Arizona Real Estate and Community News

 

April 12, 2018

How's Your Credit?

 

Do you know what your credit score is?

Do you understand how your credit score impacts not only your financial life, but also insurance premiums and employment opportunities? 

Whether you are applying for a loan to make a large purchase, applying for insurance or a new job, a high credit score may just give you the advantage you need to secure what you want. Lenders, insurance companies and employers tend to trust those with higher credit scores. A high credit score arguably demonstrates that you are financially responsible and therefore likely responsible in other areas of your life as well.  

So what do you do if your credit score is not where you, or more importantly, where the lenders, insurers or employers want it? 

First - Start immediately to begin to cultivate good financial habits. Pay bills on time, set up automatic minimum payments on accounts so that you will not accidentally miss a bill due date, and avoid using credit cards. 

Second - Tackle your debt. Put a plan together to pay of the highest interest loan/credit card first. Continue the process with the next highest interest rate loan and so on, until you have paid off ALL your existing credit card and consumer debt.

Third - Avoid new debt, especially credit card and consumer debt (i.e. auto, furniture, appliance etc). These types of debt make it easy to buy what you want, but they are a real set back to getting your financial house in order and improving your credit score.

Once you have your financial house in order, check your credit report at least once per year. You are entitled to one free credit report from all three credit agencies via www.annualcreditreport.com.

Using these timeless tips and good old fashioned discipline will have your financial house in order and a credit score that would be the envy of many!  

April 19, 2016

Sell Your Arizona Home Faster with These Home Maintenance Tips

Sell Your Arizona Home Faster with These Home Maintenance Tips

Many homeowners wait until they are ready to sell their Arizona home to maintain their home. Well, homeownership is an ongoing responsibility. Here in the valley of the sun, there are some maintenance items that are unique to the southwest.

Check Your Air Conditioning Unit

Yes, this is one of the biggest sticking points in selling your Arizona home. With the extreme heat, the air conditioning unit is a valuable asset. Make sure to have your unit checked every year and keep the invoice to show the buyer. Having a log of the maintenance will put the buyer at ease.

Change Your Air Filter

Have you ever walked into a home for sale in Arizona and the air return is full of dust? Changing your air filter monthly will help extend the life of your air conditioning unit and keep it running in tip-top shape. This is especially important during the monsoon season when dust is spread all over the valley. However, most homeowners forget about their air filters during the winter months.

Check Your Roof

Yes, a quality roof will have an extended warranty. However, Arizona can have extreme weather including hail and strong wind. These two elements can cause damage to your roof, cracking tiles and breaking shingles. The National Association of Home Builders advises homeowners to get their roofs inspected every three years. Make sure that a cracked tile does not keep the sale of your home from going through.

Clean the Rain Gutters

This is one of those maintenance items that can wait until next year right? I know that Arizona does not get a ton of rain, but when we do it comes in buckets. Your gutters serve a purpose, to move the water away from your home. If your gutters are clogged it could cause water backup and damage to your home. Makes sure to clean the gutter out and avoid any surprises during your home inspection.

Seal Your Doors & Windows

This is another item that most homeowners put off. Sealing your doors and windows will save you money on your utility bills because nearly 30% of heating and cooling energy is lost through air leaks. Sealing your doors and windows may not help you sell your home, but it will help you save money.

Check For Unwanted Pests

You should check for termites, scorpions, and spiders on a regular basis. There is nothing worse than showing a potential buyer a home with creepy crawlers inside. The real problem comes during the inspection of the home because most insects you cannot see. If termites are discovered, the sale of your home may not go through. If you are like many Phoenix residents, you might already have a monthly pest control contract. Just make sure that while they are on your property they are looking for these pests, not just spraying the exterior of your home.

Arizona Home Maintenance Tips

Maintaining Your Home is the best way to sell your Arizona home. Make sure to do your annual maintenance to avoid any surprises down the road when you are ready to place your home on the market.

March 8, 2016

Is This the Best Time to List Your Home

Real Estate Prices continue to climb!

Why aren't there more homes for sale?

 

Listen to what Zillow CEO, Spencer Rascoff has to say about the answer to that question in an interview with Yahoo Finance's Jen Rogers.

 

Click Here to Listen to the Interview

 

Does what Mr. Rascoff says about low inventory hold true for our area?

The answer lies in where you are located in the valley.

If you are in any of the following zip codes, the supply is low and now is a great time to list your home.  The data is as of March 7, 2016.

