Your Weekly Pulse on Valley Real Estate

Nov. 16, 2019

Coming Soon - 6442 W Cavedale Dr

This immaculate North Phoenix home will hit the market VERY SOON! A recently updated 3 bedroom PLUS den home of this magnitude is a rare find!

Mature low maintenance landscaping provides the perfect amount of privacy if you'd like to enjoy some front porch sitting.

Designer touches created this kitchen masterpiece featuring granite countertops, white cabinets, backsplash, breakfast bar, and stainless steel appliances.

This Master bath with separate tub and shower and tile surround should truly be called a private spa.

Professional landscaping with artificial turf in this spacious backyard will allow you to truly enjoy the gorgeous views and sunsets of this incredible community. If you'd like to continue your home search, click here. Call or text 602-518-5232 or email tonia.vickery@gmail.com to learn more about this listing!

Posted in My Listing Updates
Oct. 5, 2019

What Homeowners Should Know About The R22 (Freon) Phase Out

For over 50 years, the common refrigerant R22, better known as Freon has played a vital role in ensuring our air conditioners produce air that is cool and refreshing. This refrigerant use gases to produce the cool air you and I enjoy by compressing warm air sources into liquid through HVAC coils. Freon was chosen as the industry standard for refrigerants in the 1950s due to its efficiency, but we later discovered this popular coolant was causing damage to our environment.

As scientific advancements occurred, scientists discovered a link between hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and depletion of the Earth's ozone layer. As a result, a gradual phase out of R22, an HCFC product began in 1990. The Clean Air Act stated the US would begin a 20 year phase out of the use of R22. Effective January 1, 2020. there will be a ban on production and import of Freon and service of the product will rely on recycled or stockpiled inventory. On January 1, 2030, there will be a ban on all remaining stockpile and import of all HCFCs. 

So what does this mean for you as a homeowner with a cooling system that currently uses R22 (Freon)?

If your current cooling system uses R22 (Freon), DON'T PANIC! Production of R22 will not end until January 1, 2020 and there are ample supplies available for HVAC repairs until at least 2025. The biggest inconvenience homeowners will face as a result of this change will be an INCREASE IN PRICE of this refrigerant.  Expect to pay $125 or more per pound for Freon if an HVAC repair is needed. 

If you'd like to get a jumpstart on helping the environment, you can convert your R22 system to an R410A system (Puron) which is nonflammable, noncorrosive, neutral to the environment and proven to be MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT than R22! Many home warranty plans cover the conversion of a Freon system to a Puron system when deemed necessary during a repair. 

If you have an older system or you're looking at homes with an older system, this is something to keep in mind. As always, I'm here to answer any questions you may have.

Aug. 28, 2019

More Bang For Your Buck - Fixer-Upper or Move-In Ready?

When helping individuals find a home, most specifically ask for a home that is either move-in ready OR they want a true fixer-upper they can customize to their liking. Perhaps those desiring a fixer-upper also believe they are being more budget conscience, but a recent survey from porch.com revealed that even when fixer-upper homeowners stay within budget, they usually end up spending nearly as much as homeowners who purchase a move-in ready home.

The average purchase price of a fixer-upper is currently $199,819 with renovations averaging between a conservative $47,072 and a budget busting $75,922. Despite the fact that these numbers don't add up to considerable savings compared to a move-in ready home purchase, fixer-upper homebuyers state their top reason for purchasing a home needing repairs was for the savings. Sadly, only 5% of fixer-upper projects finish under budget. The most common expenses that truly "break the bank" include: new HVAC, plumbing projects, basements, bathrooms and new appliances.

On the other end of the home buying spectrum, those buying move-in ready homes find renovations and repairs inconvenient, time consuming and costly. Move-in ready homes currently average around $250,496 which is less than $5,000 more than a fixer-upper with a conservative renovation budget.

I'm curious to know which part of the home buying spectrum you fall on? Have Joanna and Chip Gaines inspired you to transform an "oldie but a goodie" or do you like the peace of mind that comes with a home needing little to no work?

Aug. 26, 2019

New Listing - 11010 W Mountain View Drive

Don't miss your chance to view and potentially own this beautiful 3 bedroom PLUS den/bonus room MOVE IN READY home with NEW AC in amazing Avondale!

Vaulted ceilings and lovely archways welcome you into a spacious family room that flows effortlessly into a kitchen with abundant seating, black on black appliances and a new gas stove.

The large Master bedroom boasts a lovely bay window perfect for a reading area or much more.

