ramp reconfiguration, and bridge construction. This stretch of Interstate 10 near Boerne, Texas is known for traffic congestion, so our efforts in improving ramp and frontage road traffic will help alleviate this problem going forward.”

Sterling is a construction company that specializes in heavy civil construction and residential concrete projects primarily in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Texas, Utah and other states in which there are feasible construction opportunities. Our heavy civil construction projects include highways, roads, bridges, airfields, ports, light rail, water, wastewater and storm drainage systems, foundations for multi-family homes, commercial concrete projects and parking structures. Our residential construction projects include concrete foundations for single-family homes.

This press release includes certain statements that fall within the definition of “forward-looking statements” under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including overall economic and market conditions, federal, state and local government funding, competitors’ and customers’ actions, and weather conditions, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, including those risks identified in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Accordingly, such statements should be considered in light of these risks. Any prediction by the Company is only a statement of management’s belief at the time the prediction is made. There can be no assurance that any prediction once made will continue thereafter to reflect management’s belief, and the Company does not undertake to update publicly its predictions or to make voluntary additional disclosures of nonpublic information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180417006568/en/

Contacts

Sterling Construction Company, Inc.
Jennifer Maxwell, 281-951-3560
Director of Investor Relations
or
Investor Relations Counsel:
The Equity Group Inc.
Fred Buonocore, CFA, 212-836-9607
or
Kevin Towle, 212-836-9620

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Air Force National Guard Airman Hipskind graduates basic in TX

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U.S. Air Force National Guard Airman 1st Class John R. Hipskind graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, TX.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Hipskind is the son of Mary and Robert Hipskind, of Roanoke, and the brother of Erin Hipskind.

The airman is a 2017 graduate of Bishop Luers High School, Fort Wayne.

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Facebook sued by housing advocates alleging discrimination

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Fair housing advocates sued Facebook Tuesday, saying it lets landlords and real estate brokers target advertising to discriminate against women, those with disabilities and families with children.

The lawsuit in Manhattan federal court alleges investigations by fair housing supporters in New York, Washington, D.C., Miami and San Antonio, Texas, prove Facebook continues to let advertisers discriminate even though civil rights and housing groups have notified the company since 2016 that it is violating the federal Fair Housing Act. It seeks unspecified damages and a court order to end discrimination.

Facebook said in a statement that the lawsuit is without merit and the company will defend itself vigorously.

“There is absolutely no place for discrimination on Facebook,” the company said.

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The lawsuit was filed by the National Fair Housing Alliance and other organizations. It comes as Facebook faces criticism over allegations British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica used details of 50 million Facebook users to help Republican candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential campaign.

The housing groups say the Menlo Park, California-based Facebook abused its power as it became what amounts to the biggest advertising agency in the world.

The lawsuit’s explanation of how the discrimination is carried out begins with a description that would sound appealing to most advertisers. It said Facebook, with a customer base of over 2 billion people, collects a “treasure trove of information” to enable advertisers to target customers they believe are right for their businesses.

Then it lets advertisers scroll through hundreds of demographics, behaviors and interests to decide which characteristics they want to include or exclude, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit said that the National Fair Housing Alliance did its own study after the investigative news nonprofit ProPublica published an article in October 2016 that said Facebook’s online platform enabled advertisers to exclude from advertisements in the housing category those customers assigned black, Hispanic and other “ethnic affinities.”

It said the housing alliance was able to post a Facebook ad for a fictitious rental apartment after it selected options that excluded blacks and Hispanics from the ad’s potential audience. After complaints, Facebook took steps to counter those kinds of discriminatory ads, the lawsuit said.

But it said additional work by ProPublica and the housing alliance revealed that as recently as weeks ago the company was approving advertising that, in effect, discriminated against mothers, families with young children and those with disabilities.

“Although Facebook stopped approving housing advertisements that used its ‘ethnic affinity’ option in late 2017, it continues to create and develop content that facilitates advertisers excluding certain audiences based on legally protected characteristics,” the lawsuit said.

It said Facebook from Dec. 14 to Feb. 23 had accepted 40 advertisements that the housing alliance and affiliates created that excluded potential home seekers based on family status or gender.

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What does a $1,500 a month apartment in South Carolina get you?

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Tenants from the Upstate to the Lowcountry can expect to rent a 1,470-square-foot apartment for what’s considered a reasonable price but what you get for that amount varies wildly across the country, based on a study from Apartment List.

The California-based online rental marketplace calculated what $1,500 a month would land in 20 of the nation’s largest cities, 50 states and thousands of metro area, counties and smaller towns across the country.

South Carolina placed in the middle of the states, with a $1.02 per square foot average rent.

For metro Charleston, the square foot average rent is $1.25 a square foot, yielding a 1,200-square-foot apartment — the most expensive figure among the state’s eight designated metro areas. Greater Sumter average the lowest lease price at 65 cents a square foot, which enables renters to obtain a 2,310-square-foot apartment for $1,500 a month.

Chris Salviati and Sydney Bennet authored the article to show the vast gap in average rent and apartment size nationwide.

"When searching for a place to call home, most renters start by figuring out a comfortable price range to consider. Although the importance of staying within your budget is universal, the options available at different price points vary widely across the country," they say.

Apartment List designed an interactive graphic to compare states and cities. Of the 20 metro areas tracked, Indianapolis proved most affordable at $0.85 per square foot for a $1,500 apartment. "Renters there can find a spacious two- or-three bedroom apartment measuring 1,770 square feet," the website notes. Conversely, San Francisco ranked the most expensive. With an average price per square foot of $4.40, San Francisco renters with a $1,500 budget are limited to a cramped studio at 340 square feet, the company points out.

"In other words, at a given price point, an apartment in Indianapolis is 5.2 times larger than one in San Francisco," the online source says. Median rent is three-and-a-half times higher in San Francisco at $3,010 compared with Indianapolis at $850, which indicates that apartments tend to be smaller in markets with high-end prices.

The tiny apartment market stands out on the West and East coasts. New York places second most expensive followed by Boston, District of Columbia and Los Angeles.

Apartment List also notes that "apartments are bigger in Texas." The average $1,500 apartments in Austin and Dallas are each around 1,020 square feet, while in a $1,500 budget in San Antonio will get you 1,480 square feet.

Meanwhile, Charleston County posts the highest price among area counties at $1.49 per square foot, good for a 1,000-square-foot unit at $1,500 a month. That’s also the most expensive lease rate in the state among 16 counties surveyed. Berkeley County has a $1.02 total, enabling tenants to get a 1,460 square foot rent and Dorchester County averages 90 cents a square foot, or 1,670 square feet for $1,500 a month. The lowest statewide rate is Sumter County at 65 cents a square foot, enough for a 2,310-square-foot rental.

Charleston posts a $1.61 per-square-foot price, enough for a 930-square-foot apartment at $1,500 a month, which is the steepest price per square foot of eight local communities locally and among 34 cities and towns surveyed in South Carolina. Mount Pleasant placed second at $1.37 a square foot, or an 1,100-square-foot unit; North Charleston was third at $1.02, or 1,470-square-foot property; Summerville, 91 cents, or 1,650-square-foot lease; Goose Creek, 88 cents, or 1,710-square-foot rental; and Moncks Corner, 80 cents or 1,860 square foot lease.

Go to www.apartmentlist.com.

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