March 21, 2017

Top 5 Things for Families on Spring Break in Phoenix

 

Spring Break in Phoenix

Phoenix metro is one of the most popular places for families to visit during spring break. The weather in Phoenix this time of year is beautiful, with the average daytime temperatures in the 80s, giving winter-weary visitors a welcomed respite from the cold. Not only that, Phoenix boast some of the best activities for families visiting this time of year, from spring training games to festivals to amusement parks and more. Need some ideas for your spring visit to Phoenix? Grab a pen and read on…

Spring Training Baseball

Baseball is the all-American pastime and families gather from all over the country to watch their favorite teams at play. Spring training in Arizona offers fun for the whole family, from watching the game to eating the fabulous stadium food to simply basking in the wonderful Arizona sunshine. Looking to catch a game or two when you’re in town?  Check out the Cactus League’s website and get ready to root, root, root for your home team!

Renaissance Festival

The Arizona Renaissance Festival is a medieval amusement park, a 13-stage theatre, a 30-acre circus, an arts and crafts fair, a Jousting Tournament and a feast, all rolled into one non-stop, day-long, family adventure! There is something for everyone, including unique shows, fabulous food and one-of-a kind arts and crafts. The Festival is open Saturdays, Sundays and Presidents' Day Monday, from mid-February to the 1st weekend in April. Festival hours are 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM. You can buy tickets in advance on their website or buy them at the gate.

NCAA’s Men’s Final Four

Phoenix will host the 2017 NCAA’s Men’s Final Four Tournament, but the town begins to buzz with excitement weeks before the finals start. The NCAA Men’s Final Four is not just three basketball games. It is a weekend-long extravaganza of events for fans and families alike. From the ultimate NCAA sports experience at Final Four Fan Fest to three days of free concerts at the March Madness Music Festival, a sneak peek into the teams practicing at Reese’s Final Four Friday, youth clinics, a basketball dribble down the streets of Phoenix and much more. There is non-stop action – all of which is low to no cost. It’s great entertainment for the whole family! Buy Fan Fest tickets to take advantage of all the fun!

Tempe Spring Arts Festival

Shop for art, eat some great food, and listen to local entertainment at the Tempe Springs Arts Festival being held in downtown Tempe March 31st – April 2nd. The festival even features “Kid’s Block” where kids can see works by their peers and do some projects of their very own! The festival is surrounded by shops, restaurants and pubs, so plan on spending the day here to get the full experience. The festival’s website provides useful information on parking, mass transit, driving directions and artists in attendance so be sure to check it out before you go.

Phoenix Film Festival

Ready for something a bit more low-key and out of the sun?  Check out the Phoenix Film Festival which runs April 6th – 13th. The Phoenix Film Festival will screen more than 175 feature films and shorts. Attendees will be a part of screenings and Q&A sessions with producers, director and talent. Different films will be presented each day. The Phoenix Film Festival has been named one of The 25 Coolest Film Festivals and a Top 50 Worth the Entry Fee by MovieMaker Magazine and has been called the most filmmaker-friendly festival out there. Learn about the festival and buy tickets on their website.

Whatever you decide to do while visiting the Valley of the Sun, be sure to take advantage of our fun events and beautiful weather. If you’re considering making Phoenix your permanent home, or looking at homes for sale in Litchfield Park, AZ don’t hesitate to contact us for local market information. We’ll help you find the right home with most of your wish list items.

 

 

Posted in Things to Do
March 7, 2017

Easter Egg Hunt Locations in Phoenix 2017

Easter Egg Hunts in Phoenix 2017

Spring is one of the busiest times of year for the Valley of the Sun and with good reason:  Phoenix boasts some of the most beautiful weather this time of year, and there is no shortage of activities for winter visitors, from golf tournaments to spring training games to car shows and more. Phoenix is especially family-friendly this time of year, and offers some of the best Easter egg hunts and other Easter activities for the entire family.

