Phoenix West Valley Real Estate

I’ve updated the Market Action Reports through April 2015 for the Phoenix West Valley Real Estate market. Most Phoenix West Valley cities are included as well as a few zip code specific. If you don’t see your city or would like one for a specific zip code call me at 623 344-1003 x3071 and if it’s available I’ll be happy to post it for you.
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Home Plus Home Loan Program

Here’s a fantastic program for folks that are renting, have a decent credit rating and want to buy a home in Arizona. The Arizona Department of Housing calls it the “Home Plus Home Loan Program”. So if you or anyone you know are renting and ready to buy a home in Arizona I urge you to look into this program.

Home Plus Home Loan Program

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mortgage for the purchase of an Owner occupied, Primary Residences only.
  • Borrower(s) Income not to exceed $88,340.
  • Purchase Price limit not to exceed $353,360.
  • Each borrower must complete a homebuyer education course before closing.   The homebuyer education requirement may be met by taking a pre purchase course through an internet-based program developed by mortgage insurance companies, such MGIC or Genworth Financial or through another HUD-approved homebuyer education provider.  For more details see the HOME PLUS Participating Lender document.
  • The homebuyer MUST work through one of AzHFA approved and participating mortgage lenders.  The lender will be your point of contact through the process working with the homebuyer to obtain a program qualifying mortgage and registration for the down payment assistance grant. Please see the document “Home Plus Participating Lenders” for the program approved lenders.

If you’re military or a vet it gets better. Here’s the LINK for the program.

Once you’re qualified please call me at 623 344-1003 x3071 and I’ll set you up with a custom search in the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) for homes that meet your search criteria. The listings will go directly to your email on a daily basis so you’ll be getting as close to real time listing information that is available to the public. I also do no obligation referrals to Real Estate Professionals statewide as well as nationwide. So even if you’re not in the Phoenix West Valley I can help you find a home.

Also, if you’re currently a homeowner in Arizona that is upside down on your mortgage, looking at a short sale or facing foreclosure please check this AZDOH program.

 

 

 

4 reasons to sell your home now

I ran across this article by   @KathrynVasel on CNN Money and thought I’d pass it on.

 

Attention potential sellers sitting on the fence: It could be time to make a move.
Mid-March to mid-April is the best time to hang the sale sign nationally, with homes selling 15% faster and for 2% more than the average sale, according to Zillow. The window tends to be a little earlier for sellers in warmer climates and a little later in colder climates.

“It’s still predominately a seller’s market, but less so than the last year or two,” said Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist. “Some advantages are moving back to buyers; but largely and broadly … it’s still favoring the sellers.”

Here are four reasons you might want to list your home:

1. Low housing supply: Tight inventory is a main reason the ball is still in the sellers’ court.
The level of unsold homes was 4.6 months in February, according to the National Association of Realtors. That means it would take a little less than five months for all available inventory to sell. In a normal market, a five-to-seven month supply is considered balanced, said Danielle Hale, director of housing statistics at the NAR.
Tight inventory tends to prop up home prices and can result in multiple offers and spur bidding wars.
But at the same time, low supply is also keeping some sellers in their homes. “They aren’t typically going to sell and then rent,” explained Hale. If sellers aren’t comfortable that they will be able to find a new home, it can keep them off the market. “There needs to be more construction in the market to ease the pressure,” she said.

2. Fewer cash buyers: All-cash and investment buyers helped buoy home sales in the last couple years. And while the acceleration of home prices has slowed from its recent double-digit growth, experts still expect modest gains this year, but with fewer cash buyers.
All-cash offers made up nearly 31% of sales in 2014, according to RealtyTrac, a 13% drop from 2013 and the lowest level in four years.
“We are predicting a more stable and sustainable housing market in terms of price growth,” said Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s housing economist. “A lot of the growth we saw was from cash buyers, but now we are thinking those buyers will play less of a role.”

