Metro Phoenix Housing Market News

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According to W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University the Phoenix housing market is unlikely to see a significant boost until next year. They do expect small gains the month of December but nothing significant.

The median single-family-home price went up 5 percent from last September to this September – from $198,997 to $209,900, the report states. However, the report says the median increases happened primarily because fewer sales are now clustered at the lower end of the market, with fewer foreclosures and short sales available.

However the rental home market is red hot, short term vacation rentals and long term rentals are on the rise. Phoenix metro area has a high turnover and a constrained supply of rental homes available. The Phoenix area has already seen a 5.7 percent boost in rents over the past 12 months, the report states.

Construction permits to build new multi-family housing to meet the demand are also on a strong upward trend.

A breakdown of home sales prices

METRO PHOENIX HOME SALES MEDIAN SALES PRICE, SEPT. 2014 MEDIAN PRICE, SEPT. 2013 PERCENT CHANGE
New-home sales $298,396 $279,182 + 6.9%
Normal resales $206,250 $200,000 + 3.1%
Investor flips $177,300 $175,000 + 1.3%
Short sales, preforeclosures $160,000 $144,000 + 11.1%
All sales $209,000 $198,997 +5.5%

 

Pest Control-Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late!

Pest Control

You’re sitting in your favorite lounge chair in your new home. All of a sudden something creepy goes scurrying across your living room floor! This is not a spooky Halloween story, this is a serious matter that should be dealt with.

As the temperatures get lower you may start to see more unwanted pests in your home. When the weather gets cooler some bugs may be looking for ways into your home for warmth. Spiders and insects are called pests for a reason! Some can be hard to get rid of! Some can bite, some can get into your food, and others are just plain gross and terrifying for some of us. Here’s the best thing to do when you encounter a pest problem.

Compare pest companies in your area. There are many pest companies to choose from, between those that are known nationwide to other local companies as well. Asking neighbors and family is always a good idea when searching for a pest company. Some may be able to get you a discounted rate for referring you, or they may get some incentive for the referral.

These are the main things to consider when looking for a good company.

It’s always a great idea to check for reviews and feedback from those who have already used the pest company you may be looking in to. The best way to check is by searching online, and by finding the company’s social media sites too. By checking these sites you can read what others have to say about the companies. Knowing who you may be dealing with and how hopefully their services are is a plus!

As you narrow your list for pest companies, see what each company has to offer as far as pricing goes. Some companies give discounts to seniors and military. Some companies may only work with long term contracts, while others may offer more lenient pay plans. Always check for added fees, and no bug guarantees as well. Some companies offer a guarantee with their service, if bugs continue to come they will come back and spray again if needed.

Another important thing to watch for is environmental, pet and child safe sprays. If you have pets, children or grandchildren in the house you will want to make sure that it is safe for everyone. Some companies now offer “green” sprays which are non toxic and better for everyone and the environment.

It’s best to spray for insects before you notice them, and to continually spray to keep them out. If you wait until you see lots of insects it may take even longer to get them out of your home. You don’t want to end up temporarily homeless while trying to rid your home of pests.

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5 Reasons To Consider Investing in Land

5 Acres of Beautiful Vacant Land For Sale by The Partners Team

The most common reason people buy land is to build on it. Whether you want a home, a business, an industrial park or a farm the possibilities are almost endless. Having your own land means you can build exactly what you want and how you want it. Every detail can be to your specifications: size, shape, position, you name it (of course you need to make sure to follow zoning laws). Studies have shown that development can possibly increase your property’s value by tenfold depending on what you build.

Not everyone wants to build on vacant land though, some just buy land and let it sit. Why? Buying land can represent a long-term prime investment, that’s why! Here are five good reasons to consider investing in land.

