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!

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.

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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

Aug. 16, 2019

iBuyers: Is Convenience Worth the Cost?

 

On average, sellers are likely to make 13% - 15% LESS with an iBuyer versus a traditional broker (source: Sklarz & Miller, 2019).  While technology has influenced and in a lot of ways improved the real estate industry, the iBuyer phenomenon (such as Open Door, Zillow Offers, OfferPad, etc.) might need a closer look.  Is the convenience worth the cost?  When selling one of your major assets – your personal home - it is crucial to have professional representation to protect you.  In fact, iBuyers represent themselves as the buyer in real estate transactions, not you the seller. These companies will purchase your home with a quick close date, however there is a good chance you will be leaving money on the table. 

Costs to Seller

Silver Alliance Realty:  4% - 6%

Open Door:  6% - 16%

Zillow:  7%+

OfferPad:  7% - 14%

(Open Door info from recent Lennar contract, Zillow info from recent press release, OfferPad info from official website)

There is usually not a negotiation process when selling your home with an iBuyer.  The iBuyer company compares your home to recently sold homes in your area to offer you an initial Sales Price then does their inspection to subtract costs of repairs (which they decide on) and then often adjusts your Sales Price downward.  You have a certain amount of time in which you can respond to this offer.  If you accept, a close date is set and the transaction moves forward.  Homeowners not prepared or understand how to work with an iBuyer may be paying a high price for  some convenience.

 

When selling your home with Silver Alliance Realty you are guaranteed outstanding representation and personalized service that protect your best interests.  It is our mission to make you the most money possible.  We offer superior contract negotiations, seller representation, a personalized marketing plan and more.  Over 60% of Silver Alliance Realty clients are either past clients hiring us again or a referral from a past client.  

CALL US ABOUT OUR DISCOUNTED RATES WHEN YOU ARE SELLING AND BUYING YOUR HOME AT THE SAME TIME. 

 

Sources:

Dr. Michael Sklarz & Dr. Norman Miller (iBuyers: A new choice for home sellers but at what cost?) 2019

Aug. 6, 2019

Deter Insects with Essential Oils

Pesticides are highly toxic and detrimental to humans and pets alike. The next time you see a pest in your home, reach for essential oils instead of the can of insect spray. These recipes for homemade insecticides contain absolutely no dangerous chemicals, are highly effective, and as an added bonus, smell wonderful.

Cockroaches:

Instead of spraying your kitchen with dangerous chemicals or laying down roach motels in the same cupboards you keep your food in, mix one-half cup of water, two tablespoons of salt, ten drops each of clove, cypress, and peppermint essential oils in a tinted spray bottle, and shake well. Spray in areas frequented by cockroaches. As a double-whammy, soak a few cotton balls with five drops of clove oil and place them in the back of your cupboards, behind the stove, and under the fridge.

Ants:

Ants navigate by smell, leaving scent trails that other ants follow, which is why you often see them entering your home in a long line. Peppermint oil is highly effective at blocking the scent trail and killing existing ants. Fill a spray bottle with water and add about fifteen drops of peppermint oil. Spray around the areas where ants seem to frequent, and spray the ants themselves to kill them. If you can find the location where the ants are entering your home, apply some peppermint oil to a cotton swab and draw a line around the entry point to prevent more ants from coming in.

Mosquitoes:

DEET, or N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, is the most common ingredient in insect repellant sprays, and it’s a nasty chemical that requires a number of safety precautions when using it. Fortunately, there is an alternative to the toxic bug sprays you find in the stores. This concoction of essential oils is highly effective at repelling mosquitoes and other flying insects, it’s completely nontoxic, and it smells delicious. In a tinted spray bottle, add four drops each of citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, eucalyptus, and mint essential oils to one-quarter cup of witch hazel. Spray it on your skin and clothes to repel mosquitoes, flies, and other flying pests.

Silverfish:

These creepy, silvery creatures love high humidity, sugar, and flour and often take up residence in dusty old books and newspapers. Eucalyptus citriodora essential oil is very effective at eliminating silverfish and preventing further infestation. Mix ten drops of the oil with a cup of water and spray the areas where you see the insect.

When purchasing essential oils, make sure to choose the therapeutic grade oils, which are generally pure and highly concentrated. Quality essential oils are always sold in a tinted glass bottle to prevent deterioration of the chemicals in the oils. Store your essential oil concoctions in a tinted bottle away from sunlight and heat sources.

 

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

Aug. 5, 2019

Brighten Up Your Summer Evenings with Outdoor Lighting

Adding lighting to your yard, patio, or garden is a great way to increase both atmosphere and practical illumination. Here are three ideas for doing it with the best effect:

String Lights:

Quick and easy to install, string lights bring an extra sense of magic and romance to a warm evening. Drape them around garden structures to soften their hard lines, or use them to enhance and highlight natural features.

