Thinking of Remodeling Your Home or Your Next Home?

Welcome back to my video blog! Today I have Tom Ross from Nova Home Loans with me to tell us about an exciting loan program going on right now.

Tell us about the FHA 203K Renovation Loan.

This is really a neat loan. Have you ever looked for a home, but didn’t find one you liked? With this loan you can purchase and/or renovate a home. The loan limit is up to $346,250. That means you could purchase a home for $250,000 and renovate it up to $100,000: add bedrooms, renovate bathrooms, kitchen, etc.

Are there any restrictions?

The home does have to be your primary residence.

FHA is also not big on pools, so you cannot use the money to add a pool. You must also not over-improve the home for the neighborhood.

What are interest rates at?

Interest rates are incredibly low right now. The regular loan rate is about 4.25 percent and the interest rate for the FHA 203K Loan is about 4.6 percent.

So if you have been thinking about buying a home, but haven’t found one you like, give Monique a call. Together the three of us can discuss your options.

Our Changing Sellers Market

Welcome back to my video blog! For the past few months I’ve been telling you how great our market has been. We saw a lot of buyer demand and very low inventory.

The market has changed. There are fewer showings, fewer buyers and fewer homes being sold. What does this mean?

Our market is changing. We are no longer in a sellers market, but rather we are transitioning into a more balanced market.

Now each price point is a little different. I recently sold a $250,000 home after being listed for three weeks. On the other hand, I sold a home for $235,000 in only a day. The higher priced your home is, the smaller the buyer pool becomes.

If you were a buyer that couldn’t find a home you wanted or you kept getting outbid by other buyers, now is your time. Give me a call so I can help you find the perfect home.

Thanks for watching!

What’s happening with interest rates?

Welcome back to my video blog! Today I have with me my preferred lender, Tom Ross of Nova Home Loans.  I wanted Tom to explain to us what exactly is happening with interest rates and where they are going.

Tom Ross:

People ask me this all the time. If you are looking to buy a home, the ideal credit score is 740; that’s the squeaky clean scenario.

Interest rates are currently around 4.5-4.6 percent. Now, if you remember rates recently spiked up to 5 percent and have slightly dropped since then.

Why is that? Over the past couple of months the Federal Reserve had hinted it was going to pull back on buying mortgage-backed securities. When they announced this, rates began to increase.

Well, in the last meeting they decided to continue to purchase the mortgage-backed securities for now. It’s really important, then, to take care of the market. Rates can increase at any moment.

Both buyers and sellers should make their move now. Buyers need to lock in that low interest rate and sellers need to put their home on the market for those motivated buyers.

If you have any questions, please give Monique or me a call. Thanks for watching!

How to Prepare for a Home Inspection

Did you know that moving is the #3 stress for most people? It doesn’t matter if this is your first home or your fifth home; selling is always stressful. So how can we make it easier? Knowing what to expect and then preparing for it can alleviate a lot of your concerns.

That’s why I have a list of tips that can you prepare.

      Make sure all your utilities are on and inspection ready.
a.       Turn gas, water and electric on prior to the inspection
b.      Unlock the electrical panel and gates
c.       Turn on all pilot lights on gas appliances
d.      Turn all electrical circuit breakers in the ‘on’ position
      Make everything accessible.
a.       Make a clear path to access the attic opening, garage crawl space or any other areas the inspector will need to get to.
b.      Declutter congest areas in your home.
c.       Open window coverings.
d.      Clear out storage items from oven or stove

       Protect Your Property
a.       Put your pets in a secure area
b.      Protect personal items that may get dirty during the inspection, such as clothes in a closet near a attic opening or crawl space.
c.       Put away all breakables, antiques etc 

Prepare for System Tests
a.       Preset your heating and cooling thermostat between 70-78 degrees
b.      Know that your dishwasher will be run during the inspection
c.       Have the operating instructions ready for any unique appliance
d.      Provide remote controls for ceiling fans, lights, fire places, etc

       Provide any pertinent information that may affect the property of the inspection
a.       A copy of the S.P.D. is helpful

       Expect a time frame of 2-4 hours for the average home inspection.
a.       An hour per 1000 square feet depending on age and equipment

I hope you find all this helpful and makes your home inspection much smoother! If you have any questions, please give me a call! 