Easter egg hunts and Eggstravaganzas in Phoenix

There are lots of places where the little ones can hunt for eggs. Below are just a few great venues for egg hunting and if you’re lucky, you might even see the Easter Bunny!

Enchanted Island Free Easter Egg Hunt – This event is free for all ages 1 – 10. Age appropriate hunts start at 10am (see the website for start times for different age groups). Arrive early, as all kids must register to receive an age-appropriate stamp. Registration is FREE! All eggs are prize-filled plus 40 Grand Prize eggs! Be sure to bring your own basket. The Easter Bunny is available 9am – 3pm.

Fountain Hills Eggstravaganza – Event will be held at Golden Eagle Park. Watch as hundreds of kids scramble to pick up over 15,000 eggs stuffed with candy and other prizes. Held on the ball fields at Golden Eagle Park, this event is a sure way to begin the spring season. Hoppy Bunny will serve as Master of Ceremonies and will be available for hugs and pictures throughout the event.  The event is open to children up to 7 years old who must be accompanied by an adult. Arrive early as the main event starts promptly at 9 a.m. A pancake breakfast will be offered.

Florence Easter Eggstravaganza - Hop down to the park and hunt for 15,000 prize filled eggs! There will be inflatables, vendors, and crafts for all to enjoy, Hip Hop the bunny will also be available for pictures. Event will be held at Heritage Park.

Dolly Sanchez Memorial Easter Egg Hunt - Enjoy a great event full of family fun and the chance to meet Mr. and Mrs. Bunny! Held annually the Saturday before Easter, this event offers something for everyone. There are candy hunts for eight different age groups and one for individuals with disabilities.  
Highlights of the event include a petting zoo, pony rides, make & take crafts, face painting, carnival games, fun inflatables, and much more!  Admission and parking are free when you bring canned food to benefit the St. Mary’s/Westside Food Bank Alliance. Some activities require a nominal fee. Food and beverages will also be available for purchase.

Spring Eggstravaganza – Come to the Surprise Recreation Campus on Saturday, April 15th for an Easter egg hunt, inflatables, face painting, clowns, and Mr and Mrs Bunny!

Easter Egg-Citement – Reservations are recommended; registration and train rides will start at 9:00am and the egg hunts begin at 11:00.

Church at Litchfield Park Easter Egg Hunt – Good for infants through 5th grade, this Easter egg hunt starts at 10:00am on April 15th. There will also be singing and the Easter Bunny will be there for photos as well.

Easter pageants and parades

Everyone loves an Easter parade!  Here are a few parades that will be happening for Easter:

Easter Parade and Spring Fling – the 41st Easter Parade and Spring Fling will be held April 15, 2017 at the Ahwatukee Community Park. There will be artists, crafts, food vendors and other service providers, along with stage entertainers, carnival rides, food and drink, and the Easter parade that starts at 10am. Fun for the whole family!

Easter brunches

Looking for a nice place to relax and unwind after your little ones have gathered all their eggs?  Phoenix has some of the best Easter brunch offerings around. Here are a few of the more popular venues; click the links to get details on location, times and prices:

The Farm at South Mountain (Phoenix)

Elements at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain (Scottsdale)

Wrigley Mansion (Phoenix)

The Wigwam (Litchfield Park)

Other things to do on Easter Day in Phoenix

If you’ve had your fill of bunnies and eggs, but are still looking for fun things to do on Easter Sunday, check out all events happening on Easter Sunday here.

Spring is the best time of year in Phoenix, which is why so many people make the move from Phoenix winter visitor to permanent resident. View all Phoenix Real Estate today at www.LovingPhoenix.com and see all the houses listed in the Arizona Regional MLS.

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home and want to know more about the process, give us a call at 623-206-9936. We’ll help you house hunt and find a property which best suits your wants and needs.

Posted in Things to Do
March 3, 2017

What Can I Expect from the Short Sale Purchase Process?

