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Labor Day Trivia Contest- Answer and Winners!

Thank you everyone who participated in the Labor Day Trivia Contest!

Question: (Click photo if you want to watch video from last week)

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When did it become “Faux Pas” and why to wear white after Labor Day?

The Answer is:

http://digg.com/2015/why-cant-you-wear-white-after-labor-day

Congratulations to Heathyr Everson, Charla Larson & Azure Allen for winning our drawing!

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Location, Location, Location!!!

Location, Location, Location!!! That said, where does your home rank on this list? There really hasn’t been too much movement on the top 5 list over the years but what is interesting is to see which towns have gained momentum or lost this past year. Check out the data!

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Real Estate Market Update for June

Compliments of the Cromford Report- Beginning of June

Many people new to the Valley ask where they should move too, since our Valley is so huge, we do cover a lot of ground in just Maricopa county alone… That said, you may be a little surprised to see who’s been more popular these last 2 years as far as purchases being made. The Cromford Report - Cromford Market Index - By Major CityThis first chart is comparing the cities of Chandler, Scottsdale, Avondale and Surprise in weekly sales volume, interesting to see that Avondale has become increasing popular the last 2 years, more so than the rest, followed closely by Chandler, then Surprise and lastly Scottsdale.  Some may guess that it is the availability of land for the Builders which is impacting those numbers; however the chart is purely for RE-sale homes… things that make you go hmmmm….

 

Dashboard 1This chart is showing the listing volume by calendar month, for single family homes all over Maricopa county- since year 2000…. I’ve written about it before, December is actually a way better month over January to sell your home, way less competition…. But demand isn’t as high as it is in the spring time… the lowest month for selling competition from March to October happens to be July… so both go against the common thought that during the “Summer Doldrums” when it’s hot as heck in Phoenix or December when everyone is Xmas shopping isn’t a good time to sell your home.  I’d have to disagree!

The following is the official Cromford report we subscribe to and are happy to share with our clients, for those of you who may be a little geeky like me and like reading numbers- please enjoy!  For those that are not, just focus on what I bolded so you get the jist. 🙂

Starting with the basic ARMLS numbers for June 1, 2017 and comparing them with June 1, 2016 for all areas & types:

Active Listings (excluding UCB): 18,476 versus 20,979 last year - down 11.9% - and down 3.9% from 19,228 last month
Active Listings (including UCB): 23,281 versus 25,941 last year - down 10.3% - and down 4.4% compared with 24,345 last month
Pending Listings: 7,324 versus 7,791 last year - down 6.0% - and down 3.0% from 7,552 last month
Under Contract Listings (including Pending, CCBS & UCB): 12,129 versus 12,753 last year - down 4.9% - and down 5.2% from 12,796 last month
Monthly Sales: 9,805 versus 8,750 last year - up 11.9 - and up 11.1% from 8,825 last month
Monthly Average Sales Price per Sq. Ft.: $150.53 versus $142.29 last year - up 5.8% - but down 0.4% from $151.18 last month
Monthly Median Sales Price: $240,000 versus $225,198 last year - up 6.6% - and up 3.2% from $232,500 last month
Supply is still significantly lower than last year, but not quite as much as last month, when there was a 13.3% gap in terms of active listings with no contract.

The monthly sales rate is up almost 12% compared with a year ago. This time May 2017 has a one working day advantage over May 2016, which accounts for 4.8% of that rise. In April we saw only a 3% rise, but allowing for the extra working day in April 2016, we get roughly the same result for both months. The year over year comparison adjusted for number of working days is 7.2% for May and 7.8% for April. So although the unadjusted figures suggest May was stronger than April, the truth is that sales faded just a bit on a sales rate per working day basis. We apologize for being so pedantic, but we are looking for real signs of a trend here. The trend is very slightly down.

Further sign that demand is on a weakening trend is coming from the pending and under contract numbers, both of which are down from last year, down from last month and further down from last year than they were last month. These are all consistent signals that demand, though strong, is losing a little steam. The contract ratio confirms this, dropping back from its peak at the beginning of May.

Buyers should not get too excited by these trends because they are so minor. We are still in a market where demand exceeds supply and any change in the balance is quite small. In fact we have seen the most stable readings for the Cromford® Market Index over the last 5 months that we have seen for any 5 month period since 2001.

There are a few changes going on the market nevertheless:

townhouse / condo homes are gaining market share over single-family detached homes
new homes are gaining market share over re-sales
supply is dropping faster in Pinal County than Maricopa County
sales volume is picking up in several of the more expensive areas
sales volume is dropping in the lowest price ranges, mainly due to the lack of available supply
We have a stable and healthy market in which prices continue to climb well in excess of inflation except in a few isolated areas among the more expensive parts of the valley. At the moment there is little sign of change but there really is no guarantee we won't see something unexpected during June. We scan the numbers on a daily basis looking for anomalies or changes in existing trends. Rest assured that the Cromford® Report will advise you as soon as we see anything important

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Another FREE YETI contest – client appreciation time!

 

Please watch my quick video for all of the details, but mainly I’m looking for info about my past clients so that I can keep better in touch with them and keep the personalized experience for them going even after they have bought and/or sold a home with my office. 

Just send me an email with the following info to enter to win at team@integrityallstars.com;

1.What’s your Birthday? 

2.What’s your Wedding Anniversary and the name of your Spouse?

3.What’s your favorite restaurant here in town?

Bonus ? 4.Something interesting I didn’t get to find out about you when I was helping you with your real estate needs, I’d love to know!  Please share 🙂 I’ve gotten a couple of fun stories already- keep them coming!

If you are not a past client (yet) but still want to enter our contest- please feel free to enter!  You just need to email us your contact info with the above info so we have a way to contact you in case your name is the one we draw in next week’s video.

Call us with any questions at 480-243-4242 or if you have any Real Estate needs we can help you out with too!

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GOOD Contractor Relationships are so important!

We have found over the years- that GOOD Contractors that are honest, reliable, hard working, ethical and that show up are really hard to find sometimes!!!  We’ve created a list of people that fit that bill! James and I have personally used and referred these contracts to many of our clients over the years.

Recently, my own Mom (sorry Mom for sharing) didn’t wait for my referral for a new soft water installation in her new home and the guy who did the work flooded her home and she is now trying to recover her damages in small claims court.  What a nightmare! 

Most of the Contractors on our below list are also people that helped James and I remodel the last flip we did- so please watch the below quick quick video – in the background are pictures featuring a lot of their work. 

Below that, we even have a before slide show, so you can really see how good they are. 

If we can help our clients save $$$ money on their homes, we are happy to do so!  Therefore, we work hard to maintain this list with only our favorite people we trusted ourselves or that come highly recommended from people we know and trust.

(IF you’re curious what it looked like before our contractors started working on it… See below)

Many of the contractors on our list are also helping us build our new office coming soon next door to the new Alamo Movie theatre in South Chandler/Ocotillo.  We will be having a showroom with lots of samples to check out as well. We can’t wait to invite you out to check it out!  (We are hoping by August).  ("Like" the Facebook page to stay posted on our progress and hear about other offerings from our new neighbors too!)

In the meantime, this is our current list & we are always looking to improve it with good quality contractors; so if you know of someone that should be added, please let us know by emailing us at team@integrityallstars.com or calling 480-243-4242- Thanks!

(PS If you’re having a hard time reading the list, just contact us and we can shoot it over via email as well 🙂 )

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DON’T FRET IF YOU’RE NOT GETTING A TAX REFUND THIS YEAR- WE CAN HELP EITHER WAY!

A lot of people will wait to get a tax refund and then use that for a down payment on a new home… which is a great strategy and NOTHING wrong with that BUT if you’re not getting a refund, haven’t filed yet (like me), or just have other plans for that money- you can still buy a home without it because there are several down payment assistance programs out there, below are just a few of them provided by Lanie Martin of Guild Mortgage. 


Six years ago I wrote a blog http://integrityallstars.com/are-you-currently-renting-now-really-is-the-time-to-buy-get-off-that-fence-before-you-miss-the-bus/ showing the tax savings of owning a home or basically the net effective payment after those savings are taken into consideration- What I mean by that is if you’re renting a home you may not realize that the equivalent rent vs mortgage payment can be substantial.  Mind you I wrote this blog in 2010, when the market was in the barrels of the “downturn” and prices have come up quite a bit- but not the rates, in fact they are just about the same as they were back then… which is great news.

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This is NOT A BUBBLE April Market Update

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SLIDE ABOVE COMPLIMENTS OF THE CROMFORD REPORT- Explains why analysts do not feel the current market is like last time it crashed and burned and that it’s not a “bubble” waiting to burst.

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Cromford report- FULL Market Summary for the Beginning of April

Starting with the basic ARMLS numbers for April 1, 2017 and comparing them with April 1, 2016 for all areas & types:

Active Listings (excluding UCB): 19,810 versus 22,493 last year - down 11.9% - but up 0.8% from 19,648 last month
Active Listings (including UCB): 24,794 versus 27,398 last year - down 9.5% - but up 2.2% compared with 24,269 last month
Pending Listings: 7,572 versus 7,522 last year - up 0.7% - and up 5.3% from 7,194 last month
Under Contract Listings (including Pending, CCBS & UCB): 12,556 versus 12,427 last year - up 1.0% - and up 6.3% from 11,815 last month
Monthly Sales: 9,259 versus 8,363 last year - up 10.7% - and up 41.8% from 6,530 last month
Monthly Average Sales Price per Sq. Ft.: $148.41 versus $140.88 last year - up 6.1% - and up 0.5% from $147.64 last month
Monthly Median Sales Price: $230,000 versus $217,000 last year - up 6.0% - and unchanged from $230,000 last month
Supply is significantly down from last year, especially in terms of active listings that are not in UCB or CCBS status. A drop of 12% is not to be sneezed at and makes life hard for most buyers.

The monthly sales rate is very strong, up almost 11% from last year, though this year over year growth is a little less than we saw last month. Surprisingly, we are not seeing the same growth in pending listings or in listings under contract. These are running close to last year's numbers.

Pricing continues to advance, though not at any alarming rate. In fact the median sales price is unchanged from last month. This just shows one of the disadvantages of medians - they tend to cluster at round numbers, like $230,000, and resist moving by small amounts. Our more reliable indicator, average $/SF indicates an appreciation rate of 6.1%, better than last month's 4.8%.

When we examine the monthly sales rate by price range, things get more interesting. Sales are way down under $175,000, dropping by 29%. Above $175,000, sales have grown 20%. The best performing price ranges are:

$500,000 to $600,000 - up 40%
$350,000 to $400,000 - up 39%
Over $3 million - up 38%
$1 million to $1.5 million - up 35%
$400,000 to $500,000 - up 29%
$800,000 to $1 million - up 29%
$1.5 million to $2 million - up 29%
We note signs of recovery in the higher end of the luxury market, at least in terms of sales volumes.

The weakest price range was $300,000 to $350,000 which only managed to grow 5%.

There is little sign of relief for the supply shortage and buyers must be grateful that prices are rising by only 6.1% per year. It could be a lot worse.