3. Higher interest rates: While mortgage rates remain low, experts predict more buyers will enter the market in the coming months.
The Federal Reserve’s recent hint that higher interest rates are coming sooner rather than later could prompt buyers to start their house hunt in order to take advantage of lower mortgage rates.
“When interest rates are thought to be escalating, we see a wave up activity with people getting off the sidelines,” said Budge Huskey, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

4. Rising rents: Rising rental prices could motivate tenants to make the leap into home ownership. Rent prices have risen 15% nationwide in the past five years in 70 metro areas across the U.S. and income growth hasn’t kept up, according to NAR.

“Every time there’s an increase, it triggers the decision processes on whether [renters] should go into the market and buy,” said Huskey. Getting more buyers into the market, especially first-timers, can help sellers feel more comfortable about their prospects. “It allows others to move up the chain in the market.”

But higher rents can be a double-edged sword, according to Humphries. “Renting is so darn expensive already it makes it hard to save for a down payment.”

Read the entire article here.

Call me if you’re thinking of selling and I will prepare a complimentary home valuation for you. I also do nationwide referrals.

 

Arizona Pool Safety Notice

All to often we hear about children being found floating face down in a pool. With the swim season just around the corner I wanted to post the Arizona Pool Safety Notice that we use in transactions. If you have a pool and small children you might be interested in reading it. I copied and pasted the notice below and you can download the pdf here.

Office of Environmental Health
Residential Pool Safety Notice

The purpose of this notice is to educate residential pool* owners on the legal requirements of pool ownership and proper pool safety. Each year in Arizona, too many young children are victims of drowning or near drowning. The Arizona State Legislature recognized this threat to the health and safety of children and passed A.R.S. § 36-1681 to prevent children from gaining unsupervised access to residential swimming pools. In A.R.S. § 36-1681(E), the Legislature requires that all pool owners receive the legal requirements of pool ownership and a safety notice explaining the Arizona Department of Health Services’ recommendations on pool safety.

Permission to quote from or reproduce this notice for non-commercial purposes is granted when due acknowledgement is made. Quotation from or reproduction of this notice for a commercial purpose is governed by A.R.S. § 39-121.03.

Pool Enclosure Requirements

At a residence with a swimming pool where one or more children under six years of age live in the residence:

A.R.S. § 36-1681 requires that a swimming pool be protected by an enclosure (wall, fence, or barrier) that surrounds the pool area. Unless a local code provides otherwise, the enclosure of a belowground or aboveground pool must:

Entirely enclose the pool area;
Be at least 5 feet high;
Have no openings other then doors or gates, through which an object 4 inches in diameter can pass;
Have no openings, handholds, or footholds accessible from the exterior side that can be used to climb the barrier; and
Be at least 20 inches from the water’s edge.
If, however, a residence or living area makes up part of the enclosure required by A.R.S. § 36-1681(B), there must be:

A wall, fence, or barrier located between the swimming pool or other contained body of water and the residence or living area that:
Has a height of at least four feet;
Has no openings through which a spherical object four inches in diameter can pass;
Has a gate that opens outward from the pool and is self-closing and self-latching;
Has no openings, handholds, or footholds accessible from the exterior side of the enclosure that can be used to climb the wall, fence, or barrier; and
Is at a distance of at least twenty inches from the water’s edge;
A motorized safety pool cover that requires a key switch and meets the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards in F1346-91 (www.astm.org);
For each door or window in the residence or living area that has direct access to the pool:
A self-latching device that is located not less then fifty-four inches above the floor; and
Either a screwed in wire mesh screen covering a dwelling or guest room window or a keyed lock that prevents a dwelling or guest room window from opening more then four inches; or
For an aboveground swimming pool, non-climbable exterior sides which are a minimum height of four feet and access ladders or steps that are removable and able to be secured when the pool is not in use.