Approved short sale Verrado

Buying a home is a big financial commitment. So, some first-time homebuyers look for bargains. These come in different forms. An estate sale, a fixer-upper, foreclosure or short sale. But with a discount price comes a lot of due diligence. And, it's a more precarious situation. This is because in most cases, the buyer has less control of the process. Especially when it's an estate sale, foreclosure or short sale. So, you should know what to expect from the short sale purchase process.

What can I Expect from the Short Sale Purchase Process?

There are pitfalls to any home purchase, regardless of type, distressed or non-distressed properties. But with short sale purchases, buyers tend to make some common mistakes. These include being too optimistic. Looking past the property's problems and future complications. Skipping the home inspection because of misunderstanding their rights. Ignoring the various legal matters. Not delving into insurance needs and falling in love with a lemon.

A short sale occurs when a lender agrees to accept less than the full balance of the amount owed in order to release their lien on real property. Short sales have become a popular solution for homeowners who wish to sell their property but owe their lender(s) more than their home is worth. --The Settlement Group

Also, a short sale situation is a stressful one for the seller. He or she is giving up a lot of control to be free and clear of an unaffordable debt. Unfortunately, lenders aren't in the business of selling homes. So, don't expect much in the way of concessions. Generally, the only repairs made are those to ensure the property is free of health and safety issues. But typically, that's about the extent. What's more, you not only need to know what to expect from the short sale purchase process but what you should do:

  • Work with an experienced real estate professional. If you've already begun your house hunt and stumbled onto a short sale that seems to fit, you should solicit the help of a local real estate professional. You'll have an experienced guide to help you navigate the process and someone who can advise you to your best interests.
  • Find the right house. Some buyers begin their search with a narrow focus. Saving money on the purchase price being a driving force. But, it's important to understand, saving on the purchase price might well mean big time rehab expenses. Don't let a fanciful idea dominate your thinking.
  • Submit a strong purchase offer. Usually with a short sale purchase, the potential buyer should go in with his or her strongest offer. Lowball offers tend to be rejected because the lender is already losing money on the sale. In general, the stronger the purchase offer, the better.
  • Get a home inspection. Unfortunately, some homebuyers skip the home inspection because they believe a house sold as-is, doesn't give them the ability to have it inspected. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, this is one situation that absolutely demands a home inspection.
  • Wait for lender approval. While it's a nerve-racking wait, it's just part of the short sale purchase process. The lender won't rush back with an immediate answer to your purchase offer. Be prepared to face a long wait period. In addition, be prepared for a higher purchase price counteroffer to come back from the lender.

If you are in the market to buy a short sale home for sale in Verrado and want to know more about the short sale process, give us a call at 623-206-9936. We’ll help you house hunt and find a property which best suits your wants and needs.

Posted in Buying, Short Sale
Feb. 28, 2017

Home Improvement Tax Deductions

There are several home improvement tax deductions, including credits and more. So, when it's time to prepare your taxes, you should take advantage. While not all home improvements you made in 2016 will qualify, plenty do make the list of acceptable write-offs. Be sure to consult a licensed professional to ensure you're not running afoul of some obscure or arcane tax rule. You might just find some pleasant surprises or at least something that eases your burden.

Home Improvement Tax Deductions

As any experienced real estate pro will tell you, home improvements are generally long-term investments. Sure, some are great for short-term returns. For instance, small repairs and a fresh coat of interior paint are great ways to get a home in showable condition to sell. But, you won't find any give-back from Uncle Sam. And, if you're selling your primary residence, don't forget about capital gains, as this tax can be a factor.