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We recommend getting out there before rates/prices go any higher!!! Give our office a call today at 480-243-4242 to get started if you aren’t already out shopping.

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Thinking about a BRAND New home instead of an existing home? IF so, then you need to watch this!

Did you know that a BUYER does not pay us to help them find a new home?  The Builder does- but it sure could cost you if you go into an office without representation. Watch this quick vid for more info why!

 

To avoid the lines tomorrow- please RSVP @ http://bellagohomes.com/grandopen/ and while you're out there you will see some amazing deals and beautiful homes!

 

And in the event you already have a home you'd need to sell first, check out our cool valuation tool, includes much more than just a Zestimate...  And as always, feel free to call us for help if you're ready to Buy &/or Sell a home!

 

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Winner of the YETI cooler plus our very own dancing YETI

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Of course before we share the video drawing of the winner of our raffle contest… We first, must share some Real Estate news… I saw a lot of hype this week about the FEDs raising rates by .25%…

SO, MORTGAGE rates actually dropped as most times in anticipation of these kinds of announcements the markets react ahead of time and I guess most simply said, the market wasn’t as Bullish as was anticipated- so the mortgage rates actually went down after the announcement and not up?!

So don’t let the fear of rising rates keep you out of the market, as what we are seeing are due to demand that home prices have only been on the rise.  In the FHA price point of under $300k, it’s been quite competitive out there… Last week, one of my new listings in Gilbert priced in mid-200’s had 6 offers the first weekend for our Sellers to pick from- great for Sellers but for Buyers not so much… To Read more about how the “Supply Shortage Giving Buyers Headaches –West Valley and Southeast Valley In a Market Frenzy” <---Click Here

OF course if you are a Buyer, you can wait for the “Frenzy” to pass- but how much higher will the overall prices be when that happens??

In our opinion- waiting will only cost you more money in Sales price and possibly interest rate, so give us a call TODAY!

OK so now on to the DRAWING for the YETI COOLER WINNER- we will be doing this again, so don’t be too bummed if we didn’t draw your name.  Thank you to everyone who participated!  Small disclosure, those were GREEN glasses Rebecca was wearing in the video… but with the GREEN SCREEN, they picked up whatever background there was so sorry in advance if you find that annoying lol…

DRUMROLL PLEASE…… and be sure to watch to the very end lol 🙂

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Current Real Estate Market March 2017

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Who wants to WIN a YETI cooler???

It’s that time again- TRIVIA CONTEST TIME!!!  And it’s also one of our favorite times of the YEAR- St. Patty’s day is upon us.

To enter to win:

Either ask to be added to our database if you aren’t already in it and receive our regular real estate market updates.

Answer the question in the video correctly. Email us at team@integrityallstars.com if you aren’t already in our database (or just hit reply to the email if that’s how you are seeing this blog post).

That easy! 🙂

 

Drawing will be held/announced on St. Patty’s day- watch our next video to see if you win!

We will be running another YETI cooler contest very soon, but a FULL SIZE one in celebration of breaking ground and moving into our brand new office being built next door to the Alamo Movie Theatre in South Chandler/Ocotillo area- that one will have a couple more hoops to jump through, but it’s all in the name of fun. 

Good LUCK! (& Don’t wear GREEN LOL)

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THANK YOU CLIENTS!!!

We are so truly humbled and honored to have been awarded Top Customer Service and Most Sales in 2016 in all of Arizona- Without our clients, we’d be nothing- SO THANK YOU to everyone we’ve ever helped buy &/or sell a home and for your continued support, reviews, referrals- we have grateful hearts and look forward to continuing the tradition in 2017 and on!

We encourage anyone reading this to check out this documentary on Warren Buffett, he’s such an inspiration and one of the main reasons Berkshire Hathaway is more admired than even Disney… We used to own our own Real Estate company and couldn’t be happier to have moved it under the Berkshire Family Umbrella.

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Google Cardboard Glasses and Virtual Home Tours

Are we now in the era of TOTAL RECALL with the widespread use of affordable Google glasses from video games, movies to now touring homes from the seat of your own chair???

(Please click on photo below to watch my latest video on how they work!)image

Matterport Tours, also known as 3d Virtual Reality Home Tours have been in use for a couple of years now by yours truly and a few other high tech geeky Realtors- I even did a tutorial video back in 2015 on You Tube (click link here) because what I found was being such new technology, most did not know how to use it when they saw the link in our listings online.

NOW we’ve gotten into a whole ‘nother level of using this techie tool in order to sell homes, by incorporating Google glasses with those tours by downloading the app and using a pair of the glasses.  Will this also be the wave of the future?  I’m thinking so!  We will have several of these available at our new office for our clients to try for themselves as we’d love feedback.  We’ve heard some people say they get motion sickness because it’s THAT real of an experience… What do you think? We’d love to know as we are ordering these tours for most of our listings these days.

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NOBODY likes SURPRISES when it comes to selling their house- HOW YOU CAN AVOID IT WHEN YOU SELL YOURS!

So as of Feb 1, 2017, our purchase contracts have changed the way we are doing business when selling a home here in Arizona.  There are no longer "WARRANTABLE" items in the purchase contract where a seller is responsible for fixing items... really we are just getting with the program with how the rest of the country buys and sells homes, which means AS IS.  There was so much confusion with respect to the grey area of what was considered warrantable, that we had to have an attorney write an article explaining it to the licensed professionals out there because the majority of them were getting it wrong.  Basically said, the home had to be in Habitable condition unless an AS IS addendum was used so if there was something wrong with the plumbing, electrical, AC, etc... the Seller was on the hook to repair them regardless.  This new change is fantastic however what we are seeing now is more buyers canceling or demanding a price reduction as a result of things they find wrong in a home after a contract has been entered into since the seller no longer is required to fix these items.

When we are helping our sellers, we recommend finding out ahead of time what issues there may be in their home so they can elect to sell their home AS IS and fully disclose ahead of time any deficiencies in their home OR make those repairs themselves as part of the pre-list process.  This ensures they won't have ANY SURPRISES after they get their home SOLD, at least as far as their Buyer coming back either wanting to cancel or get a major price reduction as a result.

NOT all home inspectors are alike either!!! We have used also Rob Sell for years and when representing a Buyer, we really like how he takes the time to educate people on how the home they're planning to purchase operates and not only does a thorough inspection of the home but explains which items are of most importance.  Most home inspectors won't take the additional hour or so Rob does walking people through the home and pointing things out. 

Buyers don't like SURPRISES either when buying a home, so no matter whether it's before you sell or before you buy, we always want to see our clients get their home looked at by a licensed home inspector.

Market Update for January 27, 2017

Please watch my quick 2 minute video, It’s pretty good if I do say so myself 🙂

Also, besides whether it’s a good market, something else I get asked often is price points in different parts of town so I wanted to share with you the following maps I uploaded from the Cromford Report to show you different price points & where you’ll find homes in the Valley of the Sun based on those.  I only pulled single family DE-tached homes and gave no other search criteria….

BELOW 100000

 

Starting with homes under $100,000, as you can see our market has fully recovered officially and has for some time now as you’ll be hard pressed to find any home in the Valley for under $100,000. They are basically non existent these days…

 

 

 

 

 

On the other side of the equation- here’s the map where one would find Million Dollar plus homes for sale.  Primarily you see those in the Paradise Valley area, Scottsdale and Central Phoenix however there are a handful in other parts of the valley as well…

OVER A MILLION

And here goes the rest of the market- the following two maps are primarily FHA buyers, from $100,000-$300,000…  Under the $200,000 range is a little harder to find in the Southeast Valley these days with pockets in Mesa along the 60 corridor for the most part or out in San Tan Valley/Queen Creek.  Primarily you’ll find most of those in the West Valley but above $200,000 you should be able to find homes in most parts of the Valley…

100000 TO 200000200000 TO 300000

And Lastly, the MOVE UP Buyers which mainly consist of Conventional Buyers and Jumbo Loan/Cash Buyers in what are considered a little more upper scale neighborhoods.  From $300,000 to up to a Million Dollar homes, you should be able to find something in most parts of the Valley depending on where you prefer to live.

 

300000 TO 500000500000 TO 1000000

Whatever your price point, whatever area you are considering, our team not only is experienced but enjoys working with Buyers and Sellers both.  Please don’t hesitate to call us for help! 480-243-4242

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President-elect Trump & Mortgage Interest Rates

Right after the election results, our country went just a little nuts it seemed… regardless of which side you were on, it seemed the posts on Facebook especially were getting a little out of hand.  One article I did find of interest, which I shared (click the Facebook symbol above to see the post from that day with the comments from lender friends of mine) had some interesting predictions how Trump becoming President will effect our Real Estate market and we are already seeing one of those coming true with rising mortgage loan interest rates.  One comment to my post in particular made by Dillon Mcdonald of Alliance Home Loans I felt gave credence to some of the predictions.  Dillon not only commented that day but followed up with me the following information as well that I thought was worthy of sharing:

We have lost over 200 basis points on the secondary market (Formally known as the MBS - mortgage backed securities) since November 1st. This translates to roughly .5% to .75% higher for 30 year fixed interest rates. Depending on the details of the loan we were quoting mid 3% range previously but rates now are in the low 4% range.


This same subject actually reminds me of a blog I wrote 6 years ago, somewhat on this same topic… http://integrityallstars.com/are-you-currently-renting-now-really-is-the-time-to-buy-get-off-that-fence-before-you-miss-the-bus/ (I also talk about there the tax benefits of owning vs renting besides the difference in payment when rates rise. Ironically, the rates are very similar today to what they were 6 years ago when I wrote that blog, but not the prices…)

What happens is, as the rates go up, the amount of home one can qualify to get a mortgage loan for will decrease.  When you’re out house shopping, it can get pretty stressful when rates are on the rise, especially when locking them in only can happen once you’ve contracted for a home.  We do recommend making your move as a result sooner than later for sure as what we are hearing, no one is expecting them to go down again anytime soon.

Please give us a call at 480-243-4242 if you or someone you know may be in need of help soon! 

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HOT HOMES FOR SALE NOW!

July Real Estate Market update

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Monthly Sales Up 7.7%
Listings Under Contract Up 5.6%

For Buyers:
Unless you’re looking for a property in the lowest price ranges, there’s a decent amount of supply to choose from in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. As prices rise, most buyers will ad-just what they buy in terms of size or location in accordance with their budget. Over time, we’ve seen the average size home purchased continue to rise, even when prices were at their highest. For example, in 2002 the average sized home purchased was 1,607sf. It rose to 1,632sf in 2006, then 1,715 in 2011 and 1,762sf so far in 2016. Of properties sold under $200K in 2006, the average size is currently 1,388sf. Between $200K-$300K, the average size is 1,829sf. $300K-$500K is 2,385sf. $500K-$1M is 3,189sf. $1M-$2M is 4,421sf and over $2M is 6,338sf.

