Your Weekly Pulse on Valley Real Estate

June 8, 2017

Renting vs. Buying

Have you ever thought, "I wonder if now is a good time to rent?". No, I am sorry it is not! It never is a good time to rent! Rents have steadily increased throughout the years, and does not seem to be slowing down. Did you also know that buying a house can cost you LESS than renting?

There are many options I can help you navigate! Let me help you go over your options! Please contact me today!

May 23, 2017

Is Your Credit Keeping You From Buying a House?

The three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are revisiting their systems of how they report Tax Liens and Judgments. According to the Wall Street Journal, starting July 1st 2017, the three credit reporting agencies will be removing tax liens as well as civil judgments from the reports only if they are missing important and detailed information on consumers. Such information can include a Social Security Number, an address, a name, and a date of birth. Also records will be removed if the reporting agency of the debt or a "debt collector" do not update the record every 90 days.

So what does this mean for you? Your credit score can improve from 20 to 40 points, according to credit industry experts. Scores will vary, based on the individual consumers along with their other information on their reports. Having inaccurate information on your reports could hurt your score, so having these "blemishes" removed from your reports could potentially help you improve your score. There are many ways to help improve your score, speak to a professional. As stated in Arizona Mortgage Talk, "With credit, the punishment does not always fit the crime,".

There are many ways you can help raise your credit score, one having someone help you or guide you. There are tools that can help you build your credit to where you are able to have the freedom to buy a house, or do what you want to do. We offer a credit simulator to help you step by step to get you where you need to be. It is FREE with NO obligation. Please contact me to help you with the process. 

Dec. 27, 2016

Hope You Had A Joyous and Happy Holiday Season! 2017 Here We Come!

The holidays are almost over with New Year’s just around the corner. I hope that you had a wonderful time and surrounded yourself with those you love. The holiday season can be a stressful time but always remember that being around family and friends is the best gift at all. Make sure you enjoy it as much as you can!

Thank a VeteranWith the season of giving surrounding us, let’s not forget about our active and retired military that have fought bravely to keep us safe.

On December 17th, groups got together in support of Wreaths Across America, to lay wreaths at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. It was a beautiful tribute to all our Veteran Heroes.

There are some inspiring photos here on the Arizona Veterans Connection Facebook Page and Channel 12 News even came out to do a story! This was the 11th year for Wreaths Across America.

While this event may be over, you can always donate to honor a veteran for next year here. There are many ways to show your support to our veterans, whether you volunteer or donate, every little bit helps. Always remember to give thanks to those who have serve and keep our country safe!

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Dec. 16, 2016

Say Goodbye to those Low Mortgage Interest Rates!

The Federal Reserve finally raised interest rates this past week, something that we have been anticipating for a few years. Many of you are wondering how does this affect me when buying a home? Well, there is a lot of misunderstanding regarding how the Fed interest rate affects homebuyers. First off, the Feds DO NOT set interest rates. The way it really works: The Federal Reserve sets the short-term rate policy, which governs what banks charge one another for short-term loans. Short-term rates are different from long-term rates, but they typically move in similar ways in times of change. Mortgage interest rates are tied to the 10-year Treasury note and tend to go and up down, sometimes daily based on the performance of the stock market. The Fed Interest rate was raised a quarter percentage point this past week. Since the election, mortgage interest rates have gone up twice that amount. That is due to the stock market highly performing, thus interest rates climb.  So basically as a buyer, you should be more concerned with the stock market and  how that affects interest rates and not concerned  so much about a Fed interest rate increase. The Feds raising their rates is actually a sign of more confidence in the economy and is a lagging indicator of what is really happening in the economy on a daily basis.
 
Because the Fed interest rate is a result of the economy and stock market performance, we are expecting the Feds to raise their rate up to three more times in 2017. Because of this confidence and optimism, it is highly expected that mortgage interest rates will continue to climb and that will affect a new homebuyer's new mortgage payment and how much they will be able to qualify for in a new home. They are making projections that mortgage interest rates could be up to 5% by the end of 2017. A few months ago they were in the mid to high 3%'s. For example, on a $250,000 mortgage loan at 4% is $1,193 per month and at 5% it jumps to $1,342. That is a difference of $149 per month or $1,788 per year. So should you wait to buy?
 
