Arizona Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

March 26, 2020

Things To Do At Home

Here is a list of 9 positive activities we all can do while staying home this spring during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

1. Complete Your "Honey-Do" List

Now is a great time to complete home renovations to beautify your home and yard.

 

2. Spend Time with Your Families

Plan a movie or game night with your kids and an at-home date night with your partner.

 

3. Update Your Home Office

If you are now working from home, your home office could use some improvements.

 

4. Learn a New Skill

Learn a new language or instrument. There are a ton of online classes as well.

 

5. Build Your Business

Use this time to strategize or create content for social media.

 

6. Healthy Habits

Support your immune system by eating healthy and working out.

 

7. Start Spring Cleaning

It is the perfect time to become organized and give your home a fresh spring clean.

 

8. Make a Photo Album

Create a photo album online with Shutterfly. This is a wonderful way to document memories.

 

9. Rest

During these times, reduce anxiety and stress by resting and catching up on sleep.

 

Silver Alliance Realty is here to help you with all your real estate needs.

We make buying and selling your home SIMPLE!

Contact Silver Alliance Realty today.

 

Mary Platt

Designated Broker

(602) 618-6764

Mary@PlattTeamAZ.com

Posted in General Tips
March 26, 2020

Essential Services in Arizona

GOV DUCEY ANNOUNCED ON MARCH 23rd, 2020

https://azgovernor.gov/governor/news/2020/03/list-essential-services

Here is what the essential services will include:

• Health care and public health operations, including hospitals, public health entities, distributors of personal protective equipment and biotechnology companies;

• Human services operations, including those that provide services for the elderly, those with developmental disabilities, foster and adoption children and the homeless;

• Infrastructure operations, including food production, utility operators, construction and internet providers;

• Government functions, including first responders, emergency management personnel, 911 operators, child protection staff, welfare providers and more;

• Business operations, including grocery and medicine providers, outdoor recreation;

• Organizations that provide charitable and social services, including religious and secular non-profit organizations and food banks;

• Media organizations, including newspaper, television, radio and other media services; 

• Gas stations and other transportation-related businesses;

• Financial institutions, including banks and credit unions; 

• Hardware and supply stores;

• Critical trades, including plumbers, electricians, cleaning, sanitation, HVAC and security staff;

• Mail, post, shipping and logistics; 

• Education institutions, including public and private K-12 schools, universities and research entities; 

• Laundry services; 

• Restaurants for consumption off-premises; 

• Supplies distributors that enable telework and work from home and those that supply essential businesses; 

• Transportation, including airlines, taxis, and ride-sharing;

• Home-based and care services, including for seniors and those with developmental disabilities;

• Residential facilities and shelters, including those for children, seniors or at-risk populations;

• Professional services, including legal, real estate and accounting services; 

• Day care centers for employees exempted though the order;

• Manufacturers, distribution and producers of supply chain-critical products;

• Hotels and motels;

• And funeral services.  The idea is to allow workers and companies to utilize teleworking so that essential services are met. 

 

 

 

March 26, 2020

A Message About COVID-19

 

Dear Clients, Friends, and Colleagues,

The Platt Team here at Silver Alliance Realty would like to update everyone about our current business practices in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We have several transactions that are moving along well towards their scheduled closing dates.  

In a March 23rd press conference, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey identified essential and non-essential services in the State of Arizona.  Real Estate services were identified as essential services.  If you would like to see the full list of essential services, please click on Essential Services for State of Arizona.  

Silver Alliance Realty will continue to keep working on all current and new transactions while taking the necessary precautions and steps as outlined by the CDC, Federal, State and local governments including the following:

  • We will be practicing responsible social distancing and disinfecting. 
  • We will support and obey the changes in our industry that have taken affect over the last two weeks that have occurred such as title companies, lenders and new home builders who have limited agents and visitors to their offices or have started working at an office at their home during this time. 
  • We will obey the restrictions for Open Houses.
  • We will support the efforts of our inspectors and contractors in taking necessary precautions for everyone’s safety.  

More than ever, we believe in the strength of our community and are here to help or answer questions in any way we can.  Please feel free to reach out to us at any time.    

Sincerely,

Mary & Tom Platt

(602) 618-6764 / (602) 615-8470

 

March 24, 2020

Spring 2020 Phoenix Valley Real Estate Market Update

The chart below quickly outlines and compares the general Phoenix valley (Maricopa County) real estate market between 2019 and 2020.  If you have more questions about a specific market, contact Silver Alliance Reatly (602) 615-8470.  We are always available to help our clients. 