  1. Glendale 85037 - 44 days of inventory
  2. Glendale 85304 - 65 days of inventory
  3. Phoenix 85053 - 65 days of inventory
  4. Youngtown 85363 - 65 days of inventory
  5. Avondale 85392 - 67 days of inventory
  6. Phoenix 85043 - 67 days of inventory
  7. Mesa 85204 - 70 days of inventory
  8. Phoenix 85027 - 71 days of inventory
  9. Phoenix 85019 - 71 days of inventory
  10. El Mirage 85335 - 72 days of inventory

But if you are in any of these zip codes, the supply of available homes is abundant, relative to the normal sales volume, so you will be struggling to compete with a large number of wanna be sellers. Therefore it is best to understand the supply vs demand side of the equation, prepare and price your home accordingly making it stand out from the crowd if you are going to list your home for sale in the near future.

  1. Casa Grande 85194 - 263 days of inventory
  2. Scottsdale 85262 - 211 days of inventory
  3. Rio Verde 85263 - 210 days of inventory
  4. Scottsdale 85266 - 197 days of inventory
  5. Phoenix 85003 - 196 days of inventory
  6. Phoenix 85054 - 185 days of inventory
  7. Carefree 85377 - 173 days of inventory
  8. Paradise Valley 85253 - 172 days of inventory
  9. Gold Canyon 85118 - 171 days of inventory
  10. Morristown 85342 - 170 days of inventory
  11. Scottsdale 85258 - 164 days of inventory
  12. Congress 85332 - 158 days of inventory
  13. Scottsdale 85255 - 155 days of inventory
  14. Florence 85132 - 147 days of inventory
  15. Scottsdale 85259 - 145 days of inventory
  16. Mesa 85215 - 142 days of inventory
  17. Wickenburg - 85390 140 days of inventory

If your zip code is not one of the ones listed above, we would be happy to get the same data for your zip code as well. Just email info@ArizonaRealtyConsultant.com with your zip code.

CLICK HERE to see the value of your home

 

Jan. 8, 2016

How Is the Market?

 By Duane Fouts

  

 

Like most professionals, no matter what industry you work in, your family, friends and acquaintances are usually curious about it. They often times want to know about your work, and so in conversation, they start asking questions. That is a good thing if you are in sales.

As a real estate Broker, I get asked quite often.... "So... how is the market?"

How does one answer that question? Is the person asking about the market in general or are they asking about their specific neighborhood? Because the answer very likely will be different. There is a saying in our industry... "Real estate is local." What is happening across the country or even across town can and does have an impact on your local neighborhood real estate market, but I tend to believe that when most people ask that question, what they are really asking is... "What is happening in their local real estate market/neighborhood and how is that affecting me?"

On any given day, most people are not "in" the market to buy or sell real estate, but they are curious. And since I tend to be a data and numbers guy, when someone asks me the question, that is how I answer the question and then throw in a little about how those numbers are affecting a buyer or seller. Because the affect is different as you will see below.

So.... How is the market?

In a nut shell.... if you are a seller, you are probably much better off than you were 12 months ago.  If you are a buyer, you face some competition from other owner occupant buyers. 

With that being said, understanding the housing market means that you have to understand the balance between supply and demand for housing. While demand is hard to measure in the real estate world, when you are in the business every day, you can certainly feel it. And right now, it feels pretty strong to me. And if the market behaves like it usually does, demand will continue to increase through the June, July timeframe.

When we look at supply, it can give us some pretty good insight into the strength or weakness of the overall market as well as insight within the different market sectors within the overall market. Take a look at the chart below, published by the Cromford Report comparing January 1 2015 to January 1 2016 for the greater Phoenix market. Pay particular attention to the comments regarding short and long term thoughts on change from a Sellers perspective. Note that usually what is good for a Seller is not good for a Buyer and vice versa.  

 

Sector Active 1/1/16 Active 12/1/15 Active 1/1/15 Peak Since 2000 1 Month Change 12 Month Change Comments on Short Term Change Comments on Long Term Change
SFR - Priced Under $100K 179 203 415 9,427 -12% -57% extremely favorable for sellers extremely favorable for sellers
SFR - Priced $100K-$125K 227 226 522 3,713 0% -57% unfavorable for sellers extremely favorable for sellers
SFR - Priced $125K-$150K 580 585 1,196 4,039 -1% -52% slightly unfavorable for sellers extremely favorable for sellers
SFR - Priced $150K-$175K 947 993 1,336 3,534 -5% -29% favorable for sellers very favorable for sellers
SFR - Priced $175K-$200K 1,123 1,213 1,409 3,929 -7% -20% favorable for sellers very favorable for sellers
SFR - Priced $200K-$225K 917 961 1,038 4,252 -5% -12% favorable for sellers favorable for sellers
SFR - Priced $225K-$250K 1,100 1,203 1,263 5,150 -9% -13% very favorable for sellers favorable for sellers
SFR - Priced $250K-$275K 884 927 956 3,426 -5% -8% favorable for sellers favorable for sellers
SFR - Priced $275K-$300K 984 1,046 957 3,651 -6% +3% favorable for sellers slightly unfavorable for sellers
SFR - Priced $300K-$350K 1,460 1,587 1,480 4,351 -8% -1% favorable for sellers neutral
SFR - Priced $350K-$400K 1,236 1,350 1,315 3,639 -8% -6% favorable for sellers slightly favorable for sellers
SFR - Priced $400K-$500K 1,518 1,670 1,435 4,365 -9% +6% very favorable for sellers slightly unfavorable for sellers
SFR - Priced $500K-$600K 947 1,018 855 2,757 -7% +11% favorable for sellers unfavorable for sellers
SFR - Priced $600K-$800K 964 1,071 928 3,114 -10% +4% very favorable for sellers slightly unfavorable for sellers
SFR - Priced $800K-$1M 644 675 533 1,440 -5% +21% favorable for sellers very unfavorable for sellers
SFR - Priced $1M-$1.5M 620 645 599 1,473 -4% +4% slightly favorable for sellers slightly unfavorable for sellers
SFR - Priced $1.5M-$2M 346 355 319 705 -3% +8% neutral unfavorable for sellers
SFR - Priced $2M-$3M 365 368 336 708 -1% +9% slightly unfavorable for sellers unfavorable for sellers
SFR - Priced Over $3M 272 268 258 642 +1% +5% unfavorable for sellers slightly unfavorable for sellers

