Your Weekly Pulse on Valley Real Estate

Oct. 19, 2020

Are You Mistakenly Letting Creepy Crawlies In Your Home?

None of us want to give much thought to the creepy crawlies and rodents that can make their way into our home and find a place to hide.

Despite our best efforts at sealing and sanitizing, most of us unknowingly share our living space with bugs, mice and countless other annoying insects or pests. In order to determine the best pest control treatment, it is first necessary to accurately identify what you're up against.

According to the experts that remove any pesky critter from your home, these are the top 8 mistakes homeowners make when trying to treat a pest problem.

1.) Being reactive - instead of proactive - about pest control

It is much easier and cheaper to prevent a pest problem than it is to eliminate it once it has started. Remain watchful for any issues that may attract insects and address them immediately. Benjamin Franklin said it best when he stated "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

2.) Not checking the doors, window screens, and seals around your house

Insects can sneak in even if windows and doors are shut. Frequently check that door sweeps are functioning properly, fixed damaged screens and caulk crevices around the home's structure.

3.) Letting your landscape overgrow

Make sure your lush landscaping doesn't include bushes or shrubs that come in contact with your home. If storing firewood, choose a location away from the home's main structure.

4.) Leaving put temptations for critters

Dispose of trash in a timely manner and never leave food sitting out that might appeal to pests.

5.) Allowing water to pool around your yard

Stagnant water is a giant playground for mosquitoes. If you frequently notice water pooling in your yard, contact a landscaper to improve your drainage system.

6.) Using the wrong pesticides

Research all pesticides before applying or hire an expert to address your pest problem. Choosing the wrong pesticide could make your pest problem even worse.

7.) Not timing your efforts with the season

Don't let your guard down when the temperatures drop. Some pest populations die off in cooler temperatures but others simply try to move their pest party inside.

8.) Not knowing the pests unique to your area

Research your area and know the most common pests to keep an eye out for. 

Oct. 14, 2020

New Listing - 3131 N Central Ave #5004

Have you been dreaming of owning your own space in the heart of the city? If so, run, don't walk to Edison Midtown to view this well appointed, FURNISHED luxury urban condo that includes underground gated parking and a parking space!

Take a look at this kitchen! This highly updated unit has a Carrera style quartz waterfall edge kitchen island, walnut floors throughout and 10' ceilings.

After a fun day in the city, you can unwind in this spacious master suite complete with dual vanities and a walk in shower.

This unit boasts some of the best views overlooking the pool/spa and recreation area. Come see all that Edison Midtown has to offer including a 2,000 square foot workout facility, 50' lap lane pool, heated spa, outdoor kitchen/dining and much more!

To continue your home search, click here. If you would like to learn more about this spectacular condo, call or text 602-518-5232 or email me at tonia.vickery@gmail.com.

Posted in My Listing Updates
Oct. 11, 2020

Just Listed - 10025 W Alabama Ave

Cute and spacious are just a few adjectives to describe this Sun City home. Located in a 55 plus community, this highly updated home is ready to welcome a new owner.

This home boasts NO carpet! All floors were redone just 6 years ago and replaced with tile and laminate flooring.

This beautiful enclosed sunroom has its own AC unit to keep you cool year round while also allowing you to enjoy the sun.

This beautiful backyard is completely fenced so your fur baby can safely roam.

To continue your home search, click here. To learn more about this Sun City home, call or text 602-518-5232 or email tonia.vickery@gmail.com.

Posted in My Listing Updates
Oct. 6, 2020

Working From Home? What Home Buyers Are Looking for Now

With major employers now stating that their employees will be working from home for the foreseeable future, many homebuyers have adjusted their list of desirables in their next home. Some not only need to plan for a home office space, but also need to accommodate the homeschooling or distance learning needs of their children as well.

This is impacting the way homes are marketed and the type of features that have become important to buyers at all price points. Of course, homebuyers with larger budgets have the luxury of seeking homes with extra bedrooms or offices and dens already included. But many buyers are not as fortunate and need to find the needed space in more creative ways.

The easiest way to add working space is within the bedrooms. This offers the ability to close a door for privacy. Larger bedrooms (both in master and secondary bedrooms) have been a top priority for homebuyers. Another important feature is an open floorplan which features a Great Room design. For generations, kids have done their homework at the kitchen table, and a spacious kitchen/family room combo makes it easier for home learning without becoming cluttered. Another option for homebuyers is a separate formal dining room which could be converted to a workspace.

With all the changes in working and learning environments for both adults and kids, the home is even more important than ever. As needs change, homebuyers seek different features from their new dwellings.

Sept. 29, 2020

7 Things That Affect What You Pay For Homeowner's Insurance

Homeowner's insurance is non-negotiable. Not only does it protect you in the event the home is damaged, but it also includes liability insurance in the event someone is injured at your home. When evaluating the policy, insurance companies consider multiple items to determine their risk - and your cost. Here are 7 things that affect the amount you pay for homeowner's insurance - some that might make sense and some that might surprise you.