Gate Requirements

According to A.R.S. § 36-1681(B)(3), any gate in either the five-foot-tall wall, fence, or barrier enclosing a pool or the four-foot-tall wall, fence, or barrier between the residence or other living area and a pool must:

Open outward from the pool
Be self-closing and self-latching; and
Have a latch:
Located at least fifty-four inches above the underlying ground;
Located on the pool side of the gate with the latch’s release mechanism located at least five inches below the top of the gate and no opening greater than one-half inch with twenty-four inches of the release mechanism; or
Located at any height if secured by a padlock or similar device which requires a key, electric opening, or integral combination.
Arizona Departement of Health Services Pool Safety Recommendations

Never leave a child unattended in the pool or pool area.
Because flotation devices and swimming lessons are not substitutes for supervision, a child should always be watched when in or around the pool area.
CPR/CCR instructions and the 911 emergency number (or local emergency number) should be posted in the pool area.
A phone should be located in the pool area or easily accessible in case of an emergency.
All residential pool owners should attend water rescue and CPR/CCR classes. Lifesaving equipment should be easily accessible and stored n the pool area.
All gate locks and latches should be checked regularly to insure they are working properly.
A gate should never be left propped open.
All items that could be used to climb a pool barrier should be removed from around the barrier.
In an emergency:
Shout for help;
Pull the child from the water;
Call 911 (or local emergency number) for help; and
After checking the child’s airway and breathing, immediately begin CPR/CCR if necessary.
Note: The state requirements contained in A.R.S. § 36-1681 may be superseded by local requirements that are equal to or more restrictive than the state requirements. Check with your local city and county governments to see if they have adopted different pool barrier requirements. Continue reading Arizona Pool Safety Notice

Anti-Deficiency Update + AAR’s Efforts to Protect Your Rights

I’ve been asked on more occasion what “Anti-Deficiency” means in real estate. I can only give a brief explanation and would recommend that anyone facing a foreclosure or has been through one ask an attorney. But here’s a blog post at the AAR Arizona REALTOR® Voice with a little history on anti-deficiency and below is a video from AAR with an explanation on anti deficiency. It’s worth a watch if you’ve ever found youself in that situation or are facing it.

A little background on anti-deficiency is posted here.

Save Our Home AZ Program

If you’re an Arizona homeowner, or know someone that is, and are upside down on a mortgage, thinking of a short sale or facing foreclosure you should take a look at the “Save Our Home AZ” Program. Even if you’ve already refinanced under HARP 2.0 this State of Arizona program may help. I have personally seen this program reduce the principal balance on an upside down mortgage by over $60K and it can go as high as $100K. So if you’ve played by the rules and didn’t walk out on your mortgage I urge you to visit this web site for more information.

sohaz

Info to Gather Before You Sell Your Home

Here’s some useful seller tips that I thought I’d pass along from the Coldwell Banker Bluematter Blog. It’s written by David Marine who is Vice President of Brand Engagement for Coldwell Banker.

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The real estate process is chock full of information. I feel like more information is exchanged in a real estate transaction than on a national security background check. But before you even put that “for sale” sign in the front yard, there’s some information you need to put together that will help you get that home ready to be sold.

We talked with Sally Isom with Coldwell Banker Collins-Maury in Memphis, TN who has a handy list of 10 pieces of valuable info that you need to have together before you sell your home.