SFR = Single Family Residence

I think the numbers bear it out, the residential real estate market across the Valley of the Sun is in much better than it was at the beginning of 2015 if you are a Seller, especially if your property is under $400K.

Here are some of the Valley of the Sun overall numbers:

 

  • Active Listings are down 11.2%!  20,073 on January 1, 2015 versus 22,604 January 1, 2016!
  • Monthly Sales up 3.8% for December 2015 over December 2014!
  • Monthly Median Sales Price up 8.9% to $215,000 versus $197,000 last year at this time.
  • Days on Market is down 10% from a year ago.
  • Days of Inventory is down 20% from a year ago.

So what is my advice to you as a consumer?

If you are a Seller, right now you will be in a strong negotiating position across many of the sectors. Now through July is the prime selling time, so check out the Instant Home Valuation widget on our website, get your house ready to make a good First Impression, and call us at 480-433-9990 to schedule an in home consultation.

If you are a buyer, pay attention to the data. In many sectors, the Seller has the stronger negotiating position, so be prepared by having a strong prequalification letter from your lender, by writing a clean offer to purchase and hiring an experienced agent that can help you through the complicated process. While the process can be challenging, we at Arizona Realty Consultants can help you through that process. Click here to begin your search or give us a call at 480-433-9990 to schedule no obligation consultation.

Dec. 31, 2015

First Impressions

First Impressions Matter  

Like with a lot of things, when selling a home, first impressions matter! Just because there is a "For Sale" sign firmly planted in the front yard does not mean buyers will be flocking to your door. 

A lot of things, such as basic economics (supply and demand), time of year, your location and your asking price affect the amount of buyer traffic that your home may get.  

But let's face it, how a home looks from the street and what it shows like once inside, can and does impact buyers interest and if they are interested, how much they are willing to pay.  

Here are three tips to help your home make a good first impression that beckons potential buyers to make you an offer:

1. An Enticing Exterior

  1. Make the walk-up to your house as inviting as possible.
  2. Make sure the landscaping is pristine every day, all day. 
  3. Replace the front door if necessary.
  4. Clean the windows until they sparkle, and keep them that way.
  5. Add a colorful welcome matt by the front door
  6. Put some strategically place potted plants near the front door

2. Shape Up the Interior

Once the exterior wows potential buyers, you can continue to make a great impression as they make their way inside.

  1. Clear any clutter. If you have too much furniture, put some of it in storage. Keep kitchen and bathroom countertops as clear as possible. Closets and shelves should be well-organized and give the impression that they are spacious.
  2. Remove excess knickknacks or family photos.
  3. Clean the inside of your home from top to bottom. 
  4. Get your carpets professionally cleaned and then vacuum your floor each morning before potential buyers view your house.
  5. Make all beds every day. Pickup dirty laundry and toys.
  6. Hang fresh, clean towels in the bathrooms daily.
  7. Position a beautiful centerpiece in the center of your dining room table
  8. Place a few potted plants in decorative containers throughout your home.
  9. Consider placing potpourri in key spots, especially if you need to eliminate pet odors or if you have a smoker in the house.
  10. Remove pets or keep them restrained while potential buyers are viewing your home.

3. Make Necessary Repairs

Repair anything that is broken.

  1. All doors should close properly.
  2. All your faucets should be drip-free.
  3. Peeling paint professionally redone.
  4. Roof repaired if needed.
  5. All appliances in working order.
  6. Pool/spa equipment in working order. 

Remember, you are trying to present a simple, clean, attractive, problem-free home that exudes potential—an empty, yet enticing palette for your home’s next owners.

Taking time to create a great first impression sometimes is all it takes to quickly send a offer your way.