For Sellers:
The median sales price has risen a whopping $20,000 since January’s measure of $210,000, a 9.5% increase. This type of disparity can spur articles and discussion about real estate “bubbles” and rapid price appreciation. This looks very exciting for sellers until it’s compared to the price per square foot measure, which has only increased 1.5% from $138.73 to $140.84 during the same time frame. The difference in growth rates between the median sales price and the average sales price per square foot can be attributed to a shift in the composition of sales by price range. Due to the lack of supply of properties below $150,000, the Phoenix Metropolitan Area has seen a significant drop in percentage of sales in this price range. Simultaneously, there has been an increase in market share within the $200,000 - $300,000 price range where there is also more supply. The increase in supply over $200,000 keeps individual property appreciation per square foot more sustainable. However, because the under $150,000 market continues to lose market share as the over $200,000 market gains, the median sales price measure is pushed up higher than the rate of the average price per square foot. For the median measure to increase, sales over $230,000 would need to achieve 51% market share or more.

Commentary written by Tina Tamboer-Glatfelter, Senior Real Estate Analyst with The Cromford Report
©2016 Cromford Associates LLC and Tamboer Consulting LLC

June’s Real Estate Market Update

 

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Click image above or HERE for PDF version of the full article

Total Monthly Sales Up 3.4%
Monthly Median Sales Price Up 6.5% to $226,900

For Buyers
Welcome to June! The weather is heating up and Realtors are using oven mitts on lava-hot lockboxes and keys to show property. If you’re planning to continue your search into the summer, you may find some relief in the competition for that perfect property. While other potential buyers are distracted by graduations, vacations and weekend getaways, that leaves a slightly longer window of opportunity for snagging up those new properties that hit the market. Don’t expect current price trends to change anytime soon. There is still more demand than supply in many areas under $500,000 so expect sales prices to continue rising through the summer, especially for properties under $200,000.

For Sellers
This month we’ve introduced the Listing Success Rate into our graphic. This measure counts all of the listings that closed, canceled or expired over the last month and takes a percentage of those that closed. The current measure is 76.7%, which is very positive considering it was 66% at the end of 2014. The price ranges with the highest success rates are $100,000-$200,000 with 85% of listings successfully closing and only 15% cancelling or expiring followed by the $200,000-$300,000 price range with an 81% success rate. The higher price ranges over $500,000 are seeing lower success rates with those over $1M seeing more properties cancel or expire in a month than close. This is actually typical as many sellers in these price ranges choose to cancel their listings once temperatures reach over 100 degrees and relist when things cool off in October, causing a higher than normal cancellation rate for June.

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That damned foam cowboy hat…

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Coming up next next Friday June 24, 2016, I’ve been honored by the Arizona School of Real Estate and Business by being asked to speak on a panel with other extremely top producing well known highly experienced agents on the topic “50 ways to Sell a Listing”.  I feel very humbled.  I can’t say it enough.  With that said, I have had to reminisce about all the struggles and hard work it’s taken me to get to this point in my career. 

I’ve been so very blessed to have had many fans and supporters, mentors, colleagues, clients and good friends cheer me on, but I have to admit- I didn’t get here without my share of failures

One in particular; still, when I allow the “gremlins” to sneak in, makes me want to run crying to the safety under my bedcovers to hide my head and squeeze my eyes shut in hopes of making the memory of the horror of it all to also squeeze right out of my head…

I now know without a doubt it was that event that played a big part of who I am today professionally and had I not fought to overcome my “gremlins”, I never would have accepted the General Sales Manager position offered to me a few years later.  It was the fear of failure, that I’d make a fool of myself again and be vulnerable to experience that same trauma again- I found just the thought of it unbearable.  Being a GSM meant I’d have to get in front of 300+ people in the monthly company wide meetings and actually sound like a competent person let alone speak in front of many of the same sales people who witnessed my most professionally humiliating moment, knowing some would be hoping for a repeat.  The little girl in my head kept screaming that it could happen again and then what… ?  I almost didn’t take that job and had I not, I would never had learned so much of what I rely on today to succeed in this ever so competitive field I love so much- Real Estate. 

clip_image001Remembering back, I believe it was spring 2003, a little over 13 years ago.  I was no rookie by definition with 10 years under my belt, but boy did I sure feel like one that fateful morning when I was about 7 months pregnant with my daughter Sarah. I remember the paisley dark blue and crème maternity dress from Motherhood Maternity I wore that day. I sat in a regular weekly sales meeting for the Builder I worked for at the time, then known as Trend homes (better known today after acquisitions and merger as CalAtlantic Homes), surrounded by the other 25+ competitive sales people I worked with.  I had a pit in my stomach that grew louder and louder every time my sales manager at the time, Joel Huston, shook his damned foam cowboy hat full of names… Inevitably my name was in that pile… knowing at any moment it could be my turn- I could feel my heart racing- eeeek!  “How did I mess up our assignment so badly?” I wondered and wondered while praying under my breath that it would NOT be me called next, but rather the person across from me…

We were having a dreaded Role playing exercise and our assignment was to explain the features and benefits and sharing our 2 minute elevator speech about our neighborhood we were assigned to sell homes in.  However, I completely missed the mark and misunderstood what my manager wanted from us, which I figured out very quickly when I heard the ever so smooth Dave McNichol go as he was called on first… I could hear my heartbeat so loudly in my ears as I sat uncomfortably rocking side to side in my chair… luckily the next person called on wasn’t me either… “Oh Thank God” I kept thinking but the fear was relentless because I just knew- just knew I wasn’t going to get off scott-free… lost in my thoughts of what was I going to do if I was called on- and then, all of a sudden, it happened… just what I was so terrified of, “Rebecca, you’re next….” I’m sure I was sweating bullets, stuttering like a fool, it was so bad when I stood up to give my presentation that not only was I extremely uncomfortable- everyone else in the room had to of been too… Someone I didn’t know hardly at all at the time (ended up being a dear friend) came up to me afterwards and said he just kept thinking that I needed to say my stomach hurt and sat down to escape the self inflicted humiliation I put myself through.  Ok, maybe he wasn’t that blunt but boy, did I get the point!  Oh the horror!  With every stutter I could feel my face get hotter and I wanted nothing more than to crawl under the conference table, get out of sight and in the fetal position to suck on my thumb until I soothed myself to sleep…..praying I’d wake from the nightmare.  I think what made me even more flustered was that I knew that there were many in that room at the time that loved every minute of my embarrassment and when I saw the glances clip_image001being exchanged between them, I only did worse.  Shaken, I finally sat down after which, you could hear a pin drop.  I can’t even remember the details as I think my flight or fight kicked in by then along with all the estrogen from being 7 months pregnant, so the details may have been partially blocked out to protect the innocent- but I’m pretty sure, that damned foam cowboy hat was retired that day after my epic failure that scarred me for quite sometime.

Seems that with success, many times comes critics, naysayers, people wishing for failure… at least that’s what the “gremlins” whisper in my head when I am thinking about this fateful public appearance.  Actually I’ve been learning that it’s when we are our authentic selves and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, is when we grow and learn the most.  It’s those moments that define us.  We can choose to let them keep us frozen, bitter, in the blame mode OR we can choose to overcome our fears and face them!  The first thing I did when I accepted that management position was start teaching contract law for New Homes @ASREB to force myself out of my comfort zone and start practicing more public speaking in order to improve.  Today, I have appeared in many Real Estate themed videos and even was interviewed by Channel 3 live on the morning news just 6 months ago.  I’ve come a long way since that 30 year old 7 month pregnant lady stuttered like a fool in front of her peers but I am so thankful for the experience and extremely grateful I still get to speak about my passion to anyone who will listen to me today.

Your A/C unit, this weekend’s HEAT WAVE, BIG warning- please read if you live in AZ and own a home!!!

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I direct this blog to all homeowners (landlords/owner occupants alike) with a HUGE warning as we will be having RECORD temps this weekend and currently 1 of our beloved clients that just closed escrow on their home is being completely screwed over right now by Choice Home Warranty and I really think it’s an important trending topic to MAKE ALL OF YOU AWARE so this doesn’t happen to you too!

Lessons learned dealing with recent AC issues for both our client and ourselves:#1 NOT ALL Home Warranty Companies are alike, #2 just like your car, your AC needs regular maintenance not just to extend the life of the unit- but to ensure you have coverage on your AC in the event it fails under these harsh AZ temps and you need to call in a claim on your home warranty. #3 You get what you pay for #4 Don’t let your dog pee on your AC unit(s).

The story of Diane and Chad in Goodyear AZ… These wonderful clients of ours bought a home from a lady who was having some personal issues and when it came to the condition/maintenance/etc… there’s definitely a lot of work my clients knew they were in for after closing. HOWEVER, because they did a Home Inspection prior to closing (with a reputable inspector) and found issues with the AC that were fixed by the Seller/warranty company during the escrow period (& the same warranty policy transferred over to them which doesn’t expire until August), they didn’t think they’d be staring at a $3k bill today and most likely will have to sue Choice Home Warranty in small claims court if they do not step up to fix their AC like they should.

About a month ago, my husband & I experienced a disappointing situation ourselves with our own AC for our 3 year old Shea home.  It prompted us to purchase a Platinum Warranty with Old Republic immediately on our own home with the Star coverage that allows us to have our units serviced for a reduced price annually.  Basically our ACs were covered completely first 2 years we owned our new home by the manufacturer via our Builder’s warranty dept, but after year 2, only parts.  Our coil went bad on one of the units- turns out our lab was peeing on it 🙁 and it cost us $2k for labor/Freon.  What we found out in dealing with this is it’s a new trend by builders, manufacturers and warranty companies to deny any coverage IF you can’t prove you serviced your AC unit during the previous 12 months?!?! Most of us don’t think about our AC unit until it’s not working properly, so yet another lesson learned- give yourself an annual reminder in early Spring to get those AC’s serviced and ready to go for the long hot upcoming Summer. AGAIN NOT just to ensure coverage, but increase efficiency and the lifetime of the unit itself.

In case you’re curious… the following is a list of what “they” consider “servicing” but notice- everyone seems to be finding a way to exclude coverage for anything expensive like coils or compressors, so take care of those expensive units! 

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Document1The scoundrels currently denying coverage for our clients are Choice Home Warranty, check out these horrible reviews- click on the image---> for link!!! Don’t USE THEM!!! And if you’re a Realtor- DON’T let your clients use them either!!!!!

May Real Estate Market Update

2016-05 Infographic and Commentary_Page_1

(Click on photo above or here to download PDF document)

Listings Under Contract Up 6.5%
Monthly Median Sales Price Up 9.9%

For Buyers
May is often the last month of “buyer season” before the summer slowdown. In anticipation
of hotter temperatures, graduations and upcoming summer vacations, many home buyers
would prefer to get their contracts into escrow and closed before the end of June. As a result,
there are many areas of the valley where there are currently more properties in escrow than
active for sale. Not surprisingly, those areas are concentrated where the average sale price is
under $250,000 in parts of the Southeast Valley (such as North Tempe, West Mesa, North
Chandler and North Gilbert), South Phoenix, and most of the West Valley. This is temporary,
buyers can expect relief from competing offers in the summer months if they choose to brave
the higher temperatures.

