Arizona Home Buying and Selling Tips and Information

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Sept. 11, 2019

4 Things NOT to Do When Putting Your Home on the Market


4 Things NOT to Do When Putting Your Home on the Market


Selling your Home - What not to do

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on December 29, 2016. Housecall continues to share this piece due to ongoing requests and reader interest. Posted by RIS Media's Housecall Posted on Dec 29 2016 - 10:27am by Zoe Eisenberg

So you've decided to put your home on the market. Congratulations! Hopefully, you've brought a rockin' REALTOR® on board to help you list your spot, and together you've done your due diligence on what to ask for. As you start checking things off your to-do list, it's also important to pay mind of what not to do. Below are a handful of things to get you started.

Don't over-improve.
As you ready your home for sale, you may realize you will get a great return on your investment if you make a couple of changes. Updating the appliances or replacing that cracked cabinet in the bathroom are all great ideas. However, it's important not to over-improve, or make improvements that are hyper-specific to your tastes. For example, not everyone wants a pimped out finished basement equipped with a wet bar and lifted stage for their rock and roll buds to jam out on. (Okay, everyone should want that.) What if your buyers are family oriented and want a basement space for their kids to play in? That rock-and-roll room may look to them like a huge project to un-do. Make any needed fixes to your space, but don't go above and beyond—you may lose money doing so.

Don't over-decorate.
Over-decorating is just as bad as over-improving. You may love the look of lace and lavender, but your potential buyer may enter your home and cringe. When prepping for sale, neutralize your decorating scheme so it's more universally palatable.

Don't hang around.
Your agent calls to let you know they will be bringing buyers by this afternoon. Great! You rally your whole family, Fluffy the dog included, to be waiting at the door with fresh baked cookies and big smiles. Right? Wrong. Buyers want to imagine themselves in your space, not be confronted by you in your space. Trust, it's awkward for them to go about judging your home while you stand in the corner smiling like a maniac. Get out of the house, take the kids with you, and if you can't leave for whatever reason, at least go sit in the backyard. (On the other hand, if you're buying a home and not selling, then making it personal is the way to go, especially when writing your offer letter. Pull those heart strings!)

Don't take things personally.
Real estate is a business, but buying and selling homes is very, very emotional. However, when selling your homes, try your very best not to take things personally. When a buyer lowballs you or says they will need to replace your prized 1970s vintage shag carpet with something “more modern,” try not to raise your hackles.

Arizona Homes for Sale and Arizona Real Estate:

Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, Avondale, Goodyear, Glendale, Peoria, Sun City, Sun City West and Surprise.

Posted in Selling a Home
Sept. 9, 2019

6 Financial Benefits of Owning a Home - Buying a Home in Arizona

6 Financial Benefits of Owning a Home

Homeownership is a great responsibility and it also comes with many benefits.

Arizona Homes with a Pool

  1. Equity. Every rent payment builds your landlord’s equity, while every mortgage payment builds yours.
  2. A financial cushion. Your equity can be tapped via a home equity loan for anything from home improvements to college tuition.
  3. Potentially lower monthly housing costs. In some markets, your mortgage payment could be lower than your rent.
  4. Appreciating value. Your home can increase in value over time, building your equity and increasing your net worth.
  5. Tax benefits. As a homeowner, you can deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from your income. Talk to your tax professional for details.
  6. Level payments. You’ll never have a rent increase again. With a fixed mortgage, your payments remain the same throughout the life of the loan.

Arizona Homes for Sale and Arizona Real Estate Rebate:

Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, Avondale, Goodyear, Glendale, Peoria, Sun City, Sun City West and Surprise.

Contact me with any questions! Call or Text 480-223-3594

Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 30, 2019

Tips for Buying a Home in a Competitive Market

Tips for Buying a Home in a Competitive Market

Arizona Homes for SaleIncrease your chances of getting your dream house in a competitive housing market, and lower your chances of losing out to another buyer.

1. Get prequalified for a mortgage. You’ll be able to make a firm commitment to buy and your offer will be more desirable to the seller.