1. Square Footage - First and foremost, the size of the home is considered. The larger the home, the more it would cost to replace if damage occurred. More space also means more furniture, fixtures, personal belongings, and other items which could be replaced in a claim.

2. Layout - The style of the home is another factor in determining replacement costs. A single-story home, for example, might have higher foundation and grading costs, whereas a tow-story home would need alternative construction methods.

3. Construction Materials - The type of material used to build the structure is important. Wood roofs would cost more to insure against a fire claim, as would a home with expensive travertine floors. A simpler home of modest building material would cost less to insure.

4. Property Age - The assumption is that an older home might have more deterioration than a newer home and this is considered in the replacement cost.

5. Home Features - Homes with extra buildings or pools will be insured at a higher costs than other properties without these amenities.

6. Neighborhood - Local crime rates are reviewed to determine the risk to property and personal items.

7. Credit Score - Finally, the insurance company will consider the homeowner's credit score. Not only does this help them understand if they are at risk for non-payment, but serious credit issues might be a factor in how well a property is maintained.

Homeowner's insurance is important to every homeowner. Not only is it required by lenders, but it also protects the homeowner against financial disaster in the event of theft, fire, severe weather, and more. Understanding how rates are determined can help you compare options and get the best policy for your home.

Sept. 15, 2020

Getting Outbid? Strategies to Make Your Offer Stand Out and Get Accepted

Summer is traditionally a busy time for buyers and sellers. This year has been no exception -  and with lower interest rates, many homebuyers are finding the competitive environment challenging. With multiple buyers competing for properties, even terrific offers are often being outbid. 

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make your offer more attractive to the sellers and increase the chanes of getting the property.

  • Have Full Pre-Approval - A step beyond pre-qualification, a pre-approval involves submitting your full application to underwriting. Your lender will collect all your financial data and submit for review. This is stronger than a pre-qualification;  a pre-approval requires the buyer to provide the proof of their ability to qualify for the loan.
  • Increase the Earnest Money - Earnest money is the deposit held in escrow. While the contract will dictate how monies are disbursed in the event of a cancellation, increasing the amount offered can show the sellers you're serious.
  • Add an Escalation Clause - In a bidding war, it can be difficult to know what to offer because you want to outbid the competition without going too high. An escalation clause is one way to automatically outbid the others. The clause typically offers an amount  - $1,000 for example - higher than any verifiable offer up to a specific amount. This can ensure yours is the highest offer.
  • Pay any Appraisal Shortage - When offering more than asking price, sellers become concerned about the appraisal coming in too low. If you are willing to pay over market value, include the amount of shortage you are willing to pay.
  • Remove Inspection Contingency - This option can be tricky, but if you are planning a large remodel or are willing to tackle any defects found, then you can make your offer stronger by accepting the home as-is. In this fast moving, competitive real estate market, it's important to make your offer stand out from the crowd. These strategies are great ways to demonstrate to the sellers that you're serious about buying their home, increasing the chance of having your offer accepted.
Sept. 14, 2020

Just Listed - 9661 W Fallen Leaf Lane

There's no need to wait for a new build when this practically new home could be yours! Constructed just 2 years ago in a cul-de-sac, this beautiful home boasts 3 bedrooms, a downstairs den/office and an upstairs loft.

The interior of this home features all the latest style upgrades including wood like flooring, white cabinetry, farmhouse pendant lighting, a gourmet chef's kitchen with gas stove and stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.

Can you imagine having movie nights with your family in this spacious loft or perhaps adding a pool table to entertain friends?

The possibilities in this oversized backyard are endless! It is simply waiting for your personal design and touch. 

To continue your home search, click here. To learn more about this home, call or text 602-518-5232 or email tonia.vickery@gmail.com. 

Posted in My Listing Updates
Sept. 12, 2020

New Listing - 14821 W Voltaire Street

Get your running shoes, hop in the car and make your way to Marley Park! This breathtaking 3 bedroom home PLUS den/office is perfectly positioned across from a beautiful green park and is ready to welcome you home!

Your inner chef will fall in love with this dream kitchen featuring a gas range, stainless steel appliances, espresso cabinetry, granite countertops and a large island.

The split floor plan of this home allows for ultimate privacy in this spacious Master Bedroom. Enjoy private access to your pool and spa via a door inviting you outside from your Master suite.

This home is truly beautiful inside and out! I know the next owner will enjoy relaxing or entertaining around the huge extended covered patio and beautifully designed pool out back.

If this home has not stolen your heart away yet, you can continue your home search by clicking here. If you love this home and can't wait to learn more, call or text 602-518-5232 or email tonia.vickery@gmail.com.

 

Posted in My Listing Updates
Aug. 28, 2020

A Record Breaking July 2020

Usually this time of year, the real estate market experiences what is commonly known as the "Summer Slowdown." Keeping with the extraordinary theme of 2020, this July broke many records in the real estate market.

