San Antonio’s School Districts

October 20th, 2016

Moving to a new city requires a lot of research… from searching for the right neighborhood to looking for the ideal floor plan for your family; there is a lot to do. And, as a parent, there is one more significant factor that can make or break a neighborhood – the school district. As a parent, it is important to consider your child’s education when searching for a home in a new city. Choosing the right school district for your child can be a huge factor for their future and we, as parents, recognize that locating the right school district is as important as finding your new home in the San Antonio area. This is where we come in! As San Antonio residents, we have extensive knowledge of the school districts and the zoning restrictions in the area…here is some information to help with your research:

How do you find a school for your child? Here is a resource from the Texas Education Agency to find a school for your children.

Here is some general information about each Bexar County school district.

Schools Districts in Bexar County:

School districts

How do these school districts rank compared to the others? Take a look at Niche’s rankings of the San Antonio School Districts (those located within the city of San Antonio):

1. Alamo Heights ISD

3. Lackland ISD

5. North East ISD

8. Fort Sam Houston ISD

15. Northside ISD

24. East Central ISD

40. Southwest ISD

43. South San Antonio ISD

44. Harlandale ISD

47. San Antonio ISD

50. Southside ISD

54. Edgewood ISD


Here is how they rank based on level: elementary, middle, and high school:

Elementary Rankings, based on the following factors: state test scores, student-teacher ratio, student diversity, teacher quality, and the overall quality of the school district.

1. Woodbridge Elementary School

2. Cambridge Elementary School

3. Cibolo Elementary School

4. Lackland Elementary School

5. Vineyard Ranch Elementary School


Middle School Rankings, based on the following factors: state test scores, student-teacher ratio, student diversity, teacher quality, and the overall quality of the school district.

1. Alamo Heights Junior School

2. Boerne Middle School South

3. Boerne Middle School North

4. Randolph Middle School

5. Peterson Middle School


High School Rankings, based on the following factors: state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, student and parent reviews, and more.

1. Health Careers High School

2. International School of the Americas

3. Alamo Heights High School

4. Boerne-Samuel V. Champion High School

5. Reagan High School


If you want to live outside of the city, Boerne, located just North of the San Antonio area has a fantastic school district! According to’s rankings of San Antonio School Districts, Boerne ISD was ranked No. 2.

In addition to the grade school system, San Antonio also has some great community colleges and universities in the area.


If you ever have any questions about the San Antonio school system, give the Curtis Team a call. We are here for you anytime.

San Antonio’s Sites and Attractions

September 9th, 2016

No city is complete without a few historical sites and attractions to draw in tourists and bring in money for the city; and lucky for us, San Antonio is full of them! As residents of San Antonio, we have seen these sites and attractions many times and never seem to get tired of them. From historical sites like the Alamo and San Antonio Missions National Historic Park, to child-friendly sites like Six Flags Fiesta Texas and the San Antonio Zoo & Aquarium, San Antonio has it all.

The city of San Antonio has many sites and attractions worth seeing – however, as residents, we consider the list below absolute MUST-SEE sites and attractions of our wonderful city! Not only are these sites perfect for those looking to visit San Antonio; they are also great for those who have guests visiting. All of these sites are relatively inexpensive and make for a great day of family-fun for those who have out-of-town guests.

Sites and Attractions


300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio

You can’t say you visited San Antonio without a trip to the Alamo. Known as the most famous building in Texas, the Alamo is home to the pivotal stand of 187 Texans, entrenched in the Alamo, against an army of more than 3,000 Mexicans. All 187 defenders of the Alamo were killed, and the Alamo became the symbol of Texan Independence with the battle cry, “Remember the Alamo!”

River Walk

110 Broadway, Suite 500, San Antonio

A visit to San Antonio wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the River Walk. This stretch of sidewalk along the San Antonio River is home to a plethora of shops, restaurants and hotels. In addition, boat tours are available for those interested in learning more about the history of San Antonio and the sites of the River Walk — this is a must-do at least once!