2. Stay in close contact with your real estate agent to find out about the newest listings. Be ready to see a house as soon as it goes on the market — if it’s a great home, it will go fast.

3. Scout out new listings yourself. Look for Homes on (updated every 5 minutes) and drive through the neighborhood to spot For Sale signs. If you see a home you like, write down the address and the name of the listing agent. Your real estate agent will schedule a showing.

4. Be ready to make a decision. Decide what you must have in a home so you won’t be unsure when you have the chance to make an offer.

5. Bid competitively. You may not want to start out offering the absolute highest price you can afford, but don’t go too low to get a deal. In a tight market, you’ll lose out.

6. Keep contingencies to a minimum. Restrictions such as needing to sell your home before you move or wanting to delay the closing until a certain date can make your offer unappealing. In a tight market, you’ll probably be able to sell your house rapidly. Or talk to your lender about getting a bridge loan to cover both mortgages for a short period.

7. Don’t get caught in a buying frenzy. Just because there’s competition doesn’t mean you should just buy it. And even though you want to make your offer attractive, don’t neglect inspections that help ensure that your house is sound.

Arizona Homes for Sale and Arizona Real Estate:

Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, Avondale, Goodyear, Glendale, Peoria, Sun City, Sun City West and Surprise.

Contact me with any questions! Call or Text 480-223-3594

Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 22, 2019

Moving to Phoenix Arizona

Relocating to Phoenix Arizona

Moving to Phoenix ArizonaAre you considering moving to Phoenix AZ? Here's a little information about the growth of Phoenix and the Metro area. Phoenix and its more than 20 surrounding communities are known as the “Valley of the Sun” – and that’s not surprising, given Arizona’s climate and its blisteringly hot growth over the last several years.

One of the leading regions of the Southwest during the real estate boom years of 2003 until about 2006, Phoenix and its neighboring communities have always benefited from an influx of relocating families, singles and retirees and continue to do so today. In 2015 the Phoenix area added 88,000 new residents, raising the ranking to number four in the nation in the terms of population growth. The U.S. Census Bureau has estimated that by 2030 the population of Phoenix will reach 2.2 million (currently 1.6 million), with the metro area expected to reach about 6.3 million. Currently the Phoenix metropolitan area of over 4 million people. The Phoenix-Casa Grande-Tucson corridor is anticipated to be one of the fastest growing areas in the United States.

Phoenix residents are not alone in recognizing the city’s appeal. The city has been praised by other organizations, including receiving the National Community Recycling Leadership Award from the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), a nonprofit public service organization dedicated to recycling rechargeable batteries and cell phones.

The city of Phoenix is a diverse and exciting combination of factors – from its status as Arizona’s capital city and home to several major professional sports teams to its incredible scenery – the city is surrounded by mountains on all four sides – and a demographic that appeals to young singles to retirees and everyone in between. The bottom line is that Phoenix has a lot to offer, and has been recognized for its reasonable cost of living and universal appeal by national relocation companies and surveys. It’s true that there’s really something for everyone in Phoenix!

Contact me for information on Moving to Phoenix. Search Phoenix Homes for Sale now!

Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 21, 2019

Arizona Home Sellers: Focusing on Gross over Net Could Cost You!

When Selling your Arizona Home, are you Focusing on Gross over Net?

Arizona Seller Representative - Selling Your HomeI have seen a lot of Arizona Home Sellers that hold out for a full price offer, when they should be looking at the larger picture. They are waiting for that offer only because a neighbor had the same square footage and received it, when they need to ask what condition was their home in and what was the final net proceeds they received?

Here is a scenario I ran by sellers that were holding out for full price and not fully understanding the bottom line:
"An investor is willing to go up to $317,500, with an AS IS offer, not asking for any closing costs, quick close and reduce buyer broker commission to 2%.