  1. They are not making any more of it.
    Land is a very valuable resource with only limited qualities available, since the US population is growing and changing rapidly. When land is purchased in an area that is continual growing, everyone will want to get a piece of it!
  2. When it comes to vacant land, you have to do nothing!
    There’s no need to run back and forth between your local home improvement stores. No renovations or upgrades are required! The only thing you will need to do, is make sure that your land is suitable for building. If you decide you want to build, or sell your land to someone who does, you will need to know that builders are capable of doing so on your land.
  3. Land is NOT a hands-on investment.
    There’s no repairs to deal with, no tenants or property management companies. Vacant land will not need any emergency repairs. Land just sits and nothing happens, so there is less stress and headache to deal with.
  4. Land can be a long term investment and is inexpensive to own.
    When finding cheap land there are no mortgages to pay and no utility costs. Property taxes are very cheap in most cases and if property insurance is needed, it’s extremely cheap as well.
  5. Owning land is stress free!
    Owning land gives an owner peace of mind knowing that it is an asset that will not depreciate! Nothing can get stolen, broken or destroyed, which again means no money comes out of your pocket! Investing in land will put money in your pockets though if done right!


Land offered for sale by The Partners Team is located on our map above, click the teal mountains for more info.  If you’re interested in learning more about the land we have available please call Polly Brown at 623-544-8577.

 

Important Things to Check When Buying a Home

Important Things to Check When Buying a Home

Buying a home is exciting…but it can be overwhelming as well! Through all the excitement and necessary steps towards closing on your new home, you may not be focusing on the little things. Some of these “little” things can cause big problems and cost big money.  Here’s some helpful tips to remember while you’re house hunting.

    • Turn On The Air Conditioner/Heater: As we all know Arizona gets hot! When the triple digits are upon us, you do not want to find out your A/C only blows hot air! Make sure to turn on the A/C to ensure it works properly and blows cold air. Make sure the heater blows warm air as well. Making sure your air conditioner and heater work sufficiently before closing, can save you thousands of dollars.
    • Open The Electrical Box: Locate the homes electrical panel, open it and inspect it for any loose wires. A good electrical box should be labeled properly with no disconnected or loose wires. If you notice loose, disconnected wires or a mess of wires you might find bigger problems. There could be an electrical short or a live wire somewhere within the home.
    • Check All Drains: Checking all drains to ensure there’s no severe blockage along your pipes is beneficial. Not only do little kids like testing out toilets, by seeing how many times their toy will go round before it disappears, trees and roots can cause big problems. Though plumbers are available, you can save yourself time and money by knowing they drain adequately. When checking the kitchen drain, check for a disposal and ensure it works as well.
    • Turn On Faucets: Faucets are not an expensive item to replace, but laying under a sink in a cabinet isn’t much fun! Checking that all faucets work properly saves time and your back!
    • Taste The Water: If you do not plan on adding a reverse osmosis, purifying or water filtering system, you will want to make sure that your water tastes good. Though your city might offer great water, your pipes may add a little extra flavor. If your water is not as refreshing as you hoped, at least you’ll know what added costs will be needed to get that thirst quenching water!
    • Flush The Toilets: Toilets that flush properly, are toilets that are doing their job right!
    • Open All The Windows: You’ll want to make sure the windows open properly and are not stuck or broken. Replacing windows is not cheap or fun!
    • Pull Back The Carpet: Find a corner and pull back a corner of carpet to inspect the floors underneath. Though mold and mildew isn’t a huge problem here in Arizona it’s still a good idea to check for it. You can also find out if hardwood floors are hidden under there.
    • Open Garage Doors: Garage repairs can cost only a few dollars to hundreds of dollars depending on what is wrong. Having to buy batteries for a remote is no big deal, having to spend hundreds for a full replacement is a big deal! Save yourself the trouble by making sure the home’s garage goes up and down with no issues.
    • Talk To Neighbors: It’s always a good idea to briefly meet with neighbors. Not only will you find out if your neighbor is a total grump, you can learn more about the home and area. Though your Realtor knows the area you’re looking at, finding out info about the home and area firsthand is always great idea.

Even though you will most likely want to make small cosmetic changes to your home, it’s always best avoiding costly repairs. By avoiding costly repairs, you’ll have more money in your pocket for that new chandelier that would be absolutely beautiful hanging in the entryway to your new home!

Have any tips you would like to share, please leave us a comment!