  1. Gather your receipts for improvements and repairs – This is excellent information that will help you fill out your State Property Disclosure and will also disclose any repairs made to the property. Your Property Disclosure is an opportunity to show buyers the extensive improvements that have been made to your home.
  2. HOA rules and regulations – Have a copy of your Home Owner’s Association Rules and Regs so this can easily be shared with interested buyers or provide buyers and their agents with a link to the HOA website for up to date info.
  3. Mortgage documentation and info about any Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) – When you obtain a contract on your home, the closing office will need all of the information about your mortgage and any additional loans on the property (mortgage company name, loan #s, etc.).
  4. A 1-page home “brag sheet” – List any improvements you have made to your home whether major or minor including redesigns of rooms, new flooring, bathroom updates or anything else that you can “brag” about your home.
  5. Warranty information – If any major improvements have warranties this could be very desirable to a buyer.  For example windows with lifetime warranty or a roof with a 25 year warranty.
  6. Provide your Realtor with details about outdoor features – Pool, landscaping, irrigation systems, outdoor kitchens, fireplace, etc. These items have become very important to buyers and the more information they are given, the more excited they get about your home.
  7. Tell the story of your neighborhood – The neighborhood website, walking trails, etc. In Memphis there is special neighborhood called High Point Terrace that has a street called Aurora Circle and Mimosa.  Theses treets have hosted the 4th of July parade for decades and even have their own “mayor.”  Everyone wants to live on these streets because of this, so make sure tell the story of your street.
  8. Remember how it felt when you first bought your home – You wanted as much information about the home as possible.  Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and try to provide as much documentation as possible.
  9. If you are having trouble remembering any issues or repairs made to your home, walk through each room – A tour of each room and the exterior will help you remember any changes and repairs or issues that have come up while you lived there. If you have had any Homeowner’s Insurance claims, be sure and provide all documentation to your Realtor.
  10. Always remember:  disclose, disclose, disclose – Be sure not to withhold any reports or information about your home. What may seem minimal to you may seem major to a buyer.  Oversharing is always good practice when selling your home!

Patio Cover Ideas

Here in Arizona, or anywhere for that matter,  with the blazing summer sun it’s a good idea to have a shaded area in your back yard. Whether it be for lounging around the pool, entertaining or barbecuing. So I thought I’d post the article below with 6 ideas.

6 PATIO COVER IDEAS TO SHADE YOUR SPACE AND STYLE
Written by Kerrie Kelly, ASID on Wednesday, 21 January 2015 10:12 am

Patio Shade Ideas

Around mid-winter, most of us begin pining for that casual, outdoor lifestyle that comes back with the sunshine and warm temperatures. While that’s not a reality many of us can enjoy quite yet, this is a great time to start planning those patio upgrades that will make lounging in the sunshine as cool and comfortable as we imagine.

Start by doing everything you can to bring the outdoors in with upgrades like larger windows, French doors, and window coverings such as Roman shades or plantation shutters that allow you to maximize light and sight lines. Then start planning how to bring the indoors out with patio furniture that’s sturdy and stylish enough to entice you out to the patio.

One of the most effective ways to add the perception of square footage to your home is to form an outdoor living space. To create that illusion, a patio cover is key. It adds months of access to your new outdoor space, and really helps to protect that new furniture.

There are many patio-cover options these days, and the right choice for you is dependent on what your outdoor lifestyle is really like.

Here are six great options to get you daydreaming about the sunny days to come:

Solid Shingles:This solid choice is just that-solid. Solid patio covers built as a simple addition over the patio use the same shingles the roof does and deliver a polished version of an outdoor living space. Gabled construction adds an architectural element to the home’s exterior, lending style and value. Solid patio covers are ideal if you entertain outdoors often or take family meals on the patio fairly regularly. If winter storage of your patio furniture is an issue, a solid patio cover is a great choice.

Solid Metal:All the same benefits apply here, but where the solid shingle look is great for more traditional architecture, we love the sophisticated look that a painted metal top can bring to a more contemporary or transitional home. It creates a real opportunity to expand square footage using fabrics, rugs and furnishings that look like they may belong inside. Thanks to the advancements in indoor/outdoor furnishings and materials, you can maintain the same palette on the patio that you have going on in your interior space.

Solar Panels:Trending these days are eco-chic solar panel patio covers that let in a little light, but also collect energy. This obviously offers the most tangible return on your investment from the energy savings alone, but the forward thinking and contemporary styling are a definite upgrade when it comes time to sell your home.

Lattice:The open lattice look doesn’t offer all the cover of some other options, but the filtered sunshine and the chance to add a little green to the architecture with a climbing vine are almost instantly soothing. You can actually purchase open lattice patio covers already constructed in wood or aluminum. Make sure to opt for the aluminum if you’re considering that climbing vine. Otherwise, prepare for a bit more maintenance or to embrace a “weathered wood” aesthetic.

See the rest of the article on my Realty Times page.

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