For Buyers:

It's a hectic environment for buyers, but despite recent appreciation rates the HOI* measure for Greater Phoenix increased to 64.8 for the 2nd quarter 2020; the previous measure was 63.0. What this means is that a household making a current median family income of $72,300 per year could afford 64.8% of what sold in the 2nd quarter of 2020. The HOI measure for the United States is slightly lower at 59.6.

Previous records show the normal range for this measure is between 60-75. During the "bubble" years between 2005-2006, the HOI plummeted from 60.1 to 26.6. Usually if the HOI dips below 60, the market should start to see a drop in demand. With the most recent increase however, the Greater Phoenix area still falls within the normal range and experiencing demand 20% above normal for this time of year.

This market is drastically different from the infamous bubble and crash due to the relation between resale housing growth and population growth. In the early 2000's, housing was growing faster than the population and creating a glut. This glut went unnoticed due to excessive speculator (i.e. "false") demand fueled by loose lending practices. When loans tightened up, the glut came roaring into focus as vacant inventory soared to over double the normal levels. Since 2006, the population has grown faster than housing. Over the past 14 years this population growth fueled by job growth has finally consumed the glut of resale housing created during the bubble years and now the result is a shortage of homes for sale in today's market.

This type of market and appreciation is not sustainable over time, however it's here now and properties purchased today are expected to continue appreciating over the next 6-12 months.

For Sellers:

There was no such thing as a "Summer Slowdown" this year as July had a record number of closings go through the Arizona Regional MLS; surpassing every July as far back as 2001. July also broke records in dollar volume with $3.9 Billion sold. The best July ever recorded before was in 2005 at $2.9 Billion. The monthly appreciation rate finalized 12.5% higher than 2019 and was the 4th highest appreciation rate for July dating back to 2001.

One third of closed homes were over asking price and only 15% involved any sort of seller-paid closing cost assistance; down from a high of 27% last May. Half of all sellers who accepted contracts in the beginning of August did so after being on the market less than 7 days.

Contracts on luxury homes over $1M are up an incredible 93% over the last year at this time. Between $500K-$1M, contracts are up 64%. Between $300K-$500K, they are up 39%. Between $250K-$200K, up 15%. If you need to sell, this is the time to do it!

*The HOI index stands for "Home Opportunity Index" and is published quarterly by the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo. It measures the percentage of homes deemed affordable in an area based on lending guidelines, interest rates, median income levels and median price. The most recent report was released on August 8, 2020.

 

~Commentary and infographic courtesy of Tina Tamboer, The Cromford Report

Aug. 13, 2020

Rental Property Owner Preservation Fund

Are you a rental property owner who has experienced loss of income or financial hardship due to COVID-19? If so, you may be eligible to receive assistance through the Rental Property Owner Preservation Fund created August 4, 2020. This fund was created due to the advocacy efforts of the Arizona REALTORS®, in conjunction with rental industry partners, to make $128M in federal funding available. The details below outline who is eligible to apply and how to submit an application.

Eligible Applicants:

Residential property owners whose tenants have not paid rent or received rental assistance for the specific unit in which they are seeking funding. A property does not have to be at risk of foreclosure to be eligible for this funding.

Eligible Expenses Include:

  • Rental expenses incurred between April 2020 and August 2020
  • Up to five (5) months of unreceived rent payment income from a tenant between April 2020 and August 2020
  • Small and large rental property owners are eligible to receive a maximum amount of $50,000 in total funding utilizing the formula
  • Small and large rental property owners are eligible to receive funding for the lesser of each tenant's actual monthly rent amount or the monthly funding cap amount of $2,000

Individual Grant Award Information:

  • The total award per applicant per unit is capped at five (5) months of rental income, equal to $2,000/unit or the actual rent, whichever is less
  • Applicants may only request the total income lost for all units, up to their actual rental income or $2,000/unit, whichever is lesser and can only receive a maximum of $50,000

How to Apply:

  • You will need to create a eCivis account, here: How to Apply

Application Review Process:

This grant program is non-competitive, applications will be reviewed by the Economic Recovery Management Team (ERMT) for completeness and submission of all required documentation. If an applicant is missing information, a member of the ERMT will work with the applicant to upload necessary documents before distributions of the award can be made.

Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates:

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and awards will be made on a first come, first serve basis, until the entirety of the funds have been awarded. Applications were first accepted on August 4, 2020. ERMT will post regular announcements on the status of the application period to Announcements. The applicants will be notified of their award through the eCivis grants management portal.

Program Funding Information:

A total of $5,000,000 will be available for the Rental Property Owner Preservation Fund.

  • $2,500,000 is available for Small rental property owners (owning up to five (5) single-family properties, or up to twenty (20) total units in a multi-family property)
  • $2,500,000 is available for Large rental property owners (owning more than five (5) single‐family properties, or more than twenty (20) total units in a multi‐family property)

Contac Information:

Please contact a member of the Economic Recovery Management Team with any questions about this program, at ERMT@az.gov.