Tower of the Americas

739 East Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard, San Antonio

This 750-foot-tall building stands as the tallest in San Antonio, and all of Texas except for Dallas and Houston. The Tower of the Americas overlooks HemisFair Park, the site of the 1968 World Fair. From the top, the tower boasts magnificent views of the city of San Antonio. While there, take in the Skies Over Texas 4D Theater Ride to see some amazing aerial view of Texas’ landmarks.

San Antonio Missions National Historic Park

6701 San Jose Drive, San Antonio

Home to four of the five Spanish mission stations established between 1718 and 1740, this park is a must see for history lovers. The park includes Mission San Juan Capistrano (1731), Mission san Concepcion (1752), Mission San Francisco de la Espada (1740), and Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo (1720-31).

San Fernando Cathedral

115 Main Plaza, San Antonio

The original church of San Fernando was built between 1738 and 1750. The walls of that original church now form the sanctuary for the cathedral, making the San Fernando Cathedral one of the oldest in the United States. Famously, the cathedral is known as the burial site for the heroes of the Alamo.

San Antonio for Kids

San Antonio is every kid’s playground. With Six Flags Fiesta Texas, one of the largest amusements parks in Texas, SeaWorld, the largest aquatic animal park in Texas, and the San Antonio Zoo & Aquarium, with over 3,500 animals from 750 species, there are plenty of activities to keep the kids busy!


For easy reference, here is a printable graphic of all of our recommended sites and attractions!

sites and attractions

We hope you have a great time exploring the sites and attractions San Antonio has to offer! If you have any questions about the city of San Antonio, or you’re looking to move into the area, give us a call! We would love to help!



San Antonio Demographics

August 10th, 2016


Why San Antonio? The Curtis Team has helped many families relocate to San Antonio, and we’d love to share answers to common questions about our amazing city.

Over the next several weeks, we will highlight San Antonio, along with tips on how to settle in quickly and easily. Whether you’ve already chosen San Antonio as your new home, or San Antonio has chosen you for a job relocation or military family relocation – we’ll give you all the information you need about your new home.


Here is the first of our series – let’s take a look at the San Antonio demographics:


San Antonio Demographics


We hope you’ll love San Antonio as much as we do!

Is there something missing? If there is something you would like to know about San Antonio that isn’t on this infographic, feel free to contact us. We’re always here to help and welcome any questions you may have.

Renovations To Get Your Home Ready To Sell

July 20th, 2016

When getting your home ready to sell, it is important to add sought-after, updated features. Buyers love turn-key homes! But, of course, you don’t want to renovate your entire home — where should you start? Here are my top recommendations on renovations to get your home ready to sell.

Let’s stick with three, high-impact areas of the home — kitchen, bathroom, and front entry.

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 1.14.03 PM

The kitchen has become one of the most social rooms of the modern home. With this in mind, it has become increasingly important to stay up-to-date with the current trends to make your kitchen stand out to buyers.

How can you make sure your kitchen appeals to buyers? Here are the renovations I recommend to make your kitchen the talk of the market!

  1. Counter Tops
    Many buyers nowadays will not look at a house unless it has updated counter tops in the kitchen. Popular kitchen counter tops include granite and quartz. While they might be expensive, they are worth it! Granite and quartz counter tops will last longer and will add value to your home.
  2. Lighting
    Lighting, while it may not seem important, can add a “wow” factor to any room in the home, and pendant lights are the best option for the kitchen. Make sure they don’t overpower the room, but instead complement the features already present in the kitchen.
  3. Sink
    If you have the opportunity and money, consider updating your kitchen sink. A popular option in newly remodeled kitchens is the farmhouse sink.
  4. Cabinets
    Cabinets, just like counter tops, are very visible in the kitchen. Before you put your home on the market, make sure there are no paint chips or scratches in your cabinets. A fresh coat of paint of stain often does the trick! Also, if you want to do a little more, you can add new hardware (knobs) to the cabinets.
  5. Appliances
    Replacing appliances can be costly to a renovation budget. But, replacing them can be worth every penny. Stainless steel appliances are a popular choice among buyers.
  6. Flooring
    While flooring doesn’t top the list, buyers prefer to have updated flooring in the home they are buying. Consider adding hardwood floors throughout the home (except for bathrooms).
  7. Backsplash
    The kitchen backsplash can add a luxurious touch to any kitchen, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Tile backsplashes tend to get pretty pricey. However, you don’t have to use tile. It turns out that tin ceiling tile makes for a great and inexpensive backsplash.