Affordability for Buyers has Improved Thanks to Lower Mortgage Rates:

Even though home prices increased over the last twelve months, the home price affordability for Buyers has improved from the prior year. It’s interesting to discover that although the U.S. median sales price in December 2019 ($225,723) was up 4.0% year over year, the typical mortgage payment fell 6.8% because of a 20% decline in fixed mortgage rates, from 4.64% in December 2018 to 3.72% in December 2019. (Source: CoreLogic.com)

 

Silver Alliance Realty is here to help you with all your real estate needs.

We make buying and selling your home SIMPLE!

Contact Silver Alliance Realty today.

 

Mary Platt

Designated Broker

(602) 618-6764

Mary@PlattTeamAZ.com

Feb. 26, 2020

Four Things to Think About When Selecting a Tax Preparer

It happens every year. Like ants at a picnic, pop-up storefronts for tax-prep firms are suddenly everywhere. The airwaves are saturated with advertisements for the latest tax software and commercials for tax pros promising fantastic returns. Even some car dealerships get in on the frenzy, promising to prepare your tax return if you'll just use your refund to purchase one of their vehicles.

With so many tax preparers, how do you know which one to choose? When you're searching for a tax preparer you can rely on, keep these four things in mind:

1. Preparer Tax Identification Number

Anyone can prepare a tax return. The IRS does not have any requirements regarding qualifications, and many people choose to complete their returns themselves. However, if someone is accepting payment for tax preparation, there is one credential that is an absolute must: a preparer tax identification number.

Commercially preparing tax returns without this IRS-issued number is against the rules. If a potential tax preparer is willing to break this rule, can you trust them to prepare your return accurately? Remember, if the IRS discovers a problem with your return, you'll be the one stuck paying for it.

2. Professional Qualifications

There isn't one specific qualification that signifies excellence in a tax pro, and their professional backgrounds can vary widely. Employees of big-box tax firms may simply have a few weeks training in how to complete simple returns. Bookkeepers and other financial professionals may have extensive experience but lack formal credentials.

Certified public accountants, enrolled agents, and tax attorneys typically have the greatest amount of training, so if your situation is complex, you might want to select one of these professionals. CPAs hold a college degree, have passed a rigorous exam, and are required to complete regular continuing education coursework. However, not all CPAs specialize in taxes, so you'll want to check that the professional you have in mind is willing to tackle your tax return before taking it to them. Enrolled agents have demonstrated their mastery of the tax code by either passing the IRS's Special Enrollment Exam or having spent five years working directly with taxes as an IRS employee. Tax attorneys are highly educated professionals who have passed the bar exam and chosen to specialize in complicated tax matters.

3. Accessibility

Will you want to talk with your tax preparer again after your return is complete? Would discovering that you're being audited change your answer? While interactions with the IRS are mostly limited to tax season, they aren't always, so it's worth discovering whether your tax preparer will be available at other times of the year.

Why would you want to talk with your tax preparer outside of the traditional tax season? The IRS might contact you to request more information or notify you of an audit. Alternately, you might want to talk about steps you can take to reduce your tax burden, a discussion that most tax pros don't have time for during the hustle and bustle of tax time. This can be especially true if you buy a house, start a business, get married, or become a parent, because the way you handle these major life changes can affect your taxes.

4. Areas of Focus

No one would mistake the tax code for light reading, so it's smart to find a tax professional who is well versed in the sections of it that apply to your particular situation. While some tax preparers handle all kinds of returns without breaking a sweat, others focus on returns for one segment of the population. Do you want someone who's a master of individual returns, a preparer who specializes in returns involving complicated financial investments, or a pro who's an old hand at business returns? For the best results, identify your needs and select a preparer who focuses on meeting them.

Geography should also influence your choice of a preparer. While the guidelines for federal tax returns remain the same, crossing state lines can shake things up for your state return. Have you moved to a different state? Do you reside in one state and have a business or property in another one? If so, things quickly become more complicated, so you'll want to make certain that your tax preparer is capable of dealing with all the ins and outs of your locale.

At tax time, finding someone to prepare your taxes isn't hard. But finding the right person to do the job is a more difficult task. Keeping these factors in mind will help you select a tax preparer you can trust.