Attached are 2 net sheets. The first net sheet is based on the above offer and the second net sheet is based on an offer you may or may not receive at $330,000 in 1 month. This 2nd net sheet is based on a non-investor buyer that normally asks for 3% seller concession to pay for their closing costs, a Home Warranty and you paying full commission.
If you look at both seller net proceeds, the investor offer would actually net you more. You also should consider that if you get a $330K offer in one month, you would not close for at least another month, which puts you out 2 more mortgage payments and 2 months of utility expenses. Also, most buyers will request repairs upon inspection completion (the property needed some work), which if you say no, could break the deal. Then you are back to square one with buyers now wondering what is wrong with your home...and it could end up costing you much more."
With that explained, they fully understood and happily moved forward to closing.

Get your Arizona Home Value now and contact me with any questions! 480-223-3594 Call or Text

Posted in Selling a Home
Aug. 13, 2019

Buying Real Estate: Finding The Right Neighborhood

Buying Real Estate: Finding The Right Neighborhood

Buying the right Arizona HomeBuying a house is a major investment, so you need to make sure you don't regret the location. Not only do you want something nice, you want something that is safe and something in a place that will be peaceful. That is why you need to do some thinking about the neighborhood you want to buy your home in. Here are some things to consider when you are looking for a neighborhood to buy your new home in.

First, you have to consider your life situation. Do you want to remain where you are, or do you want to move away? Where are the places you would most like to live? Are those places affordable for you? Those are some of the questions you have to ask yourself. If you have just moved for your job, for example, think about whether you like your job enough to live there for the life of your mortgage.

When you decide on a general area to live, the next thing you have to do is to learn a little about the neighborhoods in the area. A great way to do this is to pick up a local newspaper. You should be able to get an idea of where the business area of a town is, and where a lot of things happen.

You need to know how safe an area is. If you are working with a realtor, the realtor can give you this kind of information. If you are not satisfied with that information, you can also call the local police department and inquire about the safety level in the neighborhood you're interested in.

A great idea is to go driving around in the area you are thinking of buying in. If you are unfamiliar with the area, however, this may be unwise unless you are with the realtor. You don't want to get lost. 

When you have become comfortable with the area, start thinking about the things you will do in your day to day life. Is there a grocery store close by? If you attend church, are you going to be near a place of worship?

After settling on a house, drive by at different times of the day. You need to get an idea of whether children will be out playing in the afternoon, or whether there are wild parties being thrown at night. An odd but effective way to get an idea of whether wild parties are thrown is to glance at the recyclable containers on the street on garbage day.

You can also talk to the previous owners of any house you are seriously considering. They should be able to tell you whether there is a lot going on in that neighborhood, or whether it is as peaceful as it seems.

The neighborhood you purchase your home in is a major consideration when you are buying a house. After all, you need to be there for the next 15 to 30 years. That means you need to be absolutely comfortable. The information laid out here should help you to be thorough in your investigation, so that you are happy in your new neighborhood.

Happy Home Buying!

Posted in Buying a Home
July 22, 2019

3 Reasons Mesa is a Great Option for Retirees

If you are approaching retirement - you have every right to be excited. After a lifetime of work and dedication, it is time for you to relax and enjoy yourself fully. Deciding where to live is the first decision you have to make - and it’s definitely a big one - but with the help of the right real estate agent, you can’t really go wrong.

Each year many seniors flock down to Arizona to escape the cold winters of the North. These “snowbirds” return to their homes once the warm weather sets in, but why not make Arizona your permanent home? Specifically, Mesa, AZ is a place you should definitely be checking out.

Here are just a few reasons why Mesa is the perfect place for your retirement:

1. Mesa is tax-friendly for seniors

For retirees, navigating the tax situation in your future home state ahead of time is key. Understanding your tax obligations will help paint a clearer picture of what you can and cannot afford when it comes to buying and living in a home.

The property tax environment in favorable for seniors. Property taxes are pretty low in Mesa, especially when compared to other metropolitan areas: it’s currently .87% to 1.5% of a home’s market value, while the national average for property tax is 1.9%. The state of Arizona also has tax protections on the books for seniors who own a home. For homeowners 65 years of age or older, the state’s Seniors Valuation Protection Law limits the amount of property tax that can be collected on a home to 1% of the property’s cash value.