For Sellers
Overall sales have been following 2015 pretty closely thus far. April was down less than 1%
from April last year, but year-to-date sales are up 2.5% as of week 19. The main difference is
in the activity by price range. Sales under $175,000 have been declining year-over-year for
the past 9 months with April 2016 down 18.4% from April 2015. This is not due to low demand,
but low supply of homes available for sale. April sales between $175,000 and
$600,000 are up 15% year-over-year and down 9.3% over $600,000. The big difference between
these price points is the level of supply. It’s chronically low in the bottom price ranges
and too high at the top, causing vastly different experiences for sellers. Properties selling under
$175,000 are experiencing annual appreciation around 10% since the beginning of
2016. Middle range properties are seeing around 3-5% annual appreciation, and the high end
properties over $500,000 are experiencing flat appreciation rates at best with some price
ranges at the very top seeing negative annual appreciation.

Commentary written by Tina Tamboer-Glatfelter, Senior Real Estate Analyst with The Cromford Report
©2016 Cromford Associates LLC and Tamboer Consulting LLC

Integrity-Technology-Security-5-Professionalvas2

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

Recently we reached out to our database asking for help to rename a video we posted both on Facebook and via email.  Boy, did they rise to the occasion!?! THANK YOU to everyone who participated!

We had a ton of replies to go through and narrowed it down to the top few, of which we ended up combining into one name.  We also plan to use the new tag line/title for other future marketing purposes as well, besides the renaming of the video above… so it was really important we didn’t make a rash decision.

JUST KNOW- We really did struggle because there were so many GREAT ideas given! (Just FYI- James does do a lot more than sleep most work days btw HAHA!)

One worth mentioning that caught our eyes (even though we didn’t end up going with it) was “Far Beyond Driven”.  Simply put, it rang true!  (Not to mention there’s a few scenes in the video of Rebecca actually driving, so nice play on words to the person who submitted that one!)

Drumroll please….

The winners were a combination of “#IWorkForYou”, “Sunrise to Sold”, and “Integrity, From Dawn to Dusk” creating the NEW TITLE of our last video: #IntegritySunrisetoSold

How we came up with the winner:

#1 “#IWorkForYou” The use of hashtags # is a great way to tag different posts online and keep a trending history of various related posts and to also help to catch the attention of all those Millennial Clients that will only search online for their next home or Agent.

#2 “Sunrise to Sold” Truth be told, Rebecca is much more of a morning girl than a night owl and it’s true that we never give up until our job for our client is done, period.  Even after we’ve successfully helped a client close on either/or/both the sale/purchase of a home- we stay in touch and remain in service perpetually. We hope this part helps to convey that commitment to our clientele that we want to be a part of their lives indefinitely.

#3 “Integrity, From Dawn to Dusk” While similar to #2, it has a with a very important component- the word INTEGRITY. When Rebecca first opened Integrity All Star Realty back in late 2007, it was important then and remains an important part of our business today.  We pride ourselves in following through and always keeping the clients interest as a priority. We do “Walk the Talk” and if ever fall short (as we are human), we will make sure to make it right- whatever the issue may be!

We know the value of treating people right and keeping our clients “for life”.  We pride ourselves on the number of repeat clients we have and the tremendous reviews and referrals they are willing to post and share on our behalf. WE TRULY are GRATEFUL for each and every one of them.  THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH that we are speaking about!!!

If you are a past client and haven’t had a chance to toot our horn yet, but would still like to, please visit: http://integrityallstars.com/about/review/

We will be reaching out to our winners and notable mention this week to award their prizes! Congrats!!

April Real Estate Market Update

2016-04 Infographic and Commentary_Page_1

(Click on photo above or here to download PDF document)

Sales Up 7% Over 2015
Median Sales Price Up 6.4%
Active Listings Up 1%

For Buyers
For the first time since November 2014, supply is higher than it was the previous year. This is generally good news for buyers, as it means there are more listings competing for their attention. However, buyers looking for homes under $200,000 will find this is not true. The Phoenix Metropolitan area is still nearly 19% below normal in supply, with the lower price ranges in the shortest sup-ply. Sales under $200,000 have made up 45.5% of all sales in the last 12 months, so this is a significant market to be in short supply. Buyers looking over $300,000 are experiencing an 11% increase in supply valley wide. The increased competition is resulting in a 19% increase in weekly price reductions compared to this time last year, especially among listings over $500,000.

For Sellers
The good news for sellers is that contracts in escrow are up 5% and sales are also up 7% over last year. Demand has been rising over the past month and seasonally is close to its highest level for buyer activity. Sellers who wish to list their home at the “peak” of buyer activity should not wait too much longer. April and May are typically the highest months for buyer activity before slowing down in the summer months. This is especially true in the luxury market over $500,000. It’s not uncommon for buyer contract activity to drop anywhere from 25%-40% between May and August as seasonal buyers head towards cooler climates.

Commentary written by Tina Tamboer-Glatfelter, Senior Real Estate Analyst with The Cromford Report
©2016 Cromford Associates LLC and Tamboer Consulting LLC

Need your help PLEASE?! NOT an April Fools prank- promise! FREE $$$ involved!

Happy April Fool’s Day!,

First off: This morning I came across the following in case you need some help coming up with a good prank to play on someone today- I love the first one personally lol 

Also, if you’re interested in the latest Real Estate Market update for the month of March, click here.  We will send out the April one soon, most likely with the result of our contest to rename our latest video….

OK this is what I need your help with…

Please click this Facebook link to my page and watch the quick video we just had produced- I’m willing to pay someone $100 if we end up using their idea- what I NEED YOUR HELP with is Renaming this video with something catchier than “A Day in the Life” that we will use for future marketing purposes.  In order to enter, we just need you to post your idea on the page for a new title name, but before you do, if you haven’t yet left a review on there in the past or written your experience about our services, I ask you kindly do so while you’re on the page since our client’s experiences are so importance to us!

In the spirit of FREE $$$ MONEY, I did also want to let you know that our company Berkshire Hathaway (owned by Warren Buffet) is hosting a sweepstakes between now and June 17th. They are giving away $50,000 at the end of the sweepstake and $2,500 once a week until that date.

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Save $$$ on your HOME, who doesn’t want to do that?

New Buyer

Just last week we were lucky enough to help first time home Buyer Charlee Hansen finally get the long awaited keys to her new home- she was so excited, she couldn’t wait to have dinner there.  It was super cute and we were so happy for her and her boyfriend!

With that said, when surfing the internet, I came across this great article of advice that one of our favorite title company reps had posted on Facebook and it brought Charlee along with all of our other clients immediately to mind. 

PLEASE CLICK on their photo to read the ARTICLE:

19 Things a New Homeowner Should Do Immediately to Save Money

 

There are sooooo many wonderful tips that everyone should look into doing for their home.

 

We have also compiled a list of TRUSTED VENDORS AND CONTRACTORS we’d like to share with you as my husband and I just finished working on a fix and flip in Sun Lakes and just about everyone below helped us finish that full remodel.  We also have a Concierge Dept we can turn to for referrals, so if you’re in need of a contractor that isn’t on the list below- let us know and we’ll get you some names to check out!

ROB SELL HOME INSPECTIONS- 602-908-7355

GRANITE- Marco M&N Granite fabricator- 602-510-0117

Arizona Tile “boneyard” in Tempe to buy actual slab(s)- 480-893-9393 1235 W Greentree Dr Tempe

FLOORING (TILE/CARPET/PAD)- Paul Martin- 480-458-1506 Tempe Dzign Cntr
MASTER SHOWER/KITCHEN BACKSPLASH TILE- Paul Martin- 480-458-1506 Tempe Dzign Cntr

PAINTER- Mike Jungblunth- 480-274-8538
CABINET PAINTER (ALSO DOES GENERAL CONTRACTOR WORK)- Arturo Plascencia of APC Painting 623-204-1592

LANDSCAPER- Benny Vasquez 480-200-6788

ROOFER- Safe Star Construction- Julio or Sergio 480-241-9396

DRYWALL COMPANY- Hayden Lane Drywall-480-699-4188

FRAMER- Chris Mikesell-480-241-3528

PLUMBER- Brian Paterson- Tesco Precision- 480-620-8503

APPLIANCES- Spencers by San Tan Mall- ask for Dwayne Dixon 480-366-3900/602-312-4207

ELECTRICIAN- Jason/Apple Electric- 480-452-5276

DECORATOR/FURNTIURE SALES- La Casona Furniture, next to Ikea in Tempe- ask for owner Jose Luis Elias 480-598-6411 1746 W Ruby dr #101 in Tempe

DON’T WANT TO DEAL WITH SUBCONTRACTORS YOURSELF THEN CONTACT Mike Clemmons with CJ Construction 602-326-8036, specializes in ADA/Vet rehab work or Travis Neff 602-670-5978 http://www.icnaz.com/ (experienced in fire/water damage/restoration)

Master Movers- Tim Smith- 602-525-7396

Selections Window Coverings- Kevin Oestmann- 480-782-9293

Diane's Estate Sales- 480-433-5576 Diane Yoder

Integrity Audio/Video Bob Peterson- 602-740-9706

City Rankings, 5 yrs ago vs today

In October of 2011, I wrote a blog about the ranking of the cities in the Metro Phoenix area based on their price per sqft and the percentage of change from the previous year’s amounts…. The column on the right is the last rankings I pulled just a couple of days ago. 

Using Chandler as an example- it’s ranking #10 in the valley today with an average price of $138.75. That’s an increase of 3.8% on average from 2015, when the average for the city was $133.63.  Compare that to 2011/2010’s numbers and I think anyone would be convinced that the worse is way behind us…. In 2011, Chandler ranked #13 at a mere $93.51 a sqft which was DOWN from 2010 by 9.3% when Chandler had been $103.09 a sqft. 

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Truth be told, April of 2011 was our true bottom of the financial crisis- at least here locally…. It’s great to see that in the last 5+ years, our local Chandler market has rebounded by 32%, so while last year we saw an increase of 3.8%, the average in the last 5 years has been closer to 6% appreciation a year.  Those folks that bought in 2011 and still own today should be quite happy with themselves as they’ve done really well on their investments!

When we think back to a year ago, the market was tepid and not showing any of the positive signs that suddenly appeared in early February 2015. If you look at the daily market snapshot today you can see that almost all of the indicators are substantially more positive than they were a year ago, including:

  • days of inventory down 20%
  • annual sales rate up 10%
  • days on market (sales) down 10%
  • days on market (actives) down 7%
  • listing success rate up 6%
  • contract ratio up 29%

So we enter 2016 in much better shape than we entered 2015 (per the Cromford Report)

I personally feel a great momentum in our marketplace and expect 2016 to be a bustling year with lots of real estate changing hands… Don’t live in Chandler?  How’d your city you live in rank?  If you need help deciding whether now is a good time to jump into or out of this market, please feel free to contact our office for a no obligation consultation- 480-243-4242 as we are happy to help you with your real estate needs!

THE BIG SHORT- Have you seen it yet?