The versatile den makes a great home office space directly off the family room.

To see more of this listing Click Here. Or continue your Home Search. Call or text me at 602-518-5232 or email me at tonia.vickery@gmail.com to learn more about this incredible Avondale property!

Posted in My Listing Updates
Aug. 22, 2019

New Listing - 26111 N 67th Drive

I'm beyond thrilled to give you a glimpse of this beautiful four bedroom PLUS den home with a split floor plan in the highly desirable Terramar that you absolutely must come see in person!

Upon entering this gorgeous home, you are immediately welcomed into a spacious formal living & dining room with a den/office off the formal room.

Most individuals travel to have a room with a view, but here, you have MAGNIFICENT MOUNTAIN VIEWS right outside your master bedroom and living room windows.

If the interior of this home hasn't won you over yet, the meticulously kept private oasis in the backyard certainly will! The well maintained pool and landscaping along with the high back wall that backs up to an open space/trail allows you to truly relax and unwind in the comfort of your own home.

If you would like to see more of this listing Click Here. Or continue your Home Search . Call or text me at 602-518-5232 or email at tonia.vickery@gmail.com to learn more about this rare find in terrific Terramar!

Posted in My Listing Updates
Aug. 19, 2019

ibuyers: Convenience or Costly?

First of all, what is an ibuyer? There has been a lot of hype and changes in the real estate industry with the emergence of ibuyers which is fancy for INVESTORS. Investing Buyer = ibuyer. Large brokerages and companies have entered into the ibuyer scene such as Zillow, Redfin, Opendoor, Offerpad and others. They tout convenience to the consumer (seller) in exchange for cost to the consumer (seller). They make offers to buy your property within minutes or days, sight unseen, based on internal valuation models. If you choose to accept their offer, they then proceed to the physical inspection where in many cases they will want concessions in lieu of repairs, and these concessions can be very costly. They also hit you for cosmetic repairs and in many instances they don't even make those repairs before re-selling the property. This is just another way of getting more of your equity in their pocket. This is a true case of the "devil's in the details."

The convenient part of this is you get to pick your moving day, you don't have to show your home and you don't have to make any repairs. This sounds awesome, so what is the catch? Investors like to make MONEY! The money they are making is YOUR equity...YOUR MONEY! The ibuyer doesn't come cheap. Not only do they typically offer you less than market value, they will build in the full commission fees PLUS additional percentage fees to compensate them for their risk and holding time to sell the property. These fees generally run 8% to 12% and this does not include the repair concessions you will make upon the physical inspection.

An ibuyer model is not all bad. There is room for this type of transaction such as a distressed seller who is behind in payments, a home that has lots of repairs needed or layout/design is unfavorable, you are relocating and have to make a rushed close, etc. It is noted that 9 out of 10 people who get Instant Offers from ibuyers decline and list with a traditional agent. If 90% are passing on this model, the pricing can't be compelling. Having choices on how to sell your home is always good but your home is typically your largest asset, so seek professional help PRIOR to engaging with these types of companies. Know what your home is worth and how much fees are for a normal sale. And compare apples to apples. BEWARE of the "investor" making an offer on your home telling you what your home is worth. I mean seriously, you cannot buy into that because these people DO NOT represent you or your best interests. They represent their investors and stockholders.

How can all this help you? Here at the Tonia Vickery Team we do things a little bit differently. Convenience is a BIG DEAL and we want to make selling your home smooth and convenient. First of all, we have FREE staging. You don't need to get your home show ready, we do that for you! We have resources for you for landscaping, housecleaning and maintenance to make your life easier. Those services are one call away from being done! Secondly, we can also offer you the ibuyer model for a fraction of what you will pay above. That's right, if you want to see what an ibuyer will charge you we have an investor list and we don't allow our investors to tack on fees in their offer to you. We also help you procure offers from the big investment companies on your behalf and can help you compare all your numbers and know your bottom line.

ibuyer is a new term, however, investor buyers have been around since the start of real estate. So when you work with an "ibuyer" you are most likely working with someone way more experienced in real estate. If you want to sell to investors for convenience, you can do that without these companies and you can keep more of YOUR equity. Ask me how!

Want more information? Call me at 602-518-5232 and let's discuss! Don't give rich investors YOUR money before you explore listing with a professional agent. A little patience can save you tens of thousands of dollars. You EARNED your equity...don't give it away.