Social security is not taxable in Arizona, so you can plan on keeping the entirety of that benefit once you start receiving it. Additionally, groceries are tax-exempt from the Arizona sales tax. This can produce major savings for seniors - who allocate a significant portion of their budget to groceries. 

2. Mesa offers community-based services for seniors

If you’re looking to make new friends or have a vibrant social life, Mesa has some community centers that provide an opportunity for relationships with other seniors, while also offering services to help make your life more easy in general

The Mira Mesa Senior Center, for example, offers the following services:

  • Health and wellness initiatives, such as a daily nutritious lunch and Medicare counseling
  • A course on using technology
  • Education and advocacy efforts like consumer health legal advice and elder law programs
  • Recreational activities like square dancing, tai chi, gardening, bingo, and many other classes

3. Mesa is home to many different senior living options

Although buying a home in Mesa is affordable, it’s important to remember that your next home should be one that you plan to stay in for as many years as possible. Your health and personal needs may change, and those changes may affect how appropriate a home is for you.

For seniors who want to maintain their independence and don’t need assistance with daily activities, an active adult living community could be a great option. These real estate communities are “age-restricted” or “age-qualified” so that everyone who lives there is at least 55 years old. As a bonus, 55-plus communities typically offer amenities like fitness centers, activities, and other social benefits. Just make sure you ask your real estate agent about a  homeowners association (HOA) fee in a given community.

For retirees who feel their health and mobility needs may change to the point where they require assistance, Mesa also has other senior living options. There are many different assisted living facilities in Mesa. These facilities have an average monthly cost of $3,250. Assisted living facilities are ideal for seniors who currently need or anticipate needing assistance with activities of daily living, such as medication management, bathing or general housekeeping.

When it comes to planning where you want to live in retirement, it’s important to have a real-estate agent. Realtors have advanced training and certifications, and our goal is to get you in your desired home as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

Posted in Buying a Home
Dec. 10, 2018

What to Look for when Viewing Houses

Buying a home and what to look forIf you are trying to find a house, you can be a bit confused by all the options available and all the things that you might be looking at. You might just be looking at the rooms and thinking that any house will do as good as another. However, there are certain things you should be looking for when you go looking at houses, in order to make sure that you make the right choice. Here are a few home-buying tips to help you select a great house.

Know What You Want!

You have to know what you want in a house. You can't possibly look at every single house in the area you want, for several reasons. You likely don't have the time, and you aren't going to be interested in all the houses you look at. Don't waste your time, or the time of your real estate agent, by looking at houses you know that you're not interested in. Create a list of must-have items so that you can focus on houses that you might actually buy.

Once you find a house that you like, think about the immediate neighbors. Your new home will not exist in a vacuum. You will most likely have neighbors. Those neighbors might be great neighbors, but they might also be a source of stress for you. Try to get some details from the current owners of the house, but you might also introduce yourself to the direct neighbors and a few others to truly get a feel of the neighborhood. Sometimes first impressions are the best, so think carefully about if they seem like nice people to have around every day.

You also have to ask what the owners will be taking with them. The house may look fantastic, until you discover that they plan to take all the major appliances with them or the beautiful chandelier hanging at the entry. Ask what is going to be left, so that you can see the house as it will look, should you buy it.

Ask to see the seller's property disclosure statement to find out if there were any major issues with it. Will the house need a new roof? New windows? These are the kinds of things to consider prior to making an offer. Just remember, your home inspector will do a thorough check once you are under contract, but it's nice to have a heads up on some things that may be disclosed by the sellers.

Look at the landscaping. You might not think that landscaping is important, but it is the first impression that people have of you and your home. If there is no grass/gravel, and skimpy landscaping, think about how you will be able to address those issues should you move in and what the cost will be.

Now that you've had a chance to read about what things you should look for when you are looking for a house, you should feel more confident to do so. The tips above are designed to keep you focused, and to help you find a house that not only looks great, but will be easy to maintain and easy to live in. Use the tips when you're looking at houses, and picking a new house will be easy.