 

The_Big_Short_teaser_posterWell buckle your seat belts, that is if you’re NOT a millennial OR someone who wasn’t effected by the housing crash 10 years ago…

Me?  During the crash, I had been a Sales Manager for a local homebuilder with several rental properties at the peak of the market, many of which had 2 loans on them… When the market did crash, besides the joy I experienced (I’m being quite facetious at the moment) at letting go most of our Sales representatives we had at the time, I had the pleasure of either short selling or losing to foreclosure all of the properties I’d owned, went through a divorce with 2 young children and left my 6 figure job because I saw the writing on the wall and knew that builder was going to struggle to stay afloat- which not only did they file BK, but so did I ultimately…

So throughout the movie, I found myself moaning and groaning as I relived all the emotions every time I saw a flash of a bank like “Countrywide” or “Wachovia” on the screen or when they went into major description of the loans like the “Nina” loans which were No Income No Asset verification that were given basically to anyone with a pulse.

Basically the depths and layers of greed that facilitated all of the fraud that occurred leading up to and during the crash was astonishing to me….

25.-What-the-Big-Short-teaches-the-little-guySome notable quotes from the movie:

Jared Vennett: Tell me the difference between stupid and illegal and I'll have my wife's brother arrested.

______________________________

Mark Baum: I don't get it. Why are they confessing?

Danny Moses: They're not confessing.

Porter Collins: They're bragging.

 

 

 

 

 

Not only did I go through my own financial crisis which forced me to learn how to negotiate Short Sales; but in years 2008-2013, with the help of my team, we literally helped hundreds of people successfully avoid foreclosure by completing Short Sales themselves.  They were lengthy, stressful and dealing with the Banks that caused the mess was far from fun… The worse part for me was sitting at the dining table hearing the stories of loss, loss of job, income, etc… I saw many tears during those years which today I blame the majority of my grey hairs on. It’s a proven fact that home ownership makes happier homes, to the point of where I’ve seen studies where homeownership increases stability and benefits children directly with higher test scores.

So here we are in 2015, when looking around, seems life and the economy is much better than it was in general with employment rates and homeownership rates much much higher than it was during the crash.  I pray we’ve learned our lessons… the genius who predicted the crash sadly may not agree…

One thing I can tell you after my 22 year full time experience in this industry is that our Real Estate market is cyclical and if it seems too good to be true, then there probably is a catch.  I personally live a lot more conservatively than I did 10 years ago and rather than find myself in debt up to my eyeballs, I prefer to live beneath my means as I never want to go through that ever ever again. 

It’s a LOT more fun selling houses when my clients are making a profit and what’s even better is helping my past Short Sale clients become homeowners again, it truly is one of my favorite things to do today…

Christmas Trivia Contest

Greetings friends/fans/past clients of Integrity All Stars @ Berkshire Hathaway!  It’s getting to be that time again for another Trivia Contest!!!

Since we do have folks outside of Metro Phx area in our database that we serve, PLEASE participate too, if you win, we will substitute one of the following prizes with a $25 VISA gift card….

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Scan0001 1st Prize- Everyone local who reads this blog post can download a $5 coupon to Wild Vine Uncorked in South Chandler- so everyone is a winner!

2nd/3rd Prize- We have (2) sets of Harkin Movie Vouchers to give away for free popcorn and soda every time you go see a movie in 2016… I believe they will honor them for the remainder of 2015 as well so if you’re a movie buff, this one is for you…

Steph Massage.pdf2-page-0014th & 5th prizes- We have (2) gift certificates for 30 minute chair massage, either at work or home, they come to you from Comforts of Home Mobile Massage 

Julestemning3So… drumroll please… Here goes the contest questions:

? #1:  According to the Guinness World Records, How tall is  the tallest Christmas tree ever cut and where and when was it displayed?ktvk_azfamily

? #2: According to the video (click here) from when Rebecca Hidalgo Rains was interviewed last week by Scott Pasmore of Channel 3 news, what percentage of analysts expect the interest rates to rise in 2016?

We hope everyone has fun this Holiday season and is safe!  Please think of our team if you need any thing Real Estate related or anyone you know!

We will follow up with the answers, winners and Market recap of 2015/projections for 2016 after Christmas next week.  Our office will be closed 12/24 & 12/25 and also 12/31 and 1/1.  We will be available if needed, just call or txt- just working remotely over the long holiday weekends…. Cheers to a fantastic 2016!!!

Considering selling your home this Holiday Season?

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If you are, you MAY want to think twice before you give Ken Griswald a run for his money with the Christmas lights…

BUT DON’T GET ME WRONG… some Holiday decor is actually recommended.  The numbers show that demand during this season tends to wan some however the Buyers that do come out tend NOT to be tire kickers and usually are quite serious!!  If you follow our tips, you will have greater chances to sell your home during the holiday season!

Most of these tips are important to follow year round, but even more crucial this time of year:

  1. Clean thoroughly, De-Clutter and pack away what you don’t need and STAGE your home! Accentuate the positive- Dangle a little mistletoe to show off an entryway and be an equal opportunity decorator- don’t be overly religious so as not to turn off certain prospective Buyers.  Go easy on the lights and think about going with a skinnier tree so your home doesn’t feel cluttered.  Consider stashing wrapped gifts in a closet or stacked neatly in a corner. Curb appeal is especially important this time of year when trees have lost their leaves so spend some extra time sprucing up your front entryway.  A wreath or bowl of pinecones will help your home feel festive without going overboard.
  2. Use a Realtor that incorporates professional photography into your marketing, particularly twilight and aerial shots,  3d or live video as well.  ‘Tis the season to be busy… a lot of shopping will take place online- the key is to ensure your audience has plenty to look at to entice them to come see your home in person.  Get them emotionally involved so they are “sold” before they arrive to your doorstep by giving them lots to look at online.
  3. Once your prospective Buyer arrives, make sure your home is warm (physically) and inviting to all of their senses! Be accommodating with showing requests, everyone is busy busy busy! A little ambiance with candles, cider simmering on the stove or Holiday candles burning along with some light music and treats; so it smells good, feels good, sounds good, tastes good- will definitely go a long way with making your guests feel right at home.
  4. People are looking for deals year round, but especially this time of year.  Be sure to price your home right, sweeten your “deal” to make your home more appealing over your competition by offering an incentive like closing costs or a home warranty.  Pre-MLS marketing and inviting the neighbors over for a private open house are wonderful strategies to help get your home more attention sooner than later and help get it SOLD!

Please click HERE for full Cromford Report with more stats for month of November. If you’re thinking about selling, then it’s really important to know the current stats before you decide on your list price- what your neighbor sold for last summer will have little bearing today on your list price as the market has changed significantly since then.  The following is an excerpt from the full report:

The cooling trend that started gently in August has now developed more momentum. Things are getting better for Buyers and worse for Sellers.

  • Active Listings: 21,439 versus 24,846 last year - down 13.7% - but up 7.1% from 20,024 last month
  • Under Contract Listings: 9,026 versus 8,008 last year - up 12.7% - and up very slightly from 9,003 last month
  • Monthly Sales: 6,214 versus 6,271 last year - down 0.9% - and down 12.7% from 7,117 last month

The above numbers demonstrate a weakness in closed sales but a strength in under contract listings.

Sales were down 1% from October last year, the weakest year over year comparison for any ANY month since January but the price trends continue to show positive appreciation. It’s becoming clear that the top and bottom end of the price ranges are selling less and the middle is selling more, compared with last year at this time. The bottom is selling less due to low supply while the top end is selling less due to lower demand.

At the end of the day, the statistics do show that if you have a reason to sell soon, do it now as actually December is a much stronger month for real estate sales than January or February due to the spending that occurs during Christmas… It takes most families until Springtime to recoup and get caught up financially and be in a better position to purchase a home.  One fantastic thing about Arizona which does tend to go against the rest of the country this time of year, is our weather and attraction of Winter Visitors, which is definitely in our favor and helps improve demand and your likelihood of selling your home during the Holiday Season.

One last thought to share- IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW is considering BUYING, now if the time!  During the summer most of our listings sold immediately with multiple offers and some bidding wars, so while the scales are tipping in the favor of Buyers- now is the time to go find a deal!  Sellers that have their homes on the market right now tend to be quite motivated and less competition means more buying power!

Give us a call at 480-243-4242 for help with any of your Real Estate needs- we are always happy to help!

Halloween Trivia Contest – Hurry to enter !!!

The_Wild_Vine_Uncorked_logo It’s that time of year again… Halloween!  We’ve been having lots of fun with our fans having various Trivia contests throughout the year and have given away some great prizes like tickets to The Improv, Visa gift cards, Movie Tickets… well this time we wanted to support one of our favorite local establishments….

The Wild Vine Uncorked! Click for link to their website for more info about this great place                                          ---->>>>

We have (3) $25 gift cards to give away today to the best 3 videos of people who respond to this email (or you can txt Rebecca at 602-463-2978 if easier from your phone) and submit your 10-15 second video of you or someone you know that’s willing to dance for their treat!

Click the photo below for 8 Super Weird things we hope you didn’t already know about Halloween….

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WVU Halloween

 

We are looking for you guys to get in the spirit of Halloween and DANCE for your treat!  In this case the treat is a $25 gift card to The Wild Vine Uncorked,  who happens to be hosting a Halloween Costume Ball, in case you haven’t made plans yet for tomorrow night… Check out the link for more info on the event.

click photo for details--->>>

 

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IF YOU’RE CAMERA SHY, (James Rains- who came up with this idea- definitely is), BUT still like a chance to win…  the OTHER WAY to enter our contest is to click the photo with a summary of our local Real Estate Market Situation for October 2015, which links to a post on Facebook featuring our latest SNEAK PEAK listing – Just comment on the photo “#HalloweenContest “ today and I will enter your name and announce our winners next week when I send out a much more detailed Real Estate Market Summary for those of you that may be in the market today to either buy &/or sell a home!

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And lastly, in case you or someone you know is still needing an idea for a Halloween 🙂 costume, we are always happy to help ------------->>>

Just give us a call at 480-243-4242 to get started today!

 

Real Estate Market update for 3rd quarter 2015

(Click on photo (or here) to open PDF doc)SEV Summary Market Conditions

The above stats are for the Southeast Valley to include Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Sun Lakes and Queen Creek for the last 3 years.  We had a STELLAR March through July this year, that is for sure!  The average price per sqft is about $50 more than it was 3 years ago when Distressed properties were a huge impact in our market, they constituted more than half of the inventory back then. 

Current Demand levels are considered normal however there are areas with less supply than others that keep the overall Market index higher than average, which typically favors Sellers.  The last few weeks we have had some seasonal decline, but our market is still quite busy overall and the month of August isn’t quite over yet.

The following commentary is from Mike Orr of the Cromford report with specific stats you may find interesting regarding the month of August (click here to download the pdf document), especially if you’re currently in the position to BUY &/OR SELL a home right now. 

As always, we are here and happy to help you figure out the best strategy for your family- give us a call at 480-243-4242 or send Rebecca an email at rebecca@integrityallstars.com if you’re thinking about Real Estate or know someone you care about is!

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For those folks with OCD, these pantries are for you!

Maybe you’ll get some inspiration for your home now or ideas for your next home?  When selling a home, everyone loves a nicely organized pantry (and closet), Enjoy!