July 11, 2019

First Time Home Buyers Find A Lack Of Homes To Buy

Are you a first time homebuyer and finding the housing inventory lacking? Blame grandma! No, I'm just kidding, but really no I am not. What's Gram and Gramps have to do with it? Let's dig into this and see how our senior community, boomerang buyers and builders could be holding first time homebuyers back.

Now we can't place all the blame on the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers. Up to 2006 most people moved on average every five years. Then the market crash happened and we are still sorting out the debris. Lots of people who lost their home became boomerang buyers, meaning they bought again when their credit recovered and during the time interest rates were unusually low. This was 2011-2013. Now that interest rates have risen since they purchased, many current homeowners don't want to sell and pay a higher interest rate on a more expensive property. So we are seeing people move now on average every 11 years!

 

"Before the housing market crash in 2007, the average length of time someone lived in their home was approximately five years. Average tenure length jumped to seven years during the aftermath of the housing market crisis between 2008 and 2016. The most recent data shows that the average length of time someone lives in their home reached 11.3 years in May 2019, a 10 percent increase compared with a year ago."

 

Now, let's get back to Granny. The second trend influencing tenure is seniors aging in place. A recent study from Freddie Mac shows that if seniors and adults born between 1931-1959 behaved like earlier generations, nearly 1.6 million housing units would have come to market by 2018. Improvements in health care and technology have made ageing in place easier, which has meant fewer homes on the market.

So far in 2019, the market potential for existing-home sales has benefited from lower mortgage rates and rising household income, all contributing to stronger house-buying power. Surging consumer house-buying power coupled with rising household formation has resulted in strong demand for homes.

Yet, today, we are in an unprecedented homebody era, as many existing homeowners continue to feel rate-locked into their homes and seniors continue to age in place. Looking ahead, more than half of all existing-homes are owned by baby boomers and the silent generation and they will eventually age out of homeownership. But right now, housing supply remains tight - you can't buy what's not for sale - and market potential is lower because of it. New home builders are helping ease this supply shortage but new build pricing has significantly outpaced resale home prices and new home builders tend to develop in new communities further from town which can affect people who have to commute to work.

It's not all doom and gloom though! We have this issue because people WANT to buy home and can AFFORD to buy homes. That is a great indicator of the health of the job market and wages. This coupled with still low interest rates means we have people who want and can afford to buy...and with enough patience, flexibility and realistic expectations, you will obtain your dream of home ownership.

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June 27, 2019

DIY: Pool School

Are you new to owning a home with a pool or even dream of owning a home with a pool? A pool is one of the most requested items from a potential buyer when looking for a home. So it's good to know how to maintain your pool for your own enjoyment and peace of mind and for when you want to sell your home with a beautifully maintained pool!

Below are seven tips that will help avoid unexpected costs, downtime and pool headaches:

1.) Skim and scrub regularly

One of the biggest traps any homeowner can fall into with their pool is believing their filter will do the heavy lifting for them. While that's certainly the case for some debris that inevitably ends up in the water, skimming the leaves and other yard waste off the surface is a must, as is scrubbing the bottom and sides to keep the whole thing clean and in good working order. Do you have that mineral deposit ring around your pool at the water level? Scrub that down or once a year hire a professional to do it for you before peak pool season.

2.) Keep an eye on the filter

If you're not cleaning out the filter basket on a regular basis and generally checking to make sure the filter itself is in good working order, you might be doing more damage than you expect. Experts recommend cleaning out the basket once a week, and flushing out the pipes (backwash) in the filter itself once a month. This maintenance will be imperative during our monsoon seasons so check basket every storm and backwash multiple times per week. And don't forget to clean your filters periodically. 

3.) Monitor your gaskets and seals

Gaskets and seals break down. Especially here in Arizona where the hot sun constantly beats down on them. This is not an expensive repair even if you need your pool person to do it. Don't wait for it to get worse or all them to break. You will leak water and pressure and you need that to keep your filter happy and healthy.

4.) Test water at least weekly

Testing the various chemical levels in your pool water is a must. Most testing sets you buy for your pool will explain exactly what levels you're supposed to be looking for given the various chemicals you're testing for, and someone at the pool supply store will be able to give you more information. Best part of this is your local pool supply stores will test your water for you at no cost. Find a trusted one though...some will try and sell you a lot of expensive chemicals versus just the things you need. So trust but verify.