 

Article by Any Presentations

 

Silver Alliance Realty is here to help you with all your real estate needs.

We make buying and selling your home SIMPLE!

Contact Silver Alliance Realty today.

 

Mary Platt

Designated Broker

(602) 618-6764

Mary@PlattTeamAZ.com

Feb. 12, 2020

Glendale, AZ Home Pricing up 6.7% in January 2020

The Median Sales Price in Glendale was $272,000 in January, up 6.7% from $255,000 in Jan’19. Even more impressive is the 38.4% growth over the last 4 years, since $196,500 in Jan’16.

 

- Chris Butterworth

8 Dollar Farming

https://www.8dollarfarming.com/mls-charts-az/glendale-pricing/2020-02

 

* All chart data represents single-family detached homes only. Information is believed accurate but not guaranteed.

 

Sept. 27, 2019

Try These Tips to Cozy Up Your Home for Fall

As the season changes and the days grow shorter, family and friends alike will look forward to gathering in the dining room for hot meals and curling up in the living room to watch football. A few simple décor changes will go a long way toward creating a cozy home environment this fall.

Add a Few Candles.

Candles are a quick, inexpensive way to add comfort and warmth to any room in the house. Swap out your summer fragrances for fall scents, such as cinnamon and bonfire. Experiment with grouping candles of different sizes to create visual interest amid your home décor.

Change Out the Curtains.

As the weather cools down, think about swapping out your lighter window coverings for heavier alternatives, such as thick, full-height curtains and drapes in darker colors. Many draperies also layer perfectly over lighter window treatments, such as hanging drapes over bamboo shades.

Put Out Throw Blankets.

A generous selection of throw blankets in the living room, den, finished basement, or other hangout space encourages everyone to tuck in for movie night or the big game. Choose seasonal colors and patterns to play up the autumn aesthetic in your home. Store blankets in an ottoman or basket when they aren’t in use so they don’t clutter up your living spaces.

Switch Up the Throw Pillows.

Once you’ve stocked up on throw blankets, select throw pillows to coordinate for the autumn season. Investing in high-quality pillow inserts and then swapping in new covers periodically is a simple way to keep your décor fresh for a fraction of the price. It’s also a lot easier to store pillow covers than full pillows. Look for throw pillow cover designs with warm fall colors, seasonal themes, and fun patterns.

Layer Your Blankets and Throw Rugs.

Layering blankets on the sofa and beds and throw rugs throughout the house creates visual interest while making the house warmer. Your feet will appreciate the extra layers, and you’ll always have a blanket handy on chilly nights. Be careful not to mix too many patterns, otherwise it will look cluttered and be distracting. If you have one blanket with a vivid pattern, pair it with a solid-colored blanket.

Prep the Fireplace.

Before you run the gas fireplace or build a fire in the wood-burning one, hire a professional to perform a seasonal maintenance check. You’ll be able to get any leaks and other issues taken care of before you have a fire, greatly reducing the risk of an incident. For wood-burning fireplaces, stock up on firewood and repair or replace any worn-out or broken fireplace tools.

Cozy Up the Patio.

Don't get so focused on getting your indoor living areas ready for fall that you neglect your porch or patio. Fall often brings beautiful weather, perfect for enjoying a fire and a glass of wine outside after dinner. Keep an outdoor basket with throw blankets, pillows, and candles handy for comfy autumn evenings in the yard.

Article by Any Presentations

 

Silver Alliance Realty is here to help you with all your real estate needs.

We make buying and selling your home SIMPLE!

Contact Silver Alliance Realty today.

 

Mary Platt

Designated Broker

(602) 618-6764

Mary@PlattTeamAZ.com

Sept. 26, 2019

Five Ways to Buy a House with Little or No Money Down

Many people believe that you must have a huge down payment saved up to get your foot on the property ladder. However, this is not the case. There are a number of programs in place that will allow you to buy a home with little or no money down.

VA Loans

If you’re active-duty military or were honorably discharged, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a no-money-down program that’s worth a look.

The qualification process is straightforward, and unlike private lenders, the VA doesn’t require mortgage insurance, which can be a major expense depending on the size of your loan.

USDA Loans

If you’re not in the military, consider the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which runs a no-money-down program for low-to-moderate income homebuyers in rural and suburban areas nationwide.

Unlike the VA, the USDA requires mortgage insurance in the form of an upfront fee and an annual amount, but both can be rolled into the loan and paid monthly.