In real estate we never recommend you "time" the market. However, this is one time you may want to heed the forecast and IF you are thinking of purchasing next year...then the earlier the better. If interest rates climb the way they are projected then buying sooner versus later will save you money AND allow you to qualify for a higher loan amount. A higher loan amount may allow you a larger home or in an area you desire more.
 
If you want to start your home search now while rates are at their lowest, click here to start your customized home search!
 
Source: “Fed’s Rate Hike Confirms It: Time Is Running Out on Low Mortgage Rates,” realtor.com® (Dec. 15, 2016)
Dec. 2, 2016

Phoenix will be the #1 housing market in 2017

Phoenix has always been a unique city. It’s large in size but keeps a community, family feel in each of its neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has its own unique characteristics allowing the city to become home those with an array of lifestyles. Whether it’s a condo in a high rise, townhome, or single family home, Phoenix has the house to fit your lifestyle. Now, Phoenix is getting some Phoenix #1 Market 2017real recognition nationwide with its continuous, steady growth in the housing market.

The top housing market in the US for 2017 will be Phoenix. Realtor.com daily trends and analyst are predicting a positive forecast for the upcoming year. The valley's steady growth in sales and price increases is showing to be one of the healthiest in the country.

Realtor.com is predicting valley home prices to climb 5.9% and sales to jump 7.2%. With a low supply of new home builds and foreclosures Phoenix will be a strong market.

Interest rates are expected to rise, with that increase it could knock out some first time home buyers out of the market. But, with anticipated wage and job growth increasing it could off set the increase in rates.

If you're ready to sell your home, click here for a FREE and INSTANT home valuation! And if you're ready to find your new home with that updated kitchen, start your home search here!

 

 

 

Nov. 28, 2016

Holiday Volunteers Needed!

Military Assistance Mission (MAM) is looking for Operation Holiday Open House. The mission of this organization is:

To provide financial and morale aid to our current Arizona active military, their families, and wounded warriors regardless of overseas deployment status.

This is an organization that I personally support and I will be volunteering on December 13th.

MAM really relies on public support and the holidays are their busiest months.

In November and December, MAM collects toys and other Christmas gifts to give to military children. Their collections culminate in a carnival where they allow military families to shop through the items they collect. It's the largest event and we are in need of volunteers.

They currently need volunteers for following:

Monday, December 12th

Tuesday, December 13th - I will be there!!

Wednesday, December 14th

Friday, December 16th

Saturday, December 17th

Saturdays shift is required 7am to 5pm, all other days are flexible between 8am - 4pm. If you have any questions, please email myself or michelle@azmam.org.

 

If you want to sign up to volunteer, do so here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Current Events
Nov. 22, 2016

Is Your Dated Kitchen the Reason Your Home Won't Sell?

When it comes to home buyers, there are a few deal-breakers. While deal-breakers can vary from one home buyer to the next, we do know a few things that can make a home buyer go from wanting to sign on the dotted line to running out of your home.

That would be your dated kitchen.

When home buyers see a dated kitchen, they see $$$. And while you may be thinking, "But Tonia, it costs a fortune to update a kitchen! Why would I want to put in that extra dough?" And the answer is as simple as whether or not you are serious about selling your home. 

Don't worry though, there are various ways that you can update your kitchen on a budget! 

If it is not possible to replace appliances, countertops, cabinets, etc. there are plenty of other ways to spruce up your kitchen that will appeal to today's buyers!

Realtor Mag, suggests painting your cabinets white for an inexpensive way to brighten up a dull kitchen. Add some new hardware to your cabinets to instantly improve the look of your kitchen. There's also the option of doing a DIY backsplash of mosaic subway tile to really create a sleek look (use SimpleMat to install without mortar)! Another really easy and inexpensive way is to add LED undercabinet lights for around $40! 

The point is, don't be overwhelmed at the idea of updating your kitchen! Most of the project ideas above will come in around or below $500. It is always important to remember that dated kitchens (and bathrooms) can be major barriers when it comes to reselling your home. And for landlords, updating your kitchen in your rental homes will create a more appealing property and increase the rental price.

If you're ready to sell your home, click here for a FREE and INSTANT home valuation! And if you're ready to find your new home with that updated kitchen, start your home search here!