MARKETUPDATES

Current Local Real Estate Market Update & Stats

Please check out the video and read the latest stats below- our biggest concern is the affordability for our entry level buyers or folks that have been renting… IF that is you or someone you know- PLEASE call us to help at 480-243-4242 or email Rebecca directly at Rebecca@IntegrityAllStars.com to get the home ownership process started right away, before rates increase any further!

 

The following is an excerpt from the “Recent News” published by Mike Orr of the Cromford Report:

Overall demand has returned to just above normal with little to no sign of further momentum beyond this point. Currently the supply situation is the most important thing to watch and this is what determines how much competition buyers will experience.

Basic stats for this past year for all areas & types:

  • Active Listings (excluding UCB): 21,512 versus 26,205 last year - down 17.9% - and down 3.5% from 22,303 last month
  • Under Contract Listings (including Pending & UCB): 12,276 versus 10,584 last year - up 15.8% - and up 2.4% from 11,988 last month
  • Monthly Sales: 8,363 versus 7,572 last year - up 10.4% - and up 6.0% from 7,887 last month
  • Monthly Average Sales Price per Sq. Ft.: $135.88 versus $130.27 last year - up 4.3% - and up 2.9% from $131.99 last month!

From a seller's perspective, there is a lot of encouragement in this batch of numbers, though buyers might be dismayed to see price per sq. ft. rise by almost 3% in a single month.

For the market as a whole we currently see 3.1 months of supply, which is significantly below normal, but not excessively so. However, when we look at the single-family market by price range we see certain price bands with much lower supply:

  • $100K-$125K - 0.8 months (versus 1.8 on May 1, 2014)
  • $125K-$150K - 0.9 months (versus 1.9)
  • $150K-$175K - 1.1 months (versus 2.3)
  • $175K-$200K - 1.3 months (versus 2.6)

A few years ago we had almost 7,000 active listings between $100K and $150K. Now we have just 909.

As we move upmarket from $250K, things become a little easier for buyers because supply is less scarce. Once we get above $400K there are more active listings than last year and most buyers are having a much easier time with less competition from other buyers. In other words, demand is good but supply is plentiful at these higher price points.

Although many are feeling more optimistic about the market, and justifiably so, the lack of supply of entry-level homes is a very troubling sign. This is good for current homeowners but bad for those currently renting and wanting to get started in home ownership. This could become even more of a problem if mortgage interest rates rise, adding to affordability problems for the first time home buyer.

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Real Estate market has heated up this SPRING!

We’ve been waiting after a slow 2014 for our market to heat up and it’s here!

The above video is a short summary of the current market conditions we are experiencing locally, data provided by the Cromford Report; our local experts of Real Estate market data analysis.

We’ve been seeing homes that are priced right selling immediately with multiple offers and certain price ranges are definitely more competitive than others.  IF a home is in the FHA price range (280k and below), if it shows nice and priced well, don’t expect it to be on the market but a few days right now…

We saw a 35.2% increase in sales volume overall in the Valley from just last month alone?!?!

Many more homes are pending, but the good news is that with an increase in price/demand- we are seeing more Sellers listing their homes and the rate of new listings has ticked up a tad.

It’s quite natural, per Mike Orr of the Cromford report, for news of a stronger market to bring out some more sellers.  If this continues it will help keep the market from getting too frenzied…

We saw the FRENZY in 2012 when plenty of Buyers just gave up trying to compete for a home- the difference today is that it’s not the Investors that Buyers are competing against but rather other people who are moving up/down, relocating to Sunny Arizona, or that have been renting like the “Millennial” and “Boomerang” Buyers- GOOD thing too as the RATES are still VERY LOW.

We are being warned however if this pace continues, prices and rates both may raise which will effect drastically the size home someone will qualify for – so moral to this story – if you’ve been waiting to either Buy or Sell- now is the time while our market is SIZZLING!

Please call us at 480-243-4242 and we are happy to help you with your Real Estate needs!

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Helicopter Drone used for Real Estate Videos

This is a cool video of a drone taking off.

It should be easier to get a MORTGAGE!!!

As a veteran real estate broker of 20+ years, I’ve had the luxury of working full time through some great HIGHS in our local market and some great LOWS and one thing about Real Estate that can be said (besides “location, location, location”) is that Real Estate is cyclical and those that can predict the trends first typically do best in any market…. 

I’ve decided this month would be a great month to give some great tips on what to avoid doing when applying for a Mortgage loan- especially since there are so many of my past short sale clients that would love nothing more than to buy a home today, but their credit hasn’t recovered yet enough to allow them to do so. 

Per Mike Orr of the Cromford Report, “Sales in September 2014 were slightly weaker than last year which reflects the lack of financing available to ordinary homeowners. Tight lending standards, especially for first time home buyers seem to be having a major negative effect on demand. If Ben Bernanke cannot successfully refinance his home based on current lending rules, what hope do the rest of us have?”

Last month, we helped a couple of buyers purchase homes and they did go through quite a bit of stress in the end of the transactions related to the financing of their new home.  I try my very best to mitigate that stress but without a crystal ball, sometimes it’s hard to predict things that the underwriters may have issue with about an application until the very end… with that said, when I asked colleague Ryan C. Nelson- Southwest Regional Manager of Academy Mortgage, he said the most important thing they do for their clients is work with them to improve their credit/FICO scores during the process because that will dictate what rate someone will get for a mortgage and from there determines their maximum loan amount too. The best rates/terms on a loan is 740+ FICO with 25% down. The average FICO score is 690 for FHA and 711 for Conventional applicants according to Ryan Nelson. Seems most of the clients we’ve worked with recently have been even lower than that… which can make homeownership tough to obtain.

I think for me the biggest piece of advice I can alert our clients to is that once you apply for a mortgage and are pre-approved, the process is just starting and it’s not over until the minute the transaction records and I’m giving them keys. 

The mortgage company is required to verify EVERYTHING from job history, to re-pulling credit, to verifying rental history literally the day the transaction funds and records.  I had a client last month that switched jobs during the process and created a huge scare, luckily her fiancé made sufficient income because had he not, they’d still be waiting for the keys to their new home and the lender did not find out until the day before we were supposed to close.  It’s horror stories like these that I think may be keeping people from “dealing with” getting a mortgage… but are also keeping them from getting the home of their dreams too!

The underwriter of the loan is like a police detective and they look for any holes in an application that could lead to a loan going into default.  Mind you, in 2006, it was the exact opposite- people were encouraged to lie on their applications and nothing was verified and because of that- the mortgage industry was blamed for the fall of our Real Estate market.  (part of the cyclical market I referred to above) That is why today it feels like it’s harder to get a loan than ever- But if you can follow these simple tips we’ve gotten from Joe Smith of Cobalt mortgage and Lanie Martin of HomeOwners Financial Group- we can make it a whole lot easier on those of you thinking about buying a home soon.

  • Do not lie on any part of your loan application.  The underwriter will find out.  No ifs ands or buts…
  • Now is not the time to apply for financing for new furniture, appliances, car, that big screen tv, etc. Anytime you apply for credit, your credit report is pulled and that drops your score, even if you decided not to make the purchase.  Do not co-sign for anyone for anything if at all possible!
  • Do not get behind on any bills.  Having a late payment hit your credit before the purchase is finalized can devastate your deal.  Normally you must be current for at least 12 months minimum on all of your reoccurring debts.
  • Lenders will go over your most recent bank statements. You will have to explain unusual deposits or withdraws and they will require clear documentation on them as well- Do not “shuffle” money between accounts.
  • Do not have “mattress money”.  All money used, even a gift from a family member, must get documented where it’s come from and usually must be in a bank account for at least 60 days in order to use it towards the purchase of a home.  This is for both the initial earnest deposit and the final closing funds, so be sure to talk with your lender about where your money is that you plan to use and get their advice on how to access it and document it. (order a wire transfer, use of a personal check, purchasing a cashiers check, etc…)
  • Do not change employment during the process.  Gaps of employment of over 30 days can be a big problem so be sure to discuss in detail any employment history if you haven’t worked for the same place for the last 2 years.
  • Do not throw out any paperwork or spend time trying to work around items needed by your lender, they ask for things because the underwriter does, so if you are not able to provide what they are asking for, tell them immediately so they can try to figure something else out and time is of the essence… so don’t drag your feet getting items asked for.
  • With respect to fixing credit, I’ve written blogs on how to fix your credit yourself before you apply for a mortgage, but once you are working with a mortgage lender, DO NOT pay off charge offs, collections, close any credit cards or do anything that could impact your FICO/credit score without advice from your lender first- sometimes paying things off can worsen your score and if your loan was based on a certain score, that can really mess up everything for you which you don’t want.

Moral of this story:  Confide in your Mortgage Lender and share all pertinent information with them, don’t try to hide anything and work with them regarding credit and money documentation.  They are on your side to help you get the house you want!  Their livelihood depends on it, so if you can trust them – it will make your life easier in the end- promise!

Free Suns Tickets!

photo We have been given 2 pairs of Suns tickets by our great industry partners, Academy Mortgage and Lawyers title, which we will be raffling off tomorrow at our 2 open houses.  In order to enter, all  you have to do is stop by and see these great homes while we are open!

If in the meantime, you decide to buy one of them or tell a friend, we won’t mind at all! 

osr open houseThe first open house is participating in a MEGA neighborhood open house from 10-3 in South Chandler, here’s a link to a great video we posted on it and Old Stone Ranch…

click photo for link here--->>

and our other fantastic listing is located in Finley Farms in the center of Gilbert… we will hold that one open from 11-2

It is available today with a ZERO down program (in case any of you are currently renting and don’t have a down payment saved) called Home in 5… payment is comparable to what rent would be but owning allows you to write off the interest paid- did I mention it also has brand new carpet and appliances and paint too?

http://www.flexmls.com/share/DGyo/2341-E-MANOR-DR-Gilbert-AZ-85296-

Keep your fingers crossed for us that we will have good weather – and if you can’t make either open house but would still like to enter to win, we are happy to arrange a private showing of either listing too- just give us a call at 480-243-4242!

THIS September may be best month yet locally for HOME Buyers

CR2Periodically I like to share the information I get regarding our local market statistics to help our clients determine if right now is the right time for them to buy or sell Real Estate.  I was lucky to get to sit in on a presentation by Michael Orr last week of the Cromford reportClick here for power point presentation

I found it quite insightful due to the fact that he verifies the information in our local MLS data is correct and bases his analysis on those statistics rather than basing his information on National data.  He started off his presentation like so many of us do with the disclaimer/definition of a “good” market- because every market can be good, depending on who you are and your goals. 

He was clear to say that the Real Estate agents that focus on the distressed market or local homebuilders today may not think it’s a “good” market right now- but if you are a BUYER looking to purchase by September of this year, this is a GREAT market right now…

Basically, it boils down to the simple law of Supply and Demand as the Cromford Index shows currently. 

In Chandler for example, the demand being in the RED but the supply in the green shows currently Buyers have the upper hand. However, a truly balanced market would be at 100 for the Market index and we are not far off from it. 