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 8.53.32 AM

Even though the bathroom is not the most important room in the house, it deserves attention when it comes to renovating before getting ready to sell. Stick to tile, and update fixtures. As it was important to stay up-to-date with the kitchen, it is equally as important to remember the bathroom.

  1. Faucets
    Replace old faucets in the bathrooms before placing your home on the market. Research and see what type of metal is in style at the time — it could be very important to your buyers.
  2. Counter Tops
    If you’re going to update the counter tops in your kitchen, then the cost won’t increase much to include the bathroom. To keep it uniform, order the same counter top color. Your buyers will love that you have updated both parts of the home.
  3. Lighting
    Lighting is important in every room of the house! When replacing the faucets, consider replacing the light fixtures to match the new hardware. As always, remember what is in style.
  4. Shower
    Big, separate showers have become very popular recently. When remodeling your bathroom, remove the tub/shower combo, and put in a standing shower with glass doors. Also, add tile to the entire shower (walls and floor).
  5. Flooring
    Always use tile in the bathroom – in the shower and when flooring the entire bathroom.
  6. Cabinets
    Just as in the kitchen, cabinets are a visible part of the bathroom and buyers do not like to see them falling apart or in need of major maintenance. To keep it simple and cheap, just add a fresh coat of paint or stain.

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 8.55.39 AM

First impressions really do matter! Make sure your homes exterior looks just as good as its interior — start with the front entry. My top four recommendations are below.

  1. Porch Flooring
    As a cheap way to improve your home’s curb appeal, look at the flooring on your porch. Is it cracked? Or does it have missing bricks or stones? If so, you may want to look into repairing it.
  2. Front Door
    Adding a new front door, or refinishing the paint is important to buyers. A buyer likes to know that you take care of the outside of your home just as much as the inside. Before placing it on the market, consider replacing the door. Or, if you don’t want to spend too much, add a fresh coat of paint or stain.
  3. Lighting
    Replace the cheap light fixtures that came with your home and add a nice, new light fixture to the front entry. Buyers will love the new touch.
  4. Welcoming Features
    When your home is on the market, it is nice to add welcoming features to the front entry. It will give buyers a great first impression of your home! Popular items include: wreaths, flowers, a welcoming mat, or new home numbers.


Renovating your home to get ready to sell can be a big and expensive project. But, it doesn’t have to be. Stick to the renovations above and your home will be one of the best on the market.

Let me know if you have any questions! I am always here to help you!



Is Smart Home Technology Right for You?

June 27th, 2016

What is a “Smart Home” and is Smart Home Technology Right for You?

A smart home is a home that is equipped with network-connected products (also known as “smart home technology”) – usually controlled by a device like a smartphone. This technology has the ability to control lights, temperature, security, entertainment, etc.

Here are four examples of smart home technology and how they can help your home:

smart home technology - start with these features

Smart homes provide a great opportunity for innovation and advancement of technology. While this may be true, sometimes the benefits of having a smart home are overshadowed by the high cost of installing the technology. Let’s do a cost comparison:

smart home technology costs

what are the savings - smart home technolofy

The savings may seem slim but consider this: it’s difficult to put a number on convenience, comfort and safety.