Nov. 15, 2016

How President-Elect Donald Trump is Affecting Mortgage Interest Rates

Now that things have settled a little bit since the election, we have an idea about how Trump’s victory will have an impact economically. 

Current Rates

The estimates below are based on someone with a credit score of 740.

FHA 30 year fixed: 3.75% - 3.875%

Conventional Financing: 4.125% - 4.25%

 

Down payment assistance rates (as of 11/14/16) - plan on these to go higher:

Home In 5 FHA: 4.375%

Home Plus Conventional: 5.0%

Pathway to Purchase Conventional: 4.5%

 

We will eventually see these rates plateau, but most likely things will get worse before they get better. In the past three days we have seen rates increase significantly by 0.5 - 0.625%. This definitely affects buyers currently looking for homes at the top of their price point. Between last Wednesday and yesterday, we have lost a total of 280 basis points. What that means is that in order to get the same rate on a $100,000 loan a buyer would have to pay $2,800 or 2.8 origination points.

Below the graph shows us the trend of mortgage interest rates, the green indicates that rates are improving while the red tells us that rates are going up. As you can tell, this graph shows us visually what we have been seeing with mortgage interest rates since the election.

Inflation and Interest Rates

Investors and economists alike believe that the election of Trump and a Republican congress, a new era of spending on infrastructure, tax cuts, and new trade policies. All of this together will lead to a rise in inflation. 

The increase in money floating around in the economy - from spending and tax cuts – will push the Federal Reserve to raise the interest rates.

According to Joe Hanson at VIP Mortgage, we have already seen this rise in interest rates taking place. It is also more likely than not that we will see continued increase unless there is some stumble in the economy.

Overview

There is no true and confident prediction in how the economy will behave under President-elect Trump, however, economists do believe that there is a 75% chance that the Fed will raise interest rates when they meet in mid-December.

None of this should scare you. Currently, interest rates are still low and it is a great time to buy. 

If you want to catch the market before interest rates rise, start your home search here.

Nov. 8, 2016

The Time to List is Now!

Recent National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports are indicating that now is a great time to sell! We all know the basics - it is best to sell when supply is low and demand is high - and the recent NAR reports indicate just that. Taking a look at the Pending Home Sales Report and Existing Home Sales Report, we can see this occuring.

Pending Home Sales Report

Pending home sales are homes that are entering into contract and have increased by 2.4% from last year which also means that 22 out of the past 25 months, pending home sales have increased. 

According to the NAR's Chief Economist, the most prominent predicament of the current market is that the low supply of homes on the market are leading to home prices appreciating faster than wages and there are shortages of homes at affordable prices.

Existing Home Sales Report

Existing home sales refers to homes that make up the current inventory of homes. This report showed us that while total housing inventory has risen by 1.4%, unsold inventory has been in steady decline for 16 months, declining by 6.8% in the past year.

Inventory has been tight all year, and with current inventory only projected to last for 4.5 months, we are still in, and predicted to stay in, a seller's market. The lack of inventory means that barring a large influx of supply (including new home construction), home prices will continue to rise.

What All of This Means

Bottom line, with demand high and supply low, it could definitely be the right time to get your home on the market.

To get started in the listing process, get an INSTANT and FREE home evaluation by clicking here. If you want a true professional on your side to fight for your dream home in a competitive market, start your home search here.

Oct. 31, 2016

Monthly Market Update

As we close out the month of October and usher in November, it's time to take a look at how the pricing across the valley has been behaving.

Predictions vs Reality

The Cromford Report predicted that we would be seeing a price per square foot ($/sqft) of $139.37. The good news is that we are above that by 2.2%, sitting at a $/sqft of $142.45! This still falls in the range that The Cromford Report predicted, but in the upper bounds. 

Below is a graph that shows the appreciation of $/sqft focusing on the West Valley and homes under $500,000.

It is expected that the average $/sqft will rise another 0.7% to 142.97 by mid-November, so we'll have to keep our eyes on the lookout!

Highest Price Per Square Foot of 2016?

Michael Orr predicts that with the slower summer season closing and the regained upward momentum, we can likely expect to see the highest $/sqft of 2016 sometime in December.

If you're looking to start your home search, click here. Or, if you're thinking about selling your home, get started by getting an INSTANT and FREE home valuation here.