Michael predicted that by Spring of 2015, we most likely will see it gradually return to a Sellers market.  Nothing crazy, just a slight push upwards, along the lines of inflation which traditionally before the market crashed in 06, 2-5% a year increase in value is all that a homeowner would expect from his home and be quite happy for it.

This time last year, the Market Index was at 151 for Metro Phoenix with a Supply of 63.1 and Demand at 95.3.  Things have changed quickly in this past year as it was clearly a Sellers market back then.  The prices were also lower too… So a seller today without a huge urgency to sell, very well may be better off today than where they would have fared just 1 year ago as well… seems in life and in real estate, there’s always 2 sides to every coin… If there were a Seller just getting out of the market entirely, we’d most likely recommend to wait until Springtime to sell HOWEVER if they were wanting to purchase, they may fair better selling with today’s prices and incentives that Buyers are receiving rather than waiting to both sell and buy in the Springtime because that way as Buyers, they too can take advantage of the DEALS happening out in our marketplace today.

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Michael Orr also spoke to why he thinks that the demand has dropped (please watch the power point presentation, link at top of blog for further stats and details) but mostly because our younger generation (Millenials) are preferring to rent homes today instead of purchasing for many reasons and there’s so many people still renting as a result of losing a home to foreclosure/short sale that the RENTAL MARKET has only gotten more expensive in recent years making it a great time to be a LANDLORD.  Because of this (along with the interest rates remaining super low), it’s CHEAPER TO OWN your home than rent today, not to mention the great tax benefits of owning vs renting a home.

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City of Chandler’s NEWEST City park going in OLD STONE RANCH!

Citrus Vista Concept Plan.pdf

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Click link to City’s Park Planning website: http://www.chandleraz.gov/default.aspx?pageid=728

City park

 

What’s truly impressive and one of the reasons why the City of Chandler is always winning awards is the PLANNING that has been done for the City’s future. PLEASE CLICK HERE for the complete article with Map but here’s an excert from “RECREATION AND OPEN SPACE TOWARD BUILD-OUT” 

The City realizes that residents will continue to gauge their quality of life by the variety of leisure activities available. The Recreation and Open Space Element responds to the City's growing demands for parks, recreation and open space as build-out approaches. The development and implementation of parks and recreation services are guided by input from Chandler citizens. As Chandler's remaining vacant lands are converted to urban use, reservations for parks and open space are critical. Well-maintained parks contribute to community vitality through enhanced property values and attraction of desirable businesses and employers.
This Element combines two statutorily required Elements: Open Space and Recreation. It contains goals, objectives and strategies for the provision and management of open space, parks and recreation services. GOAL: PROVIDE QUALITY PARKS AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES CONVENIENT TO ALL NEIGHBORHOODS THAT MEET THE NEEDS OF A DIVERSE POPULATION. Objective: Provide at least one ten-acre neighborhood park within each residential square mile, where possible. Objective: Provide a system of community parks with service radius of 2 miles or less that provide a diversified mix of amenities. Objective: Develop comprehensive recreational resources to meet regional park needs. 

 

I personally LOVE living in the city of Chandler for everything this great city has to offer.  PLEASE Click here for Video regarding the City of Chandler I shot this past year with the DCCP that talks about it’s rich history, current events and great employers!

Our newest listing is located directly across the street from this future park.  Whoever ends up purchasing this gorgeous home will undoubtedly enjoy the NEW CITRUS VISTA park once it’s completed in about a year from now.  Today and Tomorrow we will be holding this great new home open – if you know of someone who may be interested in this great home, please share this video with them and tell them to stop by at one of our open houses!

Here’s the listing with all of the photos and details, please call 480-243-4242 for any questions about it or any of our homes for sale:       

 http://www.flexmls.com/link.html?12hmukyn3yma,12,1

HOW to RAISE your CREDIT score yourself!

FICO

(To download the complete power point from Go Clean Credit, please click photo above)

I recently came across this article which reminded me of a blog I wrote nearly 1 1/2 yrs ago (Click here to read) and I decided it’s time to revisit this topic since CREDIT SCORES and how they are CALCULATED are such a MYSTERY to most.

PLEASE BE SURE to click on the photo above as it’s only 1 slide of many that literally breaks down how our CREDIT SCORES are determined and gives great advice on what you can do yourself to improve your scores. 

CREDIT SCORES are so important since everything we do in life seems to go back to your CREDIT WORTHINESS- from the rate you get on a car or mortgage loan to whether you get hired on by an employer or get approved for a lease to what you get quoted for your insurance rates and so much more! 

It’s imperative we educate ourselves and our children because it really is a huge key component to getting the material things one wants in life!

A little over a year ago, I had the pleasure of having Dawn McCraw, owner of Go Clean Credit, speak at one of our Buyer Workshops and she shared with our group the above power point.  I’d never had it broken down so simplistically before so please share this valuable information with anyone you care about. 

In my blog I wrote, I have the link to where one can pull their 3 reports for FREE with no impact to their scores (FTC Website), so my advice to you is to first pull your reports and see if everything on there is correct- if not, file an online dispute to get whatever erroneous information off of your credit report which will undoubtedly improve your score.  Second step, is to go through the Power Point above and compare your report to the breakdown of credit and create a plan to follow the advice to improve your score yourself! 

You can always hire a firm like Dawns to help, but it’s really easy and I recommend only paying for credit repair services when you’ve already done these steps and can’t improve your score any further without professional help.  I’ve seen Dawn’s work in action and last year she helped one of our clients purchase her first home by removing $20k of “bad” credit with the help of an attorney in her office, so her program does work but there is so much each of us can do ourselves without the help of a professional.

For my PAST SHORT SALE CLIENTS- this is so important to do because many lenders reported SHORT SALES by mistake as FORECLOSURES- so please get online and pull your reports to verify the information on there is correct and do the steps outlined above to get your scores as high as possible so if you want to buy a home again, you’ll be able to without a problem!  (waiting periods are 2-3 yrs after the closing of a short sale for most low to no down payment mortgage loans)

Please feel free to call our office for any advice on this topic! 480-243-4242  We are always happy to help- any way we can!

List of “Excess Funds” you may be entitled to if you had a Foreclosure

How is that possible, you may ask?

I had remembered something a long time ago in a class about this, but really never gave it much thought until now because I haven't heard much about it since until recently… one of my past clients is getting a check for OVER $20k!?!  She called me to look into what she thought may be a scam (because it sounded too good to possibly be true) but it turned out it was no scam at all….

I’d helped my client’s husband short sale his home that he’d purchased before they were married back in 2011.  She was able to purchase a newer home in Anthem (under just her name) and they moved in with what they'd hoped to be a fresh start… but sadly they’d run into hard times again and lost this home to “Foreclosure”.  The company that purchased their home at the Auction luckily allowed them to rent it back, so as of today they are still living there.  Sadly, they no longer are able to benefit from tax write off of the mortgage interest or taxes and had equity they’d lost… well, sort of… they did end up qualifying to receive some of the equity they had up until the date of the actual auction.

PER Arizona Revised Statutes 33-812- My client is entitled to the proceeds resulting from her foreclosure of her home which was sold for more than the amount owed the lender.  It got me thinking, how many more people out there I may know may be entitled to $ from their foreclosure too?

                   (Click image below for PDF of entire list)

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Please be sure to share with anyone/everyone just in case they could benefit like my client did.

If you’re curious what happens at a Foreclosure Auction (AKA Trustee Sale), please click this link to a blog I’d written a little over 4 years ago that features a slide show from an auction I’d personally attended.  Mainly, the folks today that I expect that are on this list are folks like my client that’d purchased their home when the market was down or prior to the crash and lost it since 2012 when the prices started appreciating again locally.

THE POWER OF HOME STAGING

 

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Homes Sell FASTER when Staged!

 

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The wonderful thing is that you don’t have to get crazy with expensive fixes, just doing the basic like lightening/brightening and cleaning/de-cluttering will give you an average return of 594%-769%?!?!?

See chart below for the average return on your Staging Investment….

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Recently, my husband and I came across a great example of what a difference STAGING a home professionally can make on the value of a home.  We were incredibly impressed with a currently Active listing located within our neighborhood (same floor plan of our own home). We’d been "following" the home as we also have done upgrades to our own home and are happy to see how well this investor has helped increase the value of his home- while positively affecting the value of the neighboring homes as well, including our own.

Originally purchased as a Short Sale for $393,000 2/10/14 & a recent listing appraisal came in for $524,000 after the updating/staging was completed.

Click here for the current listing info, we’d be happy to show you this lovely home in person!

What some more ideas on Staging your home?

New home builders are masters of ensuring their homes show at 100% all of the time because it’s a proven fact that doing so improves BOTH the time on market and overall price their homes sell for.

If you are near Chandler, we’ve compiled a list of New Home Builders in the Chandler area.

Click here--->> Chandler Builder Roadmap to Download your own copy of the Chandler Builder Roadmap .

To download your own Staging Checklist, click here

We are also happy to come and give you a free no obligation consultation for your own home if you've been thinking about selling, please call 480-243-4242 or email rebecca@integrityallstars.com to set an appointment.

Is it a “GOOD” Market right now?

I get asked that question ALL OF THE TIME!  My answer is always the same too… IT DEPENDS!

Not because I don’t know or because I’m trying to be coy, but because it really does depend if you are a Buyer or a Seller, or an Investor, or or or… at one point, I guess I should correct my statement above because for a little while I used to say it was actually a BANK’S market during our “dark years” as I call them when Short Sales and Foreclosures dominated our marketplace and dictated home pricing. 

DashboardToday we are much more balanced and back to a more “normal” market but it has been leaning in the Buyer’s favor as of late… which isn’t entirely bad news for Sellers since our market had increased in value so much this past year and a half.  The majority of homeowners are no longer upside down in their mortgages any longer like they were in 2012 before the investors help to drive up demand.

2 years ago, I had buyers that literally GAVE UP trying to buy a new home because they couldn’t compete against those cash investors.  With more Sellers putting their homes on the market today, it’s helping increase the Supply and the Demand has stayed lower than normal levels, which was the case even two years ago but we had such few homes on the market and so competition was fierce that it still sent prices upwards.

That helped bring back the Builders into the market which has given Buyers even more options, especially in the city of Chandler!  We have compiled a HUGE list of Chandler Builders, check out our Builders Corner in our Newsletter for our “Roadmap” to where they all are located and what they are offering Buyers today. Cromford summary

During years 2008-2013, my team helped over 400+ families successfully sell their homes as Short Sales.  What we’ve seen and heard, is that more upward pricing is not expected to happen until loan guidelines ease up to allow more of the people who are currently renting as a result of Short Sale or Foreclosure to purchase a home again.  They have introduced loan programs this past year to help, but more is needed.  Rates are still historically very low, in the 4’s but combined with increase in value, it’s gotten harder for some people to qualify for a home again.  We have teamed up with experts, so if that sounds similar to your situation, please let me know and I will be sure to get you in touch with the right mortgage company that can help.  According to Trulia, in Arizona, it’s 33% cheaper to own than to rent… let’s hope mortgage guidelines continue to get easier while the rates are this low!