Try using a mixture of smaller lamps for decoration and larger ones for useful illumination. Also mix in a few twinkling lights for even more atmosphere.

Landscape Lighting:

For larger areas, try using floodlights and lamps, which illuminate relatively brightly and widely. This is particularly effective if placed a little ways away from your main seating area, as it’ll increase the overall brightness without spoiling the feeling of an evening outdoors.

This kind of lighting also has security advantages, especially if you add motion sensors and timers to activate it when you’re not around. However, be sure to use softer, warmer lighting rather than harsh industrial security lamps.

Hanging Lanterns:

Try hanging single lanterns from trees or walls for decoration and ambiance, or cluster a few together for brighter illumination of a particular spot. Lanterns and other hanging lights make a wonderful addition to a pergola or other covered space.

No matter which type of outdoor lighting you choose, always keep safety in mind. If in any doubt, hire a qualified electrician to handle the installation, and make sure they’re experienced in outdoor work. The slight extra costs involved in hiring a professional will pay off with years of atmospheric and safe outdoor illumination throughout every season.

 

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

July 25, 2019

Questions to Keep in Mind When Searching for Your Ideal Home

When purchasing a home, you can rely on the inspector to answer questions about the condition of the roof, foundation, and plumbing, but there are other important questions the inspector’s report can’t answer because the answers depend on a homebuyer’s preference. Here are some great questions to ask as you search for your future home:

Does the House Layout Work for Your Lifestyle?

Walk through a potential new home as if you were just starting your day. Does the layout of the house complement your family’s daily activities? Remember, it’s easy to paint walls a fresh color, but it’s not so easy to move them.

Are the Rooms the Right Size?

When the rooms are too small, you will have to downsize your furniture. If the rooms are very large, you may have difficulty placing your furniture in a way to make a room seem warm and cozy. Measure your current rooms and let your real estate agent know what size rooms you are looking for before viewing a home.

Does the Home Have Enough Natural Light?

Large, well-placed windows let in natural light. A house with small windows will seem dreary on cloudy days when not enough light can enter. Windows are expensive to replace, and it is wise to buy a house that has modern, well-placed windows.

Is There Space for Parking?

If you plan to stay in the home you are purchasing for a number of years, take a good look at the driveway and garage. Your children may only be 11 and 13 today, but how will that driveway and garage work when there are four drivers in the family?

Is the Back or Front Yard Usable?

Extra land might sound fantastic, but if the land travels down a hill, then it may not be usable. If you cannot add a patio, an extra room, or a nice garden, the extra land is of little value.

Is There Privacy?

A house can meet most of your needs, but if it is only a few feet away from the neighbors, your privacy will be affected. Most people want to be able to open their windows without listening to conversations in the neighboring house. Think carefully before buying a house that doesn’t have enough privacy.

All these tips have an effect on resale value as well, so asking yourself these questions will help you buy a home that has good future resale value.

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

July 22, 2019

2019 Outdoor Living and Design Trends

Blurring of Indoor and Outdoor Areas

Beyond windows and patio doors, home designs are truly blending indoor and outdoor areas thanks to features such as folding walls and collapsible screens. For example, imagine a family room that opens up completely to an outdoor patio for easy entertaining, made possible by retractable walls plus smart lighting and strategic heating and cooling sources for seasonal comfort.

Sustainability Is King

As more homeowners are prioritizing green living, outdoor designs that become a part of the local ecosystem are in high demand. This could include planting to support pollinators or integrating edible landscape into the design. Water features are growing in popularity because they add a tranquil element to outdoor spaces while masking unwanted sounds, such as traffic or other noise.

Outdoor Kitchens and Fire Features

In an effort to make outdoor spaces an authentic extension of the home, livability is a priority. That means outdoor kitchens and fire features continue to be top trends. Kitchen additions such as pizza ovens are reflective of the foodie movement, while fire features using gas fuel rather than wood are reflective of the desire for convenience.

 

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 Decor, Home Owners
July 12, 2019

July 2019 Real Estate Review

The seasonality in the Maricopa County real estate market couldn’t be more obvious, or consistent. Lots of sales in April, May and June; not as many in December, January and February.

The highs have risen slightly higher each year, but the lows have gotten lower as well. Overall volume per year has remained relatively level over the last 3 years: up slightly in 2017 and then flat in 2018 and 2019 YTD.

-- Chris Butterworth

The Median Price per Square Foot in Phoenix is up 6% YoY in April, to $164.35/sqft from $153.98/sqft in April ‘18. The positive trend can be seen:

• Overall - the chart is rising consistently from left to right.

• April vs April - the 3 darker blue bars show an increase of about $10/sqft per year.

• Trending - We can see each April caps a relatively flat 3-month cycle, before prices surge forward again in the summer months. If the trend holds, we should see a jump in the May number.

-- Chris Butterworth

Real estate graph and comments courtsey of 8 Dollar Farming