It’s no secret that finishing your basement will increase your home’s value. What you may not know is the money you spend on this type of so-called capital improvement could also help lower your tax bill when you sell your house. Tax rules let you add capital improvement expenses to the cost basis of your home. Why is that a big deal? Because a higher cost basis lowers the total profit — capital gain, in IRS-speak — you’re required to pay taxes on. In other words, you might have a tax break coming. --House Logic

Speaking of selling real property, if you're going to sell a rental house, definitely look into using Section 1031 of the United States Internal Revenue Code to your benefit. A 1031 exchange allows you to defer capital gains or losses, if you purchase another property. Also, if you did any home improvements to a rental home in 2016, be sure to ask your tax professional about possible deductions and credits. Here are some of the most common home improvement tax deductions:

  • Home improvement loans. If you took out a loan specifically for home improvements last year, then you can deduct the interest you paid. In fact, the interest write-off extends up to $100,000, according to IRS Publication 936. You can also deduct the interest paid on a HELOC or home equity line of credit in most circumstances.
  • Improved energy efficiency. While not exciting, energy-efficient home improvements do help to reduce long-term costs. Additionally, you can deduct or receive credits for many of these. Insulation, central air conditioning, solar water heaters, windows, doors, skylights, roofs and more are all included, according to EnergyStar.gov.
  • Capital improvements. Making some repairs and other home improvements to ready your house for sale typically qualifies as capital improvements. These include roof replacement, window replacement, door and gutter replacement and HVAC replacement.
  • Certain repairs. If you repainted the interior and exterior of your home, those are considered tax neutral. But, repairs made for damaged caused by fire or storm might be allowed under casualty/loss rules. Here again, consult a tax professional about what's allowable.
  • Home office improvements. The rules for home office improvements allow for some deductions. But, not all home office improvements will qualify. What's more, those home office improvements which do qualify might require you to deduct over time. These generally fall under legitimate business expenses, since the home office is used for just that.

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home and want to know more about the process, give us a call at 623-206-9936. We’ll help you house hunt and find a property which best suits your wants and needs.

Posted in Home Improvement
Feb. 23, 2017

Getting Ready for Arizona’s 2017 Spring Training Season | Cactus League 2017 Information

2017 Cactus League Information | Arizona Spring Training 2017

Spring training season is one of the busiest times of year for Arizona and with good reason! The Cactus League alone has ten spring training locations across Maricopa county and every year, thousands of spring visitors, or “snowbirds” pour into Arizona to catch a few ballgames to watch their favorite teams play.

Why is spring training so popular in Arizona?

The Cactus League has long been a cherished Arizona tradition for locals and tourists alike. During this time of year in Arizona, pleasant temperatures and endless sunshine complement the amazing experience that only spring training offers. Temperatures this time of year are in the low 80’s; a far cry from the snow and sleet many winter visitors left back home! Baseball fans get to meet their favorite players while enjoying quality time with your family and friends. The food at these stadiums are astounding, and the overall atmosphere is fun yet laid back. 

How to get the most out of spring training in Arizona

Spring training is THE activity to do in Arizona in the spring, but to get the most out of it, it’s good to be prepared, so here are a few tips to get the most out of your spring training games:

1. Get an autograph – one of the greatest aspects of spring training is that you can see your favorite players up close and personal; take advantage of this and get yourself an autograph!  There are a few tips to keep in mind to help you score an autograph or two. First, be in the right location to get an autograph. Some people swear that being near the dugout before the game is a good spot. Others wait by the team bus, and still other fans say catching them as they head to the clubhouse works every time. Scope out a good spot to get that autograph. Of course, be respectful of players if they’re “in the zone” and clearly don’t want to be disturbed. Ask for an autograph and even if they say no, or not now, thank them by name and let them know you’d love an autograph when they have time.

2. Bring sunscreen – maybe 80 degrees doesn’t sound that warm, but the Arizona sun shines almost every day of the year, so sunscreen is a must! Many a vacation has been ruined by one day of unprotected skin in the sun. Bring sunscreen (and use it!), wear sunglasses and bring a hat. You’ll be comfortable and can enjoy the entire game.

3. If you’re coming in from out of town, rent early – that goes for both lodging and rental cars. Hotels and rental properties near the stadium fill up fast, so to get the best deal, book early. Same with car rentals. Plan ahead and make those reservations now!