At the end of the day, one thing that remains the same is CHANGE.  Please stay tuned and we will continue to provide market updates via Mike Orr of the Cromford Reports, as he’s proven to be the most reliable source for our local marketplace stats because of his knack for scrubbing the data provided by our local Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service.

If we can be of assistance, simply call us at 480-243-4242 or email Rebecca@IntegrityAllStars.com.

homeinfive

WHO WANTS FREE $$$ TO BUY A HOME WITH?

If you want to live in Maricopa County, you can get 5% of the purchase price of your home from the city of Phoenix as a grant and you don’t have to pay it back!  We just had one of o-r buyers get most of their earnest deposit back once they closed on their new home using this program, give us a call at 480-243-4242 to learn how to take advantage of this free money!

montevista

4355 S. Monte Vista Street, Chandler, AZ 85249

Full listing details, including interior photos, click here ----> http://www.flexmls.com/share/AfJW/4355-S-MONTE-VISTA-ST-Chandler-AZ-85249

This gorgeous home is simply stunning in person, call us for an appointment to see it- 480-243-4242!

Curious how we filmed the above video?? Check out the filming in action here ---->

If you or someone you know would like to see your home marketed like this one, email Rebecca@IntegrityAllStars.com

10yrChandlerStatspage001

Last 10 yrs of Local Real Estate Stats- Phew, what a Ride!?!

(Stats & Graphics Courtesy of Mike Orr, Cromford Report)

City Rankings-top tenWOW, I wasn’t kidding when I said “What a Ride!?!”  I’ve had the luxury of working now full time for over 20 yrs in my chosen profession and I can honestly say that this last Real Estate "Roller Coaster Ride" lasted much longer than most of us ever had anticipated.

I do practice Real Estate all over the Valley, but with my office and home located in the City of Chandler, the following stats in this blog will be based on the City of Chandler. If you do not live in Chandler but instead in another Metro Phoenix city, please see the following list of 41 Cities to see where your city ranks with price per sqft.  The market conditions that effected our homes’ values over the last 10 years took the same "ride" all over our Valley, however just at slightly different price points depending on the area itself. Currently, the City of Chandler is Ranked #10 for Annual Average $ per sqft in the Valley of the Sun at $125.48, an appreciation of 19.2% from last years average.  crystal-ball-art-therapy-300x270

In order to better predict what’s ahead for 2014, studying the past to see the trend we are currently on is best unless you have a crystal ball… and if you do, can you please enlighten me on where to get one as sadly I don’t think I remembered to put that on my list to Santa this year??

In 1994, I'd bought my first home off of Ray & McClintock Rds in Chandler for $1 over the Auction list price of $88k ($54.83 $pft).  Being just 1 year after I'd first earned my Real Estate license, with rates fluctuating between 6 3/4% to 7% (which was considered good at the time as historically we'd seen rates much higher) it was all I could qualify for.  Being a foreclosure, it was a true fixer upper but a great starter home being a HUD home.  Features included: being built in 1983, 2 story, corner cul-de-sac lot with West facing oversized backyard, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1605 sqft., 2 car garage with covered porch and patio.  I'd sold it 6 years later in 2001 for 140k ($87.23 $psf). That’s an average of 10% appreciation per year which had far exceeded the “norm” at the time. (interesting side note, in February of both year 2001 and 2011, our average price per sqft was the same in Chandler @ $88.35 $psf).

Traditionally, 4-6% per year annual appreciation was a safe investment and one you could typically count on in a normal market when one owned Real Estate and was higher than one could yield with your local bank on interest.  An average interest rate of around 7% was also average was what one could expect in the mid-nineties vs. today's still historic low rates which are at or below 5%

10 yr Chandler Stats-page-001

(If the image is hard for you to read above, please click on it to download the pdf)

Let’s now fast forward from 1994 to 2004, so we can focus on average annual appreciation in Chandler in just the last 10 yrs.

  • Week 1 January 2004, average annual appreciation in Chandler was 3.5% & $103.61 was the $psf (vs. today’s $133.69 $psf)
  • Week 30 July 2004, average annual appreciation in Chandler was 9.9% (say goodbye to single digit appreciation for a couple of years, keep all arms and legs inside at all times, this “ridehas started… )
  • Week 52 December 2004, average annual appreciation in Chandler has now hit 25.6% (What the ????) image

HOLD ON TIGHT- we are climbing to the top of our ride just a short year later… The average annual appreciation in Chandler peaked in 7/05 to a whopping 53.4%!  By the end of 2005 (Week 52) December we rolled through Splash Mountain and cooled to a mere 39.2% average annual appreciation in Chandler.  What was going on here? In just 6 short months, we dropped 14.2% Was this just a seasonal cool off? Or was it a sign that we may be heading for more than just "Splash Mountain" and instead a drop from The Matterhorn Mountain (wherein lies the Abominable Snow Man)? Obviously, we all know now it was sadly the latter of the two…

In 2006:

  • Week 1 January 2006 average annual appreciation in Chandler was 37.2%.
  • June 2006, we hit our peak price per sqft at $186.03.
  • Week 52 December 2006 average annual appreciation in Chandler was –5.5%!?! (We dropped another 31.7% in value in just 1 year, on top of the 14.2% loss from the previous year???).

(Why this happened and who was to blame was the topic of many a blog already, my focus today is to get you to tomorrow’s likelihood for our local market so that you may make an educated decision of what’s best for you and your family in 2014.)

In 2007-2011 (AKA The Dark Years):

  • Week 23 June 2007, we had a tiny positive appreciation recorded of just a paltry 1.2% and just leading to that in May 2007 an annual average appreciation of 0.03%.
  • Mid 2010 we had 2 more recordings of positive appreciations being recorded of 0.02 & 0.01% right before the 2010 tax credit expired.
  • Week 15 April 2009, we hit the bottom of our Real Estate Roller Coaster Ride at -29.5% annual average appreciation in the City of Chandler- that’s a change of 82.9% in just under 4 yrs; What goes up, must go down as the saying goes… Average $psf $103.39. (loss of $83 $psf from 2006's peak of $186)
  • Week 52 December 2009, the pendulum swings a little in our favor and we end the year at a –10.6% annual average appreciation.
  • In 2010 & 2011, we bounced around the bottom around –5% to –10% for the most part. (Average $88.48 $psf, back to same level of 2001,10 yrs prior, by Feb 2011)
  • Market primarily made up of REO’s, Foreclosures, Lender Owned, Auctions, Trustee sales and Short Sales.  Traditional sales were few and far between and building industry had almost completely stopped building with many going out of business completely.

FINALLY, Some much needed good news, in 2012:

  • Week 3 January 2012, we were back into positive annual average appreciation at 1.3% (Happy Days are here Again!).
  • Week 46 November 2012, Chandler average annual appreciation of 31.3% Many homes are no longer under water and less and less homes are being sold as Short sales and/or being lost to Trustee Sale.
  • Week 52 December 2012, 25.6% was Chandler’s annual average appreciation.

In 2013:

  • Week 51 December 2013, 10.1% is Chandler’s current annual average appreciation.  Down 15.5% in 1 year.  Are we experiencing a second bubble many people have asked?

Let’s take a closer look at this past year with weekly appreciation stats:

  • Week 1 January 2013 23%
  • Week 16 April 2013 27.5% - Maybe not a bubble??
  • Week 21 May 2013 15.2% - 12% loss in just 5 months, ok maybe there is a bubble coming after all??
  • Week 31 August 2013 21.4% - Rebounded a little, due to summer perhaps?
  • Week 42 October 2013 18.9% - Most cash investors have by now left AZ & moved on to other pastures...
  • Week 51 December 2013 10.1%

In October we had our Government Shut Down which had hurt consumer confidence, the Feds had also announced they were going to taper buying bonds which sent rates higher (which they are also doing again right now), & decreased affordability with higher prices have all led us to where we are today. Watch blog with Academy mortgage from October 2013 talking about this in more detail.

Finally, here we are with 2014 nearly upon us.

If pricing continues to remain flat, we would be at 0% (ZERO) appreciation before long, but the good news is that there’s 1.7% appreciation predicted for January 2014, meaning that within a month, we may be at an annual average appreciation of just under 12%.  When the Cromford Market Index hits 100%, that would mean that Supply and Demand would be Equal.  We’d have more of a Traditional market with an average supply of 4-5 months.  It’d be a "Safe" market to invest in where you wouldn’t risk losing Equity, but the gains would be minimal, like in the beginning of 2004. Our current weekly trend is at 5.1% average appreciation which is quite healthy.  We are coming off of a culmination of the last 12 months having a total of 19.2% annual average appreciation over where we were 1 year ago.  This is actually a much more fun environment to live and work in because we most likely will not see any huge highs or lows if we continue on the current path we are on.  Builders will continue to gain momentum as the resale inventory is still low, therefore keeping prices stable if not increasing ever so slightly.

Chandler STATS 2yrs-page-001

(If the image is hard for you to read above, please click on it to download the pdf)

annual sales priceToday:  Supply is at 73.1% and Demand is at 80.3% however our Market Index overall is still above 100%, coming in at 109.7%.  Our current Annual Average Price is slightly higher than where we came in last month, at $272k per home in the City of Chandler.  1 yr ago we were at $263K, and 2 yrs ago we were at $215k. Our Market index respectively were 173.4% and 137.1%.  As prices have raised, our Market Index has lowered, which is hand in hand with the Supply and Demand stats.

From my educated guess, I am liking where we are going. It appears our Roller Coaster ride has finally come to an end, for now anyhow.  Real Estate is cyclical and one thing that is constant is change.   2014 should be a year where the waters seem to calm and good homes will sell within normal traditional time frames when they show nicely and priced appropriately.  Expect interest rates to remain good in historic terms, at or around 5%.  Our current annual appreciation of 5.1% is a good “safe” place to be.  (Click here for Mike Orr’s commentary on the overall market for December) Whether you may be a Buyer or Seller (or both) in 2014, it should be a good time to make your next Real Estate move.  We are here to help!

crystal_ball_by_destinysoloInformation provided is a combination of Rebecca’s opinion based on the Real Estate stats provided by the Cromford report and Rebecca’s 20+ year experience working full time in our local Residential Real Estate Market. If you don’t live in Chandler, but would like to know the stats for your city, please feel free to contact Rebecca and she can provide it to you or a customized report for the Real Estate you own now or would like to own. Please feel free to contact Rebecca at 480-243-4242.

National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals honors the Top Agents in the U.S.A.

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(Click the photo above for the link to the entire list for 2013)

What an honor!

Rebecca Hidalgo, Designated Broker and Owner of Integrity All Star Realty, made the Top 250 Hispanic Realtors in the United States list 2 years in a row now, but for 2013 she cruised up close to the top of the rankings with being awarded the #2 spot in the State of Arizona & #25 in the ENTIRE COUNTRY!?

After her 20+ years in the business, she truly could not have accomplished such a feat without the help of her team and her loyal clients from over the years and wants to give a heartfelt thank you to those that helped her along the way.

TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More!