Safety with Smart Home Technology?

The security lock systems mentioned above have the ability to remotely lock your home from anywhere you may be…say you go on vacation and you are unsure you locked your home? Or, say you are already in bed and forgot to lock your door? These security lock systems operate remotely, from the comfort of your cell phone or laptop.

Is a Smart Home the Right Move for You?

Even though it will take some time to get your money back, you can’t put a price tag on convenience, comfort and safety. Just like upgrades, it may not necessarily increase the value of your home, but it will certainly affect your home’s desirability in the eyes of a buyer.

Have questions? Reach out to our professional real estate team anytime. We are always here for you.


Secrets to a Great Outdoor Entertaining Space

May 21st, 2016

outdoor entertaining space

If you love bringing your indoor style outside, we’ve got you covered on how to create a great outdoor entertaining space. In fact, the construction of luxurious outdoor kitchens and entertaining areas is one of the biggest home trends in our area. They command a strong return on investment and nab year-long appeal in our mostly-temperate San Antonio weather. These spaces allow homeowners to relax, dine and celebrate in the comfort of their own home rather than heading out to restaurants or bar patios. Entertaining at home happens in style.

Getting Started

First, think welcoming and functional entertaining. The space should flow seamlessly, much like a house with an open floor-plan. Incorporate the clean lines and design elements from your interior into this outdoor space to tie everything together.


The heart of the home is also the heart of the outdoors. Plan the outdoor kitchen in close proximity to your indoor kitchen, as most prep work and storage is done inside. Consider installing some sort of roof or cover, as shelter from outdoor elements is also important for year-round use.

As you plan your outdoor kitchen space, think about the following: task lighting, sink and water supply and electrical outlets. It is important to include adequate counter space or your kitchen will not be functional. All appliances will need “landing areas,” or space where work can be done, cooking supplies stacked or food served. The following are general rules of thumb for counter space: sinks need 18 inches of open counter on either side; grills need 12 inches on one side and 24 on the other; if a sink sits next to a grill, there should be 36 inches of space between them.

The most popular countertop material is stone, including Texas stone, as it endures weather and sun well. Soapstone, granite or even glazed lavastone are recommended in rapid freeze/thaw areas. Other more modern finishes include concrete, Dekton and porcelain slabs like Neolith. Ongoing maintenance is important for your countertops; plan on sealing them a few times each year (unless your countertop professional recommends otherwise).

Outdoor kitchen equipment is an evolution of indoor amenities with a durability twist. Below are just a few options:

  • Weather-tight storage cabinets that include racks and deep or shallow drawers
  • Food-safe refrigeration (consider a multi-drawer unit)
  • Beverage center
  • Outdoor-rated dishwasher
  • Built-in grill
  • Built-in Big Green Egg or smoker
  • Built-in Artisan Fire Pizza Oven


A fire in an outdoor fireplace is appropriate any time and serves as the perfect focal point in your outdoor gathering area. This investment also aids year-round functionality; you will be able to enjoy the outdoors whether it is hot or cold.


Lighting is important, even outdoors. Nothing kills ambiance like harsh lighting at night. Opt for integrated recessed LED lighting underneath your kitchen counters and other incognito areas.

Furniture Lounge Set

The days of rickety plastic poolside chairs are gone. Design for comfort in your outdoor entertaining space. Choose an all-weather outdoor lounge set. These pieces will be an extension of the interior of your home.

Return on Investment

ROI is crucial with any home improvement. Adding an outdoor kitchen garners a whopping 100-200% return on investment, according to Inman and Williams Ski & Patio. Variations depend on climate, with higher ROI in warmer areas like San Antonio. The use of more durable materials also improves ROI.


Inman, Outdoor Renovation Projects with the Highest Return on Investments, Staff Writer, July 9, 2015.
Williams Ski & Patio, Outdoor Renovation and Design Ideas, Blog, May 8, 2015.