Posted in Buying a Home
Nov. 1, 2018

The Best Approach In Selling Your House

You have made the decision to sell you house. This is something that requires careful planning in order to get the best price for your house. There is more to it than just putting it on the market. If you do not have the right approach, you could lose money on the sale. Here are some tips on the best approach in selling your house.

First of all, you should have an idea of the current condition of the real estate market. Are houses on the market in your neighborhood taking a long time to sell, or are they being snapped up quickly? You want to sell when it is a seller's market because that means demand is higher than the inventory, and you have better chance in getting top dollar for your house.

Find out what the average selling price is for a house nearby that is similar to your house in terms of size and the number of rooms. That is a good indication of what price your house should be offered at. You want to set a reasonable price to attract buyers. If you set your price too high, no one will show any interest in your house. Get your Home Value now.

You will need to find a reliable real estate broker who will represent you in the sales transaction. Do some research on the brokers who are familiar with your neighborhood. When you are interviewing them, listen to how they will approach marketing your home in order to get you the best price. Ask them any questions that you have on your mind about the sale. You will be working closely with your broker so he or she should be someone whom you feel comfortable talking to. The broker should be someone who takes time to listen to your concerns, at the same time offer his expert advice on the current sales condition.

Once you have selected your broker, he will give you some pointers in getting your house ready for the market. This is call staging your house. Your house needs to make a a good impression on your buyers. It must have curb appeal. The interior should look inviting, attractive and comfortable. This is the time to fix anything that is broken and to give your house a good cleaning. Every little detail counts. This is also a good time to start packing away some of your belongings so your house will look less cluttered.

This is not the time to invest in expensive home improvements, unless something is broken. For instance, do not go and replace your carpeting right now. Just make sure that it is clean and free of stains. You want to achieve the best look with the least amount of money invested in staging it. Enhance your home with little details. Make each room look spacious by keeping your table tops and shelves free from clutter.

Selling your house is a major event in your life. If you follow these tips, you will have good results in your home sale.

Posted in Selling a Home
Oct. 29, 2018

Buying A Home: How To Determine Offer Price

You may have found the home of your dreams, but you know that you now have to make an offer. You see what the asking price is, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's a realistic number. In order to submit your offer, you need to come up with a number. How do you do that? Try the simple steps below!

In order to get a realistic idea of the price of the home, look at other homes for sale in the area. Make sure that the homes you are looking at are comparable to the one you're making an offer on. This should help you narrow down your price range.

Comparable sales are how you determine the base number of your offer. These are recent sales of homes in your area that have sold. You want to be able to compare the home you are purchasing to ones that are close in size, number of bedrooms, lot size, bathroom numbers, construction style and garage numbers.

If you have employed the help of a real estate agent, he or she will have no trouble looking up this type of information. This is even easier if your home is a model home and there are several of the same style for sale.

Furthermore, it is important that number you come up with is realistic in relation to the condition of the home. Are there updates that are needed to be completed? Are there serious renovations that you have to do? If so, take these things into account, because they can quickly depreciate the asking price of the home. Calculate how much you have to spend on renovations and updates to see how much you have to deduct at least from the asking price.

Is the seller including anything with the home? If so, what is it really worth? In some cases, sellers will provide the option of purchasing the home fully furnished or with appliances. These are usually items that they charge extra for, but you could purchase yourself much cheaper.

Why is the seller selling the home? In some cases, the circumstances of the seller impact their decision whether or not to accept your offer. You want to get a good deal, which is understandable, but depending on the seller, it may not be realistic. For example, if the seller wants to sell the home quickly, you have a better chance of haggling the price.

Keep in mind, some sellers are willing to wait out the perfect offer that comes close to their number. If the property is highly desirable, you may even have to pay over the asking price to beat the competition. The actual price of the property is never set in stone, and you need to come up with a "fair" price to submit in your offer using the information available to you.

Making your first offer can be nerve wracking and it can really give you insomnia. However, once you get over the initial shock of your first largest investment, you will find that making the offer wasn't as hard as you thought it would be. Use everything you have just learned for success!

Posted in Buying a Home