4. Buy tickets early – sure, you might be able to walk up and get last-minute tickets to games, but depending on the team, most good tickets may be sold out. Thinking you’d like to pop by and see the White Sox play?  Sorry, but every visitor from Chicago has beat you to the punch. Plan early and buy your 2017 Cactus League tickets online so you don’t end up disappointed.

Plan other activities while you’re in Arizona for spring training

If you’re in town for more than a few days, take time to check out the areas surrounding our beautiful spring training facilities. There are great new attractions near Talking Stick Stadium in Scottsdale, including the Butterfly Wonderland, Odysea and Dolphinaris. Checking out Lake Pleasant Regional Park in Peoria? There is some amazing hiking in the Superstitions or the White Tank Regional Park is not very far away. The spring training facility in Peoria is fantastic and near there is a great entertainment center newly named P83. Every facility is near other attractions that are family friendly. Take time to check it out!

Are you considering buying a home for sale in Westwing Mountain or another neighborhood in Peoria, AZ? Be sure to contact us for local market information. We’ll help you find the right home with most of your wish list items!

Cheryl Benjamin, Associate Broker
Loving Phoenix Team at Realty One Group
17235 N 75th Ave Ste C-190
Glendale, AZ 85308
Phone:  623-206-9936
Email:  Cheryl@LovingPhoenix.com

Posted in Things to Do
Jan. 4, 2017

Extra Home Improvement Expenses to Budget For

Extra home improvement expenses can easily add up to a substantial sum. So much, these become budget busters, emptying your wallet to the tune of hundreds of dollars, even thousands, altogether, in some instances. But, these extras don't have to be the bane of your remodeling project -- that is, if you plan appropriately. The truth of the matter is, none of these extra home improvement expenses should be surprise. However, it is amazing how many homeowners just don't think to consider them.

Extra Home Improvement Expenses to Budget For

These extra home improvement expenses aren't what you see on cable television rehab shows. They don't include the owners suddenly changing their minds to move plumbing and add new electrical wiring. They're also not something like unplanned costs, such as finding an issue with the foundation, discovering a pest infestation, or learning a hugely expensive support beam will have to be installed to replace a load-bearing wall.

Remodeling jobs in older homes are the worst. Walls may have layers of wallpaper, paneling and drywall, and hidden behind them inadequate framing and outdated wiring. A job price that anticipates the worst case scenario would cost a fortune. That means many remodeling plans have gray areas, and almost always some extras. --Chicago Tribune

While all of those scenarios and some others will add gigantic costs to any home renovation or update, there are still others all-too-many homeowners overlook. That is, until they pop up and take a bite out of their bank account. And, when you see what these costs are, you'll probably be stunned by one or more, thinking why they didn't enter your mind in the first place. Here are some commonly overlooked extra home improvement expenses:

  • Increased utility bills. It's not necessarily the power drill-drivers, compressors, and other equipment and tools which create higher utility bills. Although these are a factor, what really increases utility bills will be the extra water and electric use and people going in and out of the house. We all know constantly swinging doors cause heating and cooling costs to rise as the system must work harder to keep the inside comfortable.
  • Boarding your pets. Some dogs and cats are prone to pounce, scooting out the door the moment it is open. That just creates more chaos and it likewise adds to your already increased anxiety. Even if your four-legged furry family members aren't prone to dashing out the door, consider how must stress they'll experience with strangers in the house, the busy commotion, and constant noise.
  • Dining out a lot more. While you may "plan" to temporarily relocate your kitchen and are willing to suffer through the inconveniences, all of those good, money-saving intentions won't be so realistic for very long. You'll wind up spending a lot more money on eating out because it comes down to being more practical and convenient.
  • Waste management. If there's one expense that too many homeowners don't factor into calculating their budget, it's waste and debris management. Sure, you could have a plan, that includes throwing the debris you create in a truck, but that just won't cut it. You'll need to rent a dumpster and/or hire a construction debris clean up service.
  • Short-term storage. What many homeowners quickly and unpleasantly discover is that plastic just doesn't keep dust and debris off their furniture. It will still spread through the house, much further and more often than you think. Consider renting storage space or relocating furniture and other stuff for a short-term.