Oak Wilt and Why Prevention is So Important

April 11th, 2016


What is Oak Wilt?

Oak wilt is a fungal disease that spreads rapidly and kills oak trees. It is caused by the fungus Ceratocystis fagacearum and is destructive, incurable and deadly. Symptoms vary by tree species but generally consist of leaf discoloration, wilt, defoliation and death. Oak wilt is a very real threat to oak trees, and it threatens property values and communities as well.

Why is the Fight Against Oak Wilt Important?

Oak wilt doesn’t simply impact trees. It affects our community. Because trees with oak wilt don’t typically survive, the consequences of the disease affect aesthetics and property values. If preventative measures are not taken, the costs associated with managing the disease are very high. Prevention is key.

How Does Oak Wilt Spread?

  1. Above Ground through Beetles – Diseased red oaks produce fungal mats generally in the spring. These fungal mats attract small beetles and spores become attached to their body. Beetles, which can travel long distances, are then attracted to fresh cuts and other exposed wounds on ALL oak trees.
  2. Below Ground through Root Connections – Live oaks grow in dense groups with interconnected roots and this is how it is most commonly spread. Although less common, it can spread through interconnected roots of red oaks too.

How to Prevent Oak Wilt?

  • Avoid pruning oak trees from February 1 to June 30th. This is the time beetles are most active and fungi mats produce spores.
  • Disinfect pruning tools. Disinfect tools prior to cutting. Use an all-purpose household disinfectant or denatured methyl/isopropyl alcohol.
  • Paint wounds immediately. Oak tree wounds need to be painted immediately, regardless of the season, with latex or commercial tree wound paint. This paint minimizes exposure to beetles.
  • Hire only licensed tree pruners. Hire qualified professionals who have a tree maintenance license through the City of San Antonio.

Learn More About Steps Taken by San Antonio to Prevent Oak Wilt

Visit the City of San Antonio’s Tree Preservation page here.

To search for licensed tree pruners in San Antonio, click here and select “TRM – TREE MAINTENANCE LICENSE” from the drop-down list.

Learn more about the Eight Step Program to Oak Wilt Management by Jerral Johnson and David Appel.

Who is the Texa A&M Forest Service?

The Texas A&M Forest Service was created in 1915, and its mission is to provide statewide leadership and professional assistance to assure that the state’s forest, tree, and related natural resources are wisely used, nurtured, protected, and perpetuated for the benefit of all.

San Antonio Tomorrow

March 25th, 2016

What is San Antonio Tomorrow?

San Antonio is expected to grow by over one million people by 2040. San Antonio Tomorrow is an interactive, strategic approach to growth covering three different areas: the Comprehensive Plan, Sustainability Plan and the Multimodal Transportation Plan.

The Comprehensive Plan is a detailed, collaborative look at our land use, urban design and municipal policy in conjunction with various City resources and incentive programs to plan for projected growth and provide more choices for residents.

The Sustainability Plan addresses three facets of a thriving community — social, economic and environmental factors, and it includes metrics for benchmarking success along the way. The vision is for a vibrant economy, healthy environment and an inclusive and fair community.

The Multimodal Transportation Plan encompasses all means of transit, including cars, mass transit, bicycles and pedestrians. This plan communicates the City’s transportation strategy and serves as a tool to analyze transportation needs, priorities and methods to best meet the community’s goals.

Your Voice Matters

The San Antonio Tomorrow approach includes everyone, especially YOU. Our leaders are looking for feedback on issues like transportation, jobs, housing, air and water quality and energy efficiency. San Antonio Tomorrow has established a virtual town hall to encourage ongoing dialogue among community members and government officials to ensure your voice is heard.

More About San Antonio Tomorrow

SA Tomorrow (Subtitled) from MIG, Inc. on Vimeo.