Mortgage Rates This Week – Sept 22, 2014

National Interest RatesLast week’s economic news largely concerned the Federal Reserve’s FOMC meeting statement and a post-meeting conference given by Fed Chair Janet Yellen. The FOMC statement indicated that the Fed continued its wind-down of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities and that its purchases are expected to cease after the next FOMC meeting.

The FOMC statement said that committee members find the economy to be improving at a moderate pace and currently strong enough to further reduce the QE3 monthly asset purchases. The Fed seeks to achieve and sustain its dual mandate of maximum employment and an inflation rate of 2.00 percent. While the unemployment rate is lower than the Fed’s benchmark of 6.50 percent, FOMC members cited concerns that the labor force is underutilized and that labor markets, while recovering, could use further improvement. The Fed repeated its customary statement that the Fed’s monetary policies are not on a pre-determined course, and that FOMC members continually review and interpret developing financial and economic news as part of their decision-making process.

Chair Yellen explained during her press conference that it is not possible to provide a specific date when the Fed will change its target federal funds rate. Economists and media analysts expressed concerns that raising the target federal funds rate, which is currently at 0.00 to 0.250 percent, could cause overall interest rates to rise. Chair Yellen said that she expects the current target federal funds rate to remain for a “considerable time” after the QE asset purchases cease. She also said that it is impossible to provide a specific date when the Fed will change its target federal funds rate and cited multiple influences considered by FOMC when changing monetary policy.

Home Builder Confidence Grows, Housing Starts Fall

The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index rose by three points in September for a reading of 59. Analysts had predicted an index reading of 56 against August’s reading of 55. September’s reading was the third consecutive reading above 50. Stronger labor markets were cited as supporting the higher reading, but builders were also concerned by tight mortgage credit standards. Any reading above 50 indicates that more builders perceive market conditions for new homes as positive as those that do not.

August’s housing starts were inconsistent with the Home Builders Index; according to the Department of Commerce, construction of new homes fell by 14.4 percent from July’s reading to 956,000. Analysts expected 1.03 million starts against July’s reading of 1.12 million homes started.

Mortgage Rates Rise, Weekly Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week. Average mortgage rates rose across the board with the rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage 11 basis points higher at 4.23 percent. The rate for a 15-year mortgage also rose by 11 basis points to 3.37 percent and the rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rose from 2.99 to 3.06 percent. Average discount points were unchanged for all mortgage types at 0.50 percent.

New weekly jobless claims dropped to 280,000 against an expected reading of 305,000 and the prior week’s adjusted reading of 316,000 new jobless claims. The original reading for the prior week was 315,000 new jobless claims. The less volatile four-week average of new jobless claim fell by 4,750 new claims to a reading of 299,500 new claims.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news brings multiple housing-related reports. The National Association of REALTORS® will release its Existing Home Sales report for August. Case-Shiller’s monthly Housing Market Index report and the FHFA’s Home Value report will bring new light to national market trends. The Department of Commerce will release its New Home Sales report, and as usual, Freddie Mac’s weekly report on mortgage rates will come out on Thursday.

Five Excellent Reasons to Choose Hardwood Flooring when Remodeling

Installing Hardwood FlooringIf you’re remodeling, you should seriously consider updating your flooring. A new hardwood floor will give your home an impressive look and prevent scratches and stains. Here are five very good reasons why you should consider a hardwood floor for your next remodeling project.

Hardwood Is More Durable Than Other Materials

Hardwood is much more durable and longer lasting than many other flooring materials. If there’s a lot of traffic in your home, hardwood floors are less likely to get scratches and dents than vinyl tiles or laminated floors. On weaker floors, damage is often permanent – but with hardwood floors, any imperfections can be sanded and refinished to make your floor look as good as new.

Hardwood Offers A Wide Array Of Styles

Hardwood flooring is very versatile, and it comes in a wide assortment of styles and colors. Hardwood is also available in a variety of textures to compliment any decor or color scheme. It’s easy to buy small area rugs that match the flooring rather than having wall-to-wall carpeting installed that may have to be replaced when it gets worn.