5.) Check the water level

During the summer, there are plenty of natural events that can impact your water level. Generally speaking, you want the water level of your pool to be right in the middle of your skimmer; going too high or too low can make the whole system run less effectively. Rain may make the level rise above what's ideal, while lots of direct sunlight can evaporate water. You can adjust your float to adjust the water level. If your water level is too low, your filter motor will burn up so make sure your water level stays where it should be. Once you have this adjusted properly, you really shouldn't have to touch this again.

6.) Spot imperfections early and something about it

It's also a good idea to make sure you're checking the sides of the pool on a regular basis to guarantee no cracks or other fissures are developing. Plaster and pebble-tec surfaces generally need replacement every 6-10 years. Most pebble-tec starts to chip at the stairs. You can extend its life by fixing this quickly or water gets under the pebble-tec and continues to erode the surface. Plaster will start to chip or rust will start showing through. If your pool surface looks bad and unmaintained, it will affect the sale of your home and your home inspection when you get a buyer. Essentially, you will pay either for you to enjoy a well maintained pool or someone else to. The issues that crop up if you want to deal with it in a sale, is the buyer is unfamiliar with your pool. So when it looks bad, they get the impression the entire pool and equipment is bad and that impression can be costly. They may buy your home but not without a steep concession to deal with your deferred maintenance. 

7.) Plan Proper Landscaping

So many times we see people plant trees that are prone to dropping a lot of leaves and debris. Don't plant these trees near your pool. It will cause you more maintenance issues with your filter and ability to keep the pool clean. Sometimes the trees nearby don't drop a lot of leaves or debris but you may notice a lot of roots spreading out form the tree. Is this close to the pool? If so, beware because those roots could compromise the pool and cause your concrete to crack.

We have owned pools in the majority of our homes. Initially it may seem overwhelming on what to do, if you are not use to pool maintenance. When we first got our pool, we went to the pool supply store every weekend to test our water. We learned through trial, error and education of what they would try to sell was needed or not. You can also hire a pool company to get your pool started and spend six months or a year, but definitely a summer watching what they do. They will teach you how to use your system, tell you when you need to backwash. show you how to clean your pool and filters and so on. Trust me, after a short while, it will all become second nature to you. Lastly USE YOUR POOL! You are paying for it so enjoy it! If you find you are not using your pool then maybe it's time to find a home with other amenities and no pool. After all, why maintain and have the expense when you could put that money towards a garden, larger garage, more square footage, hobby room, or so on that will give you more enjoyment than an unused pool.

June 13, 2019

New Listing - 12521 W Rancho Court

Don't miss the opportunity to tour this 2,279 square foot beautiful and highly upgraded home on a prime cul-de-sac street and oversized GORGEOUS LOT! Yes, that is a RARE and INCREDIBLE 3 car garage!

Prepare to have your breath taken away when you enter this magnificent kitchen with thick granite slab counters, upgraded cherry cabinets, buffet counter, cabinets with glass doors, kitchen island, stone backsplash, gas range and stainless steel appliances.

When you prepare a fabulous meal in this grand kitchen, you can truly enjoy the fruits of your labor in an open formal dining / living room with TONS of natural light.

Can you imagine unwinding in this spacious family room with a gas fireplace on a cool winter night?

You may find it difficult to leave this tranquil master bedroom. This well designed split floor plan features 3 bedrooms / 2 baths PLUS a den that can function as another bedroom.

This home is absolutely amazing both inside and out! You can truly have your very own oasis in the desert with this HUGE grassy backyard featuring a BBQ grill and entertainment area!

If you would like to see more of this listing Click Here. Or continue your Home Search. Call or text me at 602-518-5232 or email at tonia.vickery@gmail.com to learn more about this beauty!

Posted in My Listing Updates
June 10, 2019

New Listing - 6529 W Red Fox Road

LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION! This gorgeous 4 bed, 2 bath home nestled in a beautiful mountain community is a MUST SEE! 

Can you envision your family and friends gathered around this eat in kitchen with upgraded counter-tops, 42" upgraded cabinets, upgraded lighting and fixtures and a large breakfast bar?

After entertaining, you'll appreciate an easier cleanup since there is only tile and laminate wood flooring in this home and NO CARPET! Less time cleaning means more time to relax in your exquisite master bedroom.

If you'd rather relax outdoors, you can lounge by this beautiful pool in the privacy of your backyard.

If you would like to see more of this listing Click Here. Or continue your Home Search. Call or text me at (602) 518-5232 or email me at tonia.vickery@gmail.com to learn more about this gem!

Posted in My Listing Updates