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home and want to know more about the whole process, give us a call at 623-206-9936. We’ll help you with your house hunt, to find the property which best suits your wants and needs.

Posted in Home Improvement
Dec. 2, 2016

First-Time Homebuyer Unexpected Expenses

First-time homebuyer expenses quickly add-up and that's why it takes a lot of preparation and savings. When you're ready to purchase your first house, you'll need to go over your credit files well in advance and be pre-approved for a mortgage. What you'll probably budget for are a down payment, earnest money deposit, inspections, moving, and closing costs. But, this doesn't cover some of the most common first-time home buyers unexpected expenses.

First-Time Home Buyer Unexpected Expenses

Of course, you'll put money aside for things like new furniture and perhaps home items, such as dinnerware, flatware, and more. While these are certainly a necessity, you'll also have to consider other costs. These typically take most first-time buyers by surprise. When these pop-up, you'll wonder why you didn't think of them before. This is just one of many reasons why you should enlist the help of an experienced real estate professional.

If you're considering becoming a homeowner, even years from now, recognize that there's a lot more to purchasing a house than saving enough money for a down payment. Additional expenses come up throughout the home-buying process. Some of these are upfront, out-of-pocket costs that are non-refundable even if you end up not closing the deal. Others will hit your wallet after the home is in your possession. Experienced buyers probably are familiar with these charges, but first-time buyers can be caught off-guard. --Kiplinger.com

You'll learn a whole lot from your buyer's agent, like buying into a neighborhood and not just a house. After all, you can't change the neighborhood but there's a lot you can do to change a home. Other bits of helpful advice you'll receive is not to open new credit accounts, run-up balances, or make large cash withdrawals. Your lender will run a last-minute credit check (referred to as a "soft credit check") and check your account balances. After closing, when you move-in, you'll discover the following first-time home buyer unexpected expenses:

  • New door locks. Your very first home improvement project isn't glamorous or difficult but it is entirely necessary. You'll need to replace the front and rear entry door locks. Even if it's a new construction home, you don't know who has keys. Do yourself a big favor and install new locks. While you're at it, have duplicate keys made.
  • Window treatments. If you don't plan to be the new hit neighborhood show, go ahead and buy new window treatments. While it's not exactly commonplace for home sellers to take window coverings with them, it does happen and you'll want your privacy right away.
  • Kitchen appliances. The majority of home sellers agree to leave the kitchen appliances. But there are instances where the appliances move with the seller to their new place. In some cases, although rare, sellers "forget" or have a change of mind and take the appliances out of the house. So, be prepared to purchase kitchen appliances.
  • Landscaping materials and equipment. Unless you're buying a townhouse or a condo, you'll have to maintain the landscaping. If you buy a home with great curb appeal, ask the current owners how it's maintained. You can also opt to hire a service.
  • Fire extinguisher and smoke alarms. Usually, the fire extinguisher and smoke alarms are left behind. Be sure to have the extinguisher inspected by the nearest fire station and test the smoke alarms.

If you are ready to buy a home, near West Van Buren Street, South Avondale Boulevard, North Fairway Drive, in the Coldwater Springs community or elsewhere in Avondale, just give us a call. We'll help find the right property and work hard to get it for you.

Nov. 29, 2016

Most Common Home Seller Listing Photo Mistakes to Avoid

The most common home seller listing photo mistakes are completely avoidable, yet sadly, some homeowners still commit them. When you're selling a house, it must be presented in the best way possible. It's well-known the vast majority of house hunts begin online, so you need to put your true focus on the listing description and its photos. Your property listing should entice potential buyers and make them put your house on their must-see lists.