It’s A Good Long Term Investment

Hardwood flooring is one of the most practical investments you can make in your home. Carpeting, vinyl tile, linoleum, and laminate flooring will eventually need to be replaced. Although the initial investment of installing hardwood floors in your home is more than you’d spend on some of the alternatives, hardwood lasts much longer than other materials – so you spend less money in the long run.

Selling Your Home Is Easier

Hardwood flooring is an extremely attractive material that a lot of homeowners love. It also increases your home’s value. If you put your home on the market, you’re making a good investment by making your home more appealing to buyers.

You’ll Experience Fewer Allergy Problems

Carpeting can cause symptoms from allergies to get worse, because dust and other allergens like pet dander can get trapped in the fibers. Doctors often recommend that patients with severe allergies get rid of the carpeting in their home and replace it with hardwood flooring. With this type of flooring, it’s a simple matter to sweep or mop the floor, so allergies are no longer an issue.

Hardwood flooring is a highly popular interior design choice that is taking modern homes by storm. If you’re renovating your home in the near future, consider installing hardwood flooring as a means of giving it a classic floor that you and your guests will adore. For more great design ideas that will increase your home’s value, contact Diane and Polly with The Partners Team at ReMax Professionals, Surprise AZ

What to Do if You are Declined – and How to Get Second Opinion

Denied Loan ApplicationIf you have been declined for a mortgage, you may think that buying that new home is out of reach. However, there are ways to turn a rejection into an approval and to find a more accessible loan. Here are just a few steps you can take to learn about your loan options and get the mortgage that works for you.

Find Out Why The Mortgage Application Was Denied

The first step to getting a second opinion is to find out why your mortgage application was denied. Banks commonly deny mortgages for reasons like a low credit score, a high debt-to-income ratio, or concerns about the applicant’s past and present employment status.

To qualify for a mortgage, most lenders want to see someone with a credit score of 640, a debt-to-income ratio of less than 43 percent after the mortgage is included and at least 30 days in your current position if using wage income to qualify for the loan.

Not All Lenders View An Application The Same Way

A good reason why it is worthwhile to ask for a second opinion about your ability to get a loan is because no two lenders will view an application the same way. For one lender, a credit score of 650 is insufficient for getting a loan – but another lender might be more than happy to offer you a mortgage with a score of 650. To get a second opinion, you may wish to talk to a mortgage broker who will be able to scan a variety of loan programs to find one that works for you.

There Are Ways To Find Down Payment And Closing Cost Assistance

Those who have a low credit score or other questionable metrics may be able to qualify for a loan by offering a larger down payment. While a first-time buyer may not have the cash on hand to make a larger payment, there may be programs that provide grants or low-interest loans that can be used as part of your down payment or to help pay closing costs. With this extra money, it may be possible to overcome lender objections and obtain a mortgage.

If your mortgage application has been rejected, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get a mortgage from another lender. If you’re ready to buy a house but just need to clear the mortgage approval hurdle, there are ways to get a leg up. Contact the Preferred Lending Team of Diane Barnes and Polly Brown at The Partners Team.

How to Calm Your Nerves Before Committing to Buy a New Home

buyingWhether this is your first big purchase, or your family is moving to a new location or looking for more space, buying a home has its share of ups and downs.

It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious about whether or not you’ve found the right property. Here are some things you can do to make yourself feel more secure with your decision.

Do The Math

You’ve probably already done this, but it’s okay to go over it a number of times to be sure. Factor in your household income and all the bills you expect to pay every month. Add everything up.

It sounds like a stressful activity, but when you look at the numbers and realize that buying a home is actually doable, it can be a liberating feeling.

When you know for sure you can make it as a homeowner without getting underwater, you will feel more confident.

Meet The Neighbors

If you haven’t had the chance to knock on a couple of doors yet, you should spend some time saying hello to people in the neighborhood.

The more you can get to talking with families that are just like yours, the more you will be able to picture yourself as a member of the community. If you have kids, find out if there are other kids the same age nearby. That will help to ease their anxiety about moving as well.