FHA Loans

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) guarantees loans made by private lenders. This arrangement enables borrowers with a poor credit history or few available funds to get approved for home loans. The FHA requires 3.5% down, but that money can come from friends, family, or other qualified benefactors.

The Conventional 97 Program

For a less expensive option, try the Conventional 97 program. It requires only 3% down and also accepts payment in the form of a gift―so long as the contributor is a relative by blood or marriage, a guardian, a domestic partner, or a fiancé.

The HomeReady Mortgage

If you don’t earn enough to qualify for a traditional home loan, check out the Home Ready mortgage from Fannie Mae. This program is best for low-to-moderate income borrowers living with other people who work, as it will sum the earnings of each household member to qualify you. Like Conventional 97, HomeReady requires only 3% down.

Article by Any Presentations

 

Silver Alliance Realty is here to help you with all your real estate needs.

We make buying and selling your home SIMPLE!

Contact Silver Alliance Realty today.

 

Mary Platt

Designated Broker

(602) 618-6764

Mary@PlattTeamAZ.com

Sept. 16, 2019

Which Home Updates Are Worth It?

Never forget the first rule of upgrades, according to Remodeling magazine's Cost vs. Value Report for 2019: "Think like a real-estate broker." That includes focusing heavily on curb appeal and first impressions.

Worth It: A New Garage Door

It ranked first on the magazine’s list of projects, with a 97.5% return on investment thanks in part to its relatively low cost.

Worth It: A Bigger Rug

At least some buyers will judge the size of a room based on the size of the rug. Going bigger is actually a trick some real estate moguls have been known to use. Since the living room is likely the first interior part of the house buyers will see—and, remember, first impressions matter— bet on them extrapolating from it to guesstimate the entire size of the house.

Worth It: A New Roof

In fact, given that it’s such a prominent part of the house, you might call the roof the ultimate curb enhancer: If buyers like what they see, you’re halfway home; if they don’t, they may look for even more things to hate and certainly won’t be quick to open their wallets.


Article by Any Presentations

 

Silver Alliance Realty is here to help you with all your real estate needs.

We make buying and selling your home SIMPLE!

Contact Silver Alliance Realty today.

 

Mary Platt

Designated Broker

(602) 618-6764

Mary@PlattTeamAZ.com

Posted in DIY, Home Owners, Money Tips
Sept. 10, 2019

4 Things You Might Not Know About Home Staging

The National Association of Realtors conducted a survey of active agents to research the benefits and disadvantages of staging a home. Here is a look at four statistics taken from this survey that suggest that staging your home is a good idea.

1. Staging Your Home Increases the Selling Price

The results of the survey show that 48% of the respondents found that home staging increases the sale price by a value of 1–20%. The agents determined their answers by comparing the selling prices of staged homes with those of similar homes that did not undergo this type of preparation. Buyers’ agents also suggested that a sale was more likely if the staging decor matched the homebuyers’ preferences.

2. Viewing a Staged Home Online Increases a Buyer’s Willingness to Visit

According to 77% of the survey’s respondents, staged homes helped buyers imagine moving into them. Potential buyers are also more likely to complete a walkthrough with an agent if the home is staged.

3. Home Staging Decreases a Property’s Time on the Market

The study found that buyers are more likely to view and buy a home when it has been staged for its online listing. Moreover, buyers are quicker to set up an appointment when the home has been staged according to their personal preferences for colors and styles of furniture and accessories.

4. Staging Your Home May Simplify Moving

When a homeowner takes on the task of staging a room, the first chore is to get rid of the clutter. Doing so also makes it easier to pack up once the home sells. Most real estate agents do not ask sellers to stage every room of a home. Instead, they suggest that homeowners tackle the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom. However, sellers can stage more rooms if they believe it will lead to a quicker sale. If sellers choose to do more, survey respondents suggested staging the dining room, primary bathroom, and yard.

If you want to sell your home and are considering home staging, you should start by decluttering each room to prepare for the process. If you’d like more help with staging your home to sell, please contact me today. As an experienced real estate agent, I know what buyers are looking for in a home. I can also help you with home staging advice or connect you with a professional home stager.

Article by Any Presentations

 

Silver Alliance Realty is here to help you with all your real estate needs.

We make buying and selling your home SIMPLE!

Contact Silver Alliance Realty today.

 

Mary Platt

Designated Broker

(602) 618-6764

Mary@PlattTeamAZ.com