Tips for First-Time Home Sellers

March 8th, 2016

tips for first-time home sellers


Selling your first home is exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. Buyers have more tools in their toolbelts to quickly and easily compare your home to other homes on the market. How can you make your home stand out from the rest? Let’s take a look at these tips for first-time home sellers:

1) Price your home right, right from the start. The volume of showings should be highest during the first two to three weeks your home is on the market. The majority of buyers hire real estate agents who set them up with automatic home alerts. The minute a home fitting their criteria pops up, they want to see it, especially in our competitive market.

Keep in mind how you price your home. For instance, if you price your home at $176,900, you miss home buyers with a price threshold of $175,000. Consider bumping the price down just a bit to capture the hearts and minds of additional buyers.

2) Study sales prices in your neighborhood, not asking prices. If a neighbor has his/her home listed for $195,000 and it has sat on the market for 9 months, chances are that it isn’t worth $195,000. Instead, opt to price yours in-line with similar homes that have sold within the last 90 to 180 days.

You’ll also want to be a bit flexible. Your house is worth what an able buyer is willing to pay. No more. Your highest offer is almost always the first offer you receive.

3) Choose an agent who uses professional photography. The threshold into a buyer’s heart is the internet. An overwhelming number of home buyers use the internet to begin (and continue) their home search. A well-staged home with professional photography stands tall among the competition.

When interviewing agents, ask to see his or her marketing plan for your home. A qualified agent should be able to provide information on how he or she will market your home to your target audience.

4) Use appliances like your washer, dryer and refrigerator as chips in your negotiation. If you’re close on coming to an agreement with a potential buyer, consider “sweetening the deal” with appliances that are typically considered personal property. A simple gesture like this may increase the likelihood of a full-price offer and make your life easier (no bulky appliances to move).

5) Clear the clutter. The way you show a home and the way you live in a home are vastly different. Consider hiring a stager to provide you with recommendations on what to do to show your home in its best light.

6) Make necessary repairs prior to going on the market. Have a leaky faucet that you’ve been putting off repairing? Now is the time to fix it. Completing obvious (and hidden) repairs will help prospective buyers to see your home in a better light. If issues don’t jump out to a buyer, he or she is also less apt to worry (or complain) about hypothetical conditions.

If you have questions or if you’d like to hear about our marketing plan for seller clients, call (210.477.4855) or fill out this quick form anytime. We’re always here for you.

Your Next Home and The Curtis Team “Buyer Plan of Action”

February 15th, 2016

It takes a proactive and aggressive approach to find you the best home at the best price. Every buyer has access to the homes for sale in the Multiple Listing Service through various free websites such as Zillow or Trulia. So what makes The Curtis Team stand out?

The reason more buyers choose to work with us than any other agent is what we do above and beyond the Multiple Listing Service to find our clients the best deals.

Door Knocking

We constantly door knock through the specific neighborhood or area you, as the buyer, would like to live. This is one of the best ways we find our clients a great home not yet on the market. We come across many potential sellers this way, including neighbors who know of someone interested in selling their home.


Similar to door knocking, once you, as the buyer, identify the area you want to live in, we will also call throughout those neighborhoods in search of potential sellers who are not yet on the market.

Expired, Cancelled, Withdrawn Listings

These are homes that were on the market at some point in the past three years and, for whatever reason, did not sell. Often times, these sellers would still like to sell their home without having to go through the hassle of fully marketing their home.


We have a database of over 1,500 clients who we actively communicate with. We have many clients who, with the right buyer, would be happy to sell their home without having to go through the hassle of having their home on the market.

It’s incredibly fulfilling to know we are helping our clients open a new chapter of their lives. That’s why we work so hard to not only find that perfect home, but also handle every last detail of the purchase process, from negotiating the terms of sale to recommending moving companies.

If we can help your journey, reach out to us anytime. We’re always here for you. Call or email today to set up a customized Home Buyer’s Appointment with our team.

The Curtis Team: Michelle, Doug and Susan
Phone: (210) 477-4855

The Curtis Team