Most Common Home Seller Listing Photo Mistakes to Avoid

Just how important are the listing description and its accompanying photos? Well, people form an impression of a property in only 7 to 10 seconds. That's certain not a lot of time, especially when the ability to click or swipe away is so easy. What's more, a survey conducted just a few years ago revealed that a whopping 84 percent of all home buyers wouldn't even consider purchasing a house if the listing description didn't have pictures.

...consider the photos, videos, and other marketing materials your real estate agent might suggest. Many potential buyers scour online listings, so photos that show off the best of your house can make the difference between full or sparse open houses. Some homeowners even start house blogs. --National Association of Realtors

This is why many real estate professionals like having high quality listing photos. It's a medium we all know is worth a thousand words but when it comes to selling a home, it's worth so much more. Buyers will see scores or hundreds of pictures before they even walk through a single property. So it's paramount you give them plenty of reasons to be enthusiastic to see your house in-person. To do that, you'll need to avoid the following most common home seller listing photo mistakes:

  • Not enough photos. Less is definitely not more when it comes to listing photos. Whatever the local MLS listing limit is, max it out and do so without duplicating too much. Every room should be included, as well as the exterior, highlighting the best features in and outside the house.
  • Crooked, blurry, weird angles. Remember the statistic that people form an impression of a property in just 7 to 10 seconds? While this doesn't constitute much time, it's enough to turn off would-be buyers with crooked, blurry, or weird angle pictures. If there's anything wrong with an image, don't include it. Even if it's a great photo but has the timestamp, it's best to leave it out.
  • Poor lighting or too bright. Low light images force people to strain and that's simply too much to ask. In addition, photos that are washed out in light, have bright reflections, or flash blooms are also a big no-no.
  • Too many personal items captured. Before you begin to photograph your house, it should be in showable condition. And showable condition means properly staged. Properly staged houses leave practically no trace of your personal life, including photos and personal possessions, like trophies. After all, you're selling a house, not your life.
  • No pictures of community amenities. If you live in a community with great amenities, be sure to include images of these. For instance, a community swimming pool, golf course, clubhouse, or even a nearby park and/or playground are great additions.

If you are selling your home around West Clover Way, West Lakeshore Drive, West Primrose Drive, inside the Garden Lakes community, or elsewhere in Avondale, we’d be happy to help you out -- just give us a call!

Posted in Selling
Nov. 8, 2016

Maricopa County October 2016 Real Estate Market Report

Maricopa County Market Update - October 2016The Maricopa County residential real estate market experienced an increase in listing inventory as the number of pending and completed transactions dropped from September to October. Simultaneously, property values enjoyed a small but welcome increase, though home prices have not experienced a significant bump in the past eighteen months. This means sellers entering the market should set a realistic listing price. Buyers should be prepared for multiple offer situations for properties listed at under $200,000. Although, this won't occur in every transaction and buyers are able to take advantage of a more traditional seller inventory rather than distressed properties.

Maricopa County October 2016 Home Prices

The average sales price rose from $281,188 in September to $284,200 during the month of October in Maricopa County. That figure is also up from August of this year, something that's not occurred over about the past year-and-a-half. Conversely, the average list to sales price ratio dropped to 97.43, down from 97.53 in September, as well as August's 97.56, but up from July's 97.47. However, the average list to sales price ratio remains strong as the number has not fallen below 96.30 since May 2013. This ratio number represents the difference between the listing price and the final selling price. The foreseeable future will likely not record much of a change through the rest of the year for the average list to sales price ratio but prices might continue to slightly drop.

Current Home Mortgage Rates

Though the Federal Reserve has not taken action on rates so far this year, change is likely on the near horizon. “In one line [this report is] more than enough to keep the December hike on track,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, told Market Watch.com in a recent interview. However, rates remain at near historic lows. Right now, a 30-year conventional mortgage rate comes-in at 3.59 percent. A 15-year conventional home loan rate currently stands at 2.9 percent, while a 30-year FHA mortgage runs at 3.4 percent. The current jumbo 30-year home loan rate is 3.75 percent and the 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage comes-in at 2.89 percent. But, with gains in employment, subtly rising wages, and inflation not a large threat, these rates will probably rise by the end of the year or at the beginning of 2017.