Ask Your Agent

Don’t feel like you are being overly cautious if you ask your real estate agent your lingering questions. Make sure you’re getting a good price for the area, and make sure you know about any issues with the condition of the property. You should be able to trust that they’re excited for your decision, not just for making the sale.

Familiarize Yourself With The Neighborhood

Take a drive and figure out which stores you’re nearest to, the route you can take to get to work, and which other amenities you might take advantage of. Home buyers often underestimate how important living in a safe neighborhood with plenty of accessible businesses can be. The more you can imagine yourself living at your new address, the better you will feel.

Remember, never sign the papers on a new home unless you feel one hundred percent secure in your buying decision. If you need more answers, pick up the phone and call a real estate agent you can trust and who can walk you through every step of the process. For more information, contact The Partners Team of ReMax Professionals in Sun City AZ

Understanding the ‘Option Period’ and What This Term Means for You as a Buyer

Option PeriodWhen you’re in the process of the sale of real estate, a certain amount of time might be allotted after a contract is created but before the transaction is finalized. During this time period, the buyer may decide to opt out of the deal set forth in the contract. This would be what’s known as the ‘option period’! This allows buyers to have a property inspected and its value ascertained without the risk of losing the property to another buyer.

What Happens When The Option Period Takes Place

In Most cases,  a buyer must pay an option fee in order to be able to enjoy the luxury of an option period. During the option period, property inspections are typically carried out on the property in question so that the buyer can be sure that the proposed offer is appropriate.

The nonrefundable option fee that the buyer pays the seller (so that the seller agrees not to follow through on any transaction with another prospective buyer) compensates the seller for the time during which the property is off of the market.

Differences Between Various States

It is not always possible for a buyer to have an option period during which he or she can finalize plans to make a purchase on a property. Regulations and procedures between different states vary significantly.

Associated Expenses

The particular laws applicable where a sale takes place will often dictate how much a buyer needs to pay to the seller in option fee charges. For example, the option fee is usually no greater than 1 percent of the sale price of the home. The option fee is normally applied to the transaction at escrow closing in the event that the buyer decides to proceed with the sale.

Buyers who decide not to purchase a property after the option period has already begun will usually be responsible for paying the option fee to compensate the buyer for lost time. However, the buyer will be under no further contractual obligations.

If you have questions on the processes and regulations involved in a real estate transaction, contact Polly Brown or Diane Barnes with The Partners Team of ReMax Professionals in Sun City Arizona.

Three Items to Watch out for in a Purchase Agreement Contract

The purchase agreement is a vitally important document that outlines the provisions, terms and conditions for the transfer of property.

It should be read carefully and any ambiguities should be clarified prior to signing. It is a legally binding contract between the buyer and seller.

The purchase agreement may vary depending on the location. Most real estate agents use a form that has been approved by a state Realtors® Association.

The seller may have a different version that was drawn up by an attorney. It should not be assumed that they are all the same.

Typically, the purchase agreement will include an inspection period. This allows the buyer time to verify the conditions stated on the purchase agreement. Three of the most important stipulations in the contract are listed below.

All Owners Must Sign the Purchase Agreement

In most cases, the purchase agreement should be signed by the legal owner of the property.

If there is more than one owner, each owner should sign the agreement. In many states, both parties in a married couple have an interest in a property even if the title is held in one party’s name alone. Therefore, the purchase agreement should be signed by both parties of a married couple.

In the event the property is being sold by a corporation, verify that the person signing the agreement is authorized to commit the corporation to the sale.

List All Fixtures to be Transferred with the Sale

The purchase agreement should list all items that are to convey with the property. “Fixtures” are considered items that are attached to the property.

Legally, they should be included with the sale, but more than a few buyers have been dismayed to find the property stripped of counter-tops, appliances and window coverings. Any fixtures and personal property that are part of the sale should be included in the purchase agreement.

Verify Zoning Ordinances

The purchase agreement may contain various stipulations. One should include the right to cancel the contract if zoning prohibits the use of the property as planned.

Zoning ordinances may restrict the use of buildings or land. This may prove to be an obstacle for someone who intended to include a workshop on the property. The buyer should be able to withdraw from the contract if they discover that zoning prohibits the intended use.