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America's Best-Value Cities

Mexicans, military, and med professionals have a thing for San Antonio

Nelson Alcantara  Apr 08, 2009

San Antonio, Texas, which has been ranked as the number two US city for 'best value,' attracts Mexicans, military, and medical professionals. The Texan city, which is home to great shopping and tourist venues such as The Alamo and Sea World, tops a Forbes fall '08 "America's Best-Value Cities" list and is the site of a Tuesday, April 21 auction of new homes attracting interest from Mexican nationals to medical and military folks along with Austin, Texas.

More than 47 homes built by The Birkel Residential Group, LLC will be sold, five of them absolute to the highest bidder regardless of price, at an auction organized by NCA Auctioneers, LLC, a Tulsa, OK company headed by industry veteran Stephen Karbelk, CAI, AARE.

Roger Hooten, president and CFO of the Texas-based developer, said homes in two Birkel communities are featured: Pinnacle at Oak Hills, an urban oasis of over-sized condominiums adjacent to the Oak Hills Country Club and South Texas Medical Center, along with the luxury villas at Shavano Park Villas, which include optional elevators and a maintenance-free lifestyle in a garden setting.

"Auctions are a 21st century method of selling homes in an expedited fashion, allowing potential buyers to become actual home owners in as little as 30 days from settlement," said Hooten.

Open house hours each weekend are from Friday-Sunday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (Except April 12: noon to 5:00 pm) at Pinnacle, 7342 Oak Manor Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229; and Shavano, 4199 Texas Elm, San Antonio, TX 78230.

Auction location is the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, San Antonio, TX. Registration starts at 5:00 pm (CDT); the auction is at 6:30 pm. Suggested starting bid is US$50,000. Many homes had a last list price of US$250,000-plus. Attractive financing is available, and qualified first-time buyers get an US$8,000 credit towards the purchase price.

Founded by Klaus Birkel, the company is known for including luxury "upgrades" in the base price of their homes, putting such upscale touches as granite kitchen countertops, marble baths, and stainless steel appliances within reach of an expanded pool of home buyers.

Birkel's Addom Gentner says San Antonio's economy is fairly robust due to several factors, including a healthy energy and technology sector plus a large medical community and new growth from the military's decision to transfer personnel here.

San Antonio is home to such large operations as military insurer USAA; Clear Channel communications; three local companies that made Fortune's "2008 TOP 100 List of Best Companies to Work For" - Rackspace Managed Hosting, NuStar Energy LP, and Valero Energy Corp - plus seemingly recession-resistant groups as Southwest Research Institute.

NCA's Ted Embry added, "With real estate rates at historic lows, the US government giving incentives to new home buyers and the capital markets under stress to lend to consumers, I can't think of a better time to capitalize on current depressed real estate values."

A Birkel manager, Jennifer Kahler, added that the auction has attracted interest from potential buyers including Mexican nationals, hailing from such cities as Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Mexico City; medical professionals; military personnel; as well as a range of locals, from empty-nesters to staffers at San Antonio's major employers.

Mexicans, military, and med professionals have a thing for San Antonio
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