October Residential Home Sales by Loan and Transaction Type

There were a total of 7,104 closed residential real estate transactions during the month of October in Maricopa County -- down from the September figure of 7,411. Of all closed sales, there were 3,510 conventional loan transactions, 1,511 cash sales, 1,495 FHA transactions, and 527 VA loan sales. In all, these traditional real estate transactions accounted for 96.38 percent of all closed sales, with distressed properties making up 3.62 percent. Of that small percentage, 1.82 percent were short sales and 1.8 percent were foreclosures.

Maricopa County Real Estate Listing Statistics

The number of active listings increased by 4.3 percent during October, as did the average sales price by 1.1 percent, as well as the average days on the market, up 2.7 percent. Pending listings fell by 1.3 percent and sold listings dropped by 4.2 percent in Maricopa County.

Posted in Market Update
Nov. 7, 2016

Why Should Seller's Leave During Home Showings?

If you're considering selling your house, there are a lot of questions to answer. Among the most common are about the marketing strategy and showing preparation. Sooner or later, you'll probably wonder about your role in hosting open houses and buyer showings. After all, as the homeowner, you're intimately familiar with the property. So, it seems a good idea to be present; or is it? Well, there are some things to know about why sellers should leave during home showings.

Why should Sellers Leave during Home Showings?

The fact of the matter is, we all make mistakes. That's not necessarily a bad thing because such experiences teach us lessons. We learn from our mistakes and missteps throughout our lives. This is precisely why you enlist the services of a real estate professional. Because you don't know what you don't know and it's this unknowing which presents problems. For instance, it takes just 7 to 10 seconds for people to form an impression of a home.

Technically speaking, there is no definite rule in most listing contracts that states a seller can be forced to leave the home during a showing. Although most real estate agents will expect a seller to leave, and demand that they do so, legally neither an agent nor a buyer can make a homeowner leave his own dwelling. Sellers should, however, make a good faith effort to cooperate in marketing the property, and there are some points to consider when deciding to leave or stay at home during a property viewing. --San Francisco Gate

That's why curb appeal is so vital, because it not only is the first thing potential buyers will see, it also sets the expectation for what's inside. If a home suffers from poor curb appeal, buyers will lower their expectations and likely be unimpressed with the rest of the property.

  • Buyers want privacy to speak with their agents. The best way to understand a buyer's position is to walk in their shoes. Think about what you would do when being shown a home by your own agent. You'd probably like to speak with your agent privately about the house's pros and cons while walking through the property.
  • Buyers need the free rein to roam about the house. Along the same line is the buyer's need for freedom to roam. They will take the opportunity to explore the closet space, look over the appliances, and think about future plans for this and that.
  • You might make unintentional statements. What you believe to be a big plus might be a huge minus to a potential buyer. For instance, you remodeled the kitchen, doing all the work yourself and did it by the book, getting all necessary permits. Well, your boast could be a big buyer concern if you're not a licensed and experienced contractor.
  • Buyers could feel they are inconveniencing you. Buyers are strangers to your home, even if they've seen it at an open house. A showing is more intimate and your presence could make a buyer feel as though they are inconveniencing you. That will cause them to rush through the property, which isn't something you want to happen.
  • The home selling and buying process is emotional. Let's face it, whether you're selling or buying a home, it's an emotional process. Let your house speak for itself and make a good impression. After all, it's your property you want buyers to remember, not you.

If you are selling a home nearby North Verrado Way, West Lost Creek Drive West, Park Street, or elsewhere in the Verrado community, just phone us at 623-206-9936 for more helpful advice and to learn more about local market conditions.

Posted in Selling