If you would like to contact my home inspector, Bruce LaBell, his contact information is as foll

Bruce LaBell
Royal Home Inspectors LLC
Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2246
Cell: 602-402-7877;
License Number: BTR 41795

How much longer will the sellers market last?

Hey, guys! Lately, I’ve been asked nonstop about how long this sellers market is going to go on.

Well, the market dynamic is set by the supply and demand. Right now the low inventory and high buyer’s demand create the perfect sellers market. Homes are seeing multiple offers and are getting incredible prices.

Our perfect sellers market won’t last forever, though. As more homes come on the market, there is less of a pent up demand. Prices will then decrease as well.

So if you know of someone who is thinking about selling, spread the word. Now is the time to get the best price!

If you have any questions, please give me a call!

Staged to Sell with Robin Leigh

Hello everyone! Thanks for returning to my real estate video blog.

Today, I am so excited to introduce to you Robin Leigh from Staged to Sell Design. Now, we are at a home in Arcadia. This home was on the market for three months and I had 60 showings, but no offers. It was kind of bizarre!

Robin came to me and said she thought I needed to stage the property. So, we pulled it off the market and she staged the entire home! We put it back on the market and we sold it in 5 days with three offers! So, folks, I am a believer!

Robin, tell us what is home staging?

Staging is taking a property and making an evaluation of its best features. Then we create a plan around those features to show the property at its very best.

When we go into a home, we first look at what we can take away. Often times, staging is about decluttering a home.

Staging is not decorating, although decorating is an aspect of the staging process. So, we minimize; we recommend people take pictures down; put their books away; get a fresh coat of paint. Then if the home needs more modern furnishing we will do that as well!

You can take a look at our website and see the before and after pictures!

Thanks for watching!

What's Happening in the Phoenix Market?

Thank you for joining me again! It is 115° in Phoenix today and buyers are still out looking for homes. The year is halfway over and I wanted to give you a market update!

There are multiple market segments in the Phoenix area and all have inventories of just around two months. A balanced market has a three to four month inventory. So it is still a strong sellers’ market today. Below are just a few of the market segments’ supplies:

East Valley: 1.7 months

Desert Ridge: 1.4 months

Northwest Valley: 2 months

Peoria/Glendale: 1.6 months

Southwest Valley: 1.8 months

I also wanted to tell you about the absorption rate. The absorption rate is the percentage of sales that sell each month. The higher the percentage, the more of a sellers’ market it is. Certain areas of town have very high absorption rates, they are:

East Valley: 58%

Desert Ridge: 70%

Northwest Valley: 51%

Peoria/Glendale 63%

Southwest Valley: 57%

What does this all mean? It is still a very strong sellers’ market. So now is the time to sell your home! Give me a call at 602.413.8195 so we can get started on putting your home on the market! Or send me a quick email if you want information about your neighborhood!

What is a Prequalification Letter?

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When you’re ready to start looking at homes, the first thing your agent will tell you is to get a prequalification letter. This letter is your license to buy a home; it tells the buyer, not only are you ready to buy a home, but that you are able.

There are two important parts to a prequalification letter. The most important is the payment amount; make sure you have a payment amount you are comfortable with. The second is your financials. To close the loan you need to present all your bank statements, pay stubs, W2s, tax returns, etc.

Once you’ve established a comfortable payment amount and your lender has gone over your financials, the lender will write a letter stating you can buy a house for a certain amount. You are able to show the buyer and close faster in this highly competitive market.

Professional Loans

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Today we have Fred Gerten from BBVA Compass to tell you about their Professional Program. 

The Professional Program allows doctors, lawyers and CPAs to purchase high-end homes with low down payments.  Compass offers million dollar loans with as little as five percent down. 

All that is required to be eligible for this Professional Loan is a credit score above 700.  Employment and assets will also be verified, but there is no minimum employment length required. 

Loans of more than a million dollars are also available, but a slightly larger down payment is required.

While interest rates do fluctuate, Compass offers market competitive rates and no one else has a program like this. 

Please call us if you have any questions or want to get started with the Professional Program!